Macro portal-summoners aren’t anything new. For the experienced AC macroer, there’s not even any challenge in making a character stand up, prepare itself, cast a portal, ask for donations, and lay back down for a few minutes. Said characters are godsends in busy places — while the illiterate morons of Dereth, whose mantra is “NE1 GOT HUB????,” rarely remember the macroers and their frequent “/e summoning hub, donations appreciated, next portal in two minutes” announcements, they stop spamming and leave when the portal is actually cast.

Naturally, just casting a portal every two minutes and asking nicely for donations isn’t very efficient. This bot business is considerably more complex, better for the person running the macro, better for the player that needs a portal. Said “protals 2 hub” are valuable for most players because, logically, the towns that players congregate in are the ones that have the best buying prices for loot. These towns also have the highest selling prices. Good little economists, most people want to go to other towns to buy their supplies, where they can find the lowest prices. This is where the “hub” comes in — with portals to most towns at the very bottom of the dungeon, players are able to go to the cheapest places to buy their healing kits, mana charges and spell components, while still enjoying a base where the vendors pay upwards of 100% value for their loot.

Some would say this is a stupid system, and all towns should be the same, or there should be better places to sell than Ayan Baqur and Fort Tethana, better places to buy than Glenden Wood and the Mayoi archmage — and then others respond with wacky conspiracy theories like “the more spread out the players are, the worse the lag is, so they want us to pack ourselves in only a few places, MICROSOFT WANTS US ALL TO QUIT” (this being a fine example of CoD dev board logic: dev makes one cryptic comment about the causes of lag, players combine that with the idea that “Microsoft doesn’t want us to play,” and voila).

Another player spammed all the CoD boards two days ago with an advertisement for what he calls “first fully functional AC combat and lewt bot.” It slices, dices, loots and collects for any “distributed camping quest item” you select, and all for the low price of $40. These “distributed camping quest items” are collectables certain monsters drop, required to make shadow armor and atlan weapons, among other popular things, and most players don’t particularly like to kill hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of the same creature to get 16 motes or 32 shards to complete the quest.

In other third-party AC optimization news, this little project has been quietly existing for some time. I imagine it has a variety of uses, but for now, people make it components or something (again, most players don’t particularly like to spend half an hour buying components after they go through so much trouble to catch a portal to the Abandoned Mines “hub,” take the portal to Mayoi at the bottom, and run to the archmage’s tower). And if you’re not concerned about fancy macros ridding AC of perceived annoyances, check this for benefit instead: some people are even making pretty new user interfaces.

“The AC Team” runs no “AC Pro” program, not even at Microsoft, and all third-party applications are legal, just like everything else one could possibly want to do. Insert stern moralizing statement here.