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Blizzard Officially Files Against WoW Glider

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the it-sorta-kinda-is-cheating dept.

The Courts 179

Marcus Eikenberry writes "Blizzard and Vivendi today filed against MDY Industries, the makers of the 'WoW Glider' software. Glider allows World of Warcraft players to 'play' while away from the keyboard; the software moves the player's avatar along a set path, following a complex set of instructions dictated in advance. Blizzard is seeking injunctive relief and money damages against MDY. What that means is they want him to stop the production of WoW Glider and they want him to pay them damages. Blizzard believes that Glider infringes on their intellectual property. They believe Glider allows players to cheat, giving them an unfair advantage and that they believe Glider encourages Blizzard customers to breach their contracts for playing the game. Last they claim that Glider is designed to circumvent copyright protections."

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Thanks for clearing that up (4, Funny)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068546)

Blizzard is seeking injunctive relief and money damages against MDY. What that means is they want him to stop the production of WoW Glider and they want him to pay them damages.

Thanks for clearing that up.

Cheers,
Fozzy

One Third of Germans Support National Socialism (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18068556)

One Third of Germans Support National Socialism, Disbelieve Holocaust New Poll Shows Jewish Power On Wane Despite Repressive Laws 2/19/2007 10:07:28 AM Discuss this story in the forum Overthrow Staff Berlin, Germany -- One third of Germans say that National Socialism and Adolf Hitler were "mostly positive" for Germany and "Entirely Disbelieve" the Holocaust lie, whereas a majority think Hitler was mostly positive and 45% think that the Holocaust is mostly untrue, a new poll of 3,000 Germans by the Metropol Institute indicates. 55% of Germans said that Hitler and National Socialism were "mostly positive" or "a mix of positive and negative" for Germany and 45% said that they either "had reservations" or "disbelieved entirely" the Jewish claim that a "Holocaust" occurred during World War II. Germans hold these beliefs despite repressive legislation in Germany that makes it illegal to advocate National Socialism or disbelieve in the Holocaust. An additional 85% of Germans said that "reparations" payments to the Zionist occupation in Palestine should terminate an 53% that Holocaust lies should not longer be taught in German schools, with 26% uncertain and only 21% in favor. The poll, taken last week in response to the Zundel imprisonment, had a margin of error of 2.1%. It was unclear if it had yet been reported on in the German press, who comissioned it. The poll shows the ineffectiveness of Jewish lies and repressive legislation on the thoughts of the people. While the Jewish owned and influence media, combined with the power of the German state, has been able to achieve complete control of the government while arresting and imprisoning political dissident, their brainwashing has had little impact on the actual thoughts and beliefs of the people.

Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (3, Interesting)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068570)

I'm not a lawyer, but to me it seems like a tacked on item "because they can".

As for the rest of their claims...I guess I can see the point, but if you look at the glider forums it would appear that Blizzard is being fairly strict on banning accounts. If Blizzard is able to utilize the ban-hammer effectivly enough, the problem will solve itself. And then people will move on to the next bot.

The ONLY way for blizzard to make the problem go away is to remove the requirement to grind every character up to lvl 60 or 70. My suggestion would be to give people the ability to create alternate characters starting at any level UP TO the level of their highest character. So if you've got a level 52 mage and you've decided mages suck and want to play a warrior, you could create a new warrior character at any level between 1 and 52.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (4, Insightful)

LehiNephi (695428) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068636)

That doesn't sound like a bad idea, except that the devil's in the details. How do you handle equipment that gets picked up along the way? Also, don't forget that players learn how to effectively play their characters while they level up. If they suddenly create a new character of a different class, they won't necessarily know how to use that character, which would cause all sorts of grief for any group that player joins. How much gold does that character get? Also, different people level up different skills at different rates and/or take slightly different paths. How do you handle those as well?

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (2, Interesting)

profplump (309017) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068970)

You'd get the standard level-1 equipment and gold. If you want the stuff that comes from level 1-50 you have to go get it. You'd get talent points to match your level with none of them spent, so you can choose whatever skillset you want. And you'd learn to use the character by, um, playing, just like you would if you started at level 1 -- if you've already got a level 50 character you can probably skip a lot of the "learning" parts, as you only need to learn how the new character is different, not all the mechanics of the game.

I'm not sure it's a great idea to let new characters start at any level, since it is a game and grinding is part of that game, but I also don't see huge problems with the plan. A useful compromise might be something like (at user choice) double-experience point awards to new characters in accounts that already have a top-level character; accelerated leveling would make it easier to start new characters but would still force players though the entire skill tree, if you think that's important.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070492)

I'm going to make a fairly extreme suggestion:

It may be that any given MMORPG is only "good" for a certain amount of time. After that, you should just move on to something else. Another game, perhaps, or something...different.

Maybe after playing a game for a certain amount of time and leveling up to whatever top level the game offers, the games provider needs to "graduate" the player. Maybe give him an account on another game with certain benefits, or just a little certificate saying "You have achieved the highest possible level", and then...goodbye.

Or maybe, just maybe mind you, by the time 'bots and cheats and gliders and other ways of subverting the game have reached a certain level of saturation you just "call" the game and shut it down. Get creative and put out a new game. Maybe make the code open source and give it away, Mozilla-style.

Where does it say that Blizzard has to squeeze every last cent out of their flagship property? What has the success of WoW done to the creative climate at Blizzard? What does the world lose if Blizzard shuts down WoW? Is it possible that by giving a MMORPG a definite ending you create an "event", and by ending it you maintain its charm rather than just letting it keep running, keep trying to fox new players into ponying up that monthly charge and watching it get old until the day comes when you have to pull the plug because there's just not that much interest any more? Is WoW supposed to last forever? Maybe it would be better to just let it ascend to RPG heaven. Maybe Blizzard should have pulled the plug about a year ago.

It's pandemic in the entertainment industry, the disease of grinding every cent out of a product until you've created a culture of disgust and disdain. I guess the ultimate question that arises when cheats like Glider start showing up and lawsuits like this one is "how much is "enough"?".

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (2, Insightful)

ADRA (37398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070736)

I think you're missing the big picture. Blizzard will never address your grievances on this issue because in the end it makes them money to not implement your change.

As a wow player, here's how I see it. Most people will fall into two camps:
1. Will make one character and play them all the way to level cap
2. Will muddle around with a whole bunch of characters not really advancing quickly with any particular character

The second group isn't a problem for Blizzard at all, because the creation of content is reused over and over for every one of that player's characters. It is the group 1's that causes Blizzard so much angst.

To keep group 1's happy, Blizzard has:
    - Added more content. Most of it was better gear and not so much story driven, though the caverns of time looks promising (haven't been yet)
    - Extended the level cap simply extending the period of time before there's nothing left to do
    - Introduced end-game PvP as an incentive to keep playing instead of just a small pastime from grinding, item hunting, raiding dungeons

The one thing they never needed to add was the drive for people (once level capped) to roll new characters. Because of the large amount of time to get to the high levels, thats a large amount of time that you're not 'bored' at max level with nothing to do. Bored players are unhappy players, and if they're so unhappy playing the game, they're more likely to quit.

Personally, I really enjoy playing through the entire content over again. It isn't so 'griding' back up to with new chars since after the first or second character, you should know the best, most fun ways to level up. I don't grind levels often because I play new characters to -enjoy- the content, not to be king-o-the-hill.

--rant--
My biggest pet peeve is people in game talking about how bored they are. This is supposed to be entertaining. If it isn't entertaining anymore please quit and find something else to do!

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18069066)

Also, don't forget that players learn how to effectively play their characters while they level up. If they suddenly create a new character of a different class, they won't necessarily know how to use that character, which would cause all sorts of grief for any group that player joins.
It takes about 20 minutes to learn how to play any class in WoW. WoW isn't exactly challenging and in general there are only 5-6 skills that are regularly used by each class. I quit playing WoW a little while ago, but the guild I was in had all of Naxx on farm status and we'd regularly play each others characters, with little or no experience with that class, in an attempt to make the end game more enjoyable. I've seen people who've never played a warrior before tank Kel'Thuzad without any problems.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (4, Informative)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069906)

It takes about 20 minutes to learn how to play any class in WoW. WoW isn't exactly challenging and in general there are only 5-6 skills that are regularly used by each class. I quit playing WoW a little while ago, but the guild I was in had all of Naxx on farm status and we'd regularly play each others characters, with little or no experience with that class, in an attempt to make the end game more enjoyable. I've seen people who've never played a warrior before tank Kel'Thuzad without any problems.


If by "learn" you mean in the same sense as Othello.

There's a difference between learning what does what and learning how to use every skill you have effectively. A lot of players fail at the first step, only learning what 5-6 skills they'll use the most and ignoring the rest. The result is Paladins who don't heal others, Warriors who tank in Berzerker Stance with a 2H, and Druids who aren't aware they're different from Rogues.

It's true that there are typically 5-6 skills each class will use far more than the others. However, the difference between your average player and a good one is the use of the dozen or so others. You may not use Blessing of Protection, Intimidating Shout or Remove Lesser Curse constantly, but knowing you have them and also when to use them makes as big difference.

Some people are capable of getting the basics and some intermediate concepts of a class down in a very short time. More often than not, there are factors which separate these people from others.

1) Experience. These people may not have played the class, but their general game experience is vast.
2) Observation. These people have had the opportunity to observe the class at work whether in game or in videos, and have the sense to remember this information.
3) Adaptation. Even with the previous two, the ability to adapt and fill in knowledge gaps quickly is a notable contributor.

The vast majority of players are lacking in one or more of these categories. For them, it is entirely imperative that they have 60+ levels where skills are slowly added into their repertoire and dungeons slowly progress in role difficulty. Even veteran players can benefit, as extensive exposure to a class allows insights that a 20 minute glance does not typically afford.

I learn quickly, but I remember when I seredipitously discovered my typical opener as a hunter was less efficient than one that was somewhat less intuitive. Even after 30 levels worth of play, there are still things to learn.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (1)

passthecrackpipe (598773) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070960)

I agree - +1 great answer. I played a Summoner for a long time in EQ2, took a break from MMO's and cracked (heh) open the WoW box. Dallied with some classes, then settled on a Hunter. I found both classes to be very similar in playstyle, especially in terms of strategies. Although the Summoner, mainly DoT based, is also a lot like a Warlock with a pet that can tank. I am, however, continuously learning to play the class better (long way to go heh), and will most certainly not apply whatever WoW skills I have to another character real quick.

So what was you opening shot, and what is it now?

Well said. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 7 years ago | (#18074228)

I play a much smaller MMO [wikipedia.org] , but the result is roughly the same. It's possible for any people, of any level or stats, to form a group, and thus, most people nowadays seem to want to be "leeched" to level 99. There are people who specialize in this service, by having a group of high level characters and knowing exactly which areas are best for leveling -- some caves are instanced by level (Mythic Rabbit 1 can be entered at level 25, but Rabbit 2 starts at about 65, thus, you have to be below level 65 to enter Rabbit 1) -- but there are still plenty of areas that can be entered at a very low level, and anyone on up to millions of vitality and mana can still enter the same areas.

So it's possible to actually "buy a leech" with in-game currency, and it's not even particularly expensive if you've got another character.

Someone made a bet, once, that he could get a character to Level 99 in less than 24 hours. I think he did it, too, by bringing in enough high level characters and entering the Wilderness Lobster cave, which he had no business being in -- no group of his level could survive in the last room, so he grouped with people five or ten times as powerful.

I'm a good deal past 99 -- I'm almost Enchanted -- but every one of my other characters, I grind just like everyone else. Actually, it's mostly fun -- if the grind isn't fun, do you really expect things to get more interesting at higher levels? There are certainly aspects of the game that I've found much more challenging -- and much more fun -- at around level 50 or 60 than around level 99. There's also an area I'm about to be able to enter sanely (I'd die too easily now) which sounds like a lot of fun.

Because really, if the game is only fun at level 70 (World of Warcraft), or 75 (Final Fantasy XI), or Sam San (Nexus)... Why are you playing an MMO? Why aren't you just playing, oh, Counter-Strike? If the process (grind?) involved in leveling up isn't fun, you're playing the wrong game, and possibly the wrong genre.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (1)

milkman_matt (593465) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069770)

One other thing, I'm not a WoW player, but I have played games of the like before. In the games I used to play, people would level at different rates. Like you could use a character that levels at a much faster rate, to reroll to the same level of a different (much slower advancing) class. So you'd have to account for that, maybe just reroll to half the current experience, that may be a better compromise I'd think. That way you still get smacked for doing it and lose half of your experience, but you still don't have to start from nothing.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (4, Insightful)

carterhawk001 (681941) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068638)

You dont play many MMO's do you? Have you stopped to consider the suck that would come from teaming with someone who has never played a warrior before and all of sudden has all these abilities and powers and no idea how to use them effectively?

Bad. Idea.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (0, Troll)

dc29A (636871) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068906)

You dont play many MMO's do you? Have you stopped to consider the suck that would come from teaming with someone who has never played a warrior before and all of sudden has all these abilities and powers and no idea how to use them effectively?

Bad. Idea.


You make the assumption that playing an MMO requires a PhD in quantum physics. Playing MMOs revolve around a few basic ideas. Healers, tanks and DPS classes and some crowd control thrown in. It's not rocket science. Everyone remotely competent can switch classes easy.

That's a big no... (3, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069068)

You dont play many MMO's do you?
It's not rocket science. Everyone remotely competent can switch classes easy.

That's a big "no," if ever I heard one.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18069202)

Everyone remotely competent can switch classes easy.

"Easy" is an adjective. You're modifying "switch," which is sometimes a noun but in this case is a verb. The adverb you're looking for is "easily." Good grammar doesn't require a PhD in quantum physics or even a solid grasp of using warrior forms correctly.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (2, Funny)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069132)

You dont play many MMO's do you? Have you stopped to consider the suck that would come from teaming with someone who has never played a warrior before and all of sudden has all these abilities and powers and no idea how to use them effectively?

Bad. Idea.
Not really, since once you've figured this out you can kill them easy and take their stuff. They should think twice about making a character they don't know how to use in the future. ;)

Huh? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18069688)

> Have you stopped to consider the suck that would come from teaming with someone who has never played a warrior before and all of sudden has all these abilities and powers and no idea how to use them effectively?

Exactly how is that different from the way things are now? :)

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069736)

I've done it, it's no worse than the people who did level up to 60 and never learned how to play either. In fact it can be quite a bit better... Having said that most competent players will pick up their new class very quickly even without having levelled it, it's the incompetent players that are trouble, and it takes great amounts of practice to make them passable at any class.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (2, Insightful)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068662)

Except that grinding is Blizzard's main money earner, and therefore they have absolutely no desire to give people the ability to work less than is possible. In fact, the opposite is true- Blizzard wants to make it harder to get to level 70.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (3, Insightful)

benfinkel (1048566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069324)

But there is a point at which is doesn't benefit Blizzard to make it harder. It's a parabola, not a liner graph. At a certain point it's too hard and players begin to stop playing/paying. Blizzard has to find that sweet spot between hard enough and too hard.

Not to make too fine a point on it, but they appear to have been successful in that venture.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (1)

MeanderingMind (884641) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069978)

Actually, that's not accurate.

The grind is a point of balance for the game. It, along with training costs, loot tables, and quest objectives, determines the rate at which you progress through the largely stand alone content of the game. If they lowered the experience grind, you might be completely incapable of finishing half the quests in a zone before you'd outleveled them.

Even if they upped the grind, the hardcore players would still be level 70 in no time. The number of level 60-70 Blood Elves and Draenei should be indication enough of this. It's been barely a month and already they're a common sight.

The grind that Blizzard really wants to keep steep is end-game equipment/dungeons. That's what keeps hardcore players in the game, raiding for hours every week.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (1)

Swift(void) (655825) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070188)

In fact, the opposite is true- Blizzard wants to make it harder to get to level 70.
Either you don't play the game or you don't own the expansion. Level 60-70 is an absolute breeze, without any of the tough spots people would run into in 1-60 if they quested the majority of the time. No, Blizzard want you at the cap so that they can focus their efforts on the end game raids.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (0)

Atlantis-Rising (857278) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070500)

I haven't played the expansion- I quit when I was about level 40 in the original game. It was terrifically boring, and I had to force myself to play- "If I get another level today, then I'll go out and get a hamburger and ice cream for dinner."

Eventually, I figured, "why am I wasting money on this crap?" and quit.

So no.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (2, Insightful)

Lithdren (605362) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068712)

Or you could simply go find another game.

Seriously, such a thing would be pointless. your new character would start with what? beginner equipment? Might work for a mage, but a warrior type is only as good as his weapon in most cases.

Then there's the whole issue that you're not playing the game anymore. I'd be fine with it if you could start a new character at level 10 or so. Before that you cant do anything, but its low enough that even beginner equipment is usable to make a little change, to buy something useable for your level.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (4, Informative)

Dan Slotman (974474) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068776)

I think the issue is that Blizzard has effectively created two games. The first game is the quests and missions performed while leveling up—unfortunately, they didn't provide enough quests to actually level all the way, so people are forced to kill random monsters to make up the difference. The second game they've created is the item-farming game. A "naked" character without gear is only a fraction as effective as a character with good gear. Blizzard did the same thing with Diablo II, but the difference between the playstyles of the two games was less pronounced.

The problem is that some people only like one of the two games. Unfortunately, if you like the item game, you are forced to play the leveling game first.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (2, Informative)

theckhd (953212) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069108)

unfortunately, they didn't provide enough quests to actually level all the way, so people are forced to kill random monsters to make up the difference.

Have you ever even played the game? There are more than enough quests to level you from 1-60 without having to level grind. If you run out of quests in your current locale, there are at least one or two other areas (possibly on another continent, mind you) where there are quests appropriate for your level. If you can't be bothered to take 10 minutes to travel to another continent to keep questing, that's your own fault, not Blizzard's.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (1)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069452)

Only when you count quests that involve killing x type of monters to get y number of baubles, and ironically enough you tend to get more xp killing the monsters than from completing the quest.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (1)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069498)

Many of the quests are little more than glorified grinding themselves. There's only ever one or two fairly obvious ways to accomplish a quest and the vast majority of time is spent on *kill monsters to get x amount of y kind of loot where the percent of monsters which drop that loot is small.*

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (1)

Dan Slotman (974474) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070468)

See my reply to another response below.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (2, Informative)

Riff10111 (30276) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069138)

I think the issue is that Blizzard has effectively created two games. The first game is the quests and missions performed while leveling up--unfortunately, they didn't provide enough quests to actually level all the way, so people are forced to kill random monsters to make up the difference.

Are you playing the same WoW I am? I've recently finished levelling a druid to 60, and not once did I run out of quests to do. In fact, I was offered more quests than I could do, and frequently ended up dumping or skipping some because I'd advanced past the point where the rewards were worthwhile.

Not to say that there's no grinding in the game -- if you want to get in good with the firbolg at the north end of Felwood, or get the good prizes from the Argent Dawn, there's an unbelievable amount of grinding. And of course, some would say that collecting 25 goblin femurs or whatever is inherently grinding. But if your goal is to level a character only by doing quests, it's certainly possible.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (1)

Dan Slotman (974474) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070412)

Well, I only played for a couple months, but as far as I could tell, a huge number of the quests are just kill-and-collect quests which feels like grinding. After level 20, an increasing number of quests are instance-based, meaning that you can't just hop in and complete a quest in an hour or so. (Perhaps Blizzard has since implemented a better group-finding system than a mere chat channel.) Plus, instance-based quests are necessarily kill-based, since you can't just run around collecting mushrooms or what-have-you without fighting the monsters.

However, whereas I like Diablo a lot, in WoW killing all those monsters feels like a chore since it is slow-paced, with a lot of downtime for healing and mana-restoration.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (1)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071170)

(Perhaps Blizzard has since implemented a better group-finding system than a mere chat channel.)
Yeah, they've created a "Looking For Group" system, which almost nobody uses. I know this because it takes me about half an hour to find somebody, and then typically another half hour before the rest of the group gets filled in. Chatting "/1 LVL x LGF " works much faster...

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (1)

gregtron (1009171) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068872)

While that sounds really good to casual players, it would probably destroy the WoW economy and turn the Battlegrounds into a Twink nightmare. Besides, why would they change the current model when so many people are apparently cool with grinding?

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (4, Interesting)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068948)

Mythic did this with Dark Age Of Camelot, giving you the option to start at level 20 and implementing NPCs to give you starter equipment, etc.. However hindsight being 20/20, they stated that starting a character at level 20 did more harm than good [camelotherald.com] due to it killing the 1-20 crowd. The bottom line is, the easiest thing you can do to kill your incoming customer base is to give them nobody to play with.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (2, Informative)

Andy Dodd (701) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069110)

They did come up with a good solution to the problem (although only for all new classes, not the existing ones that still can /free) - New classes not eligible for /free get a hefty XP bonus from 1-20 if they have a Lv50 on their account.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (1)

I!heartU (708807) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069074)

They're doing it to farm money/items to sell. Leveling is easy enough, although it can get boring going through the same content with different characters.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (1)

fotbr (855184) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069586)

I know farming is why most people are using Glider. But having run several characters up to 60 and working them up towards 70 is STILL extremely boring.

Re:Circumventing Copyright is a bit of a stretch (2, Insightful)

Austerity Empowers (669817) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069782)

Regardless of how the game mechanics work, it strikes me as the epitome of wrong for them to sue someone for a 3rd party app. It's not interacting with their servers any differently than the client (because it uses the client) and itself is not hurting their player base. Sure, players get annoyed by glider-farmers, but it was the concious decision of a person to use that tool. If anyone is responsible, it is the person using it on their account ("guns don't kill people, people kill people"). Next, most players assume the person who runs in and kills stuff and doesn't talk is a bot, but it could easily be people like myself or my wife. We don't keep public chat up (emote/say/tell/yell/any general chat), and we play pretty...aggressively. Tag it or we take it. The point of all this being, it's impossible to figure out what the actual damages from bots are, opposed to just assholes like us. Finally, do we want bliz to be able to sue anyone who doesn't play the game a certain way to be able to sue? Is that even reasonable? Hard-core raider? Feel my lawsuit.

Strength of their argument (2, Insightful)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068820)

Blizzard believes that Glider infringes on their intellectual property.

This point can seem to be a strong suit.

They believe Glider allows players to cheat, giving them an unfair advantage

This is really a legal issue? Can I be put in jail for taking a few 100 extra monopoly dollars when no one is looking? The first thing I can think of is Insider Trading, which is punishable, but is a video game = the stock market?

... and that they believe Glider encourages Blizzard customers to breach their contracts for playing the game.

Can the company be held responsible, even if it's the users choice? If I tell my friend that if he drives really fast when a police offer wants to pull him over, am I responsible when he runs from the cops the next time he might be asked to pull over while driving?

Last they claim that Glider is designed to circumvent copyright protections.

This seems laughable, but IANAL. Copy protection? I guess all users are circumventing such protection. One could draw a stern defense that a person playing WoW becomes little more than an automated computer program. Though, I'm not familiar with Glide or how it interacts with the WoW programming, but I imagine it just a program that interacts with the WoW client or the packets it sends to automate processes.

What's Blizzards strength for their argument besides "they're breaking our EULA or TOS"? Are they saying that "Hey, we've had to ban 100,000's of accounts because people are using your products and we want you to pay us back for those 100,000 accounts. Lets see, that's 100,000 accounts at $15 / month and the average account is active for 1 year. So, pay us $18,000,000."

Hmmm... could local governments sue nitrous and 'after market' car parts manufacturers that encourage people to drive over the speed limits? Or maybe a better analogy would be those who cause accidents and injure other people. Could those injured parties sue the manufacturers of such products?

Cheers,
Fozzy

Re:Strength of their argument (5, Funny)

RabidJackal (893308) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069282)

Can I be put in jail for taking a few 100 extra monopoly dollars when no one is looking?
Not only that, but I hear you aren't allowed to pass Go OR collect $200. Talk about harsh.

Re:Strength of their argument (2, Informative)

Rydia (556444) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069464)

There is a cause of action called "tortious interference with contract." The thrust of it is that if you actively try to get someone to breach their contract, they actually breach the contract, and the other contracting party suffers damage because of it, then the interferer is liable for the damages they should have reasonably foreseen due to their enticement.

Re:Strength of their argument (1)

iceph03nix (1005545) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069788)

while I see your point it's still quite a stretch. However, all glider did was provide a way for people to cheat, the user has to chose to use the program. It would be difficult for Blizzard, that is if they weren't a huge corporation, to prove that there was malicious intent in the creation of this program. Also, I'm not sure what Blizzard hopes to accomplish with this. It is well known that bots are parasites that will attach themselves to just about any MMO w/ heavy grinding. Even if the makers of Glide stop making there program, it will simply be replaced within a month by a new program. On top of that, with the ease of adding mods to WoW hacks, and bots are never going away.

Re:Strength of their argument (2, Interesting)

arkanes (521690) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070128)

I don't think you really got the point.

A) Use of Glider is a violation of the TOS.
B) The creators of Glider actively promote it's use (by selling and marketing it). C) People who use Glider have their accounts banned for TOS violation, which harms blizzard financially.

That looks like enough to get the case into court to me. Your arguments are a combination of "it's the users choice", which ignores the very existence of this category of law, and "another one will pop up anyway", which misses the point entirely - suing bot creators is how Blizzard is attempting to keep these bots down to a minimal level.

Re:Strength of their argument (1)

benfinkel (1048566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070416)



Also remember civil cases are different than criminal. They don't have to "prove malicious intent". This isn't a beyond a reasonable doubt kind of thing. Glider has to convince the court that their software has a perfectly reasonable use that isn't meant to encourage users to violate the TOS and cause Blizzard damages. In fact, they'd have to convince the court that using Glider to violate the TOS is a complete misappropriation of the intent of the software. Anything less is liability that Glider has.

Re:Strength of their argument (2, Interesting)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070448)

However, all glider did was provide a way for people to cheat

And that's a tort against the game company. ("tort" is "something that you can be sued over." Not necessarily a crime, but still something that's a bad idea.)

It's almost the exact same tort as, oh, a P2P company that encourages sharing of copyrighted music. And it's the same legal principle that applies to, oh, hiring someone else to kill your mother.

Re:Strength of their argument (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071648)

Certainly an interesting point, but surely you would have to prove damage of some sort for them to claim.

Re:Strength of their argument (1)

benfinkel (1048566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069598)

To answer your legal questions about Glider's liability the answer is very broadly yes.

First of all, these are civil issues not criminal, so it gets a little trickier. If Blizzard can prove that by allowing players to cheat Blizzard is being "injured" (in this case fiscally) then they have a strong argument that Glider is liable for the "injuries". Glider would need to prove to the court's satisfaction that their software had significant use and/or purpose other than circumventing Blizzard's TOS and causing this "injury". It's similar to the problems that the P2P software manufacturers face.

As a counter-point to your "suing nitrous manufacturers" example, try this analogy. You tell your violent friend the man his wife is sleeping with is in the other room and then give him a loaded gun which he uses to go kill that man. In civil court you could almost certainly be found partially responsible in a wrongful death suit.

I'm being rather vague here since I don't know the law particularly well, and a lot depends on what state this all happens in.

Re:Strength of their argument (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071338)

If Blizzard can prove that by allowing players to cheat Blizzard is being "injured" (in this case fiscally) then they have a strong argument that Glider is liable for the "injuries".

No they don't. If that was the case, you could sue for competitiveness. "Oh ouch your honor, we just can't compete with Burger King, it is killing McDonalds! Give us their money!"

The damages will rely on how much injury Blizzard suffers, but the whether they are liable or not will not be based on how much the actions 'damage' Blizzard. It will be based almost solely on the tortuous interference with a contract bit of the whole thing.

Re:Strength of their argument (1)

benfinkel (1048566) | more than 7 years ago | (#18072686)

Often time people do sue over competitiveness. Thats what anti-trust suits are all about.

My very very summarized counter-point is if Blizzard can't come up with some pretty concrete numbers their case becomes more difficult. It's not a tort if there are no damages.

Re:Strength of their argument (2, Informative)

tbannist (230135) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069836)

This is really a legal issue? Can I be put in jail for taking a few 100 extra monopoly dollars when no one is looking? The first thing I can think of is Insider Trading, which is punishable, but is a video game = the stock market?


I think this is a case of technicality. Because the players are required to agree to a contract that stipulates they will follow the rules of the game which prohibit bots, then by providing the bots to break those rules means you are encouraging others to break a contract. Furthermore, to develop the WoW Glider, they obviously had to have a WoW account to test it on, and therefore are themselves guilty of breaking the ToS.

I have no idea where encouraging others to break a contract can be actionable under those conditions, but it's a little less cut and dried than making counterfeit monopoly money, because of the contract that you have to agree to to play. A big problem for Vivendi could be that click-through contracts are not real contracts. No one bothers to read them because they're a waste of time and probably not legally binding in any way.

Re:Strength of their argument (1)

rblancarte (213492) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070574)

Just because you don't read the contract doesn't mean they are not real. I mean, I may not read every word on a loan application, but if I sign it, you better believe that I am on the hook for the consequences if I don't pay the loan.

Enforceability? There are cases [wikipedia.org] that go both [wikipedia.org] ways on that [wikipedia.org] . I would not use that as something to stand on, if I am facing the prospect of legal action.

IMHO, I don't get a package like glider, because what is the point of paying for a game to allow the computer to play by itself.

And I would also agree, cheating by players, is something that keeps me away from games, like WOW (which I have also avoided for it's crack-like [wikipedia.org] consistency).

RonB

Re:Strength of their argument (1)

tbannist (230135) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071204)

There's two problems with the click-through contracts:
1) They're too damned long for what they're protecting and usually written in legal jargin that makes them difficult for the layman to understand.

2) They're presented after offer and acceptance has already been completed. Even if you provide a way for someone to return the software for a full refund if they choose not to agree to the EULA, it's not actual a binding agreement according to the legal code. The problem, you can't modify an agreement after it's been reached without providing something for both parties in the agreement. Click through licenses, generally, only offer additional duties to the purchaser without providing any additional value to the purchaser and since they generally block usage of the software unless you agree to the click-through they are largely uneforceable, the provider is simply not allowed to change the nature of the contract once you've agreed to purchase the software.

Now Vivendi might be able to get away with it since technically the box only gives you 1 month of playing time and most people purchase their 2nd and subsequent months directly from the WoW web site and thus the offer and acceptance problem could be resolved by having people agree to the conditions at purchase time. This, however, might not apply to anyone purchasing time cards as the original offer and acceptance problem applies to them as well.

So the point is they're not real contracts because:
1) There is no actual agent on the other end of the contract to provide for modifications if you disagree with any provisions of the contract.
2) The contract is provided at a point where it is no longer legally allowed to impose additional conditions on the agreement.
3) The contract is deliberately written in a way to make it's provisions inaccessible to the people it's supposedly to apply to.
4) The contract is agreed to by clicking a single button, not signed on paper as is standard procedure for important contracts.
5) The contract is at it's most basic level simply unimportant it covers a transaction so small that if the contract had to actually be written for the transaction specifically the cost of the contract would far, far outweigh the cost of the transaction.

Of course, I'm not a lawyer so this is just my limited understanding of some of the basic legal issues that the defence will likely raise. The plaintiff might right just say "we published the rules of the game, and the defendents refuse to adhere to those rules, we'd like an injuction preventing them from playing the game or helping others cheat at the game". That's a pretty basic and compelling argument for granting the injunction.

On the other hand the reason why people cheat at WoW is patently obvious, Vivendi has substituted killing the same monster 3,200 times for actual content. They call it reputation grinding and it's generic friend money grinding. It's a way to slow down character progression and drag out the length of player subscriptions.

I think Vivendi has entered the "rape the dead body of Blizzard for cash" section of the buyout process, and I don't see good things in store for the World of Warcraft as they tighten the screws ever harder.

Re:Strength of their argument (1)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070606)

A big problem for Vivendi could be that click-through contracts are not real contracts.

Not true. I don't have the references handy, but EULAs have been found valid on many occasions. The two big problems are when (a) you don't actually have to have seen the agreement before installing the software, and (b) when you pay for the software (or can't get your money back for it) before agreeing to the EULA. In WoW's case specifically, Blizzard provides a way for you to get your money back for the boxed game if you decide not to agree with the EULA, and they also ask you to agree to their TOS when you contract with them for a game account as well as when you first run the game (and after some game patches as well). Their specific EULA hasn't been challenged in court AFAIK, but agreements which haven't caused problems as mentioned in (a) and (b) above have generally been upheld the few times they've been tested.

Wire Fraud (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18070232)

They probably will not use "Insider Trading" but Wire Fraud as the basis for the legal argument. It is written very loose to allow play for all levels. If this actually goes through court, it should set some very good guiding principles on the matter. This will probably be settled out of court. The cost for damages you have will probably be the basis, with the additional costs for man-hours Blizzard Employees charged to finding users, banning accounts, and re-activating accounts that were banned.

They could not ban the sale of software such as Glide if it can be proven there is a reasonable use outside of WoW. If they can prove the only use of Glide is for bots on WoW, then they can ban it. If Glide can show any use outside of WoW (even a simple calculator addition), then they can not ban it outright. That is why it is always useful to keep a simple side-program added into everything.
After-market car parts can be used in Racing where the speed limits are higher or non-existent which is why they are not banned. The injured parties from such crashes usually do end up suing the parts manufacturer, the driver, the state and the car manufacturer (depending on how good of a lawyer you get, could end up with money from all of them).

Just an FYI.

AC

Re:Strength of their argument (2, Informative)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070394)

Can the company be held responsible, even if it's the users choice? If I tell my friend that if he drives really fast when a police offer wants to pull him over, am I responsible when he runs from the cops the next time he might be asked to pull over while driving?

The legal concept is called "tortious contract interference". Usually it's a charge levied against one company by another if the second company has an employment contract with someone, but the first company attempts to hire that person out from under them. It could conceivably be applied more broadly, although this is probably the first time it's been used in this specific context. (I've been hoping that MMOG companies would use it against gold sellers, which they quite possibly might if this case works out.)

As for your analogy, there are a few things that make it not very apt for this situation. First off, are you talking about criminal or civil liability? I'm pretty sure (I ANAL, though) that you wouldn't be criminally liable, but I have no idea about civil liability if actual damages arise. Second, you're talking about a different sort of case. Contract interference is a specific tort that's different from the damage to property or person that might arise in a car accident.

Analogies usually fall short of their intent, but I'll try to come up with one anyway: Suppose I'm contracted to fix the roof on your house, and you need me to finish the job by the weekend because it's supposed to rain. In fact, the finish date is in the contract. Now suppose that CowboyNeal (hey, why not) wants me to do some work on his house, and he pays me extra to do the work for him ahead of all the other work I'm supposed to do. As a result, I don't even get started on your house before the weekend gets here, and the rain causes a bunch of damage to the inside of your house.

Now, you could sue me and probably win, not only for any money that you paid me already (because I broke the contract) but for the water damage that was caused to the rest of your house as a foreseeable consequence of not honoring the contract. But you could also sue CowboyNeal for interfering with the contract that you and I had, and there's at least a possibility that you could claim damages against either or both of us (jointly and severally, meaning you can claim your pound of flesh from whichever of us you choose, as long as you get exactly one pound of flesh total).

In the WoW/Glider case, the idea is that the folks making Glider are interfering with the contract between Blizzard and the player, because the player (every player) has contracted with Blizzard not to cheat while playing the game (among other things). The Glider folks permit the player to violate the contract by providing a tool that allows the average person to do things they ordinarily would lack the proficiency to do (i.e., hack the game). What's more, they actually charge money for their software, meaning that they enter into their own contract with the player, which probably makes them more culpable than if they merely posted their software on the Internet for anyone to use.

(Again, I ANAL, so take what I just said with a big ol' lick of salt.)

Re:Strength of their argument (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18073286)

| Blizzard believes that Glider infringes on their intellectual property.
| This point can seem to be a strong suit.
| They believe Glider allows players to cheat, giving them an unfair advantage

Since Blizzard still owns the rights to the game and the users are more renting the game then owning it. They are free to do all kinds of stuff. However, I do not think they have the right to take you to jail over it, but they can suspend your rights to play like a parent does a child. Be good and play nice.

|... and that they believe Glider encourages Blizzard customers to breach their contracts
| for playing the game.

How much time and money is being spent to regulate the problem? If a lot of money is being wasted on it, then why not fix the problem at the source? After all, most gamers would not build their own Glider. Hence, stopping this practice makes some logical sense.

| Last they claim that Glider is designed to circumvent copyright protections.

This seems like a sticky argument, but I can see a couple of ways it could be handled. After all, in order to create the Glider you have to know how the game operates; most likely a very in-depth understanding of the game which might require looking/reading/understand game code, packets, and other information. If the Glider modifies Blizzard's code, in anyway, then you have circumvented the copyright protection that protects the code as well as trying to make a profit off these modifications; which by the way is illegal. The trying to make a profit off of it is very bad.

On the other hand, if the Glider operates passively, then only an understanding of the code/game needs to exists. So, depending on how the Glider was created and where that information came from, could land that person(s) into a lot of trouble. For example: If it was through a decompiler, then again you have circumvented the copyright protections as well as tried to make profit of it. While Blizzard may not be sure how the creator(s) obtain their information, I am sure they know how to go about obtaining the information to create such a program; hence the charge.

In closing, just because you do not agree with what someone is doing, does not make that person(s) wrong. Perhaps, instead we could come up with better solutions for Blizzard to help improve their game or find a better answer to this argument. After all, it is the democratic approach. However, if a law(s) was broken in this case, then we all need to agree on an appropriate penalty.

Cheers,
The Fuzzy-Wuzzies

Blizzard is upset that. (1)

dudeX (78272) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068828)

Blizzard doesn't like that Glider circumvents their program that monitors processes that hook into WoW. The other charges are so that they can establish precedent against other auxiliary programs that they do not like but are not considered cheating.

It would be scary if Blizzard won.

question from a non-wow player (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18068838)

Something doesn't make sense to me.

Why pay to play a game, and then have a computer play it for you?

First, it seems like a waste of your dollars. You might as well just install Progress Quest. It will play for you too, and it's free.

Second, if an RPG has simplistic enough mechanics that it *can* be played automatically, then it seems too simple to be interesting to a human.

Re:question from a non-wow player (4, Insightful)

Fozzyuw (950608) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069208)

Why pay to play a game, and then have a computer play it for you?

Funny because it's true. In actuality, such games are not so much about the 'enjoyment of playing' but the 'enjoyment of collection'. It's like when I was a kid and spend endless money on football cards. Sometimes obsessively so to try and get a special card from a pack, or go to 'specialty stores' to buy it specifically from someone else.

Like that, WoW and other MMO's are about collection or completing 'sets' of things. In this case, leveling your character to the level cap. Maxing out all their abilities. Sure, a Hunter might only use a bow for 99% of his play time, but this person will still max out their sword, 2 hand sword, axe, hand-to-hand, polearm, staff, etc skill.

They might NEVER care about the cooking skill, but they max this out too, because they have it and it's not maxed yet. So, you might say "yeah, but if you're still not playing the game, then you'd still have no interest in the game and therefor no interest in doing it in the first place.". That would be true as well. Most of this maxing out skills would be done for some of the tedious tasks that the person really doesn't want to spend the time doing, but has spent the time maxing out the stats that matter when he was playing.

Otherwise, most uses are simply for those who are trying circumvent the 'boring' process of acquiring wealth to purchase things that would allow them to enjoy the game. For instance, this goes to your second good point...

Second, if an RPG has simplistic enough mechanics that it *can* be played automatically, then it seems too simple to be interesting to a human.

Half of the game is fun, and not necessary for automation. That's the leveling/quest process. There's fun action/story involved in the game. When you reach the level cap, that's when the 'tedium' kicks in. My own example. I've recently hit level 70. Now, I'm doing the 'max out my skills' area or 'finish all the quests in my book' thing. It's the football collector / perfectionist side of me. I want that 100% completion rating kind of thing. Actually, I now find myself not caring to play as much, since I know all that's left is 'grind' with little accomplishment and I'm not looking forward to waisting my time maxing out my fishing or cooking skills again.

However, the parts I am interested in, where I now have to 'grind' out 5,200 gold to afford that epic flying mount, which could take weeks or months, would be a waist of my time as there's no enjoyable benefit for me. I 'could' just keep doing the quests and dungeons until I reach 5,200 gold, but that would take months if I spend no time focusing on making money.

That's when people turn to these automated programs (or for those who use them to sell gold on internet sites). The problem is not the automated program, but that people feel like they need automation to avoid waisting their time and to reach a point they feel comfortable playing again.

So, in your 2nd point, you've pretty much hit the nail on the head and that an game should adjust their development if there are automation problems. However, I think the automation problems are fairly limited to those who are using it to farm in-game gold to sell for real money. So, I think the amount of grind required for 'most' things is fairly reasonable with the latest expansion (I feel it was much worse before the latest expansion pack) and Blizzard has noticed the amount of unpleasant grind on 'some' things, but are keeping others due to the fact that it's just part of the business model to keep people playing and paying.

Cheers,
Fozzy

Re:question from a non-wow player (3, Insightful)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071610)

Why pay to play a game, and then have a computer play it for you?

Funny because it's true. In actuality, such games are not so much about the 'enjoyment of playing' but the 'enjoyment of collection'. It's like when I was a kid and spend endless money on football cards. Sometimes obsessively so to try and get a special card from a pack, or go to 'specialty stores' to buy it specifically from someone else.
 
Like that, WoW and other MMO's are about collection or completing 'sets' of things. In this case, leveling your character to the level cap.

That's an attitude I've never been able to understand. In game after game I see the same thing: "I've ground my $template to $levelcap and I'm bored! There's nothing to do but $handful of stuff!"
 
Well, duh idiot. You ground yourself right past all the content! WTF did you expect? When you play a console game or PC RPG you don't try and leap right to the boss fight - why do you do that in a MMO?

Re:question from a non-wow player (1)

Mattsson (105422) | more than 7 years ago | (#18073430)

Blizzard should make their own autopilot-software for WoW.
One of the reasons I stopped playing WoW was all the horribly slow and boring traveling.

When I started playing, my first though was "Argh! He moves too slow! I must reach level 40 and get a mount!"
After ~20 levels I was bored with leveling and the simplistic, repetitive quests.
After reaching level 40 with my main I found that he was *still* horribly slow, and also had to dismount his war-stead to fight! (wtf?)
What? A better mount at level 60? No way!
Deleted my 6 characters, uninstalled the game, canceled my subscription.

An autopilot and faster movement at lower levels might have made the game bearable.

Re:question from a non-wow player (1)

D4rk Fx (862399) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069354)

Second, if an RPG has simplistic enough mechanics that it *can* be played automatically, then it seems too simple to be interesting to a human.
I guess that's the same reason humans aren't interested in Sex either... ...Oh wait.

Re:question from a non-wow player (1)

hotdip (804898) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069402)

Maybe the 'non-evil' way of using this software looks something like this: Step 1: Create NELF/BELF female char Step 2: Configure the software for hot cyborz Step 3: ... Step 4: Profit! Whoa! I think I better start working on my business plan. :)

Re:question from a non-wow player (5, Funny)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069814)

I installed this cool game called SETI. It's all about searching for life in the universe or something.

But, I never have time to play. The cool thing is, I got it configured so that my computer can play the game itself. I just let it run whenever I'm not using the machine, and check up to see if I've found anything yet.

No luck so far. You'd think they would put more aliens into a game like this to make it exciting. If I haven't found any by next month, I think I'm going to return it.

Re:question from a non-wow player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18073392)

LOL!! Nice! I play this one also on three computers! I agree, they need more aliens.

Re:question from a non-wow player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071054)

Why pay to play a game, and then have a computer play it for you?

Because most of the time the game is boring shit, and everyone knows it from the players to the designers. Total lack of imagination has moved multiplayer online RPGs from the Holy Grail they seemed in the 80's to pathetic and expensive trudges through meaningless routine actions in order to get to the point where a character can actually play the action parts. And then discover that all the other people who have done likewise are a bunch of tedious, stupid, bastards.

Renting a game is just giving the publishers carte blance to make the game slow and dull.

TWW

Misleading title... (1)

creimer (824291) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068876)

Looks like "death from above" is not a supported WoW feature.

Boycott Blizzard (1, Offtopic)

jspayne (98716) | more than 7 years ago | (#18068928)

Warcraft II was good, Kali made it groundbreaking. So much so, Blizzard was shipping Kali on the Warcraft II CD, and ultimately it inspired Blizzard to create Battle.net. Battle.net was good, but not great - and Bnetd was created. Did Blizzard embrace this new contribution from their loyal fanbase? Of course not, they sued them into oblivion. I owned every Blizzard title and expansion up to Warcraft 3. They haven't gotten a nickel of my money since.

Re:Boycott Blizzard (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071574)

Amen brother. Blizzard Entertainment have demonstrated over the years, right up to Mike Mornahime, that they are complete assholes concerning certain things as far as consumer rights go...JUST LIKE A LOT OF CONTENT PUBLISHERS!

Hopefully, this will go down in flames like the "Nintendo Game Genie" incident more than 15 years ago.

Automatons (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18068976)

Maybe if WoW did not require its players to be automatons, then this kind of automation would not be a problem?

I mean seriously, who wants to play a game where you must repeat the same mind-numbing tasks over and over again to progress in the game? (Let alone pay for the privilege...) I am amazed that these games are successful at all.

This is a game design issue.

Why do people keep hosting this stuff in the US? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18069062)

Its not like its hard to get hosting and domain registration in Canada or Europe. Why do it in the US when you know Vivendi Universal are scum sucking buttwipes who will try to use their money to push you around in the US court system? I'm suprised Vivendi hasn't asked Godaddy to shut down their domain already, since Godaddy seems to have no issues with doing that for big companies.

Re:Why do people keep hosting this stuff in the US (1)

Tim C (15259) | more than 7 years ago | (#18072736)

But if they're US residents, running the site from within the US, they're still bound by US laws. The fact that the server they're using is physically located in another country doesn't make any difference - they are physically located in the US, (allegedly) breaking a US law. Look at it this way - I'm in the UK. If I make threatening 'phone calls to someone in the US, I can still be arrested and tried in the UK.

Disclaimer: IANAL, this is not legal advice, if you get your legal advice from slashdot you're a moron, etc.

sigh (3, Insightful)

spykemail (983593) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069072)

I still play Diablo II, and I have to say that I've seen a pattern of unreasonable behavior on Blizzard's part. Preventing cheating is one thing, but who defines cheating? They do, and their definition is pretty much "regardless of whether the program is completely harmless and improves a crappy aspect of our game, it's still cheating if it allows a player to play our game in any way that wasn't determined solely by us." The one that really gets to me is the map thing for Diablo II. For the love of God, nobody that still plays Diablo II enjoys exploring the same levels over and over and over again.

I'm also not a big fan of their anti-cheating tactics, and I applaud these people for circumventing them, even if it may have been for a bad cause.

Re:sigh (2, Insightful)

brkello (642429) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071264)

I am trying to refrain from putting you down, but it is really hard. How in the heck is this unreasonable behavior? I know the whole bnted thing...and I agree that Blizzard was right to shut that down because its primary reason to exist was to allow people to play their game online without paying for it. I don't know of your Diablo example, so I can't really comment on that...but you really can't comment on WoW.

The program allows a person to leave their computer and let the script play for them. It is cheating...period. Blizzard has done an amazing job with their interface...allowing tons of user created AddOns that enhance your ability to play the game. But making something like this is unacceptable to everyone who plays the game. Stopping cheaters and gold sellers is why a lot of people support Blizzard. There was rampant cheating in FFXI that turned so many away. Blizzard has to fight to keep their game cheat free and I say good for them for doing it.

And then there are people like you that applaud people who find ways to allow people to cheat. Seriously, what is wrong with you? If you don't like the way Blizzard runs their games, then don't buy them. Don't encourage people to find ways of screwing over others.

Author is a moron (3, Insightful)

charlesbakerharris (623282) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069432)

Blizzard believes that Glider allows players to cheat. Having used Glider myself I would have to say that it is not really a cheat program. It does not allow you to dupe items or create things out of thin air. It does not do anything a real player can do with one exception. It does allow the character to be played 24x7. Humans can't do that. Groups of people could do this though. There are many farm companies that offer powerleveling services that will run your character 24x7. There is not much difference between the two of these. Both of them level up your character as fast as possible. They both can farm for you as well.

Is this guy serious? "it is not really a cheat program"? No, it doesn't dupe items. It just gives you a massive competitive advantage, equivalent to a bunch of other ways of cheating (that the author delightfully lists) in violation of the ToS. That's not cheating at all.

What a tool.

Re:Author is a moron (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070306)

"It does not do anything a real player can do with one exception. It does allow the character to be played 24x7. Humans can't do that. Groups of people could do this though."

Heh. "Sammy Sosa's new cybernetic brain implant doesn't do anything the athlete would be physically incapable of doing himself, it just does it with an unnerring accuracy and resiliance that Sosa himself could never in practice achieve. Senate hearings as to whether or not this constitues 'cheating' are expected to continue..."

Re:Author is a moron (1)

Goat of Death (633284) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071022)

Slaps forehead. If getting to an arbitrary level cap is somehow a competitive advantage then ouch on the world in general. And even more ouch to the next poster for comparing the skill required to be a professional baseball player with the grinding tedium that is WoW and so many other MMORPGs. Brain numbing dedication to a cause should never be equated with actual skill or talent.

Re:Author is a moron (1)

Velops (1006755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18073608)

It has nothing to do with levels. Getting to the level cap in WoW is much easier than many MMORPGs on the market today. The advantage comes from being able to get extremely rare drops with little to no effort. These drops end up flooding the economy. This causes the prices to go haywire and hurts anyone who gets these items legitimately.

would this be like suing counterstrike? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18069602)

I admit I don't know anything about WOW but is this not like say a mod for Halflife, that makes the game more playable? and then suing the other company out of spite because blizzard didn't come up with the idea first?

If counterstrike was sued out of existence I never would have touched or had any interest in halflife. perhaps these are people that would like to play the game now and then but have a difficult time playing because they can't dedicate their lives to playing. Thus making it "unfair" to playing against players that do.

Anyone have a link to Vivendi's filing? (2, Interesting)

Kaikopere (892344) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069816)

The only articles I've been able to find about this aren't exactly objective and haven't provided the actual text of the claims being made by Vivendi. While it's easy to hate the big conglomerate, I've had a number of games ruined for me because of bots/farmers (indirectly and directly) and tend to support action being taken to squash gold and item farming. I'm not sure that I would support action against the third party software providers (since they haven't agreed to the TOS) and I'm interested to see the exact nature of the claims Vivendi is making, uncolored by the bias of supporters of the folks being sued.

Who ruined the game exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18072358)

The people who's intelligence is slightly above hamsters and thus are not amused by running in the same wheel forever? Or the people who wrote the game as just a big fucking hamster wheel? If the game can be ruined simply by having people write a script to play it for them, then the game is not worth playing in the first place. Donate your $15 a month to a charity and just run around your yard in circles all day. You and the rest of the world will all be better off for it.

"Ruined it for me" (1)

Kaikopere (892344) | more than 7 years ago | (#18073374)

I think this vehement support of bots is pretty strange. What's the matter? Did the cost of having to re-purchase keys and replenish your stock because you've been banned cut into your farming profits? If the game bores you, don't play it. I don't play WoW, or EQ 2, or any subscription based game right now, although I've played most of them at on one time or the other until I wasn't getting my $15 worth of enjoyment out of them. Item and gold farming does ruin the game because it fucks up the economy. If nothing is done about it, then you end up with the folks that don't buy gold or bot unable "earn" any of the rewards.

In EQ2 my crafter was unable to harvest the rares needed for some weapons she wanted to make because there were 3 farmers working in tandem cherry picking the nodes that I needed - and they were there every time I had the opportunity to play and went to check. So, after realizing it was more frustrating than fun, I quit and found a different game. This argument that "if a game can be ruined simply by (fill in some anti-social behavior), it's a bad game to start with" is completely fatuous. MMOs are as much about the community as the game mechanic. If a company allows the botters and farmers to chase out the folks that are there to play (cooperatively or competitively), they'll lose money. Blizzard has already lost my money because I didn't buy the expansion and it had nothing to do with game mechanic and everything to do with community. Am I even a blip on Blizzard's WoW radar? Most certainly not, but based on how aggressively they are banning accounts I'd venture a guess that there are other folks out there that feel the same way that I do.

Blizzard = nazi (1)

nanowired (881497) | more than 7 years ago | (#18069918)

From Blizzard's filing: MDY's sale of WoWGlider has caused Blizzard great harm in the direct loss of revenue from terminated users, the loss of subscription revenue from WoWGlider users availing themselves of the cheat, and from the severe damage to the goodwill of the non-cheating population of WoW users. If they're going to sue him for loss of revenue, than they better well have refunded the money back to all the people they banned. Otherwise they haven't lost enough, because most of the people who got banned repurchased the game!

Re:Blizzard = nazi (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18070510)

Thank you for once again proving Godwin's Law [wikipedia.org] .

bots (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18070122)

The keyboard allows botting. Why are people in support of keeping it on the shelves?

One valid reason for it to exist (3, Interesting)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070508)

After you've leveled up a few toons to 60, sorry 70 now, its a PITA to level up the rest of your toons. Same thing happened in D2, where it was a MAJOR PITA to level up to 99 -- Blizzard tried banning a few people, but the bots kept coming, and eventually they gave up.

If the author really wanted to keep WoWGlider going, he would of open-sourced it before got the big take down. I seriously doubt he has the money to win the legal case.

Didn't bnetd teach us anything??

Re:One valid reason for it to exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18071454)

> After you've leveled up a few toons to 60, sorry 70 now, its a PITA to level up the rest of your toons.

I might humbly suggest playing something you have fun playing, instead of something that's "a PITA".

If you like the game, great! But if not, why not find a game you *do* enjoy? It's not supposed to be a job, it's supposed to be fun.

IMHO, all games eventually have the appeal wear off, and that's a good time to find another one (or go back to play some of the classics from the past that you might have enjoyed. I've recently dusted off Bard's Tale again for another go...)

Re:One valid reason for it to exist (1)

gigertron (1066074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071548)

Only idiots use the term 'toon'. Stop using it. Keep some dignity and say 'alt' instead.

Re:One valid reason for it to exist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18072440)

Agreed. Also, only idiots use the term 'roll' to refer to non-random character generation.

Re:One valid reason for it to exist (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 7 years ago | (#18073254)

Alt, Toon, Mule, same diff. There is no official definition of what to call your 2nd, 3rd, etc, characters -- slang is slang.

You say too-mate-o, I say to tow-mat-o. Who the fuck really cares, as long as we understand one another.

Are you really that close minded, and power hungry that you need to control how people communicate???

Re:One valid reason for it to exist (1)

gigertron (1066074) | more than 7 years ago | (#18073998)

Slang has it's own purpose - to mark you as a member of a group. Kids want to rebel and show that they're different, so they mask their language by creating new slang terms, many of which have really goofy origins. Do you think MMOs are like cartoons? Or are they like pen-and-paper role playing games? Did you come to MMO gaming through southpark, or everquest fanfic, or from a long history of playing online games, as MUDs and MUSHs and MUCKs? Using the word 'toon' marks you as a young kid, or someone who's trying to sound like one. When you say it, I understand you as being a young kid, or someone who's trying their hardest to sound like one. You can have more dignity than that. You can do better than trying to fit in with the cool junior high school kids.

Quit being a moron. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18072136)

Its not a fucking "toon" jackass. Are you playing a cartoon, or a game? Its a "character", learn to speak nerd or go back to playing madden.

Re:Quit being a moron. (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 7 years ago | (#18074338)

Character, Alt., Mule, Toon , Avatar, Alter-Ego, does it _really_ matter what we call it? At the end of the day, its _just_ a game. My wife and I call our other characters 'toons. Not sure why you get bent out shape, when there is no _official_ definition for 2nd, 3rd, etc, characters for MMORPGs. Blizzard decided to call them characters [worldofwarcraft.com] but they don't have a monopoly on the slang usage.

WoW is cartoony -- bright, and colorful palette. Which is one of the reason I like playing it, and one reason we abbrev our Alt's as 'toons. Our main guild calls them Alt's, other guilds call them 'Toons. To each their own!

--
Where is the Bowcrafting skill in WoW?
So let me get this straight, I can make armor, but I can't repair it??
I miss UO [uo.com] ...

HOW is it illegal, exactly? (2, Insightful)

thepropain (851312) | more than 7 years ago | (#18070544)

Glider sounds like nothing more than WinBatch, or VisualBasic's (or any other language's) SendKeys. If software that automates input is truly illegal, how far down does it go? Would this apply to the BIOS (or whatever) that feeds op instructions to the CPU?

Re:HOW is it illegal, exactly? (2, Insightful)

geekmansworld (950281) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071930)

The issue is not that automating keystrokes illegal. The issue is that the WoW EULA says that you can't use software that does this very thing. If indeed the company that makes Glider is selling it as a WoW autopilot, then they're encouraging users to violate their license agreement. In that aspect, I'm inclined to side with Blizzard. They're trying to create an environment as egalitarian as possible for their players.

What perplexes me is that WoW already includes the hardy anti-cheating monitor nicknamed "The Warden" to watch for programs that do exactly this sort of thing. Wouldn't Blizzard simply modify the Warden so that WoW won't run when Glider is active?

Re:HOW is it illegal, exactly? (3, Informative)

crabpeople (720852) | more than 7 years ago | (#18072468)

Well it's UNATTENDED macroing. Obviously, no one can make macros illegal as they can perfectly rplicate user input as to be indistinguishable. The issue is probably that a GM comes on, sends you some sort of private message, then another one in like 10 minutes. If you dont respond then they kick/ban.

Its a sensible restriction in most games to ban unnattended macroing. I am against banning tools as well, but it would be different if they were watching the screen while running this app.

Here is an idea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18070922)

...make the game something that people want to play instead of script. And note, I said WANT to play, instead of HAVE to play, putting sometime that force intelegent interaction to fight scripter isn't the answer.

On the copyright and IP claims (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 7 years ago | (#18071620)

USe a parody as fair use defence.

The argument is that the game is so dull and tedious, that you need to use a computer to play it for you to save you the effort.

Why the EULA is vital for an MMORPG (3, Informative)

Velops (1006755) | more than 7 years ago | (#18073444)

The social aspect is one of the most important things for an MMORPG to be successful. It is one of the driving factors that keep people playing the games. Without a strong community, many players would quickly stop playing the game. As a result, developers like Blizzard need to keep the community happy. Nobody cares if people cheat or use 3rd party tools on single player games. That's because the only person affected is a single player. It matters a lot in an MMO because the characters don't exist in a vacuum. They exist in a world populated by other characters that interact with each other. Cheaters can cause serious damage to a game economy by flooding the market with rare items causing rampant inflation. This directly hurts any players who did not cheat. When these problems arise, the community gets unhappy and the devloper must take action or risk having the entire game fall apart.
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