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Blizzard Officially Files Against WoW Glider 179

Posted by Zonk
from the it-sorta-kinda-is-cheating dept.
Marcus Eikenberry writes "Blizzard and Vivendi today filed against MDY Industries, the makers of the 'WoW Glider' software. Glider allows World of Warcraft players to 'play' while away from the keyboard; the software moves the player's avatar along a set path, following a complex set of instructions dictated in advance. Blizzard is seeking injunctive relief and money damages against MDY. What that means is they want him to stop the production of WoW Glider and they want him to pay them damages. Blizzard believes that Glider infringes on their intellectual property. They believe Glider allows players to cheat, giving them an unfair advantage and that they believe Glider encourages Blizzard customers to breach their contracts for playing the game. Last they claim that Glider is designed to circumvent copyright protections."
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Blizzard Officially Files Against WoW Glider

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  • by Fozzyuw (950608) on Monday February 19, 2007 @01:09PM (#18068546)

    Blizzard is seeking injunctive relief and money damages against MDY. What that means is they want him to stop the production of WoW Glider and they want him to pay them damages.

    Thanks for clearing that up.

    Cheers,
    Fozzy

  • by fotbr (855184) on Monday February 19, 2007 @01:10PM (#18068570) Journal
    I'm not a lawyer, but to me it seems like a tacked on item "because they can".

    As for the rest of their claims...I guess I can see the point, but if you look at the glider forums it would appear that Blizzard is being fairly strict on banning accounts. If Blizzard is able to utilize the ban-hammer effectivly enough, the problem will solve itself. And then people will move on to the next bot.

    The ONLY way for blizzard to make the problem go away is to remove the requirement to grind every character up to lvl 60 or 70. My suggestion would be to give people the ability to create alternate characters starting at any level UP TO the level of their highest character. So if you've got a level 52 mage and you've decided mages suck and want to play a warrior, you could create a new warrior character at any level between 1 and 52.

    • by LehiNephi (695428) on Monday February 19, 2007 @01:16PM (#18068636) Journal
      That doesn't sound like a bad idea, except that the devil's in the details. How do you handle equipment that gets picked up along the way? Also, don't forget that players learn how to effectively play their characters while they level up. If they suddenly create a new character of a different class, they won't necessarily know how to use that character, which would cause all sorts of grief for any group that player joins. How much gold does that character get? Also, different people level up different skills at different rates and/or take slightly different paths. How do you handle those as well?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by profplump (309017)
        You'd get the standard level-1 equipment and gold. If you want the stuff that comes from level 1-50 you have to go get it. You'd get talent points to match your level with none of them spent, so you can choose whatever skillset you want. And you'd learn to use the character by, um, playing, just like you would if you started at level 1 -- if you've already got a level 50 character you can probably skip a lot of the "learning" parts, as you only need to learn how the new character is different, not all the m
        • by PopeRatzo (965947) *
          I'm going to make a fairly extreme suggestion:

          It may be that any given MMORPG is only "good" for a certain amount of time. After that, you should just move on to something else. Another game, perhaps, or something...different.

          Maybe after playing a game for a certain amount of time and leveling up to whatever top level the game offers, the games provider needs to "graduate" the player. Maybe give him an account on another game with certain benefits, or just a little certificate saying "You have achieved t
          • by jlarocco (851450)

            Never going to happen. Last I heard, there were several million people paying Blizzard quite a bit of money to play WoW. Blizzard isn't about to say "We know you want to keep paying us, but we're not going to let you." They will never, ever, do that.

            It's pandemic in the entertainment industry, the disease of grinding every cent out of a product until you've created a culture of disgust and disdain. I guess the ultimate question that arises when cheats like Glider start showing up and lawsuits like thi

          • by packeteer (566398)
            WoW starts at 70. I dont know why so many epople think the game is about leveling. I have spent at least 10 times as much time in WoW at max level than leveling. WoW is nota game you can graduate at, that is the beauty of it. Many people are upset with blizzard becuase they keep adding content forever. If you want to beat a game go play a console and be done with it, i personally enjoy how WoW never ends, the only goal is really to compete with other guilds and players in raid progression and pvp smac
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by ADRA (37398)
          I think you're missing the big picture. Blizzard will never address your grievances on this issue because in the end it makes them money to not implement your change.

          As a wow player, here's how I see it. Most people will fall into two camps:
          1. Will make one character and play them all the way to level cap
          2. Will muddle around with a whole bunch of characters not really advancing quickly with any particular character

          The second group isn't a problem for Blizzard at all, because the creation of content is reus
          • by murdocj (543661)

            My biggest pet peeve is people in game talking about how bored they are. This is supposed to be entertaining. If it isn't entertaining anymore please quit and find something else to do!

            Please please please mod this up as insightful!!!!! I'd do it if I had any mod points.

      • One other thing, I'm not a WoW player, but I have played games of the like before. In the games I used to play, people would level at different rates. Like you could use a character that levels at a much faster rate, to reroll to the same level of a different (much slower advancing) class. So you'd have to account for that, maybe just reroll to half the current experience, that may be a better compromise I'd think. That way you still get smacked for doing it and lose half of your experience, but you sti
    • by carterhawk001 (681941) on Monday February 19, 2007 @01:16PM (#18068638) Journal
      You dont play many MMO's do you? Have you stopped to consider the suck that would come from teaming with someone who has never played a warrior before and all of sudden has all these abilities and powers and no idea how to use them effectively?

      Bad. Idea.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by The MAZZTer (911996)

        You dont play many MMO's do you? Have you stopped to consider the suck that would come from teaming with someone who has never played a warrior before and all of sudden has all these abilities and powers and no idea how to use them effectively?

        Bad. Idea.
        Not really, since once you've figured this out you can kill them easy and take their stuff. They should think twice about making a character they don't know how to use in the future. ;)
      • by tbannist (230135)
        I've done it, it's no worse than the people who did level up to 60 and never learned how to play either. In fact it can be quite a bit better... Having said that most competent players will pick up their new class very quickly even without having levelled it, it's the incompetent players that are trouble, and it takes great amounts of practice to make them passable at any class.
      • by dghcasp (459766) on Tuesday February 20, 2007 @02:27AM (#18078434)

        As compared to all the warriors who has leveled themselves and still doesn't know how to hold aggro?

        Bad warrior! No heal for you!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Except that grinding is Blizzard's main money earner, and therefore they have absolutely no desire to give people the ability to work less than is possible. In fact, the opposite is true- Blizzard wants to make it harder to get to level 70.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by benfinkel (1048566)
        But there is a point at which is doesn't benefit Blizzard to make it harder. It's a parabola, not a liner graph. At a certain point it's too hard and players begin to stop playing/paying. Blizzard has to find that sweet spot between hard enough and too hard.

        Not to make too fine a point on it, but they appear to have been successful in that venture.
      • Actually, that's not accurate.

        The grind is a point of balance for the game. It, along with training costs, loot tables, and quest objectives, determines the rate at which you progress through the largely stand alone content of the game. If they lowered the experience grind, you might be completely incapable of finishing half the quests in a zone before you'd outleveled them.

        Even if they upped the grind, the hardcore players would still be level 70 in no time. The number of level 60-70 Blood Elves and Draene
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Lithdren (605362)
      Or you could simply go find another game.

      Seriously, such a thing would be pointless. your new character would start with what? beginner equipment? Might work for a mage, but a warrior type is only as good as his weapon in most cases.

      Then there's the whole issue that you're not playing the game anymore. I'd be fine with it if you could start a new character at level 10 or so. Before that you cant do anything, but its low enough that even beginner equipment is usable to make a little change, to buy s
      • Or you could simply go find another game.

        Seriously, such a thing would be pointless. your new character would start with what? beginner equipment? Might work for a mage, but a warrior type is only as good as his weapon in most cases.
        Well it's not like your old character couldn't send some gold to the new character through the mail, and the new character could just buy some greens (cheap item but definitely will get you through a fight) off the auction house.
    • by Dan Slotman (974474) on Monday February 19, 2007 @01:23PM (#18068776)
      I think the issue is that Blizzard has effectively created two games. The first game is the quests and missions performed while leveling up—unfortunately, they didn't provide enough quests to actually level all the way, so people are forced to kill random monsters to make up the difference. The second game they've created is the item-farming game. A "naked" character without gear is only a fraction as effective as a character with good gear. Blizzard did the same thing with Diablo II, but the difference between the playstyles of the two games was less pronounced.

      The problem is that some people only like one of the two games. Unfortunately, if you like the item game, you are forced to play the leveling game first.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by theckhd (953212)

        unfortunately, they didn't provide enough quests to actually level all the way, so people are forced to kill random monsters to make up the difference.

        Have you ever even played the game? There are more than enough quests to level you from 1-60 without having to level grind. If you run out of quests in your current locale, there are at least one or two other areas (possibly on another continent, mind you) where there are quests appropriate for your level. If you can't be bothered to take 10 minutes to tra

        • Many of the quests are little more than glorified grinding themselves. There's only ever one or two fairly obvious ways to accomplish a quest and the vast majority of time is spent on *kill monsters to get x amount of y kind of loot where the percent of monsters which drop that loot is small.*
        • See my reply to another response below.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by Riff10111 (30276)
        I think the issue is that Blizzard has effectively created two games. The first game is the quests and missions performed while leveling up--unfortunately, they didn't provide enough quests to actually level all the way, so people are forced to kill random monsters to make up the difference.

        Are you playing the same WoW I am? I've recently finished levelling a druid to 60, and not once did I run out of quests to do. In fact, I was offered more quests than I could do, and frequently ended up dumping or skippi
        • Well, I only played for a couple months, but as far as I could tell, a huge number of the quests are just kill-and-collect quests which feels like grinding. After level 20, an increasing number of quests are instance-based, meaning that you can't just hop in and complete a quest in an hour or so. (Perhaps Blizzard has since implemented a better group-finding system than a mere chat channel.) Plus, instance-based quests are necessarily kill-based, since you can't just run around collecting mushrooms or wh
          • (Perhaps Blizzard has since implemented a better group-finding system than a mere chat channel.)
            Yeah, they've created a "Looking For Group" system, which almost nobody uses. I know this because it takes me about half an hour to find somebody, and then typically another half hour before the rest of the group gets filled in. Chatting "/1 LVL x LGF " works much faster...
          • by Chris Burke (6130)
            After level 20, an increasing number of quests are instance-based, meaning that you can't just hop in and complete a quest in an hour or so. (Perhaps Blizzard has since implemented a better group-finding system than a mere chat channel.)

            Let me clue you in on what you missed.

            First, Blizzard changed the Looking For Group channel to be world-wide. Obviously, this instantly became General Chat World Wide, or more accurately Barrens Chat World Wide. It worked for finding groups, but ugh.

            Then they decided to go
    • by rob1980 (941751) on Monday February 19, 2007 @01:34PM (#18068948)
      Mythic did this with Dark Age Of Camelot, giving you the option to start at level 20 and implementing NPCs to give you starter equipment, etc.. However hindsight being 20/20, they stated that starting a character at level 20 did more harm than good [camelotherald.com] due to it killing the 1-20 crowd. The bottom line is, the easiest thing you can do to kill your incoming customer base is to give them nobody to play with.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Andy Dodd (701)
        They did come up with a good solution to the problem (although only for all new classes, not the existing ones that still can /free) - New classes not eligible for /free get a hefty XP bonus from 1-20 if they have a Lv50 on their account.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Regardless of how the game mechanics work, it strikes me as the epitome of wrong for them to sue someone for a 3rd party app. It's not interacting with their servers any differently than the client (because it uses the client) and itself is not hurting their player base. Sure, players get annoyed by glider-farmers, but it was the concious decision of a person to use that tool. If anyone is responsible, it is the person using it on their account ("guns don't kill people, people kill people"). Next, most pla
      • by pod (1103)
        It's not that there are any damages, a claim I disagree with, or that botters are making other players' game experience much worse. They're just annoying. And obvious. Fighting all the mobs the same way. Taking the same path over and over, obviously avoiding areas with obstacles, or getting stuck on various geometry each and every pass. Killing mob A for hours and hours, then walking right by mob A heading to an area which is obviously devoid of mob A, because that's how their path is programmed. Bots are j
    • by mgiuca (1040724)

      The ONLY way for blizzard to make the problem go away is to remove the requirement to grind every character up to lvl 60 or 70.
      Maybe they could, oh I don't know, stop releasing expansions with 98% of the new content available after level 58?
  • by Fozzyuw (950608) on Monday February 19, 2007 @01:25PM (#18068820)

    Blizzard believes that Glider infringes on their intellectual property.

    This point can seem to be a strong suit.

    They believe Glider allows players to cheat, giving them an unfair advantage

    This is really a legal issue? Can I be put in jail for taking a few 100 extra monopoly dollars when no one is looking? The first thing I can think of is Insider Trading, which is punishable, but is a video game = the stock market?

    ... and that they believe Glider encourages Blizzard customers to breach their contracts for playing the game.

    Can the company be held responsible, even if it's the users choice? If I tell my friend that if he drives really fast when a police offer wants to pull him over, am I responsible when he runs from the cops the next time he might be asked to pull over while driving?

    Last they claim that Glider is designed to circumvent copyright protections.

    This seems laughable, but IANAL. Copy protection? I guess all users are circumventing such protection. One could draw a stern defense that a person playing WoW becomes little more than an automated computer program. Though, I'm not familiar with Glide or how it interacts with the WoW programming, but I imagine it just a program that interacts with the WoW client or the packets it sends to automate processes.

    What's Blizzards strength for their argument besides "they're breaking our EULA or TOS"? Are they saying that "Hey, we've had to ban 100,000's of accounts because people are using your products and we want you to pay us back for those 100,000 accounts. Lets see, that's 100,000 accounts at $15 / month and the average account is active for 1 year. So, pay us $18,000,000."

    Hmmm... could local governments sue nitrous and 'after market' car parts manufacturers that encourage people to drive over the speed limits? Or maybe a better analogy would be those who cause accidents and injure other people. Could those injured parties sue the manufacturers of such products?

    Cheers,
    Fozzy

    • by RabidJackal (893308) on Monday February 19, 2007 @01:56PM (#18069282)

      Can I be put in jail for taking a few 100 extra monopoly dollars when no one is looking?
      Not only that, but I hear you aren't allowed to pass Go OR collect $200. Talk about harsh.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Rydia (556444)
      There is a cause of action called "tortious interference with contract." The thrust of it is that if you actively try to get someone to breach their contract, they actually breach the contract, and the other contracting party suffers damage because of it, then the interferer is liable for the damages they should have reasonably foreseen due to their enticement.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tbannist (230135)

      This is really a legal issue? Can I be put in jail for taking a few 100 extra monopoly dollars when no one is looking? The first thing I can think of is Insider Trading, which is punishable, but is a video game = the stock market?

      I think this is a case of technicality. Because the players are required to agree to a contract that stipulates they will follow the rules of the game which prohibit bots, then by providing the bots to break those rules means you are encouraging others to break a contract. Furthe

      • A big problem for Vivendi could be that click-through contracts are not real contracts.

        Not true. I don't have the references handy, but EULAs have been found valid on many occasions. The two big problems are when (a) you don't actually have to have seen the agreement before installing the software, and (b) when you pay for the software (or can't get your money back for it) before agreeing to the EULA. In WoW's case specifically, Blizzard provides a way for you to get your money back for the boxed game if
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dachannien (617929)
      Can the company be held responsible, even if it's the users choice? If I tell my friend that if he drives really fast when a police offer wants to pull him over, am I responsible when he runs from the cops the next time he might be asked to pull over while driving?

      The legal concept is called "tortious contract interference". Usually it's a charge levied against one company by another if the second company has an employment contract with someone, but the first company attempts to hire that person out from u
    • "Hmmm... could local governments sue nitrous and 'after market' car parts manufacturers that encourage people to drive over the speed limits?"

      Doubtful, as there are plenty of legitimate uses of after market car parts that don't encourage or compel their users to break the law or violate a contract.

      WoW Glide, on the other hand, has no legitimate use in terms of Blizzard's EULA/TOS. It use alone is a violation of contract.
    • by pod (1103)
      It violates safeguards put into the game to detect and shut down cheaters. The bot must get past the scanner, which safeguards the integrity of the IP, that is to be accessed by a living breathing person only.

      It's a weak argument, like slapping down a plaintext password on some files and suing for copy protection breach when someone "breaks" this top notch security.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 19, 2007 @01:25PM (#18068838)
    Something doesn't make sense to me.

    Why pay to play a game, and then have a computer play it for you?

    First, it seems like a waste of your dollars. You might as well just install Progress Quest. It will play for you too, and it's free.

    Second, if an RPG has simplistic enough mechanics that it *can* be played automatically, then it seems too simple to be interesting to a human.
    • by Fozzyuw (950608) on Monday February 19, 2007 @01:52PM (#18069208)

      Why pay to play a game, and then have a computer play it for you?

      Funny because it's true. In actuality, such games are not so much about the 'enjoyment of playing' but the 'enjoyment of collection'. It's like when I was a kid and spend endless money on football cards. Sometimes obsessively so to try and get a special card from a pack, or go to 'specialty stores' to buy it specifically from someone else.

      Like that, WoW and other MMO's are about collection or completing 'sets' of things. In this case, leveling your character to the level cap. Maxing out all their abilities. Sure, a Hunter might only use a bow for 99% of his play time, but this person will still max out their sword, 2 hand sword, axe, hand-to-hand, polearm, staff, etc skill.

      They might NEVER care about the cooking skill, but they max this out too, because they have it and it's not maxed yet. So, you might say "yeah, but if you're still not playing the game, then you'd still have no interest in the game and therefor no interest in doing it in the first place.". That would be true as well. Most of this maxing out skills would be done for some of the tedious tasks that the person really doesn't want to spend the time doing, but has spent the time maxing out the stats that matter when he was playing.

      Otherwise, most uses are simply for those who are trying circumvent the 'boring' process of acquiring wealth to purchase things that would allow them to enjoy the game. For instance, this goes to your second good point...

      Second, if an RPG has simplistic enough mechanics that it *can* be played automatically, then it seems too simple to be interesting to a human.

      Half of the game is fun, and not necessary for automation. That's the leveling/quest process. There's fun action/story involved in the game. When you reach the level cap, that's when the 'tedium' kicks in. My own example. I've recently hit level 70. Now, I'm doing the 'max out my skills' area or 'finish all the quests in my book' thing. It's the football collector / perfectionist side of me. I want that 100% completion rating kind of thing. Actually, I now find myself not caring to play as much, since I know all that's left is 'grind' with little accomplishment and I'm not looking forward to waisting my time maxing out my fishing or cooking skills again.

      However, the parts I am interested in, where I now have to 'grind' out 5,200 gold to afford that epic flying mount, which could take weeks or months, would be a waist of my time as there's no enjoyable benefit for me. I 'could' just keep doing the quests and dungeons until I reach 5,200 gold, but that would take months if I spend no time focusing on making money.

      That's when people turn to these automated programs (or for those who use them to sell gold on internet sites). The problem is not the automated program, but that people feel like they need automation to avoid waisting their time and to reach a point they feel comfortable playing again.

      So, in your 2nd point, you've pretty much hit the nail on the head and that an game should adjust their development if there are automation problems. However, I think the automation problems are fairly limited to those who are using it to farm in-game gold to sell for real money. So, I think the amount of grind required for 'most' things is fairly reasonable with the latest expansion (I feel it was much worse before the latest expansion pack) and Blizzard has noticed the amount of unpleasant grind on 'some' things, but are keeping others due to the fact that it's just part of the business model to keep people playing and paying.

      Cheers,
      Fozzy

      • by DerekLyons (302214) <`fairwater' `at' `gmail.com'> on Monday February 19, 2007 @04:32PM (#18071610) Homepage

        Why pay to play a game, and then have a computer play it for you?

        Funny because it's true. In actuality, such games are not so much about the 'enjoyment of playing' but the 'enjoyment of collection'. It's like when I was a kid and spend endless money on football cards. Sometimes obsessively so to try and get a special card from a pack, or go to 'specialty stores' to buy it specifically from someone else.
         
        Like that, WoW and other MMO's are about collection or completing 'sets' of things. In this case, leveling your character to the level cap.

        That's an attitude I've never been able to understand. In game after game I see the same thing: "I've ground my $template to $levelcap and I'm bored! There's nothing to do but $handful of stuff!"
         
        Well, duh idiot. You ground yourself right past all the content! WTF did you expect? When you play a console game or PC RPG you don't try and leap right to the boss fight - why do you do that in a MMO?
        • by Aceticon (140883)

          Why pay to play a game, and then have a computer play it for you?

          Funny because it's true. In actuality, such games are not so much about the 'enjoyment of playing' but the 'enjoyment of collection'. It's like when I was a kid and spend endless money on football cards. Sometimes obsessively so to try and get a special card from a pack, or go to 'specialty stores' to buy it specifically from someone else.

          Like that, WoW and other MMO's are about colle

      • by Mattsson (105422)
        Blizzard should make their own autopilot-software for WoW.
        One of the reasons I stopped playing WoW was all the horribly slow and boring traveling.

        When I started playing, my first though was "Argh! He moves too slow! I must reach level 40 and get a mount!"
        After ~20 levels I was bored with leveling and the simplistic, repetitive quests.
        After reaching level 40 with my main I found that he was *still* horribly slow, and also had to dismount his war-stead to fight! (wtf?)
        What? A better mount at level 60? No way!
        • by murdocj (543661)
          Having "insta-travel" is one of the things that killed Everquest. You completely lose any concept of the size of the world(s) when you can just click on a stone and get to where you are going. Requiring travel immerses you in the virtual world.

          Travel in WoW is actually pretty reasonable. I suspect that once you have flight paths and a mount, the worst case is probably about 20 minutes to get anywhere. Which is enough to make you think about "the world" and how where you are going is related to where you
      • by Mascot (120795)

        However, the parts I am interested in, where I now have to 'grind' out 5,200 gold to afford that epic flying mount, which could take weeks or months, would be a waist of my time as there's no enjoyable benefit for me. I 'could' just keep doing the quests and dungeons until I reach 5,200 gold, but that would take months if I spend no time focusing on making money.

        I'm sorry. But what is it you are interested in that requires the epic flying mount? Blizzard designed levels 60-70 to throw enough money at you to

    • by SydShamino (547793) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:31PM (#18069814)
      I installed this cool game called SETI. It's all about searching for life in the universe or something.

      But, I never have time to play. The cool thing is, I got it configured so that my computer can play the game itself. I just let it run whenever I'm not using the machine, and check up to see if I've found anything yet.

      No luck so far. You'd think they would put more aliens into a game like this to make it exciting. If I haven't found any by next month, I think I'm going to return it.
    • You might as well just install Progress Quest. It will play for you too, and it's free.

      Or IdleRPG, but I doubt either of them have particularly good graphics.

      Second, if an RPG has simplistic enough mechanics that it *can* be played automatically, then it seems too simple to be interesting to a human.

      It's possible. From what I've heard of WoW, it might even be true.

      But, I don't think it's really relevant to MMOs in general. Say it was a kickass FPS -- then your statement makes perfect sense. If I can mak

  • sigh (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spykemail (983593) on Monday February 19, 2007 @01:42PM (#18069072) Homepage
    I still play Diablo II, and I have to say that I've seen a pattern of unreasonable behavior on Blizzard's part. Preventing cheating is one thing, but who defines cheating? They do, and their definition is pretty much "regardless of whether the program is completely harmless and improves a crappy aspect of our game, it's still cheating if it allows a player to play our game in any way that wasn't determined solely by us." The one that really gets to me is the map thing for Diablo II. For the love of God, nobody that still plays Diablo II enjoys exploring the same levels over and over and over again.

    I'm also not a big fan of their anti-cheating tactics, and I applaud these people for circumventing them, even if it may have been for a bad cause.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brkello (642429)
      I am trying to refrain from putting you down, but it is really hard. How in the heck is this unreasonable behavior? I know the whole bnted thing...and I agree that Blizzard was right to shut that down because its primary reason to exist was to allow people to play their game online without paying for it. I don't know of your Diablo example, so I can't really comment on that...but you really can't comment on WoW.

      The program allows a person to leave their computer and let the script play for them. It is
      • by Sancho (17056) *
        Actually, you don't have to pay for Battlenet Diablo/Diablo II games. I'm pretty sure that WoW is the first Blizzard game to require a monthly payment. The whole bnetd thing was completely about control, not money.

        The program allows a person to leave their computer and let the script play for them. It is cheating...period.

        The grandparent was bringing up the fact that the definition of cheating is highly variable. Semantically, what's the difference if a script does my grinding or if hit the attack button
        • by Kalriath (849904)

          Actually, you don't have to pay for Battlenet Diablo/Diablo II games. I'm pretty sure that WoW is the first Blizzard game to require a monthly payment. The whole bnetd thing was completely about control, not money.

          Actually, their core argument was that BnetD had no valid way of confirming that the CD key affiliated with any given installation of the game was valid, and not pirated. This was what was upheld, as technically the BnetD team were providing a means of circumventing the copy protection to play online.

          • by Sancho (17056) *
            Ah, I didn't realize that. It bothers me, because there are already copy-protection measures on the discs (the discs can't be copied under normal circumstances, and a disc is required to be in the drive to play the game) but it definitely changes my interpretation of the case a bit.
        • by Qzukk (229616)
          Semantically, what's the difference if a script does my grinding or if hit the attack button a dozen times while reading a book? Would a complicated OCR+mechanical keypresser setup be cheating?

          Something non-human is playing the game for you.

          Is it cheating to have something flash on your screen if you're being attacked? Is it cheating to modify UI elements to be more useable?

          You are playing the game for you.
        • by Drantin (569921) *
          Your parent was unclear. While you didn't have to pay to play online, you were supposed to have a legitimate copy of the game in the first place, which Battle.net checks by verifying your CD-Key vs. their database of keys they have sold (not just the ones that pass the installers verifier..) BnetD didn't (and couldn't) do this, therefore they were shutdown (if you're still interested in bnetd, look up pvpgn, its successor...)
    • by Tim C (15259)
      They do, and their definition is pretty much "regardless of whether the program is completely harmless and improves a crappy aspect of our game, it's still cheating if it allows a player to play our game in any way that wasn't determined solely by us."

      Another way of saying "playing our game in the way that was determined solely by us" is "playing by the rules". Playing in a way not allowed by the rules is generally called "cheating".
    • by Stormie (708)

      The one that really gets to me is the map thing for Diablo II. For the love of God, nobody that still plays Diablo II enjoys exploring the same levels over and over and over again.

      ??? That's the only thing that remains enjoyable once you've been playing Diablo II for a long time. If you want to use Maphack to rush through the levels to the boss, you're not enjoying playing the game, you're in the football card collecting mindset described by an earlier commenter. To mix metaphors, what you're trying to do

  • Author is a moron (Score:3, Insightful)

    by charlesbakerharris (623282) on Monday February 19, 2007 @02:05PM (#18069432)
    Blizzard believes that Glider allows players to cheat. Having used Glider myself I would have to say that it is not really a cheat program. It does not allow you to dupe items or create things out of thin air. It does not do anything a real player can do with one exception. It does allow the character to be played 24x7. Humans can't do that. Groups of people could do this though. There are many farm companies that offer powerleveling services that will run your character 24x7. There is not much difference between the two of these. Both of them level up your character as fast as possible. They both can farm for you as well.

    Is this guy serious? "it is not really a cheat program"? No, it doesn't dupe items. It just gives you a massive competitive advantage, equivalent to a bunch of other ways of cheating (that the author delightfully lists) in violation of the ToS. That's not cheating at all.

    What a tool.

    • by Chris Burke (6130)
      "It does not do anything a real player can do with one exception. It does allow the character to be played 24x7. Humans can't do that. Groups of people could do this though."

      Heh. "Sammy Sosa's new cybernetic brain implant doesn't do anything the athlete would be physically incapable of doing himself, it just does it with an unnerring accuracy and resiliance that Sosa himself could never in practice achieve. Senate hearings as to whether or not this constitues 'cheating' are expected to continue..."
    • by Stormie (708)

      There are many farm companies that offer powerleveling services that will run your character 24x7. There is not much difference between the two of these. Both of them level up your character as fast as possible. They both can farm for you as well.

      And both of them are against Blizzard's TOS and can get your account banned. You're right, this author is a moron. What's his point? Is he under the mistaken impression that Blizzard doesn't mind if you get a team of players to play your character 24/7?

  • The only articles I've been able to find about this aren't exactly objective and haven't provided the actual text of the claims being made by Vivendi. While it's easy to hate the big conglomerate, I've had a number of games ruined for me because of bots/farmers (indirectly and directly) and tend to support action being taken to squash gold and item farming. I'm not sure that I would support action against the third party software providers (since they haven't agreed to the TOS) and I'm interested to see the
  • bots (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    The keyboard allows botting. Why are people in support of keeping it on the shelves?
  • by UnknownSoldier (67820) on Monday February 19, 2007 @03:13PM (#18070508)
    After you've leveled up a few toons to 60, sorry 70 now, its a PITA to level up the rest of your toons. Same thing happened in D2, where it was a MAJOR PITA to level up to 99 -- Blizzard tried banning a few people, but the bots kept coming, and eventually they gave up.

    If the author really wanted to keep WoWGlider going, he would of open-sourced it before got the big take down. I seriously doubt he has the money to win the legal case.

    Didn't bnetd teach us anything??
  • Glider sounds like nothing more than WinBatch, or VisualBasic's (or any other language's) SendKeys. If software that automates input is truly illegal, how far down does it go? Would this apply to the BIOS (or whatever) that feeds op instructions to the CPU?
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by geekmansworld (950281)
      The issue is not that automating keystrokes illegal. The issue is that the WoW EULA says that you can't use software that does this very thing. If indeed the company that makes Glider is selling it as a WoW autopilot, then they're encouraging users to violate their license agreement. In that aspect, I'm inclined to side with Blizzard. They're trying to create an environment as egalitarian as possible for their players.

      What perplexes me is that WoW already includes the hardy anti-cheating monitor nicknamed "
      • by Kalriath (849904)
        As I understand it, Glider does nasty stuff that prevents the Warden client from seeing it or being able to act upon it. Remember, the Warden is limited in what it can do (it runs in userland, remember? As long as it is not running at Kernel level, other programs are capable of masking themselves). I don't know offhand what that is, but I'll take a look later on when I get home unless someone else gets there first.
    • by crabpeople (720852) on Monday February 19, 2007 @05:18PM (#18072468) Journal
      Well it's UNATTENDED macroing. Obviously, no one can make macros illegal as they can perfectly rplicate user input as to be indistinguishable. The issue is probably that a GM comes on, sends you some sort of private message, then another one in like 10 minutes. If you dont respond then they kick/ban.

      Its a sensible restriction in most games to ban unnattended macroing. I am against banning tools as well, but it would be different if they were watching the screen while running this app.

  • by Velops (1006755) on Monday February 19, 2007 @06:13PM (#18073444)
    The social aspect is one of the most important things for an MMORPG to be successful. It is one of the driving factors that keep people playing the games. Without a strong community, many players would quickly stop playing the game. As a result, developers like Blizzard need to keep the community happy. Nobody cares if people cheat or use 3rd party tools on single player games. That's because the only person affected is a single player. It matters a lot in an MMO because the characters don't exist in a vacuum. They exist in a world populated by other characters that interact with each other. Cheaters can cause serious damage to a game economy by flooding the market with rare items causing rampant inflation. This directly hurts any players who did not cheat. When these problems arise, the community gets unhappy and the devloper must take action or risk having the entire game fall apart.
  • All Blizzard really care about is the fact that people using this software are staying logged in to their servers much longer than they otherwise would, thus creating extra load on them. They know normal human beings have to sleep at least 6 hours a day, and some even have jobs that suck up another 8 or 9 hours. Bandwidth and CPU load = costs to them.

    Oh, and other WoW players get annoyed because they are forced to manually grind their levels up, and feel they are missing out on maybe 10 hours of grinding a
    • The simple solution is a situation like EVE Online, where your charcters level grind is based on real time and not play time.

      I suppose that would solve their server load problems completely.
      • Anyone who has ever participated in a fleet battle in EvE would probably laugh hysterically...that is, if they're not pissed off over their weapons taking minutes to kick into gear and hardly knowing what happened until after they've been podded (without them knowing wtf just happened, by the way).

        And besides, if nothing you do ingame has any reflection of your skill in playing the game, why play? Especially when empire space (newbie space where you're protected from gankers by NPC police) is so soul-cru

      • by Mascot (120795)
        It sure did get rid of me. After only a week or two I realized I spent more time offline waiting for skilltimers than actually playing. Somehow, that didn't quite feel worth the cash.
      • by AmiMoJo (196126)
        Yep, it does because the server does 0% processing on their character until they log back in again, at which point it notices which skill times have expired and adds those skills.

Faith may be defined briefly as an illogical belief in the occurence of the improbable. - H. L. Mencken

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