"I got a 72hr on my main. But if it makes you feel any better i've lost about 30 accounts over the last 2 years."
I originally planned on trying to make a scholarly post using the words of botters to illustrate the differences between CCP's and Blizzard's methods of dealing with botters and hackers. But after reading Blizzard's ban policy, I gave up on that thought.
|The Penalty Volcano: Blizzard's Ban Policy|
The reason that I bring up the ban policy is to prepare those reading this post for the confusion that ensued. For example, in EVE Online, CCP will ban botters 30 days for a first offense and issue a permanent ban for a second offense. Blizzard is a little more flexible, with no set penalties and with nothing between 3 days and permanent. The confusion begins below the cut.
buzwork (72 hour suspension) - "Rather interesting... they banned two separate accounts (different battle.net accounts) including one that I haven't logged onto in about a month."The pattern of the bans is a little random. I think that a consensus developed that people who used the bot in PvP (like Arenas) received permanent bans while those who restricted their use to PvE received a lighter punishment. But that caused some heartache among some.
Arroin (account closed) - "Haven't Logged in since last night.. tried to log in ,, got a message account banned. checked email and had this waiting on me:"
***NOTICE OF LICENSE TERMINATION***
Offense: Use of Bots or Third-Party Automation Software
Blizzard has terminated this World of Warcraft license after identifying the usage of bots or other cheat software.
These programs (commonly called cheats, bots, and hacks) automate certain aspects of gameplay, or provide unintended advantages and abilities to the player. This type of cheating undermines other players' experience and severely upsets the balance of the game environment.
This page contains details on how suspensions are appealed and reviewed:
healzzz (72 hour suspension) - "Haven't used PQR since early November - so logging must have been going on for at least 2 1/2 months."
cahe (action unknown) - "All this ban is fu*c*ing bullshi*, ppl use bot 24/7 and get 72h suspend rest use it 2h per day and get perm is so random i think."
cahe (action unknown) - "I dont wanna say that bad they ban ppl but i dont understand how they ban... cuz ppl using it all the time get 72h and for example ppl use it ocasionaly get perm i think that not fair... ban all or dont even bother."
surfman (some accounts closed, others suspended for 72 hours) - "Blizz's system of detection and punishment is never 100% it failed when they "tried" to detect RBG win traders and perma banned some of the top PvP'rs and left some obvious win traders on the ladders. Some say its about 75% accurate but no one will ever know. So I am in the same boat as you as are many other people with Main accounts banned yet obvious botting accounts let off on 72hrs. Its why you just have to say bye and leave once and for all. "
prettycooldude (account closed) - "I was perma-banned and I used PQR maybe three times a month at the most. I wasn't ever banned or warned before this. Clearly your logic doesn't hold, as I used PQR VERY INFREQUENTLY, yet was still perma'd. I wish there was a reason why so many are getting a light slap on the wrist, and then again many people like myself lose their accounts FOREVER, all the ****ing time spent GONE
"i really can't believe no one else is complaining about this. If you're going to perma-ban us, fine. Don't let some people off the hook with 72 hr bans for some bullshit arbitrary reason, if any reason at all."
Unlike CCP, Blizzard apparently builds up for big ban waves and doesn't just try to conduct daily bans. Either that or the PQR bot is a big deal and Blizzard wanted to make a big statement. However, letting a bot operate for months like this is not a good idea. Perhaps this next one explains why.
Xelper (PQR dev) - "My huge concern is that many profiles used PQI, and PQI used CHAT_MSG_ADDON as a version check...So once Blizzard decided to check the logs, someone realized that collecting the information was, if not quick, relatively easy. Another botter shared an experience with a Blizzard customer service rep that contradicts this theory.
"Which means addon messages were communicated to the server, and sent to any listening clients on that addon channel. This is a HUGELY BAD IDEA, as it is essentially advertising to the WoW servers "I AM RUNNING THIS ADDON!" Blizzard logs everything they receive, and it is just a matter of them searching the logs for people advertising their version number on the channel."
xcuranddisease (72 hour suspension) - "Logging into wow I got a ACCOUNT TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED message. Went over and had Blizz call me back. She said that they have temporarily banned me due to 3rd party programs. I asked her to give me more info on it and to prove it, she said 'we were monitoring people for quite some time, some weren't aware that their addon was not to be used so we initiated a 72 hour ban and not a permanent ban in most cases' and I said 'What do you mean monitored?' and she said 'we can verify that we checked over 6 times that said application was ran simultaneously with world of warcraft, there is no shadow of a doubt, you were using 3rd party software'"Of course, someone always makes the following suggestion...
Modernn (account closed) - "I made a faulty game issue ticket to get a call back and had a CS Supervisor available within 30 minutes. I was not able to get them to reverse the ban. I have a friend that is a GM who's recommendation was to say that someone else (Like your brother) was using the account. I was unsuccessful and will be opening tickets on the daily to try to get my account ban reversed. I urge everyone who's account was banned to do the same. If nothing else, Clog up the que's and make them spend some money on OT."... but that doesn't seem a wise suggestion to follow for those who only received a 72 hour suspension.
icystealer (72 hour suspension) - "I got a response from my ticket of appealing my suspension. GM refused to overturn it and I didnt care as I was in the last hours of the suspension. HOWEVER shortly after receiving the response from the GM, I find my account is perma banned... WTF."Some of my favorite comments are those who basically said, "I didn't want that account anyway."
icystealer (account closed) - "That just seems like the GM was a hateful bastard. I guess its time to stop WoW for good."
JoeThePlumber (status unknown) - "appeal a 72h ban, is a huge risk to get it turned in a perm ban when you say the wrong thing or lie they got data on you!"
azuro (account closed) - "botted on it for 2 months with PQR, my 6 year old account, with most titles and alot of achivements, worth quite alot of money, gone! and i couldn't be more happy, i never couldve mustered the courage to sell it, and ive never been able to quit, so this is the perfect scenario for me, and im relieved! so long gamers, hello social life"Continuing on, what collection of botter comments is complete without the learned opinions that banning botters is financially stupid?
JhonnyQ (account closed) - "Wrote a ticket, waiting for response. The good thing is, if you get banned, you realise that wow is a complete waste of time and somehow your happy to have to opportunity to quit. On the other hand, i want my account back, because i invested much time and money. letz see if i can get it back"
Arroin (account closed) - "Agree with you 100%. Just waiting for Blizz to reply on my ban as I am sure many others are also, and if they decide to not to reinstate my account then I'm done with them. Given them way to much money since I started playing in BC.."
Croctail (account closed) - "Finally a good reason to quit wow"
zexa1 (account closed) - "Well, after my calculations, I've spent exactly $1,964.98 on WoW throughout my five years of playing, game time and expansion sets included, and about a week ago I calculated my entire time spent. I have spent 363 days (8,712 hours) playing WoW. I believe my perma-ban was a very overdue sign to quit and find a new hobby. I am grateful, yet a bit disappointed in myself for having spent so much time and money only for it all to dissipate into the great abyss of the Internet. Fare thee well, World of Warcraft. It was (sorta) fun while it lasted."
Yianis (assumed account closed) - "The only thing I am really glad that Blizz is losing more and more money."
proxximo1823 (account closed) - "blizz is so stupid its just money out of their pockets.dont think many people that get perma ban will go out and start from scratch again. **** this game ...its dying anyway time to move on..waiting for wildstar"
Voar (account closed) - "11 90 level characters, most healers, 70% PvE 30% PvP
"I will probably quit WoW until the time comes when something close to PQR comes along, it was a good run I have to admit, funny thing is that blizz is going to take a HUGE hit on subs I believe
"Also my mother is quitting, the 9years old account isnt something that can easily be replaced.(She knew of the risks though...)"
Drinksbeer (account closed) - "I was permabanned as well, didn't arena, didn't raid anymore. PQR was the only thing keeping me in the game. But I did go on my daily FM radio show and spent (roughly) 3 hours flaming the crap out of them, I used to be a huge supporter, spent tons of money with them. Above all, this smells like a buyout move or some way to sluff off wow so that they can stop development of it and focus on bigger projects. There is no way that any publicly traded company (ATVI in the US and VIVI - parent company - worldwide) would purposely cut off that many customers. Reports are 500k in the US and 1 mil worldwide? That's millions of dollars gone in 1 shot, their stock would go in the shitter if this weren't some working move."
Yes, that last person really thinks that Vivendi still owns Activision/Blizzard.
But these types of entries were matched by those who saw the financial benefit of issuing a ban wave.
prettycooldude (account closed) - "Kind of silly to perma ban for this program in my opinion. Blizzard is going way overboard. But, they're betting 95%+ of you will eventually play again and they're probably right...Now, one of the things that makes CCP different from Blizzard is the loss when an account is banned. Not only is everything lost to the account's owner, but CCP tried to track down every account owned by the player an seize those also. CCP also employs automatic processes that utilize digital fingerprinting technology to try to keep players from creating new account. Blizzard? Not so much.
"If I play again, I'm going to avoid this site. Programs from here always get me ****ed. This bullshit the admins have going with directing you to amazon etc. for random page clicks is shady as **** also."
Sephiroth (owns a ban appeal business) - "I will have to say, something like this is a pretty bold move on their behalf, but they do have such a massive backing still, that it isn't an issue. That being said, I am sure account sales will also be up this month :P"
SheepReaper (status unknown) - "Lol not really. All the changes they made since mop came out, especially making leveling easier, made wow be more casual. It helped dissipate the turbo nerd stigma that it gained from all those news stories of the addicts ruining their lives. For a long time you had to turn your wow time into a part time job to progress anywhere. Now you can actually pick it up, play for a little while and then stop playing without feeling guilty about it. It really opened itself up to a much broader audience. They've gained many subscriptions is what I mean. Now they may lose many because of the banwave, but with WoD right around the bend, they're just going to gain them right back, not to mention the box sales at launch. Jeez, they're really making a killing. The ban wave will not hurt them one bit, gotta love the size of their cojones. And they can totally justify it with the ol' 'improving the experience of the other players' bit. .. there's always one butthole that exploits the exploit and uses it for pvp even though they know they risk exposure…"
Jaylock (72 hour suspension) - "The funny thing is that they did this massive ban wave AFTER the end of the year so they can report all the permanently banned accounts as subscriptions in their quarterly report conference call. Padding the numbers Blizz, like the greedy / devious people you are!"
Oliron (status unknown) - "don't forget the insta lvl 90... i think that's the main reason why they banned us all now. they'll launch the pre sale some time soon and with it the paid lvl 90 feature to suck us dry"
starl1te (status unknown) - "you realize you didnt lose the pets, mounts and achievements, right? unless you want to quit. just buy another wow and stick into that battlenet account."Between these entries and all the entries stating that caught botters would not start again, I get the impression that a permanent ban isn't really permanent.
evilshade1234 (account closed) - "only been using pqr since a few days ago (this is my first offense, and perma banned, lol great)
"I submitted an appeal few hours ago, if that doesn't work then I quit WoW for good. Why? No ****ing way I'm working my ass off to get to get top pve-gear ALL OVER again, especially with the weekly limit it will take a good while to get back where I was at. Not to mention, incredibly repetitive and boring.. No thanks."
Last, but certainly not least, are the comments that indicate that the user doesn't realize that pushing the keys to cast spells and abilities is a key component of, you know, playing the game.
Aestysu (account closed) - "Are you mad that hundreds of thousands of people use this bot to play? and they play better than you do and your [sic] so angry about it, that you just HAD to make an account here to rage about it?"These are just some of the gems that stood out to me as I've read over 60 pages of forum posts. I have included a hyperlink to each of the quotes in case someone is interested in checking to see if these posts really occurred or if I just have a really good imagination. All I can say is that I wish I had an imagination this good.
evilshade1234 (account closed) - "The question of the day is: do you really want to play a game where you can't use tools to make life easier? Now I can't imagine actually pressing buttons to cast skills, worrying about cc, keeping up on my DoTs timer, and then woops your dead because you weren't paying enough attention to the boss or w.e. lol **** that. I want to play a game for fun, not a damn headache"