First, even a company like CCP, whose flagship game EVE seems to encourage multiboxing, is ambivalent about the use of software. In the EVE Online policy on client modification, after quoting Section 6A2, Section 6A3, and Section 9C of the EULA, the policy concludes:
"We do not endorse or condone the use of any third party applications or other software that modifies the client or otherwise confers an unfair benefit to players. We may, in our discretion, tolerate the use of applications or other software that simply enhance player enjoyment in a way that maintains fair gameplay. For instance, the use of programs that provide in-game overlays (Mumble, Teamspeak) and the multiboxing application is not something we plan to actively police at this time. However, if any third party application or other software is used to gain any unfair advantage, or for purposes beyond its intended use, or if the application or other software violates other parts of the EULA, we may fully enforce our rights to prohibit such use, including player bans. Please use such third party applications or other software at your own risk."The multiboxing application referred to in the policy is ISBoxer. Which is why we keep hearing complaints from EVE Online users about multiboxing software. If opponents of the use of ISBoxer convince CCP that ISBoxer gives multiboxers an unfair advantage then, according to CCP's own policy, CCP will ban the software.
Complaining about multiboxers works. In March 2013, Blizzard disabled the /follow command in battlegrounds in its fight against bots in World of Warcraft. According to Bashiok, Blizzard's Senior Community Manager, the effects on multiboxers was a bonus:
"We did consider those who use /follow for other reasons, including multiboxing, before making the change. Multiboxing in battlegrounds has been a long-fought battle within the community, as the effect of multiboxers in those situations is considered unfavorable by many. When we were looking to make a change to disable a command used by bots, which would benefit the game as a whole, we were ok with it also resulting in multiboxing in battlegrounds also going away due to the poor experience it can create for others."But Blizzard did not begin the trend. As early as September 2012, ArenaNet had a policy against the use of third-party programs for multiboxing. That policy was clarified by Gaile Gray in February 2013:
As part of ArenaNet’s policy on third-party programs, we are often asked about multi-boxing and the use of macros. Here is our policy:So multiboxing programs are okay, as long as none of the functions that make multiboxing software attractive are used.
Guild Wars 2 players are permitted to use macros as long as the macros are programmed with a 1 key for 1 function protocol.
Dual- or Multi-Boxing
- This means that if you program a macro, it must require one keystroke per action. You may not program a single key to perform multiple functions.
- For example, if you Press A and it results in the casting of a single skill, you’re ok. If you Press A and it casts multiple spells, you’re not ok.
- You cannot program a macro to perform the same or multiple actions on more than one account at a time.
- You cannot program an “auto-clicker” macro that, for instance, opens chests while you play elsewhere.
- You may use more than one account at the same time.
- You may use more than one computer at the same time.
- You must be actively playing on each account.
- And as stated above, you may not program your keyboard to perform functions on more than one account at a time.
a. For example, if you press W on your keyboard to move forward, a single character on a single account should move forward. The keystroke or mouse click should not perform functions on more than one account.
The lastest game company to join the trend is Carbine, much to the surprise of some multiboxers. One disgruntled user posted an exchange between himself and a Carbine representative on the Dual-Boxing.com forums about multiboxing in Wildstar:
Playing with more than one account at a time is allowed as long as you are individually controlling each account. However, if you plan to use a program to control each account simultaneously, with a single set of controls, then this is considered botting and would not be allowed.
Some players only consider the second definition as Multiboxing and if that is the case then Multiboxing would not be allowed. If you consider the broader definition, then there are some forms of Multiboxing that are allowed. It is the automating of gameplay that is against the rules.
WildStar Support Team
[From the multiboxer]
Ok.. so this is what i thought.. what is strange about this.. if carbine knows anything about multiboxing, especially in a fast paced action combat like Wildstar ( or other games such as WoW ) it is very impractical to "hardware box" using multiple computers. not only from a cost perspective. but a control perspective. SO you guys are basically saying you do not allow multiboxing, for all intents and purposes.
I purchased 5 delux version because i love his game.. but i have been boxing full groups since EQ1 and the newest software..such as ISboxer, is essential in making it even possible (again from a practical point of view).
Also.. one key press per account at the same time is the "norm" in the industry.. so i had no idea that i would not be able to box a full group in this great game.. using the very well known multiboxing softwares that are out there.
Just to note.. i am not a PvP player.. i do it for PvE.. to ease the pain of harder open world content/grinding and having to wait around for groups ( i do enjoy grouping as well ).I would understand both PvP restrictions and more then one action per keypress..but you guys stand to lose multi thousands of dollars per month by making a stance on a playstyle that is harmless ( if non PvP ) it kind of boggles the mind..coming from a business man.
Just a note. The norm in the industry, as far as I can determine, is one key press is one action in one account, not multiple accounts. But perhaps that is a recent development that adds to the case that the industry is becoming more unfriendly to multiboxing software. The exchage continued, with a new Carbine representative describing what is allowed for multiboxing in Wildstar:
I have played games which are more lenient with their rules in regards to playing in the manor you are speaking of, so I understand the appeal. WildStar was not intended to be played that way, in where you are basically playing one character and the others respond via software. Playing that way is a violation of the rules and may result in multiple account termination. I multibox two accounts on one computer all the time when I QA Test WildStar. I pretty much never leave home without a buddy. If your computer can handle it, its the way to go. What I do is auto follow and then make the screens small or play on multiple monitors. When I need a heal, I just move my mouse to the other screen. That is perfectly OK. But at no point did any additional software achieve that goal. In that way, no rules were broken and I got double the rewards. Protostar looooooves multiboxers! I hope that you are able to find tons of enjoyment with the content available in the manor it is intended to be played. If you have any additional questions, please feel free to contact us.
WildStar Support Team
So the trend against the use of multiboxing software, although not multiboxing itself, is present in the MMORPG industry. For players of games that allow its use like EVE, the question becomes, will those games jump on the anti-multiboxing software bandwagon?