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Posts with tag cheating

Glider down for the count

We knew this would happen after that last big Glider decision, but the judge's ruling has turned into action, and Glider has suspended their sales and operations. They're still hoping to bring it back up at some point -- there's still an appeals process to go through -- but that seems unlikely. Keep in mind that using Glider or any other botting software like it is a breach of Blizzard's terms of service and will most likely get you banned from the game.

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!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tricks, Blizzard, News items, Hardware

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

Blood Sport: Yup, still broken

PvP in its purest form is a beautiful thing. Amanda Dean, always obsessed with the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat brings you news you can use in the Arena.

The World (of Warcraft) seems to be full of arena lovers and arena haters. I suppose somewhere out there you might find some folks that are completely indifferent to the arena. The recent changes to the Personal Rating system seems to have brought out a furor in both camps. Suince the dawn of the Burning Crusade Blizzard has made many attempts to balance the arenas, now I find that the arenas are still broken, just broken differently.

In a sarcastically titled thread "New PR system is cool" Camelvendor of Korgath explained his situation. He played on his 2200 rated team with his old partner, who obviously had a lower rating for 33 games. Boasting a record of 29 wins and 4 losses for the day, the end result was a rating change of 56 points lost. Since the team rating was considerably higher than one of the personal ratings on the team, they found themselves playing in the 1500 bracket.

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Filed under: Tricks, Blizzard, Forums, Blood Sport (Arena PvP), Arena

Breakfast Topic: Skeletons in the closet

It looks like Blizzard is busting out the ban hammer in full force. Last week is was on point sellers (and buyers) in the arena this week they're bashing down Glider users. There was a lot of noise on the forums last week from folks that felt they were unjustly punished. I'm sure we'll hear similar stories as a fallout from the glider events.

It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy all over when cheaters get their due. But it also makes me worry that the witch hunt might go too far. Here at WoW Insider we make it a point to be kind of hush hush about exploits, since we have no desire to lead anyone astray. (This is why we said very little about things like the Fire Nova Totem or Snake Trap exploits). The way I see it is if you don't do anything wrong, you don't have anything to worry about. We've all repeatedly agreed to the terms of use.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Blizzard, Breakfast Topics, Arena

Forum post of the day: Purchasing raid epics (poll)

Back in March, Mike Schramm reported on a player who paid 20,000 gold to ensure that she would receive the Amani War Bear from the Zul'Aman raid instance. It is not entirely uncommon for players to run their guildmates' alts though low level dungeons for fun or profit or purchasing raid runs or arena points. Any of these may be considered cheating by some players, some more obviously than others. Angona of Hellscream (obviously an alt) had the opportunity to purchase Black Temple gear, though her guild is currently running Serpentshine Cavern, Tempest Keep, and Mount Hyjal.

Her guild leader disapproves of this transaction. Angona quoted him as stating "Only lazy noobs buy gear, that's not what this guild is about. If you want to buy gear, then I suggest you just /gquit right now." This attitude suggests that players should earn their gear, even if a gear upgrade would be good for the guild's raiding efforts overall.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Instances, Raiding, Forums

The end of queue dodging

Drysc updated his post on the official forums regarding Season Four Arena changes. It looks like Blizzard is working to put an end to queue dodging and thereby stifle the practice of win trading. Drysc quoted the revised arena rules, "If a team does not enter an arena match that is starting they will lose points equal to the amount that would have been deducted if they had played and lost." With this augmentation, players will no longer be able selectively battle only teams that have agreed to a loss.

Since the Arenas began, there have been many underhanded methods players have used to inflate their ratings and gain access to the latest and greatest gear. Blizzard continues to intervene in order to fix the flawed system. Season four will include a few more changes to make things fair:

  • "If a character's personal rating is more than 150 points below the team rating, they will earn points based on their personal rating instead of the team rating."
  • "If the average personal rating of the players queuing for a game is more than 150 points below the team's rating, the team will be queued against an opponent matching or similar to the average personal rating."

These changes have been implemented to make point and team selling practices less lucrative. With these changes combined with personal rating requirements, it seems the developers really are interested in making people earn their keep as PvPers. This leads me to wonder what they will think up next. Whatever it is, we'll keep you posted.

Filed under: Items, Ranking, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Forums, Arena

Forum Post of the Day: Player tries to scam GM for epic flight training, gets shut down

I actually considered asking my boss if this post could be the first in a new series called "Stupid WoW Criminals," but honestly, I'd prefer to think that this guy is one of kind.

So, here's the deal: A young Warlock named Kiranth of the Aman'thul server (Who has since deleted his post, but you find it quoted a couple posts down from the top in the thread) came to the customer service forums, and in this thread here, claimed that he somehow lost his epic flying skill after buying it on a Monday and playing until Tuesday morning maintenance. He claimed that he'd been trying to contact the GMs for months in order to get the skill back, and that he was incredibly frustrated and about to cancel his 3 accounts if he didn't get the skill.

Luckily, the ever vigilant GMs are always willing to please, and Auryk soon chimed in with an answer to his problem.

I'll summarize what he said after the break, but you really should read it for yourself. It's amazing.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Blizzard, Humor, Making money, Mounts, Forums

Blizzard loses a round in the fight against botting

In Blizzard's attempts to get rid of gold farmers and hackers, one of their most annoyingly persistent enemies has been the WoWGlider bot, now known as MMOGlider. They've been throwing suits and countersuits at each other for a few years now, but the latest salvo seems to have gone against Blizzard, the Game Activist reports. Blizzard was trying to subpoena Joe Thaler, owner of Lavish Software LLC, maker of programs such as EQPlayNice. While Lavish Software's programs do not appear to be cheat programs on their own, they did make a deal with MDY Industries, maker of MMOGlider, to use the programs within MMOGlider.

According the judge's decision, Blizzard was hoping to obtain all documentation related to the deal, all communication between Thaler and Lavish and MDY and its owner, Michael Donnelly. They also wanted a list of all WoW accounts owned by Thaler and Lavish, as well as the contents of the WTF folders of every installation of WOW used by Thaler and Lavish Entertainment. Unfortunately, the Judge ruled that Blizzard was demanding information that could compromise Lavish's trade secrets and client confidentiality, and that the demand for the information within 9 days did not give Thaler and Lavish enough time to respond an gather information.

It's worth noting that the judge did specifically say that Blizzard could file another subpoena that would be more narrow in scope and allow more time for Lavish and Mr. Thaler to respond, so this is probably not a fatal blow to Blizzard by any means. I personally hope not. I've never had much patience for bots, or people who feel they have a civil right to cheat at games, so I'm rooting for the big bad corporation on this one. What about you?

Thanks for the link, Tyrsenus.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Blizzard, News items

What is the definition of cheating in WoW?

Michael Zenke, the blogger behind MMOG Nation and regular contributor to our sister site Massively, has posted an article covering the latest dust up over gold selling.

The interesting part about this latest debate is that it has become a larger discussion about what is considered cheating. Most people would probably say that cheating is breaking the rules. Paying someone else to level your character or to give you gold for RL money is currently viewed as "unfair."

But if receiving money you didn't earn is in-game is cheating, does that extend to farming for gold with your main to give to your alt? What about having your higher level friends run you through a loweer level dungeon quicker? Isn't that powerleveling? What about twinking? Did your alt "earn" those items?

For many, I think the distinction is whether RL money is involved. It's acceptable to send gold to your alt because you main earned it, but it's not fair to buy gold because you are using your RL cash to get ahead in a game.

So if using RL resources to get ahead is cheating, what about people who are rich with time? After all, the principal mechanic for MMO progression is time spent playing the game. Aren't people with enormous amounts of free time using their RL resources to gain an unfair advantage of those who have limited play time?

Where is the line between cheating and working within the game rules to get the most out of your game time? And how much RL can developers expect to keep out of their games in the interest of "fairness"?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Leveling, Alts

Legal files reveal IGE and Affinity connection once and for all

You may remember that earlier this summer, when Affinity Media purchased Wowhead (to add to their acquisitions of Thottbot and Allakhazam), we were able to interview Affinity Media CEO John Maffei, and he told us, in a very roundabout way, that Affinity and IGE had supposedly parted ways-- Affinity and its content sites were, he said, no longer associated with the company that sold gold in World of Warcraft. However, if you read the comments on that interview, you may have doubted what Maffei told us, and now, thanks to legal documents surfacing because of a legal action against IGE, it appears you were exactly right: Affinity and IGE are (or were, according to Affinity Media) still two peas in the same pod (see Update).

I know for certain right now that some of you commenters are preparing the "aww geez, not this again" (NSFW) macro to post, and I don't blame you. You're exactly right; this is boring business stuff, not new news about the Sunwell, and anyone paying attention back during the Wowhead acquisition knew that the two companies were still connected anyway. If this isn't news you to, fine-- I don't mean to reopen Pandora's Box, we just want to make sure we do due diligence in covering this issue.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, News items, Making money

Arena smurfs are "100% awesome!" according to Blizz

Arena Season 3 has just arrived, and players everywhere are enjoying the end-of-season rewards for Season 2. Whether it's a title of Gladiator, Duelist, Rival, or Challenger, or even the Merciless Nether Drake awarded to the upper .5% percentile of the Arena population, this season seems to be have come to another successful close. Or has it?

WoW Insider reported buying the Drake and other interesting sales and trades but it seems that if there's a system, players will find a way to... uh... be creative. A couple of posts over at the PvP forums are hotly debating the latest and greatest technique to achieving the No. 1 Ranking in Arenas -- win trading.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, PvP

Breakfast Topic: AFK debuff

I got the idea for this breakfast topic when I saw the following two posts virtually back-to-back in the WoW forums: Reporting AFK'ers - a Pleasant Surprise, and AFK Reporting System Broken And Abused. The former tells the story of the AFK system going well, all the AFKers being removed from the game, and the Horde going on to win. The latter is from the perspective of a player who was erroneously flagged AFK, and asks for several changes to be made, including a limit to the number of AFK reports a player can make in a given amount of time. (It turns out that limit, while not user-visible, is already in place.)

So there are obviously some diverging perspectives on this AFK debuff system thing. What do you all think of it, having had a couple days to check it out?

Filed under: Patches, PvP

How to calculate Arena Ratings and Points

If you've been playing arena PvP every week and wondering just how your rating translates into points, wonder no more. Our friend Boubouille has created a nifty and easy little Arena Rating calculator-- just punch in your ratings (or your points, if you want to know what rating you'll need to get a certain number of points, and hit calculate and you're set.

The mathematical relationship is a little complicated (hence the reason for the calculator), but the rules of earning Arena Points aren't real hard to figure out-- every week, you earn points according to the highest team rating you've got. And a higher rating on 5v5 is worth more than 2v2, because 5v5 teams are harder to both fight and keep up with. This leads to a little bit of system gaming (and a lot of team jumping), but so far Blizzard has been fine with all of that-- they want 5v5 to become the most rewarding type of arena match, and they're willing to accept that you can often earn more playing 5v5 than 2v2, even if you lose.

Unfortunately, the actual Arena Rating system is a little more complicated-- it's based off of a chess rating system called ELO (named after the guy who made it, Arpad Elo), and the rating of your opponent actually determines how your rating changes as you play. Unfortunately, with no way to tell who your opponent is before you play a match, it's extremely hard to figure out your rating depending on how many matches you play (players are generally saying that the fewer matches you play, the better, as the higher your rating gets, the more difficult opponents you face). But of course the best way to come out with both a great rating and lots of points is to, y'know, actually be good.

Filed under: Tips, Tricks, PvP

The pacing of the new endgame

So Illidan met his match yesterday in the form of Nihilum, which means that since the Black Temple is the last and latest bit of content to show up on the live servers, the game is effectively beaten. That's it. We're done. Time to go home.

Didn't that seem a little fast? The original WoW content took a few years to "beat," it seems, and now Burning Crusade (and the 2.1 patch) has been beaten by players in a matter of months. Is the endgame going too fast? From Boubouille's wrapup of the Illidan defeat yesterday, we get this post on the Elitist Jerks forums by Tigole. He says Blizzard is very happy with the way Black Temple is tuned. He also takes a look back at Naxx, and says the Four Horsemen were an example of an encounter that was well-tuned, but players at the time didn't have the gear they needed, so it took much longer for guilds to finish them off. The biggest hole in WoW content right now, Tigole says, is the lack of options after Karazhan for 10 man raids-- but, he says, "we're fixing that." So /cheer for more 10 mans to come.

But is the endgame dropping too fast? In my estimation, not at all. In my estimation, Nihilum is not a normal guild. If you're willing to give them the benefit of the doubt on gold buying (and frankly, I am not-- I believe they're cheating), they clearly play the game more than anyone else, driven by both their own determination and the fact that they are basically raiding celebrities in Azeroth. They are the hardcore. And if you're asking me whether hardcore players should finish the endgame content quickly, I'd say they should.

Why? Because that means it will be that much easier for casuals to get there, too.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Guilds, Blizzard, Expansions, Raiding

59,000 More Accounts Closed

In their continued effort to rid Azeroth of hackers and gold farmers, Eyonix announced this evening that 59,000 accounts were closed during the month of June for terms of use violations. Have you seen anyone behaving suspiciously on your server? An account that's being controlled by a bot isn't too difficult to spot if you spend a bit of time paying attention - and Blizzard investigates all reports. So if you suspect such behavior, report it to a GM, and help the community be rid of the annoyance of hackers and bot farmers.

Filed under: Cheats, News items, Economy

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