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Posts with tag report

Zarhym explains Blizzard's player monitoring systems

Zarhym explains Blizzard's player monitoring systems
Senior Community Rep Zarhym has taken to the forums to wax lyrical about the ways Blizzard monitors player behavior in WoW. He's responding specifically to player concerns about the reporting system, and how it doesn't allow a specific option to report griefers who do things like start an encounter in the Raid Finder and then leave. The OP asserts that this indicates that Blizzard just doesn't care about this sort of behavior.

Zarhym steps in to clarify that, firstly, Blizzard definitely cares about that sort of action. They care so much, in fact, that since Wrath of the Lich King, when the Dungeon Finder first appeared, Blizzard has had, and augmented, a system to monitor exactly that sort of behavior. Of course, as with any system designed to automatically punish players, which could potentially be gamed, they can't go into great detail about the workings of the system itself. But what it essentially does is monitor vote-kicks initiated, vote-kicks received, early departures and the like, and penalizes the player with more onerous deserter debuffs and such. Hit the break for Zarhym's post in full.

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Filed under: Blizzard

The Drama Mamas guide to coping with trolling and profanity

The Drama Mamas guide to coping with trolling and profanity DNP
It's the last straw: After a long day toiling in the salt mines, you come home to settle in for some stress-relieving World of Warcraft, only to find yourself transported back to The Barrens –- not only the latest patch's Battlefield Barrens, but the trollish Barrens-style general chat you've come to loathe. Your chat box is scrolling ceaselessly with "Douchebag this!" and "$%^& that!" and you can see that any hope of a restful evening is slipping inexorably beyond your reach.

What's a poor profanity-pelted player to do?

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Filed under: Drama Mamas

Breakfast Topic: Do you report problem behavior in game?

Breakfast Topic Do you report problem behavior in game
Nobody likes a snitch, but let's face it: Unless players are willing to report bad behavior and spammers, our virtual world is going to remain uglier than it has to be. True, filing a report isn't always simple or convenient. It's often simpler to ignore or /ignore bad behavior and move on.

Ideally, we'd all shoulder some of the responsibility of keeping our online community balanced and clean. Even in the best of circumstances, though, being the squeaky wheel is no fun. Whiner, snitch, tattletale -- there seem to be plenty of labels for players who are simply letting Blizzard know that another player is breaking the rules. Thing is, it's up to us to get that job done. Blizzard can't be everywhere at once, but we can -- and are.

Do you take the time to report problem behavior in game? If so, do you tend to stick to cases of personal harrassment? Do you bother to report spammers? What about problem players in the dungeon finder or raid finder -- do you let a kick "take care" of them, or do you follow up with a report?

Filed under: Breakfast Topics

Drama Mamas: Bullying is not welcome here

Drama Mamas Did you mean what you just said
Mishandled humor is one thing. But stereotyping, disdain, and bullying? The WoW community has no room for players who've made those a part of their rotation.

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).

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

Jace Hall tackles media coverage of WoW addiction

Jace Hall is well-known for his comedy videos, but apparently he can also be a pretty serious dude when he wants to be. In a recent blog entry, the internet funnyman talks about a recent piece on "internet addiction" by CNN personality Campbell Brown.

Addiction is a tough topic, and WoW is an easy sell as a scapegoat. Like any activity you love, if you feel passionately about it, you should fight for its proper representation. Jace certainly is.

His stance on addiction:
"It is my opinion that human beings are capable of creating destructive relationships and associations with almost anything. Seeking pleasure and avoiding pain is a fundamental trait of the human condition. This trait can occasionally direct people toward the use of escapism. Sometimes this can be a necessary mode of survival and very healthy – other times is can lead to counterproductive personal and social behavior.

What that means is that, YES, someone can get so involved in watching movies, or reading books, or tweaking their myspace page, or surfing, or playing games, or swimming or drinking, or using drugs, or having sex, or ANYTHING THAT THEY FIND USEFUL TO ESCAPE WITH, that they actually begin to ignore other important aspects of their lives and it becomes a real problem."
Hall laments that news organizations and personalities seem eager to paint activities they're unfamiliar with or don't understand, like WoW, as unique and dangerous forces in addiction then countless other activities. Among those with addictive personalities or social difficulties, any activity can become addictive, and this particular report, he says, is pure fear-mongering "based ultimately on conjecture."

My personal opinion on these matters is that it's difficult to pin "WoW addiction" on any particular source, and that usually, like Jace says in his article, there are circumstances that extend far outside of the game that can cause these problems.

Filed under: News items

Drama Mamas: We hate hate

Dodge the drama and become that player everyone wants in their group with the Drama Mamas. Lisa Poisso and Robin Torres are real-life mamas and experienced WoW players -- and just as we don't want our precious babies to be the ones kicking and wailing on the floor of checkout lane next to the candy, neither do we want you to become known as That Guy on your server. We're taking your questions at DramaMamas (at) WoW (dot) com.

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.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Drama Mamas

World of Warcraft in the 'net's traffic patterns


Arbor Networks is a company that continually monitors the Internet and its usage -- they keep track of Internet outages and site visits on a global scale. They just recently released a report of when traffic peaks in the evenings around the world, and at least one of their results is about the game we're all playing, none other than World of Warcraft. In terms of just general consumer traffic online, the numbers tend to peak, according to the report, at around 8-11pm -- the time right before bed when most Americans are done with dinner, and have a little free time to jump online and browse around. In terms of what they're doing when online, simple web browsing makes up most of that traffic (52%), what's the rest of it? Gaming, including WoW.

More than any other gaming service (they also take a look at Steam), WoW's chart is extremely interesting -- it peaks solidly at 8pm every night, and then falls back down just as sharply around 11pm. In other words, the biggest audience for WoW (during this time period -- this is over ten days in July of this year) is raiders, who show up on time at 8 and end the raid around 3 hours later. In other words, if you want to avoid the crowd, show up after 11. Or even better, raid in the mornings. Interesting stuff -- certainly Blizzard has much more detailed information on when people log into the game (and where they go when they do), but as an overview of traffic patterns, Arbor's research all makes sense.

[via Network World]

Filed under: Realm News, Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Instances

The9 scores again in Q2 '08


The9, which is the company in China that runs Blizzard's World of Warcraft game there, has released their second quarter financial numbers, and they're rocking yet again -- they pulled in record income and revenue, nabbing about US$66.3 million, a full $60.7 million of which came directly from World of Warcraft and all the deals they have surrounding that property there. And their peak concurrent user total for WoW topped 1 million, which means one million accounts (not necessarily people) were logged on and playing at the same time.

Apparently the company is also running a few other games, but clearly WoW is dominating their income, and, needless to say, doing very well for them. And probably won't be stopping anytime soon -- if Blizzard follows through on their plan to release Wrath asap in China, odds are that The9's biggest game will get even more popular.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items, Expansions, Leveling, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

WoW Rookie (End of the Semester Edition): Dealing with difficult people

WoW Rookie is brought to our readers to help our newest players get acclimated to the game. Make sure you send a note to WoW Insider if you have suggestions for what new players need to know.

I apologize for the late article. Being finals week and all, things get pretty hectic for a lot of us. You will appreciate that I'm writing as my students are busily completing their final exam.

As in life sometimes in World of Warcraft we come across unpleasant or stubborn people that challenge us. Whether it's in Guilds, PUGs, or just the environment, at some point someone will get on your nerves. Thanks to the perceived anonymity of the internet, people feel they can be much more brazen and offensive then they ordinarily would. I'm not asking you to let violations slide, but try to be mature about the situation. Let's talk about how to deal with difficult situations.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Tips, Virtual selves, Blizzard, WoW Rookie

Latest MMO pop report shows a WoW growth spurt

This is old news really: we all know that there are 10 million of us playing Blizzard's MMORPG juggernaut. In MMOGChart's latest report however, there appears to be a little growth spurt in the early part of this year.

This is surprising when we consider the fact that WoW is three years old. In the video and computer game business, three years is considered "old", even for a game that is constantly updated. Other games would usually see a tapering off in terms of population growth at this stage. Not only is market-dominating WoW bucking the trend, it's actually enjoying a surge in its population!

Is this growth spike the result of anticipation for Wrath of the Lich King? Probably so, according to MMOGChart: "There appears to be a slight acceleration of growth a month or two before the release of an expansion, which then continues for approximately 3-6 months afterwards." With the unprecedented size of WoW's playerbase, we can probably expect the hype to be built up a lot sooner than "a month or two".

The report has gone on to break down WoW's existing 10 million subscribers by territory:

  • North America: 2.5 million
  • Europe: 2 million
  • Asia: 5.5 million (primarily China)

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Expansions

Gold sellers hold account hostage

We all deal with them. Their annoying spam, their flooding of the general channels. Those gold sellers deserve the kiss of death. Wouldn't it be nice if their industry just went and slept with the fishes?

In a tactic that even Don Corleone himself would be angry at, gold sellers have sunken to a new low. John M. wrote in to tell us the tale of a fellow guild mate who fell under the gaze of a gold seller who took his account hostage, demanding payment from his guild. Sit back, open up a new window with this Godfather music, and read on after the break.

I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse.

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Filed under: Virtual selves, News items, Economy, Making money, Rumors

Hail to the (Lich) King, baby


Believe it or not, World of Warcraft is the most popular massively multiplayer online roleplaying game in the world! Our super blogger Mike Schramm shared this report over our sister site, Massively. It probably comes as no surprise that WoW is topping the chart. There are more active accounts on WoW than all of the competition combined.

I didn't know there were quite so many MMORPGs active on the gaming market. WoW is unique among this video game genre because of it's continued growth. The player base for other games have leveled or tapered off. I couldn't even guess where the population will top out. With the popularity of the Burning Crusade and anticipation of Wrath of the Lich King, I would not be surprised to see more than fifteen million WoW players.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Ranking, Odds and ends, Blizzard

Breakfast Topic: Alterac Valley, day one

It hasn't been long since Blizzard announced they were implementing harsher policies on Alterac Valley AFKers, but being as it's the weekend and, I imagine, many people are using their off hours to get in some honor-grinding time, today we're asking whether you think it's helping. The change is already getting mixed reviews on the forums with responses ranging from "I won't play AV anymore for fear of getting banned" to "Thank you, Blizzard! This is everything we wanted!" So what's your opinion -- is this change going to solve the problem of AFKers in AV or just cause new problems? Jump into AV for a while and tell us what you think!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Breakfast Topics, Battlegrounds

New servers spotted on Realm Status? Think again!

After receiving reports of new US realms, we feel it is our civic duty to inform you of the truth behind these mystery realms. Fairly regularly people see new servers on a realm status report. A name they have not heard, a realm they have not seen. And they announce, breathlessly, that there is a new server. The fact that no one can create a character on the "new server" does not appear relevant. The urge to see a new server is far too great to overcome a simple fact: Blizzard announces new servers. Forum posters do not. And these new servers, for the past year, have never actually become live servers on which we can play. They're testing, configuring, event servers, who knows? Blizzard won't say, that I've seen. But they're not Live and not intended for Live, and in a year they've never gone Live.

There's no sense in getting our hopes up for something like that. Blizzard has said there will be no new servers until further notice. A friend on the forum who posts a link to Realm Status showing a previously unseen server is not a Blizzard announcement. This concludes our public service announcement for the day.

Filed under: Realm News, Odds and ends, Blizzard, News items

You don't have to tolerate racism in WoW

As with any grouping of people online, some WoW players can perfectly sociable and respectful of others, and some can be nasty, offensive and even bigoted. As the player Adaan wrote on the European WoW forums, he had the displeasure of encountering some players who use a certain racially offensive word, and it made him feel very angry.

It turns out that if you encounter such language in WoW, you can report other players for racism. Vaneras stepped in to confirm that Blizzard does not tolerate racist language, and such comments will get those players banned. Although I have not encountered racist language in WoW myself, I heartily encourage anyone who does to report that player. Dealing with racism in real life can often lead to awkward confrontations with people who refuse to admit what they were saying was wrong in any way, but in WoW, Blizzard is all set to do that for you, while at the same time helping to make sure there are negative consequences on racist behavior.

Although Vaneras doesn't mention it in his post, it is my understanding that the same also follows for other forms of discriminatory language, such as sexism. While of course there can be a lot of annoying grey area in such issues, another reason to such offenses in WoW is that Blizzard may actually have proof of what the other person said stored in their systems, and a genuine problem is more likely to receive a real consequence than might otherwise be the case.

Filed under: Tips, WoW Social Conventions, Forums

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