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Blizzard Tries To Forbid Open Sourcing Glider 638

Posted by kdawson
from the keep-that-cat-in-that-bag dept.
ruphus13 notes a new development in Blizzard's case against MDY, which we discussed last week. Blizzard, the maker of World of Warcraft, has now requested another injunction — to prevent the open sourcing of Glider code. Quoting: "Blizzard has asked the court for a relatively unconventional order prohibiting MDY from making the source code for its MMO Glider software available to the public, and prohibiting MDY from helping people develop other World of Warcraft automation software. Blizzard had previously asked the court to shut down MDY's WoW operations in its motion for summary judgment, but the court's summary judgment order did not address Blizzard's request. Blizzard's requests to prohibit open-source release of MDY's software and prohibit MDY's assistance in development of independent WoW bots are new to this motion — and seem likely to raise eyebrows in the open source and digital rights advocacy camps."
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Blizzard Tries To Forbid Open Sourcing Glider

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  • by Lumpy (12016) on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:05AM (#24434003) Homepage

    OOPS! we were hacked! our source code was stolen!

    OMG!! It's all over pirate bay! sorry!

    In other words, legally say "Blizzard.... Go To Hell."

    • by oahazmatt (868057) on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:09AM (#24434085) Journal

      OOPS! we were hacked! our source code was stolen!

      OMG!! It's all over pirate bay! sorry!

      In other words, legally say "Blizzard.... Go To Hell."

      Except, it's not legal if MDY claims this happens in court, when in reality the story is a bit fabricated.

      Also, doing so before the court has a chance to accept or deny Blizzard's request may not help MDY's case at all, and end up costing them.

      • by Richard_at_work (517087) <.moc.liamg. .ta. .ecirpdrahcir.> on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:24AM (#24434347)
        Infact, such an act would probably end up with them being held in contempt of court of the original ruling, let alone this case.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by plasmacutter (901737)

        Except, it's not legal if MDY claims this happens in court, when in reality the story is a bit fabricated.

        Also, doing so before the court has a chance to accept or deny Blizzard's request may not help MDY's case at all, and end up costing them.

        as if this hasn't stopped the MAFIAA from engaging in en masse RICO violations using the same tactics.

        It's very hard to prove intent.

        Select a "fall guy" to "leak" the code to pirate bay, let him get his finances in (legally unassailable) order, and away you go.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pathos49 (838882)

      OOPS! we were hacked! our source code was stolen!

      OMG!! It's all over pirate bay! sorry!

      In other words, legally say "Blizzard.... Go To Hell."

      Well are you not a swell guy or what??? So what do you say to the guy that is NOT cheating? "Hey that is your problem, you oughta cheat too" This code sucks and people that develop it suck as well. They are people that do not believe rules are for them. Why don't they just go write ther own Open source versions of WoW and play with themselves. I want to play the game WITHOUT having to resort to cheat.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Spy der Mann (805235)

        This code sucks and people that develop it suck as well. They are people that do not believe rules are for them.

        You would make an excellent agent... Mister Anderson.

      • by mhall119 (1035984) on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:40AM (#24434593) Homepage Journal

        How about Blizzard just fixes their software not not allow cheating?

        • by spyrochaete (707033) on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:51AM (#24434783) Homepage Journal

          How about Blizzard just fixes their software not not allow cheating?

          They do this all the time, and people are often banned for using cheats. WowGlider used to actively probe resident memory for the values of variables but now WoW checks for such activity, so Glider sacrificed accuracy for stealth by only passively watching memory and controlling the character based on various criteria. In the eyes of WoW's anti-cheating scheme, Glider really does appear to be ordinary user input - especially when the user stays at they keyboard, occasionally doing some human-like stuff such as chatting with friends.

        • by Escogido (884359) on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:54AM (#24434837)

          It's not a *fix*, it's a design flaw.

          From my experience as a MMO designer, battling automated play is actually a huge design problem. In many cases you don't want to do it by changing the code because the time and effort spent to do that are much better spent developing real game features. So in many games people take the easiest route and just outlaw automated gameplay instead of changing the design to make sure it is not possible to benefit much from it. Can't really blame anyone for that.

          Still it doesn't change this Blizzard's request being utterly ridiculous. With all my genuine respect to the company, someone must have had a brainfart in this case.

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            Why don't they implement a challenge-response system in-game like a CAPTCHA? Ask the player some specifically worded question about some game event. You don't have to ban people outright for getting it wrong, but you definitely could do that enough that you could build a statistical profile that indicated a player was cheating. Then ban them.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by mrchaotica (681592) *

              Better yet, make it some sort of puzzle mini-game!

            • by Some_Llama (763766) on Friday August 01, 2008 @12:04PM (#24436215) Homepage Journal

              "Why don't they implement a challenge-response system in-game like a CAPTCHA? Ask the player some specifically worded question about some game event."

              Why don't they remove the obvious time wasting aspects of the game that turn a fun challenge into "grinding".

              go kill this monster, but you are only done with X drops... wtfh?

              I generally enjoy WoW but what really frustrates me are the obvious attempts to get me to play longer and therefore keep shelling out money.. like run over there and kill x monster then come back.. i come back and am given the quest to return to the same exact spot and kill y monster (that i had to kill anyway because he stands right next to X). BOOOORING!

              if they spent more time developing quests (and adding to the lower level quest lines) people wouldn't want to automate their grinding (for an e.g. there is a low level crossroads quest that spawns a centaur attack on a village you have to defend against, makes you feel like you are really fighting "for the horde", lots of fun).

              I'm just getting tot he high level stuff and it seems to be more along these lines.. why they don't try and improve the older work is beyond me.. that's prolly the number 1 gripe i hear about grinding. UGH WC or SFK again/ "can someone run me thru? i'll pay you gold".

              • by discord5 (798235) on Friday August 01, 2008 @02:15PM (#24438661)

                Why don't they remove the obvious time wasting aspects of the game that turn a fun challenge into "grinding".

                The idea behind grinding (and timesinks in general) is that you have a cheap way of keeping your players occupied. Various materials for crafting, gold, etc etc etc. In fact, why bother with creating actual content when you can keep people busy for an hour or two a day by killing the same type of monsters over and over.

                kill x monster then come back [snip] kill y monster

                Most RPGs suffer from this:

                • kill X and bring me his head for shiny coins
                • fetch the amulet of Y and I shall reward you handsomely
                • talk to Z to find out where we can find the magic donkey

                Single player RPGs suffer from it, and with MMOs it's even more obvious because most people play MMOs for months. MMOs don't exactly lend themselves to epic storytelling either, because any large-scale event would affect all players. In a single player RPG you could have a character open the gates of the nine hells and have the world flooded with demons that you have to dispatch, in an MMO you can't really have that happen. "Oh great, player #239483 opened the gates to the nine hells again" "Ugh, another week of demons"

                While WoW had some large scale events, such as the opening of AQ, and there was something with the undead or something, the experience is a lot less fun than when YOU are doing something.

                I'm just getting tot he high level stuff and it seems to be more along these lines.

                I stopped playing WoW on a regular basis when our guild started waltzing through MC. I'd noticed that casual play with friends had started to devolve to getting 40 people organized to be on time, have the correct gear and potions, spend time grinding for gold and materials and generally not having fun.

                If you start spending more time preparing to have fun than actually having fun that sort of defeats the purpose of playing a game in my opinion.

                why they don't try and improve the older work is beyond me

                I think they did that. A few months ago an old guildmate of mine sent me a mail talking about new questhubs in low level areas (the area where Onyxia is located, I forgot the name). The thing is that there's very little to gain for Blizzard to add new low level quests. Most of their playerbase is maxed out and creates a new character or two to keep themselves occupied while they're waiting on new high level content. I think most players will start going away if there isn't new high level content regularly than low level content.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by Hoi Polloi (522990)

                OMG yes!

                The reputation system has got to be the most miserable part of the game. Even worse than the slot machine system they have for boss drops ("Ok, after 4 hours of running this instance you get...squat! Try again!"). Factions seem to be breeding like mad too. Soon we'll have the Cenarion Coffee Club faction to grind or some other time suck.

                Gaining reputation also involves running the same dungeons over, and over...and over again. Two or three times may be fun but by the eigth time it is pretty muc

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by Escogido (884359)

              You can't be serious. CAPTCHAs are annoying enough on normal websites already. Many people seem to accept that they have to only pass through them once during registration, for the sake of their own good, but asking them every once in a while is surely going to hurt. Losing customers to the inconvenience of protection measures added to retain customers is not exactly the price anyone would be looking to pay.

              Admittedly this analogy is going a bit too far, but requiring every user to confirm every time that t

          • by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday August 01, 2008 @12:26PM (#24436619) Homepage Journal

            That's the wrong approach.
            You shouldn't focus on stopping automated game play.
            You need to make changes so it's not more beneficial then non automated play.

            I ahve a programmable keyboard. I don't mean those ones with software running on the machine, I mean a keyboard with memory I can program.
            This is completly undetectable to the computer. I could automate all kinds of things, it's what computers do.

          • by TiggertheMad (556308) on Friday August 01, 2008 @12:48PM (#24437037) Homepage Journal
            From my experience as a MMO designer, battling automated play is actually a huge design problem.

            I am a professional programmer, and I would say that it is more than that. I would say that it is fundamentally impossible to prevent botting on remote clients without a client being completely locked down with DRM. And as Microsoft has already discovered, that is a hard sell.

            You have the same fundamental problem that media creators do: You have to give people information, but prevent them from using it in ways you don't approve of. This problem will not go away any time soon.

            The simpler problem of stopping WoW botting is easy. People bot in WoW because 'the grind' to level or gain faction rep is long and boring. Change the game so that people aren't rewarded for sinking so much time into the game. Problem solved.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Snaller (147050)

            So, the court has found the program can only be used for something illegal, and the company should not be allowed to sell it - but you are fine with they should be able to give it away to others who can then do illegal things with it.

            Bit like they arrest a dope dealer then he should be allowed to give his stash away to someone else.

      • by fortyonejb (1116789) on Friday August 01, 2008 @11:13AM (#24435231)
        The problem lies beyond your issue of cheating in an online game, which on the concern-o-meter is a lot less important than a company like blizzard getting to control someone else's source code. This sort of precedent could be very scary. Any company that can find a judge who would believe their IP is somehow infringed by other software that is or is not open source could then get control over how that code is handled? no, that cannot fly at all.
        • by mrchaotica (681592) * on Friday August 01, 2008 @11:54AM (#24436037)

          This case already had the shitty ruling that Blizzard gets to lord over what other software you're allowed to run on your own computer, just because their (bullshit, ought-to-be-unenforceable) EULA says so. That's a scary precedent too.

          • by Sancho (17056) * on Friday August 01, 2008 @12:12PM (#24436371) Homepage

            Exactly. Now, Microsoft can say, "You may only install Windows on this computer if you never install OpenOffice on this computer." If you install OpenOffice, your Windows license becomes invalid. Tough luck.

            • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

              by TheLink (130905)
              You may only legally copy this post to the contents of your memory or distribute it to others, if you do whatever I command you to (in the future) and also send me 10% of your income every month in cash equivalent.

              Oh yeah, and you must also howl at the full moon every month while standing on one leg in a public place.

              And if you are someone who writes EULAs (or those stupid Corporate Email Signatures), please move to Sudan and eat sand for the rest of your hopefully short life.
      • by RobDude (1123541) on Friday August 01, 2008 @11:23AM (#24435393) Homepage

        Oh I agree.

        But lawsuits and the government shouldn't be the ones to give you a cheater free experience on a WoW Server hosted by Blizzard.

        Blizzard should be the one to police it's virtual world. Blizzard runs the servers, Blizzard wrote the code, Blizzard collects money from paying customers like yourself who want to play WoW without worrying about other people botting or hacking.

        Blizzard should take an active role in preventing/eliminating things they don't want in their world. If botting is going be against BLIZZARD'S RULES the punishment for botting should be ENFORCED BY BLIZZARD.

        I have zero problem with Blizzard banning me/terminating my account/flagging my CD-Key as invalid if I'm caught violating their rules. Should it be *ILLEGAL* to break the rules Blizzard makes up for their virtual world? HELL NO.

        That's like me making a web forum and telling everyone it's against the rules to post images...then taking to court anyone who writes an HTML book that includes the IMG tag. My rules that I've arbitrarily decided are NOT the law.

        If some guy wants to publish the source to something he wrote, why shouldn't he be able to? Because some company somewhere doesn't like it? That seems a bit unfair to me. I'm sure Microsoft wasn't happy about Linux and the Open Source alternative OSes that exist. I'm sure you could argue that Microsoft's bottom line has been hurt from the OS community *AND* that much of the functionality of the OS communities products are based off of MS Software (Open Office can open .xls files - if not for Excel they wouldn't be able to do that, right?).

      • by WNight (23683) on Friday August 01, 2008 @03:37PM (#24440349) Homepage

        No, I'd tell them to play the game however they want. The presence of a cheater doesn't change your character, you can just go elsewhere and find your own random monsters.

        In fact, a cheater is mostly indistinguishable from a WoW-Addict in that both go up levels far faster than you. The cheater's skills probably aren't as good because they let the bot do the work, so you should probably look at cheaters as big bags of cool toys/cash that are relatively unguarded.

        But honestly, getting bent out of shape because other people want to play 80th level content without wading through 20-80th level content. Oh noes! We must use the courts to make people play the game properly!

    • by tritonman (998572) on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:36AM (#24434529)
      Eventually, they will probably take Microsoft to court and demand that they remove things from the Windows API like ReadProcessMemory, SetWindowsHookEx and even SendKeys.
      • Eventually, they will probably take Microsoft to court

        Actually, I'd like to see that happen. Then Blizzard will get the bug-on-the-windshield treatment.

        Regardless, Blizzard has been on my list of companies that I will never do business with for some time now. Looks like that's not going to change anytime soon. Blizzard is one of those companies that is perfectly willing to set legal precedent that hurts a lot of people and organizations that have nothing to do with gaming. That makes them corporate c
  • Amusing (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jgtg32a (1173373)
    This should be very amusing. Was there any indication that MDY intended to Open up Glider?
    • by Bieeanda (961632)
      If there isn't, it'll be utterly hilarious. Blizzard will have carte blanche to jump down their collective throats, on the grounds that they're both evading the injunction against Glider development, and intentionally attempting to harm the WoW service in retaliation for that injunction.
    • by sm62704 (957197)

      In this case I was going to rtfa, but I see th elink goes to a site named virtuallyblind.com. Does anybody have a link to a reputable site, and not just some guy's blog?

  • Can they do that? (Score:5, Informative)

    by HaloZero (610207) <protodeka@nOSPAm.gmail.com> on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:07AM (#24434035) Homepage
    If the Glider software doesn't contain any copyright infringement (which MDY may be hard-pressed to prove - really, dunno), can Blizzard legally prevent them from Open Sourcing the software? It would seem to me that that's really not going to fly that well.
    • by Alexpkeaton1010 (1101915) on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:15AM (#24434191)
      They can do whatever they can trick a judge to go along with.
    • Blizzard is stance on that Glider contains copyrighted and protected property. One can't declare something open source if one doesn't own it to begin with.

      Of course all of this maneuvering hinges on whether or not Glider did their work cleanly. I personally don't favor this approach where it seems to be easier just to continually combat the thing better technology.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by gknoy (899301)

        Solution:
        Submit the entire Glider source code as an exhibit, to prove that it does not contain copyrighted or protected property. I imagine an expert witness could be found who could analyze it reliably. (Unfortunately, PAYING such a person would be more difficult.)

        If Glider was written undersource control, it would be interesting to see the lifecycle of the tool, also.

  • by c0l0 (826165) * on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:07AM (#24434059) Homepage

    As I've delved into Diablo 2 once again (after watching the imho downright fantastic gameplay video of Diablo 3) over the last few days, I've seen with some amazement that some of the most widely used Battle.net cheats are actually licensed under the GNU GPL - there's even some kind of application framework for interacting with the game programmatically floating around on the web...
    It's really interesting to see such development, because back in the days when I really was into all that gaming stuff, there was hardly ever a way to take a look how some trainer's/cheat's author does thing XY. Cool, in a way. :)

    That said, I really, really despise cheating in multiplayer games.

    • the most widely used Battle.net cheats are actually licensed under the GNU GPL - there's even some kind of application framework for interacting with the game programmatically floating around on the web...

      The MMO Asheron's Call, a contemporary of better-known Everquest, has had a framework like this for years, known as Decal [decaldev.com].

      Interestingly, the developers of asheron's call (Turbine) chose to embrace the 3rd party development community. As a result, players have used the framework to extend and improve the g

  • You prefer this to exist with closed source so you can't read the code and see what they do to hook into your game.

    Yeeeeeah, smart move!

    • by cp.tar (871488)

      Blizzard's programmers also want their Sudoku.
      They just do it by disassembling bot code.

      Open-sourcing it would ruin it for them, and that is just not right.

    • by geekoid (135745)

      I suspect they know. It's not hard to figure out.

      There will always be hooks into a game.

  • Pandora's Box (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Chris_Stankowitz (612232) on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:08AM (#24434069)
    Blizzard doesn't really doesn't really want th EFF to get involved in this fight. Ok, the EFF may not actively take part in such a fight, but the OpenSource community will. The enemy of my enemy...
  • by rehtonAesoohC (954490) on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:12AM (#24434129) Journal
    Unfortunately, a lot of people will be stricken with, "The Enemy of my Enemy is... the maker of the game that I'm addicted to."

    I feel a strange disturbance in the force... as if thousands of WoW-addicts/programmers cried out in pain, and were silenced.
  • Been well over a year since I played WoW, so how has the bot trouble been? They were always more annoying than anything else, and adversely affected some of the economy, but that was about it. Massive bot use would seriously affect gameplay, though...Blizzard may be better off getting some people to corrupt the stuff coming out of pirate bay or something. Distribute bad bots to people who are trying...or they could reduce the grind. Or something. I dunno.

    Of course, I could rag on how WoW needs to rele
    • by geekoid (135745)

      They're not a problem, and there effect on the economy is debatable.

      Blizzards design minimize the effect Bots can have.

      "they could reduce the grind"
      but what would people do between the new releases.something has to keep the payers mindlessly working.

      No, that wasn't a typo.

    • I think the last time I saw something that was obviously a bot outside of a battleground was almost 6 months ago. In the battlegrounds it seems there's almost always a couple of leeching bots, but (as far as I can tell) it's not nearly as bad as it was a year ago (and it's not like I'm gonna win any BG's on my alliance toon anyway, so a couple of leechers don't matter so much... :P)

      I do play WoW quite a bit (maybe 10-15 hours a week), and I'm also an open source user and contributor. Maybe they'll send Ri

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by plasmacutter (901737)

        first, it's OSS scripting that interacts with blizzard's "entertainment" code.

        Then, it's OSS scripting that interacts with major microsoft apps, or reads the latest "MS ONLY" format.

  • wow,big mistake. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by geekoid (135745) <dadinportland AT yahoo DOT com> on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:14AM (#24434165) Homepage Journal

    This can not help Blizzard in any way what so ever.

    A) Glider isn't exactly hard to create.
    B) Makes Blizzard look like bullies..again.
    C) Now there are several people who are going to create a clone.
    D) It's impact on the game, emotional views aside, isn't really that great.

    Stopping Glider is a bandage on a bigger issue they refuse to actually address, farming.
    Now, farming isn't nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be. In MMO's that allowed groups to control areas, it was horrible, but you can't really do that in WoW.

    Here are some thing they could do:
    1) Don't let anyone mine/pick anything that there skill level makes gray to them.
    2) put some random drift into movement.
    3) limit the price you can sell something for on the AH to 10 times what a vendor would pay
    4) don't allow the transfer of more then 100GP a time. Maybe a one time unlimited amount per month.

    All of these would be pretty trivial to implement.

    • All of those may be easy to implement but but just because it's easy doesn't make it good (perverted jokes to the contrary...). Those changes would be significant quality of life hits that would frustrate the average user who doesn't even know what Glider is and cause more problems than what they would solve.
    • by Clovis42 (1229086)

      Don't let anyone mine/pick anything that there skill level makes gray to them

      This might be trivial to implement, but I'm guessing the players would be pissed. I've only played for a week, but I'm picking "gray" herbs all the time. What am I supposed to do to get them? Buy them at the auction? Bleh. And who would I buy them from? I'm using up most of my (non-grey) picked herbs to increase my alchemy skill, so I don't think there would be enough to go around. I guess some people could make good money focusi

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by truesaer (135079)

      Here are some thing they could do:
      1) Don't let anyone mine/pick anything that there skill level makes gray to them.
      2) put some random drift into movement.
      3) limit the price you can sell something for on the AH to 10 times what a vendor would pay
      4) don't allow the transfer of more then 100GP a time. Maybe a one time unlimited amount per month.

      All of these would be pretty trivial to implement.

      Jesus, you clearly don't play WoW. These are terrible ideas.

      1) People often need materials that are "grey" skill level. From useful potions to metals for engineering, etc. Plus, one of the advantages of having multiple characters is that one of your characters with an appropriate skill can gather materials for another one. This idea would completely break the tradeskill system.

      2) This would be ok I guess, just really annoying since it would mean you'd have to constantly nanny your character while on autorun

  • by Opportunist (166417) on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:22AM (#24434315)

    Sure, you can ban bots and you can void licenses when you catch someone, but bottom line: People won't stop as long as two criterions are not matched

    1. The game is interesting enough to be played instead of botted.
    2. The game is complicated enough to make botting pointless.

    Why do people bot? Two reasons. First, they're goldfarmers and want to make as much gold as possible without having to do it themselves. And second, some parts of the game are just boring tedium nobody wants to do but has to.

    So what all comes down is time sinks. People want to avoid time sinks. They don't want to sit in one spot and farm the same crapmobs for hours to get their $number $item for $quest. That's boring and tedious. They don't want to farm $mob for gold to buy their mount, that's boring and tedious.

    Give people what they want to play and you have no problem with bots. Simple as that. When you have a problem with people botting through your game, all it says is that you installed something in the game that should keep the people occupied but they generally hate to do it (aka time sink).

    • by foobsr (693224) on Friday August 01, 2008 @10:41AM (#24434607) Homepage Journal
      "People want to avoid time sinks."

      Quote from /. [slashdot.org].

      Well done.

      CC.
    • by bill_kress (99356) on Friday August 01, 2008 @11:06AM (#24435087)

      I don't think you understand game psychology. There is a crossover between a smooth, slow progression and long-term enjoyability.

      If a game had no grind, players would lose interest quickly--the rewards need to be spaced out and not constant. In order for a good experience to stand out from the grind, there has to be a grind.

      If you give people "what they want to play", they will not enjoy it at all. I can give you a game that you win at the push of a button--no grind at all. Would that make you happy?

      When I used to find myself spending too much time on any game, a truly reliable way to make me sick of it is to cheat--to get everything I want as fast as I want. End of all my interest in the game within a couple days to a week. (this is how I broke my original addictions to Diablo and Diablo years ago)

      Sure you think you want to be handed all these things you cheat for, but if that was really all you wanted, why not play single player? There are massive, undetectable cheats for that.

      The only reason to cheat on b.net is to compare yourself to people who don't--to somehow give yourself an edge up against those who don't because, hmm, because it makes you feel better about yourself maybe? That's just pathetic.

      Think about it for a while. Analyze what you play and why you play it. From your statement you obviously play a lot, but do you ever really think about what you enjoy about gaming? What you really want? Again, from your email, I have to guess no...

      • > If a game had no grind, players would lose interest quickly

        That is incorrect.

        Guild Wars [guildwars.com] is an example of an online game that has (almost) no grind, and yet is massively popular (millions), and growing.

        And GW has (almost) no bots, since there is almost no boring grinding for bots to replace. As a result, the only reason left to run bots in GW is for farming for drops, but it's very rarely done.

        So no, you're wrong. WoW (and EverQuest and others) did not need to be designed as time sinks, but they were,

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by SoTerrified (660807)

        I don't think you understand game psychology. There is a crossover between a smooth, slow progression and long-term enjoyability.

        If a game had no grind, players would lose interest quickly--the rewards need to be spaced out and not constant.

        So you're saying any day now we can expect Civ IV Glider? Mass Effect Glider? Guild Wars Glider? I'm just picking on some games I play and enjoy. Civ IV is a perfect example. Sure it has a "grind" between the point that you decide on your plan and actually implement it. But what's this? Civ IV lets you set up a build order ahead of time and automate the process? Or it even lets you turn over the city building to an AI so you don't have to do the boring part? I guess we don't need a Civ IV Glider be

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Opportunist (166417)

        Certainly getting everything handed to you makes a game boring. But making the game tedious doesn't make it interesting either.

        What I want from a game is a challenge. My goal is to prove that yes, I can do it. What do I prove by slaying a bazillion of the very same mob for some drop (i.e. "farming")? At best that I have no life and/or too much spare time on my hands. But that I can play? C'mon, get serious.

        WoW is no challenge, though, until very late in the game. Why? Because everyone levels (bots...) his w

  • Yay... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Driador (923291)
    It's bnetd [wikipedia.org] all over again. \o/
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I don't see what all the fuss is about ... the source code for Glider is 9 bits:

    - # -
    - - #
    # # #

  • by immcintosh (1089551) <slashdot@ianmcintos h . org> on Friday August 01, 2008 @11:23AM (#24435403) Homepage

    The real problem is the fact that World of Warcraft (and every MMO released to date) is designed with such shoddy gameplay mechanics that people would rather have a computer play most of the game for them. The problem isn't that some people automate their characters, the problem is that a large percentage of the game is so mind-numbingly boring and repetitive that people would go to any length to avoid it and just play the good stuff. Is there anything wrong with this? Absolutely not, these developers (again, this applies to ALL MMOs) need to learn to design games that are fun the entire time you're playing them.

    Put it another way, consider what would be the case if WoW were a single player game. The immediate conclusion everybody would draw was that the gameplay is substandard, because they are so tempted to automate it. Make it multiplayer and all of a sudden this is different? No. What's really going on here? Blizzard puts as many artificual, tedious roadblocks as they can get away with into the game, and the reason they do so is to extend the duration of their subscriptions as long as possible. When somebody decides to automate the process, Blizzard isn't protecting their player base, they're protecting their profit margins. They're saying, "You'll play this game OUR way so we can milk you for as much money as possible." So I say to Blizzard, cure the disease, not the symptom. Make a game that people don't want to have a computer play most of it for them and you won't have these problems.

    Can't figure out how to make a game that's both fun and takes a long time to get tired of? Hire some actually talented game designers. We know you can take a design somebody else came up with and polish the mechanics to to a shiny gleam (see: every Blizzard game to date). Now's the time to innovate.

  • by jedidiah (1196) on Friday August 01, 2008 @02:21PM (#24438793) Homepage

    You know, I always thought that the RIAA and MPAA would destroy
    the software industry. I figured that they would push through
    laws that suited them and to hell with everyone else. I figured
    that they would create laws that burden everyone else that does
    something with a microprocessor. I figured that million dollar
    Oracle databases would eventually be burdened down with anti-piracy
    nonsense to prevent pirates from using old IBMs or Suns.

    I didn't think it would be the likes of Blizzard to trash the
    industry with really stupid laws or heinously egregious precedents.

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