Too many bots advertising

Ive been playing on and off since vanilla. I think I have hung around long enough.

well, you are still incorrect with your assumptions.


Blizzard does not ban bots right away, that would give the bot makers a heads up that Blizzard is on to them.

Bots are always banned in mass ban waves in order to break their current programs, they are never banned one at a time, that tactic has never worked.

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Hope it comes soon

There has been at least 3 ban waves in the past 2 months alone. We get lots of threads here from players stating they have been banned wrongfully, yet their appeals bear no fruit and their penalties are not overturned.


Reporting does work, Sosari - albeit perhaps not immediately.

Nothing would be more satisfying than seeing a lightening bolt descend from the blue to smite them, but it just doesn’t quite work that way I’m afraid.


One bit of good news is that the ones you report are immediately removed from your view of the group list, so it’s like they’re smitten from the heavens, at least for you.

Keep fighting. If you quit, the garbage wins.


Since you have been playing so long, and hanging in these here CS forums(which btw is what Raven meant) then you know these people are part of a HUGE industry. With a mind boggling multitude of compromised accounts to advertise from.

You report, they get actioned. The problem is, they then move on to the next compromised account and get right back at it.

You also know that they are really good at making extremely similar looking names. Perhaps replacing an I with an l. Or a smooth ascii character.

Your reports work. Sadly, the only way to truly stop this is for players to stop giving them money. At least the only way I can see.


Reporting is really easy.

Go to pre-made Dungeons, search for WTS, and report them all. Go to pre-made Raids, search for WTS, report them all. Go to the generic group category, search for WTS (these are all torghast), and report away.

You can do this while on a taxi.

It helps, and it’s easy.

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I wish someone could make an addon or macro to do that all in one go. Would save a lot of clicking haha.

Thank you! I understand your frustration, but your report is the best (and only) tool at your disposal. Blizzard is quite aware of the criminals in their game, and is working constantly to combat them.

Going forward, you can either:

  • Keep reporting and fight the good fight (crime will never, ever “disappear”); or
  • Install a spam-blocker addon and manually filter out the ads. Note that if you do this, it’ll only be for your own piece of mind and you won’t be reporting anything anymore.

It’s worth it to note that the “crooks” have hundreds of thousands of stolen or fake accounts at their disposal. When “Joeschmoe” gets actioned for LFG ads, they just fire up “Joesschmoe”, followed by “Jjooeeschmoee”, followed by “Joshmo”, followed by … well, you get it.

The fight is being fought. If the fight wasn’t being fought, there would be 500 real-money and/or gold carry advertisements in the group finder. It would literally be overrun with no room for legit listings.


I was WTS-hunting yesterday and noticed a few of them are wising up. I caught about half a dozen runs-for-sale not using any variant of “WTS”. Instead, things like “offer” or some percentage “off” (in other words, the idea of a discount from some unstated price). No l33t spelling in the 30-minute sample I saw, but I anticipate that’ll be next.

These losers are committed.

Curiously, I just did this. I found one or two not using WTS, but curiously if the WTS is in [], the search doesn’t work. There were several not showing up with the search, and they all had [WTS…] of somekind.

Just as a side-note - this is a good example of why ‘monitoring’ for text - which is often suggested - just really isn’t as helpful as it sounds. Soon as something is blocked, there are a million and one ways of getting around filters.


It’s not helpful in an automated sense, that is automatically doing something solely on text, but these people are lazy, so patterns emerge. Plus they have to get there message across in about 10-15 letters, so even there they are limited.

So, its efficient to look with patterns. As those who use the patterns find they’re not working, more patterns will emerge and show up to the fantastic pattern matching unit that the human brain is.

I just reported 13 raid groups with a simple WTS search. That’s cheap.

Now, not having it work the the [] is something the devs need to look at. For all I know they may also be using alternate characters sets or glyphs.

Notably, I don’t think they’ve figured out how to say “WTS” in chinese, but even if they do, lay people have to understand what it saying or it doesn’t do any good. Once that happens, he pink ponytailed gnomes like me can figure it out when I see 10 groups all with the same spiel.

When I do it I search WTS first, then [WTS. It doesn’t need the ] to find them.

So search for “offer” or "off.

Having something on Blizzard’s side doing filtering doesn’t work. Blizzard tried that in chat to cut down on gold-sellers. It took the crooks five minutes to circumvent it.

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Maybe change the interface in such a way to force users to construct their posts in such a way as to prevent advertising?

Like you select from a list: the instance, mode, number of keys, number of player types (dps/tanks/heals)… in fact the post could be dynamic in that as you accept applicants, the requested players by type is reduced.

Everyone’s listing would be uniform much like AH posts. Imagine if AH posts were free-form and what a mess it would be? No more gear score, ilvl, et al in the posts… that stuff still gets parsed once applicants apply as usual.

In essence the custom area is not really that much different than trade chat in that you basically can put whatever you want… hence the advertising. Need to lock it down to be more like the AH in terms of what you can actually post.

Probably something for the next expansion as it would likely be a significant interface adjustment to what exists now. Given that custom groups are predominately replacing the original interface, the interface needs to be overhauled because the usage has changed.

Very true. I kinda get upset when people want me to do all this work when it’s something the company should be responsible for.

But to this day there isn’t really anything that can be done because people use those services. Outside of putting a huge staff into server chats looking for those messages and dropping the bann hammer immediately they have to rely on us to do this. Not the perfect solution, but that’s what we have so I guess we have to live with it. Just keep reporting! I do as well.

How long have you played? Remember the days when all of a sudden a bunch of dead bodies would appear in the form of a website address? There is always ways to advertise.


It’s a problem that everyone helps with; shared responsibility, altruism, you know, being helpful and selfless. “It’s the firefighters’ job to find out where fires are, I shouldn’t have to report a blaze in my house,” is what this attitude is equivalent to.

Although unlike that, Blizzard’s security staff do plenty on their own as well, but player reports are extremely helpful.


yep. I do report even though it’s kinda not my job, but if I can help I do.

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