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Posts with tag bans

Blizzard threatens players who plan "Gnome March" for Warriors

I always thought Blizzard was pretty easygoing about ingame player-driven events. I've myself participated in quite a few naked races around Azeroth, players continually line up and run raids on the major cities, and Blizzard even sorta condones twinking in the lower level BGs. That's why I was so surprised to see their attitude on this one.

Myxilydian on Burning Blade-H is a Warrior who, like many, is concerned about changes to his class in the Burning Crusade. So, in a more creative form of whining about nerfs, he's posted in the Forums organizing a "Gnome March"-- he's asking Warriors unhappy with their class changes to create a level 1 Gnome warrior on Thunderlord, and at 4pm tomorrow (12/6), march from Ironforge to the gates of Stormwind in solidarity (he's inviting Shammies, too-- he says they should make a Dwarf Paladin for the march). I think it's a great idea, and a funny, creative way to voice his concerns.

Blizzard disagrees, however. Drokthul has closed the thread and posted that "anyone caught participating in this event or any event with the sole purpose of disrupting the game play for others will be punished." Wow. If you ask me, that's extremely harsh for a group of players planning to create 1st level Gnomes and run around together for a while. Guilds do that all the time-- is Blue planning on banning all of them too? Already, Myx (I believe it's Myx-- might be another Warrior supporting the cause) has been banned from the forums.

Now, comments in the Forum thread indicate that Myx may have posted this a few (100?) times before, and maybe in the wrong forums. I'm not going to defend that kind of behavior-- the Forums are crazy enough without spamming, even of stuff like this. But I don't think a level 1 Gnome ingame raid is the kind of play that "disrupts" anything-- it's a creative form of expression within the community (especially when the stated goal is not play disruption). And Blizzard is way wrong, in my (usually) humble opinion, to squelch it so draconically. As I said, usually they've landed on the side of player-driven events. Why they've changed their tune on this one, I'm not sure, but it's definitely not a change I agree with.

Update: A commenter rightfully points out that I jumped the gun on saying "ban"-- Blue says "punish" not ban, and there are other punishments besides banning. Still, I think it's wrong to "punish" your community for doing creative things with your virtual world.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, Fan stuff, Blizzard, News items, Expansions

Blizzard drops bans, some players cry foul

I've been in a sore mood all night (and a rough run through SM didn't help much), so I think it's about time for a controversial rant. Lately, as you may have noticed, Blizzard seems to be cracking down on "third-party app" usage-- sometimes, it seems, whether or not you're actually using a third party application in the game. They accidentally dropped bans on a few Linux-running players (because the client had issues with the software used to run the Windows version on Linux), and lately it seems as though the boards (and our inbox) are full of players complaining that they were unfairly banned-- either because they never used third-party programs, or because they were likely hacked by a keylogger. The Customer Service boards are filled with players complaining about being banned, most of them swearing they didn't deserve it.

I know that, simply by the numbers, there must be a number of players out there who are having legitimate issues with what Blizzard is doing. It's very likely that someone could browse a website about WoW, unknowingly download a keylogger, and then get their account banned by Blizzard. And I know that, for whatever reason, it seems like Blizzard has made some mistakes lately, and probably banned some people who truly didn't deserve it.

But here's the controversial part: Have you noticed, like me, that a lot of the "banned" stories don't seem to hold water? Here's one who says he lost his druid-- after logging on during an account suspension. I have to think that if you got suspended before, you likely got banned for doing the same thing again. Then there's the "my friend got banned and he doesn't know why" argument, or the "I gave my account info to a guildie and then got banned" argument-- if someone else is playing on the account that got banned, guess what? They got you banned. I know, I know, they're swearing they didn't use any third party applications, but I hate to tell you: if your friend did cheat, wouldn't he also be willing to lie to you, too?

But my point is not to ridicule people who got banned, my point is to help people who were "legitimately" banned wrongly. Blizzard has put up an easy guide for anyone who's worried their account might get banned called "How to Stay in the Game." (For the record, UI mods won't get you banned) They've also posted a thread about where to go if you have been banned (contacting wowaccountadmin@blizzard.com with your info is a good place to start), and finally, tips to stay away from keyloggers and such.

I've never been banned (but then again, I've never bought gold, shared my account, or hacked or botted, either), so I don't have a firsthand look at Blizzard's process. But issues with Linux aside, from what I've seen Blizzard has done a pretty good job with their player bans. You won't hear that from the players who actually got banned (they'll probably be in the comments section of this one yelling at me), but I haven't heard a story I believe yet where someone got banned without doing anything suspicious at all.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Cheats, How-tos, Blizzard

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