Blizzard Entertainment has issued a lot of account bans in World of Warcraft lately, as previously reported by the Inquisitr, to the tune of around 100,000 accounts. That amounts to a significant fraction of their subscriber base — about one percent of it, according to recent projections. The main offender? A “bot” program named “Honorbuddy” essentially designed to play World of Warcraft for you, acquiring in-game currencies and more automatically at a cost of €24.98 ($28.55 USD) for a lifetime membership.
Although Honorbuddy boasts “over 200,000 active accounts” on their website, according to a report from Kotaku, the recent wave of account bans has caused Honorbuddy creators Bossland to announce their defeat at Blizzard’s hands through the Honorbuddy forums — at least where World of Warcraft is concerned.
“With Honorbuddy you thought that we are unbeateable [sic], we never thought that, we’ve succeeded since 2010—Honorbuddy had not a single software detection. It seems there is one now.
“We are sorry for all your lost [World of Warcraft] Accounts, hopefully you can use them again after the 6 months ban is lifted. I have read here in the forums a bit, a lot of the accounts where 10 years old. This is a pity. We always say, do not use your valuable accounts as the risk is always there.
“You ask yourself what happens next? For now we closed our Honorbuddy Authentication, when we know any more details we will inform you.”
This essentially means that regardless of how many users were caught, no World of Warcraft player will be able to use the bot program moving forward. Without Honorbuddy’s authentication servers, even preexisting copies of the bot will fail to work — at least until someone manages to crack the authentication protocol. Which, knowing the internet, will probably be reported on five minutes from now.
While it’s unlikely that Blizzard has killed bots for good, many are seeing this as a major step forward in fixing some of the serious problems in World of Warcraft‘s player-versus-player (PvP) environment, especially world PvP (player fights that take place outside of designated battlegrounds or arenas). Since the early days of World of Warcraft, awarding players for PvP, bots, cheating, and simple refusal to actively participate in battles have plagued World of Warcraft‘s PvP.
As iDigitalTimes notes, this is not the first time Blizzard and Honorbuddy have engaged in some combat of their own. Back in 2013, Blizzard successfully sued Bossland GmbH along with another botting company, Ceiling Fan Software LLC in California. Blizzard won $7 million from Ceiling Fan and an injunction against Bossland from the German courts. Now it seems as if Blizzard has thrown a knockout blow at Bossland, driving them out of World of Warcraft entirely, but it remains to be seen if they’ll stay out, or if this will have the significant impact on Warcraft PvP that Blizzard is hoping for.