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Blizzard Removing Alpha Access As Punishment

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After a feedback thread escalated last night, it seems Blizzard have punished those that acted out on the forums. Both Legion and Overwatch access has been removed for many of those that took part in the "memestorm"!


The thread in question popped up after there were a number of stability issues with the Alpha servers. Players couldn't log in to test the raids that were scheduled, namely the first Mythic bosses to open for testing.

It quickly escalated into personal insults and threats, a barrage of memes and "jokes" spanning topics such as 9/11 and terrorism. It seems Blizzard have since revoked the access of these players to the Legion Alpha and Overwatch Beta for an undisclosed period of time. 

While it's understandable that people take time out to prepare for these events, access to the Alpha is still a privilege. One of the MVPs on the US realms summed it up perfectly:
 

Alpha access is a privilege not a right. Alphas by nature are NOT stable and will have issues. Sure, it sucks to set apart time to test and have it not work out. However, resorting to the trolling and nonsense that happened there is not ok. It was not harmless and demonstrated that some people really don't understand what the purpose of an Alpha is or how to provide polite and constructive feedback. Sure, you are free to act like that, but others don't have to put up with you. Sometimes people simply need to deal with the consequences of their actions.
 
(source)

 

We also saw a blue post from Watcher apologising for the problems over the raid testing night.

 

Blizzard Icon Watcher on the Raid Tests

 

Obviously we've been experiencing significant technical issues. We've been trying to diagnose them, but they're beyond the scope of anything that can be addressed in the short-term (infrastructure/back-end issues, as opposed to just a simple code bug that can be fixed). As such, we're canceling today's tests. They'll be rescheduled.
 
I realize it's frustrating to carve time out of your schedule and then be unable to actually play. If there were anything we could do to prevent this, we would, but an alpha/beta environment is inherently less stable and polished because of how things are changing constantly, both in obvious player-facing ways but also in terms of behind-the-scenes tech. I apologize, but I honestly can't say that it won't happen again - it might. The disclaimers that accompany each raid testing announcement aren't just empty words.
 
 

So, what do you think? Was the punishment fair? Should it have been more, or less, severe?

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I think they went a little too far here, honestly.  Blizzards own ToC states that trolling is punishable by a forum ban based on severity.

 

 


Spamming or Trolling

This category includes:

  • Excessively communicating the same phrase, similar phrases, or pure gibberish

  • Creating threads for the sole purpose of causing unrest on the forums

  • Causing disturbances in forum threads, such as picking fights, making off topic posts that ruin the thread, insulting other posters

  • Making non-constructive posts

  • Abusing the Reported Post feature by sending false alarms or nonsensical messages

  • Numbering a thread, IBTL, TLDR, or any other fad statements


If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:

  • Be given a temporary or permanent ban from the forums, depending upon severity

 

 

Removal of access goes way beyond a forum ban.  Not only that, but the way WatcherDev responded on twitter was not very, err, appropriate for his position.  

 

 

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I think they went a little too far here, honestly.  Blizzards own ToC states that trolling is punishable by a forum ban based on severity.

 

 

Spamming or Trolling

This category includes:

  •  
  • Excessively communicating the same phrase, similar phrases, or pure gibberish
  •  
  • Creating threads for the sole purpose of causing unrest on the forums
  •  
  • Causing disturbances in forum threads, such as picking fights, making off topic posts that ruin the thread, insulting other posters
  •  
  • Making non-constructive posts
  •  
  • Abusing the Reported Post feature by sending false alarms or nonsensical messages
  •  
  • Numbering a thread, IBTL, TLDR, or any other fad statements
  •  

If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:

  •  
  • Be given a temporary or permanent ban from the forums, depending upon severity
  •  

 

 

Removal of access goes way beyond a forum ban.  Not only that, but the way WatcherDev responded on twitter was not very, err, appropriate for his position.  

 

Do you think a forum ban would work in this situation? The whole point of having Alpha access is to test and give feedback. Without access to the forums to give feedback, what's the point of them testing?

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I think they went a little too far here, honestly.  Blizzards own ToC states that trolling is punishable by a forum ban based on severity.

 

 

Spamming or Trolling

This category includes:

  •  
  • Excessively communicating the same phrase, similar phrases, or pure gibberish
  •  
  • Creating threads for the sole purpose of causing unrest on the forums
  •  
  • Causing disturbances in forum threads, such as picking fights, making off topic posts that ruin the thread, insulting other posters
  •  
  • Making non-constructive posts
  •  
  • Abusing the Reported Post feature by sending false alarms or nonsensical messages
  •  
  • Numbering a thread, IBTL, TLDR, or any other fad statements
  •  

If a player is found to have participated in such actions, he/she will:

  •  
  • Be given a temporary or permanent ban from the forums, depending upon severity
  •  

 

 

Removal of access goes way beyond a forum ban.  Not only that, but the way WatcherDev responded on twitter was not very, err, appropriate for his position.  

They're not paying for alpha or beta access. If they'd been banned from WoW altogether I could see your point. But they were granted a privilege, and showed they had no real grasp of what they were supposed to be doing with it. Therefore, they lost it.

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They could give me an alpha key. They know I would appreciate it, and enjoy helping them out anyway I can. But oh well ill be good and wait for the beta. Blizzard love...

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They could give me an alpha key. They know I would appreciate it, and enjoy helping them out anyway I can. But oh well ill be good and wait for the beta. Blizzard love...

I second this motion.

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Bans were justified. You should see it as an honor that a company trusts you to provide feedback on whatever you think that needs to be changed or improved. But then again blizzard stop using the alpha as a promotion tool, get players in that are willing to test the content properly and won't act like adhd kiddies when something bothers them.

 

I think Blizzard should take a page out of Microsoft testing, and add a questionnaire with the beta testing signup where you can motivate yourself and them, on why you should get early testing access.

I'll gladly test 10 hours per day and provide feedback so the issues do not present on live and improve my own and everyone else's gaming experience.

Edited by Hikashuri

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I think the way these players have behaved is disgusting. Talking about 9/11 amongst other topics is despicable. Innocent people lost their lives in that tragedy and to this day the pain is still raw.

I honestly think Blizzard have been too soft with said players, If it was up to me they would have been given a lifetime ban. In my honest opinion even that really isn't enough. They should be prosecuted for what they have written. It wouldn't be the first time someone has been prosecuted for trolling!!!!

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