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Posts with tag win-trading

Blizzard reversing some short-term PvP suspensions

Blizzard backpedal on shortterm PvP suspensions
WoW Insider recently posted about Blizzard taking decisive action against players who had been discovered win-trading. In the original post we also reported that Nakatoir had been very firm that these suspensions had been thoroughly investigated and would not be reverted.

Bashiok posted the following today:

Bashiok
Earlier this week, several player accounts were given short suspensions and had their ratings wiped for being involved in Rated Battleground win-trading. Upon further review, we determined that some of the players initially identified as cheating may not have purposefully participated in the exploitive behavior, and as a result, we're in the process of lifting suspensions and restoring ratings to all but the most egregious offenders. This process should be completed following the Tuesday maintenance.

As always, our goal is to identify cheaters while making sure people playing by the rules aren't inadvertently penalized. Rest assured that we'll continue to take action against players who aren't competing in the spirit of fair play.


This comes as a bit of a surprise, although WoW Insider's original post did point out the difficulties of discerning, in some cases at least, players who had involuntarily faced win-trading teams, from players who had actively engaged in win-trading.

Nonetheless, the attitude that suspending innocent players is worse than letting a few guilty players get away with cheating is probably one to be applauded.


Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items, PvP

Suspensions issued for win-trading bug

WinTrading bug being dealt with
Blizzard Community Manager Daxxarri posted on the forums today regarding a Win-Trading bug.

Daxxarri
Providing an environment where players can compete in the spirit of fair play is extremely important to us, particularly in rated Player versus Player combat. As part of that commitment we regularly monitor gameplay, and have discovered an issue where some Rated Battleground teams have exploited the queuing system to obtain high team ratings and engage in win trading.

These, and all, exploitative activities are absolutely prohibited. We will investigate the situation carefully, and players that have been found to have participated in exploitation will be subject to the appropriate actions against their World of Warcraft accounts. In the meantime, we are currently working to resolve any remaining issues with the queue system to prevent this behavior in the future.


Punishments in the form of suspensions have already begun to appear, as well as rating resets for all players suspected of being involved in win-trading. As forum posters have been quick to point out, the trouble Blizzard's team faces is that many players have faced these win-trading teams, despite not actively engaging in win-trading themselves. This issue means that, apparently, some players are affected who never engaged in exploiting intentionally, but it can be difficult to be sure who is who. Nakatoir adds the following:

Nakatoir
After a thorough investigation and liaising with multiple departments, we can confirm that the recent wave of actions taken against Rated Battleground exploitation and win trading are indeed correct. The team of investigators have made sure to avoid any false positives and we will not be overturning any of the actions taken.

Encouragingly, several prominent PvP streamers who have actively participated in win-trading using this exploit have already received suspensions and been stripped of their ill-gotten rating. Time will tell whether the new PvP gearing system has any impact on this behavior, but it seems unlikely, given that, for many, rating and titles are incentive enough to exploit the system.

Mists of Pandaria is here! The level cap has been raised to 90, many players have returned to Azeroth, and pet battles are taking the world by storm. Keep an eye out for all of the latest news, and check out our comprehensive guide to Mists of Pandaria for everything you'll ever need to know.

Filed under: News items, PvP, Mists of Pandaria

Banned for no reason at all

GuamPDN.com ("Guam's complete source!") has an article up by Duane George, who tells his story of woe: he got banned from the game for suspected Arena win trading, and had to deal with 72 hours without the game. Blizzard, obviously, doesn't provide any information on how many players get banned from the game, and it would be even harder to determine the number of false positives out there like Duane: people who didn't do anything wrong but end up getting banned anyway. We've heard stories here of course, but this is a tough area to investigate by its very nature.

For Duane's part, he does say that he plans to stay out of Arenas and stick to battlegrounds, so you'd think that if there were a ton of false positives like him who were turned off from the Arena experience because it wrongly got them in trouble, Arenas wouldn't be nearly as popular as they are. But of course we don't know -- there's no oversight on Blizzard's part (and you could argue that there shouldn't be anyway, since it's their game), not to mention that they've got the right, according to the Terms of Use, to ban anyone at any time for any reason without notice anyway. If they were really going overboard, you'd expect them to be losing customers, and that's not the case yet.

Fortunately, this wasn't a permanent ban, and while he did apparently lose some Arena rating and the gear that came with it, his character wasn't too much the worse for wear. A 72-hour ban isn't too big a deal, so Blizzard probably hands those out with much less consideration than a permanent ban anyway. But we're sure Duane isn't the only case out there -- as small as the number may be, there's almost definitely other players like him, banned for doing nothing wrong at all.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Virtual selves, Odds and ends, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

Bornakk tries to clarify fair play in Arena PvP

Bornakk has laid down a "clarification" on what's fair in the Arenas over on the forums -- he says that there's been a lot of questions lately over what constitutes fair play in Arena PvP, especially in terms of win trading.

Unfortunately, his clarification isn't all that clear -- he reiterates that win trading (the act of exploiting the queue in some way to face a chosen opponent, or face the same team multiple times) is against the spirit of the game and against Blizzard's wishes (though his wording gets a little strange when he brings the Terms of Service into it -- we think that by "these actions all fall in line with our fair use clause," he actually means that they violate the clause). He does, however, go on to say that there are certain places in the system where facing an opponent multiple times will happen, and that that's obviously not the fault of players. So that, it seems, is the confusion: players were worried that because of the lack of population in the queue or other factors, that they would be accused of win trading, and Bornakk is saying that's not the case.

Not that Blizzard hasn't been cracking down on win trading as much as possible lately, but the fact is that if there's a way to exploit the system, players will find it and do it. Blizzard says they're working on squashing "agreements" between players, but even then, Arenas may never end up being completely fair.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Blizzard, PvP, Arena

Bornakk on arena ratings changes

Apparently there's been some confusion over the exact way that the new arena ratings changes work. Bornakk tried to clarify that a bit today.

As he tells it, The adjustment to a team rating will always be based on the other team's team rating, but the adjustment to the personal rating of everyone in the match will be based on the average person rating for the other team. He used the following example:

Read more →

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, News items, PvP, Alts, Arena

Blizzard cracks down on arena win trading

We already know that Blizzard is tweaking arena rules to make it much tougher to artificially inflate your rating by win trading or buying high ranked teams in Season 4, but it looks like they're starting to take it one step further, by cracking down on people who indulge in it.

Reports are coming in from the official forums and from other spots around the web of people getting bans or suspensions (generally 72 hours in length) and having their Season 3 arena gear stripped. The bans are even permanent in some cases, such as that of Sinther of Stormscale, whose account was permanently banned when his friend used it to do some win-trading, with the win trading given as the specific reason for his banning. You can read many of these stories and reports in this forum thread.

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Filed under: Items, Analysis / Opinion, Cheats, Blizzard, News items, PvP, Alts, Arena

Relmstein explains arena team ratings, and how Blizzard is working to combat exploiting them

Relmstein of The Many Relms of Relmstein has posted an updated version of a post he originally wrote in 2006 that is one of the most concise and clear explanation of how team ratings work and how people exploit them, including how Blizzard's planned arena rule changes will help stop these exploits.

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

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

Queue dodging: The latest in underhanded arena tactics


The arenas have been a nearly constant source of conflict for many players. It seems that many creative schemes have been used to inflate ratings in the pursuit of gear and glory. The developers implemented personal ratings to combat ill-gotten gains from a single slot buyouts and high-rated team sales. It seems that the latest fad for ratings boost may be queue dodging.

Recently, Kenjiwing of Korgath brought this phenomenon to the attention of the official forums. There is currently no penalty for a team that fails to join an arena battle once the queue pops. The team that actually does show receives no reward and the match is recoded as a draw, which does not count toward the requisite games for the week. They are left to wait for another battle in hopes that the other team will show.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Blizzard, PvP, Forums, Arena

Win Trading: Cheating for the top Arena spots


Not only am I gullible, but I always seem to be the last to find out about the latest cheats. Here I am thinking that top Arena teams are there because of skill and teamwork, but it turns out that some of them are there because of a little thing called "Win Trading". I mean, I did know that there was some cheating going on, but that was legitimately high ranked teams selling spots for titles. It seems that now, top teams in certain Battlegroups are ranked so high solely because of Win Trading.

What is Win Trading? It is when a team raises its ranking by only playing a farm team that agrees to lose. The most common "trade" is for the farm team to be made up of alts of another highly ranked team and they switch. So for example, Cheating Ranked Team A will play Loser Farm Team A for 10 games. Then Cheating Ranked Team A will get on their alts and be Loser Farm Team B, losing to the mains from Loser Farm Team A (which are now Cheating Ranked Team B) for 10 games.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Events, PvP, Forums, Arena

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