This is for those who want to know what exactly happened and why did it happen. The dates are taken from my very inaccurate and partially destroyed mIRC logs, please inform me if you detect any wrong facts, because I changed my clock too often to make shareware programs work.
The idea was born a year before the first AutoRune version came out. We had 2 computers in our room but only one was directly connected to internet, so I found a tool that redirected all outgoing connections to socks proxy. I set up proxy server on the connected computer and accessed internet from the other computer through it.
Then I made RS connect to modified socks proxy and it saved all outgoing and incoming data to file. I figured I could send my own data to make it walk and do other actions but then other things came and it was forgotten about until a year later.
One place where everyone talked about RS cheating and cheats was RBcheats forums. I was reading them now and then, I offered to make RS cheat and asked for a help but got flamed. Pretty soon I realized that none of the people there had any idea what they were talking about. All cheats offered for download in the forums were keyloggers.
Then evil cowgod created the RS cheating community. In fact the community is still alive. Some guy in his forums tried to convince me that cheat like AutoRune is not possible. It took me a week to create it.
I don't know when exactly first version was created, but according to my mIRC logs at September 22, 2002 me and cow were talking about advertising AutoRune on his site. That would be great if someone could find when exactly was AR 1.0 released.
I don't remember much, but the sample script included with AR 1.0 mined iron at Varrock southeast mines, smelted it at Lumbridge, smithed at Varrock and banked in Varrock east bank. Meaning that even the first version was very powerful already. When I demonstrated AR to Alex in game, all he was saying is: "omg it's so fast, I can hardly follow".
The famous AutoRune interface was created by my real life friend Rapids. The first testers were Alex, Vincent and Heppu.
AutoRune was very unique and new back then. It was acting as proxy between game server and client, it was analyzing outgoing and incoming data and injecting data if needed. It was the very first scriptable RS cheat and it used authorization server - a mechanism to prevent uncontrolled distribution of the cheat. Later someone got a brilliant idea - it can be sold.
The very first purchaser of AutoRune was Olympus (Olee). I was internet less and Olee had to wait for his authorization account. He was impatient and offered money if Rapids creates the account for him. Rapids accepted. It was September 20, 2002.
Later Rapids convinced me, that AutoRune should be sold. It was priced $10 at first, later the price varied. I didn't earn much because AutoRune was not as well know as it is nowadays after duping and autocatching.
There was a trial version of AutoRune and many people believed that Jagex used it to examine how AutoRune worked and take it down.
Generally these were happy times for all AutoRuners because their number was small and they had some great scripters and for me, because I enjoyed coding and making AutoRune better and better, but I really hated wasting my time for making AR authorization accounts for those who purchased them and explaining newcomers how to use AR. At one point I even wanted to stop it all and close the project.
Coran purchased AutoRune authorization at November 01, 2002. In the very first day he had interest in selling AR authorization accounts so I could do only the coding part. He was also a great scripter and generally cool guy.
I offered to sell AutoRune source code for $500. First two guys who got interested were rejected because one of them was a well known scammer (James) but the other one was too young (SixPack). Coran decided to purchase it. At December 05, 2002 he was the new owner of AutoRune including source code and copyrights. I agreed to continue working on it because I enjoyed it.
December 13, 2002. Friday. We all got banned. Well, almost all of us.
So how did they detect us? It's not easy to explain and understand if you haven't used AutoRune, so don't try to understand it. Basically they made RS client send a useless command to server after 45 clicks on rock, fishing spot, tree or NPC. AutoRune didn't send that command when script was running so server could tell - hmmm, 45 rocks were mined but the secret command was not sent, must be AutoRune. We didn't know what was the cause back then. I was quite shocked, I just left. Before that we did the famous banker killing.
I also must mention that other bots, including some private ones were affected by this and banned along with AutoRuners.
After the mass ban there was nothing. I left, everyone left, the channels went empty, the forums were down. It was pretty sure that the evil cowgod community is dead and will never return. Well, I was wrong.
April, 2003 cow returned with Bovine Labs. At April 09, 2003 after almost 4 months AutoRune was fixed. AutoRune 2.3 was modified to send the secret commands like the real RS client did.
This was the time when RS cheating exploded. Suddenly people came from everywhere, all willing to cheat. Not only that, Vee came with a fixed RuneBot version. The forums swarmed of people and it was clear that this can't last. Indeed, RuneBot survived for about a week, AutoRune had a longer life, only because it came before RuneBot.
This time there was no mass ban. They just effectively disabled AutoRune, RuneBot and probably other cheats by changing RS communication protocol. The commands sent to server/received from server were now encrypted. There was no way I could guess that and fix AutoRune. I was wrong again.
The secret return
The community doesn't do well without cheats. They start scamming and basically the weaker it is the more destructively the members act. You would think that at hard times people should be supportive and try to find a solution. Forget it, that doesn't happen in real life.
A new cheat was created by me. The name was SCAR and it means Sh*te Compared to AutoRune. It's a color clicker and you can read more about it in SCAR section. This was for the community.
Meanwhile AutoRune was fixed but it was nowhere announced. Date - unknown (no data about this in my mIRC logs). Only few people knew about this and only few AutoRune users existed (so called ARC - AutoRune Crew). A private channel was made and a private forum was created. Only intelligent and useful people were invited in, we exchanged ideas and created scripts. This was a good time for those lucky ones who had AutoRune. And we existed for a very long time.
November 06, 2003. After I released AutoRune with autotrading support, SixFeetUnder discovered that it can be used for duping. He was trying to trade one of the holiday items with AutoRune by giving server invalid parameters. Ironically, anything could be duped except holiday items and stackable items (money, certificates etc). And the best thing is - you didn't even need the item you wanted to duplicate, so it was more like item creating.
That was a big fun day. The RS economy had to suffer. Hundreds of hats were created, other items worth billions in GP. Not all accounts were banned, some AutoRuners made quite a fortune. After many hours it took for Jagex to discover and fix the bug, the main dupers got banned. Items were not deleted, the game was not rolled back.
After duping lots and lots of things were tried out with AutoRune. The most significant being:
- you could cast spells without runes and without a target enabling incredibly fast leveling
- you could create women with beards
- you could attack and kill yourself in wilderness
- you could create a character without body (it still was showing up in minimap and when mouse was moved over)
There were more, but these were the main ones.
Coran sold AutoRune source code and rights to Josh (APD). Josh wasn't as loved by community because he was well known as scammer and started to sell accounts again for both money and ingame GPs.
Second mass ban
Why were the first two attempts of killing AutoRune unsuccessful? Because Jagex wanted AutoRune to die but I didn't. This time I wanted it to end. I was tired of it all. There were other reasons, too. APD had sold accounts to many people. I created a public authorization server account for everyone to use. Everyone started AutoRuning. They automined, autofighted and autocatched. The RS player community was very upset about all this and autocatching basically ruined the whole gameplay.
02 January, 2004. AutoRuners were banned in the second massban. I didn't fix AutoRune anymore.
When APD purchased source code, his computer got keylogged and AutoRune source code stolen. Many people have it now. One of people who got AutoRune source code is Buckna. He decided to fix and sell AutoRune under a different name - AsheyRune. He tried for some time but Jagex killed it and he gave up.
I am not planning to bring AutoRune back ever. In fact I haven't tried to fix it since version 2.80.
Anything to add
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org