Dear Drama Mamas,
Starting things off; I'm a Moonguard player. Hear that sound? I know you do, because the mere word Moonguard invokes it in so many players now; words like "obscene" or "immature" or "inappropriate" jump to mind. And it drives me absolutely crazy.
Let's get the obvious out of the way; Moonguard has a bad reputation because of Goldshire. And Silvermoon City. Okay, fine, yes, we get the point. But every single time I get into a group, every single time I enter a Battleground, or an Arena, the moment I even say anything (or sometimes when I haven't said anything yet), it begins. The more polite chuckleheads spew it into the public chat, every possible Moonguard joke and comment they can think of, and a couple of personal attacks against anyone who would dare to touch the place with a ten foot pole.
The less polite ones start whispering, telling you to get out of the group, or to disconnect, to stop being a child or stop being a freak of nature. Heaven help you if ANYONE in that dungeon group turns out to be bad, because it can and will get blamed on you. If your team ends up down 0/2 and you mention it's because so-and-so is dancing on the roof not attacking or defending, you could be in the enemy flag room, with the flag, having downed half of the other team solo, and it's your fault because you're a filthy Moonguard player (this is also about the time you get the wonderful suggestion that you should kill yourself).
Posts with tag Terms-Of-Service
Welcome to another exciting edition of The Lawbringer, where your questions about the esoteric topics revolving around WoW and MMOs potentially get answered, usually if the question is compelling. You know the drill -- ask a question, and maybe I can hash it out or at least point you in the right direction to get things under control.
Mailbags are fun, and updates are even more fun. This week, we have a couple of questions from the mailbag and an update to the situation with Rogers Communications up in Canada. Remember back a few months ago, when the Canadian Radio-television Telecommunications Commission demanded that Rogers find a way to stop the admitted throttling of World of Warcraft data because it appeared to be peer-to-peer traffic? Well, the Canadian government wants a plan by Tuesday. More on that in a bit. Questions first, yes?
Writing The Lawbringer has taught me a lesson in trends. Over the past few months, specific questions are sent to me in topical batches. Sometimes it is a few emails about selling accounts. Other times, I get four to five emails about account security or compromise. May's email topic of choice was transferring accounts to family members.
Blizzard is very restrictive about what you can and cannot change regarding your account information. On the one hand, it is your account, right? Shouldn't you have ultimate control over the information you provide for the facilitation of a service you pay for? On the other hand, there is a certain degree of problem mitigation that comes with restrictive change. If Blizzard can control certain aspects of what you do with your account and the information it is all filed under, problems can get mitigated before they appear. Today's topic is really all about damage mitigation.
Filed under: The Lawbringer
Filed under: The Lawbringer
Check out the full Blizzard response after the break.
The other night, one member of a random PUG The Spousal Unit was in announced exactly which bosses would be downed. He stated that any disagreement would cause something on his body to be put into something on your body -- only he used slightly more graphic words. The run was fine, because, though his method of communication was crude, it did convey a strategy that worked.
There are some, however, who are being crude and offensive in the same way that creeps in college libraries reveal themselves to solitary students. These poster children for GIFT (Note: The link for GIFT is not safe for work. But if you are not familiar with Penny Arcade's theory about the internet, you really need to go there.) aren't criminals in the legal sense of the word, but they do have victims and therefore I will call them perps. Who knows what motivates them. Maybe they are troubled teens who have terrible home lives and should be pitied. I don't know and honestly I don't care. I'm too busy spending my sympathy on Haiti to include these jerks in my monkeysphere. And besides, at some point you have to take responsibility for your actions, regardless of how horrible your environment is. This week, we talk about these GIFTed perps.
Now, any moderately-savvy internet user would just scoff, and say that they take all necessary precautions -- what's there to worry about? Fair enough, but what about those who, well, don't?
Blizzard has said time and time again about safe-guarding your account information, yet people still jump onto those fake Cataclysm betas and fancy new mount prizes. Make something idiot-proof, and they'll build a better idiot, eh?
That being said, what are you doing to protect your prized polygons? Do you have a good anti-virus installed? A malware scanner? If you don't have an authenticator, how come? It's only about the price of a grande Starbucks drink, and will provide a longer-lasting effect of happiness and joy to your life.
Discuss amongst yourselves!
Nothing could be further from the truth.
In a private forum, such as the official World of Warcraft forums, or on a site like WoW.com, you don't have any inherent right to do anything. The people running the site or designing the game sets the rules, and that's that. If Blizzard says all communication must end with "Ni!" or you're banned from their forums, then that's the rule you must follow. It's their property and their choice to do that.
If we say every comment must make fun of gnomes or the commenter will be banned, then that's the rule you must follow. It's our website.
Freedom of speech has absolutely no bearing within a private organization. When you accept WoW's Terms of Service or use a website like WoW.com, you agree to abide by the organization's rules. If you don't follow those rules, or if someone in the organization just wakes up on the wrong side of the bed that day, you can be prohibited from returning to the forums or playing the game.
I know what you're saying -- this might be against the Terms of Service. But actually, it's not -- the ToS only mentions "modifying" game files, and since you're simply extracting them from their archives, you're not actually modifying them. Plus, Blizzard actually authorizes the extraction of this music for use in noncommercial machinima, so as long as you use this music and any other assets for personal, noncommercial use, Blizzard has no problem with it. Of course, you'll be stuck listening to the music in bits and pieces designed for looping rather than a snazzy CD set. But if all you want to do is taking a listen to some of the tunes out of game, there you go.
As Blizzard re-imagines old Azeroth, sweeps tired systems out the door and injects new ways for players to connect and work together, we can't imagine why anyone would not want to take advantage of what this top-notch MMO and company have to offer. There are players, however, who choose a different path. These players game on private servers, where conditions range from near-original mirrors to god-mode gameplay with super-GM abilities.
We don't condone private server play, which is clearly against Blizzard's Terms of Service and EULA. Still, there are plenty of players who believe differently, and we were curious why they've chosen the private server route. We visited with a player who plays on a relatively tame private server featuring near-"normal" game play. What can he do that we can't? And what do we have that he doesn't?
I enjoy the process of leveling as much as anyone else. I like the feeling of accomplishment in leveling, and the gradual growth of power that comes with it. Blizzard has given us a variety of tools to speed up the leveling process, including heirloom items and the Recruit-a-Friend service. Even so, I can understand why some players just want to skip to the endgame. To some people, questing on a low-level character is a lot less interesting than raiding or PvPing at the level cap.
In order to skip the leveling process, your options are both limited and dangerous. You could pay a leveling service. However, some of these services are actually scam artists who will use your account info to sell everything you have and take all your stuff. You could ask a friend to log in and level for you. However, sharing your account information can get your account banned. Finally, you could just buy an account. Let's see how that turned out for one particular guild leader.
My guild is going through an incredibly rough time right now. Our situation is this: We are one of the best guilds on our server. We have cleared Ulduar in both 10 and 25 man, working on hard modes right now. Our team is rock solid. We have about 35 dedicated, geared, and skilled raiders. We all get along great and have an awesome time raiding. But recently a problem has come up that will undoubtedly destroy our guild and send some of the best players on our server without a home. Our GM had unknowingly violated Blizzard's ToS/ToU and now his account has been banned.
Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)
There's a few good questions today of various voluptuous varieties: raiding, legal ToS (TNG > ToS, by the way), and new gaming hardware. Yummy.
Start me off, Delks...
Edit: Please be sure to listen to Fly Me To The Moon by Ol' Blue Eyes during today's Queue, or you can listen to the title's name sake song.
"What's the point of running old world raids and instances?"
Filed under: The Queue
The company also has a FAQ up (which includes a PDF link to the latest ruling), and they sound hopeful there as well, saying that they'll know in a little while whether they'll be "back within a month or... gone for at least a year." Just in case you have (against Blizzard's rules) purchased and used Glider and are concerned that your information is being passed on to Blizzard, worry not -- they say that the ruling doesn't require them to give up any sales information, just shut down their operations and sales of the program.
As Blizzard posted last month, they see this as a clear victory for both the company and players of the game -- Glider undermined both the wishes of the designers and the experience of other players in the game. Blizzard apparently feels the battle is over, while we're sure Glider is planning to continue the legal fight for as long as it takes. It seems unlikely that we'll see this software (or any bot software) back up for sale legitimately again, but if we do, we'll let you know.
Thanks to everyone who sent this in!
But what's really interesting about this piece is that it seems to treat goldselling as more of an "opportunity" than anything else. The people running the companies are making money, the employees are getting a roof over their head and a steady paycheck, and even the guy making the film talks about how governments should start taking a cut of this industry. Nowhere is it actually mentioned that Blizzard considers these companies to be against the terms of service, or that many times the gold obtained by these companies isn't earned through simple grinding, but by hacking, keylogging, and exploiting. Even if (emphasis on the if) these companies are making millions of dollars a year, they're stealing accounts and cheating in-game to do it.
Rowenna Davis also did interviews with both the gold farmer and a player in the UK buying money from him (bannz0red?), but again, there's no insight at all from the player whose account was hacked and bank was looted, or the player who is able to earn as much gold as they need and have a life outside the game (there are plenty of those to go around). Would have been nice to see the issue from players who aren't actually breaking the game's terms of service.
Article Update: According to MMOwned, they are moving servers, which is the reason their site is offline for some.
Attempts to reach the sites prove unsuccessful.
This is a good thing for everyone that wants to have a more legitimate gameplay experience in WoW, as both of these sites actively encouraged people to exploit bugs, break the ToS, and do all other sorts of tom-foolery that destroyed the game for legitimate players.
Our tipster mentioned that these sites were taken down in part by action taken by Blizzard, however we don't have any proof of that.
I've selected the angry baby picture for this article, since that's how the exploiters and account traders are feeling right now. Buh-bye.