Yesterday saw a major ban wave hit World of Warcraft. Many botters believe the move was retaliation for the victory of Bossland GmbH, the maker of the Honorbuddy series of bots, in a German court concerning the Demonbuddy bot for Diablo 3:
"Bossland GmbH (https://www.thebuddyforum.com/), creater of bot software for several MMOs, has won the lawsuit against Blizzard Entertainment S.A.S, creator of World of Warcraft and Diablo III. Blizzard had argued that the sale of virtual currency “Gold” in the game Diablo 3 is anti-competitive. The judges of the Civil Division of the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court considered this question with reference to Federal Court of Justice of Germany case law and it recommended the applicant to withdraw the application for an injunction.
"On 6 May 2013 The Hamburg Regional Court had issued a temporary injunction without a hearing and thereby ruled that the defendant (Bossland GmbH) have to refrain, without the consent of the applicant to operate a gold-trading website for the game Diablo III.
"On 7 May 2015 (3 U 45/14), the Civil Division of the Hanseatic Higher Regional Court disagreed with this order.The court ordered that the entire costs of the two instances of the process be paid by Blizzard Entertainment S.A.S.
"'I am pleased that after many years, a Court of Appeal has finally dealt accurately and in detail with the legal assessment and the key points of the law has worked out so well for us. I am optimistic that the federal court will view our other business models as permissible.' says Zwetan Letschew, CEO of Bossland GmbH expressed.
"Bossland GmbH fights in different legal proceedings against Blizzard Entertainment S.A.S. and Blizzard Entertainment Inc. These proceedings have the objective of clarifying various legal questions, for example, issues of integration of EULA of software bought in shops or at online retailers and, for example, the legal status of virtual items and issues of competition law.
"Bossland GmbH is represented in Cases for many years by the lawyers Marian Härtel, and Dominik Büttner and Carsten Neuhaus from the firm Kaesler & Kollegen."A nice conspiracy theory, but botters are not exactly known for quickly recognizing when reality shifts in unfavorable directions. The introduction of the WoW Token to Azeroth suggested that Blizzard would follow CCP's top down, bottom up approach to combating the scourge of black market gold selling in World of Warcraft.
|The Donchian channel for WoW black market gold|
The chart above shows the "top down" effect of the WoW Token on the price of black market gold listed on twelve websites that sell WoW gold. Since the introduction of the WoW Token on the North American realms on 7 April, the median price of black market gold on those sites declined by 46.9%. Obviously, the top down pressure is hurting the bottom line of the gold selling sites.
The belief that yesterday's ban wave is in retaliation for losing in court is perhaps understandable. Apparently Blizzard does not conduct frequent ban waves and the company conducted a sizable ban wave less than two months ago. If Blizzard really is following the CCP model, then the botters should expect more frequent ban waves. CCP's philosophy is to continuously ban botters and ISK sellers so as not to give the rules breakers any time to feel safe from receiving bans. Don't expect Blizzard to have that capability in the near future, so expect smaller, more frequent ban waves in the months ahead.
The "bottom up" part of the strategy involves making conducting RMT operations, which includes botting and hacking, as painful as possible. How much pain did Blizzard inflict yesterday? Since the Honorbuddy forums are open to the public, here are a few comments from actual WoW botters. For regular readers of The Nosy Gamer who play EVE, please remember that Blizzard lumps certain hacking and macroing activities into the botting category. Enjoy!
bimaman - "My main account just got banned. I was only using garrisonbuddy, because fuck doing garrison shit on 11 characters. So Blizz just reported that they have lost 2.9m subs, and then goes and bans a bunch of people for botting... They won't have many subs left after this :/"
Luvs2spluge - "I have been using HB for a long ass time running the same profile for farming motes on ISLE Of THunder .... never had ANY issues untill today.
"I got a 6 months ban, which i am gonna try and get reduced to 72 hours seeing how I have NEVER had any issues prior to this and i have been playing wow for over 9 years... 6 months is kinda bullshit for a first time offence.
"Funny thing is my buddy got caught as well and only got a 72 hour ban...WTF! how does he get a 72 and i get a 6 months!!!! thats just crap.. and he was farming current content leather..."
Talazemico - "6 month ban, used enyo oracle !! FUCKK!!!! FUCK YOU BLIZZARD"
NG Note: Enyo is a cheat program described as a raidbot. Basically, raiding is so hard in World of Warcraft that people need to use a program to push the buttons in the correct order.
Kaosqueen - "got me too. Just now.. I only use Enyo. Only routines to raid. i move on my own. and even self click extra actions. i was standing there doing nothing. when i got booted and got the email. this sucks. main and only account. Guess im moving on to a new game or something."
drew90 - "Got me with a 6 month suspension first time in like 8-9 years ive been caught! "
Jtroy - "I just got banned too. But the e-mail says I was banned for using bugs and all items and gold that I 'cheated' got removed from my account D: I used questbot (for leveling my toon from 90-100), enyo (with tuanha premium), grindbot (to farm exalted at the frostwolf orcs).
"EDIT: My first ban since I started botting in cata :< FUCK YOU BLIZZARD!"
nuclear898 - "I've been botting since WoTLK, and have never been banned until today. I only used raid bot the last year. 6 months. See you all again on November 13 !"
HceTiG0L - "I guess WoW will drop another 5MIL users until November :')"
Shiningstar - "3 accounts banned, just using enyo and garrisonbuddy, not that it matters, this is obviously a ban wave that's going to cause even bigger waves within the game. All these guilds losing key players will fail to make mythic raids, losing more members and disbanding causing more players to quit, i can see wow hitting 5/6 million subs after this. We all take this risk but i just want to thank the HB team for sending out a detectable version of HB, obviously the trigger went off at some point and they've been expecting this for awhile... It's not the first time this has happened and we've been kept in the dark, it happened a few years ago too when people could be detected by their keyboard not being used while the bot was running.
"See you in 6months if it's worth coming back at the end of all this."
dromios - "Just got nailed! I was making food at the time - BAM - went dark. I wrote and asked if this means I STILL have to pay and if I will lose my guild status as GM. I'll let you know the response. ARGH. Was not using ANYTHING at the time of the damn ban"
Masterik - "This wasnt a banwave, it was a ban tsunami, what is enyo?"
McWeiss - "well they got me too and since hb and botting was the only reason for me to stick with world of warcraft i am done with it... i dont think i will come back after the six month suspension. see you in the next game guys ;-)
"oh and a little info: this was my main account. just using enyo and routine there (mostly tuanha and leaves. sometimes portal and stars no free routine. all where premium)."
justbob - "well it looks like ill have to go back to all my old hobbies in RL (searching for Keys to drive to Bar) .. maybe ill go fishing with the kids now..."
Kasoqueen - "it is all over the blizzard forums too. people reading these forums and laughing over there. i guess i always knew it would happen but blizzard will lose a lot of money im sure.. but this is my last post and the last time i will be here on this site or any other blizzard related anything. it was fun while it lasted. late folks."
NG Note: I'm shocked that anyone would visit a botting forum and find amusement in botters receiving 6 month bans. What's the world coming to?
Osx86 - "Talked to a blizz employee explained I didnt have 3rd party software. They said it was detected without a shadow of a doubt and they are busy getting calls about it. He was very polite and told me they dont revoke these and since log in only happened from the same location it couldnt have been a compromise. He said not to use third party software when my ban is lifted. I will not get any money back."
Manioso - "They removed telephone contact in my country, and I tried to appeal saying I sometimes played in a friend's house through one of his computers, and he probably had a bot program installed. I don't know if it will work because I think I've never played from other IP... This ban really hurt me."
Captain - "i guess you can add me to that list now.. using ONLY enyo just got a 6 month ban on an account that has been here since 05 lol.. blizz told me it was '3rd party software/automation' that did it... guess this is one way for wow to hurt itself so many ppl are getting banned their subs are about to go way down.. i think the only reason they are doing 6mo bans is so they can keep the subs after we 'learn our lesson' LMAO im done with wow after this"
LowKey - "omg bed bath and beyond, worst possible time to send me some spam to my WoW email address. gave me a heart attack!"
dtadrunk - "Banned 6 months 9 year account. I really liked my appeal response (which is automated of course) but I found this funny.
"'Now something on a positive note, this isn't an account closure. The account will just be suspended for a couple of days and should be back up on 11/13/2015. This means that there's another chance to play fair and play nice!'
blackyouout - "It was a great run been botting for just under five years on the same account and i just got banned, six months fuck it."
crispybacon - "You could have answered this yourself. I mean, look around. This is the biggest banwave since Glider (correct me if I'm wrong). So if you are worried about your account, THIS is definitely NOT the time to go on using HB. My last HB use was on April 24th and I still got banned."
qtmeganr - "Fuck yeah, I got hit today as well. I came home and checked my e-mail. I was like wtf. Tried logging in and sure enough, you're account has been suspended. Greedy fuckers."
Terrif - "its funny. you guys dont have your bots to distract you and you start arguing lol if you cant remember that this is all still just a video game, even if you are turning a profit from it, then maybe its time you not play anymore and remind yourself that there is an actual world outside! you know outside? that place you go to buy more soda and taco bell? you should give exploring that a shot sometime."
razer - "You know everything amazing! Its not the hardcore botters who use HB a lot of guilds use it just for CR and they are really pissed. They aint coming back now who the hell wants to spam buttons all day for shit content. WoW has just fucked themself over again lol The sub count will drop and drop this game content is worse and worse every exp. People are moving on WoW is dying"
crispybacon - "Eactly this. They fucked a LOT of guilds and non-botters really hard tonight with the banwave. Raidleaders, Guildleaders, top DPS, top healers... bammmm, all gone. Considering the awful state the game is in, the majority of those people will not come back. I even believe that a lot of non-botters will cancel their subs now that their raids and/or guilds have completely fallen apart. Blizzard really fucked themselves over tonight. Just wait and see."
lyvewyre - "I always thought it was a bad idea not to upgrade to a 64 bit because very few legit people would be running 32 bit client. It's easy for me to say, I know it was only possible to do what they did because Blizz fucked up once and released the 32 bit client data, but the fact that HB could only run 32 bit was going to be used against it sooner or later.
"They never did though because it just wasn't worth the $$ to do so. At the end of the day, the original audience for HB, trash account gold farmers, have had 5 years of botting with bans here and there. This is merely a setback for them... They will be back with some other bot.
"For those of us who used HB as a crutch for our gameplay or as a way to take out the boring shit, we are the one's hit hardest, and there's not much can be done. As they said 'we told you not to use your main accounts'."
Taybox - "If I decide to keep playing WoW... I have to do everything manually now that HB is detected? like...
"leveling toons, grinding gold, raiding, grinding reps, farming mounts, etc?
"AW HELLLL NO. I havent played this game manually in a longggggggg time. HB was such a joy.
"Im not sad about my account, I'm sad that HB is not longer working...."