So to start this off: yes, I was just banned. In Blizzard's words:
This account was closed because it was involved, either directly or indirectly, with the unauthorized exchange of in-game property for "real-world" currency.
Just like all the other posters here, I've never bought gold in my life. I made a point of leveling 7 alts to level 35 so I could make Mooncloth and Cured Rugged Hides on them on cooldown, and the income from that alone has been enough to comfortably support consumables for raids and enchants for new gear.
I've never been exactly rich, though, either. The most gold I ever had at one time was just over 1000, just before my second main hit 60, which I promptly spent on his mount and a few BOEs.
I have, however, traded thousands of gold over the last few months to, let's face it, Chinese instance boosters.
I got it into my head recently to spend my extra gold that the alts make, into boosting them in preparation for TBC; I couldn't decide what class I might want to switch to, so I figured I'd level them all to 60 so I could pick later. Then I could also max professions on them all again, and continue doing the passive income thing in TBC (I hate farming).
Other than boosting alts, I'm a raid logger. I craft Mooncloth and Cured Rugged Hides every few days on my alts, send them to my bank alt, who waits for the prices to swell a bit before selling them. Then I send the gold to my main, which I use to stock up on consumables and enchanting mats. Then I get world buffs and join my guild's raid.
This is literally all I do. I should also mention that this is my only account. None of this trading goes on between accounts.
So I can only conclude that trading gold to boosters, who then go on to sell that gold for real money, is what flags your account for the automatic ban. Which makes sense, too. You're only one or two steps removed from the real-money-trade at that point, which to an algorithm must be suspicious. To a real person, though, it shouldn't be. In my case especially, all of my gold spending habits are easily traceable. Essentially all my gold comes in in trickles from my bank alt, most of it then goes back out into raid consumes. The only loose end is the gold that goes to the boosters. A human at Blizzard could look into it and easily realize this.
That is, assuming they have enough paid staff who actually give a single iota of shit to take a few minutes to do it.
You can make an argument that buying boosts is "indirectly exchanging in-game property for "real-world" currency," but I would argue that when you buy an item or service from a player, you can't be held responsible for what they do with that currency. That's insane. You could also argue that the 'boosting meta' is bad for the game, and shouldn't be allowed, and I might even agree with you. But that also doesn't mean anyone should be punished, especially not indefinitely banned for it, especially when Blizzard hasn't even made a statement about boosts not being allowed.
…but they won't make any such statement. They can't say "boosting is not allowed" because there would be outrage. "What, I can't run my friends through deadmines!?" etc. They also can't go the other way and say right out, "you can't buy goods or services from gold sellers" because, again, that's insane. It's unreasonable to foist that responsibility on the buyer. What next, getting banned for buying Righteous Orbs?
I think that's partly why they're so closed-mouthed with appeals. They can't come out and say "we banned you for buying too many boosts from gold sellers", but at the same time… they kind of want to ban you for buying too many boosts from gold sellers.
In the end, I don't know if I expect anyone to believe me. I always had some doubt about other posters, youtubers, hell, even a guildie who was recently banned with the same message I got. I figured the chance they were secretly buying gold was better than the chance that Blizzard was making so many mistaken bans.
But at least now I know better for myself. And I thought I should make a post with my thoughts and suspicions on the topic, if nothing else than to add my voice to the growing crowd of wrongly banned accounts. In the end if I can't get the account back maybe quitting this world-buff-simulator is a net positive.
Thanks for reading, and yeah probably don't buy boosts anymore.
Edit: formatting, I don't post much.
- UPDATE: “Banned for Abuse of Economy” It gets worse
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