Blizzard is clamping down on World of Warcraft multi-boxing.
Multi-boxing is a controversial method of farming online video games for resources that involves one user playing multiple accounts simultaneously. Blizzard is clamping down on one particular method of multi-boxing: using third-party software to "broadcast" your inputs across multiple clients. This key cloning software automatically mirrors a single keystroke or action across multiple versions of an MMO, thus letting the user gather materials and in-game gold at a game-breaking pace.
Players have used third-party software to multi-box in World of Warcraft for years, seemingly within the game's Terms of Service. All that has changed now, though. In a post on the World of Warcraft website, seemingly proclaimed by a watchful Malfurion from upon high, Blizzard announced its upcoming clampdown on third-party input broadcasting software.
"... we've seen an increasingly negative impact to the game as this software is used to support botting and automated gameplay," Blizzard said.
"The use of input broadcasting software that mirrors keystrokes to multiple WoW game clients will soon be considered an actionable offense. We believe this policy is in the best interests of the game and the community."
Blizzard added it will soon begin issuing warnings to all players found to be using input broadcasting software to multi-box. "Soon thereafter", these warnings will escalate to account actions, which can include suspension and a permanent account ban.
"We strongly advise you to cease using this type of software immediately to maintain uninterrupted access to World of Warcraft," Blizzard said.
"Thank you for your understanding."
It's worth noting Blizzard isn't banning multi-boxing in its entirety here. That is to say, using multiple World of Warcraft accounts simultaneously is still allowed. But Blizzard is banning one popular - perhaps the most popular - method of WoW multi-boxing: using third-party software to send your inputs to multiple clients.
The announcement comes 19 days before the launch of Shadowlands, which has seen a record number of pre-sales for a World of Warcraft expansion. Blizzard will be keen to clean up the game in the coming weeks before its big release.
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