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Blizzard Bans Top World Of Warcraft Players For Trading Dungeon Runs For Cash

Illustration for article titled Blizzard Bans Top iWorld Of Warcraft /iPlayers For Trading Dungeon Runs For Cashem/em

It’s one thing to run a friend through a dungeon that might be a little too rough for them because you’re a Cool Pal. It’s something else entirely to do it for a rando and ask for real money in return. In World of Warcraft, the latter is unacceptable, and Blizzard’s started banning top players for it.

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According to PCGamesN, it’s become fairly commonplace for the cream of the game’s crop to boost players with less time (but more money) on their hands through tough dungeons. The boost-ee gets loot and achievements, and the boost-er gets real cash. Everybody wins... sorta. Blizzard, however, says they’re done turning a blind eye to these practices.

“We’ve recently taken action against a number of accounts that were actively participating in and/or advertising the sale of in-game raid or dungeon clears in exchange for real-world currency,” community manager Bret “Ornyx” Forbus wrote in a forum post. “Such behavior is a clear violation of the World of Warcraft Terms of Use.”

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“Of the players affected, many were members of top raiding guilds,” he added. “We want to be clear that everyone we’ve taken action against had illustrated full knowledge and intent to violate the Terms of Use. Going forward, in order to ensure fair play and competitive integrity, we’ll be monitoring these activities much more closely in order to make sure that the rules are being followed. This includes selling services for real money, account-sharing, and other violations.”

Top raiders aren’t the only people who usher lower-tier players through WoW’s increasingly brutal theme parks, but Blizzard took aim at them for a reason.

“As some players have pointed out, we were indeed very conservative with this initial round of actions, and only issued penalties to a handful of the most egregious offenders who had blatantly and openly violated our terms of service,” wrote global community engagement manager Josh “Lore” Allen. “These are meant to serve as a warning to all players who participate in such activities, as we intend for future actions to be much more comprehensive, and the punishments more severe.”

Heck of a warning shot, given how much work top WoW players put into their characters. That’s thousands and thousands of hours down the drain. Everybody else, learn from their mistakes or face some seriously gnarly consequences.

Kotaku senior reporter. Beats: Twitch, streaming, PC gaming. Writing a book about streamers tentatively titled "STREAMERS" to be published by Atria/Simon & Schuster in the future.

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DISCUSSION

I don’t... what... huh?

Why on earth would somebody be paying money for somebody else to do a dungeon run for them? If you don’t enjoy doing dungeon runs, then don’t do the dungeon run? Now, I’ll admit, I haven’t played WoW, so maybe that’s where my confusion comes from, but my understanding is that unlike the foolishness of FFXIV, none of the content is gated behind dungeon runs. (For those unaware, FFXIV’s main story line itself is actually gated by numerous dungeon runs.) AFAIK the only content gated behind dungeon runs in WoW are... more dungeon runs. Which is good, it makes sense. Many people have no interest in dungeons, so gating non-dungeon content behind them would just be (IMO) bad design. You’d practically be ASKING people to pay others to do the content for them.