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Blizzard Unbans Linux World of Warcraft Players 300

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 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 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 ( cid=16855900). So saying this was a targeted affront against Linux users (instead of a targeted affront against cheaters) was misguided.
  • 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 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." cId=47009071&sid=1&pageNo=3 []

    What they said after investigating:


    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.


    World of Warcraft Support Team
    Blizzard Entertainment" bans_linux_world_of_warcraft_players []
  • "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. Not only did they admit to a mistake, they went ahead and fixed it (for an unsupported platform nonetheless) and gave away some free play time to boot.
  • Re:Game Police (Score:1, Informative)

    by Usekh ( 557680 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:30PM (#16952974)
    "Ban gays"? please. They did nothing of the sort. I know this is an on-line forum, but it isn't Fox News. A little restaint on the hyperbole please. And yeah, just up to 7 million players. They are really eroding that player base.
  • by shawn(at)fsu ( 447153 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:49PM (#16953360) Homepage
    But Linux is just impossible to support (too many distros, too many configurations, too many kernel versions, too many GUI environments, too many ways to fuck up, etc).

    That's funny I seem to remeber a version of Unreal Tournament (2004 maybe) released a linux version along with the windows DVD's.
  • by Sage Gaspar ( 688563 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:48PM (#16954684)
    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.
  • by Gabrill ( 556503 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:49PM (#16954708)
    You're a dork. They didn't even have to look into this. Linux isn't even a platform that they support or endorse. Apologizing to Linux users actually goes way beyond their realm of responsibility.
  • Re:By the Way... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Il128 ( 467312 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:06PM (#16955106) Journal
    Here is the email: My last just before their last: I'm sorry we seem to not be communicating well. I would like a Refund and to cancel my account. If you can not help me can you please refer me to someone who can? Thank you, XXXXX Blizzard's last email: Dear XXXX, We apologize if you are unsatisfied with our product. If you are in North America and wish to be refunded for your purchase, please contact Vivendi Games' support at 1-800-757-7707 (Dial option 1). Other areas: Please use this link - [] to find the game distributor nearest you. Refunds are only available for World of Warcraft if purchased within the last 30 days. If you have already set up an actual game account for World of Warcraft, and would like assistance with account cancellation, please call our Billing & Account Services team Monday through Friday between 9:00 am and 6:00 pm Pacific Time at 800-59-BLIZZARD (800-592-5499) or by emailing Customers in Australia should call 1-800-041-378. Please make sure that you properly cancel any subscription on the Account, if you wish to no longer use it as outlined in the previous emails. Sincerely, XXXX X Billing and Account Service Representative Blizzard Entertainment []
  • by Tridus ( 79566 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:38PM (#16955702) Homepage
    Those ranks will become meaningless in the next patch anyway, so its not much of a problem.
  • by Al Dimond ( 792444 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:41PM (#16955760) Journal
    Actually if you link some of the more pesky libraries statically and don't use any kernel functionality that's too new you can get very wide binary compatibility. This is more or less how things work on Windows and Mac, right? You certainly can't claim that GNU/Linux systems have the kind of backwards (or sideways, for that matter) compatibility that Windows does, but it's possible to make statically-linked binaries that run across a wide range of kernels.

    I don't know if this is worthy of man-love, but it is one way to do it.

"For a male and female to live continuously together is... biologically speaking, an extremely unnatural condition." -- Robert Briffault