Model Edits - Very "vague" blizzard responses

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100 Human Warlock
12335
I recently found out about model edits via watching streams, and i thought these guys must be either stupid enough to use these programs or they aren't breaking the ToS. I then decided to ask a GM and find out about the ramifications if any about using a model edit and lets just say I wasn't at all satisfied with their responses, they seemed to either not know or not have sufficient information to provide me. So before I begin using it, I hope to get some much needed clarity here.

Regards, David

Find attached all discussions with GMs
85 Human Rogue
4035
Any modifications of the core WoW data files is against the Terms of Use. The people streaming with modified models do so at their own risk, as would you if you choose to follow their example.
25 Night Elf Druid
0
Any type of altering of game files or data is expressly against the the TOS.

Period.
90 Gnome Warlock
5920
Altering the game files in any way is against the rules, there is a limited exception (or at least there was) to sound files. Warden will check files to make sure that they are not altered. What you are more then likely seeing is a stream of a private server and not of the live real game.
100 Human Warlock
12335
I would like some clarification on the matter of using Model Edits. My Issues

A- Streamers are constantly using them with no ramifications
B- A ban arises when a player is given an unfair advantage over other players through use of third party programs
C- If it is only client side and nobody but myself and see it, is this bannable.

Bottom line I would like a yes/no answer to "If I am caught using model edit will i be permabanned?"

Regards, David


Hello Xantric,

Thank You for submitting your ticket. After reviewing your issue, I must refer you to the TOU/EULA regarding game modifying programs/software. You may read the form by clicking on the link I have provided below;

http://us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/legal/wow_tou.html

If you have additional questions or concerns, please reply to this ticket. If you would rather speak with a representative directly, please contact Account & Technical Services. Our contact information can be found at http://us.battle.net/support/en/article/contact.

Thank You for Understanding,

Allen H.
Account and Technical Services
Blizzard Entertainment, Inc.
<https://us.battle.net/support>>

I still have concerns,
D. modify or cause to be modified any files that are a part of the Game Client or the Service in any way not expressly authorized by Blizzard;

This is subject to different interpretations, according to section D, all addons that alter your UI are " the Service in any way not expressly authorized by Blizzard". Therefore addons that search the Auction House, are prohibited? Addons such as Bartender which alter your bar layouts are also prohibited? I did ask for a yes/no answer please because anything I read like I said is subject to different interpretations. Blizzard has a duty of care to inform me as a customer if I engage in such activities am could I be found liable. I know you may not have an answer for my concern but please refer me to someone who can provide me with a yes/no answer as to whether I can be found to break the ToS,
Regards. David


Hello,

Thanks for your follow-up.

Your best bet would be to refrain from using any 3rd party program which edits actual game files. Textures and model editors change the client's MPQ files, which would be a violation of our policies.

We have formal guidelines which addons must follow to edit our in-game User Interface. Please check out these guidelines at http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1021053914.

Good luck and please reply if you have any further questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Game Master Laukeum
Customer Services
Blizzard Entertainment
www.blizzard.com/support

Thanks for your response, I am still wondering as to whether I can please get a yes/no answer as what you replied with falls under an 'expositional' context, basically what you say I interpret differently. I understand that maybe what I'm saying isn't quite getting through as intended.
- Leges posteriores priores states that a decision may or not be overturned (possible ban) is reasonable doubt did arise. This appears to occupy the more practical end of the spectrum of jurisprudential interpretation.
- One legal theorist who adopts exactly this approach, and so views interpretation in legal reasoning as ‘straddling the divide’ I do not wish to be caught in this divide and wish to know whether or not if I was to engage in using a model edit whether I can be found liable, and you as a provider of a service is required to provide a definite response and not leave any doubt residing with my decisions.
- Moreover, the second formulation of the ambit of legal reasoning given above, i.e that legal reasoning is about how Blizzard's account banning delegation should decide cases, is also ambiguous on some approaches to legal theory.

Now for me to pull out my legal notes and write up this jargon in order to get a,
- Yes, if you proceed and use a 3rd party model editing program you will be banned,
- No, if you proceed and use a 3rd party model editing program you NOT will be banned,
seems a little over the top, and even if I do not net a yes/no response I would like someone to refer me to someone who can provide a definite answer and meet all of my "arguments" i have listed.

Note, please take this with all seriousness intended, you may think this is a joke, but I can assure you it is not.


A'hoy there,

As I understand your question, we don't have a 'definite' Yes/No. It depends on the specific situation. We don't recommend using them, and although we certainly will not detect and action every type, its at your risk if you choose to use them. We can't vouche for any particular Addons, as we don't give any "preference" but if you would be using a relatively harmless one that allows you to see more opportunity, I'm sure its not a big priority.
On the other hand, if you had one, per sa, that let you manipulate the system as its intended to work, then you're stepping in grey area. Again, we really can't quote whats good/bad, as we simply do not endorse their use, and will action as the appropriate Team sees necessary.

Please note that the Account & Technical Services department is unable to provide answers to legal questions. Any questions should be directed via mail to:
Legal Department
Blizzard Entertainment
PO Box 18979
Irvine, CA 92623

Please include all of your contact information (name, address, telephone number) so that they can respond back to you.

Sincerely,
GM Bran
Account & Technical Services
Blizzard Entertainment
www.blizzard.com/support

Okay I propose this situation, I am only using the model edit for personal reasons, it does not give myself an advantage and it does not disadvantage other players, its purely for aesthetic reasons. Does this situation constitute a possible violation of the ToS?


Customer Service Representative

Greetings David!

As stated in the previous response it is not something that we recommend as it all depends on the situation. We are not able to clearly say that no action will be taken if you use it but it is not something that we reccomend using and it is at your discretion.

If you find you need any further assistance, you can hit reply to this message or use our Support Site by logging into your Battle.net account and selecting the “Support” option at the top of the page. We investigate all reports received through this system, 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Have a wonderful evening!

Thank you for your time and patience here. I hope your adventures are half as epic as your loots!

Regards,
Game Master Lyndzieldur
Customer Services
Blizzard Entertainment
<www.blizzard.com/support <http://www.blizzard.com/support>>
100 Blood Elf Priest
11940
The first GM was right when he told you to read that part of the ToU. Blizzard has the policy that users are not allowed to alter the game client with any 3rd party software.
55 Pandaren Monk
8410
03/13/2011 09:36 PMPosted by Orlyia
Editing model files is absolutely against our terms.
03/13/2011 09:36 PMPosted by Orlyia
Please, if you enjoy playing WoW, do not do that :)
Edited by Musashi on 11/19/2012 6:20 PM PST
90 Gnome Warlock
5920
This is subject to different interpretations, according to section D, all addons that alter your UI are " the Service in any way not expressly authorized by Blizzard". Therefore addons that search the Auction House, are prohibited? Addons such as Bartender which alter your bar layouts are also prohibited? I did ask for a yes/no answer please because anything I read like I said is subject to different interpretations. Blizzard has a duty of care to inform me as a customer if I engage in such activities am could I be found liable. I know you may not have an answer for my concern but please refer me to someone who can provide me with a yes/no answer as to whether I can be found to break the ToS,
Regards. David


Add ons are expressly authorized by Blizzard and can only work under perameters that Blizzard allows. Stop trying to play rules lawyer, it is against the rules and there is no interpretations to what is in the ToU. You can not modify the files, if you do you can be banned. There is nothing to even argue here. It has been answered by Blizzard numerous times on the forums.
Support Forum Agent
Xantric, as stated, model editing is against our Terms of Use, and can result in penalties applied to any account found to be using them up to and including account closure.

11/19/2012 06:05 PMPosted by Xantric
Bottom line I would like a yes/no answer to "If I am caught using model edit will i be permabanned?"


There isn't a yes/no answer available. You absolutely can be.

11/19/2012 06:05 PMPosted by Xantric
D. modify or cause to be modified any files that are a part of the Game Client or the Service in any way not expressly authorized by Blizzard;


11/19/2012 06:05 PMPosted by Xantric
Therefore addons that search the Auction House, are prohibited? Addons such as Bartender which alter your bar layouts are also prohibited?


Those are addons, using XML and LUA which are scripting and programming languages. Not the same thing. More information on addons can be found in the following forum, I'd start with the following thread.

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1021053914

Now for me to pull out my legal notes and write up this jargon in order to get a,
- Yes, if you proceed and use a 3rd party model editing program you will be banned,
- No, if you proceed and use a 3rd party model editing program you NOT will be banned,
seems a little over the top, and even if I do not net a yes/no response I would like someone to refer me to someone who can provide a definite answer and meet all of my "arguments" i have listed.


Yes, if you use model editing your account may be closed.

You seem to be looking for absolutes, Xantric, and I'm afraid we're not going to be able to give that.

If you see activity in the game that you believe go against our policies, please right click report on the character portrait and "Report For: Cheating".

If you find something suspicious outside of the game feel free to report it to our hacks team.
Edited by Vrakthris on 11/19/2012 8:32 PM PST
90 Orc Shaman
10620
This is subject to different interpretations, according to section D, all addons that alter your UI are " the Service in any way not expressly authorized by Blizzard". Therefore addons that search the Auction House, are prohibited? Addons such as Bartender which alter your bar layouts are also prohibited? I did ask for a yes/no answer please because anything I read like I said is subject to different interpretations. Blizzard has a duty of care to inform me as a customer if I engage in such activities am could I be found liable. I know you may not have an answer for my concern but please refer me to someone who can provide me with a yes/no answer as to whether I can be found to break the ToS,
Regards. David


Add ons are expressly authorized by Blizzard and can only work under perameters that Blizzard allows. Stop trying to play rules lawyer, it is against the rules and there is no interpretations to what is in the ToU. You can not modify the files, if you do you can be banned. There is nothing to even argue here. It has been answered by Blizzard numerous times on the forums.


To clarify, Blizzard *designed* the addon system. Blizzard chooses what functions addons do and do not have access to. It is impossible for addon authors to "get around" this in any way, because addons are sandboxed. They quite literally only do what Blizzard allows them to do.

Sometimes, Blizzard finds that addon authors have been able to do something that wasn't intended (see: AVR Encounters). In this case, nobody gets actioned, they just simply alter the addon sandbox so the addon in question won't work anymore. That is exactly what happened with AVR Encounters. After the next patch, it no longer worked, and they stopped trying to develop it because there was no longer any way to do what it did (basically Blizzard disallowed addons from being able to draw in the game world).

The reason you can change sound files is because you don't have to edit game files to do it. You just put a "sounds" directory in your data folder, then mimicing the structure within the MPQ, place your own sound files in directories there, and the game will use those instead of the default. Once again, Blizzard *specifically* designed it to work like this, so that addons could provide their own sounds. If they decided they didn't want people altering sounds, they would break that functionality. If you tried to edit sounds by modifying the MPQ files, that would be VERY much against the ToU, just like model edits are.

Hello,

Thanks for your follow-up.

Your best bet would be to refrain from using any 3rd party program which edits actual game files. Textures and model editors change the client's MPQ files, which would be a violation of our policies.

We have formal guidelines which addons must follow to edit our in-game User Interface. Please check out these guidelines at http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1021053914.

Good luck and please reply if you have any further questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

Game Master Laukeum
Customer Services
Blizzard Entertainment
www.blizzard.com/support


Your question was answered in the second response by a GM. There's no need to keep clogging up the queue system with the same question over and over.

A simple forum search would have also told you that no, model editing is not allowed.

As mentioned Blizzard doesn't discuss what will get you banned, they do this so that it makes it hard for people to uncover Blizzard's detection methods.

I can say that by posting this on the forums and submitting an in game ticket on this, you most certainly will have drawn GM attention to your account, and if you were considering to see if you could get away with it, you definitly won't now.

p.s. It doesn't help that the GM's link he included doesn't actually work. Not that it matters he had already answered the question.
Edited by Lammi on 11/19/2012 7:52 PM PST
100 Blood Elf Priest
11940
11/19/2012 07:51 PMPosted by Lammi
p.s. It doesn't help that the GM's link he included doesn't actually work. Not that it matters he had already answered the question.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1021053914

The period at the end of the sentence got linked as well and was messing the link up.
MVP - Customer Support
100 Tauren Druid
13680
11/19/2012 07:51 PMPosted by Lammi
p.s. It doesn't help that the GM's link he included doesn't actually work. Not that it matters he had already answered the question.


It works just fine. The forum's auto-formatting just adds the period into the link.
________________________________________________
Customer Support Forum MVP
HDL - http://hdl-the-guild.com/~nodrama/
E-mail - neppyman.no@spam.gmail.com
"Shhh. My common sense is tingling." -- Wade Wilson
MVP - Technical Support
100 Draenei Mage
7170
Sometimes, Blizzard finds that addon authors have been able to do something that wasn't intended (see: AVR Encounters). In this case, nobody gets actioned, they just simply alter the addon sandbox so the addon in question won't work anymore. That is exactly what happened with AVR Encounters. After the next patch, it no longer worked, and they stopped trying to develop it because there was no longer any way to do what it did (basically Blizzard disallowed addons from being able to draw in the game world).


IIRC AVR Encounters was banned using Blizzard's built in system for banning addons. This simply requires a server restart - essentially when an addon loads it checks if if field associated with the name of that addon says it's banned. If it is then it doesn't get loaded.

Just adding that in to point out Blizzard does not need to push out a patch to ban an addon from loading.

The reason you can change sound files is because you don't have to edit game files to do it. You just put a "sounds" directory in your data folder, then mimicing the structure within the MPQ, place your own sound files in directories there, and the game will use those instead of the default. Once again, Blizzard *specifically* designed it to work like this, so that addons could provide their own sounds. If they decided they didn't want people altering sounds, they would break that functionality. If you tried to edit sounds by modifying the MPQ files, that would be VERY much against the ToU, just like model edits are.


Also Blizzard have specially said they allow that form of modification at :

http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1021053914

While we are currently allowing Add-Ons that remove or replace existing sound files, keep in mind that it is illegal to distribute copyrighted materials, in this case in-game music and audio files, without authorization
11/19/2012 07:58 PMPosted by Flatspriest
p.s. It doesn't help that the GM's link he included doesn't actually work. Not that it matters he had already answered the question.
http://us.battle.net/wow/en/forum/topic/1021053914

The period at the end of the sentence got linked as well and was messing the link up.


11/19/2012 08:06 PMPosted by Pahanda
[quote="71982820434"]p.s. It doesn't help that the GM's link he included doesn't actually work. Not that it matters he had already answered the question.


My bad! Sorry!
90 Orc Shaman
10620
IIRC AVR Encounters was banned using Blizzard's built in system for banning addons. This simply requires a server restart - essentially when an addon loads it checks if if field associated with the name of that addon says it's banned. If it is then it doesn't get loaded.

Just adding that in to point out Blizzard does not need to push out a patch to ban an addon from loading.


Ah, I wasn't aware they did that. I do know that after the next patch they changed the addon functionality, so that addons no longer had the ability to draw to the game world. So past that point, there was no reason to block AVR Encounters by name. I suppose they could've done that as an interim fix until the patch was implemented though.
80 Blood Elf Paladin
7490
11/19/2012 06:55 PMPosted by Vrakthris
You seem to be looking for absolutes, Xantric, and I'm afraid we're not going to be able to give that.


Quoted for emphasis.

The reason for this, Xantric, is to give Blizzard the discretion to apply penalties to people who try to skirt the rules and find the "grey areas". I'm not saying you are doing this, but there are people out there who will. If Blizzard clearly defines the line, then people will run right up to it, dance as close as possible, and say "Ah, ah, you didn't say I couldn't".

Also, this:

11/19/2012 06:04 PMPosted by Scuba
What you are more then likely seeing is a stream of a private server and not of the live real game.


People do this a lot more than you realize. Many videos you find on YouTube or other sites are from private realms.
11/19/2012 09:05 PMPosted by Mogrigg
I do know that after the next patch they changed the addon functionality, so that addons no longer had the ability to draw to the game world.


They change access to certain LUA functions from time to time in patches, which prevents anyone else from making mods that do the same thing as a blocked one. I don't know if they really can block specific mods without patches, but they do require client side patches to update what is and is not allowed in mods.

You can dig through the patch notes from past patches to see all the changes made that break specific functionality in mods.

EDIT: You'll see a lot more of that in older patch notes from Vanilla and BC if they're still posted.
Edited by Tÿlee on 11/20/2012 9:58 AM PST
I have a question about a user interface addon: Tukui. Even after reading this thread, I am confused a to whether or not using Tukui is bannable. Please tell me if this is allowed in WoW, or if using it can get you banned. Thank you in advance.
MVP - Technical Support
12 Human Mage
10425
The thread OP was talking about third party software that modifies game files. That is not allowed.

Add-ons like Tukui are NOT third party software. They are lua files that just let you move things around and change the look of your interface. They are built using a tool Blizzard provides and do not have ANY executable script. A proper addon will reside in your Interface Add on folder and requires NO install. Just unzip it in the right spot and log in. A popular place to get them is Curse.
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