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Blizzard Wields The Banhammer Again

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the ouch-they've-got-crusader-on-it dept.

142

Eurogamer reports that Blizzard is once again clearing house, and this time they mean business. From the article: "Blizzard has banned more than 5400 World of Warcraft players from the game for good as part of plans to clamp down on gold farming and cheating in general. A further 10,700 accounts have been suspended for 'participating in activities that violate the game's Terms of Use, including using third-party programs to farm gold and items.'"

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Population (-1, Troll)

the computer guy nex (916959) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121239)

Probably cut the Asian population in the game by half...

Re:Population (1)

popeguilty (961923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121270)

Man, that's an easier joke than I thought, I guess.

Wow (1)

popeguilty (961923) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121242)

Anyone else just hear a hideous scream from the direction of China?

Re:Wow (1)

twoallbeefpatties (615632) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121803)

No, actually, I couldn't hear the scream over the sound of thousands of other gold farmers furiously clicking their mice.

Frostypiss (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121250)

GOod going Blizzard!
Oh, btw... FROSTYPISS!

Epic weapons! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121256)

Now if only they'd use the "Make the Servers Work" hammer.

Re:Epic weapons! (5, Funny)

vertinox (846076) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121309)

Now if only they'd use the "Make the Servers Work" hammer.

When all you have is a "Ban" Hammer, all problems look like a Gold Farmer.

Fr0stY p1ss! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121271)

Yeah, I g0tz me teh fr0sty p1st!

ObTopic: "World of Warcraft, who needs a social life..."

Banhammer (4, Funny)

JigsJupeJive (956688) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121276)

Hunter Weapon!

Re:Banhammer (4, Funny)

Ignignot (782335) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121643)

OH MY GOD it is not just a hunter weapon you jerk because paladins can use +agil just as much because they need all the crit% that they can get! If I saw a hunter roll on a Banhammer I would be so pissed I would track him down and beat the crap out of him and also never group with him again and probably complain in the realm forums!

Btw what is the drop rate because I have been farming this thing for 3 days and it still hasn't dropped!

Re:Banhammer (1)

Z0mb1eman (629653) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122842)

Hunters can't use maces, you n00b! omgwtfbbq l2play kthxbai!

*blink*

What just happened? I think I had a flashback... *shudder*

boohoo (0, Offtopic)

Karrde712 (125745) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121282)

Why did I receive a ban notice from them?

I don't even have an account...

Re:boohoo (1)

Arcane_Rhino (769339) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121994)

Were you told that this ban oversight can be easily remedied if you just send $100 to a Nigerian bank account?

Encouragement for the survivers (5, Interesting)

sinner6 (884407) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121328)

Won't the farmers that survived the banhammer just be able to increase their prices, as their competitors are at least temporarly out of commision? Plus the supply of gold available for purchase is less so won't prices go up even more?

Re:Encouragement for the survivers (1)

Donniedarkness (895066) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121356)

Wouldn't the higher prices cause less people to buy the gold?

Re:Encouragement for the survivers (1)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121404)

The gold prices have been growing ever since Blizzard put in the "Get gold instead of experience at lvl 60" rule. I did a hand full of quests in Silithus and made over 60 gold in a couple hours. Just doing solo quests. The big group quests are worth even more.

Re:Encouragement for the survivers (1)

RingDev (879105) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121431)

Wouldn't that cause Gold prices to decrease though as supply increases?

-Rick

Re:Encouragement for the survivers (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121556)

Virtual economy has no such nonsense as supply and demand.They operate on basis of fads and prestige of having some trinkets while others strive to get them.Value doesn't shift unless
its "sucks" "out of fashion" or declared
crap.Supply is virtual too.
Playing these games is waste of time and (and unless you employ a computer farm dedicated to exploiting game economy) money.

fads & trinkets (1)

ajrs (186276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121906)

wait, are we talking about the US economy or the WoW economy?

Re:fads & trinkets (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122120)

This is Slashdot. Use your grey matter.

Re:fads & trinkets (1)

ajrs (186276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122254)

My grey matter tells me that once there is food in my belly and a roof over my head, anything else is fads & trinkets. Use your sarcasm meter.

Re:fads & trinkets (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122525)

something virtual has any relation with real material economy?
Fads and trinkets are
consumers preference,they don't shape the economy(Unlike MMORPGs).Unless masses diversify/reform the demand,supply is very stable.
In Games slight changes to values of some trinkets or game mechanics would
radically alter the economy.

Case of Diablo II(i don't play it anymore): Before the New Runewords,runes
would be priced very cheap,unless you had top runes and economy was based on uniques. Now the entire economy is based on runes.Reason:Patch added new runewords,that now offer unique level bonuses.

Re:fads & trinkets (1)

ajrs (186276) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122834)

you offer runes, I offer ring tones and itunes. Nothing but bits. I believe that the ring tone economy has eclipsed the CD economy. Reason: oh, shiney.

Information is free (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123083)

Trading information thats free to replicate is fundamentally wrong.
These commodities don't lose value because they replicated.They remain the same(except for sheeple that chooses to buy them).

What is different from original file? What is difference between Official Digital Copy of Ringtone/File/Song/Information you buy and a copy you make?

Re:Encouragement for the survivers (1)

Paradise Pete (33184) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122914)

Virtual economy has no such nonsense as supply and demand.

Of course they do. How could they not? If there's a market, there supply and demand. It's not optional.

They operate on basis of fads and prestige of having some trinkets while others strive to get them.

That would be the "demand" part.

Re:Encouragement for the survivers (1)

Frozen Void (831218) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123559)

Doesn't Blizzard can alter "demand" (and supply) simply by making your items change their attributes?
Don't a new exploit can make them worthless in a hour?
Much like Duping http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duping [wikipedia.org] demonstartes this there still people who belive game world items are having intrisic value(to ingame avatars?).These are just bits on Blizzard servers.
Information there is not Real (as in Existing) ,only our perception makes it have value and existance (like the Super swords of Dragon Slaying).
Much like paper money vs gold vs basic goods .Except: there is nothing to stop you(or a script) from getting more gold or trinkets.

Re:Encouragement for the survivers (1)

GmAz (916505) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121562)

Maybe. But if not as many people guy gold, the gold farmers need to make money to keep farming. So, they will have to raise prices to keep the income flowing.

Re:Encouragement for the survivers (4, Insightful)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121418)

It goes both ways. On the one hand, supply is going to drop, so prices are bound to go up. At the same time the reduction in the overall amount of gold will cause currency deflation which would suck for virtual trade balances, but should make stuff cost less.

All that is counter-balanced however by people who camp out the auction houses buying commodities that are "underpriced" and re-selling them at an inflated market value.

I always wondered if blizzard sends in people "undercover" to manipulate the gold supply to keep the economy going. There are certain facets that drain money out of supply...repair costs, mounts, everything bought from vendors, but it seems like that would be really difficult to fine-tune, without some occasional corrections.

Re:Encouragement for the survivers (1)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121741)

Yes, that's all they did in EQ whenever SOE bitchslapped them.

Haha, rich kids. (0, Flamebait)

Obsi (912791) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121343)

Do I hear the wails of thousands of rich kids crying becasue their sole source of gold got taken out, and becasue they suck so hard that they can't even farm SM Cath at LV 60 for their wares?

I do, indeed, hear those wails, begging for more Asian slaves^Wgold farmers to rise up and provide their spoilt selves with enough gold to buy all of Uprising on Dragonmaw epic mounts.

I also hear the screams and see the hair-ripping of said rich kids' parents becasue of the wailing of their immature little brats.

And yes, I've got the balls to post this non-AC :)

People said they wouldn't do this (1)

Hyperhaplo (575219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121353)

$54,000+ is a large chunk of change to be giving up for the 'good and moral path'

Re:People said they wouldn't do this (1)

code-e255 (670104) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121394)

They've been mass-banz0ring cheaters, hackers, exploiters, and gold sellers since beta. Who said they wouldn't do this?

It's always nice to read these announcements from Blizzard.

Re:People said they wouldn't do this (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121928)

'good and moral path'
While I'm happy Blizzard is taking this action, you do realize that all the gold farmers are just going to re-purchase the retail copy, right? So instead of paying 15 or whatever for one month, they're going to pay 50. Granted the stores and such get some of that, but it certainly looks good when thousands of copies are purchased in one day.

Re:People said they wouldn't do this (1)

Triskele (711795) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122450)

While I'm happy Blizzard is taking this action, you do realize that all the gold farmers are just going to re-purchase the retail copy, right?
Er no. Your account isn't linked to the retail copy it's linked to your credit card, so the gold farmers will in fact need to get new credit cards (ok not that hard, but harder). Persistent online games have a bit of an advantage here in keeping players straight as for most a ban is harder to circumvent.

Re:People said they wouldn't do this (1)

Binestar (28861) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122832)

One thing you're forgetting: "Game Cards"

Re:People said they wouldn't do this (1)

toleraen (831634) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122885)

Yes, because it's tough as hell to get a different credit card to use. Or like the person above me posted, game cards. Do you think anyone in that risky of a business would have their real name tied to their account? Hell, when I used to run ShowEQ back in the day I used it with an account based off game cards...and ShowEQ was near impossible to detect.

If you're purposely breaking the EULA, you watch your ass.

Re:People said they wouldn't do this (1)

oDDmON oUT (231200) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123141)

"Er no. Your account isn't linked to the retail copy it's linked to your credit card"

BZZZZT!

Hardly. You can buy the game with cash, and then there are those pesky monthly game cards [bestbuy.com] that you can purchase the same way, guaranteeing your anonymity.

They're going to get a catchy name like "analog hole" pretty soon too.

BTW, WoW expansion pack fans should take note of this link [bestbuy.com]

This time they mean buisness... (1, Insightful)

Laser_47 (234412) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121358)

5400/5M = 0.1% of the total population...

Blizz can't cut *too* deep into the bottom line.

Re:This time they mean buisness... (1)

Hyperhaplo (575219) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121427)

I just posted saying that $54,000 is a large chunk of change to be giving up.
You've just counteredd that point extremely well! Compared to the 5M other players.. yes.. this is just drop in the ocean. Here I was.. thinking that altruism may shine through.. when in reality they won't lose much at all.. and if these players are actually gold miners they will just create more accounts (meaning x2 or more times the money for the same period of time the banned accounts had left in them).

Any bets on them 'hammering' 10,000+ players?

In a related point.. how much time/effort/overhead is there in tracking them down? How come Blizzard doesn't just log how much cash is sent through the mail system or transferred from player to player? (perhaps that's how they found this lot and banned them)

Re:This time they mean buisness... (2, Insightful)

Intangion (816356) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122273)

would you be happier if they banned more like 50% or what?

what difference does the percentage of the total players make, as long as it is cutting down on the problem and not adversely effecting legit players thats fine

Re:This time they mean buisness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15122340)

You mean 0.01%.

Re:This time they mean buisness... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15122733)

You mean 0.01%.

Boy, good that you posted that as an AC. Be pretty embarrassing to have such a dumbass comment under your real history.

At least they have balls... (1)

ShyGuy91284 (701108) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121365)

Although Blizzard has been under a lot of scruteny lately for a variety of issues (sexual orientation prejudice, bad servers, etc.), I'm glad that they are still a company with the integrity to keep the game running fair at the loss of profit (since I don't think many players care if others cheat a bit, at least not to the point of quitting the game). At $12/mo for 12 months, that's a loss of over777,000 dollars from those 5400 players. Seems like many other companies would rather keep the money then keep the playing fair....

Re:At least they have balls... (1)

CarnivoreMan (827905) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121559)

This is a short-term loss but may end up providing more profits in the long run. It can severely detract from a game when you see cheaters and gold farmers peppered throughout. Now of course there are still farmers and cheaters in the game but the knowledge that Blizzard is actively smiting these evil-doers is a good moral boost for those playing/considering to play that appreciate an honest game.

I myself like seeing this happen, regardless of whether or not its a significant percentage of the actual problem. If I had to choose between two roughly equal competing games and one was banz0rzing teh r33t h4xx0rz, while the other was just ignoring them, I would definatly favor the one actively whippin out the banhammer.

Re:At least they have balls... (1)

Mufasa3245 (706965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122283)

mod parent down See the posts below for why this guy is wrong.

Re:At least they have balls... (1)

CarnivoreMan (827905) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123300)

I'm sure many will rebuy the game to resubscribe, but not all are going to. It will piss of a buttload of folk and they'll move on to something else. I cant say for sure one way or the other because people rebuying is a good point I hadnt thought of, but it still is very likely a short term profit loss.

Re:At least they have balls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121590)

Seems like many other companies would rather keep the money then keep the playing fair....

Like ?

Keep in account that if goldfarmers/cheaters are blatantly allowed to do their thing, alot of other (fairplaying) customers will leave: Don't think that Blizzard is doing this out of 'Integrity' (which they lost with the whole sexual orientation prejudice): It's purely business.

Re:At least they have balls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121947)

Like Sony? When's the last time you heard about Sony banning gold farmers from EverQuest of Final Fantasy Online?

It's news because Blizzard is actually taking an active stance of farmers, as opposed to other MMORPG companies that don't.

Re:At least they have balls... (1)

stanmann (602645) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122336)

Sony does it every day, the difference is, they don't need to blow their own horn, and they have an active appeal process for banned users, It would suck for them to announce that they banned 5k users, and they to have to oops, 2k of those weren't actually farmers.

Re:At least they have balls... (2, Insightful)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121624)

I'm glad that they are still a company with the integrity to keep the game running fair at the loss of profit

Riiiight. 5400 out of 5 million is less than 2% of the total "population". Add to this the fact that these accounts were probably causing a lot more strain on servers and support staff than average.

Oh, and "integrity" is not a word I'd use regarding Blizzard, at least not after bnetd and "the warden"....

Re:At least they have balls... (5, Insightful)

egburr (141740) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121702)

They won't be out any money. The farmers will have to buy a new copy of the game to get a new serial number. So, the regular monthly subscriptions will still be there, plus 5000 new $50 serials will be sold. Sounds like even more profit.

So, they are cancelling accounts using an excuse that many people will consider legitimate, causing the cancelled players to buy new accounts. How much is the farmer's profit compared to the cost of the new account?

If I were getting the money from the sale of new serial numbers, I'd keep banning the farmers every chance I had, too. :)

Re:At least they have balls... (0)

Mufasa3245 (706965) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122260)

mod parent up

Re:At least they have balls... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121975)

You're Blizzard. You face a decision that must be made: get rid of cheaters and macroers who are providing around $1m per YEAR in revenue, or watch your player base begin to erode. You know, the player base that is earning you $3m per DAY. You make the call.


Maybe a company that has become totally devoted to a quarterly report and is a slave to Wall St might be tempted to keep the cheaters, but any company with more than 2 brain cells in charge would drop the cheaters despite the probable revenue, seeing the long term effect as one of driving away other paying customers.

You see the same effect has taken place at restaurants like McDonald's, where smoking is no longer allowed. The company determined that smokers were keeping other paying customers away, so they fixed it.

It's rare that a metaphor comes so close to being true, but there ya go.


----------

Posted anonymously because real men don't care about karma.

why not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121376)

change the game experience so that you can't just stand at one spot and have creatures spawn over and over again? A giant Sloth with a 33% chance of dropping a Toe amulet of +12 charisma would only generate in a geographic area once per X amount of time. Or, have it randomly spawn throughout a realm. Why make the same thing spawn in the same place all the time? It really only makes sense that the same enemy would be in the same place if it's an instance and you can't camp it... but, I don't play WoW, so what the heck do I know.

Re:why not... (2, Informative)

Adam Whisnant (877421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121872)

The problem with farming gold and items is that often they're not camping one specific mob, but a small area.

Bind-on-Pickup items, like those won from bosses in dungeons, are worthless to a farmer; it can't be used by (or even go into the inventory of) anyone except the person who wins the loot roll for it. All you can do is sell it to a vendor for about 5g.

Bind-on-Equip epixxxx, which are the ones characters with no vowels in their names try to pawn off for about 800g, are almost entirely random world drops, which have a tiny chance to drop from anything in certain level range. This way, the farmer camping an area makes life miserable for anyone trying to complete a quest there, but there's not overwhelming 24-hour competition for one specific mob.

Re:why not... (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122836)

characters with no vowels in their names

Discriminating against characters from the parts of the game world equivalent to Eastern Europe (where vowels in many words have been eroded over time) or the Middle East (whose writing systems leave most vowels unwritten)?

Re:why not... (1)

Adam Whisnant (877421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122965)

When Hgf, Gprs, and Adsfhg will stop hawking their Foror's Compendiums every 15 seconds and actually respond to whispers, I'll stop assuming that they're farmers.

Re:why not... (1)

Adam Whisnant (877421) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122982)

Yes, the last one starts with a vowel, but you understand my meaning.

~0.2% is "clearing house"? (2, Insightful)

Helmholtz (2715) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121397)

"Blizzard is once again clearing house, and this time they mean business"

Maybe I'm just being cynical, but I think that there are significantly more than 0.2% of WOW accounts involved in "gold farming and cheating in general". It sure sounds significant to throw around numbers like five and ten thousand until you realize that the number of accounts is in the millions.

It sorta reminds me of when the politicos squawk about the financial carnage that a few million dollars will cause to the many billion dollar budget.

Re:~0.2% is "clearing house"? (2, Interesting)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122568)

"but I think that there are significantly more than 0.2% of WOW accounts involved in "gold farming and cheating in general"."

Really? how much evidence do you have? where are the hard numbers? whats that? you have no numbers? you just pulled that statement out of your ass?

Sure there are farmers in wow - but thinking that they are some measureable menace on the system is just fearmongering. people (especially on american servers ive noticed) LOVE to claim that the immigrants/farmers/non english speakers, are exploiting and farming and are the cause of everyones money problems.

There is a noticeable amount of hypocracy built into this idea. When an english speaker grinds for days to get some ultra rare drop, hes a hardcore game player and should be looked upon as someone who worked really hard for something that they wanted. But, when a non english speaker does the same, hes a farmer.
Blizzard is racist and overly cruel to its users. If you ever had to deal with GMs you would have realized this long ago. There is no farming conspiracy that is destroying wow. its all in peoples heads.

Re:~0.2% is "clearing house"? (1)

Retroneous (879615) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122865)

Yeah, I'm betting that all the eBay auctions and websites that trade in-game gold for cash are all in my head as well.

Plus, when someone says "I think"...it doesn't mean that they are saying that "THIS IS FACT!"

Re:~0.2% is "clearing house"? (1)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122994)

Pshh. I've been called a farmer before, and I'm as bland ass american white bread as they come; it's like a lot of "racial issues" that really boil down to the fact that you're pissing off some fourteen year old, and they don't have enough imagination to insult you without dipping into stereotypes.

Frankly, with WoW as with any other MMORPG, a certain amount of farming is inevitable. I farm mobs for gold. I farm mobs for experience. I farm them for rare drops, recipes, faction, fun, profit, amusement value, food products, cloth, trade goods, quests...It goes on and on and on. The only thing that makes me not a gold farmer is that I don't sell it online.

Re:~0.2% is "clearing house"? (1)

Braino420 (896819) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123039)

It's funny how you scold the parent for not including any "evidence" when you didn't show any for your little rant either.

I especially loved that tangent you went off on though, Blizzard being racist(very amusing). Thanks!

I'm curious (0, Redundant)

Cthefuture (665326) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121477)

Why don't they fix the game instead of banning these "cheaters"?

Now I don't play WoW or any MMORPG but I have played Quake and UT online and these are generally fixed with tools that help prevent cheating rather than just outright banning of everyone. I don't have a problem banning true cheaters but who says who is cheating and what constitutes "cheating" versus friendly taking advantage of the system. Seems like too many innocents or people just playing around could get banned. I mean mistakes can be made, there are no laws governing this, you're just gone. This is actually part of the reason why I don't play MMORPG's, I don't want to possibly waste money on something I can't control.

Re:I'm curious (2, Insightful)

Samurai Cat! (15315) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121588)

Ah, the typical all-devs-must-focus-on-one-thing-at-a-time mentality.

The misguided assumption that because one group is doing one thing (and publically), that another group isn't doing other work.

Re:I'm curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15122018)

No, the system just needs to be fair and banning someone without any recourse isn't fair since mistakes can be made.

Re:I'm curious (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121593)

The problem with this sort of thing is that most of these people aren't really "cheating." They are playing the game perfectly by the rules. The problem lies within weaknesses in the basic game mechanics; as long as it requires frequent, repetitive actions to improve your character, people will find a way to automate that process. If there are incredibly rare items in the game that everybody wants, there are people who will hunt for this item 24 hours a day and then sell it; and, of course, in order to get the money necessary to buy it, players will just buy that money online, because they don't want to press the same button a thousand times in order to get enough money. Fixing these problems requires making changes in the way the gameplay works; naturally, this upsets honest players who had come to rely on whatever had been changed, and so they resort to exploiting other weaknesses in order to keep their character adequate...

There's really no equivalent in games like Quake and UT. Players have no attachment to their characters; every few minutes, you restart with the same basic equipment and stats as everybody else. Even if the developers decide to change a particular game mechanic, it's not a problem, because the change affects everybody equally, and nobody has lost anything.

because its important. (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121644)

If you don't ban the cheaters you effectively encourage them. Look no further than Turbine's Asheron's Call. The game has a permanent exploiter haven stain over its head. Worse was the day a Turbine developer posted on their own forums that "combat macroing" was condoned. If you encourage one type of the cheating people will use that as an excuse for others.

As for fixing the game versus banning players. I am quite sure its different teams. The game CSR/GM group jobs only interact with developers on bugs and possibly for new tool requests. If anything banning these players may make for more time for the developers to fix the game.

Re:I'm curious (1)

ClamIAm (926466) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121742)

Now I don't play WoW or any MMORPG

This much is obvious. The fact here is that a lot of these accounts aren't "cheating", but rather violating the EULA/TOS/AUP (or whatever acronym Blizzard uses). I'm not certain, but I bet a lot of these accounts were used for gold farming, which while technically not cheating, has effects on the game economy, as well as creates a secondary economy for the game (this is probably the part they don't like).

Also, Quake/UT are quite a bit different. In those games, you have a large number of servers with a few players on each one. It's easier to set up a server where people can be trusted. Another huge difference is that FPSes are a lot less complex in terms of the amount of code used in gameplay.

MMOs are the exact opposite in both these regards. They have a small number of servers with a large number of players on each one. It's a lot harder to keep undesireable people from having a negative impact on the game. The code required for gameplay is also a lot more complicated, as a much larger amount of scripting takes place (tracking things like quest status, items/inventory, spells and abilities, environmental and skill effects, among others). All this extra code translates into more possible bugs.

Re:I'm curious (1)

Zatar (131299) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122014)

The fact here is that a lot of these accounts aren't "cheating"

How do you know? I bet a large number, perhaps all, of the "banned" accounts were banned for teleport hacking. The programs to do this have gotten very sophisticated and user-friendly and nearly every server has problems with people who do nothing but teleport around the world mining rich thorium veins and hanging around instanced dungeons teleporting to places where they can't be hit but can kill bosses from.

Here's a video of someone teleporting around Dire Maul. The UI on the hack is pretty impressive, although the resolution is too bad to see details: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-530519624 422454044&q=w [google.com]

I think the main reason they can't fix this is that they want their game to be playable in high latency conditions (virtually required with the load and network problems they are having) and so they can't really tell the difference between someone who lost their connection for 10 seconds and popped up somewhere new because they weren't reporting their position while they were moving and someone who just hacked their client into thinking it's somewhere else now.

Re:I'm curious (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15122495)

Other than, say, the fact that they moved too quickly or into an impossible location.

They should make it entertaining. (4, Interesting)

jbeaupre (752124) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121511)

Like creating some sort of grim reaper that starts chasing banned folks where ever they go, like in Gauntlet. Only it never gives up and if you're ever touched, you're dead, er, banned forever. Make it move at a nice steady pace so that everyone else is treated to some Pepe Le Pew style comedy. Or make it like a biblical plague. From time to time, folks are cleared out by frogs, boils, flies, etc.

(I've never played, so it may not as good an idea as it sounds)

Awesome idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15122188)

Blizz could make infinite lvl 30 ghosts spawn around the gold farmer randomly. The gold farmer might be able to fight them off, but over time they'd just wear down and wouldn't be able to get any gold farming in... what a cool idea.

Re:They should make it entertaining. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15122189)

I think this is a great idea.
Allowing the normal players see the punishment coming down on those banned.
But I think it should be more humiliating.
First they lose all communication methods.
They get stuck on a pike allong the road to their main city.
They can't get down from the pole, but can wriggle around.
Others can point and taunt them, and throw food stuff at them for xp.

Escape Velocity and Captain Hector (2, Interesting)

edremy (36408) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122419)

This has already been done by Ambrosia in Escape Velocity. It was shareware- you had 30 days to register. During that time, Captain Hector would occasionally fly by and remind you to register.

After 30 days, Captain Hector got guns and would hunt you down. He wasn't too hard to kill if you had a decent ship, but he'd be back a few minutes later to attack you again. And again. And again. And again...

o noes (1)

JeanBaptiste (537955) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121525)

if only there was some way I could get my WoW fix for free on servers that you are actually able to log in to.

yep, too bad theres nothing like that on the interenets [wowstatus.net]

Real Life (tm) (1)

Flamekebab (873945) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121605)

Looks like a few thousand people might have to actually leave the house now to get their socialising fix, or they could just give their cash to another MMORPG supplier..

Just switch dealer! Gotta get that fix, after all.

Thanks, Blizzard! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121628)

If there's anything more sad than gaming geeks sitting all day (and night) long and replacing their social lives with WoW, it's the very same geeks that also feel the need to cheat their ways through the game. I don't mind it if it doesn't affect others, but botting and macroing tend to affect game economies and make things overly hard to acquire due to inflation.

Too bad it didn't help (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15121715)

Anyone playing the game can still do a /who dire maul or /who mauradan and still see multiple level 60 hunters exploiting the instances.

So woopty do, all 5000 of those people just bought a new copy and are exploiting again. What i want to know is why did they wait and let the economy get ruined and then do it all at once instead of banning them one by one when they do something bad? Just for these worthless "hey, we banned a lot of people" statements?

I finally quit (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 8 years ago | (#15121795)

I've been a tireless defender of Blizzard but I finally ran out of patience. They've hopelessly crippled the PvP system with mindless battlegrounds grinds, where you farm rep and CP instead of XP and items. Boring. And now that my server crashes 2-3 times a night and is totally unplayable most weekends, and BWL is so lagged that Vael is impossible ... well I hit a wall. I can't justify $15/mo for a game that I can't even play. I hung it up and signed up for EVE.

Re:I finally quit (1)

TooMuchEspressoGuy (763203) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122327)

After a year and four months, I finally let my WoW account lapse last week and moved on to EQ2 for much the same reason as the parent. Until one plays a non-WoW MMO, he/she doesn't know that the constant server lag, all-day-long weekly maintainences that often bork the server for at least another day after, sparse content patches (there hasn't been a new 5-man instance in a year), critical skill/talent/spell bugs that have gone unfixed for over a year, and the other problems that WoW is still experiencing after a year and a half of operation aren't typical of the MMO genre. At least, they haven't been since the early days of EQ1, UO, and Asheron's Call.

That, and the "role-playing" servers are horrid. I'm an RP geek who's done so in a few other MMO's, but it seems like no one even tries to stay in-character on the WoW RP servers. And do you know why? Because Blizzard doesn't enforce their RP rules *at all.*

For example: A few months ago on my old WoW RP server, a friend of mine reported a player who had named his character "Crispybacon." Clearly a non-RP name that Blizz should force, right? Well, the GM who responded said that, no, "Crispybacon" is not in violation of the RP-server rules.

So, in short, Blizzard has no clue how to run an MMO. Otherwise they'd, you know, actually get their servers working instead of coming up with elaborate April Fool's jokes and rooting out goldfarmers whose only crime is violating a questionably-legal EULA.

Re:I finally quit (1)

stlhawkeye (868951) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123551)

...and the other problems that WoW is still experiencing after a year and a half of operation aren't typical of the MMO genre. At least, they haven't been since the early days of EQ1, UO, and Asheron's Call.

I think they're very typical. But not for a game in its 18th month of operation, working on an expansion pack, and managed by a company that, until recently, had a spotless reputation for quality. I expected more from Blizzard and gave them the benefit of the doubt for a few months. But I'm tired of it. Add to that the fact that their new content is almost universally oriented towards more stupid rep grinds, and I'm having a tough time justifying the time investment. You also left Anarchy Online off your list of disasterous MMORPG technology.

So, in short, Blizzard has no clue how to run an MMO. Otherwise they'd, you know, actually get their servers working instead of coming up with elaborate April Fool's jokes and rooting out goldfarmers whose only crime is violating a questionably-legal EULA.

The EULA is perfectly legal, it's just unenforceable. I bought gold and I'd buy it again. It makes more sense to take the $75 that it took me two hours to earn and buy an amount of gold that would require a month of grinding. If they don't like it, stop introducing stupid grinds.

I did too. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15123015)

I hear you on the battleground grind.

For four weeks I pvped with the group on our server that always had the top two or three people, but I have a job/wife/life so I didn't PVP as much as them. After almost making it to rank 11 I started figuring out the math based on wowguru and some other sites. It would take 8 additional weeks of being in FIRST place for me to make warlord (not high warlord) on our server.

I'm sorry, but that's too much dedication. I enjoyed it but I'd like to enjoy it on my terms, not blizzards.

So I pulled the plug had a few days of withdrawals, but I destroyed my account so that I could never go back and I'm all the better for it.

Gold Farmers are the same as any Alt (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#15122146)

I don't see what the criticism of gold farming is all about from the player's standpoint. Anyone who has an alt character on a separate account is doing essentially the same thing as someone who buys gold on ebay from a gold farmer. They are paying real world money to get an in-game advantage. Thing is, when you get an Alt it is Blizzard who gets all the payments. But with gold farming, someone other than Blizzard is profiting, too. Don't believe them when they say they are trying to keep the game balanced for all players. If you pay Blizzard, you can get TOS-compliant in-game advantages poorer players cannot match. So it isn't about fairness to players at all. It's about Blizzard's bottom line.

I buy gold and don't care what people think. You have an alt, and don't care what I think. Even, steven.

Re:Gold Farmers are the same as any Alt (1)

voxel (70407) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122364)

How does having an alt on a seperate account benefit me? Other than making my bank account go down by another $15 a month every month.

An Idea (1)

mESSDan (302670) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122394)

After reading over some of the posts here, I had an idea based on some of them. Rather than ban these people, why not keep them flagged for both Alliance and Horde PVP (like in the Arena), and set them up like Trial accounts where they can't send or receive ingame mail, and can't trade. Give them a tag like or or something, and let people police themselves. That would let the players on the servers vent some and force them to do the work of canceling their own account.

Re:An Idea (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122492)

I second that idea. FFA PVP on farmers and cheaters. On all characters. On all accounts. On all new characters. Everywhere. Forever.

Bliz would still be earning money from them for a while until they realized there's a conga line at the graveyard waiting for them to spawn. Oh, killing them gives honor.

Which developers did they fire? (2, Insightful)

menace3society (768451) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122622)

Let's see, 5400 people @ $12.99/month (or more), that's about $800k a year--easily enough funds for a half-dozen developers' salaries+benefits+perks. So when Blizz's income drops by close to a million per year, who got axed?

Re:Which developers did they fire? (1)

WereTiger (148010) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122758)

4.5 Million Subscribers * 12.95 = 58.5 Million per year.

My guess is, they're sitting on an excessive surplus, if anything.

Excessive-excessive surplus.

Any WoW executives who want to adopt an IT guy? Any?

Re:Which developers did they fire? (1)

non0score (890022) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122997)

You mean, 4.5M players * $12.95/month/player * 12months/year = $699.3M per year. But yeah, they're definitely sitting on an excessive-excessive surplus.

Re:Which developers did they fire? (1)

Swanktastic (109747) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123094)

I think you mean per month.

Re:Which developers did they fire? (1)

thesnarky1 (846799) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123391)

You forget that they're paying for a ton of servers and bandwidth. Yes, queue the server downtime jokes here, but fact of the matter is, their servers cost money. As does the farm (they probably have at least two, probably three seperate ones in the US alone) and electricity. Then there's bandwidth. People who run it all. That's just on the upkeep/physical side. Add in the programmers who maintain it, do hotfixes, etc. Patchers... it adds up. I severely doubt they have "excessive excessive" surplus, as whatever extra they might have is also going to go into their Diablo 3, and (I hope) Starcraft sequels.

Re:Which developers did they fire? (1)

FerociousFerret (533780) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122766)

So when Blizz's income drops by close to a million per year, who got axed?

They fired the ones working on fixing the server and network problems, of course.

You gain experience (1)

drdewm (894886) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122670)

I played EQ original to a very high level in the day Plane of Time etc and I think its ok for people to spend a huge amount of time in at least one or two mmorpgs. You learn to network with people, schedule large groups and pay close attention to detail. But you have to be careful not to get caught up in an endless experience that becomes purely entertainment after a while. Give it a year or two but then stop and experience other things.

Software? (1)

Viking Coder (102287) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122691)

I'm really curious what software people use to drive MMOs automatically. I've seen them in the past, and seen some of the scripting for them - but I just can't remember what they are. Anyone?

Way to go blizzard! (2, Informative)

dsands1 (183088) | more than 8 years ago | (#15122898)

You banned 5400 accounts! You're really showing those gold farmers who's boss! Boy, at this rate I bet those companies selling gold will be out of business in NO TIME! /runsOverToIgeDotCom

Hrmm... 500 gold on my server was $30 bucks last week... Let's see what's up after blizzard's heroic bans! Arthas Server, Horde... 500 gold. $31 bucks. =|

Wow... (1)

cthellis (733202) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123101)

...that's almost 1000 a MONTH since they've begun! I'm glad they're not just paying it all lip-service. /rolleyes

15,000 players?!? (1)

kendoka (473386) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123105)

that's like double all the people still playing star wars galaxies =)

Sadly (2, Insightful)

Kilz (741999) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123265)

Blizzard is judge, jury, and executioner . There is no way to appeal, once they ban you, you are gone for good. Along with the money you paid to play that month and use of the game. Unlike Diablo 2 where there is a single player option, WOW is only online. A lot of their bans are done by Warden, an anti cheat piece of software. We all know programs, or the people who create them, never make errors, Right?

Copper Farming (1)

dmt99 (123849) | more than 8 years ago | (#15123441)

At least they aren't banning us copper farmers...Because we are so important to the economy.
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