Frequently Asked Questions:
A: You repeatedly requested fights before your previous one finished. If you were using a browser like IE, it's entirely possible that you never saw the warning message because you were spamming the fight refresh so quickly that it never loaded the page. Using mozilla or a recent netscape build prevents this. Other browsers may as well. This is completely separate from the longer ban you will get from missing a bot check.
A: Because CB is built on open standards, it's possible to write a bot to play for you, either with a click scripting tool or something more advanced like libwww-perl. (The changes introduced at the beginning 2003 make click scripting significantly more difficult but not impossible.)
A: They are difficult, true. Intentionally so; several previous incarnations of the bot check were defeated by bot authors. In its current form, it is difficult enough that it is safe to say that if you can defeat it, you should contact a local university professor in AI to get your work published. The cursive, overlapping words, distortion, time limit, and low try limit are all part of what makes it tough to defeat. (So don't bother complaining about them.) For instance -- say someone had a bot that could answer correctly 20% of the time. Even this much is difficult, but may be possible. With two tries, his bot passes 36% of the time; still low enough to raise a red flags for the admins. With 5 tries, he's up to 68%. This will take longer for us to notice. (Or, he can have the bot try four times -- 59% success -- and have it call him for the fifth if it fails.)
Despite the initial difficulty, humans invariably learn to read them quickly when they want to. Practice on the store; the penalty for missing is lower there. Don't get discouraged; admins can clear your suspension if necessary. (But don't bother asking unless you're new. :)
If you're still having difficulty reading them, you can get a quick review of what cursive letters look like here or practice using a botcheck trainer.
A: Your browser didn't load the image for some reason. First, right-click on it and select Load Image (control-click if you're on a Mac). If that doesn't work, hit the Back button in your browser, then hit Forward. If that doesn't work, reload the page -- don't worry, you will get the exact same bot-check back. Failing that, close your browser completely and then re-open it, come back to CarnageBlender, and re-do whatever it was that you did to get the bot-check -- again, don't worry, you'll get the same one. If none of the above worked, just guess an answer; it will probably be wrong but you always have 2 tries, and guessing wrong will force a new image to be generated.
A: The solution to this is simple: LET YOUR BATTLES FINISH. Especially after leaving fighting for another activity. Browsers are fairly simpleminded clients; any request supercedes all previous requests, finished or not. So the server could try to send you the challenge message, but if you click somewhere else before the page finishes loading, you won't see it. Two minutes later, when it expires, you're suspended.
A: This only makes it harder for humans. It's trivial for a program to determine which color belongs to the actual lettering, and ignore the rest.