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Posts with tag bans

Blizzard reversing some short-term PvP suspensions

Blizzard backpedal on shortterm PvP suspensions
WoW Insider recently posted about Blizzard taking decisive action against players who had been discovered win-trading. In the original post we also reported that Nakatoir had been very firm that these suspensions had been thoroughly investigated and would not be reverted.

Bashiok posted the following today:

Bashiok
Earlier this week, several player accounts were given short suspensions and had their ratings wiped for being involved in Rated Battleground win-trading. Upon further review, we determined that some of the players initially identified as cheating may not have purposefully participated in the exploitive behavior, and as a result, we're in the process of lifting suspensions and restoring ratings to all but the most egregious offenders. This process should be completed following the Tuesday maintenance.

As always, our goal is to identify cheaters while making sure people playing by the rules aren't inadvertently penalized. Rest assured that we'll continue to take action against players who aren't competing in the spirit of fair play.


This comes as a bit of a surprise, although WoW Insider's original post did point out the difficulties of discerning, in some cases at least, players who had involuntarily faced win-trading teams, from players who had actively engaged in win-trading.

Nonetheless, the attitude that suspending innocent players is worse than letting a few guilty players get away with cheating is probably one to be applauded.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items, PvP

WoW Archivist: A raid exploit compendium

Ensidia banned
WoW Archivist explores the secrets of World of Warcraft's past. What did the game look like years ago? Who is etched into WoW's history? What secrets does the game still hold?

One week after Mists of Pandaria goes live, the expansion's first raid will become available and the race to world first will officially begin. To the most dedicated progression raiders, a world-first kill is a dream come true, the ultimate achievement in raiding. Other raiders are just as excited to get a regional or a realm first.

To realize those dreams, however, some guilds bend the rules. Whether you call it cheating or a "creative use of game mechanics," it's been happening throughout WoW's long raiding history. The myriad methods have been as varied and creative as the bosses themselves. Let's take a look back!

Read more →

Filed under: WoW Archivist

Thousands of players banned in Diablo 3

You read that right: Several thousand suspensions and bans have gone out to Diablo III players using account hacks or bots or otherwise cheating at the game. Zarhym (he who often shows up in monster form while I'm playing Diablo III) posted to the official forums to announce the action.

Diablo® III Players Banned
We recently issued a round of account suspensions and bans to several thousand Diablo® III players who were in violation of the Battle.net® Terms of Use for cheating and/or using botting or hacking programs while playing. In addition to undermining the spirit of fair play that's essential to everyone's enjoyment of the game, botting, hacking, and other such exploitive behavior can contribute to stability and performance issues with the Battle.net service. As always, maintaining a stable, safe, and fun online-gaming experience for legitimate players is a top priority for us, and we'll be continuing to keep watch on Battle.net and take action as needed.


Seems fairly straightforward to me -- don't cheat, won't get banned. With the move to require an authenticator for the Real-Money Auction House and now this, it is pretty clear Blizzard is taking Battle.net very seriously moving forward.

Evil has returned! 1.2 million WoW players are getting Diablo III for free thanks to the Annual Pass. You can get prepared for the evil with WoW Insider's launch coverage. From the lore of Diablo, to the important blue posts and the basics of Diablo gameplay, we'll get you on the inside track for the return of evil.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, Account Security, Diablo 3

Blizzard responds to Swifty ban incident

As you might have heard, Razer WoW gamer Swifty, along with numerous other players, were banned due to server disruption violations during one of Swifty's live streams that crashed a server. While Swifty acknowledged that he never intended to crash the server, Bashiok responded to the bans by stating that even if no one intended to crash servers or disrupt gameplay, the emote spamming and influx of players brought down many servers.

Swifty livestreams events with his guild on occasion and even hosts parts of the stream himself. Being the WoW gamer celebrity that he is, his stream attracts a good number of viewers. His own YouTube video response to his ban acknowledges between 4,000 and 5,000 people were watching his livestream. People flocked to the server, and the disruptions began. A number of players, including Swifty, were banned. Over the course of the day, Blizzard reviewed the information and decided to unban Swifty.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items

[1. Local]: Chariots and cheats

Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Dominic Hobbs, our warlock columnist, speculated about flying mounts for warlocks in this week's Blood Pact. He found the following suggestion the best one from the readers (though there were many):
Tidelord:

Dear Hobbs,

While I agree with your idea of Metamorphosis or sprouting wings, I find the thought of being carried by my shoulders by a Doomguard to be utterly demeaning, and if you have seen the model for Invincible and the new "Sparkle Pony," you would see that while the wings are ingenious, the steed itself has legs stumpier than a dwarf's!

No, my dear friend. For a warlock, the only mount suitable for us masters of shadow and fire is nothing else than an enormous, obsidian-black chariot with wheels made of the bones and skulls of magi, pulled by a pack of at least ten or twelve fel-green hellhounds.

The animation would be so full of demonic splendor and top-of-the-line graphics that it would cause the video card of any cowardly mage to explode violently.

Grow In Shadows-
Caneyn Ravenshield, Future Worgen Warlock
Continue reading for an in-depth discussion of cheating -- and what's this about breeding WoW.com staff?

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Filed under: [1.Local]

Blizzard bans 320,000 WarCraft III and Diablo II players

Blizzard appears to be cleaning house in preparation for its StarCraft II release as well as its Battle.net revamp. In a recent announcement on the service's forums, Blizzard rep Bashiok revealed that over 300,000 accounts were punished for violations of the terms of service for Warcraft III and Diablo II for using hacks and illegal third-party tools (which are essentially hacks).

For those of you who have had past experience with Battle.net, these numbers probably don't surprise you. The network has had a long reputation of being fairly easy on people using hacks as Blizzard tends to save up over a long period of time in order to do a massive batch of bans at once. This means that those who are using hacks have a long period of time to abuse the system before anything is done about it. The hacks for some games were rampant enough that other players began using hacks that detect other hacks. Regardless of the reason behind using a hack, it is still against the terms of service and means if you get caught, you're out.

Read more →

Filed under: Cheats, Blizzard, News items, Account Security

Ensidia temporarily banned for exploits

It looks like Ensidia's 25-man world first on the Lich King will go down with an asterisk next to it, because they've all just received a three-day ban for "Abuse of in-game mechanics or glitches with intent to exploit or cheat in World of Warcraft." The Ensidia blog post reporting this is down as of this writing due to traffic, but you can still view the Google cache.

The story is that Ensidia made use of Saronite Bombs to "bypass The Lich King fight mechanics" (Saronite Bombs and similar items were disabled in a hotfix last night). In addition to the temporary ban, all items and achievements they gained from downing Arthas have been revoked. Before the ban (but after the hotfix), Ensidia put up a post claiming that they didn't think the bombs were an exploit; Blizzard obviously isn't buying it.

Meanwhile, Muqq, the Ensidia player who posted about the ban, has taken this as an opportunity to quit WoW (and rant a bit at Blizzard about "half-assed encounters"), saying "to ban people when they do not know what's causing the bugs is just a [expletive] joke."

Update: It's worth a mention that the language Muqq used at the end of his post is identical (save places and names) to this post by Tigole (scroll to the bottom -- it's the last thing on the page), written of EverQuest in 2002. Be warned, neither of these are safe for work.

Filed under: Guilds, News items, Raiding

The Martin Fury scandal: Karatechop reveals all

Over the last week the Martin Fury scandal has rocked the world ... of Warcraft. I got the chance to sit down with Karatechop, the player at the centre of the scandal, to hear his side of the story.

WoW Insider: Who are you?
Karatechop: I'm Karatechop, the Guild Leader of The Marvel Family on Vek'nilash-US.

There are postings on the net where someone purporting to be Karatechop says they work for Blizzard. I'm assuming this is not the case?
I'm not an employee of Blizzard. I'm not a hacker, I'm just a person who had a pretty tight regular group of people who liked playing WoW.

How did this whole thing start?
One of my guild members, Leroyspeltz, had his account hacked back in December. He was an Officer at the time and whoever hacked his account ravaged the guild bank, which happens. Once Blizzard was able to rescue his account, he noticed several of his toons were gone.

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Filed under: Blizzard, News items, Interviews

Banned for no reason at all

GuamPDN.com ("Guam's complete source!") has an article up by Duane George, who tells his story of woe: he got banned from the game for suspected Arena win trading, and had to deal with 72 hours without the game. Blizzard, obviously, doesn't provide any information on how many players get banned from the game, and it would be even harder to determine the number of false positives out there like Duane: people who didn't do anything wrong but end up getting banned anyway. We've heard stories here of course, but this is a tough area to investigate by its very nature.

For Duane's part, he does say that he plans to stay out of Arenas and stick to battlegrounds, so you'd think that if there were a ton of false positives like him who were turned off from the Arena experience because it wrongly got them in trouble, Arenas wouldn't be nearly as popular as they are. But of course we don't know -- there's no oversight on Blizzard's part (and you could argue that there shouldn't be anyway, since it's their game), not to mention that they've got the right, according to the Terms of Use, to ban anyone at any time for any reason without notice anyway. If they were really going overboard, you'd expect them to be losing customers, and that's not the case yet.

Fortunately, this wasn't a permanent ban, and while he did apparently lose some Arena rating and the gear that came with it, his character wasn't too much the worse for wear. A 72-hour ban isn't too big a deal, so Blizzard probably hands those out with much less consideration than a permanent ban anyway. But we're sure Duane isn't the only case out there -- as small as the number may be, there's almost definitely other players like him, banned for doing nothing wrong at all.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

Season three: The reckoning

We have now experienced three full seasons of Arenas in World of Warcraft. The numbers are being crunched and we shall see the winners of end of season rewards shortly. Most of this season has been plagued, like others with dishonesty among some of the players. Blizzard took action a few weeks ago to combat win-trading and point selling with temporary account bans, personal rating requirements for match-ups, and penalties for queue dodging. It seems Blizzard is not quite done meeting out their punishment.

On an alt named Wtfkalgan, a player noted:
A team recently got reset to 1500 (questioning the judgment of the GM involved isn't the purpose of this thread). The email states, "Note: This also disqualifies the above player from any end of season rewards." Does this mean the player involved is completely ineligible for any end of season rewards, or just from the end of season rewards for the team that received the action?

Belfaire, a CM , clarified that this does exclude the character from receiving all end-of-season rewards. This may be an isolated incident, or it may be the beginning of another wide-spread crackdown on arena cheating. This may also include stripping honor from battleground afkers.

I can't wait to see how this plays out tomorrow and when rewards are handed out. I'm thinking it's going to be epic. Thanks for the tip, Feller.

Filed under: Cheats, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

WoW Insider Show live tomorrow (with guest Veronica Belmont)

Our weekly podcast goes back on the virtual airwaves tomorrow over on WoW Radio, and it's going to be a good one. I'm back from my vacation last week (thanks to John "BBB" Patricelli for hosting last week), and we've got a special guest on: Veronica Belmont, uber hip tech blogger, podcaster, and generally all around cool chick (you may remember her from her interviews with Leeroy Jenkins and The Guild) will be on to chat about the biggest stories in the past week of WoW with us. Of course, we'll be talking about the Wrath leaks, and since Veronica has been dealing with gadgets and tech journalism for quite a while, hopefully she'll help us provide some insight on that.

Turpster will be on as well, and we'll probably have one or two other familiar voices on from this site, too. Also, we'll chat about exactly who Karazhan is for, all those Glider bans that Blizzard laid down, Death & Taxes meeting its death, and what effect, if any, the Age of Conan launch had on our favorite game. And of course we'll be answering emails -- send yours to theshow@wow.com -- and we'll be on IRC at irc.mmoirc.com in the #wowradio channel.

Should be a great time. See (or hear, as the case may be) us tomorrow afternoon live over on WoW Radio starting at 3:30pm EST!

Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Raiding, WoW Insider Show

Mass bannings strike Glider users

We've gotten more tips on this than any other topic in recent memory: apparently many users of the popular WoW botting program Glider have been hit with the ban hammer, including some of our very own readers. You may recall Glider as the company with whom Blizzard is currently embroiled in a lawsuit (does the word "embroil" have any use other than lawsuits?). The Glider forums are abuzz with comments and complaints, to which I can only reply "QQ." Botting is clearly against the EULA, the spirit of the game, and the best interests of the other players. Yes, I would be sad if I got banned, but honestly, anyone who was botting had it coming.

There are various objections to be made to this stance. Most of the people who wrote in claim to have been botting in order to bypass the tedious leveling process. I agree that it can be boring to level 1–70 multiple times, even with the new, faster 20–60 process. However, that doesn't make it OK to cheat. Others claim that with fewer bots in the system, the supply of primals will be reduced and therefore the price will go up; I'm not much of a WoW economist, so I'll leave that to others. But to this blogger, banning botters can only be interpreted as a good thing: some cheaters got what they deserved. Whether you agree or disagree, please feel free to sound off in the comments. And if you are a botter yourself, and haven't gotten banned yet, I'd advise you to stop -- they're clearly getting serious about this.

Filed under: Cheats, News items

Blizzard cracks down on arena win trading

We already know that Blizzard is tweaking arena rules to make it much tougher to artificially inflate your rating by win trading or buying high ranked teams in Season 4, but it looks like they're starting to take it one step further, by cracking down on people who indulge in it.

Reports are coming in from the official forums and from other spots around the web of people getting bans or suspensions (generally 72 hours in length) and having their Season 3 arena gear stripped. The bans are even permanent in some cases, such as that of Sinther of Stormscale, whose account was permanently banned when his friend used it to do some win-trading, with the win trading given as the specific reason for his banning. You can read many of these stories and reports in this forum thread.

Read more →

Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Alts, Arena

Are gold sellers the key to WoW's continued success?

On Monday, Blizzard banned several thousand accounts found using third party programs to fully automate killing and looting, aka botting. These programs are largely used by gold selling companies employing farmers to speed up the rate at which they can supply gold to the many buyers out there. But a columnist at the Lightspeed Ventures site has a different take: he proposes that gold sellers are actually the independent application developers that are integral to the success of any online venture.

No matter where you fall on the gold farmer debate ("they ruin the game" vs "they fill a need the developers refuse to acknowledge"), you have to stop and think about this particular premise. Lightspeed, a venture capital company that funds technology companies, asserts that any platform needs three critical elements to succeed.

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Filed under: Blizzard, Economy

Smacked with the banhammer, or: It came from the Customer Service Forum

Like most online games, Blizzard has the power to suspend or ban people from WOW, and they're not shy about using it. Half of the Customer Service Forum is full of people complaining about their banninations. Bannations? Bans. Of course, no one in the CSF has ever, ever done anything wrong with their account, and tend to go to ludicrous extremes to deny they've ever cursed, shared accounts, or gone AFK in the battlegrounds.

The simple 3-hour or 3-day suspension is probably the most common form of ban. So you swore at someone, discussed the uses of a [Huge Brown Sack] in trade channel, or threatened to sic your homophobic congressman dad on them -- you get three hours or days to think about what you did wrong, and probably plot some revenge. There's also the "temporary permanent ban," which is what Blizzard uses when someone's account is hacked. You're "permanently banned" until they can figure out who really owns the account and how it was accessed. Then the ban is usually reversed, and stolen items are restored. The latter has happened to a couple guildmates of mine, and most were just happy to get their stuff back.

The true permabans are usually reserved for the worst of the worst offenders -- although theoretically, any number of common activities (like account-sharing) can result in a permaban. Speedhacking, botting, gold farming, powerleveling, and of course removing walls in dungeons can get your account banned forever. Note: screaming, threatening, quoting the Bill of Rights, or being hideously rude to Blizzard will not get you your account back.

Have you ever been banned, suspended, or warned for your in-game behavior? Do you have any funny or sad banning stories from your realm? Do you think Blizzard is too tough or too lenient with their banhammer?

Filed under: Virtual selves, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Humor

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