In an effort to preserve an enjoyable and fair experience for all players, we constantly monitor all World of Warcraft® realms for exploitative activity. Using internal tools and special processes, we can detect behavior that is harmful to the game environment. Accounts found to be participating in this behavior are suspended or closed. We strive to protect our players from the negative effects of such actions. We reserve the right to evaluate each incident on a case by case basis, and in extreme cases, take action beyond what is detailed here.
We have a top notch Quality Assurance team who work to stamp out bugs in the World of Warcraft. However, they face a constant uphill struggle with a game as large and complex as World of Warcraft. Some bugs are minor and do not affect gameplay, but sometimes these bugs can be used to provide an unfair advantage to certain players or to negatively affect the service itself. Factors included in determining an appropriate penalty for knowing exploitation of a bug include:
- Whether or not the exploit is performed intentionally, maliciously, and/or repeatedly,
- Whether or not the exploit damages another character, their gameplay, the service itself and/or its economy,
- Whether or not an attempt has been made to conceal the exploit's use.
If a player is found to have abused/distributed an exploit, they may:
- Be given a verbal warning if exploitation is unintentional and no attempt has been made to hide its occurrence,
- Be temporarily suspended from the game,
- In extreme cases the account will be closed outright.
Bug exploitation that we consider extreme includes, but is not limited to:
- Any exploit that has a severe negative impact on a realm's economy,
- Causing disruption in service or intentionally crashing a realm/server.
Abuse of Game Mechanics
The distinction between exploiting bugs and abusing game mechanics is a fine one. While bug exploitation involves the abuse of what is essentially a programming mistake, the abuse of game mechanics is the act of taking advantage of the limitations of the World of Warcraft game systems. Since the line between the sanctioned use and the abuse of game mechanics is sometimes unclear, we prefer to educate players before taking any action against the account being used. This category includes using/distributing game mechanics in a manner unintended by their design that negatively affects another character, their gameplay, the service itself and/or its economy.
If a player is found to have abused/distributed such game mechanics, they may be given a verbal warning. Subsequent related offenses will result in temporary suspension from the game.
Unapproved Third-Party Software
A third-party program is any file or program that is not a part of the World of Warcraft software, but is used in addition to the game to gain unfair benefit or advantage. These programs may increase movement speed or teleport characters from one place to another beyond what is allowed by game design. It also includes any programs that obtain information from the game that is not normally available to the regular player or that transmit or modify any of the game files.
Normally, this classification does not include UI modifications, except those that require an external application to function. One possible result of the use of third-party programs can be instability of the game to the point that a player "crashes" from the game. External programs can also be used to transmit viruses, spyware, and other unwanted programs into a player's computer. Third-party programs can also be used to obtain information from the player's computer, such as account, password, and personal information.
Cheat Programs ("Hacks")
We take action against accounts using Cheat Programs, or "Hacks," when one or more characters on the account are identified using a third-party "hack" program. These programs provide character benefits normally not achievable in the World of Warcraft. Such benefits include, but are not limited to: increased speed, teleportation, or running through walls/boundaries. Uses of these unauthorized programs harm the game environment because they offer an unfair advantage over other players and circumvent the intended limits of the game.
Automation Programs ("Bots")
We take action against accounts using Automation Programs when one or more characters on the account are identified using a third-party program (or "bot") to provide character automation. Use of these "bots" negatively affects the World of Warcraft game environment, since they allow characters to progress without player control. These "bots" include, but are not limited to, programs that automate combat, movement, and use of gathering professions (such as fishing and mining).
If a player is found to have used such a program, they may be temporarily suspended from the game. Further actions may be taken, up to and including account closure, based on the intent of the program.
Malicious UI Modifications
We encourage our players to create their own UIs utilizing custom menu configurations, graphics, and even sounds. Anything that can be coded to modify the style and the look of the UI is fair game, as long as the modifications keep with our Add-on Development Policies. Anything done to the UI to gain any sort of an unfair advantage over other players is unacceptable. If a player is found to have modified a UI so that they gain an unfair advantage in the game over others, they may be temporarily suspended from the game. Further actions may be taken, up to and including account closure, based on the intent of the modifications.
Data Stream Manipulation and Data Mining
Data stream manipulation involves a player altering the flow of information between the World of Warcraft servers and their computer, while data mining involves a player extracting information from said information that is not intended to be public. Data stream manipulation can be the alteration of either incoming or outgoing information, and can be as minor as the manipulation of one byte of a packet or the "sniffing" of packets for any reason. If a player is found to have altered the data stream or performed any data mining, they may be temporarily suspended from the game. Further actions may be taken, up to and including account closure, based on the intent of the data manipulation.
Abuse of the Economy
We take action against accounts for Abuse of the Economy when one or more characters on the account are identified exchanging or contributing to the exchange of in-game property (items or gold) for "real-world" currency. This exchange negatively impacts the World of Warcraft game environment by detracting from the value of the in-game economy. Please note that this category can include accounts we find to be supplying property for exchange to "real-world" currency. Supplying can be described as otherwise normal in-game play (such as gathering ore and herbs) and filtering these goods to a final account for the "real-world" currency exchange. If a player is found to have participated in this kind of transaction, he/she may be temporarily suspended from the game. Further action might be taken, up to and including account closure
Repeated violations of any area of the TOU, including the areas detailed above, will often result in temporary suspension from the game. See our Account Penalties article for additional information on penalties that may be applied to accounts found in violation of these policies.
Note: If you would like to appeal a penalty placed on your account, please see How to Appeal Suspensions and Closures.
Article ID: 300736