A 3rd party program is a piece of software or hardware that allows you to get access to information, modifies information or automates the game in a fashion that we have not specifically allowed.
- Packet Sniffers and Editors are right out, they can get information that the game client doesn't display to the player, or edit data to possibly cause problems.
- Bots : They play the game for you, that is not intended, this one is the number 1 reason we ban people from ragnarok.
- RCX : This one is an odd case that I will explain below.
- Autopotters: Program that presses keys for you when certain criteria (HP/MP %) is met, this is kind of playing for you, or at least one part of the game play.
Edge cases that we don't explicitly ban for.
- Recording tools like Fraps, it isn't playing for you, or modifying/reading data you shouldn't otherwise have access too.
- EXP calculators/monitors : You could calculate in your head if you were pating attention to the battle readout, plus this is a tool that we explicitly want to allow because we think it is useful.
- RCX : Odd Case will explain below.
At some point a number of years ago we were presented with a translated RO program that did neat little things like monitor EXP, records game activities in an ultra small format, shows AoE effects as colored ground tiles instead of hard to see through/ or unshown graphics; this was great for WoE as it allowed better tactical readout. This program was RCX. We made an exception to our "no 3rd party program" rule specifically for RCX, and all was ok for awhile. Later someone expanded the tool to have a "heal slave" this was a bot that was built in, and that instantly made us put RCX on the not allowed list again, sadly.
Now recently some hoolabaloo has come up in the community regarding RCX usage and people getting banned or not banned for its usage, and it has called into question what our policy is regarding it, and by extension other 3rd party programs. If someone is using RCX to record or use the ground tile features we would not care, frankly they are tools we've requested to be built directly into the game for the past 2-3 years (before renewal). But that nasty bot is the reason we don't allow it.
From years of experience we know that if we allowed RCX, and someone was banned for botting (even if using a different Bot program) they would retaliate saying we allowed RCX and that is all they were using. The gradient nature that the sliding scale of badness that goes from Black (Bots, packet editors) to the gray, RCX to the white EXP viewers is either lost on some players or blatantly misquoted to try and take advantage of a loophole. To avoid the whole grayscale nature of RCX we just said NO. But now we do have to be a bit more open regarding this policy.
RCX in itself is fine, but if you are using the heal slave features (or any other feature that fits into the 3rd party program criteria), we will have no mercy on your
A project that we hope we can advance in 2013 is to develop "in house" tools for you to do such things like exp viewer and such to be built into the game if we cover all the legit tools, there is no reason for you to use other tools.
Happy Holidays! I'm looking forward to next year, we have a crazy packed update schedule for 2013, that dwarfs anything I've ever seen for RO. Will be busy, and should be great fun!