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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Swifty Among Others Banned For Mass Emoting Causing Servers Crashes (He Has Recently been unbanned)

We recently monitored a situation where a large number of players intentionally disrupted access to multiple realms by gathering together and mass-spamming game emotes. In some cases, individual players spammed an emote upwards of 30,000 times.

As a result, some accounts found to be active participants in this activity were permanently banned. Upon further review, we have made the determination to reduce some of these permanent bans to temporary suspensions. We’re currently in the process of identifying all offenders who acted to purposefully disrupt game service and will administer proper action to each participating account.

We’re dedicated to providing a fun, stable, reliable gameplay environment for our players. While an exception was made in this case, accountholders who intentionally participate in events that contribute to realm instability will be subject to significant account actions, up to and including a permanent vacation from the game.

Please keep discussions related to this action within this thread. Related discussions outside of this thread will be locked, deleted, and/or fed to Murlocs.

Have fun and please remember to play responsibly.

Some Responses To Questions Below

Posted by Jadden
Bashiok, will you please comment on what Razers participation was in regards to getting certain members unbanned? They clearly said on their facebook page that they were working diligently with Blizzard to do that.

If by diligently they mean their community manager texted me after we had already begun the process to reverse the ban and contact those involved, then yes, they were a big help. ;)

Posted by Alein
Does Blizzard have any concerns that by appearance..they caved to stop people from crashing the Darkspear server...and have by proxy given a green light to this form of protest when people want something?

None at all. We took appropriate measures to review existing suspensions and address them appropriately, and as stated in the original message, anyone found to be involved with intentionally disrupting the service will be receiving the appropriate action taken against them.

I think there are situations where people are very loud about something, they happen to be right, and we address those situations appropriately. But one doesn't influence the other. We're more than willing to make unpopular decisions if they're the right ones to make.

             Normal players don't get Blizzard calling them to tell them what's up.
             Sorry Bashiok.
              Not buying a thing you say. Your process is for sale if a guild or player has enough pull.

We call players all the time. We have an entire customer care team dedicated to doing just those types of things.

And we overturn suspensions, not too commonly but it does happen. We have many official processes, email replies, support pages, etc. dedicated specifically to allow players to challenging them.

I just don't believe that any amount of time spent explaining these types of things will actually net any change in perception of the situation. If someone wants to believe that within shady parking garages briefcases full of money are being handed off, that's their belief, and in that belief I'm one of the people holding the briefcase. So I guess I just don't see how I'm going to win anyone over. It's an unwinnable situation.

And unwinnable should totally be a word.

This, right here, is the problem, and is what makes it so very hard for people to believe that Razer's sponsorship didn't have anything to do with the issue.

They admit an exception was made. Given that they're proposing to ban people for the same thing Swifty was banned for, I think the community as a whole deserves to know exactly why that exception was made. If it's celebrity, they need to rethink that exception.

A poor choice of words, to be sure.

No exception was made. If a suspension or ban is to be overturned or reduced it's because the original action taken was not appropriate. I can't specifically comment on actions taken against any specific players, as that's between us and them, but in non-specific terms we haven't made any exceptions to overturn punishments that were not based on an inability to back up the action with appropriate proof of cause.

i.e. we're not going to unban someone unless we messed up or just got the severity wrong.

It looks like there's some confusion regarding our original message -- in large part due to some poor word choice.

Just to clarify, the decision to change some of the bans to supsensions was actually a correction, not an exception. We reviewed the activity and felt that based on the evidence, the original decision to roll out the ban hammer was incorrect, and the appropriate action, for those bans that were undone, would have been to issue a suspension.

The key words are "based on the evidence," not "based on the activity." The activity of intentionally trying to crash a realm is exceptionally ban-worthy, and we won't hesitate to permanently ban accounts that are involved in that kind of malicious behavior. However, we tend to base the degree of disciplinary action on the evidence we have indicating to what degree the account in question is involved. That was not done for some of the accounts that initially received a full ban, so we corrected the initial mistake and reduced the ban for those accounts to a suspension.

For those concerned with this particular issue, I hope this clarifies things somewhat. I've edited the original post to hopefully avoid similar confusion moving forward.


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