Someone was banned from WoW for using a programmable keyboard, as seen on Slashdot.
Call me a fanboy, or whatever you want… but I feel I must side with Blizzard. I don’t think it’s the fact that the guy was playing WoW on Linux with WINE. (windows emulator) It’s the fact that he was sending a chain of commands with a single keystroke. No matter how anyone tries to explain it, that is botting. It’s a device outside the game that is directly interacting WITH the game. Granted it’s a little more of a gray area, since it’s a keyboard… but still. The guy said it himself, he had keys to mass-change armor sets. IIRC, that’s illegal, even with in-game mod packs.
“Ho-hum, I need healing armor set.”
*presses key, armor instantly replaces itself with healing*
“Alright, let’s roll!”
While in some instances, insta-changing armor would be okay… such as sitting in the middle of an allied city with no chance of being attacked… I think the cheating aspect would be apparent if you’re in the middle of a contested zone, and you see a member of the opposite faction charging towards you and you’re in healing armor and BAM! Macro-switch to uber-fighting armor. That’s cheating. The baddie saw you in weak armor, and you were in weak armor for some dumb reason… you shouldn’t be able to insta-switch.
Ultimately, I think this ban is the result of lots of little infractions that added up to a permanent ban:
I was training my weapon skills because I recently turned to level 60. I had programmed the switching of weapons (I use Wardrobe for that) to my programmable keyboard and was fighting a low-level healing mob to upgrade all my weapon skills to 300. As you might very well know, this takes hours, and while I was training my different weapon skills by pressing the macro keys and healing myself every now and then, I watched some movies on my TV, because fighting a level 25 healing mob doesn’t require much attention if you’re a level 60 priest.
This is a less than major no-no, but still a no-no. You must always pay attention to the screen while you’re interacting with something, I’m sorry. Using a macro key that ISN’T an in-game macro to fight things while you’re watching TV is still, in my opinion, botting. Especially since he went and said this:
In my second mail I again pointed out that I used macro buttons to switch weapons in order to train my weapon skills from 270-275 to 300. This simply does not require much attention if you have a level 60 priest; you simply take low-level weapons up against a low-level healing mob, and then you keep hitting it. I had already done this several times * without * the use of keyboard macros.
Okay, yes… but you weren’t doing it without the keyboard this time. Next:
At the time of the ban I had configured my keyboard to switch weapons, cast hex of weakness and renew myself, all with the press of a button. None of these actions involved the use of cheats or hacks whatsoever. I had put myself on /DND with the note that I was watching movies and was not paying much attention to the game, which i muted because of the movies I was watching.
This is the killer. In-game macros do not allow you to stack spells. It’s a restriction to keep automation LOW. Otherwise everyone will run around with macros that do everything for them. He got around this by using the keyboard. Next:
Now it is quite well possible that during that time people contacted me in-game without me replying. After all, it was from the late hours of Saturday till the early hours of Sunday and I was watching the movie screen 99% of the time. After pushing the macro keys for some hours I found myself logged off and unable to log back in. However, unattended is simply not the case, as I was near the computer.
Okay. He was flagged DO NOT DISTURB. But he was fighting. He wasn’t responding to in-game communication. But he was fighting. A Game Master could have tried to ask him if he was there, and he didn’t respond. But he was fighting. Game Masters will always ask you if you’re present if you’re doing strange bot-like behavior. If you don’t respond… you’re a bot, end of story. If you DO respond, then hey! It’s your gaming style. This guy “found himself logged off”? That means he didn’t see it happen?
I’m sorry, man… I think their permanent ban was well-founded.