Accepted Papers

NGUARD: A Game Bot Detection Framework for NetEase MMORPGs

Jianrong Tao (NetEase Fuxi AI Lab); Jiarong Xu (Zhejiang University); Linxia Gong (NetEase Fuxi AI Lab); Yifu Li (NetEase Fuxi AI Lab); Changjie Fan (NetEase Fuxi AI Lab); Zhou Zhao (Zhejiang University)

Game bots are automated programs that assist cheating users and enable them to obtain huge superiority, leading to an imbalance in the game ecosystem and the collapse of user interest. Therefore, game bot detection becomes particularly important and urgent. Among many kinds of online games, massively multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs), such as World of Warcraft and AION, provide immersive gaming experience and attract many loyal fans. At the same time, however, game bots in MMORPGs have proliferated in volume and method, evolving with the real-world detection methods and showing strong diversity, leaving MMORPG bot detection efforts extremely difficult. To deal with the fast-changing nature of game bots, we here proposed a generalized game bot detection framework for MMORPGs termed NGUARD, denoting NetEase Games’ Guard. NGUARD takes charge of automatically differentiating game bots from humans for MMORPGs. In detail, NGUARD exploits a combination of supervised and unsupervised methods. Supervised models are utilized to detect game bots in observed patterns according to the training data. Meanwhile, unsupervised solutions are employed to detect clustered game bots and help discovering new bots. The game bot detection framework NGUARD has been implemented and deployed in multiple MMORPG productions in the NetEase Game portfolio, achieving remarkable performance improvement and acceleration compared to traditional methods. Moreover, the framework reveals outstanding robustness for game bots in mutated patterns and even in completely new patterns on account of the design of the auto-iteration mechanism.

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