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Real-Money Raid/Dungeon Clear Bans

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Top guild players and more have their accounts suspended for real-money trades for raid and dungeon clears.

Update: There were permanent bans also being handed out. It's unclear what the criteria for the duration of the ban is, but it's safe to assume the intensity and amount of runs would be a factor. Also, so far it seems it's only US and Russian top guilds affected (not Exorsus, however).

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Well, this is quite a big one. Blizzard have taken action against real-money clear sellers. While this has been a pretty common practice in WoW, with full Mythic raid clears being known to go for upwards of a thousand Euro, Blizzard hadn't taken a harsh stance on it, until now. They didn't specify what the penalties for the accounts were, but we've found out it's an 8 day suspension for anyone that participated in or advertised for these types of raid clears (we don't, however, know if they buyers of these services also got suspended - presumably not). Blizzard did make sure to point out that players in the top guilds have been affected and that they would be clamping down on this kind of behavior and another oft-mentioned top raiding staple, account sharing.

However, they also make sure to add that those same activities (the raid/dungeon/pvp clearing/boosting, not the account sharing) are completely fine, as long as you use in-game currency for the exchange and, as you'll recall, you can buy gold with real money, so... In any case, it's good to see Blizzard making clear statements on their policy and the enforcement thereof, instead of the very vague threat of maybe sometimes banning a few people. As long as the rules are clear and enforced, everyone can play and enjoy the game on the same level.

Blizzard LogoOrnyx (source)

We’ve recently taken action against a number of accounts that were actively participating in and/or advertising the sale of in-game raid or dungeon clears in exchange for real-world currency. Such behavior is a clear violation of the World of Warcraft Terms of Use.

Of the players affected, many were members of top raiding guilds. We want to be clear that everyone we’ve taken action against had illustrated full knowledge and intent to violate the Terms of Use. Going forward, in order to ensure fair play and competitive integrity, we’ll be monitoring these activities much more closely in order to make sure that the rules are being followed. This includes selling services for real money, account-sharing, and other violations.

Note that while selling assistance with obtaining items, achievements, PvP rating, or other in-game benefits for real-world currency is against the Terms of Use, selling those things in exchange for in-game gold is perfectly legitimate. Players should not feel as though participating in a “gold run” is going to result in negative action taken against their account.

If you see people advertising these services, please help us keep the game clean by reporting them. If you’re unsure, here are some common warning signs:

  • A “broker” is offering to match buyers with service-providers. Commonly, a broker will collect real-world currency from a buyer while offering gold to a guild or group that will actually provide the service.
  • Someone offering a service is unwilling to discuss terms of payment via in-game tells, and insists on using a non-Blizzard application to communicate.


Also note that Patch 7.2 includes some improvements to our reporting features to add clearer categories for reporting listings in the Premade Group Finder. We’re disappointed to see members of the raiding community participating in behaviors that clearly violate the Terms of Use, and want to be clear that such activities will not be tolerated.

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I'm pretty okay with this as It'll decrease the Group finder clutter without someone offering to sell content. While allowing boost runs for in game gold to be A-okay. I guess they just don't want people making money off of being well geared.

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10 minutes ago, Naomi said:

I'm pretty okay with this as It'll decrease the Group finder clutter without someone offering to sell content. While allowing boost runs for in game gold to be A-okay. I guess they just don't want people making money off of being well geared.

Blizzard doesn't want people to earn money off of their products in any way from within their games (Websites are fine (ad-revenue, donations etc.)) unless Blizzard provides those means themselves (Real Money Auction House).

 

This is in line with almost any game, developer and publisher.

Imagine going to a very busy fast-food restaurant with a big line, and a person stands there telling you that if you give him 1 dollar, he'll make sure you can skip the line (By means of buddies occupying lines or whatever). This way, that person is making money off of a service provided by another company. Now this isn't a 100% correct metaphor, but perhaps this shows you that it does seem fair that companies take action against this sort of thing.

 

 

 

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Top guilds or not, give them all 6 month bans. Exactly how does an 8-day suspension solve the problem? After that they're back in business with maybe less advertisement (it's insane in trade chat) and what's best they only lose one week of revenue. Super logic. It's like banning botters for a week.

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Like a 8 day ban will stop them from keep doing it...

Especially when hundreds of Euro's are to be made per boosted player...

If you really want to make an example Blizz, give 6 month or 1 year or permanent bans...

This is just putting a plaster on a gushing wound...

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My guess is the first round was 8 day bans to let people know they are beginning to take action. If the next wave isn't more serious, especially for repeat offenders, then I would say Blizzard is being too soft and this will continue with little to know change, just small breaks.

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1 hour ago, Sharknad0 said:

My guess is the first round was 8 day bans to let people know they are beginning to take action. If the next wave isn't more serious, especially for repeat offenders, then I would say Blizzard is being too soft and this will continue with little to know change, just small breaks.

This is exactly why it was only 8 days. This has been happening for over a decade now with little to no response from blizzard. Back in BC when I was a top raider we sold the Amani bears, BT clears, etc... for hundreds each week. This is nothing new, and so they can't come down on it harshly without firing a warning shot.

I would expect it to ramp something extremely severe, think 8 days>1 month>6 months>years/perma. You also have to keep it light for first offense because it does extend to anyone involved. There is a chance that one or two raiders in a clear are ignorant of the real world money coming in, thinking the clear is all gold.

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It seems some players have also received permanent bans. Not sure what the criteria here is, but there have been actual account closures.

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3 hours ago, Laragon said:

This is nothing new, and so they can't come down on it harshly without firing a warning shot.

Um, why not?

You break the ToU you break the ToU, they don't need to be giving out light taps on the wrist just because it's been going for years without them doing much against it.

Edited by Ammako

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3 minutes ago, Ammako said:

Um, why not?

You break the ToU you break the ToU, they don't need to be giving out light taps on the wrist just because it's been going for years without them doing much against it.

Have you read the terms of use? This is different than even the giant "End-User License Agreement" you (and I) scroll through rapidly not reading after every patch. The actual "terms of use" are so air tight. If you just use that as a reasoning for enforcement it literally states:

"(2) create or use cheats, "mods", and/or hacks, or any other third-party software designed to modify the World of Warcraft experience;"

Boom, instant life ban for anyone that plays the game even moderately competitively, and they've even folded most of these mods into their core system over the decade.

Or would you rather use this one:

"(4) allow players who are playing characters aligned with the "Alliance" faction to chat or otherwise communicate directly with players who are playing characters aligned with the "Horde" faction, or vice versa;"

Ever chatted with your friend through a whisper or voice chat while playing a different faction? Woops, another life time ban.

My point is, they have to set a standard for enforcement before they swing a heavy hammer. They made the terms of use so incredibly broad that the could issue a ban for any user at any given time they deem worthy. Every time law comes into play, it's not just about what is on the books but also about what the precedent is.

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5 hours ago, Laragon said:

This is exactly why it was only 8 days. This has been happening for over a decade now with little to no response from blizzard. Back in BC when I was a top raider we sold the Amani bears, BT clears, etc... for hundreds each week. This is nothing new, and so they can't come down on it harshly without firing a warning shot.

I would expect it to ramp something extremely severe, think 8 days>1 month>6 months>years/perma. You also have to keep it light for first offense because it does extend to anyone involved. There is a chance that one or two raiders in a clear are ignorant of the real world money coming in, thinking the clear is all gold.

They most certainly can and should - there is absolutely no grounds to plead ignorance as to the violation, and letting people get by with saying 'well it's been going on for years', of whom you appear to be one, is a terrible precedent to set.

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2 hours ago, Laragon said:

Have you read the terms of use?

Completely immaterial.  Rules are rules whether you know them to the letter or not.

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2 hours ago, Laragon said:

Have you read the terms of use? This is different than even the giant "End-User License Agreement" you (and I) scroll through rapidly not reading after every patch. The actual "terms of use" are so air tight. If you just use that as a reasoning for enforcement it literally states:

"(2) create or use cheats, "mods", and/or hacks, or any other third-party software designed to modify the World of Warcraft experience;"

Boom, instant life ban for anyone that plays the game even moderately competitively, and they've even folded most of these mods into their core system over the decade.

Or would you rather use this one:

"(4) allow players who are playing characters aligned with the "Alliance" faction to chat or otherwise communicate directly with players who are playing characters aligned with the "Horde" faction, or vice versa;"

Ever chatted with your friend through a whisper or voice chat while playing a different faction? Woops, another life time ban.

My point is, they have to set a standard for enforcement before they swing a heavy hammer. They made the terms of use so incredibly broad that the could issue a ban for any user at any given time they deem worthy. Every time law comes into play, it's not just about what is on the books but also about what the precedent is.

Obviously chatting cross-faction via battle.net whispers is 100% equivalent to selling carries for real world money. Obviously.

By the way the ToU for WoW only applies to WoW. Not Battle.net, not Discord, not Vent, not anything else.

(Why are you quoting an outdated version of the ToU anyway?)

Edited by Ammako

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It's not hard to see why top-end raiders would want to make some real money doing things like this. WoW is one of the hardest popular games to monetize, especially for the amount of work that pro players put into it. 

Not to say I agree with selling runs for real money, but if Blizz wants this to stop happening, especially from notable raiders, they need to also step up the Esports scene for WoW, or find ways to support WoW streamers/content creators. 

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Fellow players. That spam was also terrible. And good action on blizzard. Drives me mad. 

Get rid of the spam even in the group finder tool by using "bad boy spam blocker". 

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On 3/8/2017 at 4:36 AM, Stan said:

Top guilds or not, give them all 6 month bans. Exactly how does an 8-day suspension solve the problem? After that they're back in business with maybe less advertisement (it's insane in trade chat) and what's best they only lose one week of revenue. Super logic. It's like banning botters for a week.

They DESERVE PERMANENT BANNAGE. They KNOW they are violating TOS. They are LAUGHING in blizzard's face at an 8 day ban.

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