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Blizzard Awarded $6M Damages From MMOGlider

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the couldn't-see-that-coming dept.

PC Games (Games) 460

dw604 writes "The makers of MMOGlider have been found in breach of the World of Warcraft terms of service and are forced to pay Blizzard $6M in damages." There's a lot of sticky issues on this one. Mostly I'm amazed that MMOGlider had that kind of cash.

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Finances & Conflict (5, Interesting)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218065)

Mostly I'm amazed that MMOGlider had that kind of cash.

MMOGlider is the application, MDY would be the holder of the finances. After scanning the article, it seems that he is estimated to have sold 100,000 copies at $25 a pop resulting in $2.5 million ... then you have all the costs of hosting and developing and lawyering and all that.

And as the bottom of the article says:

The case is due to go to court again in January 2009 when the remaining issues in the legal conflict look likely to be settled.

At issue will be whether MDY broke the US Digital Millennium Copyright Act and whether Mr Donnelly will have to pay the damages from his own pocket.

And there you have it, in all likelihood they are not sitting on $6 million. As the article says, it's a good thing MDY won its arguments about the 'damages' their program caused to Blizzard otherwise they would be looking at $12 or $18 million settlements.

And there's your sticky issue, what exactly are the damages. I hate this because if I know it's happening, it ruins WoW for me. But on the other hand, does it really ruin the game if someone magically goes from 1 to 70 in two weeks without working for it? I might be jaded that I had to put in hours of muscle distrophying arthritis inducing clicking to get there ... but what's different now? So another player has more gold or resources, it's a tiny leg up in that game as the best items are won in PVP or require meticulous PVE to acquire.

The stickiest issue is that a lot of us are conflicted. It pisses us off that WoW is a little less fair but on the surface this was a guy who avoided all technical attempts Blizzard tried to thwart him in a great game of cat & mouse. In the end, he could claim he was just selling software that users happened to use to violate Blizzard's TOS and EULA with. I've heard the same arguments about BitTorrent and would probably side with the software makers in this case ...

I guess for me 'sticky' isn't a good description of it. No, there are two core ideologies which are conflicting here. The gamer in me says that games should be as fair as possible. WoW is already naturally flawed to some degree in this way and it is Blizzard's responsibility to keep the playing field level. MMOGlider upsets this 'fairness' and destroys the inherent fun in the game. On the other side of the issue he was just a guy writing software and selling it. I could throw him in with the likes of spammers and botnet masters but it was just a legitimate client program running on a paying user's machine.

Add to this what we've suffered through from Blizzard including rootkits [slashdot.org] and unfounded bans [slashdot.org] and it's an issue that strikes very close to home.

Re:Finances & Conflict (2, Interesting)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218165)

Why are players bothering with online games that can be manipulated by manipulating the local client's RAM? Isn't the whole point of "Online" supposed to make client side vulnerabilities moot?

Re:Finances & Conflict (4, Informative)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218255)

You know that, even though the game is online, there has to be a player right? Glider is a computerized "player" that plays the game for you, doing mindless killing to level the character up.

Re:Finances & Conflict (4, Insightful)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218467)

I still don't really see the motivation. That a computer can play the game better than a human is a good sign of a bad game. That people actually want a computer to play for them is a sign of a really badly designed game.

Re:Finances & Conflict (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218575)

That a computer can play the game better than a human is a good sign of a bad game.

Computers can (and have) beat the best chess players in the world. Chess is not a bad game, even though I can never beat the computer on the hardest levels. I'm not defending WOW, since I've never played it - but I disagree with your premise.

Re:Finances & Conflict (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25218885)

Who asked you? Seriously?

Re:Finances & Conflict (4, Funny)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219003)

The premise of a "discussion board" is apparently hard for you to grasp.

Re:Finances & Conflict (5, Funny)

TarrVetus (597895) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219281)

Who asked you? Seriously?

Who asked you to ask who asked him?

Wait, who asked me to ask you to ask who asked you to ask him? And if no one asked us to ask, then why do we ask at all?!

It's all been for naught. Our keyboards... useless, now.

Re:Finances & Conflict (5, Interesting)

Duffy13 (1135411) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218593)

Actually, bots usually play much much worse then real players. However, they have the benefit of being able to run all the time. The trade off is it may take longer to accomplish a level, but you don't actually have to sit there for it.

Re:Finances & Conflict (5, Insightful)

Jim_Maryland (718224) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219053)

Actually, bots usually play much much worse then real players.

While leveling my priest alt, I ran several instances with players (amazingly mostly hunters...guess the "huntard" term is more appropriate than I had expected) that I would argue are worse than bots.

I think the damage to the game is that by allowing the economies to be influenced by bots and players to gain a high level character without actually learning to play it, real players become disappointed with the game. While playing a character doesn't necessarily make you a good player when you hit level 70, it certainly helps. I could sell my mage (wearing a lot of T6 gear) to a new player to the game and I'm sure people could easily tell that they have no clue how to play. If the server were heavily populated by "bad" players, I'd either transfer to another realm or quit playing the game. This is one of the forms of damage that Blizzard can claim (not sure if they can back it up, but at least they can claim it).

Re:Finances & Conflict (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218605)

That a computer can play the game better than a human is a good sign of a bad game

It's not that the computer can play WoW better, it's that it can play it continuously for hours on end. Glider is a farming program primarily. You set it up, go to work or school or whatever, and when you come home you're 2000g richer.

What you're missing (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218837)

is that WoW killed this for the wrong reasons.

The ability to set this to run completely unattended? BAD. I totally agree that botting is no good, it's killed a lot of MMO's.

However, the ability to set this up to do ordinary tasks for users who have disabilities would be GOOD. It would enlarge the potential WoW audience. I'm not saying make it fine as-is, I'm saying that a "semi-unattended" setup where people playing the game just set up and monitor their macros isn't any worse than the normal mode of play (hell, wasn't that the entire control system of Final Fantasy 12?).

A lot of potential WoW players (potential gamers in general, actually) have problems. Someone who has partial paralysis or has had a hand/arm amputated has trouble using the standard game controllers. Now think about the game systems that get around this. If you've got two good legs, you can do DDR or Wii Fit without arms. If you only have one good arm, you can use the Wiimote and at least 50% of the Wii's games (though you still can't play Zelda). On the other hand, if you go near the Xbox360 or PS3, you're pretty much fucked.

Older titles didn't have this problem. If you have one hand, or even one of those face-stick setups with a single button, you can play Space Quest, King's Quest, and probably map the joystick to play single-button arcade games. If you have a working thumb and two fingers, you can get a two-button joystick and play NES titles.

Do I really care if someone who has disability problems, or even carpal tunnel, is able to set off macros to do the same thing I would do in multiple steps? Not really. I can still group with them, or play the game without them.

For some reason, however, the WoW designers don't want disabled gamers playing their game. They have ignored REPEATED entreaties from the disabled community to program in ways to make it feasible for disabled gamers to play. For quite a few, programs like WoW Glider were the fix. This is just one more symptom of the gaming industry not getting it when it comes to making their titles and systems accessible.

Re:Finances & Conflict (1)

mjeffers (61490) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218677)

I still don't really see the motivation. That a computer can play the game better than a human is a good sign of a bad game.

Exactly, which is why no one in the world continues to play that terrible game called Chess after Deep Blue beat Kasparov.

Re:Finances & Conflict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25218809)

Deep Blue had pure luck

Re:Finances & Conflict (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218701)

I agree with you, but their subscriber count suggests that it is an effective way to make money.

Re:Finances & Conflict (1)

mrrudge (1120279) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218533)

Hey !
Mindless ? How dare you, a murloc ate my father, mother, brother and sister.

And they will pay.

Re:Finances & Conflict (2, Insightful)

Uniquitous (1037394) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218571)

Why the flaming fugg would I pay for software to play a game for me, while also paying a subscription fee for access to the game itself? Man, I'm not saying all MMO'ers are retards, but sometimes it seems that way.

Re:Finances & Conflict (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218725)

It's exactly the same kind of people that cheat in other games, they want the reward but they don't want to put in the effort so they cheat.

Having a program grind for you in an MMO is no different from typing in a money cheat in an rts.

Re:Finances & Conflict (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219153)

Except that in an RTS the struggle to gain money is part of the game that makes the rest a struggle and rewarding, whereas in WoW it seems like it's the whole game, and you're gonna get beaten by people who can dedicate more hours to it than is sane.

Re:Finances & Conflict (4, Funny)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219023)

Why the flaming fugg would I pay for software to play a game for me, while also paying a subscription fee for access to the game itself?

Perhaps you're a sociocyberpath. You see, normal people empathize with their computer, and feel bad at what all they put the poor machine through. So they give it the enjoyment of mindless repetitive tasks in a virtual environment with others of its kind, all without some stupid and demanding user sitting there at the keyboard. It's "computer time." How sad that you can't imagine this simple kindness.

Re:Finances & Conflict (1, Informative)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218351)

Why are players bothering with online games that can be manipulated by manipulating the local client's RAM? Isn't the whole point of "Online" supposed to make client side vulnerabilities moot?

That would work for most online games where the character interaction is limited to 10-30 people at once. However with a MMORPG like WoW that, while partially instanced, definately places the emphasis on 'massive-multiplayer'. The computing power required to perform all of the positioning, calculation, and then the bandwidth to report that information to several thousand clients at once would be astronomical.

In the end, especially with PC and not console based gaming, there will always be a security gap that can be exploited. If you are giving a person the information necessary to draw their enemies position, their own position, there will always be some amount of that which can be exploited. Especially when the exploitation is something as simple as 'bot software'. Given Point A, Point B and a method to input ways to interact or travel between those two points, you will never be able to lock it down without completely locking down the client computer.

Re:Finances & Conflict (5, Insightful)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218263)

In the end, he could claim he was just selling software that users happened to use to violate Blizzard's TOS and EULA with. I've heard the same arguments about BitTorrent and would probably side with the software makers in this case ...

It's not the same as BitTorrent at all. BitTorrent has legitimate, legal uses. Glider can only be used, and can only have been developed, in violation of The WoW licence. People don't just happen to use it to violate the licence, the very thing Glider is designed to do is in violation of the WoW license.

Re:Finances & Conflict (2, Insightful)

autocracy (192714) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218773)

Mostly, I think, "So what?" Glider has no reason to be bound to the agreement, and I still can't see a basis for the damages. Violate the agreement, get kicked off their server.

This comment [slashdot.org] does a good job of quantifying Blizzard's argument... but this is still much more a user problem. Don't I wish I could sue anybody who ever pissed me off in a game and made me not want to play.

Maybe open a restaurant, and sue anybody who revs their engine on a motorcycle for causing a loss of profit and damaging the reputation of my restaurant (ooh, bunch of Harley guys hang there). Profit. :)

(For whatever it's worth, I ride a motorcycle)

Re:Finances & Conflict (3, Interesting)

Wildclaw (15718) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219085)

Mostly, I think, "So what?" Glider has no reason to be bound to the agreement, and I still can't see a basis for the damages. Violate the agreement, get kicked off their server.

Read up on tortious interference.

Willfully helping someone to violate a contract is often illegal. And that is where the fact that the functionality sold that people use to violate the contract doesn't have any secondary legal functionality, making the intention clear.

But the licenseee is not Glider.... (1)

brunes69 (86786) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219047)

The licensee is you, or the player of the game, not Glider.

They are just making software. If you USE it then YOU are violating the license, not them.

It is not like they signed a development license with Blizzard.

Re:But the licenseee is not Glider.... (1)

Tridus (79566) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219275)

Read the comment directly above yours about tortious interference. Here, I'll quote it:

"Read up on tortious interference.

Willfully helping someone to violate a contract is often illegal. And that is where the fact that the functionality sold that people use to violate the contract doesn't have any secondary legal functionality, making the intention clear."

Re:Finances & Conflict (3, Insightful)

Hoi Polloi (522990) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218275)

I'd support glider if it meant automated farmers were pushing more high need items like primals onto the market and pushing down their price and increasing availability in the process.

Re:Finances & Conflict (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218429)

Primals are more constrained by the scarcity of mobs that drop them, and the relative abundance of items that need them...If you can only obtain n primals through farming the mobs that drop them at 100% efficiency, and the demand would stablize at 2n primals, you're basically screwed, and the price is going to remain high, and the supply low.

Re:Finances & Conflict (3, Insightful)

StoatBringer (552938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218979)

The problem is that if you can't afford to buy primals, you have to farm them up yourself. Which takes a lot longer than it should if a couple of bots are farming them 24/7.

It's also very annoying when you realise that you have to spend several boring hours grinding mobs but the bot-user just fires it up, goes out for the day, and comes back to several bags full of precious primals (and no doubt the odd blue or purple item as well).

Re:Finances & Conflict (5, Informative)

The Empiricist (854346) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218433)

And there's your sticky issue, what exactly are the damages.

From the court order [uscourts.gov] itself (which you can download for about $0.40) there were a set of undisputed facts:

1. MDY began selling Glider on June 14, 2005. Through September 10, 2008, MDY has sold approximately 120,000 licenses for Glider. The amount of gross revenues received by MDY from the sale of Glider from June 14, 2005 through September 10, 2008 is approximately $3.5 million dollars.
2. Blizzard spends at least $942,614.57 per year responding to customer complaints as to bots generally and implementing a bot enforcement program to decrease the number of bots in the game. Glider represents the large majority of bots used in connection with World of Warcraft.
3. Between December 22, 2004 and March 18, 2008, Blizzard received more than 465,000 in-game petitions from users complaining about bots. Several thousand of these petitions mention Glider by name. Blizzard has continued to receive complaints about bots generally, and Glider specifically, after March 18, 2008.

There were also a set of disputed facts and legal conclusions:

1. That MDY and/or Donnelly's conduct caused harm to Blizzard both in the form of the direct expenses used to combat Glider use and infringement, as well as in the form of lost subscription revenue, lost profits, and harm to Blizzard's goodwill and reputation.
2. That Blizzard's damages expert would testify that the lost subscription revenue and harm to Blizzard's goodwill and reputation can be quantified to exceed $20 million dollars.
3. That MDY and/or Donnelly's conduct was willful and wanton and an award of the highest amount of statutory damages--$2,500 per sale of the Glider software--would be appropriate.
4. That Blizzard is entitled to an award of punitive damages against MDY and Donnelly for their intent to cause injury to Blizzard or because they were motivated by spite or ill will or because MDY and Donnelly acted to serve their own interests, having reason to know and consciously disregarding a substantial risk that their conduct might significantly injure Blizzard.

It looks like the $6M are actually stipulated damages. That is, both parties have agreed that if there are to be any damages, they will be $6M exactly. Issues of liability can still be appealed. But, issues of what the damages should be are no longer in dispute. This means that Blizzard and MDY can both keep their legal costs down. Instead of sniping about damages (spending $10 to prove $1 in damages), they can keep their lawyers arguing a handful of core legal issues.

Re:Finances & Conflict (1)

Sloppy (14984) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219209)

1. MDY began selling Glider on June 14, 2005. Through September 10, 2008, MDY has sold approximately 120,000 licenses for Glider.

No wonder MDY lost. They should have disputed that point. They should have said they sold 120,000 copies of their software. Not licenses. Copies.

They played right into Blizzard's hand with that, and helped the judge to adopt the twisted view that copyright applies to software in a fundamentally different way than it applies to every other type of copyrightable product. Nobody ever even heard of people buying licenses for their books or music or movies, but along comes Blizzard's software... Oops, and MDY's software too. Way to go, MDY, teaching the courts that software is a special case despite the lack of legislation making it so. Set another precedent for us too. Gee, thanks.

Re:Finances & Conflict (1, Insightful)

Wooky_linuxer (685371) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218615)

I don't see the conflict. In fact, I think this case is ridiculous. A game should be fair? Ok, I am all for that. But simply building a tool that allows people to play unfairly does not constitute a crime or a civil offense. It might be immoral, but then my moral may be different of yours. Perhaps if you were in a tournament and someone uses a cheat, you could sue the cheater (and not the developer of the cheat, unless he happens to be the same person) for damages. But Blizzard? What damages did they had?

Besides, I don't see how he could have infringed their copyright since he doesn't distribute the game. If people cannot meddle with their own RAM because what's in there is protected by IP laws, we live in a very fucked world already.

Re:Finances & Conflict (3, Interesting)

The Only Druid (587299) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218775)

I don't see the conflict. In fact, I think this case is ridiculous. A game should be fair? Ok, I am all for that. But simply building a tool that allows people to play unfairly does not constitute a crime or a civil offense. It might be immoral, but then my moral may be different of yours. Perhaps if you were in a tournament and someone uses a cheat, you could sue the cheater (and not the developer of the cheat, unless he happens to be the same person) for damages. But Blizzard? What damages did they had?

Besides, I don't see how he could have infringed their copyright since he doesn't distribute the game. If people cannot meddle with their own RAM because what's in there is protected by IP laws, we live in a very fucked world already.

I don't think you read the documents involved (including the stipulated damages issues already posted here).

Basically, Blizzard isn't just selling the software to users, but also the ongoing experience of the MMO which involves not only operating the servers and updating software, but also ensuring that the use of the software by legitimate customers isn't interrupted by illegitimate users.

A tremendous number of players find themselves disrupted by these Glider bots, and that's the damage.

Re:Finances & Conflict (2, Interesting)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218647)

But on the other hand, does it really ruin the game if someone magically goes from 1 to 70 in two weeks without working for it?

If the in-game economy depends on players, then yes it does potentially damage you. MMORPGs have economic systems built into them which usually work like real-world systems - prices depend on scarcity of items, among other things. So if automated playing makes rare items readily available, the economy changes.

For a normal player, this might result in the game "not working" anymore. If game progress requires gold, and most of the ways to gain gold depend on the economy being intact, e.g. you being able to loot, or craft, rare items and sell them for good value, then that part of the game might break down for you, and with it everything that depends on you having enough gold available.

On the other hand, game balance in PvP games might also become problematic. I stopped playing Guild Wars when not having all-green (green being the rarest item category) equipment had become a kind of mark. If everyone has a full set of "unique" items, they aren't unique at all.

My own game, for example, includes code that does actually limit the number of unique items - the more there already are in the world, the less the chance that a new one can be found. Which, on the other hand, also requires that items deteriorate over time and then vanish from the game - something that not every MMORPG player will want to happen with his equipment. (my game isn't a MMORPG and the items not very important, so it works in that context.)

As you can see, it can have quite extensive effects.

Re:Finances & Conflict (1)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219249)

I have not seen an athelete sued for damages over using performance enhancing drugs. This appears the same to me. Yet blizzard is suing for damages.

Re:Finances & Conflict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25218993)

BitTorrent has legitimate legal uses, and indeed is very heavily used for legal content distribution. That what makes it important for a BitTorrent issue to be about how the user chooses to use it.

Glider is designed from the ground up to perform a task that is specifically against the rules, and has no other use.

Basically, BitTorrent is a screwdriver. If a user stabs someone with a screwdriver, the screwdriver manufacturer can say "uhhh... they were supposed to use it for screws, and maybe opening the occasional paint can." Glider is more like a molotov cocktail. When the user sets something on fire with it, they're using it as intended.

Re:Finances & Conflict (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25219061)

But on the other hand, does it really ruin the game if someone magically goes from 1 to 70 in two weeks without working for it?

I hope not, otherwise you better avoid reading about the blizzard recruit a friend policy that lets players do essentially that.

The real problem for me is that the only part of wow that any real work goes into is endgame. Getting there feels like a chore because once you're there its all the same anyways.. decisions made at level20 have no impact on you at level 70 so you're almost encouraged to just rush through it asap, and at that point bots can do it faster or more mindlessly.

Re:Finances & Conflict (1, Flamebait)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219183)

If Blizzard is as shitty as you say in your last statement, WHY THE FUCK DO PEOPLE PLAY THE STUPID GAME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!?

I mean, really now. GO OUTSIDE.

--Toll_Free

Re:Finances & Conflict (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219199)

And there's your sticky issue, what exactly are the damages. I hate this because if I know it's happening, it ruins WoW for me. But on the other hand, does it really ruin the game if someone magically goes from 1 to 70 in two weeks without working for it? I might be jaded that I had to put in hours of muscle distrophying arthritis inducing clicking to get there ... but what's different now? So another player has more gold or resources, it's a tiny leg up in that game as the best items are won in PVP or require meticulous PVE to acquire.

As a player, I want Blizzard to combat this crap at every step. If something is allowed to become too popular it becomes more-or-less necessary in order to play the game.

A good example is the CT Raid Assist mod. Makes raiding much, much easier. It's legal, doesn't break any of Blizzard's rules. And it has become insanely popular over the years. These days it is generally considered necessary for raiding. Any guild I've raided with recently actually requires you to have CT Raid Assist (or a similar/compatible mod) installed in order to raid with them.

Now, this isn't a problem, because CTRA is free. Just download it, install it, done! But if something like MMOGlider was allowed to grow, flourish, and become popular - it could easily reach the point where it is almost necessary to install MMOGlider in order to remain competitive. Everyone else out there will have their characters autonomously farming cash 24/7 and prices will skyrocket. Mere mortals who cannot farm all day long wouldn't be able to afford anything at all. I don't want to be virtually forced to purchase 3rd-party software just to play a game.

From Blizzard's standpoint, I think it can be evaluated in a more mathematical way.

There's probably some real cap on how much money or xp it is possible to earn in an hour. Say the best possible critter out there drops 10g a kill...and you can kill one a minute...so that gives you roughly 60g (or xp, or whatever) in an hour. So this means that you could theoretically earn 1440g in one day.

But I doubt if Blizzard ever intended for their players to remain logged in 24/7. They probably assumed that the game would be played by human beings who need to eat, sleep, and go to the bathroom. They probably counted on something more like 12/7. Which means that their calculations have all been thrown out the window. People are achieving things (money, items, levels) in something like half the time they were supposed to. And with a subscription-based game like WoW, time is very literally money.

Let's say that Blizzard figures it'll take the average player a month to get to level 70, then another month to get some halfway-decent gear, then another month to save up for an epic flying mount, then another month of farming reputation. That's four months, at $15 a month, or $60 income for Blizzard. With MMOGlider theoretically cutting that time in half, Blizzard is out $30.

Re:Finances & Conflict (1)

SL Baur (19540) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219267)

But on the other hand, does it really ruin the game if someone magically goes from 1 to 70 in two weeks without working for it?

"Players" who do that will quickly find no one to play with as they have never learned to play the game.

But as to farming, yes it spoils the game. On the server I play on, raw mats tend to cost more than the finished crafted goods I produce out of them. Not to mention general inflation in the AH.

Desperation (3, Insightful)

suso (153703) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218071)

Actually, from playing WoW for 2 months now (through Wine no less), I'm not too surprised that MMOGlider made a good deal of money. Seeing the desperation of a
lot of players, I wouldn't be surprised people would pay $25 for this thing. I probably would too if it was allowed by Blizzard.

Re:Desperation (5, Insightful)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218123)

World of Warcraft - A game so fun that people pay for programs to play it for them.

Re:Desperation (5, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218173)

World of Warcraft - A game so fun that people pay for programs to play it for them.

You're telling me! I can't wait for World of World of Warcraft [theonion.com] to come out! I'm going to roll a 90 lb famished Chinese man working for pennies an hour!

Re:Desperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25218951)

I have spent 32 days of my life leveling my Human Paladin to level 67, yes... 67. I'm not done yet. Help me. Please...... my fingers, my fingers.....

Re:Desperation (1)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218217)

World of Warcraft - A game so fun that people pay for programs to play it for them.

Or a game with a company behind it that prefers players to actually play, rather than automate and sell gold.

But hey! maybe it's all down to interpretation.

Re:Desperation (1)

Jaysyn (203771) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218405)

Uh, no. The parent poster specifically said that *after two whole months* of playing WoW he wouldn't mind using it to avoid the despairing grind of WoW. He didn't say a damn thing about gold bots.

Re:Desperation (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218607)

Or a game with a company behind it that prefers players to actually play, rather than automate and sell gold.

One could argue that if that was the purpose of the game, they should have made it more fun and profitable to play than to automate and sell gold.

Stopping bots is easy enough, e.g. by adding forced NPC conversations with an ever-changing phrase list.

Re:Desperation (1)

bonkeydcow (1186443) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218717)

Uh no, you can kill mobs all day without talking to an NPC. No offense, well maybe a little, but you should actually know something about the subject matter before commenting on it.

Re:Desperation (1)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218849)

Uh no, you can kill mobs all day without talking to an NPC. No offense, well maybe a little, but you should actually know something about the subject matter before commenting on it.

No offense, but you should actually read what you reply to a bit more carefully before replying. Let me repeat what I said:

"Stopping bots is easy enough, e.g. by adding forced NPC conversations with an ever-changing phrase list."

Talking to NPCs was an example of things that can be done to prevent automation, not something that is done. What part of "e.g. by adding" was it you didn't understand?

Re:Desperation (1)

TheGeniusIsOut (1282110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219119)

Just require players to solve a captcha every hour or be disconnected, with another required on reconnect after failing. Give them 5 minutes to answer if they are in combat. Problem solved.

Re:Desperation (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218345)

I played WoW for a long time (by my standards). It's not too bad to level your character up to 70, and the raid game is entertaining; requires a lot of strategy and some decent skills.

The problem for me is that the game only really rewards time committed. Nothing else. If you put in a ton of time, you get all the rewards.

Glider really exposes that. It is a program that doesn't have any particular skills beyond the ability to spend 24/7 playing the game.

Re:Desperation (3, Insightful)

arth1 (260657) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218443)

World of Warcraft - A game so fun that people pay for programs to play it for them.

Indeed. It's not like the game becomes more fun after leveling up -- the satisfaction you get each time you level up and each time you find new loot that's better than what you have is the fun. Each time you are being conditioned with a reward, and move into unknown territory. Many gamers even start a new character once they get to a high level because such a large part of the fun is in advancement.

I think a large part of the griefers are people who have power-levelled, and are really bored when they find out that the game isn't fundamentally different at a higher level -- you are stronger, but so is the enemy. Only other players who haven't advanced yet are weaker.

That said, I don't think a tool like this should be illegal. Not any more than a car that can drive at 180 mph should be illegal. But using it on a road with a speed limit is another issue. It's easier for Blizzard to go after one guy than a hundred thousand, but it's still the hundred thousand who willingly broke the "speed limit" and should get the fine. If this program is unavailable, they'll find another. Perhaps one made by someone anonymous and outside Blizzard's jurisdiction. Will that be any better?

My suggestion to Blizzard: Set up a server where bots and similar are allowed, and police better against them on the main servers. Even work with the developers of such programs so you can identify them if used on the main servers. Lend them insight into the code if they sign an NDA and contract stating that Blizzard will be given means to identify the software when (and only when) used on the main servers against the TOS.

But going after the guy with a lawsuit like this isn't going to stop the phenomenon. It's going to ruin one person's life completely, and create a fair bit of animosity.
Plus, it's a misuse of the court system, which has too much to do already.

Re:Desperation (1)

jbezorg (1263978) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218927)

That said, I don't think a tool like this should be illegal. Not any more than a car that can drive at 180 mph should be illegal....

The problem with this analogy is that the car in question can only go 180 mph on a specific road that has a posted speed limit of less. While I may have an issue with a program in memory being protected by copyright, the following quote from the article removes most of the doubt for me in this case.

"It was also helped by an admission in court that it would be reasonable to pay some form of damages."

Re:Desperation (2, Insightful)

Phrogman (80473) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219101)

Setting up a separate server would do nothing. The people who use this sort of software seem to be using it:

* To save time, they are too busy to level up a character and just want to get to top level so they can "play the game". These people miss the point that the game *IS* the leveling up and any end game is a bonus.
* They want to get to top level and get whatever advantage they can so they can be dominant over other people - suggesting they all play on a server where they all do that is counterproductive. Its not the griefer mentality.
* Cheating at a game is a sign of poor sportsmanship (a lost concept these days it seems). If someone is willing to cheat at a game, can you trust them to agree to play on a particular server where is not cheating?

I am glad they sued the living shit out of this guy and hopefully they bankrupt him. Next up they should go after his customer lists and sue the crap out of them as well. Cheating should not be tolerated, period. That leaves the rest of us who play MMOs legally to enjoy our balanced and fair gameplay if we can find it.

No I don't actually play WOW, I thought it sucked very badly, but I am tired of seeing people cheat/exploit in games and not get punished for it when they are caught.

Re:Desperation (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218553)

Well there is always Eve, which has character progression while your offline.

So while you might need other programs to play WOW for you you don't need one for Eve, in fact it seems they don't want you to actually play it.

Re:Desperation (1)

Tom (822) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218783)

As a matter of fact, Eve's concept has always struck me as an excellent choice for more casual players (like me).

I've got a life, you know? The one that includes a job, a girl, and activities that don't involve computers. There's no way I can compete with school kids who start playing at 2pm and stop playing when mommy shuts down power at 1am - every day. That's fine with me, I don't have to proof I'm cool in a fantasy world. But it does kind of bug me that I can't play with many others who fall in that category, that I always have to find new groups to go questing with, because the old friends from last week are now several levels ahead of me.

In Eve, they wouldn't be. They'd have gained some money in the meantime, and some stuff, but not advanced beyond compatability.

At the same time, it did bug me in Eve that no matter how good I am, I can never catch up to someone who started playing a year before me.

So it all has its good and bad sides.

Re:Desperation (1)

BeNJ-GoS (592137) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218181)

I'm sorry, i don't understand that.
i've been playing for over 2 years now, granted i don't play every single day since i also have other life related things to do, but i'm still not bored with the game.
Yes, sometimes when you need to kill 30 of this and 20 of that it can get a little old, but that's why i have 7 chars, i just re-log and go do something else.
also, if i get bored, i just go do some battlegrounds for a while.
people seem to have a notion that the point of the game is to reach level 70 (soon to be 80) as soon as they possibly can, i don't think that's the case, the game is so full of things to do before reaching end game raids, why hurry? i can easily take months to level a char and enjoy the whole way up...

but that's just my opinion...

Re:Desperation (1)

jbezorg (1263978) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219147)

People play MMOs for many different reasons besides leveling. Lot of players I know in WoW collect the pets.

Heck, I've heard of some players in SWG that competed against one another trying to collect full sets of junk drops (e.g. All the various colors of the junk wire spool ). From what I heard, some of the junk had an extremely low drop rate and were in fact harder to get than the better weapons.

Re:Desperation (1)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218185)

I agree. I played briefly on a 40x experience pirate server and found the leveling to be a tad slow. Playing on the live servers was horrifyingly slow.

But all this program did was run you from place to place, no? (At faster speed, I think, too.) If running from place to place is such a tedious and repetitive task, Blizzard should have implemented changes that drove these people out of business and pleased their customers, rather than sueing and pissing everyone off.

Then again, they're still the King of MMOs, so maybe they aren't too wrong about how to make the game right. I did play longer on the live servers than the pirate ones.

Re:Desperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25218307)

I agree. I played briefly on a 40x experience pirate server ...

I think the word you're looking for is 'private' as the private servers are where people replicate what the Blizzard servers do.

Pirate servers are where everyone starts with this [thottbot.com] .

Re:Desperation (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218853)

How it worked was that you told it to go a certain path and it would kill everything it saw, skin everything it could and gather anything it happened to cross. Basically it was able to play the entire game for you lvl 1-70 and at 70 it could make you gold.

Re:Desperation (1)

Lord_Pain (165272) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218235)

Desperation... so people are being forced to play a game that they consider so uninteresting that they have to buy a $25 piece of software to endure the game... riiiight.

I find it breath taking the amount of excuses and spin coming from folks who used this kind of product.

Re:Desperation (3, Insightful)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218241)

It isn't so much desperation, but rather the annoyance that the longer this game goes on, the more you are pigeon-holed into your first character choice.

Lets say you want to try a new character now, you better hope that you have the support of your guildmates/friends because it will take a good player 5-6 days to level that character to 70. And that is if you do nothing but grind the character up. So you don't build any of the relationships that you normally would when leveling a character normally and at a reasonable pace. You are banking on using that character with your already established guild relations.

I can't imagine what it will be like when the level cap is raised to 80. The old content is barren enough as it is, now we will have a fairly empty outlands as well. That is unfortunate because a good many of the later quests are group quests which even now are hard as hell to gather a group for. So the game will soon be a 70 level pure grindfest for anyone interested in trying something new or joining the game. Then, add on the rep/gear grinds once you catch up to your friends again.

To paraphrase Chris Rock, I'm not saying I agree with people who use MMOGlider, but I understand.

Re:Desperation (1)

twosmokes (704364) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218479)

Now is a great time to level new characters to 70. With the expansion right around the corner you don't have to go through the gear grind at level 70. It'll all get replaced once the expansion hits anyway. I've pulled a few ~40s off the shelves and plan on hitting 70 with them (along with some friends) before the expansion comes. The expansions are great since they effectively reboot your first character choice. We're all level 1 (70) again!

Re:Desperation (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218945)

That is exactly what I did. I've moved my character to 70, bought him his mount, and shelved him. 3 days into the expansion he will end up with better gear than I could earn him doing any of the content that exists right now.

Maybe. I am enjoying Warhammer Online quite a bit.

Re:Desperation (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218589)

I noticed that when I was grinding my second lvl 70; it was about a zillion times harder to get a group for a group quest than it had been for the first character...We're talking the 60->70 grind here, not the 1->70.

I can't frankly imagine what it must be like in the 1-60 right now, even with the massive boost to gained XP. Just skip the instances and the group quests, because there is just no point.

Re:Desperation (1)

IndustrialComplex (975015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219027)

I noticed that when I was grinding my second lvl 70; it was about a zillion times harder to get a group for a group quest than it had been for the first character...We're talking the 60->70 grind here, not the 1->70. I can't frankly imagine what it must be like in the 1-60 right now, even with the massive boost to gained XP. Just skip the instances and the group quests, because there is just no point.

Level to 15, do the deadmines. (chances are, someone will be running through it with a 70 friend)
Level to 30-35, do the scarlet monestary. That place is always busy.
Level 40-45, Zul Farrak
Level 50-52, BRD, Sunken temple.

Then grind to 58, go to outlands and experience real XP.

Thankfully outlands has enough group quests to push you to 70, because there are very few people that even bother with the level 60-65 instances anymore.

As I said in my previous post, I'm loving Warhammer Online right now because the PvP gives you XP.

Finances have nothing to do with awards (4, Informative)

gmezero (4448) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218093)

They might not have a penny to them. That has no relation to the award made by the court.

Re:Finances have nothing to do with awards (1)

Kramer80 (1366733) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218961)

Right. I doubt Blizzard ever thought they would collect. This is about deterring the next guy.

That Kind of Cash? (1)

autocracy (192714) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218111)

Quick math using numbers from TFA:

$25 * 100,000 = $2.5 million

Seems they've been ordered to pay more than twice the revenue they've ever taken in. Unless the company has some other product to prop this judgment up... well, oopsie.

In other news... (1)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218127)

MMO Glider sued Blizzard for trying to decrease the amount of grinding in WoW, thereby depriving them of sales.

Gold Farming (4, Funny)

mrroot (543673) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218137)

Mostly I'm amazed that MMOGlider had that kind of cash.

Maybe they just used their own application to farm some more gold. Just a thought.

Unbelieveable! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25218139)

To be honest, I can't believe this went this far...

I guess the guy made way more cash than many people expected, but that is still an exhorbitant sum. TFA says he sold an estimated 100,000 copies, at $25 per copy, and that's only $2.5 million... And Blizzard wanted to (and still wants to) double or triple the damages amount. Where's the guy get all his cash?

Correction: (3, Funny)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218153)

$5.99994 Million.

Their pissing on everyone's right and the concept of computer ownership to punish one douchebag means they'll be selling one less copy of D3.

100000 bots sold (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25218155)

6 million paid. That's $60 per bot. How much is that thing?

Damages, or Punishment to Hurt Imitators? (3, Insightful)

GaryPatterson (852699) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218193)

Surely the damages are more about stopping future Glider-type automators. Along the way, they'll bankrupt the company behind Glider, but that's less important than stopping game-automators.

conversion help (3, Funny)

Digitus1337 (671442) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218301)

US$6 million? How much is that in gold?

Re:conversion help (2, Informative)

atomic-penguin (100835) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218785)

Today that would be 567.98 troy pounds

Re:conversion help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25218793)

I don't play the game, but wouldn't that depend on what server you're on (based on my experience from other MMO's)??

Re:conversion help (2, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218861)

About two ounces.

Re:conversion help (2, Funny)

DolomiteZipper (768505) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218871)

about 6 million dollars worth

Re:conversion help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25219025)

US$6 million? How much is that in gold?

From http://www.xe.com/ucc/convert.cgi [xe.com],
$6million = 6810.96 XAU (Gold ounces)

Re:conversion help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25219043)

Current conversion rate is about 200gold to 1 dollar. So 1.2 Billion Gold.

I think that's almost enough to buy one of the new expansion mounts.

$6 million for a EULA/CoC violation? (1)

Carbon016 (1129067) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218303)

Oh man, they should do this more often. Bring everyone who names their character something obscene to court too.

So how long,,, (1)

anomnomnomymous (1321267) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218337)

So how long until other developers will follow?
On one hand I wouldn't mind getting all those cheatmakers too scared to create any more cheats (or at least refrain them from publicly releasing/selling them), on the other hand I'm still in doubt if the current verdict is any good (or at least, good enough to be the base of a precedent).

Then again, maybe developers could start developing with security in mi.... oh, never mind, sueing someone with hordes of lawyers is much easier.

A sad statement about grinding in WoW (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218487)

WoW has so much grinding (and so much of it is required to advance) that players need an automaton program just to advance without being bored out of their skulls.

Re:A sad statement about grinding in WoW (1)

Vagnaard (1366015) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218621)

Is that from someone who played the game?

Wow is no grind feast. Getting from one to 70 takes time, that's true, but a casual player can do it in less than three months, whithout having to grind its way to glory, just by doing the quests and playing with friends. If you want a grind feast, play the original everquest.

No, gliders are used by people who wants to Farm gold or level up characters for money.

# Bots are often used in Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Games to farm for resources that would otherwise take significant time or effort to obtain; this is a concern for most online in-game economies.

Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_bot [wikipedia.org]

Re:A sad statement about grinding in WoW (1)

WormholeFiend (674934) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218731)

I do enough grinding IRL to earn money as it is... Why would anyone want spend money to do grinding in a game is beyond my understanding.

Re:A sad statement about grinding in WoW (1)

djh101010 (656795) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218905)

Sorry, but if you're that bored with it, just give up - or consider that maybe you're doing it wrong.

So I never played WoW but I saw SouthPark. (1)

GlobalColding (1239712) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218649)

Does this Glider program kill the Boars for you?

Why I was never interested in WoW (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 5 years ago | (#25218707)

I've read comments here and seen comments from others that play WoW, and their comments share a common idea, "mindless" this or that. This mindless whatever is the exact reason I've never played the game. My question to those that play and feel that way, is if it's so tedious and so mindless why play in the first place?

If it's some sort of camaraderie you could get that from other games, flight sims, FPS, hell Second Life even.

Why waste the money monthly in support of a product you think is mindless?

Re:Why I was never interested in WoW (1)

swordgeek (112599) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219065)

"If it's some sort of camaraderie you could get that from other games, flight sims, FPS, hell Second Life even. "

Or even, in fact, from...REAL LIFE!

(I know, I'm talking crazy again. Forgot my meds this morning.)

However, your point is well taken.
"Why waste the money monthly in support of a product you think is mindless?"

I've never understood that either. I ground my way to the highest tier of armourcrafter in Dark Age of Camelot, the hard way. I didn't mind, although it was very slow. A coworker bought a cheat much like this one because it was too painful for him to level/craft without cheating. "WHY ARE YOU PLAYING THE #$(&# GAME THEN???" Even moreso, why are you creating a crafter character by cheating, when that's a completely optional trait? I eventually quit because the admins refused to deal with him.

Re:Why I was never interested in WoW (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25219111)

I've used the program, and it worked quite well. The main reason i used it is that sometimes the higher level content needs more of one class than you currently have online. You can use the bot to level up a character class you wouldn't normally be concerned with or actually like playing so in the event that the guild needs more priests for something you can use that character instead of your favorite class.

Re:Why I was never interested in WoW (1)

iceperson (582205) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219219)

WoW's not much different than everything else in life. I remember running wind sprints in football practice. Hated doing them, but I loved playing the game enough that I put up with the hours of work for the opportunity to play on Friday night. If I could have payed someone else to do the 2 a days and still had the same results in the end then you bet your ass I would have.

Re:Why I was never interested in WoW (0, Troll)

Toll_Free (1295136) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219263)

Because most gamers, are in fact, mindless.

Anyone that immerses themselves in a fake world, instead of interacting with other humans IN REAL LIFE for a majority of their time (daylight hours, so to speak), is, for the most part, some type of anti-social.

I lost a wife / family to online gaming. I STILL don't understand it, but she will continue to play that stupid game, spending a hundred or more dollars a month to Blizzard for multiple accounts (4 kids, her, new hubby, etc) not to mention the huge electric bills they pay for the 7 or 8 PCs in the house to run all the time...

Yup, gamers are the epitome of society?

Thank GOD my Mother didn't let me atrophy in front of my ColecoVision / Atari / Commodore / Apple

--Toll_Free

It's not about a computer playing for you (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25218715)

The point of the software is for the computer to play through the boring parts of the game for you. Now, your first grind from 1-70 might be fun. But after the first time to the top, the game loses a little magic.
And gold has always been just a pain in the ass to farm. Even with the daily quests, it's just not fun.
The main idea is that the program can do the leveling/farming for you, so you can just raid or PvP or whatever makes the game fun for you.

Car companies to sue GPS makers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25218955)

I own a BMW, made by a company that should sue Navigon because the device they made helped me automate my navigation and driving around the country.

Hurray (1)

mseeger (40923) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219031)

Hi,

"The makers of MMOGlider have been found in breach of the World of Warcraft terms of service and are forced to pay Blizzard $6M in damages."

Now surely Blizzard with come up with some payment for my frustration and lost fun due to the gold farmers. I already sent Blizzard my bank account details. I'm waiting guys.....

CU, Martin

appeal pending (3, Informative)

janopdm (1292860) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219179)

virtuallyblind [virtuallyblind.com] does the best coverage of the case. MDY itself keeps virtuallyblind up to date on their case.

There will be an appeal that MDY has to win on all counts to negate the damage judgement.

2. Blizzard shall not be entitled to double or triple recovery for counts I, II and III. That is, Blizzard shall be entitled to receive a total of $6,000,000 in damages for counts I, II and III. However, should liability on any one or two of the counts be reversed on appeal, any one of these counts independently supports the $6,000,000 award.

hypotethically .. (5, Interesting)

savuporo (658486) | more than 5 years ago | (#25219251)

I i had a real robot ( no i dont mean biped humanoid ) that would be able to play for me using a mouse, screen and a keyboard .. they would sue the company that made the robot ?

And its not that far fetched, as a hardware you need just a camera watching the TV, and two inputs to PS2 and USB ports on my puter ..

So where do they draw the line ?

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