To provide more transparency on the actions we take against cheating and exploitation, here is an accounting of the number of actions that were taken over the last month, November 2023:
Total Exploitative WoW Account Actions in November 2023: 197455
All of these actions were for cheating or exploitation, which primarily result in permanent bans or 6-month suspensions. This number does not include other actions such as those taken on accounts with character name or in-game language violations. We continue to evolve our methods and act against these malicious accounts on a daily basis.
TSM and similar addons only use API functions allowed by Blizzard. 100’s if not 1000’s of innocent people got hit for using addons they have been using for decades - addons which have been enabled, allowed, even reviewed by Blizzard.
If people are wrongly banned, they can appeal. I have had one instance of being “wrongly” banned, and it was resolved within less than 24 hours of my appeal (this was during original Wrath).
You’re never going to have an absolutely perfect system. You can cast a wider net and catch more of the bad actors, but that’s going to give some false positives also. Or, you can optimize to never have anyone’s account wrongly flagged, with the trade off of having far, far more bots go unnoticed.
There is a Customer Support forum, and of course various ways available for those who feel they have been wrongly suspended or banned to appeal the decision.
These people have been appealing since the “wave” around Monday 8pm EST and been declined or ignored because they’re presumed guilty. I’ve seen dozens of these peoples’ evidence and history and none of them look even remotely guilty of their accused “cheating/hacking”. Their bans are not overturned or worse given 6 months which implies the initial action was not to be taken serious anyway.
I mean I’m apposed to any add-ons, but if one takes a deeper look into these add-ons They could have hidden coding or sniffers blizzard’s software and player account information. Purely speculation, NO I’m not a software engineer… and you risk your account to these add-on as well as Blizzard taking a more aggressive stance on them. So even though your add-on maybe listed as beneficial to the game, it may hide something worse in the long run…
Thank you for providing transparency. What is Blizzard’s process for faithfully reviewing the appeals of those who have been wrongfully dinged as cheaters and exploiters in this recent ban wave? The inevitable false positives.
Reddit has been filled with posts and comments about being banned erroneously. Even more, the TradeSkillMaster discord is filled with people who have been erroneously permanently banned for simply playing the game in the way they enjoy it—sitting at the auction house finding good bargains and making profit! That’s not against ToS.
On a personal level, my guild master has been included in this ban wave. He is known for sitting in Thunder Bluff all day buying and posting thousands of auctions. He’s not using cheats or third party programs. This is just how he prefers to spend his time on the game he pays to play. He has appealed three times so far, each time he is provided a pre-written automated response that blizzard did not make a mistake. Any human being that would look into the vast amount of data in his account would see that he’s a legitimate player of over 15 years, responds to all whispers, raids, and plays fairly.
How should my guild master proceed, as well as those who have been wrongfully included in this? And for emphasis, I do applaud blizzard for taking action against those who ruin the legitimacy of the game through cheats and hacks. I just hope for a more transparent and just process for a human being to look into the vast data in the accounts that are appealing.
Well, some people claim to have seen Bigfoot firsthand, and others have seen plenty of evidence of that also.
I do realize that such a statement can be frustrating to be presented with if you really believe that your friends are being wrongly accused, suspended or banned, and you don’t feel that their appeals are being taken seriously, but this is General Discussion, and generally speaking, it’s in anyone’s best interest to claim innocence, but we as the general public don’t know your friends’ situations.
TSM bans always come up every now and then and 95% of the time its not that they were using TSM but doing illicit activities such as gold selling/buying or actually using a botting software to instantly buy items and relist at higher prices etc.
Keep in mind folks, that TSM and other AH addons have been around a long time. They DO use API functions Blizzard allows, and if Blizz wants to break an addon, they do.
Very likely it is not the Addon that caused any issue. It would be trading in illicitly obtained gold through GDKP runs, or other means. Patterns of doing so can result in someone being penalized. They would, of course, have to appeal. A person can appeal until the GM says they won’t accept any more appeals on that issue or the BNet account is at risk.
Keep in mind they do use templates for replies. There are three basic ones:
If you guys are really banning this large number of accounts maybe it’s time to step back and look at why people bot/buy gold and make it easier to achieve those things without botting/buying gold. It really looks like a game design flaw with a number that high, but I guess that would cost Blizzard $2,961,825 (197455x$15) dollars in account subscriptions from those accounts.
Step by Step Guide
Identify the botters/buyers
Identify what they are botting/spending gold on
Make it easier to obtain these items (DEincentivizes the botting/cheating)
its usually more serious than gold. You don’t realize how many people you see pulling high dps or even streamers that cheat at the game utilizing things that do actions for you. Pikaboo should have been 100% banned for using the cannot miss interrupt macro for over a year before they finally exposed it.
Wrath BGs are still overrun with botting. These monthly thread numbers are either complete poop or not relevant to wrath. We literally get BG raids that are half full of bots stacked on top of each other running on the same paths. They couldn’t be more obvious. You can pat yourself on the back and pretend to have done a good job, but outside your echo chamber; the reality is that botters are laughing at your clown car of a staff.
I feel like there’s a lot of information being kept on what exactly blizzard classifies as ‘exploiting’
Cheating is obviously anything from Third Party trades to straight up botting them game. Which IMO if you , buy gold from a third party, bot the game, or use software to automate macros, I definitely agree you should be permanently banned from WoW.
However , if TSM is causing accounts to be flagged by the system, the addon must be providing some form of ‘unfair’ or ‘upper advantage’ automation when creating or buying auctions. (This would be the only likely cause of TSM triggering account flags to my knowledge)
I think blizzard needs to review ToS and consider what add-ons are giving players actual advantages or simply displaying more information on screen.
I’ve always liked how customizable World of Warcraft is compared to other MMOs
But it seems to be an on going problem that players are being banned for using add-ons.
This could easily be prevented if Blizzard was more clear and transparent on what exactly classifies as exploiting… As of right now we have a few definitions from Blizzard , but seemingly more and more they just make up ‘exploits’ as they go.
Now I’m in no way saying any of the bans should or shouldn’t have happened, I have no knowledge of any of the events that transpired, but if you’re banning nearly 200,000 accounts and not all of them are guaranteed cheaters but potentially accounts that simply had add-ons that Blizzard has allowed and still allows but decided is right now, in this moment an exploit… sounds like discrimination.