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Posts with tag terms-of-use

Blizzard responds to the Glider decision

Blizzard (via Nethaera) has released a nice long statement on the Glider outcome over on the forums. She basically runs through the history of the case and why Blizzard is against what Glider is doing, and why going through the courts was the only route left to them. She says that Warden (though called only "security measures") was enabled in response to player concerns about bots, and that when the MDY/Glider people circumvented Warden, their only recourse was to seek an injunction through the courts, which, as we've reported recently, they plan to have soon.

She does say that Blizzard won based on the judge's decision that MDY did violate the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, but Neth doesn't go any further into the issue, and doesn't elaborate at all on what might happen if this case is used as a precedent against other types of Terms of Use violations. As you might expect from an official Blizzard telling of the tale, the case is seen as a victory for Blizzard and their players -- for them, it's all about keeping bots out of Azeroth, and this decision will definitely help them do that.

And that's obviously not a bad thing -- most players will agree that MDY was allowing players to cheat (by letting the game play automatically without them in control), and thus preventing the client from being used in-game is a good thing. It's just that DMCA issue that might be a nagging problem -- we'll have to see what happens with that in the future.

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

Patches, addons and drama in the forums

While surfing the forums this morning, I came across a little gem of a thread protesting against Blizzard for the following:
  1. Breaking "our" addons and mods.
  2. Incorporating features from popular addons into the default User Interface, and thus breaking addons and mods. There's also a sentiment that Blizzard is "stealing" these ideas rather than being innovators.
  3. Fixing "their" bugs which in turn breaks "our" addons and mods. The suggestion is that they don't care, or could take steps to prevent this.
As you can imagine, all sorts of responses cropped up, including the usual people who get into arguments with other posters, players in agreement, joking and sarcastic responses, and of course, an awesome string of blue responses.

Gallery: Patch drama

The post that started it allFirst blue responseThe InterfaceSolutionTerms of UseDictionary

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Filed under: Patches, Analysis / Opinion, Bugs, Blizzard, Add-Ons, Humor, Forums

Buying gold is not a victimless crime

For many reasons I've never felt compelled to buy gold or pay for leveling on World of Warcraft. So I had no idea how the process worked. We got a tip from Kyron of Andorhal about a friend whose account was hacked. In addition to having all of his gear and gold stripped from his characters, he had 2 emails in the inbox for cheap items that he'd purchased off the auction house that the hacker had purchased for 500 gold a piece.

They recorded the name of the seller from the auction house and confronted him when he next came online. It turns out that person wasn't a gold seller but a gold buyer. He'd been told to put Coarse Thread on the AH at the 500 gold rate and would receive his gold when the hacker purchased the ridiculously priced item.

I didn't know how gold-buying worked, but this sounds like a way to exchange gold easily. This is something that blizzard could check into pretty easily. While sometimes players make strange prices in order to dupe would-be buyers, something like Coarse Thread would go unnoticed because most players wouldn't look for such items on the auction house.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Making money

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

The art of the Arena point sell

What's a good way to earn Gold? Some PvP players seem to think that Arena point selling is a viable option. As detrimental it is to the spirit of competition and working for achievements, it currently does not qualify as a violation of Blizzard's Terms of Use. This small loophole has helped make it a rampant, although unsupported and unsavory, practice. It's an old practice that dates back from Season 1. There are a couple of ways by which players sell Arena points. One is through outright sale of a moderately ranked team. Players take a team to a decent ranking of, say, 1800-2000, and sell the team wholesale, transferring leadership of the team to the purchaser. Depending on the size of the team, costs can vary. A 1900 2v2 team can sell for maybe 900 Gold, while a 3v3 team can go for about 1,300 Gold, and a 5v5 will cost anywhere from 1,700 to 2,000 Gold.

The one caveat of team buying is that players will almost never get what they're paying for. The irony is that those who purchase teams are almost never equipped or skilled to compete at the level they're purchasing. These players often end up tanking their newly-bought team a couple of hundred points just to complete the minimum 10 games to qualify for Arena point gain. In this way, team purchases are an unwise investment unless players can competitively maintain the team's rating. In some dastardly cases, very high-rated teams are bought by win traders who use the purchase to inflate their team ratings.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, PvP, Arena

Opening a dialog about sexism in World of Warcraft

Perhaps one of the biggest challenges of being a gamer girl is learning to deal with rampant sexism, without becoming defensive. Just like racism, sexism should not be tolerated, but how do you address it without making the problem worse? Smurphy from Burning Blade brought this up in the forums. Nethaera's response was to shut the thread down before a dialog could really begin on the subject.

Although the majority of WoW players are men, there are a number or women who do enjoy the game. Women are often important contributing members of guilds and raids. Perhaps a little known fact about gamer girls is many of us don't like to be hit on or given special favors like spots in raids. Nor do we like to be called honey, baby, or sweetie by complete strangers. We would very much like the same treatment given to our male counterparts. Women do truly enjoy the game, and should be able to feel safe and comfortable in the online environment.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Blizzard, Forums

Officers' Quarters: A moral dilemma

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

Every once in a while I get an e-mail where I think, "This person has to be pulling my leg." At first, I thought the e-mail below was one of them. As I read on, however, the author's heartfelt anguish over the decision she has had to make convinced me that there really is a guild leader out there doing this. Judge for yourself:

Hello there,

I'd love your opinion along with your readers opinions on an issue going on in my current guild. I'm an officer of a Horde guild that is still relatively young (3 months) but very dedicated. We transferred from other servers in order to form an off-hours raiding guild. Things were going very well until several weeks ago when I looked at our guild forum and was shocked to find the GM posting character accounts for sale and urging other guild members to buy them! And if that wasn't bad enough a week or so later he decided to buy a current guild member's account for himself and his girlfriend (another officer and the purchased account's owner supposedly wanted to stop playing those characters).

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Filed under: Guilds, Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

Blizzard's new Warden, and our privacy

Tech community Slashdot is going mad over a little present Blizzard apparently included with patch 2.3 this week: a brand new version of Warden (the program Blizzard uses to check for hacks, bots, and keyloggers) that they say effectively gives Blizzard total control over our computers. The technical stuff is a little hard to understand, but apparently Warden is what's called a "polymorphic program"-- that means that it actually hides from anyone looking at it exactly what it's doing and which files it's changing with a random code. Obviously, Blizzard wants to keep the program's activities secret from attackers-- if a hacker knows what Warden does, then he can more easily avoid it.

In previous versions of Warden, this randomization was "easy to predict," but Slashdot is saying that the new version effectively hides from even the user exactly what Blizzard is doing on your computer. Now, there is no clear reason why Blizzard would want to do anything bad with your computer-- odds are that this new software is the most effective version they've yet developed at making sure you can play the game without fear of hacks or keyloggers, and that's all they want to do with it.

But you should know that, according to "Captain Kirk," who wrote this article, Blizzard effectively has access to anything and everything on your computer, and can now edit or retrieve information at will without even you knowing what has happened. There's no reason not to trust Blizzard-- they're a high profile company with a long reputation of developing great software. But if a wayward employee at Blizzard wanted to steal your private information from your computer, or install a virus or malware on your PC, we're being told that this program will let them do it without your knowledge. You agreed to this-- it's in Section 14 of the Terms of Use-- and so it's up to you whether you trust Blizzard with your computer or not.

WoW Insider has contacted Blizzard and asked them to clarify the situation if necessary-- we'll let you know if we hear anything from them.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, News items

Officers' Quarters: Chased out of guild chat

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

Barrens chat. Someday, if WoW becomes popular enough, that phrase could become immortalized in the English language as a synonym for childish, pointless, and offensive blather. Whether it's public offers to cyber or waxing poetic about Chuck Norris' roundhouse kick velocity, if you've ever leveled a Horde toon in the Barrens, you've heard it all. It's one thing to put up with such nonsense for 10 levels. It's quite another to endure it day after day from members of your own guild. What if your guild chat was little better than Barrens chat? Today's letter is from an officer facing this grim situation.

Hi Scott,

Thanks for all the great articles at WoW Insider. You do a fantastic job!

I have a question for you that hopefully you have some insight on [. . .] I'm a member of a successful guild whose core members know each other in real life and have gamed as a group since before WoW. I've been with them since late 2004, and while we've had our ups and down as a guild, having a core like this has kept us alive through it all. I'm now an officer and a raid leader, so I have quite a bit of leverage in the guild.

We have never had any written-down rules about how you should play your character or act while in guild. We stress the basics that any guild should abide by [. . .] We're on a pvp server, and many of the members come into the game to unwind from their daily stress. As such, guild chat can be extremely vulgar. There was one instance a long, long time ago where a black member of the guild gquit because of a few guys BS'ing on gchat and using the 'N' word. I think that day has been forgotten. Gchat has been rife with some pretty controversial word use lately, and I've just been approached by one or two concerned guildies.

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Filed under: Guilds, Officers' Quarters (Guild Leadership)

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