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Blizzard Unbans Linux World of Warcraft Players 300

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the panic-subsides-throughout-the-land dept.
An anonymous reader writes "World of Warcraft players using Cedega (the Linux-based Windows emulator) had their bans lifted after an investigation by Blizzard in cooperation with the Cedega development team revealed that the bans were in fact made in error."
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Blizzard Unbans Linux World of Warcraft Players

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  • by ubrgeek (679399) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:02PM (#16952334)
    The response was a lot more classy than some companies would have done (*coughSonycough*)
    • by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:12PM (#16952586) Journal
      The summary also failed to mention that the people who were blocked got 20 days free play time - 2 weeks more than the time they were blocked. Basically, compensation for time lost plus some insane interest. They got some flak for this initially, but now, not so long after the incident in question, they admit to being wrong, reimburse those wronged, and told us they worked with the Cedega folks to get this resolved, thus supporting the Linux community. I don't see that they could have handled this much better after the initial screw-up, and with that last bit, they now come off smelling like roses (or at least a lot less like shit) to a majority of the /. community. Well played, Bliz, and bravo.
      • by GoMMiX (748510) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:00PM (#16953630)
        Yeah, a little credit for doing the right thing - but look at what it took for Blizzard to admit it was wrong. How many other people are wrongfully banned and Blizzard won't fess to it?

        I've seen a multitude of people post on the forums saying they were banned as a Linux user and then posted the confirmation from Blizzard that they *re-investigated* it and confirmed they were using a 3rd party bot program.

        If it were not for the overwhelming support of the Linux community I have no doubt there would be no admission and all of those people would be banned.

        I hate bots in WoW as much as anyone, but Blizzard needs to WARN people that a 3rd party program is running on their system. WARN them. Every time it's detected.

        Imagine when someone makes a virus/spyware/malware/whatever that runs as a process with the sole intent of appearing to be a bot to WoW. It most certainly would not be the first time someone did something for the sole purpose of being malicious and causing innocent web users/gamers harm.

        Blizzard needs to do something to make it's customers feel safe - I sure as heck don't. Every time I get in game I do my best to close out ALL my running processes - IM's, VoIP, AV, et al - for fear one of them might do something to cause Blizzard to flag me as a cheater.

        Why would a company treat it's customers like that?
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Apocalypse111 (597674)
          While I agree that they need to have some system in place to inform users that they may have some kind of bot running so as to avoid false positives like this, I also think that if they were softer on their anti-bot and anti-cheating measures then we might have an even worse situation. I don't advocate this kind of approach in real life, but as far as WoW is concerned, I think it works out alright, since Bliz seems to be going about it in a pretty fair and even-handed way. I mean, as it stands now, its ei
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by GoMMiX (748510)
            I read your rational for taking "the latter", however - that's an easy stance to take until you are one of the latter.

            Don't be fooled, just because Blizzard reinstated those accounts using Linux doesn't mean it reinstated all accounts that were wrongfully banned. This is an extreme rarity, and I sincerely doubt anything would have been admitted by Blizzard were it not for the overwhelming support from the Linux community.

            I mean, really - if you were wrongfully banned and Blizzard *re-investigated* your case
            • In that case, I suppose I wouldn't be quite as generous as I am being now, no. Your statements beg an interesting question though - this and other incidences where players have been reinstated aside, how often do false positives occur? And in the case of a false positive, what kinds of steps can be taken to get your account back, and what kind of information can be provided to Bliz to help show that you are not, in fact, attempting to cheat?

              I also don't think it was just the Linux community that caused
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by GoMMiX (748510)
                Ahh, this is great portion of the problem. You see, you actually can not provide ANY information to prove you did not cheat.

                What you can do is email wow-accountadmin@worldofwarcraft.com with your account name.

                That's it. Precisely.

                When you do this, Blizzard claims to *re-investigate* the ban. Which essentially means they are going to review the data they have that was originally used to diagnose your account as having cheated.

                Therein lies a great portion of the problem - you truly have no means by which to d
          • by deathy_epl+ccs (896747) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:40PM (#16954522)
            if you are determined later to have been tossed out unfairly (by a fairly responsive review team, it seems), you get reinstated and compensated for lost time.

            I've seen several cases where people were banned for "cheating" where the people were innocent (though I've also known a few that deserved what they got), and this case with Linux is the first time I've ever seen Blizzard's research come back in favour of the player. They are not, as you seem to think, at all responsive - they will not talk to you at all. I was rather shocked to see the Linux thing go the way it did considering their past performance, and the only thing I can figure is they were concerned about the publicity of so many verifiable false positives.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Rix (54095)
              No, there have been a few false bans in the past that were reversed. The only reason it doesn't appear that way is that most cheaters immediately go to the forums to profess their innocence when they're banned.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Jesus_666 (702802)
              I think Transgaming pestered and/or paid them until they agreed that Cedega is not a bot. This is not a story about Blizzard suddenly becoming Linux-friendly, this is a story about Transgaming convincing Blizzard that their product is legit.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Jahz (831343)
          Do you think warnings are a good deterant for something like cheating in WoW? Would you be hestant to cheat if you knew that getting caught would just result in a series of warnings? Blizzards tough, zero tolerance stance on cheating is the primary reason the game is still fairly pure. Sure some small number of people have and will always try to cheat, but the risks are huge... when you play for 1-2,000 hours a year (as many do), you DON'T risk a ban.

          As for closing IM, VoIP and other programs: better saf
          • by GoMMiX (748510) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:44PM (#16954598)
            I would imagine there would be a limit to the number of warnings a player should get, certainly.

            Do you seriously think the actual cheaters care? Heck no they don't. Log into WoW on Wildhammer US and I'll show you a dozen bots that have been leveling back up since the ban.

            The point is, good honest folk deserve a fair chance.

            Another point I was making was that without the great support of the Linux community - these bans would have stayed. Wrongfully so, I might add.

            How would that be fair?

            It's so easy for people to say a few false positives are okay, until they themselves are victims of a false positive.

            People do deserve a chance. Blizzard offers the guise of that chance, but it's not real. This has been proven by all the Linux users who received *confirmation* they were cheating and only with mass support from the Linux community was the truth revealed.

            People need to stop looking at this from a perspective of "how do I feel as someone who was not wrongfully banned" and see it more as "what if that was me that lost an account I had spent two years on, banned for something I did not do -- with no way to get my account back".

            People also need to stop thinking that Blizzard gives each case the thorough check it deserves. They do not. If they did, why were so many Linux users told their case was *re-investigated* and confirmed they used 3rd party programs?

            If you are wrongfully banned, you will STAY wrongfully banned. These people had their bans lifted for one reason, and one reason only; overwhelming support and demand from the Linux community.

            I had an account banned four months ago - FOUR MONTHS. Reason: Innaccurate or incomplete billing information. WTH? What was I supposed to do to remedy the sitiuation? Fill out a form with a copy of my ID, have it notarized by a notary public, and mail it in. I did. And I received a response that they copy of my photo ID was not legible, and I would have to go through the ENTIRE process again.

            I did. It's been almost two months and I've heard nothing back - there is NO PHONE NUMBER TO CALL - no way to check my case status other than email. My emails go in, I receive an auto response, and then nothing.

            Not even banned for cheating and I still can't get my account back.

            Again, it's nice and easy to sit on the other side of the fence and say all is well.
        • by AxemRed (755470)
          I don't think that there should be warnings; I'm glad that Blizzard bans people when they are using bots. But there should be appeals. If someone gets banned as a cheater, they should have the opportunity show Blizzard a legitimate program that they were running that triggered the false positive. And Blizzard should test it and see if it really does give a false positive. And that scenario should play out EVERY time someone requests it.
          • by Al Dimond (792444)
            Do you know how many players the game has? I doubt Blizzard could keep up if they had to have technical people individually verify and respond to every cheating case.

            What you're proposing is like a judicial system for a company. That's not likely to happen. Judicial systems take a lot of people and a lot of work. They even require "volunteer" (ish) labor for juries. They're expensive. Governments have them because in real life justice is worth the cost. To Blizzard, it's only worth the cost if it get
          • by GoMMiX (748510)
            Would you really expect the average Joe to be able to do that?

            After all, the majority of WoW's customers are just Joe's - with the basic computer knowledge needed to play a game and send email -- and that's about it.

            Should you really need a degree to have the right to play a game without being falsely banned?
            • by AxemRed (755470)
              Everytime I have read a story about someone being banned even though they weren't cheating, they were doing something that an average joe wouldn't do. I haven't read any blogs or forum posts about people being banned and having no idea why. I have read many posts about people being banned for emulating Windows, writing and debugging "legal" scripts, and using programmable macros on a keyboard. Basically, when I have read posts about people being mistakenly banned, it's because they were doing something unus
        • I hate bots in WoW as much as anyone, but Blizzard needs to WARN people that a 3rd party program is running on their system. WARN them. Every time it's detected.

          I believe Blizzard's WoW launcher does so to a degree:

          "Automatic Trojan/Cheat-Program Scan"

          "If a Trojan or third-party World of Warcraft cheat program is detected on the system on which the Blizzard Launcher is running, a message will appear with additional helpful information. Trojans are hidden programs designed for a number of malicious
          • by GoMMiX (748510)
            This is very interesting.

            I had no idea.

            Sadly, that screen is like the EULA - people just click and go. I'm ecstatic to hear they actually do this - but I would wager less than 1% of WoW players actually know this exists - let alone where to look on that screen for information.

            That sucker should pop up it's own window for something so important, one would think. Something to really get the users attention and make sure they understand what is going on.

            Additionally, a popup should occur while the player is in
        • by dasunt (249686)

          Imagine when someone makes a virus/spyware/malware/whatever that runs as a process with the sole intent of appearing to be a bot to WoW. It most certainly would not be the first time someone did something for the sole purpose of being malicious and causing innocent web users/gamers harm.

          There's a better motivation than harm for making a virus that spreads around a WoW bot -- money.

          If there would be enough false positives to break WoW bot-detection program, someone who used the same bot to farm & ma

        • by argStyopa (232550)
          Or, they could make a game which is even slightly unpredictable in ways that a retarded-monkey-AI couldn't cope, and thus make bot writing either pointlessly difficult (or at least engender a whole new generation of complex heuristic programming and perhaps advance the science of AI...).

          That might EVEN be interesting?
      • Next step (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mrchaotica (681592) *
        they worked with the Cedega folks to get this resolved, thus supporting the Linux community

        Yeah, now the next step is to release a native Linux version of the game. After all, it must be portable code since it runs on Mac OS already...

      • They could produce a Linux client rather than making people use crappy for-pay versions of Wine that is unsupported.
        • Blizzard isn't "making" anyone run WOW in Wine. People choose to do so, with tht knowledge it is unsupported. If it works, bonus. If not, it was never promised that it would.
    • by SilentChris (452960) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:14PM (#16952644) Homepage
      It was said from the getgo (by me and many other people) that Blizzard would retract the bans. Many negative things can be said about Blizzard: they take forever to make changes, most of their games are evolutionary not revolutionary (although they're fun and have a lot of polish). The one thing that no one questions: Blizzard takes the relationship with their fans very seriously.

      It was pretty much a few people overreacting. As also has been said, Blizzard uses Linux to run World of Warcraft (http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=206732& cid=16855900). So saying this was a targeted affront against Linux users (instead of a targeted affront against cheaters) was misguided.
      • by Thansal (999464)
        Exactly, Blizzard is a smart company, they do not want to tick of these users as well as create a bad name amongst geeks (if they had not done anythign about these accoutns there would have been a good number of poeple that are suddenly warry about Bilz's policys).

        Meh, Blizz is one of the companies I consider myself a fanboy of (as far back as the wonderful games that are the lost vikings games, who you can find in ULDA btw), so this is no big shock to me.
      • by Apocalypse111 (597674) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:46PM (#16953284) Journal
        ...most of their games are evolutionary not revolutionary (although they're fun and have a lot of polish)

        This, in my opinion, is one of the reasons Blizzard enjoys such great success. They may not be very inventive when it comes to new concepts for games, but they will take existing concepts and run the hell out of them. Their games aren't always the best examples of what can be done, but they're always great examples of what should be done.
    • by throx (42621)
      Sony (at least SoE) doesn't have a "warden" process snooping around your computer looking for third party programs. They polled the user base about 5 years ago on this idea and got a resounding "f'off" response, so have never gone back to trying to monitor the other programs running on your PC at the time.

      I don't get how Blizzard is the "good guys" for apologizing when their own snoop program returned a false positive, when they remain completely unrepentant for the fact their process deliberately fishes a
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by compro01 (777531)
        a lot of games also use what i think is a rather similar thing (not sure about specifics, but the entire concept seems nearly identical) called Gameguard, made by INCA.
        • by throx (42621)
          Hadn't seen that one before, but a quick look seems to indicate it's one hellishly obnoxious piece of code, almost rivalling StarForce. I'm sure it will play merry hell with Linux and even Vista where syscall hooking is a great way to crash the OS. Thanks for the link.
    • by Mayhem178 (920970)
      Sony's not the only one [penny-arcade.com].
  • Well, that's good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mysticalfruit (533341) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:05PM (#16952398) Journal
    It's good to see Blizzard actually take the time to investigate their mistake and make things right.

    I understand based on market share vs. time to develop why Blizzard doesn't have a linux client, but considering that they've got an OSX client I can't imagine the hurdles for porting are that high.
    • by Compholio (770966)
      I understand based on market share vs. time to develop why Blizzard doesn't have a linux client, but considering that they've got an OSX client I can't imagine the hurdles for porting are that high.
      Especially since there was supposedly a Linux client on the Beta CD.
      • by ScytheBlade1 (772156) <scytheblade1@NoSPAm.averageurl.com> on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:22PM (#16952816) Homepage Journal
        That they did. Well, no. It was distributed in an early beta over FilePlanet.


        $ for a in *; do sha1sum $a; done;
        c9affeeaff43d565513c1240c37d51efb61c0ff9 WowClient
        dc288d9f7c88c1b0287387c3bb506ef30fd62b1f libSDL-1.3.so.0
        a9178bcd629e3db58d9ca565ee75c0ce85373f70 libexpat.so.0
        3c457e00bdbd4f39b547ff9ac8f67a76c7eb4a1d libfmod-3.72.so
        dd1f45ca3466b2c77e738b54f7b55e858754181e libfreetype.so.6
        56e16ad086c592848d1d53f0b4db2570bb60041e libgcc_s.so.1
        3c137e3f7e29223f6535e8b61fabcfdb2340bca3 libstdc++.so.5
        c8fae34ab919251d0af382f5557ca70ee9c143bf libz.so.1
        a8de29b62f05a71b0fa3761f0441c29081e31cc0 uninstall
        8a5670bbc67b6cb72805afdf28bc0c69fc573a3a uninstall.bin
        cdd47ffc29bc129da0521da5b98a1af23bbb5f4c wow


        I've got the binaries, libraries, and even shell scripts to start it around. No joke.

        They have a functional WoW Linux client. I have no doubt of that.

        They didn't ship it due to legal reasons.

        #!/bin/sh
        #
        # Run World of Warcraft

        # Function to find the real directory a program resides in.
        FindPath()
        {
        fullpath="`echo $1 | grep /`"
        if [ "$fullpath" = "" ]; then
        oIFS="$IFS"
        IFS=:
        for path in $PATH
        do if [ -x "$path/$1" ]; then
        if [ "$path" = "" ]; then
        path="."
        fi
        fullpath="$path/$1"
        break
        fi
        done
        IFS="$oIFS"
        fi
        if [ "$fullpath" = "" ]; then
        fullpath="$1"
        fi
        # Is the awk/ls magic portable?
        if [ -L "$fullpath" ]; then
        fullpath=`ls -l "$fullpath" | awk '{ ORS=" "; i = 11; while ( i fi
        dirname "$fullpath"
        }

        # Unfortunate hack until we figure out why TLS glibc breaks us
        if [ -d /lib/tls ]; then
        LD_ASSUME_KERNEL=2.4.19
        export LD_ASSUME_KERNEL
        fi

        cd "`FindPath \"$0\"`"
        LD_LIBRARY_PATH="`pwd`/lib" exec ./WowClient $*
        Apparently, "Your comment has too few characters per line (currently 20.9)." Not that I'm surprised, after posting a bit of bash script. Even after adding that line, it's still not enough!

        Huh, I'm up to 23.3 and even then that's still not enough. More meaningless text, just to bump it up a tad bit. I should probably drop the punctuation, but hey, oh well. It seems that even 24.5 isn't enough for it... how about 25? Maybe? Please? Okay, more than twenty-five. Time for copy/paste of random text to bump it up. * Please try to keep posts on topic. * Try to reply to other people's comments instead of starting new threads. * Read other people's messages before posting your own to avoid simply duplicating what has already been said. * Use a clear subject that describes what your message is about. * Offtopic, Inflammatory, Inappropriate, Illegal, or Offensive comments might be moderated. (You can read everything, even moderated posts, by adjusting your threshold on the User Preferences Page) I understand based on market share vs. time to develop why Blizzard doesn't have a linux client, but considering that they've got an OSX client I can't imagine the hurdles for porting are that high.
        • by idonthack (883680)
          Wow. This is awesome. Do you know exactly what the "legal reasons" are? I'd sign up again just to support them, if they released it.
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by mrchaotica (681592) *
          They didn't ship it due to legal reasons.

          Could you be more specific?

    • by Kenja (541830)
      Its not a question of technical hurdles, but rather of return on investment and support costs.
      • "Its not a question of technical hurdles, but rather of return on investment and support costs."
        Give that man a cigar. First and foremost, Blizzard is a business. If releasing a Linux client would generate more income than it cost to produce/support they would do it. There is no grand "anti-penguin" conspircay afoot, just simple numbers people.
    • Wow originally had a Linux client. It was dumped during beta. They still run the servers on Linux, however (http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.pl?sid=206732& cid=16855900).
    • by iroll (717924)
      Apple also bends over bass-ackwards for Blizzard too, at least as far as they do for anybody else. There have been a grip of driver updates for OS X to tweak WoW performance.
  • by copponex (13876) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:08PM (#16952448) Homepage
    The linux community reversed it's announcement last week concerning the early release of 2.6. Now they have pushed back the release date by three years, and possibly four depending on "how awesome the Blood Elf race is."
  • Amazing... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Vrallis (33290) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:08PM (#16952454) Homepage
    It's amazing to see Blizzard actually re-instate these accounts, and I'm damned glad they did. I've been avoiding trying to get WoW going under Cedega lately due to the looming threat of Warden and how people thought it was react to Cedega.

    This certainly isn't the first time they've mass banned people due to "mistakes" in their detection programs. Almost my entire guild was banned last year when one of their programs to check for cascaded raid timers was set for 7 days instead of 6; even then it would have been wrong due to Blizzard resetting all raid timers during a patch the week before. After raising a stink on the forums plus a number of calls to Blizzard, they reversed all our bans with a measly 24 hour credit.
    • by kjart (941720)

      It's amazing to see Blizzard actually re-instate these accounts, and I'm damned glad they did.

      I agree - I'm shocked. The language they use in their account banning messages is rather severe:

      ...this account has been closed and will not be reopened under any circumstances

      How do I know? I was (un)fortunate enough to receive an arbitrary banning in the past few weeks. Why the "un" in parentheses? Well, the quasi-amusing thing is that I hadn't actually logged in for a few weeks and was seriously contemplat

  • Great News (Score:5, Funny)

    by CalSolt (999365) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:08PM (#16952460)
    Finally, we can sleep at night knowing that the 15 people who play WoW on Linux can once again have their freedom.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rbochan (827946)
      Who needs sleep [slashdot.org]?

    • Funny as this may come across, that's more than a joke.

      First of all, it shows that a big player in the game biz takes its Linux clients serious. I think you can call the company running the biggest MMORPG a big player. They could've shrugged it off, they have millions of subscribers, why would those 15 (even if it were 100) matter? Bad press? Sure, on /. and other geek pages.

      But is WoW a geek game? I mean, sure, a lot of geek prolly play it. But the "masses" of players are far from any kind of geekdom.

      I do
  • by antirelic (1030688) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:10PM (#16952512) Journal
    Its amazing that this hasnt happened more often. I would imagine that running a "Windows Game" on linux isnt in violation of most EULA's that come with todays games. Of course, it would seem pointless to alienate a customer base that solves this technical problem on their own (without having to spend time and money porting your product to another platform), but stranger things have happened. I wonder if it would be legal to revoke someones liscence or CD-KEY for playing a game developed and liscenced for Windows on a Linux platform (therefore violating the EULA)?
    • The trouble with things like this is that it potentially can be used for hard to spot hacks. Usually it's not to hard to scan for known hacking problems but when you introduce vmware/emulators/interpreters it gets complicated. if an simulated windows envoironment is isolated from the Linux side of things, potentially you could run a memory altering program in linux that effects the game without it being visible in the windows part.

      Blizzard probably allowed it because such a tiny percentage use linux to ru

      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        a system level process in windows, or any process that uses SMC and encryption to hide itself can be just as invisible. the best way to spot cheating is to find the effects of reckless cheating, look for people who are playing just a little too perfect, such as fishing for 72 hours straight or being withing milliseconds of perfect timing all the time in combat. this then escalates the conflict untill bots have to be made less efficient than a human player and still risky.
    • TOS = Terms of Service.

      "We have been testing our security software with Cedega. Cedega was used and tested before the security procedures and during the security procedures. From this testing we have yielded no hits, meaning Cedega, by itself, does not incur an account suspension. We have accounts of several Cedega users who have been playing normally during the time that these processes are running. Again, these people are not being suspended simply because of using Cedega or Linux. We are in contact wi
  • by CarnivoreMan (827905) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:11PM (#16952550)
    They should give a better comp than just a few free weeks of play. Something like an ingame penguin pet... Ya, that'd be sweet!
  • by fallen1 (230220) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:11PM (#16952556) Homepage
    I have to give them credit as well, they heard about the problem, acknowledged there was a problem, teamed up with Cedega and then FIXED the problem (reinstated locked accounts) and then gave them 20 days credit as well.

    Would I be pissed if I played and had an account locked/banned by this? Hell yeah. Would I be somewhat mollified by 20 days of play tacked onto my account and an e-mail apology with an admission of "We screwed up, sorry" to boot? Hell yeah!

    A lot of companies these days don't listen to their "base" and ignore the customer as nothing more than a $ and a number. Blizzard isn't perfect on this account, but they're better than a lot of the major playors out there. Kudos to Blizzard for realizing their cash cow was supported by multiple _people_/players and not just a bunch of $$$ and random numbers called credit cards - and willing to work to fix the problem! Keep up the good work.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by TheLinuxSRC (683475)
      "Would I be somewhat mollified by 20 days of play tacked onto my account and an e-mail apology with an admission of "We screwed up, sorry" to boot?"

      I played SWG for over 2 years, at times with as many as 3 accounts. I *never* saw sony act with as much class with regards to the multitudes of bugs and screwups they produced. I never even saw sony admit to any wrongdoing or mistakes on their part. Having had that experience with a game publisher, I would say that Blizzard reacted in the best manner possible.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Sage Gaspar (688563)
        That's because SWG was a series of fuckups, each bigger than the last, and if they reimbursed anyone for that they would've had everyone playing for free. It's actually pretty standard MMO procedure for companies to give shit away after they've screwed something up.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by geekoid (135745)
      "Would I be somewhat mollified by 20 days of play tacked onto my account and an e-mail apology with an admission of "We screwed up, sorry" to boot? Hell yeah!"

      unless you lost yout battle ground rank becasue you weren't active, then you would still be pissed.

      For those not in the know, a.k.a. people with a life, to maintain high rank in the battle grounds you must always be playing, because your rank is in constent compitition with others who play. This means you loose ranks when not playing.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Tridus (79566)
        Those ranks will become meaningless in the next patch anyway, so its not much of a problem.
    • And the whole point of an MMO is network effects. Hardly any people use linux to play WoW. But think of how many players have a friend or guild-mate who plays using linux... they had to fix it.
  • by moore.dustin (942289) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:14PM (#16952648) Homepage
    Blizzard has always been good with communicating bugs, errors, and others issues to and with its customers. Pre World of Warcraft Blizzard saw numerous bugs, hacks and errors posted and discussed on their forums where open communication with the actual developers was the norm. Sure, many game companies do the same now, but Blizzard was a huge company before WoW and you would often see discussions with the top dogs of the company. Rob Pardo use to reply to balance issues in a discussion format(forum) instead of just a static post. While Blizzard has grown and changed, many would still agree they still prize a good product for their customers and making sure it remains good.

    I have my issues with the new Blizzard that made WoW, but deep down I know they still care about making a quality product for their customers.

  • by Sylvak (967868) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:15PM (#16952672)
    I recently installed WOW on linux using Wine... It works great. I hope I don't get banned just because I'm using a different emulator. Does anybody know if they can tell the difference? I didn't see any mention of Wine in the article.

    If anybody has a clue on this, please reply.

  • by AHumbleOpinion (546848) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:23PM (#16952846) Homepage
    No anti-cheating effort will be 100% error free 100% of the time. I think judgement should be made on how often errors occur and how a company handles reports of errors. The statements before and after indicate a pretty decent handling of the situation. Especially for an unsupported OS. Apparently not all Cedega users were banned, the problem must have been intermittent. This is consistent with what many Cedega users were saying, that they have been playing and everything was fine.

    So, they test in an unsupported environment and promptly investigate problems and address them. IMHO Blizzard is showing Linux some respect, as they did many years ago for Macintosh when most people laughed at it. Hopefully history will repeat itself.

    What they said before the investigation when the report of problem first came in:

    "We have been testing our security software with Cedega. Cedega was used and tested before the security procedures and during the security procedures. From this testing we have yielded no hits, meaning Cedega, by itself, does not incur an account suspension. We have accounts of several Cedega users who have been playing normally during the time that these processes are running. Again, these people are not being suspended simply because of using Cedega or Linux. We are in contact with the people at Cedega and following up with them regarding individual accounts. To answer the OP's question, no it is not against the ToS to use Linux or Cedega. We continue to monitor the situation to prevent cases of false positives and to rectify them if they do occur."

    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.html?topi cId=47009071&sid=1&pageNo=3 [worldofwarcraft.com]

    What they said after investigating:

    "Greetings,

    As you know, Blizzard Entertainment traditionally makes a serious commitment to protect the World of Warcraft community from players who gain unfair advantage through hacks and exploits. Last week, our administrators implemented bans on a large number of accounts that were identified acting against the terms and the spirit of the game.

    However, it has since come to our attention that a very small percentage of those accounts should not have been banned. This case of mistaken identity seems to be isolated to users of an unsupported, Linux-based Windows emulator called Cedega.

    Once this pattern was brought to Blizzard's attention, our staff worked directly in conjunction with the Cedega development team in a rigorous and thorough review of the situation. We have since determined that your account was one of those accidentally flagged, and as such we are immediately reinstating your account to fully playable status.

    Blizzard Entertainment deeply regrets the error, as we understand that this brief account closure presented you with an inconvenient and highly frustrating experience. We remain firmly committed to enforcing our regulations and suspensions for those exploiting our game, in the interest of ensuring that our legitimate customers have the best possible play experience. In this case, however, we regretfully caught a handful of innocent customers in the process, and for that we offer you our genuine apology.

    In consideration of our error, we are applying a credit of two weeks play time onto your account, in addition to crediting back the time that your account was locked. This comes to a total of twenty (2O) days credit, which should be visible on your account within the end of the week.

    If you have any other questions or concerns regarding this account, please do not hesitate to let us know. We appreciate your extraordinary patience in this matter and hope you will continue to enjoy your time in World of Warcraft.

    Regards,

    World of Warcraft Support Team
    Blizzard Entertainment"

    http://www.linuxlookup.com/2006/nov/22/blizzard_un bans_linux_world_of_warcraft_players [linuxlookup.com]
    • Any word on whether their anti-cheat software detects use of Linux-based tools that can enable cheats, like /dev/kmem? I would guess they do not.

      If they don't have the ability to check whether cheat are being used on Linux, then cheaters will flock to it at some point. And the only thing Blizzard can do is observe behavior on their end and try to divine whether someone appears to be cheating, and try to guess if this is the oncoming wave of cheaters. And that's pretty much what happened, and how they d

  • One wonders if it should have even happened at all? Did they not catch the fact that there were tons of people all getting the beat stick at one time? Couldn't they correlate this with the fact that most of them were on the same OS? Have we moved beyond the stages of "innocent before proven guilty"? Is this how Vista's licensing will be handled as well? "Might as well ban everyone, if they feel they need to get back in the game, they can petition." It seems kind of counter-productive.

    Sorry for the r
    • by 0racle (667029)

      Sorry for the rant, but this reflects on the society we are in today. Is it okay to ban someone without first investigating the cause?

      When dealing with a private corp, yes. They do not need to investigate and can ban you from their service at any time with no cause, you have no right to use it. This is not the police or branch of the government, there is no burden of proof that has to be met. If your client matches a fingerprint that looks like you're cheating, you're gone and usually that's it.

      Mass bannin

  • If only we could get the people responsible for fixing this onto the Druid dev team.
  • Blizzard has historically done a great job at catching the bad guys without catching innocent people. They probably caught some people who didn't deserve it but they were generally fair. This latest round wasn't like that at all. It would appear that they are currently targeting wow-glider and anti-afk macros so aggressively, they are using unreliable tactics prone to false positives.

    I've been paying attention to this latest wave of bannings because my guild's main tank got hit and he has no idea why. I
  • While Blizzard has 'fixxed' this small goof on their part, and many ~geeks~ on this board and on others around the world have forgotten something.

    This is the same "Teh Evil" company that fought bnetd.
    Yes I am sure that after needing a shovel to move the mountains of money out of their way just so they can get to their desks, the Blizzard Execs are quaking in fear at my protest, I take pride in this stand.

    In many battles the soldiers hope that the effort is not in vein.
    Lest we forget.
    One more group that will

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it." - Bert Lantz

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