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Blizzard Steps Up Anti-Griefing Measures | Kestrel's Aerie

Blizzard Steps Up Anti-Griefing Measures | Kestrel's Aerie

Blizzard Steps Up Anti-Griefing Measures

Thanks to Matticus, via Twitter, for the tip to this thread on the official Customer Service Forum: Raid Harassment. The thread is notable for a couple reasons: First, it illustrates how easy it is for someone to ninja a Raid ID. Second, two new/modified Blizzard policies were announced.

On the first point, very quickly: A raid member with a saved Raid ID for Black Temple was invited to a group. The group was converted to a raid, the saved member was made Raid Leader, then one (or more) of the co-conspirators zoned into the instance. Apparently the saved member was not part of the current guild raid (second day, subbed out, whatever), and this occurred while the raid was recovering between wipes. 

Here is the Blue response to something that previously was not actionable (click picture for full-size image):

Blizzard on Raid ID Stealing 

Not only that, but later in the thread (page 3):

Blizzard on Mass Guild Bank Theft 

It appears that Blizzard is starting to recognize what most of us have known for quite awhile: Allowing asshattery to go unchecked isn’t good business.

Thanks, Blizzard, for these new policies. Here’s hoping they’ll be followed by quick, effective measures to combat other forms of major griefing of players.

I should note that some behaviors are going to continue: "Stealing" ore nodes, herbs, ninja-skinning and the like simply cannot be policed, nor should they be. Some people will be jerks in the game. In other cases, let’s keep in mind there is Alliance vs. Horde conflict on many levels—some of that, after all, puts the "RP" in MMORPG.

But for the sorts of actions just proscribed by Blizzard, which negatively impact the playing experience of a relatively large number of people, Blizzard’s response is commendable.


11 Conversations about Blizzard Steps Up Anti-Griefing Measures
  1. Aurdon
    August 13, 2008 | 12:24

    I wonder if this is a direct result of the potential extra man power Blizzard might have now that the Blizzard Authenticators are hopefully doing their job in blocking some other forms of WoW theft.

  2. Rhaawr
    August 13, 2008 | 12:35

    Sorry, Kestrel, I disagree. And since this is a little bit of a longer rant, I posted it on my site (linked in CommentLuv). In a nutshell, however, I think that now that gbank theft and id theft can be remedied and are actionable, guilds will be even less reluctant to guild the asshats who have potential to do so. Which, in turn, removes the one check that should be placed on asshats – that of the community.

    • Kestrel
      August 13, 2008 | 14:42

      1. What if the guild bank looter is the GL? And that has happened, nearly as often as when a “trusted” officer or guildmember does it.

      2. What if the Raid ID is stolen by someone not in a guild?

      To put the blame for asshats (and the responsibility to police them) on the guilds themselves is a bit short-sighted, I believe. But if you think that’s what needs to be done, then I would think you’d also be willing to give Guilds (and/or Guild Leaders) the tools for recovery. (No, I’m not serious about that, which is why I applaud Blizzard’s new policies. We don’t need vigilantes and anarchy.)

  3. Zahrah
    August 13, 2008 | 21:31

    I like where this is heading, but where its going to get complicated is when they remedy the situation, Eg return ‘stolen’ bank items, the ninja may have on sold the item to an innocent party, who may have mailed it to a alt. ect ect.. while I don’t doubt blizz have a way of tracking the said item, its not going to be easy sifting through their databases for the information, and if they reverse a transaction then an innocent person may be affected.
    As for the raid Id’s maybe they need to change the conditiions as to what locks you into a raid Id rather then ‘fixing’ it.

    • Kestrel
      August 13, 2008 | 23:17

      Zahrah, I think (but I’m not certain) what happens is, Blizzard confirms what was lost, and replaces those items. But they don’t take anything away from anyone, unless the original thief still has the items.

      Usually they’re vendored or sharded (AH would be way too risky, I think), but I think Blizz will continue to be very cautious about possibly taking something from an “innocent bystander.”

  4. Mae
    August 13, 2008 | 23:12

    It’s always nice to see new policies that benefit and affect players in a positive way. A long time ago, there were no policies when players got their accounts hacked, Blizz just sort of said, “We’re sorry, better luck next time.” But, as it has become more and more of a problem, the solution has been to implement policies that benefit the victim player. It’s a good thing, for me especially, as I have been one of those victim players not long ago.

    I hope the trend keeps up and they continue to try and do something for people who are abused in game, whether it be hacked accounts or stolen raid id’s.

    • Kestrel
      August 13, 2008 | 23:35

      I believe Blizzard misjudged two things:

      First, the degree to which people would “cheat” (for want of a better all-encompassing word): hack accounts, rob guild banks, ninja raid IDs, or generally harass other players.

      Second, the degree to which “the rest of us” would not tolerate those actions.

      No, a few hundred—or even a few thousand—accounts canceled by disgruntled players isn’t even a drop in the bucket, but the loss of goodwill among not only those people, but “the rest of us” who are affected, directly or indirectly, by some of the crap that goes on, is considerably more than just a drop.

      You or I can influence many (even without benefit of our respective blogs) to either buy, or not buy, WoW and its expansions. Blizzard (and/or Vivendi) don’t want to risk that sort of loss of goodwill.

  5. Rhaawr
    August 14, 2008 | 15:47

    > Second, the degree to which “the rest of us” would not tolerate those actions.

    But don’t we? That’s the whole basis for my argument. I don’t see players shunned throughout for doing this. I don’t see guilds shunned for guilding thieves. And I don’t see very many of us saying “so you got ninjaed by someone with the moral fortitude of a rock and prior conduct on his rap sheet, tough luck, next time choose your alignments more carefully”.

    In a sense we now encourage tolerating this kind of behavior. After all, it can be remedied, so what’s the harm of guilding, taking into raids, in short “rewarding”, players that are not of the more integer kind.

    Maybe I am too much a “personal responsibility” kind of guy to understand this.

    • Kestrel
      August 14, 2008 | 16:52

      Ahhh…”personal responsibility.” I can be responsible for my behavior, and you for yours, but I can’t exercise responsibility for anyone else’s behavior, nor can you. And when someone else’s behavior impinges our enjoyment of the game, within the rules, then a third party needs to intervene.

      In “RL” it might be the police; in WoW, it’s Blizzard. An analogy (flawed somewhat, as all analogies are): I want to cross the street. I know I should (a) look both ways before stepping off the side walk (or investigate a potential guild recruit for issuing a /ginvite) and (b) cross at the crosswalk (or ensure my guild bank permissions are such that a brand-new recruit can’t take everything out of it).

      But if I cross in the middle of the street and get hit by a hit-and-run driver, even though I failed to exercise “due diligence”, that driver isn’t permitted to get away scot-free. And similarly, neither should a guild-bank thief or a Raid ID ninja.

      • Rhaawr
        August 14, 2008 | 17:20

        So far, I agree. But let’s take this into a more analogous realm – car stereo theft. My car’s stereo is insured through my household insurance. If someone breaks into my car and steals it, the insurance company will reimburse me the value of the stereo, damages to the car, and labor.

        Unless (and I have one of those cars where this can be tracked) I leave my car unlocked. Or, in the case of my convertible, the roof down. In this case, my insurance company disclaims any reimbursement. I have to take “reasonable precautions” to be entitled to reimbursement.

        Which is one side of the story. The other one is what’ll happen to the thief. In all of the above scenarios he’ll see a judge and go away for a while. Blizzard does state that they’ll go against the perpetrator, but they’ve added “leaves his car unlocked” to the insurance coverage.

        I am all in favor of harsher penalties for theft, ID or bank. I am against the coddling of those who act grossly negligent (not those who are taken unaware, more about this in a second). For that matter, I’d be delighted to see Blizzard actually start harsher penalties for a lot of things.

        There are exceptions. Like many other people I had an envelope with passwords and account data for all my civilian stuff sitting with my parents when I shipped out to Iraq. In my case nothing happened. A friend of mine, however, had his envelope opened by his little brother who logged into WoW with my friends’ credentials, emptied his gbank, sold his stuff, then sold the gold to a classmate for real money. Blizzard refused to intervene or to restore after my friend came home. In that case, yes, there should be something done. Same with hacked accounts.

        Remember Alcry on KT? He came from some other guild he’d just cheated out of Thunderfury. Moved to KT, was invited into the ill-named and ill-fated Opus Dei, ninjaed them, went to another guild who guilded him because of his Thunderfury, he ninjaed them on their only Instructor kill, and transferred off. Under Blizzard’s new approach, those people would be reimbursed. For guilding a known ninja. Why should they?

        If Blizzard had said “in some extreme cases we’ll restore what was stolen, and in most cases we’ll ban the thief”, I’d have been ecstatic. But considering the last two thefts on Misha were restored (one BT-ID by someone who’d left the guild and took a T5 guild into the instance, actually downing Council, one guild bank by a guy who’d been gkicked from two other guilds prior to that for similar offenses) while the thieves are still around (and re-guilded for that matter)…

        Another example – player organizes Sunwell trash raids. After third raid he refuses to hand over the ML’d gems and other things, transfers. Arrives at new server, doesn’t change his name. He’s found and well documented to have done this. Player gets guilded with top progression guild, is made co-RL and master looter. One raid he keeps the gems, again, hearthes out, loots the bank, leaves guild.

        He’s still around, selling the gems and still does T5/Sunwell raids for PuGs. The ninjaed bank has been restored.

        That’s the wrong way round. Let those who enable thieves suffer, and remove thieves from the game. Wouldn’t you agree?