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Blizzard Lawyers Visit Creator of WoW Glider

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the playing-with-fire dept.

229

Rick Hamell writes "On October 25th, Blizzard/Vivendi payed a personal visit to Michael Donnelly, creator of WoW Glider and accused him of violating the DMCA. Their demands were unclear, but come in the wake of recent player bannings for using bots in the popular MMORPG. It looks like he's going to fight it, but I think it'll be an interesting case if it ever reaches the courts." From the post: "The visitors from Vivendi / Blizzard made demands of Michael and stated that if the demands were not met that they would file a complaint in court if he did not meet them. I asked Michael what the demands were. He was unable to comment at the time to the exact details. But I do know they handed him a copy to very briefly 'Look at'. He was not given a copy. I think I could make a good guess and say that they asked for Glider to be shut down and if they feel that they have been harmed they may have asked for a financial settlement."

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229 comments

Pwned (0, Flamebait)

Jeian (409916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16898846)

And about time, too.

Bliz will most likly not win (1)

edizzles (1029108) | more than 7 years ago | (#16898998)

I fail to see the law broken here. I agree the software in question makes the game a bit boring but if the maker has not agreed to the TOS then where does blizard get the right to tell him what he can an cannot code. Also there is no precedence for somthing of this nature. Also good luck finding a jugde in the contry that will have a clue what Bliz is complaining about.

Re:Bliz will most likly not win (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899936)

How about the WoW initials that are synonymous with the name _W_orld _o_f _W_arcraft. Outside that, unless the code uses something Blizzard owns to work, there doesn't appear to be anything. But only one appears to be a DMCA issue.

Unfortunately, finding a judge won't be as hard as you think. The idea of this type of DMCA suite is to say you believe something is happening that isn't obvious because you have taken step to hide or protect it. By default, there will most likely be a hearing just for the purpose of Blizzard to educate the judge on how their claims are accurate. So they don't even need to find a judge that ever heard of WoW, they just need to find one willing to listen.

Re:Bliz will most likly not win (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16900070)

the purpose of Blizzard to educate the judge on how their claims are accurate

What claims? Blizzard won't even let the target of their harassment have a copy of their claims.

they just need to find one willing to listen

Again, what claims? What about the DMCA says a software author cannot make software to play an online game for you?

Blizzard is going to be out in the cold for using the intimidation tactics employed here. Waving some papers at a person at their home and dropping the D word to cow them into submission just does not fly. If Blizzard has a valid DMCA claim, they need to air it. Otherwise, they can pound dirt and cut out this intimidation bullshit. I have found another franchise I will not be giving my money to.

Re:Pwned (5, Funny)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899286)

I thought it was only in South Park that the Blizzard folks pays a personal visit. Nice to see outstanding customer support in real life. ;)

Re:Pwned (1, Interesting)

slughead (592713) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899774)

Part of having rights is excepting that some people aren't going to use them for what you want them to.

The rights taken by the DMCA may well include this site's right to let people 'cheat' on WoW.

If you believe that this site should be shut down, you believe in the same principles that the DMCA was based on. Private technology, even when licensed, can be used by customers in only methods sanctioned by the company they bought it from.

I don't believe in that, no matter how much disdain I hold towards cheaters.

Re:Pwned (2, Insightful)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900930)

If you believe that this site should be shut down, you believe in the same principles that the DMCA was based on.

I'll take False Generalizations for $200, Alex. I believe that this guy should be put out of business, but not because of the DMCA.

Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (3, Insightful)

Audigy (552883) | more than 7 years ago | (#16898882)

I'm glad to hear of this.

Sure, it's an independent software developer, who cares? He's charging money for a program that explicitly violates the TOS that a user agrees to when signing up for World of Warcraft.

It's just one bot program out of many, but maybe the others will get the picture and GTFO also. I'm tired of trying to play legitimately, having bots always stealing my kills. :(

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (3, Insightful)

daeg (828071) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899106)

Just because his product violates a TOS it doesn't mean he did anything illegal. A TOS is a civil agreement, and not a very strong one, at that.

I'm all for shutting this guy down (I play WoW and hate bots, too), but I don't want shutting him down to clog our already congested legal system.

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (2, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900390)

A TOS is a civil agreement, and not a very strong one, at that.

The TOS is a contract. It's strength or weakness is for a judge to decide. But protecting the integrity of a service with 7.5 million paying subscribers sounds to me like a perfectly good reason for going to court.

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16901160)

The TOS is a contract.

SO, you signed it, and Blizzard signed it?

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (4, Insightful)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899156)

Selling a program that has no use other than violating the TOS may be actionable as tortious interference with a contract or something along those lines, but I fail to see how copyright is involved here. What copyrighted work is copied by the bot? Similarly, I don't see how it violates the DMCA.

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (1)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899548)

1) He's not interfering with the sale of their product or the collection of profits, so tortious interfence is unlikely. (no money to be made in trial.)

2) Even if he were a participant in the contract, the contract is an adhession contract, which means that it's ability to bind the user is limited, let alone a third party.

3) It could violate the DCMA if he intercepts and interprets the signal from the wow server to drive his software. I'm out of my element here, but I believe the DCMA covers most efforts to reverse engineer thier software if the intent is to break through their security measures protecting the game data (player location, weapon stats, etc).

Meh,
-GiH

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (2, Informative)

belmolis (702863) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899632)

I agree that a suit for tortious interference isn't likely to make much money, but it seems like a better legal theory than copyright. I'm not sure that the DMCA anti-circumvention provisions are applicable here. The DMCA only forbids circumvention of measures taken to protect copyrighted material. Even if the bot bypasses security measures, it isn't doing so for the purpose of violating copyright. The bot does not, for example, extract the images from the game. Furthermore, the DMCA expressly permits reverse engineering for the purpose of interoperability.

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (2, Insightful)

Flentil (765056) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899932)

1) He's not interfering with the sale of their product or the collection of profits, so tortious interfence is unlikely. (no money to be made in trial.)
I disagree. You only have to look at some of the above comments to see that bots annoy thier customers, and thus might hurt thier profits due to cancellations. They could sue for damages from lost revenue.

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (1)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900884)

In addition to the accounts the customers canceled due to the irritating presence of farmbots like this, there's also the lost revenue from the thousands of accounts Blizzard shut down for using this program.

Obviously it was Blizzard's choice to stop taking money from the second group, but they're just adhering to their own policy, and it's this guy's fault that they're being forced to do that.

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (1)

evolseven (941210) | more than 7 years ago | (#16901194)

the two prior posts have horribly flawed logic.. you can't just sue someone because they deprive you of revenue.. If that was the case comcast would sue sbc because sbc deprives comcast of revenue from potential customers.... there has to be a violation of some agreement here for there to be any legal standing in my opinion, but IANAL

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (3, Funny)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899714)

it doesnt violate the TOS for people who never agreed to them. i amended my wow TOS before launching the game, and i guarantee the version i agreed to has no such provisions.

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (2, Interesting)

honkycat (249849) | more than 7 years ago | (#16901000)

I take it you took that amended copy and had it reviewed by Blizzard personnel duly authorized to accept your changes on the company's behalf, right? Otherwise, I'll take any bet you'd care to make that you are legally bound by the original ToS to the extent that such agreements are enforceable in the first place.

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (3, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900472)

tortious interference

If he has tortious interference, he should probably go see a Doctor ASAP, not a lawyer. That shit is itchy as hell.

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899468)

In other news SpiderCo was sued by Black & Decker under the DMCA for facilitating the cutting of small pipes. I'm sorry, I got nothin.

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16899540)

You think the guy should be sued because he makes the game less fun for you? While they're suing that guy, someone should get around to suing all the ~13-year-olds on Xbox live that seem to only be able to use sentences that have the words "fag" or "noob" in them.

It's a game. Live with it or move on.

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16899596)

"He's charging money for a program that explicitly violates the TOS that a user agrees to when signing up for World of Warcraft."

The law doesn't work that way, thankfully. I'm not liable for the contracts you make with other people, and you're not liable for the contracts I make with other people.

That's why there isn't a case against the software creator for "violating a TOS," unless he also agreed to the TOS (and even then, the legitimacy of such a TOS is subject to debate).

Yeah, it sucks when people cheat, but I'd rather deal with the cheaters than be unable to write any code that some corporation somewhere dislikes.

Re:Taking the bull by the horns, so to speak- (4, Interesting)

reanjr (588767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900220)

And by violating the TOS, he is no longer licensed to play the game. Doesn't mean he can't produce software to do so. Blizzard and other companies should wake up. If a bit can play their game, it is a fault of Blizzard making a repetitive game for dullards, not the person who likes aspects of the game and is trying to avoid all the poor design decisions Blizzard made for it.

Zonk has become a WoW ninja! (0, Redundant)

Ninjaesque One (902204) | more than 7 years ago | (#16898884)

Indeed, he must've. Why else would he have posted two WoW posts in some four hours, and then also discussed PC gaming in general?

This leads, of course, to a simple question: What's Zonk's character name?

Re:Zonk has become a WoW ninja! (1)

ringbarer (545020) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900142)

Fagolas

blizzard is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16898908)

wasting their time. this wont even hit court and is useless. They can not stop user side macro's. sorry blizzard you cant do anything about it.

Once the WOW game is loaded into memory on 'your' computer the contents that are in memory is part of your system running on your hardware, blizzard has no claim to it and you are not 'renting' your hardware from them. Your character interactions with blizzards game servers are well within the defined terms that blizzard has provided. nuff said lets move on.

Re:blizzard is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16899046)

No.

Having a character controlled by automation of any type is a clear violation of the terms of service. From a simple fishing bot, to a bot that has the spawn time for every thorium vein recorded, you are cheating. You are not the only player on the server, and your preprogrammed bot can ruin the game for a casual player who doesn't have the time, knowledge or gear that is essential to disrupt your bot and/or compete with it.

As a more hard-core player, I've taken the time to disrupt several bots. I've also successfully gotten several botters banned from my server.

While I don't know that this consitutes a lawsuit, anyone using this guy's program deserves to be banned.

Re:blizzard is.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16900320)

This just proves that the game is flawed. They should have just called it World of Grind: Get to Level 60 as Fast as You Can, Because Levels 1-59 Are Just Boring Shit!

Won't someone please think of the bots? (4, Funny)

MrFlannel (762587) | more than 7 years ago | (#16898926)

I mean, they just want to play WoW and have a little fun. Is that too much to ask?

Or are you too afraid you'll be replaced? Too afraid you might have to try a little harder playing against someone a little bit better than you?

Fight for machine rights!

Re:Won't someone please think of the bots? (1)

jon_joy_1999 (946738) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899900)

of course it's too much. because, first it's WoW, then it's EQ and other MMORPGS, and then all of a sudden you have bots running the streets with laser guns and infrared sights shooting people, yelling "I'LL BE BACK!", and running for California Governer

What's next? (-1, Flamebait)

ParraCida (1018494) | more than 7 years ago | (#16898946)

In other news, E.A. has started a series of lawsuits against people who use cheat codes in their games. An E.A. spokesman announced earlier today that "..cheaters and other lamers will be brought to justice..". This newest revelation comes only days after the first aimbot users have been convicted of crimes against gaming companies and sentenced to death row. Sources in the game industry are hinting at more legal action to come, remarking that anyone that does not play the game exactly as stipulated by the gaming companies could soon be facing legal retribution.


Here's Tom with the weather!

What's next?-@#$% on parade. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16898986)

"In other news, E.A. has started a series of lawsuits against people who use cheat codes in their games."

*sigh* Slashdot is doomed.

Cheat codes are built into the programs by the original programmers. Bots aren't. Would you like to finish up your news report with an explanation about why you can't tell the difference?

Re:What's next?-@#$% on parade. (0)

ParraCida (1018494) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899170)

You are ofcourse, completely correct.

I regret that my attempt to blow up and exaggerate pieces of gameplay that do not fall within the realm of 'normal gameplay', and the fictional reactions of gaming companies towards those instances to point out how gaming companies are dictating the terms of our consumption of their products and how we are all falling in line like the good little consumers that we are, was lost on you.

There is ofcourse a slight chance I included cheat codes not only to simply adress the word 'cheat', but also to point out that perhaps, blizzard might not have a leg to stand on, as they would have when sueing people for using build in cheat codes. Perhaps, I also used these hyperboles to point out that not keeping to the terms of the agreement when it comes to playing games, does in fact not constitute a breach of any actual 'law' and therefore is not 'illegal' and might not have a place in any court of law.

But yeah, you are probably correct. I am ignorant, have no idea what I'm talking about and am just another sucker without a clue. Whereas you are the greatest and smartest person I have ever met and after reading your short but oh so subtle comment I already want to join your fan club.

If anyone is an actual legal expert btw, which I am not, I would like to know if there is any 'real' grounds for blizzard to pursue this case on.

Re:What's next?-@#$% on parade. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16900028)

Cheat codes are built into the programs by the original programmers.

Depends on the cheat code. Cheat codes used with external devices like Action Replay or Game Genie certainly aren't built into the programs.

OK, so those devices probably don't actually exist any more, but you get the point.

Re:What's next? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16899030)

You are a moron.

Re:What's next? (1)

no_pets (881013) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899696)

I realize that you were being funny but it did bring up a good point - cheat codes in games. The game industry has been providing ways for people to cheat for as long as there have been computer games. So, why now, give cheats such a hard time? Besides, it's not like he was hacking the server. The software just randomly moves your character around and hacks stuff for experience.

What's next?-Online ethics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16900014)

Well first of all most games disable cheat codes in multiplayer mode. Second cheat codes aren't ment for player cheating but ease of development for the programmer, Just like a back-door password isn't so the programmer can rob the place.

Third you and the guy above in this age of "flexible morality" seem to forget that intent and ethics are important. Do you really like playing a game against someone who cheats be it with a bot or an exploit of the code?

Re:What's next? (1)

Flentil (765056) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900056)

Cheat codes are a ompletely different issue. They are used almost excusively in single player games that don't effect anyone else's gameplay. If you want to cheat against other people (and make them unhappy in the process) you have to turn to an outside source. A bot program. I don't know of any games that include cheat codes designed to work in multiplayer, spoiling the fun of your opponents. I know that many are working hard to detect and ban bot programs because they ruin the game for honest players, spending money to avoid losing customers. Going after the bot writers is just the next step.

Re:What's next? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900548)

Judge rules that entering Up, Up, Down, Down, Left, Right, Left, Right, B, A, Select, Start is a valid legal defense but Down, Right, Left, Left, Start, Select, Down results in Contempt of Court charges.

Re:What's next? (1)

Xipher (868293) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900818)

Their is a big difference between something the original developers included (built in cheat codes), and the 3rd party developers making applications interacting with the game.

Re:What's next? (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900912)

Just like there's a big difference between making a joke and not getting it.

Other plaintiffs. . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16898964)

. . .the entire country of China who's economy crashed with the release of glider. Millions were left unemployed.

>wash wa ping wa
>china?
>yes!

Bots (5, Insightful)

HappySqurriel (1010623) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899004)

I love WoW but think that the ability to be remarkably successful by using a bot demonstrates one of the biggest design flaws of the game (and the entire MMORPG genre as a whole). MMORPGs require very little thought or skill and most of the content is not worth seeing; killing 100,000 monsters that react in (pretty much) the exact same way in order to get to the point were you have 'Finished the game' only to have to kill 100,000 mosters that react in exactly the same way to get all the leet loot. I recognize the technical difficulty of producing intelligent (or atleast different) mobs, but until you have to be reasonably intelligent to survive these encounters a bot will be successful.

Re:Bots (1)

Reason58 (775044) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899482)

I agree with what you are saying, but the root of the problem does not lie with the game, rather the players.

For an MMO to be successful it must play to the lower common denominator. If a game requires any significant amount of player skill in order to succeed then it will crash and burn, as the average player simply isn't that good when you are talking about games with tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and especially millions of players.

Re:Bots (2, Insightful)

1.000.000 (876272) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899614)

I completely disagree. Aimbots play first person shooters (FPS) far better then most people, but that doenst mean that FPS require no skills or thought.

Name me just 1 popular game, where its impossible to make a bot play it reasonably well!?

Re:Bots (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16899674)

Nethack

Re:Bots (2, Interesting)

GodInHell (258915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899764)

Tic-Tac-Toe :) They always quit when they realize they can't win, and then they stop killing the world like I wanted them to.

Seriously though.. Bots do a BAD job of playing in these enviroments. That's why they don't workin in games like City of Heroes that have a death peanlty. The operative term in wow for leveling is "grind." I ground my way to 60 with a druid.. and a rogue.. and a mage.. and then I stopped one day when my butt hurt and I had nothing to show for all my hours and realized I was performing a robotic repetative act and calling it "fun." If someone has to behave like a robot, let it be a computer.

-GiH

Re:Bots (1)

Cookie3 (82257) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900082)

until you have to be reasonably intelligent to survive these encounters a bot will be successful.

This is why the bots only focus on the mobs that have little or no scripting, no special abilities, and generally are vulnerable to any sort of attack.

Re:Bots (0)

cbhacking (979169) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900514)

While I don't personally play WoW, a lot of my friends do and I've seen exactly this kind of behavior (repetitive, predictable mob fights, etc.) PvP adds a different element, but a bot could do a lot of grinding in relative safety.

What I'm curious about is what do you think of EVE in this context? Sure, mining asteroids is both boring as hell and easily scriptable (and, left for a few hours, racks up amazing levels of cash) but there tends to be a bit more variation in the fights. Okay, you can stick to one particular TYPE of fight (staying away from missile-armed enemies, visiting deadspace rats where you know their fighting style, etc.) but in general it would seem very different. Also, the real valueable stuff in EVE is all in the low security space, and in lowsec you are ALWAYS at risk of getting jumped by a PVPer. Short of making a best attempt to flee (tricky if the first thing the enemy does is scramble your warp drive and perhaps web your sublight). I don't really think I'd trust a bot to be adaptable enough in a PvP fight.

I Call Shenanigans (-1, Flamebait)

Ka D'Argo (857749) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899010)

This is just bullshit. If this was like, a program or something there of that was designed to say, DDoS a WoW server, then I'd understand. If it was designed to keylog people's WoW account info or auto delete their in-game characters/items yea. But since when is creating a "cheat" for a game, againist the law?

I'll admit I've only briefly heard of the WoW Glider, since I'm not a WoW player and all. But dude doesn't charge money for it does he? If not then I'm pretty sure he's in no legal trouble.

What Blizzard is saying with this statement is "using cheats is illegal in our game but also creating them is too". So when that baseball pitcher who's hitting his 40's and lost alot of speed on his fast ball starts using hair gel, ben-gay etc to get a little extra speed on his throws, does Major League Baseball punish him and the companies that make those products?

When sports players use steroids, do the major sport companies go after the steroid manufacturers? (If so then this example is null)

It's bullshit. I'm sure they'll pull something out of their ass saying his usage of the WoW client to reverse engineer some kind of program has violated their Copyrights yadda yadda yadda but in terms of fair use, assuming he wasn't making profit off of WoW Glider, I think he could get away with it. WoW Players feel free to mod me down , I don't condone cheating in such a manner but at the same time Blizzard has been real asshatery in the last two years abou cheating (Warden, anybody?).

Re:I Call Shenanigans (1)

Jeian (409916) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899050)

What Blizzard is saying with this statement is "using cheats is illegal in our game but also creating them is too". So when that baseball pitcher who's hitting his 40's and lost alot of speed on his fast ball starts using hair gel, ben-gay etc to get a little extra speed on his throws, does Major League Baseball punish him and the companies that make those products?

But there's a key difference there. The products you mentioned have a legitimate everyday use, while WoWGlider exists for the sole purpose of breaking a legal agreement.

Sigh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16899084)

"Dude" DID charge for the program, but I guess it was too much to click on the link to check? Want to revise your comment?

Re:I Call Shenanigans (1)

Sinryc (834433) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899096)

Um, the demo is free. He charges 25 dollars for full functionality.

Re:I Call Shenanigans (1)

Ash-Fox (726320) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899118)

But dude doesn't charge money for it does he?
He does.

Re:I Call Shenanigans (4, Informative)

phantomlord (38815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899604)

if this was like, a program or something there of that was designed to say, DDoS a WoW server, then I'd understand. If it was designed to keylog people's WoW account info or auto delete their in-game characters/items yea.

What if a bug ends up in the program that does DDoS a WoW server? What if it DDoS a WoW zone? What if it denies a legitimate user from completing a quest or working on a tradeskill or something because it consumes all the resources as soon as they become available, faster than a player can react? How do you know for sure it isn't keylogging people or copying their account info? How do you know that they haven't found a way to dupe items and are using it to dupe to give the item to one of their own bots so they can sell it?

But since when is creating a "cheat" for a game, againist the law?

I've never played WoW... that said, depending on how Glider works, it could involve intercepting and decrypting an encrypted stream and that could be a violation of the good old DMCA.

dude doesn't charge money for it does he?

Even though he does charge for it, it doesn't really matter. AFAIK, they aren't distributing any Blizzard copyrighted code so its not a fair use case. Further, if I give away free tshirts that I pressed with the Nike swoosh on them and take a loss on it, Nike can still sue me for violating their trademark.

does Major League Baseball punish him and the companies that make those products?

Ben-gay, Tylenol, etc have legal and non-performing enhancing uses and aren't banned in the various substance abuse policies by any sporting group that I know of. Glider serves one purpose, which is to interact with a server, against its terms of service, to enhance the play above what the terms of service allows.

do the major sport companies go after the steroid manufacturers?

See BALCO and Victor Conte for an example.

it's bullshit. I'm sure they'll pull something out of their ass saying his usage of the WoW client to reverse engineer some kind of program has violated their Copyrights yadda yadda yadda but in terms of fair use, assuming he wasn't making profit off of WoW Glider, I think he could get away with it. WoW Players feel free to mod me down , I don't condone cheating in such a manner but at the same time Blizzard has been real asshatery in the last two years abou cheating (Warden, anybody?).

As I said, profit has absolutely nothing to do with it and irregardless, your assumption about not charging for it is false. I hate the DMCA as much as the next guy but its very possible he violated it to create his program. Someone might argue that WoW players may have standing to sue him and his clients (possibly Blizzard depending on if their disclaimer forbids it and stands up) for using a program which interferes with the ability of non-infringing players to enjoy the game. Finally, if you read the article and/or the filing, it is MDY preemptively suing Blizzard to try to seek a judgment that they aren't breaking the law, not Blizzard suing MDY at this point.

Just a tip... before you try to expose something for idiotic, you might want to actually read whats going on first or else you risk exposing yourself. Then again, this is Slashdot.

Re:I Call Shenanigans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16899992)

What if a bug ends up in the program that does DDoS a WoW server? What if it DDoS a WoW zone? What if it denies a legitimate user from completing a quest or working on a tradeskill or something because it consumes all the resources as soon as they become available, faster than a player can react? How do you know for sure it isn't keylogging people or copying their account info? How do you know that they haven't found a way to dupe items and are using it to dupe to give the item to one of their own bots so they can sell it?

I mean what is the point of the above? Any closed source program could do those things, accidentally or intentionally which means jack diddly shit about their legality or whatnot. Until you catch them doing any of it the programs are not doing any of them, it's like saying we should arrest someone, with no evidence at all, simply because they may commit a crime (which applies to everyone).

Re:I Call Shenanigans (1)

phantomlord (38815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900100)

The grandparent specifically said that it would be different if the program did those things. All I did was point out that we don't know if it does those things so implied assumptions about facts we don't know is asinine. Blizzard would certainly have standing to sue if the instability of the servers in the past was related to people using this program, would they not? Blizzard has no legal obligation to disclose the reasons the servers were down to their player base.

And once again, I repeat, Blizzard did not sue MDY, MDY sued Blizzard. There is absolutely no legal filing of a crime or civil infringement having taken place at this point.

Re:I Call Shenanigans (1)

neoscsi (29061) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900152)


I've never played WoW... that said, depending on how Glider works, it could involve intercepting and decrypting an encrypted stream and that could be a violation of the good old DMCA.


Glider does everything by reading the combat log (which WoW will output to a text file automatically), screen scrapping, and sending key sequences. It doesn't doing anything to the game that a person couldn't do themselves.

Re:I Call Shenanigans (1)

Zupkuck (1029126) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900288)

Thank you for this intelligent reply. Relativism doesn't fly, nor does any sense of 'sticking it to the man.' This guy acted as an enabler to the gold sellers and farmbots that detracted from thousands of customers' gaming experience.

Clever Marketing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16899076)

I call bullshit. I bet this guy was never visited and is making up this story for two purposes:

i) To raise awareness of this 'product', hoping that by making news on Slashdot et al, people will be tempted to purchase the product.

ii) To show how 'safe' it is to run his macro tool. Most WoW players wouldn't risk having their account banned by running a tool like this, but IF Blizzard have to visit the author to shut down the distibution, that must mean that they can't detect you using it, and you can't be banned - it must be safe!

1) Write WoW bot
2) Convince world it's undetectable
3) Profit!

Re:Clever Marketing (2, Insightful)

Jarnis (266190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899252)

And it most definitely is not undetectable. His own boards have dozens of pages of posts from his customers who got their accounts banned for using WOWGlider.

Funniest are the morons who whine how their other accounts got banned too - stuff like 'I only glided on one (farming) account, they wtfpwned my main account too!!!' (duh, TOS says Blizzard can nuke all your accounts if you violate it)

Anyway, WOWGlider dev is a lowlife who profits from runing the game for those who actually belive in playing by the rules. So props to Blizzard if they actually try to bury him in legal crap - he'd deserve something much worse, but sadly judges don't toss people into jail for hacking game clients with the intent of ruining the game for all players.

No, Glider benefits all parties, except demagogues (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16900000)

Anyway, WOWGlider dev is a lowlife who profits from runing the game for those who actually belive in playing by the rules.

Except that what you say is factually incorrect. He profits only from those who wish to have their gaming experience improved by Glider --- they pay him for that improvement, and an exceedingly good improvement it is. After all, to mindlessly repeat grinding or farming actions thousands of times is the ultimate in braindead activity, and completely at odds with fun gameplay.

And no, it doesn't ruin the game for those who enjoy grinding or farming. In fact, they may have to do it even longer because of Glider, so he has extended the gaming experience which they enjoy.

See, you can't have it both ways. The only way in which you could validly complain that he does you a disservice is by admitting that you dislike WoW's grinding but that you want everyone to suffer it equally. And if you do that, then (i) you don't like WoW so why play it, and (ii) you are basically coercive towards your fellow players, which is not nice.

I think it says a lot about WoW (4, Insightful)

3dWarlord (862844) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899132)

If people are willing to pay for a program to play the game for you.

Re:I think it says a lot about WoW (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899266)

Says a lot about the people paying for the program, you mean.

Re:I think it says a lot about WoW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16899600)

There's money involved in many cases... gold farming.

WoW isn't the first game to have bots for it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16899724)

This type of thing isn't new. It's been done for years with online gaming sites like pogo.com. EA (which owns Pogo) tried to scare the bot makers away a while back, but it was all talk. Legally they have no grounds for a lawsuit, except for maybe trademark infringement. Since then they have largely given up the fight and accepted it, which is what I expect Blizzard to do.

Description? (4, Informative)

TravisW (594642) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899234)

Some of us here (me included) are interested in legal issues but don't play WoW. A better summary would have included a description of the program, so that those of us who don't keep up with this niche have to fish around through links.

From the (admittedly linked) WoW Glider Homepage. "WoW Glider is a tool that plays your World of Warcraft character for you, the way you want it. It grinds, it loots, it skins, it heals, it even farms soul shards... without you."

I don't need the karma, but Glider FAQ [wowglider.com]

-T

Here is how it works. (1)

EvilCabbage (589836) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900434)

It's pretty straight forward.

You generate your WoW character. You then fire up Glider, and enter the game.

You then set waypoints and alter variables that will determine how your character will respond to threats, bad guys, etc. How far it will pull a target in from, how often it will heal, will it skin corpses, so on and so forth.

Once the characterics are set, and the waypoints are all selected, you kick it off and the character will wander between your waypoints, killing enemies in the manner you suggested, until it's all looted out.

Personally, I got no problem with it, if I still bothered to play WoW (dropped my subscription a week ago).

Blizzard is evil, vote with your wallets (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16899306)

And of course, Vivendi make excellent bedfellows for them, even more evil.

But of course you won't abandon Blizzard, because you're addicted to that stupid, cartoony, grinding game, just like you won't tell the RIAA to jump in the lake because you're addicted to Britney Spears and her ilk.

Well, you have only yourselves to blame.

What's illegal about cheating in a game? (1)

grimJester (890090) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899332)

It would be nice to get some more details on this. There are a couple of things that could be illegal about WoWGlider. The first is the name: using a trademark of Blizzard is probably not legal. The other, the DMCA thing would likely be something-or-other related to hacking.

Selling tools that interact with other software is not illegal. You can sell software that automates eBay auctions, for example. As long as it doesn't act as a denial of service attack or contain material copyrighted by someone else (shipping a hacked WoW client w. all the graphics, for example) everything should be fine. Cheating in a game is not illegal.

Not illegal to read RAM + control mouse/keyboard (3, Informative)

Morgaine (4316) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899624)

What's illegal about cheating in a game?

Nothing. But then Blizzard/Vivendi wouldn't be so utterly stupid to try to sue him for cheating in a video game. The worst they could do is ban him from it, which I'm sure they've already done.

However, they might try to sue him for interfering in some way with their software. That would be incredibly hard to do though, since he does not modify anything nor copy anything over which Blizzard have copyright. (Copyright is a protection on works, and not on dynamically created in-core data, under any circumstances.) And he has not stolen any commercial secrets either, as long as he didn't go dumpster diving around the back of Blizzard labs. Reverse engineering for interoperability is certainly perfectly legal, and that's what Glider does, interoperate with WoW.

What's more, he has not circumvented any DMCA protection device either, since he is merely reading system memory which is not protected but in the clear. And it's his own machine's (or user's machine's) memory, so clearly he (or the user) has every right to read it.

Finally, he uses that information to drive the user's keyboard and mouse. Well, I'd like to see anyone challange his right to do that. ;-)

Re:Not illegal to read RAM + control mouse/keyboar (1)

reanjr (588767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900478)

Speaking along the lines of controlling the keyboard and mouse, he should find a coalition of those who find WoW to be inaccessible and make sure the media knows how Blizzard shits on the handicapped.

Re:Not illegal to read RAM + control mouse/keyboar (1)

Pootie Tang (414915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900768)

I don't see how there is any copyright or DMCA violation here. Their third claim "interfering with the contractual relationship with World of Warcraft's customers." sounds pretty weak too.

I don't think "control mouse/keyboard" is an adequate defense though. Those mouse/keyboard actions result in something happening and that isn't isolated just to the computer running wowglider. They affect what data gets sent to blizzard's servers and blizzard has a reasonable right to say effectively "you don't have a right to access our servers except under the conditions we allow".

The problem is that people CHOOSE to run this program. The software and/or company behind it doesn't interfere with the contractual relationship. The people who run wowglider intentionally violate that contract themselves.

Really though regardless of whether they might be able to stop this software from being openly sold, I don't think they will accomplish much in doing so. I definitely understand their reasons for wanting to prevent cheating, but the courtroom seems like an ineffective way of doing it.

The wowglider FAQ says that warden (their client side cheating-software detection tool) is "currently" unable to detect it. They are obviously aware of it and there is even a trial version available for free download. They can't just update warden? I realize it's a cat and mouse game, but they chose to pursue that route presumably on the belief that warden is a much more pragmatic approach to finding cheaters.

I think they would be better off spending more money on customer service reps to investigate complaints, as time consuming as that might be, rather than spending the money on lawyers. Personally I have never seen an avatar that appeared to be controlled by a bot. If I did and had a way to report them that would be followed up on, that seems like a much better approach. They need a way to stop the people using cheating programs, trying to stop people from making them via legal means seems pretty unwinnable to me.

Re:What's illegal about cheating in a game? (2, Informative)

murphyje (965004) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900184)

While "World of Warcraft" is certainly a registered trademark of Blizzard, Inc., to my knowledge "WoW" has never even been claimed as a trademark by Blizzard.

Re:What's illegal about cheating in a game? (1)

reanjr (588767) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900456)

I may be mistaken, but I dont't think WoW is a trademark. World of Warcraft, yes; WoW, no. I don't know how they would get a registered trademark on such a short, ubiquitous word that is also the name of a common MS software compatibility layer. And I think they would have a hard time protecting an unregistered trademark like that.

The bot gave itself away.. (3, Funny)

Channard (693317) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899370)

.. by not emoting 'HAY GUYZ I NEED A HEAL' or 'WANNA JOIN MY GUILD' every five seconds. Actually I guess Blizzard are worried not so much by the DMCA stuff as the fact this takes away human interaction from the game. Which is, after all, the only real reason to play an MMORPG and not an offline RPG.

Unfair (1)

Swordless Samurai (982348) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899560)

I do believe that it is unfair for bot's to be used. yes, it does underlie the flaw that this game is repetitive, but it still violates the TOS that you agree to when you play the game. No matter if you feel that using the bot is right or wrong, you have broken a legally binding contract that you informally made with the creators(suppliers), so yes, you should be punished. It is not fair to the ones who can barely pay the $15 a month to play to only have someone who has more money to pay for other services to be better. In all honesty, it cheapens the game to know that everything someone who has played 1000 hours on can just be achieved in 10 hours by a bot. It's almost like buying a new game, just to use the cheats to get to the end.

Re:Unfair (1)

Hubbell (850646) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899704)

If you can 'barely' afford $15 a month to play an MMORPG, you shouldn't even be playing one in the first place.

DMCA? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899670)

I'm curious about the details of this. I suppose I should RTFA, but really, what more can they do to this guy other than ban him and anyone using his software?

In what way can they actually sue him for simply developing software?

Don't get me wrong, I'd very much like to see him go down, hard, even though I wish Blizzard would bother to make WoW less of a grind. But not using DMCA tactics, not if this means what I think it means. In general, providing the means to do something illegal should not, by itself, be illegal.

Before you use a program like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16899684)

Please think of the poor Koreans.

That bad of a game, eh? (2, Insightful)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899718)

If a game is so suckie that you are willing to pay for a computer program to do it for you....wouldn't it be better to just not get the game to begin with?

Re:That bad of a game, eh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16899978)

You mean, like chess?

Re:That bad of a game, eh? (2, Informative)

Durrok (912509) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900492)

To farm items and gold to sell to people IRL for real cash, to farm for ingredients for items you are going to use in a raid later that night when you are not there, etc.

DMCA Sucks, Free the Code!!! (0)

Sage Gaspar (688563) | more than 7 years ago | (#16899732)

Unless someone's using it to bot in our favorite MMO, in which case they deserve it up the ass any way Blizzard can hand it out.

Sure (1)

umbrellasd (876984) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900114)

Glider is bot software, but you cannot win a settlement against the creator of such software. It is the player that uses the software that is violating the Terms, and for doing that, they can be banned. If Blizzard could credibly argue that this single player is damaging their revenue in a noticeable way (very difficult, since the truth is that almost no other player is walking away from WoW because of this one player botting, and more likely, the botter would quit if forced to play without the bot, which implies the bot program actually increases WoW revenue), they have no case for a damage settlement.

It is Blizzard's failing in creating a game which is so repetitive as to be easily susceptible to automated play. Even if they can make some legal point on this issue, it is still pathetic that one person can write a little program, the game is so tiresome to enough people that he actually makes money selling it, and that this so worries Blizzard that they show up at his door and threaten legal action which is actually an act of intimidation rather than one of true litigious substance.

No sympathy for WoWGlider's author (0, Flamebait)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900234)

Personally, I hope they legally/economically bury him.

The reality is that Blizzard have had to do battle with people like Michael Donnelly since the days of the first Diablo game. Such people amount to destructive, sociopathic adolescents. They don't contribute anything positive, while in the case of Diablo 1 and 2 anyway, managing to degrade gameplay for pretty much everyone.

People can call me a shill as much as they want, but Blizzard are one company that I feel very positive about. I know there are a lot of companies where this isn't the case, but in my experience anyway with Blizz in particular it's pretty simple...be square with them, and they will be square with you. Be a subversive, anarchic 14 year old, (as in the case of bnetd, WoWGlider, and the D1/D2 hacks) and you'll get what you deserve...the proverbial legal takedown. While I normally don't condone the existence of the DMCA, I'm glad it's there in cases like this, since it gives them some legal framework to exact justice.

(Note to any of the abovementioned subversive types who may feel like responding to this and attempting to refute me; please don't bother. You don't agree with me, I don't agree with you...let's just leave it at that. I've spent more than enough time arguing with Slashdot's more anarchic (read: pro-FSF) residents in the past...I really don't want to know that you exist any more, to be honest)

Re:No sympathy for WoWGlider's author (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900580)

People can call me a shill as much as they want,

That, you are.

but Blizzard are one company that I feel very positive about.

And quite obviously a fanboy.

Be a subversive, anarchic 14 year old, (as in the case of bnetd, WoWGlider, and the D1/D2 hacks) and you'll get what you deserve...the proverbial legal takedown.

What precisely was the problem with bnetd? Other than the technical DMCA infraction, that is. It wasn't used to cheat or to degrade anyone else's experience with online games.

LK

Re:No sympathy for WoWGlider's author (1)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900836)

And quite obviously a fanboy.

A question...why is being a fanboy necessarily a bad thing? Do you advocate approaching everything from a perspective of jaded cynicism? I've noticed the marked tendency towards general negativity on Slashdot...and when people deviate from that, the assumption is made that the person in question is either hopelessly naive, or a nut.

What precisely was the problem with bnetd? Other than the technical DMCA infraction, that is. It wasn't used to cheat or to degrade anyone else's experience with online games.

Apart from anything else, I simply found myself wondering why the people in question couldn't simply develop their own game, rather than spending time back engineering Blizzard's games. Plenty of FOSS games exist, or they could have made something with WorldForge, as another example. Yet another thing they could have done was to create a FOSS D1 or 2 clone (with enough difference that they could avoid prosecution, a la FreeCiv) with all the multiplayer capabilities they wanted. I have to believe that given the technical requirements of bnetd itself, they would have had the skill necessary to do such a thing, as well.

Re:No sympathy for WoWGlider's author (1)

Lord Kano (13027) | more than 7 years ago | (#16901066)

A question...why is being a fanboy necessarily a bad thing? Do you advocate approaching everything from a perspective of jaded cynicism?

To be completely honest, no. When my biases influence my objectivity, then there's nothing wrong with pointing that out.

Apart from anything else, I simply found myself wondering why the people in question couldn't simply develop their own game, rather than spending time back engineering Blizzard's games.

Because they liked Blizzard's games and wanted to be able to host servers on their own LANs.

I have to believe that given the technical requirements of bnetd itself, they would have had the skill necessary to do such a thing, as well.

They most likely could have, but why reinvent the wheel? What's wrong with them fixing the one thing that they did not like?

LK

Re:No sympathy for WoWGlider's author (1)

IpalindromeI (515070) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900588)

My understanding is that WoWGlider works by reading the memory WoW writes to, using that to determine what's going on, and sending keypresses and mouse movements to control the character. Please explain how this is a copyright violation or circumventing an authentication measure.

Would you like all macro programs, even ones that aren't used for cheating in games, to be illegal? Because this is how they all work. In fact, this is how almost every piece of software works. Programs need to read from and write to memory, and to be useful, they need to produce output. This program's output is keystrokes and mouse movements. I realize you don't like cheaters, but how about focus on them instead? They are the ones violating the terms of service.

It would be pretty disappointing if developing software became illegal because corporations don't like some of the things that are produced. This guy has done nothing illegal. It seems rather dangerous to set a precedent for punishing people that haven't broken the law. Please stop being so short-sighted.

Re:No sympathy for WoWGlider's author (4, Informative)

petrus4 (213815) | more than 7 years ago | (#16901156)

My understanding is that WoWGlider works by reading the memory WoW writes to, using that to determine what's going on, and sending keypresses and mouse movements to control the character. Please explain how this is a copyright violation or circumventing an authentication measure.

They could get him under Section 1201 (a); "No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title."

The game's Lua subsystem allows for macroing and automation of game elements, but also disallows access to the automation of a number of other elements of the game as well. As such, WoWGlider circumvents the Lua subsystem's prohibition of access to said game elements (such as commands allowing automation of movement and so on)

I myself use a number of scripts utilising the Lua subsystem, some of which automate quite complex series' of actions. The system is more flexible than it is given credit for.

I'm also curious...Did you ever play Ultima Online? The botting scenario got so bad with that game in the end that at times it was impossible to tell who was a live player at the keyboard and who wasn't. It wrecked the game, from the point of view of being multiplayer...if you're going to play something on your own with a heap of AI running around, that by definition isn't a multiplayer game...it's single player.

Would you like all macro programs, even ones that aren't used for cheating in games, to be illegal? Because this is how they all work.

You're keeping your argument centred on macro programs in general terms, rather than talking about WoWGlider specifically, because I think you know that that is the only area where you've got a solid argument. It probably couldn't *quite* be classified as a straw man...but it's close. ;-)

There are two points here:-
a) WoWGlider is being used exclusively to perform action/s that Blizzard are opposed to. Macroing itself *is* allowed within the game via the Lua subsystem; I myself use a number of scripts within this system, some of which perform quite complex series of actions.

b) Use of *any* programs which run outside WoW and interact with it are specifically prohibited in the Terms of Service. What that means is that it doesn't in fact matter what WoWGlider does; as a third party program it is in violation of the ToS.

The bottom line quite simply is this:- Blizzard own and run the server network that WoW is hosted on. Any offline establishment (restaurants, gaming houses and so on) on the planet has the ability to set its' own house rules with regards to dress, behaviour, and sometimes other things, and generally also has bouncers to enforce said rules. The only reason why there's a difference to that in this case in your and other people's heads is because the WoW client runs on your local machine.

Following on from that analogy, though...if you have a problem with the house rules of a given establishment, go somewhere else. There are that many other both open and closed source games around (both on and offline, and single and multiplayer) that it should not be a problem.

I think the major problem here is the attitude (perpetuated, as usual, by Richard Stallman) that says that purely because you're handing over money, any given vendor is both legally and morally obligated to give you whatever you want. They are not. They are obligated to give you exactly what has been negotiated by you and them; no more, and no less. Blizzard's ToS is very specific as to what you are being given in exchange for your money, as well as outlining what your remedy is if you're unhappy with that; to walk away, after which you're entirely free to either play a game produced by someone else, join a FOSS project creating a game which may have a scenario more to your liking, or start a project to do so. Blizzard do not (and could not) try to forbid you from playing a competing game if you are unhappy with their terms.

Yet another common attitude problem (which is an extension of the first) is an entitlement complex which basically says that no matter how much a given company does to comply with your wishes, if they are not doing *every single thing* you want, it still isn't good enough. The nVidia binary Linux drivers are a good example of this. The company has the entirely legitimate option of not supporting Linux at all. They've developed binary drivers, and they get crapped on because said drivers aren't open source. If they *did* make them open source, they would probably then be subject to abuse if they hypothetically put them under the BSD license, rather than the GPL.

Ditto with a Linux port of WoW. People are currently complaining that there isn't a native Linux port of the game. Fine...but if one *does* get developed, said complaining will then simply move on to it being closed source...and so on, and so on.

I'm guessing you've developed this attitude of the FSF's yourself; namely that the entire planet has to conform to the FSF's wishes.

News flash: It doesn't.

Re:No sympathy for WoWGlider's author (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16900662)

Yes, this is the purpose of a law court: To make sure cheaters in videogames are brought to justice.

Moron.

Re:No sympathy for WoWGlider's author (1)

Pootie Tang (414915) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900928)

While I normally don't condone the existence of the DMCA, I'm glad it's there in cases like this, since it gives them some legal framework to exact justice.

I agree with you in part (don't like hacks, though I feel bnetd has legitimate uses), but not to this conclusion. A legal framework which can exact justice in some cases and pervert justice in others is a bad legal framework. It's ripe for abuse.

The United States of America is a country that I feel very positive about. I know there are a lot of countries where this isn't the case, but in my experience anyway with the USA in particular it's pretty simple...be square with them and they will be square with you. Nonetheless the idea that the president can waive the right to trial for anyone he, in his sole discretion, wants to is a horrible idea. If the system is setup in such a way that you just have to hope the people in power don't abuse it, it will be abused. The system must at least attempt to be fair and constrained, even if that means some shithead will sometimes get away with something.

Whether we're talking about the DMCA or the 6th amendment, the idea that laws should allow fucking everybody just to ensure you can fuck the fuckers is a bad theory. I personally don't see how the DMCA applies here, but if it does, I have a problem with that even if the outcome is one I'd like to see otherwise.

Do you need a 12 step program? (1, Insightful)

deacon (40533) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900650)

Are you enraged that some people have automated a mindless task while you are still doing it manually while paying monthly for the privelage?

Do people who use a can opener while you are still bashing your can of beans on a rock make you angry?

Do you hate those who use spell check while you are looking up words in the Un-abridged dictionary?

What about those assholes who use windsheild wipers instead of a squeege while driving? Not to mention those bastards who put gas in their cars instead of pushing their non-running cars down the street like you do?

If so, WOW has an offer for you!

Seriously, some of you need help. Paying a fee to perform mindless, repetative tasks that a program can do for you is idiotic. Gloating that someone who offers a product to automate this task is in trouble is just sad.

Re:Do you need a 12 step program? (1)

Brandee07 (964634) | more than 7 years ago | (#16901008)

Seeing someone else use a bot while you do the actual work is merely an irritant. The actual problem is what happens to the server economy once bot use and gold farming become commonplace.

What should happen is that a player finds a random semi-decent loot and puts it up on the Auction House for something vaguely resembling its actual value. However, if people are using farming bots while they sleep and have thousands of gold to through around, the players can put up the items for several times their value, and they will still sell quickly. The buyers who use bots don't care about price since they have more money than they need anyways. The players who DON'T use bots because they like, I dunno, playing the game themselves or something, now can no longer afford to buy regular, mediocre pieces of loot. They are forced to get farming bots themselves, buy gold online, or do without.

It's called mudflation, and it IS a problem on many servers.

What it comes down to is, should Blizzard allow their players to be forced into using 3rd party programs or buy gold from 3rd party dealers, or outlaw this practice? They have chosen the latter.

On the subject of Guns (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16900832)

I guess we should sue gun manufacturers because criminals who use those guns kill people. And for those who complain about about kill stealing, go f^(% yourselves and buy an offline RPG where there are no other players to steal your kills. If they go after this kid, they should go after anyone who creates custom interfaces too because it can give them an 'unfair' advantage.

Given how popular bots are... (4, Interesting)

daverabbitz (468967) | more than 7 years ago | (#16900874)

Has anyone considered writing an MMO where scripting up the client and making bots is part of the game. It seems so many people just play to be the l33t357 (did I spell that right?), and they get to there by botting, so why not have a game where that is the aim.

I don't play MMO's as I don't have time, and I can't really see the point in paying money to Blizzard so my bot can play (It's bad enough having to support my brother), but I think it would be pretty cool to have a game where I can write a bot in perl (or your favourite scripting language) and have it compete against other bots to master the game. The server would need to enforce state, as it seems to be the big problem with a lot of these MMO's that they trust the client. The client says hey, I've just picked up this uber item and moved to the top of this dungeon instantly, and the server says, ok, here you are.

The game would need to have complex economics, and somewhat complex combat/raiding/whatever in order to make ai difficult enough that it was a challenge.

It would probably best suit the space genre as it is more plausible that a space craft/robot/??? operates autonomously, than a Paladin/Wizard/Grue.

Also it would be great for people like me who can't be bothered sitting in front of a computer for hours on end playing MMO, when there's better things to do (like sitting in front of a computer for hours on end playing FPS).

Meh, maybe I'll make something, can't be that hard anyway...

Bots r fun (1)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 7 years ago | (#16901202)

I used to write ALOT of bots for other MMORPGS before it became a big thing to do. Bots ruin a game only because people come to the realization that its not really a game, just a repetitive task that a computer can do for you with more determination. There is something of cruel joy when your PK bot pwns newbies screaming,"Peace!" If I wasn't starting to kick but in Texas Holdem, I'd spend my time writing a Tekken style RPG, where you actually have to fight. DDO tried it, but their attacks aren't varied enough, nor do they check where you get hit at.
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