I wanted to drop in here and say a couple of things.
- People are constantly relating Multiboxers (using broadcasting software) to Botting when the two things are absolutely and completely different. Most of the people in the Multibox community hate Botters just as much as everyone else. the software used to Multibox is not botting software, acts nothing like botting software and has 0 functionality that would be useful to bots. Bots have their own software to automate gameplay. Multibox software simply sends the same key press to multiple windows.
- There seems to be this idea that movement with a multibox team is easy and that life is easy for them. Stop and consider how they have to move for a second. There is a leader (driver) and the rest follow that leader (using the in game follow command which places them a few steps behind the leader). It is possible to send movement keys to all windows but nobody in their right mind does this for more than a second because when you move in game you move in the direction your camera is pointed and it is impossible to ever have them all facing/standing in exactly the same place/direction (even the difference in lag affects them) Turn this on and you have toons running in all separate directions in a few seconds. You remeber scrubbing your friend off on a fence post because he put you on follow to go grab a slice real quiick?? imagine that x however many toons you have to keep track of.
- People crying about Multiboxers in World PvP (retail) have no idea what they are dealing with. Unless the Boxer gets the drop on you and fires all toons at you with basically a 1 shot (in that case…sure complain) but after that all bets are off. Remember how they have to move (see #2) yeah…Blizzard disables the follow function the second you are flagged for PvP which makes it impossible to have your team do anything but stand there looking stupid in a world PvP situation (Arena and BG as well but because of this no Multiboxer in their right mind would step foot into those environments). As a side note I absolutely 100% support this feature for a couple of reasons: a. I think it is a clear advantage to control multiple characters in PvP and completely unfair (they should have done this in Classic as well as it would not have altered the spirit of the original game in any way). b. It all but killed the Bot trains in BG’s which were completely out of control. (Bots don’t use the same software but they used to use the follow function in BG’s as it was easier to follow real players to combat areas of the map than to try to build some sort of logic into them).
- I’m assuming the thing that escalated the situation to the point that Blizzard acted on it is a few things (just my speculation).
a. The huge teams of Boomkins sitting in a hyper spawn location and just grinding it 24/7 without ever moving. While these teams are formed using Multiboxing tools they are also taking advantage of a couple of other things that are the actual problem here: in game targeting and attack macros and a key repeater function on their mouse or keyboard which allows them to repeat the in game macros and get up and go about their business while their “not a Bot” bit churns out gold… Oh yeah and the final piece that allows the whole thing to work in the first place provided by Blizzard themselves…The Lootarang because there is no way to make them loot or work otherwise without actually being a Bot.
b. The mass resource farmers crashing the AH economy. Once again we have Blizzard to thank for this, not the Multibox community. Remeber when nodes were not shared and had a respawn timer? when that went away it opened the door for exploiters. put a CD on the nodes (even if it is like 5 seconds or something) and this problem goes away overnight.
p.s. the ironic part to this is that those acts carried out by the exploiters that really annoyed people and set Blizzard on this course are still going to be there doing the exact same thing because those farmers just build the loss of accounts into the price of doing business and expect to loose them in a matter of weeks. They give 0 cares about the policies, the same as real life criminals have 0 respect for the laws. The only people that this hurts/affects are Hobbyists like me that do it (did it, now retired) for fun and the challenge of setting the thing up and making it work.