Blizzard announced yesterday that it’s pulled the plug on over 74,000 World of Warcraft player accounts involved in cheating.
“The majority of these were found to be using gameplay automation tools, typically to farm resources or kill enemies much more efficiently than legitimate players can,” the publisher wrote in an announcement over on the game’s forums.
World of Warcraft has gone through a lot of changes since it launched back in 2004, and last year Blizzard decided to release World of Warcraft Classic, a version of the game as it existed back in 2006. But MMOs were also a lot grindier back then, and as a result the in-game economy around World of Warcraft Classic has sometimes fallen pray to armies of bot accounts used to efficiently farm for gold and upgrade accounts that can then be re-sold on the black market.
This most recent “banwave” appears to have been at least partially a response to an uptick in botting and complaints from the community about its impact on the game. But Blizzard also explained that the process of weeding out these cheaters from legitimate players takes time.
“We’re ultimately working to unravel a challenging circumstance,” Blizzard wrote. “Real money trading drives third parties to put an enormous amount of effort into circumventing our detection systems. As much as this is a very high priority for us, it is the only priority for profit-driven botting organizations. The bans we issue are simply a cost of doing business for them.”