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Macros are illegal under federal law, but the constitutionality of laws prohibiting macro usage has been challenged as exceeding the scope of Congress's power under the commerce clause of Article I.
There is currently a case pending before the Supreme Court on this issue. We are likely to see a 5-4 split, holding that macro usage is not economic activity and therefore does not substantially affect interstate commerce because the aggregation doctrine does not apply to non-economic activities. Consequently, the laws are unconstitutional and macro usage will be legal again, unless the States start banning it in which case we're !@#$ed.
Edited by Blobberson#1344 on 4/26/2012 6:22 PM PDT
For SC2 they are not allowed if you're binding multiple keys to a single key. I don't know if Blizzard has said anything specifically about Diablo 3 yet. The only way I could see them giving a different verdict would be because D3 isn't an e-sport.
They probably can't tell what mouse/keyboard you're using, but they can see that you're pressing 3 keys in a loop at 300ms intervals for 2 hours straight.
So when is this case being heard? Because it does not appear on any docket list I have been able to find for the supreme court... Further while I agree that U.S. v. Morrision shows that congress can not regulate non-econmoic activity... Macro use is definitely going to be more hotly contested as an economic activity then the violation of the violence against women act in that case (although this act is important and does offer a civil remedy to those who are victims).
Under U.S. v. Lopez Congress has plenary (absolute) power to regulate
1) Channels of Interstate Commerce - this includes highways waterways and more recently the internet...
2) Instrumentalities of Interstate Commerce - which includes people (in the course of business normally) trucks planes phones and the internet
3) Substantial Effects on Interstate Commerce - things that are done either by an individual or by a group instate
Now because macro use to "gold farm" is something done extensively in MMORPGS, and has in itself essentially become a virtual economy it is quite possible that congress may have power over the economic activities done while macroing.
Now this is all based on my understanding of the rule and since I am not a lawyer may be incorrect.
Still if you are going to argue aggregation know that in Gonzales v. Raich the supreme court ruled that intrastate growing of !@#$%^-*! use and growing under the compassionate use act was ruled to be an economic activity that could be regulated by congress. (they stated there was a national market for MJ, and that the effect of allowing it to be grown in California was going to have an aggregate effect on the price of MJ interstate even though the conduct was purely intrastate)
Based on that logic it could be interpreted that because "gold farming" and power leveling have a national market, and macro use makes for a difference in the price of these services then although the macro use could be limited to one state or even country it could in fact fall under congresses's commerce clause power.
granted I have seen no such case anywhere so I think we need not worry... but again im not a lawyer so I could be wrong.
I think a skill swap macro would be very useful and should be allowed.We'd still have to wait the 5 sec cd and it would eliminate having to pull up our skill screen if we could preset our runes and skills etc. I know they are trying to stray away from this by implementing Neph Valor penalty for skill swapping, but maybe there's a time and place for a quick swap on-da-go; or maybe there are people who'd just prefer to do so for the sake of their own playstyle.
Ermmm... I was more worried about being able to use them in game without getting my account banned.
Also, I think you've been trolled - I'm fairly certain EatinBox was being facetious...
Still, that was fairly fascinating. I can certainly understand that botting in order to gain a farming advantage in a game like D3 where you could make a financial gain could end up having legal ramifications... but that's not what I'm talking about. :D
I'm more worried about being able to use macros to do Monk Spirit Generator combos... I doubt hat could fall under any legality issues unless Blizzard themselves declares it to be an 'unfair practice'.
The answer to that question is what I'm trying to find out about! In StarCraft2, macroing is banned as a form of cheating. In WoW there are cases that I know of that could go either way... So there are precedents on both sides in other Blizzard games.
That being said, D3 isn't an e-sport(which both of the other games ARE) and there's no real direct competition at all - there isn't even PvP on release.
Just hoping to get an answer from a blue about this!
I actually think that for the most part, the in-game systems make this a non-issue. You can't swap skills that are on cool down, and after you swap a skill there's a 30 second CD(or has this been reduced?) before you can use the skill unless you swap in town. Also, any buffs from a power that is swapped out disappear when the skill is swapped out.
I don't really see this being an issue for them. If they're allowed at all this will be in because I don't see it being that big of an advantage, really.
I know I apologize for going in a completely different direction then you had intended for this thread to go in. Im in law school so I just kinda attacked lol. That being said for blizzard there is precedent on both sides.
I think the fact that D3 is not being considered an e-sport will play a factor in blizzards decision on this matter. Skill swapping has a cd in this game and its like you can just click one button and have a brand new action bar ready to go while your other skills cool down.
I don't think it will be considered an unfair practice from blizzard in this game. The only way we will know is if a blue post comes down on it. Or if in reading the user agreement it is mentioned.
Best of luck in finding out the answer, I am sure the entire game and monk community wants to know the answer to this.
Lol Blakesmash, I am in law school too, but what I took on Eatinbox's message that there is currently a case before the SC on macros, was not actually about macros but Obama Care(he lays forth the strongest argument that ObamaCare is unconstitutional as asserted by many critics).
But still, isn't it funny when you have a legal education how everything everyone says sounds different?
The whole reason Bliz made the skill sets resetable but not quickly interchangeable is to provide a "build" that is yours. So you don't pop a healing build when you're dying in a boss fight and then switch back to dps when you are good to go. You make your build and stick with it. Also another reason they added tactical and defensive abilities. You can't survive in this game with only a hack and slash....maybe with normal but if you are planning on doing any harder levels than use your defensive skills!!!!!
Glad they are doing this, because monks would be unstoppable with a high dodge skill set and gear then when the other opponent is down you switch to dps....not cool.
I'm a bit of a RP'er so I like having my skill sets so I can actually feel like my choices matter and I'm not just one of 10 "max build" cookie cutter molds. I like having advantages and disadvantages.
@OP macros would suck if it was for skill sets or gear swaps. But as for combos....maybe if it wasn't just press one key and kill everything. At least make it so you have to spam the key lol
So, I started up a thread in the General Discussion forum to try to get an answer on this question!
Blizzard wants to simplify the gameplay by minimize the operation in 6 keys ,which means they not gonna adding macros in this game, which make it even more complex
This, combined with the note about multi-button keybinds, is precisely why I use the keys on my Logitech G15 keyboard as single-key convenience features. I could, just as easily, go through and custom-bind all my keys in the SC2 user interface (which is definitely NOT illegal), but it's so much faster to hit [MR > G5 > S > MR] to set my G5 Key to Select Larva as if it were the S key.
As noted, it probably won't be an issue with D3 as it is not an e-sport. I was unaware that WoW had become a formal e-sport; we're all aware of the annual Official Arena tournaments, but there aren't any organized leagues & prize matches on the level of SC2 or other e-sports. Really, SC2 is in a league of its own insofar as Blizzard games go.
I recently made a macro for something that should be legal. I'm not sure how much I'll end up using it, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. It's 1 key press to switch a skill from one slot to another. Right now it just switches whatever skill is in the #2 slot with the skill in the right mouse slot, but it could be any combination.
There are some issues because Blizzard used a weird method for moving skills, code-wise. Apparently, if you drag/drop a skill the game actually removes the skill entirely (rune an all) and then re-selects the skill/rune in the new bar slot. What this means is you cannot move skills that are on cooldown (if you use the macro while an ability is on cooldown then the other ability will be removed and you have to go into the skills menu and re-select it yourself). Also, if you move an summon ability (e.g. Zombie Dogs, Corpse Spiders) then all summoned creatures will disappear.
See, this gets into tricky ground.
On the one hand, a macro that activates an ability AND typed text, oldschool MMO style ("Just used Breath, Monk2 next in 5 secs!") would technically be "multiple buttons" in a developer's eyes.
On the other hand, all it effectively does is level the playing field vs 4-man Voice Chat teams. If someone on your team - any one person - lacks Voice Chat, you NEED a text warning like this, and it's just not practical to try to type those messages out one-handed while spam-clicking, nevermind trying to use both hands to type.
Then, of course, there's my personal ages-old argument that text notifications are actually faster than Voice Chat due to the pattern recognition our eyes & minds are capable of and the instantaneous nature of hitting a macro vs the time it takes to speak a command; if you see something like...
"~~ Using Breath, Monk2 Next!! ~~"
... enough times, you don't even have to read it anymore, your eyes see the tildes & spacing of the capital letters and you just react.
That's getting a little off-topic, so I'll leave it at that.
Edited by Bonesplicer#1345 on 4/29/2012 11:22 AM PDT
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