Bots- a very strong warning to zwift

Yesterday I took part in 2 events, one a race the other a group ride.

In both events there were “riders” who were very clearly bots and stupid ones at that.

In the first race a C rider held a rock steady 5.3W/kg never varying by 0.1W regardless of conditions

In the group ride another rider held a rock steady 4.8W/kg again never changing, even when they got dropped on a climb.

I raised the first rider as an issue. Rather than respond the post was hidden and I was referred to guidelines.

ZWIFT DO NOT BEHAVE LIKE AN OSTRICH.

Your USP is your ability to recreate the impression of riding with others indoors. Other apps are much better at simulating virtual reality and the experience of riding outdoors indoors (I was a long time user of Rouvy which knocks Zwift into a cocked hat in terms of reality and variety.)

I also used to play World of Warcraft. It was plagued by bots and one of the reasons I stopped playing it was Blizzard’s failure to listen to its real users and do something to stop the virus infecting their product.

It is much easier to bot Zwift compared to WoW and there are many people out there who will take pleasure in so doing.

Zwift you must react now in a proactive manner to identify and shutdown bots otherwise you risk your game turning into a farce. It is a dereliction of duty to fail in this or expect 3rd parties like Zpower to do your work for you.

(Sorry if this breaks any guidelines.)

If you open the companion app you can flag a suspicious rider.

It can be a bot or it can be someone with a bad setup and they don’t know it is bad, some classic trainers has a 400w limit and someone holding that limit can look like what you describe.

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What happens to those flagged riders Gerrie?

You and I both lead enough rides where we see flyers.Do they get a warning or something?

Thanks

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Who cares?

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I don’t really know. There is some indication if x amount of people flag them they get the cone, Zwift also investigate poeple with a lot of flags.

This is how I understand it.

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Given that they are paying customers, absolutely nothing.

Could be violating the terms of service, but who reads those things, am I right! :smile:

Yes the bots and cheating on this platform are ridiculous. Zwift will eventually lose a lot of customers if they are completely overtaken by bots. Let’s try not to let this happen.

I’ve just left the tour for all ride at 8pm BST because it was being ruined by a bot riding at 5.4w/kg and double draft meant it was just stupid as we were all just stuck behind. It ruined the event. Why can’t zwift write some code to detect bots?

I would say the chances of it being a bot is very low there is no real advantage to use a bot in a ride.

It is most probably someone on a very bad setup that is a the top of the max power for the trainer and a very low weight.

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It was an unchanging 5.4W/kg at all times. It was a 1-5w/kg event.
Zwift has the power to detect and stop this from ruining events, if it chooses to.

You can flag the user using the companion app.

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How does one rider going too fast ruin an event?

Sure, bots are bad I get it. I just don’t understand how someone else in a group ride can wreck my group ride

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Forgive my ignorance, but what is a bot in this context?

@ihadablackdog
Bot would refer to a program or device that sends a fake wattage to zwift.

Had a similar bot on the tour yesterday. Exactly 5.2 for over an hour. Wasn’t listed in results. Just disappeared afterwards. Done right, bots could help make sparsely-populated rides more interesting. But they totally mess up rides with plenty of participants.

Because instead of a ride having natural variance in speed according to terrain, fatigue etc, the bot just comes to the front and the draught lines out the pack. After a while it becomes stupid because no one talks, no one else goes to the front, and riders who don’t know better keep trying to keep up with the bot

So are these put their by Zwift on purpose or are the users doing it to cheat in some way?

i.e. would be like me setting my treadmill to 10km/h and going away for an hour?

Bots would be used by cheaters. Or idiots testing out stuff without turning off the wifi.

Other explanation is they aren’t bots but someone with dodgy trainer and they either don’t know any better or don’t care. Eg if you set up a spin bike with a speed sensor it may estimate your speed and power way too high, so high that zwift cuts your power down to say 400 w because it’s being trimmed down it appears perfectly constant.

I’ve never seen any behaviour in game that I would think is a bot tho, just people with bugs.

You do have the option to just ride with the people around you and not worry about other people/bots/empty treadmills zooming away without you.

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