Thoughts on the WoW Glider appeal

A US appeal court has upheld the illegality of WoW Glider, a high-profile and profitable bot for Blizzard’s World of Warcraft (hat-tip to Nic Suzor).  The case is important both for its implications for bot use generally in MMOs as well as for a number of other legal points for games companies which come out of the case.  The case was also not a clean win for Blizzard, which suffered setbacks in two important parts of the case.

The background

Glider allows players to level up automatically within WoW by playing their avatars for them.  It therefore bypasses the level progression built into WoW.  Glider was built by MDY Industries, which is owned by Michael Donnelly, who sold it to WoW players for a lot of money.  Interesting fact: Donnelly made $3.5m profit off WoW Glider, apparently.

Blizzard did not like Glider, unsurprisingly, and told MDY to stop selling it.  MDY then commenced legal action seeking to justify the legality of Glider.  In 2008, a California court held against MDY, finding both that Glider involved copyright infringement of WoW and that it contravened the Digital Millenium Copyright Act.  That last bit needs a bit of explanation for non-US readers: the DMCA makes it illegal for you to try to circumvent technological protection measures which a software company puts in place to protect its software.  In this case the principal protection measure is The Warden, a program that Blizzard uses to track down bots – and which Glider was designed over time to evade.

Having lost the lawsuit, Donnelly and MDY were therefore made subject to a huge $6.5m fine and ordered to stop selling Glider.  They appealed – and the judgement from the US 9th Circuit appeal court has now arrived.

Key points from the case

  • Blizzard lost its copyright infringement argument.  In a nutshell, it argued that its EULA prohibits bot use and therefore, if a player uses Glider, that is a breach of the EULA and constitutes copyright infringement, for which MDY should be legally responsible as it sells Glider in the first place.  The court held that in fact using a bot does not involve copyright infringement, it just means a breach of contract (i.e. of the EULA).  In other words, using or selling Glider is still illegal because it involves breach of contract, but it’s not quite as illegal as Blizzard made out, i.e. copyright infringement.  This has important practical consequences, because it significantly limited the legal penalties that Blizzard could seek against MDY.  It is also significant legally, because it is the first time that a court has found that using a bot does not involve copyright infringement.
  • However, Blizzard won the DMCA argument.  The court found, again, that because Glider is specifically designed to evade The Warden, it therefore fell foul of the anti-circumvention laws in the DMCA.  Therefore, the court upheld the ban on Glider, even though MDY had ‘won’ the copyright argument.
  • Because Blizzard lost the copyright infringement argument, the court effectively overturned the massive $6.5m fine against Donnelly and MDY.  Which must be a relief for them.  But it doesn’t get them entirely out of the financial wood because…
  • Blizzard had also run a ‘tortious interference with contract’ argument – i.e. it wanted MDY to pay for the damage that Blizzard suffered due to Glider, which appears to have been lost subscriptions.  In the lower court, Blizzard won this argument, but the appeal court now basically has ordered a re-trial.
  • We’ll very likely see this in the courts again, either because of the partial re-trial or because one or both parties attempts to appeal the case up to the US Supreme Court.

Other interesting points:

  • The court affirmed the decision in Vernor v Autodesk earlier this year that games ‘owners’ in fact only license their games, they do not own them (read more here: what Vernor v Autodesk means for games)
  • Blizzard apparently spends “$940,000” a year responding to complaints regarding anti-bot activities (contrast that with the $3.5m profit Donnelly made on Glider sales).  Still, I wonder how much extra Blizzard spends on actually combatting the bots themselves.
  • Interestingly, MDY’s explicit business model was to make it so commercially difficult for Blizzard to continue its anti-bot activities that it would effectively allow Glider to continue. 

So what?

It might sound like a lot of legalese, but really this is a milestone lawsuit in the games industry:

  • It shows yet another weakening of the EULA.  Just because Blizzard said that using a bot was illegal and a breach of copyright, didn’t actually make it so.  Expect more hard looks at the EULA in the future.
  • On the other hand, it shows how important the DMCA is to protecting games in the US.  The equivalent in the UK is the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (you can read more about that here in the context of modchips).
  • It also shows that Blizzard really doesn’t like bots.  Its legal costs must be quite substantial by now and, the court having ordered that each side pay its own costs, it can’t recover them from MDY.  That’s a lot of money to spend going after one bot, but Blizzard must have been banking that it will have a deterrent factor on other bots in the future.

Finally, here’s the really interesting question for me: MDY lost not because of Glider itself, but because it circumvented The Warden.  What if there was an MMO with no such protection program in place (and, perhaps, with a less strict EULA too)?  In that case, there is at least an argument I think that bots could be ‘legal’ for that game.  Food for thought, eh?

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Image credit: Juanpol/Flickr, via Wired

62 thoughts on “Thoughts on the WoW Glider appeal”

  1. The bottom line, what the people of America want is to run what ever software they want when ever they want!
    Legally of course, not condoning actual copyright violation (and there clearly wasn't here to begin with).

    Who is Blizzard to tell you what you can't run on your computer?
    One thing they fail to mention in ruling is Blizzard doesn't just block users that use bots, they collect the detections for a period of time then ban them.

    I think most people can agree with this.
    If you violate the rules then you can get banned.
    But then telling (and trying to control) people you can't run some other software in combination with mine is illegal.

    Furthermore it should be quid pro quo.
    How can you you say a software is just a license when you actually have to purchase it in the first place?
    Ok if you pay some monthly fee it's more like a service which is more like a license thing.
    But to actually play wow you have to go buy a physical box, that has a physical CD in it.
    So you purchase a product, take it home and then find your only "licensed" to play it.
    Something you just paid your hard earned money for (used to be around $50 now I think down to about $30).
    Then if you don't like that you must return the software.
    Blizzard should at least pay you $10 to pay for your time and traveling costs then.
    First you own something, but then some worthless paper says you don't when you get it home.
    Another corrupt, consumer civil right, bought cheap by corporations from our corrupt USA congress.

    Also the DMCA thing doesn't make sense to apply here.
    Glider just hides it's self from WOW.
    This "Warden" doesn't restrict anyone from copying WOW.
    Not at all like what the DMCA was intended.
    Like in the clear case of a software that say decoded the encryption on DVDs or something.

    At least this court sounds pretty intelligent and actually has brains on it's shoulders.
    And thanks to the EFF that filed an amicus brief, etc.

    Boy cot the greedy money mongering corporations like Blizzard.

  2. Good article, I enjoyed the update on this case. I have been a regular follower of this story, and actually used Glider for a while myself, back when Wrath of the Lich King first came out (I've since ceased played since then). I used it to level 2 characters up to level 70, each taking about a month of letting Glider run when I wasn't playing. I've also played WoW on and off since the month it first came out. So I know both sides of the story. I also happen to be adamantly against the existence of glider (as hypocritical as that is).

    I would just hope that in future articles about this case, you really bring to light the SEVERELY negative effects that Glider has on the game itself. It's really easy to point at Blizzard and say "Cmon… whats the big deal? Why go to all this troubles to stop people from using bots?". However, an ENORMOUS amount of WoW is centered around its economy: the general lack of gold that the player has, combined with the dynamic social economy and abundance of appealing items, are what make WoW a socially engaging environment. However, this economic environment is entirely compromised when certain players in the game have programs that farm items/gold/experience for them. It's not just a matter of breaking the designed gameplay; by using glider, you are breaking the entire market, by bringing an unnatural influx of items and gold into the economy that in turn causes severe inflation. You put non-botting players at a severe disadvantage, as all the sudden there is increased wealth in the general market that is being generated by only a few individuals.

    The way I see it, if WoW was a single player game, Glider would be causing no harm. However, that is not the case. This game is built around social interaction, and when you run a program that creates a harmful impact on the social environment, it is making the experience less worthwhile for other customers.
    Again, I realize the hypocrisy in this, and more importantly I'm sure that you have discussed this issue in other posts. I just want to make sure that people are kept aware of how detrimental Glider really is to WoW as this debate moves forward.

  3. "Botting hurts the game"

    This is an idea that so for has had zero proof to be true. Even the 9th appellate court ruled that they can find no proof of bots hurting the game, and have sent it back to court for blizzard to prove that bots are actually doing damage.

    While I can see your point of view that you can think about certain scenarios might have an influence, we really do not know. Just like MYD said that they could think of scenarios that made games with botting better games.

    I think I will reserve judgment until I can see the actual paperwork showing where having a bot in the game hurt the economy.

  4. Boycott a greedy money hungering corporation? Why do you think any game company would make games? To make you feel better about yourself in your otherwise hollow and miserable existence, out of the goodness of their own heart, despite the fact that you're a mewling wretch? Most likely not. They're here to make money. If you have a problem with that, well, nuts to you. Nobody owes you a good time.

    Also, as to who has the right to say what can run on their own computers… Technically, a bot runs on THEIR computers, because while the client of it might run on your computer, its actions are being expressed by the game character on THEIR servers. In effect, you're running code on THEIR property, in a way they've taken action to prevent. That's why they've got the right to say what you can and can't do. Because its not all about you.

    Now, if you want to have a discussion about whether game companies should be allowed to shut down private servers, well, I think you might garner some sympathy from me. But a "smash the machine! Fight the power!" argument over a game company is rather puerile. Feel free to "boycott" them but don't for a moment think you're taking a brave and noble action in any way shape or form.

  5. Great article. I have to agree completely with the court decision. I don't want to, but I can't find any hole in their logic.

    1 – Blizzard outlines in the user contract (EULA) that the use of bots will get you banned. An MMO is different than most computer games because it is not a one time purchase, but a monthly subscription service. I support their right to uphold this contract.

    2 – I don't believe that MYD should/is reliable for damages for assisting individual users violating this contract. The court seems to agree because glider was ruled to not be a copyright infringement in itself.

    3 – The DMCA does apply here. I HATE the DMCA, and feel that it is a horrible and flawed law, but it is still a law… and as such the court has to enforce it. Glider circumvents Blizzards ability to enforce the EULA. As such it violates the letter of the "anti-circumvention" sections of DMCA. I would point out that it does not violate the intent of the law, but there was no intent of law when it was written.

    4 – As for the hypothetical question at the end, if there is no bot tracker in the MMO then they probably are not interested in actively searching for and banning bot users. The use of bots could still get a user banned if the EULA prohibited it, but the bot creator would not be liable because they did not violate the DMCA or copyright.

  6. You missed one big fact: the $6.5M damages were thrown out as well.

    Damages from the copyright (reversed) and the tortious interference (vacated, liability is now unknown) were stipulated to by MDY and Blizzard. With both of those claims gone at the moment, there are no damages there.

    The $6.5M damages award decided by the court was vacated and then the injunction re-instated. MDY had argued that it should be able to reduce the DMCA damages to zero on the "innocent infringer" defense, saying that MDY could not have known that selling Glider was a DMCA violation, given the complexity of the legal action to reach that.

    The appeals court, in vacating that damage award, told the district court to "reconsider" the damages amount and suggested, in a not-very-subtle way, that the innocent infringer defense does indeed apply.

    In short, MDY currently has no damage award against it and can, simply by winning tortious, lose the case with no damages.

  7. Generally agree with above, but I think you're overstating the emphasis that the 9th put behind the District Court considering the innocent infringer defense.

    Based on it's previous ruling, I'd imagine the District Court will probably award some level of pared down damages, and can be confident it won't be overturned.

  8. These bot programs allow people to play the game, and have time to do the silly little things in real life, like oh I don't know, work for a living and pay for their gaming hobby among other things.

    I've never used the programs myself, but I can totally relate to seeing a need and a consumer right to use them. I quit WoW the instant I got moved to 2nd shift at my job. I knew there'd be no raiding for me, no prime time play, and no one to see new content with. Blizzard maybe needs to think about where approx 20-30% of their game subscriptions are coming from,.. but then that might not be enough of a value for them to bother treating decently.
    They're happy just keeping our teens and college kids fat, and tied to their computers.

  9. I'm sad to see these comments. I have been actively playing WoW since Alpha now, with varying degrees of gameplay per week (from ridiculous amounts to 2 nights per week for 2-3 hours). It pains me to see that so many people are actually stating their "fight the man, moar free things!". If you don't want to play the game you should consider, oh I don't know, NOT playing? The EULA is there for a reason, and deliberately creating a bot to play the game for you for extended periods of time first off breaks the economy by introducing large amounts of money and materials into the game from a source outside of that economy (recent recession anyone?) and second gives an unfair advantage to a COMMUNITY game. This is the important part stated by other commenters here: This game is a SOCIAL game, there is no single-player mode, so what you do everyone sees. I think that MDY are 100% responsible and considering the obscene amount of money they made off a product basically made to break the game, they should be liable for damages. They say Glider was SPECIFICALLY made to circumvent The Watcher program. Please, if you've done nothing wrong, why do you avoid the police any chance you get? You're obviously guilty, and by writing the code to do so, they are deliberately acknowledging the fact that they are going against the currently instilled rules of the game and its integrated police systems.

    You go Blizzard, you take them down and show all the other bot developers you will not be pushed around by little companies trying to make a quick buck off your hard work. You have my full support.

  10. "Please, if you've done nothing wrong, why do you avoid the police any chance you get?"

    Ha! Fantastic.

  11. Putting any old stuff in the EULA and then declaring it illegal if you don't do what it says, really is the thin end of the wedge and we should all be very worried. "Ooh, you can't wear Blue socks". There should be some proof required that not doing what the EULA said is harming the company in some way.

    Otherwise what's to say "Can't use on a computer with more than one monitor plugged in because 270degree vision gives them an unfair advantage" (I know someone with 3×40" TVs used as Monitors). AND people are still paying their monthly fee, so what's the big deal? AND if you spot someone using Glider, KILL them and steal all their loot, because it doesn't fight back.

    Glider causes lost subscriptions? More like it allows people with less free time to continue to play so they enjoy the little time they have doing more than grinding away at the same old, same old… The strictest interpretation of the EULA would mean that is is illegal for PEOPLE to actually play the game, so be careful how far you push this, Blizzard. Can't wait for someone to come up with a WoW playing robot that is completely outide the PC it is running on and moves the mouse and keys physically. Stick that in your EULA, Blizzard.

  12. I find it so unbelievably stupid that people are sticking up and supporting such bot programs. It's insane, they made the game, they have every damn right to regulate it how they see fit. It's not heath insurance, a government, or living being, it's a game, entertainment that you pay to play, don't like it, here's a thought, don't play it!

    Some of the excuses and just as ludicrous. The asinine justification that "they don't have time to play, they need the bots so they can live their life", blows my mind. Is the game going to kill them if they stop playing?! WTF? I don't get it, if you don't have time, then don't play the game! Besides, if you have so little time, why would you pay money for a program to play a game YOU'RE PAYING TO PLAY!

    Don't even get me going on any of the other excuses, there are no viable excuses, it's basically cheating, gaining something with no effort, and if Blizzard thinks that isn't acceptable, then that's their right, not yours.

  13. Great blog post, this really broke down the issue for me. I hadn't been following it, but was very interested to see what was going on.

    Not sure if bots = good or bots = bad yet.

  14. I don't understand what the problem with bots is. People keep saying that gold/item farming etc. ruins the social landscape and so the game (which I think is a pretty tenuous argument, but we'll assume it for now), but what does that have to do with bots? People do that shit, anyway. What do you care if the WoW Avatar who is grinding away for 15 hours at a time is controlled by a sentient person or a few algorithms? The result is the same, and you playing on the other end and Blizzard Entertainment are in no position to tell the difference.

    Moreover, I don't understand how certain activities can be deemed illegal, while their equivalents (with the same outcome) are perfectly fine. Take gold farming, for example. Why is it illegal to buy gold off another player, when no one would dispute my right to hire my little brother (or hell, even a complete stranger!) to play my character and have him harvest that gold for me? The analogy works just the same for bots: if I can pay money for someone to come to my home and play my game for me, why can't I buy a computer program to do the same? Apparently, that's how I get enjoyment out of the game, so what does anyone care? Or for an even stupider hypothetical situation: if I constructed an advanced robot who was capable of sitting at my keyboard and playing WoW for me (and so indistinguishable from a human being in terms of interfacing with the game's system), would that be illegal? Would it be illegal for me to sell that robot to someone else? If so, why? If not, how is the bot program so different that it should be outlawed?

  15. completely ignoring the legality issue here. I don't think people saying "if you have to buy a bot to play the game for you, why play the game" are familiar with the nature of WoW, or are being deliberately obtuse. It's an issue of the game's design. I played wow shortly after it came out (when it was underground man, or not really) i think from patch .03 through patch .07 (or just before whenever they fixed hunters for anyone who's been playing that long). back then there was the level grind and the end game raiding as there is now. but there were still a high proportion of people doing the grind, and many of them for the first time. So the grind wasn't really a chore, it was fun, it WAS the game, then you got to 60 and you either did raids, or you didn't have enough friends or weren't in a guild and you quit, or started a new character to experience different grind content. The end game was starting to get to be a big deal, but the grind was still a major component and there was a good degree of variation that replayability was high. Now i'm going to start potentially talking out of my ass. With the expansions, blizzard is extending the endgame, because more and more people were at the end game and it was starting to get boring for them, good plan so far. The thing is, each expansion extends the end game more and more, which is great if you've got an established character and you really like it. But say you want to switch from warlock to priest, so your guild has an extra healer or whatever. At this point do you have to start over and do the grind again? because now the grind is like a desert, there may be a lot of people there, but they all know it's a desert because it's been stripped clean of the life giving fun by all their previous characters and if you want to see the promised land of good time gaming again you gotta run like hell out of that dessert, which is going to be a whole truckload of not fun. Here's the part where i'm really potentially talking out of my ass because i haven't kept up with wow enough since i quit to know all the details. Maybe Blizzard should have anticipated this and provided a mechanism for skipping the grind. After the first expansion came out, allow people to roll 60th level characters, allow them to select an assortment of starting equipment that they could reasonably start working through the expansion with. If you really want people to experience the starting content, then make it a requirement that your account have at least 1 60th level character (leveled up the old fashioned way) before you can create 60th levelers. Then readjust the process for each successive expansion. The main reason for using the bots, at least for legitimate players, is to get past the grind which has ceased being fun for them in order to try out a new race/character in the new content. Again, could be talking out of my ass and blizzard actually did this and the people using the bots are just stupid. If that's the case i have no sympathy for the people who make the bots, but if not, i can definitely see why it was a viable niche and why so many people used them (aside from gold farmers).

  16. Blizzard invested millions of dollars to create and operate this service. They set out clear guidelines for the usage of their optional service.

    If you violate them, why shouldn't you pay for it? If you create a service that knowingly violates it, why shouldn't you pay for that too?

    Imagine it from Blizzard's perspective. This outside company is violating the guidelines of their service, making money off of their service, and contributing to a behavior that many of their customers find objectable.

  17. Some things to consider:
    900k+ to investigate Bot Charges seems a little excessive. I bet in all there is a set number of people whose job description includes "handle botting complaints".

    "Botting costs us subscriptions" While this may be true in the sense that they ban people who are botting and therefor lose a subscription, there are a few things to consider. First, if that person was so bored of the game that they resulted to botting, they wouldn't of kept up their subscription beyond that point. Secondly, If you decide to view the botting forums you'll see that most people who get banned for botting USUALLY buy all the software again. Also a lot of them have multiple accounts for team botting.

    Finally, theres the "damage" it does to an MMO. Basicly, it comes down to how it affects the economy..Usually when a game's economy goes bad the only place people want to place blame is on bots, however that is simply not true. They are just a convenient scapegoat: The real blame is your average player's greed. There are people who sit at the auction-house and do nothing but buy out auction listings and repost them for higher prices.

  18. If I were allowed to use a bot to get my character up to a decent level, then I might actually play WoW. I played it for a little while, but the truly frustrating, repetitive, and asinine tasks assigned to me to "grind" my character turned me off the game permanently. Doing the same or extremely similar things many times in a row doesn't make for a game that appeals to me at all. That sort of minutia is best suited to an automated process (a bot).

  19. @ #17 – actually that figure seems fairly reasonable for investigating bot charges. If you go by Blizzard's in-game credits they've a couple of thousand or so support agents worldwide (for instance, Game Masters) and players will most likely be reporting their bot grievances to GMs. Even assuming that these cases aren't handled by the GM themself and are passed to a specialist, that's still most likely going to be a lot of man-hours being spent handling/investigating botting complaints that would otherwise be spent on other player issues.

  20. This virtual world doesn't even obey the laws of thermodynamics; for example, matter can be created and destroyed at will, by players or the GMs themselves. So why would you think we can apply economic principles from the real world on Azeroth?

    The player base only has so much control over a market. For example, let's say players start farming copper ore like crazy. Developers go "Woah, hey, that's way too much copper!" Now every other node doesn't produce ore, only rough stone. Or flip it around – no one's farming copper anymore. So now every other MOB drops one piece of copper ore. In short, developer fiat is a larger, more invasive force than anything we could even imagine on our own planet. So why are you getting all pissed off about market balance in the first place?

    One more thing: you don't know a damn thing about the effects of botters on the game economy, and neither do I. Our tiny, non-statistically significant view of the game world doesn't even tell us how many botters and gold farmers there ARE, let alone how much damage (if any) they're causing. In truth there's only ONE valid complaint to make about gold farmers – gold farm spam is fucking ANNOYING. And in my mind that's reason enough to ban the lot of them.

  21. just some random thoughts on this, as it is an interesting situation:

    1. people claim that bots dont negativly impact on the game, or dont impact the social aspect of the game at least. this is clearly coming from someone who never actually tried to gather materials from certain areas in Azeroth. back in vanilla, Black Dragonscales were one of THE crafting materials to get. needed for a lot of items that were useful for a lot of fights. to get these, you had to kill and skin certain dragonkin mobs in the game. seems fairly straightforward, and it was until wowglider was launched.

    once that hit, these areas were so overfarmed, that you could be competing against 5-8 bots in you immediate area for kills. as a result, the availability of these items to anyone who wasnt running a bot was very low. this drove the market price on them up, to the point where they were on average 6-8 times more expensive than any equivalent crafting material. also the only people who had these to sell in any large quantaties were the people running bots themselves. which means they severely outpaced the earning progress of anyone else of comparative level.

    only one example, but it was about this time in the games progress that all the legal action was being processed against MYD.

    2. the other side of the coin. i know people will call bull or whatever, and its up to them whether or not they want to believe me, but i worked as a gm for blizzard during vanilla and burning crusade in the european market. average shift, anywhere between 400 and 600 gm's working (we werent the only centre for gms either, fairly small in fact). average ticket count for a gm per shift was about 127. at least 1 in every 3 at the time was reporting bots or bot like behaviour. when a gm got one of these reports, it had to be noted and passed to a senior designated with dealing with it. so on an average 10 hour shift, with say 500 gm's working in just our small branch office in dublin, thats 62.5k tickets on a busy day. if 1/3rd of them are bot reports, thats 21,000 reports across all servers. PER DAY. that means that on any 500 man shift, the equivalent of 166 of those people spent their entire shift dealing with the bot problem. now pay their wages. over heads for electricity for their terminals, etc. easily 900k+ a year

    3. a slight aside to the people bitching about blizzard banning people for using glider, its not strictly banning. if you actually bothered to read the EULA closly enough, you'd see that the money you spent on your initial purchase was for the discs / packaging etc. you rent the account, which is the monthly subscription. and it clearly states in the EULA that all characters, items, currency, etc on an account REMAIN blizzards property. so all they're doing it denying you access to THEIR PROPERTY. if you gave someone the use of something you owned, but gave them a list of things they could and couldnt do with that property, would you let them keep using it if they went out of their way to ignore that list? somehow, i dont think so.

    99% of people who bitch about it being 'their account' and 'their stuff' are people who didnt read the eula properly, then broke the rules, and are pissed off cause they got caught. as a former GM i say its your own fault. as a veteran raider, i say cry more, n00b

  22. Blizz: …So in conclusion, please order Michael "Mike" Donnelly to shut down Glider, and also buy us all Yachts. Cuz really, that's what we were gonna do with it anyway. Either that, or nerf rogues.

    Judge: I hate rogues too! Buggers always gank me when I'm afk taking a leak…

    Blizz: Well, we DID nerf stealth by making it MUCH easier to detect. Obviously there were complaints, but PR's got it covered with the usual run-around.

    Judge: Oh shits, I know SOMEONE who's gonna win a lawsuit if they'd keep a certain class from ever stealthing aga-

    Mike: Uh, your honor?

    Judge: shut up, Mikey Mike. I'm talking business here. So anyway, this one time I was THIS CLOSE to getting that peacebloom, when I hear that WOOOO, ya know? And then I-

    Mike: Your honor, the case?

    Judge: FINE, but you BETTER make it a good one, I'm one global away from swinging my Gravel of Justice in favor of Blizz here.

    Mike: Thank you, your Honor. Well, ladies and gentlemen of this "supposed" jury, Blizz would like you to believe they made my Glider program illegal. And they make a good case. Hell, I even felt pity myself! But ladies and gentlemen of this "supposed" jury, I have one final piece of evidence for you to consider…

    Blizz: (Wait, isn't this a South Park skit?)

    Judge: When did that chartboard get here? Warden, did you catch that?

    Warden: No, but there's a guy in Diremaul who hasn't logged off in 3 days straight…

    Blizz: SEE?! They're RUINING us!1!

    Judge: Really? I mean, it's just Diremaul. Honestly, have you guys actually tried to run your own instances? They really suck sometimes.

    Blizz: Uh… well, we ARE in the process of streamlining the PVE content in order to re-optimize the percentage of numbers such that they increase with better lateral passing.

    Judge: …oh.

    Phoenix Wright: OBJECTION!

    Judge: wat

    Phoenix: The excuse offered by Blizz doesn't make even the most remote logical sense! It's just words they strung together from what little they remember during the last manager's meeting in Vegas! Furthermore, "lateral passing" isn't even an economics term! It's from football!

    Judge: He's gotcha there, Blizz.

    Blizz: Oh yea? Well guess what Phoenix? You just lost.

    Phoenix: ?

    Blizzard: THE GAME! lol

    Judge: lol

    Phoenix: !!!

    Mike: /sigh

    Blizz: Hey! That's OUR property there!

    Mike: You know what, I give up. I had this wookie I was gonna show and everything, but seriously this is just too stupid. (morons, every one of them)

    Judge: You heard the man, he sai- wait.

    Blizz: ?

    Mike: ?

    Judge: … did he say he had a wookie to show us?

    Mike: (Oh, God…)


    Mike: /facepalm

    Blizz: STOP IT! God, make him stop! He's stealing our stuffs!


    Judge: Really? What happened?

    God: TEQUILA

    Judge: Fair point.

    Mike: For the love of… you, please just get me out of here. I can't take this any more.


    Mike: I know I'm gonna regret this, but… why not, God?


    Blizz: lol! He's doing the D2 Barb lines!

    Judge: lol! His voice is perfect for it too! Do the A1Q1 quest completion line!


    Judge: lol

    Blizz: lol

    Warden: lol

    Phoenix: lol

    Mike: Fuck it. I'll see you all in appeals. /camp


    Judge: Is that… is that when he's going to die?


    Blizz: Now THERE'S a marketing pitch! "WoW: the only game fit for God!"


    Blizz: we'll talk to Popcap, make it an addon.


    …And that's how a massive lawsuit between a company and some dude brought about the addition of Bejewled into WoW.

  23. Don't forget that you do not own World of Warcraft, Blizzard does. You did not buy World of Warcraft, you bought the right to play it under very specific stipulations. One of those stipulations is that you may not use a bot to play your game for you. Blizzard has every right to protect their games in any way they see fit. Just as much of a right as you have to run a bot if you so please. If you disagree with the EULA, it is also your right to decline to accept it. So practice your rights and they will practice theirs.

  24. Blizzard claims that they lost subscribers because of this program. That is funny to me, they lost my subscription because I got sick of the grind.

  25. As a WoW player, I'm amazed that with all the people bringing up the economy nobody's mentioned skill. The much-maligned "grind" is a bit overly long at times, yes, but people who don't do it lose a chance to get familiar with their class. I've seen mages who didn't know they could polymorph, Death Knights who never realized there was a "tank presence", and all sorts of other cases of sheer ignorance of one's class in level 80 dungeons, even on tanks or healers who should have done most of their leveling in the Dungeon Finder. Sure, some of them were just not very bright, but most of them acted like they'd never played their class before- which suggested that they hadn't manually leveled their characters. Botting only encourages this sort of ignorance by letting people be not only high level but also well-geared (using bought and/or crafted items) without having any contact with their character, much to the dismay of the poor saps who go into a dungeon with them. If you don't want to do the whole grind I can see botting a couple levels, but that sort of person is far outnumbered by the people who get into Heroics and ask "WHAT'S LAY ON HANDS? I'M A PALADIN, I DONT THINK I CAN DO THAT!"

  26. >>people who get into Heroics and ask "WHAT'S LAY ON HANDS? I'M A PALADIN, I DONT THINK I CAN DO THAT!"

    Yeah the one time that happened to you (or did it happen to "a guy this one guy I know swears he was in the same guild with the guy who knows the guy"?) it was pretty funny.

    Sheer mathematics (how many people owned Glider, when was it most active, etc.) tells you that class ignorance isn't the fault of bots. Not even in the Top Ten Reasons For Class Ignorance.

    (Oh, and neither is powerlevelling, but that's another discussion).

  27. Ugh.
    Let botters bot and let non-botters gank the botters. Anyone who is running Glider should have been at/near the game to monitor and make sure it was running properly.

    I'm about the use the "Sex Card" now.
    Not all of WoW players are virgins. In fact, quite a bit of them are pretty normal people with jobs, spouses, children and other hobbies. Many players cannot spend the hours it takes to get through the boring PVE content so they can actually enjoy playing the game with their friends. I used to come home from work, run the bot while I made dinner, checked on it, cleaned up the house and then I'd turn off the bot and play the game for a few hours. It wasn't game breaking. It would just take some of the edge off.

  28. Interesting factoid:

    In response to the "Sex Card" above, it's worth mentioning that Glider was originally written because of a girl.

    Donnelly wrote the prototype ("Nightfall") to level his warlock from 40-60 so he could catch up to his Canadian guildmates. He had recently met a girl and wanted to spend time with her, but also wanted to do instances with the Canadians when she wasn't around.

    After he reached 60, his guildmates asked him how he caught up. He told them. They said he should sell the program. It became Glider.

    I know this because of who I am. It's also in the depositions on file with the court.

  29. @17
    "Finally, theres the "damage" it does to an MMO. Basicly, it comes down to how it affects the economy..Usually when a game's economy goes bad the only place people want to place blame is on bots, however that is simply not true. They are just a convenient scapegoat: The real blame is your average player's greed. There are people who sit at the auction-house and do nothing but buy out auction listings and repost them for higher prices."

    17, if you think reposting harms the economy, you might want to consider taking some courses in Economics. Reselling isn't "cheating" and is in fact a common practice in most economies. The problem with bots is that it artificially inflates supply, while demand doesn't change.

    In the end, everything on the AH would be worth almost nothing and gold would have no real value. Need to buy Runecloth? There's 127 listings, all set 1 copper above what the sellers would make just vendoring the damn things…and that would be a reality for all items. Why bother selling on the AH? You know you'd get the best price possible just vendoring whatever doohicky it is you've got.

    Bots ruin economies in the sense that player economies would serve no real purpose.

  30. Still waiting for someone to explain how a bot farming whatever is any different then someone with no life sitting there the same amount of time doing the same thing.

    If one is going to bitch about bot's, then bitch about the human farmers that are just as bad if not worse.

    Johnny DoNothing and his clan of 8 others do 48 hour farming marathons every weekend and that's cool, but Jimmy HastaGo runs a bot for 8 hours while he's at work and THAT ruins the entire game's economy? Get real, and get over yourselves. Bot's can not do anything an actual player can't already (and many already) do. So there is no difference in effect from their use one way or the other.

    Also the holier then thou people yelling if you don't have the time, don't play spew. Excuse me, the back of the WOW box does not have any warning saying "Only for rich introverted shut-ins with no friends/family/work obligations – Requires 20+hr of play per day – Anyone with even a shread of a life outside playing videogames shouldn't bother buying this since you will never beable to fairly & honestly compete."

    A-Holes like Johnny DoNothing who sit there and play 16-20 hours a day, 7 days a week are a hell of a lot worse then bots. They certainly are not playing with in the spirit of fairness or community, ruining the local economy with their flood of worthless riches they accumulated during their last 48hr farming marathon. But hey, just so long as it's a human character behind the economic failure of the local town, then it's all good, right? Yeah, lets all take up arms against Rocko who ran a bot for a hour while he took his daughter to school and blame him for all the problems. I mean really, if he's got children that need him to be doing things for them, he shouldn't be playing, right. He should've read the warning on the box. If he was really a good little WoW player, he'd quit his job and sell his daughter on the blackmarket so he'd have the time to play and money for the monthly subscription.

    I'll support banning bots if the bigger flaws are corrected too. How about play time limits, like no more then 60 hours per week. Or limits on personal wealth, if not on a whole, then limits on amount earned during a given period. Maybe a more dynamic way of handling resources, where availibility is based on individual allowances, where each player is only able to farm/mine x amount in any given area, regardless of how many other people have been there before. Something to put into check the leagues of Johnny DoNothing's logging outrageously excessive and disproportionate playtimes that disenfranchises the majority.

  31. Speaking as a current law student and former wow player, it seems like the tortious interference claim is pretty stupid. How could Blizzard possibly have lost subscriptions as a result of this? One of the most annoying things in the game was grinding from level 1-80 so you could actually play with your friends, and Blizzard's core base of players is so hardcore they aren't going to quit over something like use of a bot (no matter how much they whine on the forums). If anything this bot has created business for Blizzard by removing the worst part of their game.

  32. Two things need to be pointed out as absurd from the comments. First, this game is neither a SOCIAL game nor a COMMUNITY game if it can be played entirely with a bot. Furthermore, any COMMUNITY or SOCIAL elements are totally subjective to begin with. If you play on a PvE server, and opt not to PvP, you NEVER have to interact with anyone, so it can absolutely be a single player game if someone wanted it to be.

    Secondly, some poster threw out an argument about GMs getting lots of tickets reporting bot-like behavior. Seriously, what do you expect? When a game is so simplistic that it can be played with a bot, even the behavior of real players will be interpreted as one.

    Lastly, botting isn’t going anywhere; regardless of how much you may dislike it. If anything, this fiasco is merely increasing the interest in it – just look at all the open source ones available now for instance. Some of these don’t even run on the same computer, which makes them totally immune to Warden. The only real solution is to reduce the amount of success that monotonous activity can bring within the game; but I don’t see that happening because that’s how they keep people playing.

  33. @31 While I don't agree with your final statement/solution, I couldn't possibly be more in agreement with you with the bots vs. nolifers argument. I'm FAAAAAAAR more frustrated by other living people telling me I'm worthless because I didn't spend 200 hours of my life getting the epic mantle of fuckall than I am by a slight lack of a specific mob to kill in an area farmed by bots.
    99% of the gold farming comes from the chinese or korean companies who pay human beings $2 usd equivalent an hour to do what bots do for free. Imagine what could have been accomplished if all that time was spent on something more productive than farming imaginary currency for a living. I could say the same goes for some office work, but that's a different argument.
    Blizzard gets their money either way for EVERY farming account bot or human. If we haven't learned anything else as a species, it's to make a tool to make work less arduous.

    Here's the solution, Blizzard, create your OWN bot, give people the ability to pay $XX to run it for XX hours per month, or like other MMOs just allow people to pay cash they earned doing real work for items they simply don't have the time to earn. This is the perfect solution.
    Doing this will FAR make up for the difference in money you'd 'lose' from people playing for less time because they can get the higher stuff faster. But then, that's probably not what you want. You want our souls and whithered bodies, don't you?

  34. Quite simply put, the bot is different from "Johnny DoNothing" because all of the Johnny DoNothings are still going to play the game.

    So, even if there is only ONE person using the bot on your server, instead of having 10 Johnny DoNothings farming in an area, you now have 10 Johnny DoNothings and one bot. Thus increasing the supply on the market by 10%. And making one more "person" to contend with for materials that the casual person might need to get.

    Also, the money gained from leveling to 85 is in the thousands if not 10s of thousands. So, if while I'm at work, I used a bot to level a new character to 85, each time I did so I would bring more gold into the economy. All of a sudden I have thousands of gold and can afford to buy things for the high prices that others refuse to pay. Normally, the high prices drop because others refuse to pay for them, but the price never drops on that piece of gear. So, I have better gear than everyone else because I have more money. And therefore, the normal player can not afford the items because they do not have a bot making money for them.

    It's the same reason that the government doesn't print more money. More cash in the market just lowers the value of that cash. The value of the gold coin just depreciates in value with the influx of more gold into the economy. So things that would normally cost 2-3k can be sold for 10-20k because certain people have the money to afford this.

  35. The leveling for money took away from the main part of my post about "Johnny DoNothing" vs bots…

    So, let me emphasize that just because a Bot is in the game, doesn't meant that the Johnny DoNothings aren't going to be. It just means there will be that many more "people" that are doing it.

    If you don't see how that can destroy the economy, then you don't understand economics.

    With the economy destroyed, the normal player will feel dejected, and thus want to leave the game. That is how Blizzard can lose subscriptions because of the bot… It happened in Final Fantasy XI.

    The argument that people quit because of the "grind" is flawed because they do not HAVE to do the grind once they are maxed out. You don't HAVE to level another class. I'd say somewhere in the 90% category of players never see the endgame content. So, if you are in that made up 10%, and you are getting bored, maybe take a break (it's what I usually do when I am). It IS just a game, after all. Unlike real life, you can just come back to it when you want to.

    But the "grind" is always made easier, almost EVERY major patch, they reduce the amount of xp to level. Level 20's get mounts instead of 40, now 40's get epic mounts instead of 60's. 60's get flying mounts instead of 70's… They even changed starting zones and quests in old content to make it different and new. The grind isn't the same thing over and over again anymore.

  36. personally I couldn't care less about the economic problems caused by bots, the true problem for real players is the effects they have on game play.

    1) Anyone who has tried to "BG" can attest that bots ruin the experience, especially at lower levels "BGs" are decided more by the number of bots a side has instead of the skill of the players. a poor player on your team might be a detriment but a bot is a waste of space entirely (and space is limited)

    2) resource gathering: as mentioned in previous comments bots interfere with real players in this field by gathering resources that should be available to real players

    3)the "grind" while it may not be pleasant blizzard has been making it easier and easier for "casual gamers" to keep pace with "hardcore gamers" as well as adding things like recruit a friend, the emblem/daily system, and "rested experience"

    4)social: as someone mentioned it's possible for a person to play "WoW" without willingly interacting with other players however such players are willfully ignoring the majority of the game content, and to honestly fit under that title you'd have to ignore other aspects of the game such as the auction house or resource gathering and even under such strict social exclusion you would still inevitably interfere with the leveling of other players by killing npcs they require for a quest.
    there for I can't see that as fair justification for bot use.

    5) financial: WoW is so popular with the college/teen age crowd as much because of it's price tag as the social/gameplay aspects, WoW's subscription fees are roughly equivelent to buying a new video game every 5 months (6mo subscription fee $77) even the most casual gamer would have a hard time enjoying a single player game for anywhere close to that length of time.

    But regardless of all of that MDY made and SOLD product specificly designed to bypass security and break the EULA, I don't believe a lawsuit would be in order if the software was freeware but the idea of profiting off someone else's product is by definition copyright infringement and MDY should be held accountable.

    The fact that the product was software and the effects of it are hard to express or explain to people who aren't in touch with the world it affects is the only thing keeping MDY from falling flat. If instead MDY had developed a new "gaming keyboard" and slapped a World of Warcraft logo on it w/out permission the trial wouldn't have lasted a day. How is this any different?

  37. All of the people that have 'ignored' the arguments that people playing like bots have just the same effect as bots on the game, consider this:

    What if all the bots were gone and all the people who had been running bots lost their jobs and played all the free time they had and did exactly the same things as their bots had been doing? (or, they kept their jobs and hired someone's kid brother to do it for them?)

    After all, they worked out an efficient little route for the bot to follow, so why not continue to use it? After a while, it becomes second nature, so they grind away and act just like a little bot. Of course this is ALREADY happening…duh!

    So, all the same 'detrimental' things that 'bot-like' behaviour supposedly brings to the game will still be (not!) there?

    Watcha gonna do then, Blizzard?

    How about you fix the problems that the bots are obviously designed to avoid? Because when the bots are gone and the grinding still sucks, you'll still have the same problem: players leaving and – BOO! HOO! – no one to blame any more…

    And as for the "Ooh, I can't afford something that a botter can and it's just NOT FAIR (sob)", just grow a pair FFS and kill the botters and loot them. They are made to be dumb on purpose to NOT give a significant advantage. If you can't kill one, you sure wouldn't survive against a real player doing a manual grind.

    And Blizzard can put ANYTHING in their EULA as they see fit? Really? ANYTHING?

    Think about expanding that into other areas in life. Of, say: owning a car. You get caught speeding: you forfeit the car? Drunk driving, ditto. Can't be bringing the name of Ford, Chrysler etc. into disrepute or damage their brand, can you?

    Thin end of the wedge, Blizzard and we Seeeee yooooouuuu…

  38. @ 38, your bit about "other areas in life" is a slippery slope argument, and foolish.

    It costs Blizzard money to run the servers you play on. It cost them money to make the game. You can yell and scream that bots do/don't ruin the economy and/or the game. Sure, the DMCA is vague and vast. Sure, some of Blizzard's reasons may be suspect, but what it comes down to is that its THEIR game, not your's. You didn't make it, they did. You aren't running the servers, they are. If they don't want you running software in THEIR server space, then that's their call, not your's. Just because their reasons may be off the mark (in most cases by manner of opinion, mind you), doesn't mean you have the right to do whatever you want by some self-righteous sense of moral superiority. And on the EULA; don't you think that companies consider what they can and can't get away with on those? If a court found excessively absurd/unfair clauses, don't you think they would refuse to uphold them? This is NOT one of those cases. You are not being chained to your PC and being made to put up with their rules. Blizzard is neither legally nor morally bound to comply with *everyone's objections.

  39. I think I found the critical fact issue when this case goes to trial. It's in the part of the opinion about "the social interest in protecting MDY’s and Blizzard’s respective interests":

    "MDY has introduced evidence that Glider…improves some users’ romantic relationships by reducing the time that they spend playing WoW"

  40. You do know that you can't loot botters, so they rez and go back to botting… Not to mention if they are the same faction as you, you CAN'T kill them. So, how do you answer that problem?

    As for the speeding, you get fined. You get enough speeding tickets they take your license. You drive on that suspended license, they take your car and throw you in jail.

    Same with the drunk driving, only skip most of the steps and go straight to the taking your license and throwing you in jail.

    As for the car, when you lease from the dealership (as you are doing with WoW from Blizzard) you have to follow their guidelines or they can take the car away. Miss a payment, they can take it. Don't have insurance, they can take it.

  41. Also the holier then thou people yelling if you don't have the time, don't play spew. Excuse me, the back of the WOW box does not have any warning saying "Only for rich introverted shut-ins with no friends/family/work obligations – Requires 20+hr of play per day – Anyone with even a shread of a life outside playing videogames shouldn't bother buying this since you will never beable to fairly & honestly compete."

    #31: The back of the box should definitely say that.

  42. Also, #32: I just thought of a way that Blizzard could lose subscriptions as a direct result of the existence and usage of Glider. I know it doesn't seem obvious – in fact, to anyone with half a brain it appears that buying Glider and then not subscribing to WOW would be a baffling decision at best – but I'm apparently not a Blizzard lawyer.

    But here is the way Glider harms WOW subscriptions, lemme lay this on ya, get ready:

    Glider harms WOW subscriptions because a WOW subscriber buys Glider, uses it for a while, realizes they paid to have a robot play a game FOR them, a game that is EFFICIENTLY PLAYED BY A ROBOT, and then they have this dawning enlightenment moment about what a great idea it isn't to even bother playing a game that a moderately complex algorithm can play. And a subscription is thereby lost.

    Some of them go on to play Progress Quest, but I imagine these Glider-enlightened ex-WOW-addicts mostly go on to occasionally talk to girls, or drink water instead of Mountain Dew, or shit in a toilet instead of a sock.

  43. #35: Thanks for this post! This explains why the economy of WOW has collapsed and nobody plays anymore! 😛

  44. No, the economy hasn't collapsed because Blizzard hasn't allowed this to continue. You know, the point of the whole article…

    How many people use the Glider vs how many people WOULD use the Glider if it were "legal" to do so (legal in a gaming context) is a VERY different number.

    Were you able to use it and not run the risk of suffering repercussions, everyone who knew about it would use it. Therefor, YES the market WOULD be broken.

    As Blizzard has obviously taken steps to prevent this, their economy has not collapsed.

    The 10:1 Johnny DoNothing:Bot ratio is obviously just made up numbers, but if there are 10 Johnny DoNothings and 100 Bots, that would be different. Have you ever tried farming when there are 5-10 people out mining or herbing? Bots or not, the supply of nodes/herbs is a lot worse than if you are alone. Now you are spending and hour just for a stack of whatever you are trying to get instead of the numerous stacks you would get normally.

    So, now you have to spend money to level/fund your craft. Supply is down, demand is up, price goes up. Raiders/PvPers always need Ore or Herbs for gems/flasks. So it's not like the demand will ever go down now that the market is horded by these 100 or so bots.

    Or you have 10 Johnny DoNothings to contend with and no bots. But you could just level up a guy with your bot and gain money. So now you are botting to make money. Someone else is botting to get mats. All of a sudden, nobody is playing the game and it's just ~15 million robots playing the game…

    Obviously that's a REALLY over-exaggerated and very unlikely set of events. But say even just One Million people worldwide are botting, is it fair to the other ~14 million who do not want to pay a SECOND billionaire (because yes this guy would be a billionaire if Blizz didn't stop this) to use his product?

  45. So, if there was a bot that doesn't go around Blizzards protection and stops working, can the bot maker sue Blizzard for having the protections circumvent the functionality of their bot?

    Can users sue Blizzard for getting banned for using that non-circumventing bot?

  46. If bots were allowed, the ratio of Johnny DoNothings to Bots would be more like 10:2000. At some point, it becomes detrimental to *not* use a bot.

    That's the difference. It DOESN'T MATTER if you have a handful of these "Johnny DoNothings" farming small sections of an incredibly large game. It DOES MATTER if your entire server is flooded with bots, farming every inch of it.

    Seriously, people claiming bots don't hurt the game really ought to try playing some of the smaller MMOs out there, ones that do have bot problems. It's not like this crap has never been seen before.

  47. #37

    "WoW's subscription fees are roughly equivelent to buying a new video game every 5 months (6mo subscription fee $77) even the most casual gamer would have a hard time enjoying a single player game for anywhere close to that length of time."

    You've been playing the wrong games if you can't enjoy them after 5 months. I've been playing Mass Effect 2 since it's release and I'm still finding new content I didn't know about now. Hell, I play through Final Fantasy VII almost every year nowadays.

  48. "…games 'owners' in fact only license their games, they do not own them"

    Soooo . . . no one worried about that? Just me? Or is it only referring to MMOs? If games are getting more expensive these days, I find it painful that I own mine less.

  49. Interesting ruling. I wonder how much has been spent in legal fees so far for both sides.

  50. @32

    i would think that this would a textbook tortious interference case. the article alleges MDY specifically intends cause enough ppl to break that no-botting clause of contract to make it more economical to ignore the "problem".
    does it work differently in the uk?

    Loss of subs does seem wacky, but i suppose you need to prove damages. Might be hard to prove $1 worth of good will damages per subscription.

  51. Quick side note: The box doesn't need a disclaimer saying that increased play time generates more benefits. You could just use your damn brain.

  52. Slightly on topic… if games aren't "purchased", then they by definition they aren't sold, and therefore should be treated differently from a sales tax perspective? Wouldn't a company having all that rental "property" be subject to a different tax regieme than one that simply sold software? And finally, if games are in fact "rented", then doesn't that have implications regarding their legal status, given the divergent local, state, and federal renter's laws and regulations? Thoughts?

  53. great arguments for and against bots.

    I find it funny to blame the "grind" on a reason to use a bot, as this "grind" is the game itself… Makes me think of people who only read cliff notes so they don't have to "grind" through books (so that they may have intelligent conversations with their friends about said book).

    It might not be as easy to see in a game like WoW how a bot affects other players… it's subtle to most, obvious to some (as the comments mention above).

    I am definitely part of the anti-bot crowd. My experience with bots has come from Quake and UnReal, where they do break the game for anyone else playing.

    I wonder how pro-bot people would change their position when the bot becomes a PvP tool that unfairly ganks them.

    Blizzard isn't fighting bots because of greed, they are fighting bots to protect their user base. If their game became saturated with bots they will lose population and subscriptions.

  54. As a long time WoW player, and other MMOs, I can say that Blizzard have gone out of their way to craft a leveling experience that contains as little "grind" as possible. If you're really just walking in a circle killing and looting hundreds of things, then you're playing it wrong.

    Complete the quests, participate in the story, and you get much greater reward for the effort, both in experience and items (completing quests give double or more the experience of the mobs you kill for that quest), and in satisfaction of participating in a larger storyline.

    People seem to forget that, and make WoW into just a game mechanism. It's got a story to tell (well, hundreds of little stories combined), it's not just a kill-fest.

  55. When I think "grind," I think games that are emphatically NOT World of Warcraft.

    I think of "quests" like those from Diablo 2 that are forced upon me as little more than plot devices for a half-assed story nobody cares about, whose "rewards" serve only to prevent me from skipping the act entirely. I mean, seriously now – did ANYONE actually enjoy act 3? Do ANY of us truly want to be down in the maggot caves in act 2?

    I think of "professions" not even as a primary source of economy, but THE literal economy, period (FF14). You want something more useful than a gray item? Travel for an hour in real time to a remote city where player X usually resides and might be selling it. If he's asking too much, tough. Welcome to Free Market Economy, where you can go somewhere else if you don't like (or can't afford) the price.

    I think of "levels" that are arbitrary milestones of time that offer nothing unique beyond a raw "percentage of numbers increase" and MAYBE access to better equipment (Borderlands). The talent trees, if you could call them that, are so shallow that you can't even have cookie cutter builds – because you can actually take EVERY SINGLE TALENT. Everyone is now uniquely invariable. Enjoy!

    I think of "end-game" as a literally endless dungeon (Minecraft), or else PVP that involves horrific one-sided battles with no counterbalance (Guildwars), or else the same damn game all over again "with harder difficulty" (all of them except WoW). You want a dungeon slog, there are apps for that – but WoW's not one of them.

    Unless you choose for it to be.

    Is it designed to keep you playing? Of course it is. But at the end of it all, even among other games Blizzard has made (which is to say nothing of the MMO market in aggregate), it's still remarkably casual friendly. In Diablo 2 you lost experience, gold, and items when you died; in WoW you just take durability damage. In Freerealms you need to play a minigame to complete a crafted item, every single time, without guarantee of success; in WoW, you click a button and go afk for a minute while your toon auto-completes an entire stack of bandages with a 100% success rate.

    I get the idea that you can feel pressured into playing for whatever reason, but it takes remarkable nerve to lay that at Blizzard's feet; if you "don't have time" for this pastime, maybe you should stop paying for it.

    At a certain point, you just have to accept the fact that games like WoW simply aren't for you.

  56. "[Blizzard] wanted MDY to pay for the damage that Blizzard suffered due to Glider, which appears to have been lost subscriptions."

    The subscriptions from the accounts you banned? Yeah, those would be lost.

    Sorry, I don't really have any particular argument one way or the other on this, but I found that part funny.

  57. At the end of the day it comes down to 2 things.

    1. If I were to enter somebodys computer and read there documents Id be breaking the law. What gives blizzard the right to scan your computer for these so called "third party programs"? or because they are a massive company they are just allowed to do this?

    2. When you buy a copy of World of Warcraft or any of thier expansions, There is not writing on the packaging to say you are buying a "license" so therefore this would then lead to blizzard being allowed to false advertise thier product!

    Simple really… BTW I agree that glider should be banned but does that mean that big companies such as Blizzard can just create thier own law?

  58. Thanks, this worked buatuifelly. BUT new dates I add to the converted column are not staying in Aussie format when they are sorted if first number is 12 or under, even if the whole column was selected during the process above. Eg: 15-10-12 stays in October, but 5-10-12 is sorted as 10th May. Any tips on how to avoid this, especially when working on a mac?Thanks,Caecilia

  59. obviously like your website however you have to check the spelling on quite a few of your posts. A number of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very trsubleoome to tell the truth then again I will certainly come again again.

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