Hack ‘N Slash: Hefty Battle.net Bannings


My cursory Googling can’t quite pinpoint whether this is the biggest banning from an online portal, but it must be be one of the top slots: Blizzard have kicked 320,000 accounts off Battle.net for violating terms of service. The full post on the bannings is here. It seems most of them have come about due to use of hacks, as Blizzard explain: “Many account closures come as the direct result of tips emailed to our hacks team by legitimate Battle.net users. If you come across a hack, find a site responsible for distributing hacks, or have a replay of a newly available hack, please report this to our hacks team.”

Blimey.

41 Comments

  1. MrCraigL says:

    “We would like all players to remember that abuse of unintended mechanics and/or use of third party programs is a violation of the agreement made when signing on to Battle.net”

    Unintended mechanics = Exploits? If so, patch your game rather than banning people. Jeez.

    • Eury says:

      Yeah, just make your games completely bug free without any exploits. Why haven’t any developer thought about that before?

    • Wulf says:

      I believe the (completely fair) point was that players are bug testers on the PC platform, and banning your bug testers is tantamount to idiocy, whereas instead you could just fix the bug to minimise the damage.

    • Eury says:

      Oh please. They are using exploits to cheat and ruin others enjoyment of the game. Don’t kid yourself that they are some kind of unpaid QA heroes.

    • Raum says:

      Err, what?

      This is the old battle.net, we’re talking Diablo2 and the original SC here. If you know how to use exploits, it’s guaranteed you know the rules for those specific exploits as well. It’s not like people just suddenly figure this stuff out all by themselves.

    • Alexander Norris says:

      @MrCraigL

      The key word is abuse. Accidentally using a bug to your advantage (in theory) isn’t punishable, because you didn’t know it was a bug. Once you know it’s a bug, if you make use of it you are exploiting, and exploits are a bannable offence.

      Blizzard are hardly the only people to do things this way, incidentally.

  2. Eamo says:

    I wonder how many of the banned accounts are free trial accounts used for gold sale spamming though. It also continues to bug me a little that Blizzard continue to use the word “ban” when what they actually mean is “suspend”. There is a big difference between 310k suspensions and 10k actual bans and 10k suspensions and 310k actual bans. The fact that they blurr the definition makes me suspect that the actual statistics lean far more towards the former than the latter.

    Maybe I am just growing cynical in my old age.

    • Wulf says:

      They’re Blizzard, they’ve always been about massive statistics. If they didn’t have a huge number to show you in regards to anything, then… well… they’d feel less manly!

    • Wulf says:

      Of course, whether those statistics are fabrications or not is another debate entirely… but yes, Blizzard likes its big numbers, it needs big numbers for everything. Can’t say I buy into their constantly ridicuhuge numbers that much, though!

    • Sonic Goo says:

      I don’t think there’s that many gold sellers in Warcraft III and Diablo II, tbh.

    • Nick says:

      WC3 is all about the lumber selling.

  3. z3r0 says:

    You have grown cynical in your old age.

  4. Daniel Rivas says:

    Aren’t Battle.net accounts free? I’m fairly certain I have several from playing Starcraft.

    • Sparvy says:

      The new ones are free too, yes, but your game is bound to your account. So you would still need to get a new game for every duplicate account you have. Except wow-trials I suppose.

    • Sparvy says:

      oops, I was wrong, turned out it was the old style BNet-accounts. I blame the graphic up top :)

  5. DeliriumWartner says:

    I’m confused. It says Warcraft 3 and Diablo 2 accounts, right? Who cares if you’re cheating in Diablo 2? It’s pretty much a single player experience. If I remember correctly you can even enter the dev cheats right there in multiplayer. Do we know what exactly people are being banned for?

    • Mac says:

      Probably MapHack, and assassin mods for HC

    • SmallGods says:

      I’m gonna go with more than likely Maphack yeah.

    • Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

      Blizzard has never liked cheaters in their games (e. g. every item in Diablo 1 has an unique ID and when a duoplicate appears on the ground, the original is removed or there were bans over the use of fog-of-war hack), this is no news.

    • frymaster says:

      there was a new patch for diablo 2 in the last month, with new content. a lot of the obscure/most cool items only work for “online” characters that are verified by battle.net. and a lot of the people who are still playing do PvP

  6. TheApologist says:

    I am not a hardcore player and basically never play online – so genuine question:
    How are you supposed to tell when something is a tactic and something is an ‘exploit’.

    Banning for exploits seems really harsh to me unless there is a very clear line and perhaps a warning so it is completely obvious to the player they are doing something wrong and not just clever.

    • Lars Westergren says:

      @TheApologist

      The sort of things Blizzard and other companies usually ban people for is separate applications that gives an unfair advantage in PvP (revealing hidden enemies etc), or like in Diablo 1 a patch that allowed you to kill other players at the push of a button while in town (a safe area).

      Not for taking advantage of smaller in-game bugs like in Counter Strike, when carrying the knife and bunny-hopping forward increased your speed.

    • Wulf says:

      It reminds me of when a bunch of Everquest players got banned for leading a Dragon to a bridge, where it got stuck and they used the bridge as cover to kill it. Oh, and people have been banned in Wrold of Warcraft for wall-walking in non-PvP areas, and using potions and in-game mechanics to reach developer island.

      I can sort of understand bans if the hacks are causing other players misery, but things like those Everquest and Warcraft examples I absolutely despise with a passion, much hatred, because it stifles the creativity of the players.

      “Yes, you discovered something fun that didn’t harm anyone else… now get the fuck off our servers, unclean filth! The rest of you? Don’t even think of discovering things! Get back in your damn hamster wheels!”

    • TheApologist says:

      Ah – that makes sense and seems pretty reasonable.

      I read a thing about people ‘grenade spamming’ in some shooter or other, and that was decried as an exploit. That seemed like players playing the game as designed. Using separate apps clearly doesn’t.

    • MajorManiac says:

      I’m scared that I might not be able to play future Bethesda games that will inevitably involve multiplayer elements. As I did allot of non-essential jumping in Morrowind. :S

    • MWoody says:

      I’ve heard plenty of rumors about people getting banned for wall-running/jumping in WoW, but I think they’re just that: rumors. I used to do it all the time. Hell, it was the most fun I had in the game, since it was the only time I felt like I was actually doing something creative rather than just running through premade content; it was the only emergent gameplay that MMO had. You could find lots of unfinished and often later removed content that way.

      Despite lots of “oooh, that’s naughty, you’re gonna get BANNED” comments from other players and guildmates, the worst thing I ever heard occur for climbing walls was a friend of a friend having an amused GM ask how the hell he got there and then port him back to town.

    • dethgar says:

      The kind of wall-walking that was banned in WoW usually involved manipulating the z-axis with another program. However, I do know people who terrain exploited their way to Mount Hyjal before Burning Crusade, so a lot of people assumed that’s what Blizzard meant by wall-walking. I don’t know of anyone personally that has been banned for this. I myself did it as well and never got banned. I did get banned for botting, but meh, it was a calculated risk. If only the game didn’t require so much grinding and farming to get to the moderately fun bits.

  7. Alfie Noakes says:

    If that many people needed to be banned for successfully hacking, that tells me that Battle.net’s anti-cheat system is garbage.

    Hopefully Bnet2 will be a lot better or SC2 will just be a miserable hacker-fest.

    • Raum says:

      Even now there’s a bunch of maphackers in the lower ladder leagues in SC2, so yeah, that’s probably not gonna happen.

  8. Shalrath says:

    Really anything that the developers ‘don’t intend’ they could ban you for – but they wont bother, obviously. The target is anything that creates mass annoyance/displeasure/whining/etc.

    To give an example from other games – bunnyhopping, rocket jumping, and explosions going through walkways were all considered bugs/exploits in the Quake series, but all were re-added if removed due to players liking what it did.

    So a lot of the time it’s based on player response.

    • Raum says:

      Except in the case of CS 1.6, where Valve just decides to do whatever they want and ignore the people actually playing the game.

      Not to mention releasing mandatory (because of Steam) patches that does nothing other than introduce a slew of bugs.

  9. Dean says:

    A guy was banned from WoW when a Blizzard employee accidentally sent him an insta-kill shirt GM item, and he used it. Blizzard are not very customer friendly.

  10. subedii says:

    My cursory Googling can’t quit pinpoint whether this is the biggest banning from an online portal, but it must be be one of the top slots: Blizzard have kicked 320,000 accounts off Battle.net for violating terms of service.

    Shortly before Modern Warfare 2 dropped, Microsoft banned approximately 1 million 360’s from Xbox Live. That’s roughly a full 1/20th of their entire Live subscriber base. The consoles were mainly banned for hardware modding.

    Those people could still make new accounts, but basically the 360’s that were banned, whilst useable offline, couldn’t be taken onto Live ever again. Basically it was a bad time to go shopping for a 360 on E-bay.

  11. TheSombreroKid says:

    doubt it’s the biggest since they banned 350,000 last year.

  12. Fenix says:

    Uh, Battle net is 14 years old and doesn’t really have an anti cheat system. Also when you have a system that popular, people ARE going to find a way to abuse it. See: Windows vs Mac viruses, the Mac isn’t anymore secure.

  13. neems says:

    I have discovered an email from Battle.Net in my spam folder, warning me that my WoW account has been sold or traded or something, and that I am the spawn of Satan, and I must log in NOW to rescue my account before the world implodes. Curiously, I have never played World of Warcraft, and have no intention of playing it. I think the account in question must be my years old Diablo 2 one, but the link they give looks dodgy to me.

  14. MadMatty says:

    DIE HAXX, DIE!!!

    HAHAHAHAHA!