02/12/2013 09:32 AMBlizz should fix their own bot problem, *without* harassing us.
Posted by Piñata
I have an extreme dislike for the customer support forum 'community', along with the general forums. There are a lot of Blizzard defenders there that think everything Blizzard does is correct and objectively the best choice for the game. It's quite annoying when you have a complaint or suggestion that is anything below middle ground on the negativity scale.
The point I'm getting at here is the length of bans that bots receive and the amount of time it takes to ban them. Fortunately I can speak freely here without being swarmed with Blizzard defenders that won't even bother to read my post and just take a few negative phrases out of context.
This expansion so far and what has happened, regarding bots, win traders and their punishments is just embarrassing. Addressing the win traders first; These took far too long to address. I highly doubt a team of experienced coders could not figure out and fix the source of the exploit in a few man hours. It should NOT have took them anywhere near 3 months to resolve the exploit. The day someone showed up on the armory with 3k+ RBG rating with <30 games played was the day they should have started investigating it. The longer those people remained on the armory, the more the problem snowballed.
They did a blanket suspension and rating strip. Back in The Burning Crusade and early Wrath of the Lich King, if you win traded, in the unlikely event you didn't get permanently banned from the game with no remorse or mercy on Blizzard's end, you lost EVERYTHING
. Your rating, all your gear you earned that season, all your teams disbanded and a lengthy suspension with a FINAL WARNING
. That final warning was your final warning. Win Trading was no joke and they upheld those rules very diligently.
This expansion's blanket suspension was pathetic in comparison to suspensions and bans in TBC and WoTLK and in general. I would be fine with a blanket suspension if it came with a gear strip. Players that legitimately earned the gear and rating would open a ticket and after a short investigation, would get their armour and rating back. Unfortunately, since the exploit remained for so long the MMR got inflated because of it. Teams that legitimately earned 2200/2400 might have been 1900/2100 if they didn't queue into ghost teams by accident or fight inflated teams.
The worst part of the blanket suspension is that it didn't even affect everyone:
This is a screenshot of someone I confronted about their win trading. He sent me this screenshot as "proof" he was playing legitimately and earned the rating legitimately.
He is currently at the top of the battleground leaderboards and has logged in every day since the suspension wave. Completely unscathed, someone who so obviously win traded and likely bought their account/rating based on their UI and them having Gladiator from past seasons.
The win traders who did get affected? They lost their rating, so what? They kept all the rewards from it. They still have their achievements and gear. How long were the suspensions? 72 hours? That just tells me "Hey, it's okay to win trade as long as I hurry up and get my gear before I get my 72 hour suspension. Then I'll be set for the rest of the season!"
It's the same concept and reasoning for bots. Blizzard wants to "ban in waves" and the Blizzard defenders on the CS and general forums constantly remind you of that. Unfortunately, the longer they wait to suspend (notice how I said suspend, not ban) these bots, the more the problem snowballs. I see all these ore and herb botters farming every time I go to do dailies and flooding the market with a half thousand stacks of ore/herbs that they sell in minutes.
It makes me think to myself "Why don't I get in on some of that action?" as I'm sure other people think. I actively report every botter I see. It just feels like the combination of them outsourcing their bot reports from tickets to an in-game button that says "Report for Cheating" is just them giving up on trying to stop the bots. Honestly, it feels like that button is just there to make me feel better. At this point I doubt it even does anything!
Looking at the popular bot forum, the only permanent bans I see are from people selling gold or accounts. I see people who are botting battlegrounds and herbs/ore getting 72 hour suspensions then going right back to botting. It really feels like Blizzard is leaning more towards what gets them the larger revenue. I doubt any mass of players have unsubscribed because of bots, yet the bots themselves have generated a large amount of cash flow for Blizzard. Why would they be so quick to permanently ban them when they know the players will put up with them?
It feels like the problem was (and still is) so large that they couldn't afford to mass ban and had to mass suspend instead.