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Posts with tag terms-of-service

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

The Lawbringer: Mailbag 6.0 and Rogers updates

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

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?

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: Account management and you

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

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.

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Filed under: The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: A rookie's guide to the TOU

Welcome to the Lawbringer, Wow.com's weekly guide to the intersection of law and the World of Warcraft. I'm Amy Schley, a new law school graduate and your tour guide through the rabbit hole of contracts, copyrights and other craziness.

Greetings again! We're on part three of an examination of the various legal documents to which we must consent in order to play our beloved World of Warcraft. Parts one and two examined the End User License Agreement; this segment will look at the Terms of Use ("TOU").

The first thing you'll notice as you examine the TOU is that it is quite similar to the EULA. This is by design -- while one of the EULA's provisions is to agree to the Terms of Use, the repetition increases the likelihood we'll actually read it. There are quite a few differences, including the code of conduct and the naming policy.

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Filed under: The Lawbringer

Blizzard to patrol Moon Guard's Goldshire for harassment, erotic role playing

Blizzard announced via the customer support forum that it will take proactive steps to quell some of the unsavory behavior on Moon Guard (US), a server notable for its infamous Goldshire inn naughty shenanigans. After a father posted about canceling his son's account because of the general and trade chats on the Moon Guard server, Blizzard customer service responded in definitive terms -- Moon Guard's Goldshire will be actively "patrolled" by customer service team members.

Check out the full Blizzard response after the break.

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Filed under: News items, Account Security

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

Breakfast Topic: What are you doing to protect your account?

While it is certainly nothing new, it seems that you can't spit without hitting someone who has, or has had, a compromised account. These WoW account predators are getting more clever by the day, with using everything from keyloggers, sham contests, betas and security checks, to even grabbing an account and immediately attaching an authenticator to it.
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!

Filed under: Breakfast Topics, Account Security

Why you don't have freedom of speech in WoW

Freedom of speech is one of the most often quoted rights by gamers and people online, yet it is sadly one of the most misunderstood. This right comes about regularly when people are discussing forum bans, moderation, and people like Ghostcrawler telling folks they need to behave. People think that just because they live in a democracy or free society that they have an innate right to do and say whatever they want wherever they want.

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.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Forums

Music from the MPQs

Want to listen to the music of World of Warcraft without actually playing the game? It's possible -- anyee has posted a quick how-to over on the WoW Livejournal. The music is sitting on your computer in MPQ files, which are a proprietary Blizzard archiving format for their games. But there are a number of MPQ extractors and editors out there (the two recommended are MPQ Extractor for the Mac and MPQ Editor for Windows), so download one of those, use it to break open the MPQ you're looking for, and then find the music you want in that folder. Extract it out, and voila, you've got Warcraft music to listen to whenever you want.

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.

Filed under: Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard

15 Minutes of Fame: Members only

15 Minutes of Fame is WoW.com's look at World of Warcraft players of all shapes and sizes -- from the renowned to the relatively anonymous, the remarkable to the player next door. Tip us off to players you'd like to hear more about.

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?

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Filed under: Features, Interviews, 15 Minutes of Fame

Officers' Quarters: Crushed by the banhammer

Every Monday Scott Andrews contributes Officers' Quarters, a column about the ins and outs of guild leadership.

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.

Hello Scott,

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.

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Filed under: Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

The Queue: You ain't nothin' but a Core Hound


Welcome back to The Queue, WoW Insider's daily Q&A column where the WoW Insider team answers your questions about the World of Warcraft. Adam Holisky will be your host today.

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.

Delks asked...

"What's the point of running old world raids and instances?"

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Filed under: The Queue

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

Guardian talks to Chinese goldsellers and UK buyers

UK paper The Guardian has a look at what life is like at a Chinese goldselling company. It's interesting, but we've basically seen it before -- the small room of young people working almost 24/7 to make and deliver gold in-game, the concerns about worker livelihood and the supposedly large amounts of money going through these businesses (there's one figure quoted of £700m, which is about $980 million, but that's an estimate -- no one really knows how much these companies are making).

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.

Thanks, Bryn!

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard, Leveling, Making money, Wrath of the Lich King

Markee Dragon taken offline, MMOwned moving

We've received an interesting report on the WoW Insider Tip Line today. Two large World of Warcraft hacking and account trading websites, Markee Dragon and MMOwned, are offline.

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.

Filed under: Blizzard, News items

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