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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 ubrgeek ( 679399 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:02PM (#16952334)
    The response was a lot more classy than some companies would have done (*coughSonycough*)
  • Well, that's good. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mysticalfruit ( 533341 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:05PM (#16952398) Homepage 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 Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:09PM (#16952478)
    1) Run Cedega
    2) Run your new Linux bot
    4) Profit!
  • 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:Great News (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rbochan ( 827946 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:25PM (#16952886) Homepage
    Who needs sleep []?

  • by nschubach ( 922175 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @01:31PM (#16953002) Journal
    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 rant, but this reflects on the society we are in today. Is it okay to ban someone without first investigating the cause?
  • 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?
  • by emilyridesabmx ( 1009713 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:03PM (#16953708) Homepage
    I'm glad that Blizzard reinstated these folks, because the whining was absolutely unbelievable. It was like an addict denied his methadone. Everyone was convinced that Blizzard was out to get them, and now we see that isn't the case. The acted reasonably, so all the Linux Professional Victims can drop it.
  • by Apocalypse111 ( 597674 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:19PM (#16954038) Journal
    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 either deal with a game made impossible by cheaters and a lax anti-cheating program, or occasionally get false positives from a largely-automated system that suspends your account for a time and which, 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. Neither solution is ideal, but I think I'd take the latter over the former, as it keeps the game playable and inconveniences the fewest number of people (although those inconvenienced are, admittedly, affected worse). Again, having a system in place to warn users that it appears that they are running a bot would be a great addition to that system for fairness's sake (although it would also give those trying to circumvent the anti-cheating system a red-light/green-light system as to whether or not their cheats are up to date).
  • by Jahz ( 831343 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:23PM (#16954176) Homepage Journal
    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 safe than sorry. Though, its really unlikely that any third-party program that is NOT a wow cheat program will cause a problem. From what I understand, the game scans memory to see if unauthorized programs are reading/writing WoW's memory space. So just the mere fact that Blizzard has put such fear into you regarding cheating means that their system is working :-)
  • by GoMMiX ( 748510 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:30PM (#16954324)
    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 and confirmed you were a cheater - even though you know you were not - and the ban stayed, do you think you would feel the same way about taking the latter? Not if it were someone else, if it were YOU?
  • by Lanoitarus ( 732808 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:46PM (#16954620)
    How the hell is parent modded Insightful? Gee, if there werent any people using bots, this wouldnt have been a problem in the first place, either.
    If they didnt chase after those people in the first place, this wouldnt have been a problem in the first place.
    If there wasnt ever a such thing as a computer invented, this wouldnt have been a problem in the first place.

    Or perhaps most astutely of all... If Linux users represented enough of a market share to economically JUSTIFY blizard putting the time and effort into making a linux client, this wouldnt have been a problem in the first place.

    I dont think i've ever seen a more fitting place for the line "cry more, noob". Yes, linux is great. Yes, it would be nice if there were more major games for it. No, its not a company's fault that they dont waste time catering to a fraction of their market. Blizzard is already unusual enough in fully supporting macs at launch.
  • by Cauchy ( 61097 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @02:53PM (#16954804)
    I broke my addiction. I woke up from a dream about WoW in the middle of the night last week, and I decided it had gone too far. You end up spending every moment not at work playing. I got out of bed, canceled my account, and deleted WoW off all my computers. My wife was very happy. I did have withdrawal though. I was in a game store over the weekend, shivering, trying to find some methadone (a new game) to replace my my heroin (WoW). I settled on ATITD (which has a Linux client). I'll never get addicted to that---it is too boring.
  • by GoMMiX ( 748510 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @03:29PM (#16955510)
    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 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 defend yourself.

    This is exactly why I say the Linux users would, without question, still be banned if it were not for the overwhelming support, demand, and publicity that the Linux community provided.

    Blizzard DID re-investigate those people, and DID respond to their pleas of innocence - informing them they DID re-review their case and DID find they cheated. That is the process ALL banned accounts go through. The ONLY reason the Linux people got their bans lifted was the publicity and volume of complaints. A mere one guy with some weird program that somehow made them think he was cheating is flat out SCREWED.

    Therein lies one of the biggest problems with how Blizzard handles this.

    Giving people the opportunity to prove their innocence isn't really going to work well. Most people have problems with their own email, let alone proving they didn't cheat. I mean, I know a lot about IT - been working in the field for a decade - I wouldn't even know where to start. I could make up fictitious data all day to try and prove I was innocent but how could Blizzard possibly verify this short of physically having my computer?

    Obviously no one wants Blizzard to lax up on cheaters, so the only solution I see is for Blizzard to at least give some warning - and give people a chance to correct/ remove the problem application before they ban them.

    Granted, no one should get unlimited warnings - and you'll still likely end up with some level of false positives from the *impossible* users who somehow manage to contract every virus known to man just by visiting eBay, but it would drastically reduce both false positives and the use of cheats overall.

    But at least they would have some semblance of a chance.

    This would also provide Blizzard with a wealth of information - when people themselves are actually able to somewhat identify other possible instances when a false positive is identified.

    I'm not saying I know the right way, or the best way to handle how WoW deals with cheats and cheaters - but I am definitely saying the way it is handled now is wrong and unfair.

    That aside, the botters still bot. The reason? Because Blizzard doesn't ban them when they are caught - they wait months and months then do a mass ban. What is the point of even BOTHERING to ban these accounts when Blizzard allows them to continue cheating for MONTHS before banning them. Then the cheaters come RIGHT back - and in a week have a level 60 created by a bot - then get to use that level 60 for several months before it's banned. Rinse, repeat -- so to speak.

    My idea of a better solution would be that users get a couple of warnings - with specific information listed so they can contact technical support and try to remove the offending program or provides Blizzard a chance to identify legitimate software giving false positives. To complement that - they need to ban repeat offenders WHEN they are identified as such - not wait several months.

    I know that is a lot to absorb, but if you play WoW it will make sense. Essentially, what I am getting at is the true cheaters get to cheat anyway - they are merely inconvenienced by the bans - whereas legitimate players lose an account they dedicated actual time to.

    To complement this all, they need to start banning credit cards also. After say a couple of account bans it's time to just say this credit card can no longer create another account.

    Anyway, the point is there is a lot Blizzard could do to clear out
  • by troll ( 593289 ) on Wednesday November 22, 2006 @09:41PM (#16960324) Journal
    Whats the difference between a guy who was hacked and all of his items were stolen and a guy who gave away all his items (possibly in exchange for money) and more importantly, how can your friend prove which one he is?

    They can't just do a per-character rollback because then you'll be able to easily dupe all your items by just giving it all away to a laundering account before contacting blizzard. You can't just take all the items back because they could have been legitly given away, not to mention disenchanted, enchanted with something new, or otherwise modified.
  • by TaggartAleslayer ( 840739 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @12:57AM (#16961586)
    Which distrobution? Which kernel? Which GUI?

    The reason Linux doesn't have full gaming support is that the community simply hasn't chosen a stand-out front-runner. With Ubuntu's rise in popularity, I could see us getting a few "RUNS FINE ON UBUNTU!" stickers on the rare game box, but until we are no longer at a point that every person is running a completely different config, we're not going to get serious gaming attention. Debian, Suse, Slack, Knoppix, Fedora? Gnome, KDE, Xf?

    Saying, "Make it work on Linux" is just plain silly, and any real *nix user knows that.
  • Re:Mac Client (Score:2, Insightful)

    by monsted ( 6709 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @05:15AM (#16962682)
    The poster didn't say anything about being a developer at Blizzard.
  • by Jesus_666 ( 702802 ) on Thursday November 23, 2006 @05:26AM (#16962720)
    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.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 23, 2006 @10:18AM (#16963936)
    i dont recall having trouble running any of the native linux games across the several linux distros i've used over the years. if a small outfit like Introversion can make it happen then it shouldn't be a problem for corporations with deep pockets.

    you appearently are not a real *nix user or at least not one who plays games. statically linked libs work just fine. usually the only minimum requirements are kernel version and a few libs all modern linux distributions will have already.

    this is really not as difficult as you guys make it sound.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 23, 2006 @11:09AM (#16964234)
    You're a twit. Those users pay for the service just as Blizzard's other customers do. As long as Blizzard accepts their money, they should be treated fairly. Feel free to argue otherwise, should you wish.
  • by Scott Lockwood ( 218839 ) * on Thursday November 23, 2006 @01:01PM (#16965114) Homepage Journal
    I have two words for you: NeverWinter Nights

    How is it that NWN manages to run on just about every platform I've tried to run it on? I think you're a wii bit too concerned with technical details that are actually not that large a hurdle.

The Macintosh is Xerox technology at its best.