Oct 10th 2010 10:48AM One thing that you should note though: Banning cannot be completely automated, there has to be a real person calling out if an account (or a group of accounts) is to be banned.
Having had my account closed out of the blue after I hadn't used it for at least three months, getting three emails from blizzard within a five hour period (during which I was asleep) entitled "Account password change notice" "Account locked - action required" and "Account closed - exploitative activity found" (the last of which makes the second one kinda irrelevant), and being unable to get any kind of reply from blizzard to find out how someone got my password, how they paid for the service (gamecard or credit card), what IP address they accessed the account from - from where I sit, having lost an 80 of each class that I admittedly hadn't used for months but was planning on getting back to when cataclysm came out if not before - the account banning process may or may not be completely automated, but if it isn't automated, it's being run by automatons who can't be bothered to take anything other than the default action irrespective of how obvious it is that someone other than the owner of the account is taking actions to breach the terms of service. Having gotten in to Runes of Magic I don't really miss wow that much, but it will always bother me that the ban process (at least in my case) did appear to be completely automated, and I will never know if anyone at blizzard read my email asking them to compare the IP address used to access my account and do dodgy stuff with the single IP address used to access my account for years for legitimate play and at least check that the former wasn't assigned to an ISP not operating in my country.
Whatever. Maybe there are people signing off on each account ban as it happens, but to someone whose account gets broken into without him having shared his password with anyone (or even accessed wow from under windows, and linux doesn't provide a very hospitable environment to keyloggers), who has his account go from being (as far as he knows) inactive, to temporarily locked, to permanently closed within hours, without him even knowing because he's too asleep to check his email, and after all that can't get any kind of reply from anyone at blizzard - well, as far as I'm concerned they might as well just let a RNG do the job.