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WoW News: Botting Banwave (17th December)

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The cries of players all over the world have finally been heard. Yet another banwave has gone out to those suspecting of botting in any shape or form. Check out the responses from Blizzard and the community!

 

For those of you that are unaware of the general botting community, a bot uses a program that automates certain aspects of gameplay, thereby giving the player some form of unfair advantage over others. The most notable that affect other players include bots that can "kick" enemy spells in record times, thereby ensuring the player cannot cast any spells. There are even some bots known to completely automate the rotation and movement of players.

 

Blizzard has a zero-tolerance when it comes to botting and it looks like they've set out to give us another reminder of their Terms of Use. They have gone ahead and issued a huge banwave affecting a large number of bot-users, with bans of at least 6 months to the offenders concerned.

 

The general response from the community seemed to be pretty angry, since they believe there should be permanent bans handed out for any infringement over botting rules. One user had this to say:

 

"the amount of bans doesnt matter as much as the duration, your sending the wrong message if some will still be able to come back and bot to glad before the end of the season" (source)

 

To some extent, the player has a point. A 6-month ban does allow botters to simply come back and play again eventually, therefore meaning something has to be done about it again in 6 months. Our favourite Community Manager, Lore, had a different opinion, which he voiced in the same thread. Check it out:

 

Blizzard Icon Comments from Lore

 

So, here's the thing.
 
Through various studies (conducted both here at Blizzard and by other companies/groups), and by monitoring player behavior, we've discovered that suspensions are actually more effective than permabans for preventing repeat offenses by the same people.
 
There's some really interesting sociological hocus pocus behind it, but from what I understand, the TLDR is that if a botter gets permabanned, they'll often just buy a new account and go right back to botting. However, if we only suspend them -- meaning, they'll get their account back later -- they're less likely to buy a new one. Furthermore, once they do get their account back, they're EXTREMELY unlikely to bot again.
 
I'm not a psychology expert, but there's something about "I'll get this account back later" that leads more of these sorts of people to give up their botting ways than if their accounts had been permanently closed. It's kind of fascinating (at least I find it to be).
 
Side note: please avoid referencing bot programs directly by name, you're only making it easier for people to find them!
 

 

He makes a very valid point, especially when there is the Christmas sale on. They can very easily just grab a cheap version of the game and continue botting. At least those that are first-time offenders might be less inclined to make a new account, due to the fact that they know they will eventually get their account back. 

 

In other news, it looks like the botting community is coming together, with many users deciding they are going to "sue" Blizzard for closing their accounts. One user had this to say:

 

"i paid them lots of money over the years and they just up and ban me and deny me access to that? Sounds very illegal to me.. but no one is stepping up to sue them"

 

He makes a good point, Blizzard have been acting extremely illegally by banning all these people breaking the Terms of Use they agreed to.

 

Hold on... We're getting reports that Blizzard are even using spyware to hack into people's computers and ban them. Let's head over to our next botting reporter:

 

"they banned an account that wasn't even logged into today. It would seem they are spying on the pc its self ..i hope theres a mass exit from wow it is bad enough they have so little content ..maps are tiny ,,,boring as )(()( ...now spyware on our pc s .."

 

Another very valid point. Blizzard need to watch what they're doing, spying on our PCs and banning us for breaking the Terms of Use. How dare they spy on us. Totally not just flagging the accounts when they are doing the botting, to then ban later.

 

We were going to ask Blizzard how they might reply to these accusations, but I think we can guess the response. Somehow, I don't think they are going to be worried about being sued over this issue.

 

For those of you hoping to find the source for the comments above, I will not be linking to the sites that they came from. I have no wish to give more exposure to where one can find the bots.

 

Remember, whatever you are botting for isn't worth losing your account over. Play safe and play fair. 

 

If you want to get into the discussion, you can visit the various threads here:

 

US Battle.Net

Reddit

 

You can also find Lore's official post on the EU forums here.

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In may of this year my account was banned for botting, i wasn't botting, how ever my step son was. our logins were under a merged account so i got banned too. i questioned it and told too bad. i served my 6 months. Blizzard took all my tokens, all my honor, and over 100k gold. left me with nothing. in the last month my stepson is not allowed to play anymore (my choice) and i do not bot. i made over 120k back by using add-on like TSM. last night i got banned again. i had not been on for 24 hours. i put in my appeal and this ban is for 18 months. this is ridiculous. i like how they say they have all this evidence, well i would like to see it. i have a right don't I. i mean it is my account. my money. sent it to me via mail or email. don't just give me an auto reply , "you're request has been denied" just because your pissed of that you lost court cases and now going through another one. don't take it out on innocent people.

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I don't know what to tell you here. 

 

I'm not Blizzard support, nor can I tell you anything about the case. All I see here is what you tell me happened. There are 500 other threads on the forums saying the same things. I'm not saying you're not being truthful, not saying you're botting, but it looks like there are plenty of people that have said they have never botted. All of a sudden, we then have them admit they did bot once "only to fish for like 5 mins wtf?"

 

I can't help you with that. False positives sometimes happen on things like VAC bans, but I'm sure Blizzard generally have a reason to ban you.

 

In regards to your stepson, please remember this part of their terms:

 

"The account holder is responsible for the account's behavior. We apply penalties no matter who was playing at the time. Extenuating individual circumstances will not lead to the removal of a penalty."

 

I doubt Blizzard decided to remove your items and gold while the account was banned. If it was a permanent closure, then yeah, of course. You lost the items because the account broke the ToU.

 

It also doesn't matter if you didn't log-in for 24 hours. Your account would have been flagged by Warden months ago to then be banned in a mass ban-wave. You don't need to be online to be banned.

 

Anyway, like I said. I don't know anything about your story, all I know is what is in the post you've put here. If you really want to appeal it, go do it here.

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Yeah, the rotation bots are generally really simple to see. If you're topping the DPS and it's an insanely intense part of the fight, you're not going to have time to type perfectly to your friend in /raid. 

 

Not quite sure how it could be fun to let your entire gameplay be automated in a raid, but each to his/her own.

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This is the only thing I have to say about the Bans is blizzard doesn't give a damn it's just a way to get more game account sales cuz everyone that bots knows what may happen but blizzard has only done it during times that they are down on Subscriptions so what better way to get more money ban account of people that bot cuz they know that they will just make a new account. Now as for the people that bot in Pvp should have their accounts ban from doing any Pvp that would be blizzard doing something right in my eyes that breaks blizzards terms of use agreement.

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Well, I'd argue that in the past Blizzard have conducted banwaves despite still having large numbers of subs. Off the top of my head, in 2011 they mass-banned those that were botting Archaeology. 2011 was by no means a bad year for subscriptions, with 10-11M active subs at the time.

 

To suggest banning people from PvP is completely impossible to implement within game. How do we ban someone from PvP? Every time they attack someone in the world, they are instantly DC'd? Trying to IP ban them from Arena? It simply won't happen because the hassle involved isn't worth it.

 

If you could clean up your game from cheaters, make your legit players happier and get more money, wouldn't you do it as well? Seems like a win-win.

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