Blizzard has been hard at work through much of 2020 on a myriad of issues, but there’s one that seems to claim dominance more often than not. Across both World of Warcraft: Shadowlands and World of Warcraft: Classic, bots have been running rampant.
This has been a problem that Blizzard has worked on for most of their titles, but World of Warcraft tends to get hit harder by its nature as an MMORPG. Gold farmers and exploiters often fill the servers with bots, and on clients like Classic, it can prove inescapable.
Recently, Blizzard took a big step toward getting rid of bots in one of their many forms. Updating their terms of service, Blizzard made it a bannable offense to use input software that allows players to mirror their keystrokes across different windows of the game.
Say, for example, someone has five accounts on World of Warcraft and uses them to farm, having five mages following each other. Using input software, that person can make it so that casting a spell on one causes the others to all cast the same spell simultaneously.
It’s easy to see how bots use this to exploit, making it so that any number of accounts (five is typical, due to this being the most that can fit in a party without converting it to raid) can be controled at once, easily taking over an entire zone.
Blizzard just published a big policy update against input broadcasting software.
— Wowhead (@Wowhead) November 3, 2020
“We’ve examined the use of third-party input broadcasting software, which allows a single keystroke or action to be automatically mirrored to multiple game clients, and we’ve seen an increasingly negative impact to the game as this software is used to support botting and automated gameplay.”
Blizzard also discusses the consequences that they expect to bring against those that break this rule. First, they intend to issue warnings instead of outright banning all players that are using this command-mirroring software.
Soon afterwards, they intend to make the warnings evolve up into action, which will likely include suspension of one’s account. If necessary, they intend for this to be a permanently bannable offense against players that continue to use them.
So, more or less, players and bots that are using this software would be best served if they stopped using them as soon as possible. Blizzard will be escalating to action soon to get the problem under control, so it’s highly advised that players stop using the programs quickly.