World of Warcraft

WoW Classic: Blizzard continues to blithely ban innocent players

We had already discussed it frequently on buffed: Blizzard's(automated?!) ban system works frustratingly unreliable. Over the past year and a half, accounts of WoW Classic players were repeatedly banned for using unauthorized programs, who subsequently claimed to be innocent. However, in many cases there was only a renewed, more in-depth investigation of the case if enough dust was raised by the person concerned on the Internet. After being re-screened by a Blizzard employee, many of the bans were then rescinded.

That this issue continues to be an issue (and will likely be an issue in TBC Classic, unfortunately) is evidenced by several recent reports from players on community platforms like Reddit. They can be summarized as follows:

  • The affected players suddenly found that their account had been permanently banned. The reason "Offense: Exploitative Activity: Unauthorized Cheat Programs (Hacks)".
  • The actions that supposedly led to the ban: An extensive fishing run in the Plaguelands, boost runs in Maraudon, numerous tribute farm runs in Bleak Quarry North.
  • All those affected believe that they were reported by some other players - for fun, because they spent a long time in the respective dungeons (and were therefore mistaken for bots?!), because the search for people interested in boosting in the chat might have been annoying.
  • The first ticket usually resulted in a generic reply: we have looked into the case again and confirm the penalty imposed.
  • Further tickets always resulted in further replies, which were unhelpful. Details of the alleged violation were never forthcoming. Partly the answers of Blizzard contradicted each other. Sometimes the penalty was changed from permanent to 6 months, whereby it was always unclear on what basis this decision was made.
  • At some point, a post on Reddit by those affected followed, generating increased attention.
  • Lo and behold, most of those affected have since been able to update that post, confirming that the accounts are accessible again and that there was free game time as reparation for the mistake.
  • Sad fact on the side: While these WoW (buy now 14,99 € )-Classic players are banned (obviously unjustified), every day the same, guildless rogues romp in the Blackrock Depths, the same bot groups of Druid, Mage, Priest make their rounds between Undercity and Stratholme.

From a distance, those responsible seem downright overwhelmed, which is all the sadder when you consider that Activision Blizzard has had a very successful year - the value of the company is currently estimated at 73 billion US dollars (in the summer of 2019, the value was still at 37 billion US dollars, according to estimates). At the same time, we should not be surprised about this, if we remember the layoffs from 2019 or the closure of the Versailles office last year.