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Banned From WoW For WINE & Programmable Keyboard 701

An anonymous reader writes "Player gets banned for playing World of Warcraft under WINE and using a Logitech Gaming keyboard. "I am an experienced network engineer for an ISP and I am often running World of Warcraft on Linux through the use of WINE..."" Although the e-mails exchanged are unclear my guess is that the programmable keyboard was more the problem then WINE. Not that you'd ever know that given that Blizzard communicates with their users seemingly almost exclusively with form letters.
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Banned From WoW For WINE & Programmable Keyboard

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  • by JasonUCF ( 601670 ) <jason-slashdawt@nOSPaM.jnlpro.com> on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @10:36AM (#14923659) Homepage
    They have stated repeatedly that programmable keyboards like the Logitech one violate the EULA for WoW. While the current iteration of hacks -- sending the keyboard the mana/HP, are benign, the possibilty exists for there to be future mods that become harmful to the game or allow for some form of hacking.

    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.aspx?fn=w ow-interface-customization&t=330798&tmp=1#post3307 98 [worldofwarcraft.com]

  • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot...kadin@@@xoxy...net> on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @10:42AM (#14923699) Homepage Journal
    It seems like it was definitely the programmable keyboard and not WINE that set off their bot detectors.

    Apparently the macros on the keyboard were making him do repeated actions, and somehow this was interpreted by Blizzard as "unattended" operation. (Why they think it was unattended I don't know, TFA doesn't say exactly ... why didn't they just message him when they saw the odd behavior? Or do something else to verify it's a human on the other end?)

    Anyway, a quote from TFA:
    "So it seems that if I use a programmable keyboard I am botting. However I suspect their 3rd party detection software saw a very strange enviroinment in which WoW was running; that combined with the repetitive task of healing myself, switching weapons, and casting Hex of Weakness programmed in my keyboard, I am viewed as a bot."

    So it seems other people using WoW under WINE are safe, you'd just better not get too trigger-happy with the keyboard macros.

    What's really the problem here is that there seems to be a huge disconnect between official Blizzard policy (programmable keyboards are okay, this has been explicitly said by one of their reps in the forums, according to the article) and what the GMs did. And after the guy got banned, they seem to just be just stonewalling him and hoping he'll go away, giving him a lot of "the matter is closed" crap. I have to salute his perserverence, though, in spite of this.

    Rather a disappointing showing from Blizzard.
  • by Tominva1045 ( 587712 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @10:43AM (#14923706)

    On this point (botting) the EULA has been clear since the release of the game. If one knows something he is doing could be percieved as botting (at the discretion of the owner of the content) then why tempt fate by using it and then admit to using it?

    They made a judegement call with their corporate reputation as the foundation upon which they stood to defend this principle. That didn't leave them any backing-down room. When you admitted to the programmable keyboard that gave them what they needed to completely defend their position.

    Step 1: ditch programmable keyboard.
    Step 2: obtain new credit card.
    Step 3: Hellooooo Level 1.

    good luck - EULAs can be tough.
  • by BadAnalogyGuy ( 945258 ) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @10:44AM (#14923718)
    Karma...getting...low... Need..to..get..back..over...Positive!
  • OMG! I wanted to get the link in, but I read through the rest of the email:

    At the time of the suspension I was playing WoW on Linux. I was training my weapon skills because I recently turned to level 60. I had programmed the switching of weapons (I use Wardrobe for that) to my programmable keyboard and was fighting a low-level healing mob to upgrade all my weapon skills to 300. As you might very well know, this takes hours, and while I was training my different weapon skills by pressing the macro keys and healing myself every now and then, I watched some movies on my TV, because fighting a level 25 healing mob doesn't require much attention if you're a level 60 priest.
    It's not a matter of WINE, he was fucking botting! He took his programmable keyboard and built macros for fighting mobs and then left it unattendend.

    When you a grinding, if a GM suspects botting they will whisper you looking for you to respond. If you don't respond within a reasonable amount of time you get nailed for botting.


  • by Kadin2048 ( 468275 ) <slashdot...kadin@@@xoxy...net> on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @10:47AM (#14923753) Homepage Journal
    There is a link in TFA, allegedly to a post on the European forums where a Blizzard rep (I think) says explicitly that programmable keyboards are allowed.

    This is the link, however it's giving me a "service unavailable" message. I'm not sure if that's because I'm not authorized, or because I'm in the US and trying to get to the European forums, or what. If anyone can access it and quote their answer, I'd be very interested.

    Besides, Blizzard employees have stated in a blue post on the EU forums:

    "We have looked into this matter and haven't found reasonable cause to disallow usage of its functions for use in world of Warcraft. We do, however, reserve the right to come back to this statement at a later point, at which we will inform our players."

    The link to this post is http://forums-en.wow-europe.com/thread.aspx?FN=wow -general-en&T=705675&P=5 [wow-europe.com]
  • by mazariyn ( 525556 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @10:50AM (#14923782)
    That thread relates to the use of software to display in-game information (e.g. hps, mana, level, etc.) on the LCD screen of the Logitech G15 keyboard, not the use of the keyboard itself.
  • He was cheating.. (Score:2, Informative)

    by saboola ( 655522 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @11:02AM (#14923919)
    Before you all come down on him with the "OMGFTW He gotz banned for the WINE iN lInux0rz" it had nothing to do with that from TFA. He was using his programmable keyboard to fight a group unattended, which in my book is considered a macro cheat. He should have been banned, and was.
  • by MayonakaHa ( 562348 ) <mayonakaha.gmail@com> on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @11:16AM (#14924056) Journal
    Except he didn't configure it to do the macros automatically so he couldn't just walk away. Looking at the article, he was watching TV on his other monitor which is situated right next to the one displaying WoW. He was keeping an eye on his character in WoW to determine when to hit the next macro key while watching TV. Unfortunately it looks like he probably didn't keep an eye on his chat box and missed an IM to check if he was actually there or not. I have to admit, when I was doing some mindless task in an MMO I usually didn't notice the chat box either because I was watching TV or reading a book too. Looks like either he just got caught not paying enough attention to the game and he missed the message, or the admins just saw that he was doing the same thing over and over and the abilities were being used in the same order with the same delay between them and decided to suspend him without checking with a message to the player.
  • not so odd (Score:3, Informative)

    by kcurtis ( 311610 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @11:28AM (#14924201)
    It appears a game master (GM) approached him in-game and he did not respond -- he was watching a movie and pressing the keyboard buttons without watching the screen.

    Put yourself in the GM's position. A character repeatedly performs the same action hundreds of times. When sent messages (tells/whispers) the character does not respond. There is no other reasonable explanation than that the character is automated. Sure, weird situations like this particular one can occur, but is there really any way for Blizzard to see that it was not a bot? The guy pressed one button that caused his character to perform repeated tasks while the player was not watching the game. That is botting. The fact that the player pressed one button every few minutes does not mitigate the rule breaking.
  • by Jugalator ( 259273 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @11:34AM (#14924263) Journal
    Why they think it was unattended I don't know, TFA doesn't say exactly ...

    Yes, TFA says the guy had been watching movies during this because his character was owning the enemies anyway. That counts as unattended gaming and is strictly prohibited in WoW due to unfair advantages it grants the botter.

    Now, how Blizzard pictured this may be up for debate, but Blizzard has in the past been monitored suspicious accounts if the strange behavior goes on over long periods of time and aren't just flukes. That's probably how they can say this, and if pressured could maybe even say for how long he did it.
  • Fasterfox? (Score:4, Informative)

    by numbski ( 515011 ) * <numbski@hkGINSBERGsilver.net minus poet> on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @11:34AM (#14924268) Homepage Journal
    I've noticed that Fasterfox's default setting is to be horribly abusive about page loading. I'm far more thorough about reading through settings than most people, and I toned it down from "Turbo Charged" to "Optimized".

    I'm hoping this isn't a trend, because Fasterfox really does make a HUGE pageloading difference. :(

    Perhaps if I run a squid proxy on my network it would help too? There's only 3 machines here, my desktop, may laptop, and my wife's desktop.
  • Re:Anonymous? (Score:5, Informative)

    by infernix ( 300990 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @11:44AM (#14924360) Homepage
    I did not submit this anonymously myself; I submitted under my own account a week or two ago. I guess someone else resubmitted it.

    And just a minor remark here to people who claim I was botting. Please, go look up some botting software.

    1) They virtually all need MS .Net framework - in other words, botting software doesnt work on WINE.
    2) Botting software runs around, taps mobs, kills them, loots them and repeats this process. I didnt. I did not loot, move, nor change target. Anyone with a WoW account can run to Thousand Needles, find a Windchaser creature, get a lowest level weapon and hit it indefinately, provided that you are a healing class.

    Anyway, I mentioned this, but I can understand why people who quickly read would miss it.
  • by krypt0s ( 72886 ) <`krypt0s' `at' `yahoo.com'> on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @11:52AM (#14924454)
    This is not botting.

    As a matter of fact, the behavior he described can be easily replicated on a standard keyboard using WoW's built-in API. It is a simple matter to write a macro that will watch your health, heal you if if drops below a certain threshold, switch weapons based on any of a number of circumstances... etc. Bind that macro to a key, and just press the key over and over. Perfectly legit.

    He didn't say he was away from the keyboard, he simply said he was watching tv while grinding out weapon skill. If all you have to do is press one button... that seems entirely plausible. He's not gaining any extra information or abilities from the programmable keyboard, so I don't see the sense in this banning.
  • Re:Anonymous? (Score:5, Informative)

    by merreborn ( 853723 ) * on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @12:41PM (#14924977) Journal
    "I think your only legitimate statement is that Logitech claims the keyboard is useable for WoW. Other than that, using macros is a definite nono."

    If you RTFA, he provides a (now defunct) link to a post in the EU forums, with a quote, in which blizzard had stated that using keyboard macro functions is okay.
  • by fithmo ( 854772 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @12:51PM (#14925081)

    WoW already has great OpenGL support, it shouldn't be that hard for a company like Blizzard to port WoW to Linux.

    There's already an online petition to get WoW ported to Linux claiming 23725 signatures (at the time of my posting this).

    Sign it here. [blizzpub.net]
    (disclaimer: I'm not connected with the creaters/pwners of the site in any way what-so-ever, I just really want this to happen.)

    You don't need to own or currently play World of Warcraft to sign; you just have to support the idea of it being ported to Linux. Please support this. This would make an incredibly strong argument for Linux as a viable gaming platform.

  • Re:Anonymous? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @12:57PM (#14925145)
    Umm, with Wine and perl making a bot is trivial. Not to mention that Wine has a nifty side effect of hiding the underlying linux proccesses from the running app -- in effect hiding your os and running linux apps from the scan that WoW does.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @01:13PM (#14925288)
    There seems to be a lot of contention, even at Blizzard, as to whether the G15 is bad. Please note the following post, and the Blizzard replies:

    http://forums.worldofwarcraft.com/thread.aspx?fn=w ow-tech-support&t=747591&p=1&tmp=1#post747591 [worldofwarcraft.com]

    Note the second post which says:

    "No you cannot be banned for using this keyboard."

    or a couple more posts down:

    "Some of us even use them"

    I would have to say, based on this, that either the keyboard isn't the problem, or people at Blizzard don't listen to each other. Most likely it is some combination of the two.
  • by The Ultimate Fartkno ( 756456 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @01:54PM (#14925661)
    Blizzard told CmdrTaco to change a name he had been using for awhile because it violated the game rules.

    Except it didn't.
    From Taco's post...
    First of all, the reason that my account is in violation is that my name contains a title prefix. It took dozens of inquiries to get that explained. 'Cmdr' is the problem. I'm told that since the game has an internal honor system with titles, my name is not allowed. Never mind the fact that 'Cmdr' is not one of their titles. Never mind that countless other titles abound in the game: Mr, Sir, Sensei.
    The name change isn't the issue as much as the completely random and inconsistent enforcement of rules (that may or may not be rules) by nameless, faceless people who live behind a wall of form letters, canned answers, and "we don't have to explain ourselves to you, citizen!" attitudes.
  • by tyresyas ( 826753 ) <rtharper@NospAm.aftereternity.co.uk> on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @02:36PM (#14926045)
    Oh really? Macroing is botting? Is that why programmable macros are a part of the game? He still had to control his character. If anything beyond him hitting that MoB had entered the situation, he would have had to intervene. The extensible UI of WoW lets you automate a TON of tasks. Additionally, the fact that his situation is outside the scope of their TOS definition of botting is a critical distinction. With the extensibility of the game, a clear-cut definition as to what qualifies as botting is very important. If his doesn't meet it, he shouldn't be charged with botting.

    And tell me, holier than thou WoW player, have you never watched a movie while playing? Because in MC I have definitely done nothing but mash frostbolt when the hall trash gets pulled to my group while I sit and watch a movie.

    Blizzard was entirely out of line this time.
  • Re:Player TOS (Score:3, Informative)

    by cmburns69 ( 169686 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @02:57PM (#14926247) Homepage Journal
    Unfortunately, until people stop buying games, there will be almost no incentive for companies to add this. Remember, we all like Blizzard for being "for gamers by gamers", but the reality is that they revolve around the almighty buck.
  • by makomk ( 752139 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @03:29PM (#14926532) Journal
    Try this thread [worldofwarcraft.com] (on the US forums, I think)...
  • by Evil W1zard ( 832703 ) on Wednesday March 15, 2006 @03:30PM (#14926546) Journal
    I have a Logitech and its not some super secret weapon that allows you to do all these things that you couldn't normally do. Really the best part of it for WoW is that the keyboard has extra keys so you can assign more buttons. You can create macros in game and assign them to a key on a normal keyboard. This is no different and is allowed via WoWs user interface. It isn't against their EULA to assign keys (even a macro to swap weapons) to a keyboard. If this person is telling the truth then he did nothing against their EULA.

COMPASS [for the CDC-6000 series] is the sort of assembler one expects from a corporation whose president codes in octal. -- J.N. Gray