Spotlight on: Harassment

While adventuring through Azeroth and surrounding lands you will encounter a myriad of other players. They could be out questing, exploring a dungeon, trying to smash the opposition in a Battleground, defeating a raid boss, or simply hanging out in town.

The one truth about an online game is that you will likely be engaging in conversation with these other players, to one degree or another. Some communication will be helpful, adding to your experience in a positive way. Other contact may not be so rewarding. With so many diverse people throughout the game you will encounter folks who share your views and who you may get along with, and others you do not.

The bottom line is we are here to have fun, and bad behavior tends to contribute to a negative environment that few would actually enjoy spending their time in. It is for this reason that we are constantly looking for new ways to help protect the environment that you play in and find ways to address those negative disruptions.

First, we ask that everyone familiarize yourself with our Support Article on the Blizzard’s Code of Conduct. These are the basics that govern our policies and give a good overview of what areas our Game Master staff will be able to intervene, though it is not a full list or cover every eventuality.

So, what should you do if you feel you are being harassed?

We have tools in game which allow you to report other players for several different policy violations. They are Language, Spamming, Cheating and Name. More on those can be found in here.

If someone is using inappropriate language or subject matter it is important to report this through the Right Click Report option. You’ll do this by right clicking on the offending player name in chat. Choose - Report Player For: Language

In the event that the person or persons continue to contact you, we recommend that you place them on ignore (which will be covered below). If someone circumvents the ignore option, either by logging onto a different account or having others contact you on their behalf to continue the behavior, that may be considered Ongoing Harassment.

Ongoing Harassment

As we mentioned before, you are likely to encounter those that you may not get along with, or otherwise wish to interact with, and for the most part our Game Master’s will be unable to intervene in normal social interactions. However, ongoing harassment has a special set of circumstances which usually involves the offending person, or persons, circumventing your ability to ignore and limit communication with them.

In such situations we’d ask that you submit a ticket. You can do so in-game by opening up the main menu (ESC key by default) and clicking on “Help”. At the bottom of the list select “Open a Ticket”. You’ll then select from the available dropdown options: In-Game Issues > Report a Player > Ongoing Harassment.

After you click on the “Web Ticket” option, you’ll need to fill in the details, including the name of the character, realm, the approximate time frame this happened and whatever relevant details you can remember.

Keep in mind, it is important to establish a history when it comes to this type of harassment. Be sure to place the character on ignore, do not engage or argue with them and submit a report. Our staff will take it from there.

Could I just report them on the forums?

  • No, this is not an appropriate place for such reports and could be considered harassment itself. We do not allow what is considered “naming and shaming” and any such threads are likely to be edited or deleted. No investigations will be initiated as the result of a forum post and could result in the temporary loss of forum posting privileges.

What will happen to the player once I have reported them?

  • The Blizzard representative in charge of your case will thoroughly investigate the chat-logs and judge whether further action is required and what action that should be based upon our policies and internal procedures. This action can range from a simple verbal warning all the way up to the closure of the account, depending on the severity of the case as well as the player’s previous account history.

Will I be informed of the action taken?

  • No. Due to the privacy associated with these investigations, we will be unable to release details regarding an investigation’s findings, actions taken, or its final outcome. Additionally, you should be aware that, depending on the circumstances, any action taken on a player’s account may not happen right away; it would be unwise to assume that nothing is being done.

Is there anything I can use to help prevent this from happening?

  • Though it is difficult to block all possible violations, we have provided players with an array of tools that they can use to reduce the amount they are affected by harassment related issues.

Mature Language Filter (aka The Profanity Filter)

  • This can be activated within your Interface Options: Main menu (ESC key by default) Click Interface > Social and check - Mature Language Filter.

    Once enabled, all inappropriate words in our profanity database will be filtered and masked to appear as jumbled characters, such as ‘*##@&’.

Note: The filter does not excuse the language used. The filter serves as a temporary shield, to help parents of minors and others who do not wish to see it, to block it. Our policies prohibit the use of both clear and masked inappropriate language.

Ignore

  • The ignore feature allows you to add those you do not wish to interact with to a list and you will not see their chat or emotes. You can Simply right-click on the player’s name in your chat-box and click ‘Ignore’. You can also use the command; /ignore <Player_Name>

You will also not be grouped with characters that you have ignored in the Looking for Dungeon and Looking for Raid tools.

Cross-Realm Ignore

  • With the introduction of cross-realm instancing, we implemented a method to ignore players from other realms, preventing you from being grouped with them again in the future. To do this, use the following command: /ignore <Player_Name> <Player_Realm>

Note: Ignore is now account wide and when used will ignore all characters on a single account for the character that uses the ignore option.

For example, if you ignore <Player_1> on your main character, if you switch to an alternate character that character will not be ignored. So you will still be able to see chat from, and otherwise could be contacted by, <Player_1> on that alternate character. If you wish to ignore <Player_1> on your second character you will have to add them to that character’s ignore list.

Vote Kick

  • If a player in your random dungeon/raid group is behaving badly, you can initiate a vote to kick the player from the instance and hopefully get a new player in to help you complete your run.

    Keep in mind, others in your group will have to vote to agree with the decision to remove another player. If the vote is confirmed that person will be removed from the group.

    This system uses majority rules, and keeps track of those using it. If you use it too often, your ability to Vote to Kick may be hampered.

There are many other ways you can limit your exposure to bad or harassing behavior. You can join and run with a guild, or work to create pre-made parties/raids and use a private Community for communication.

You may also simply leave or hide public channels through the chat-box options.

I have tried all of that but I continue to be harassed by a specific player/guild. :frowning:

Repeatedly targeting a specific player will usually lead to more severe action, making it imperative that each incident is reported to us in the manner outlined above. The idea behind this is to prevent any one player from consistently being made uncomfortable while adventuring through Azeroth. Remember that you should try to avoid contacting and/or replying to the offending player(s); simply keep reporting the harassment and allow us to investigate the matter for you.

The tools are there to prevent, our In-Game Support team is here to protect, but we are always looking for ways to improve these features and methods so please feel free to submit any feedback you may have through the in-game Submit Suggestion option.