Content of the article: "Multiboxer banned for farming SGC during the week Blizzard announced 30 instance lockout and 74k bot ban. Here is my appeal and case"
Hi folks, my apologies to burden y'all with another ban appeal. To preface this, I am a multiboxer and I know they generally get a lot of hate. While the issue of multiboxing warrants a DIFFERENT discussion, I present to y'all my situation of getting an unwarranted ban on my accounts and Blizzard's awful algorithm and process of detecting bots. This will be quite a lengthy post, so I'll include a TLDR later as well.
A Brief Introduction: I am Kimchilock on Sulfuras, Alliance and I feel I am pretty well known within the Sulfuras community as a multiboxer (whether those reasons are good or bad). I think most people know me for selling Truestrike Shoulder and Briarwood Reed runs with my multibox setup (1 druid, 1 warrior, 1 warlock, 1 priest, and 3 mages). I also actively participate on the Tuesday BRM war with my mages. Beyond this, I multibox to help my guild clear UBRS to zone into BWL and help with world buff summons… that's about it. In order to multibox, I use the programs ISBoxer and Inner Space, which are common programs used by many multiboxers. ISBoxer allows you to create your team that you want to multibox and Inner Space is the program that runs WoW on multiple screens (one big and multiple small ones). I think Inner Space also broadcasts the keys you press on your main/big screen and initiate autofollow from all the other characters. Blizzard explicitly states MULTIBOXING IS ALLOWED but does not support the tools associated with this. Here is Blizzard's link that indicates this.
What happened: I boosted my warrior account to 60 pretty quickly.. under 3 days played (WFH due to corona) with the help of guildies and gold I farmed from the UBRS runs. To work towards pre-bis and start raiding on a second character, I got most of my items minus the elusive SGC. I think between June 14 to June 23 (the day I got my ban notifications), I was doing nonstop SGC farm. It was up to like 260 runs but these are quick because I was using my warrior, priest, and 3 mage accounts. In and out in 20 minutes for the lockout, and AFK for 40 minutes. This was during the week they announced the big ban wave and 30 instance daily lockout to thwart botters. During this time, I've seen tons of botters to which I also reported. I suspect others might have reported me but I don't know the reasons to this. I've had plenty interactions outside waiting for the reset or behind BRD. I would try and fight other horde multiboxers (botters or people) during lockouts as well. Maybe I got reported from this… I don't know. Regardless, those who I have talked to, I'm sure they can attest to me that I am friendly and typically talk about how awful the SGC farm is and wish them luck with it. This went on until June 23rd where I got notifications from the 5 accounts that I got banned.
You're lying, you botting rat!: So once again, I totally recognize that many may recognize multiboxing is a huge problem and unfortunately, there are TONS of multiboxing botters. You can see them indicated by random names and guildless tags. In my case, I was under my raiding guild's tag and others that I have a good relationship with. Additionally, in my process of SGC farm, I go through jumping off the law of ring… I'm sure bots can script that but even as a human player, you can't nail that wall jump perfectly on all accounts. I messed up plenty of times. If Blizzard did a quick view on how I farmed SGC for those multiple days, it is clear that I am using NO OTHER PROGRAM minus ISBoxer and Inner Space. I would never use such programs to compromise my accounts as they are all fairly geared. During the farm too, I would actively talk in guild chat about the awful nature of the SGC farm, send responses to my friends/guildies, and respond to random messages from players who were asking about my SGC farm or if I could help them with UBRS for TSS or reed. Also why the hell would a botter want to farm SGC when all they are focused on is farming gold? The problem seems inherent in Stratholme and stuff, but I used my multibox team to make easy SGC farms and avoid the problem of finding groups and just doing it myself.
My appeals journey: So we all have seen through multiple ban appeals that Blizzard has a questionable-at-best process for responding to appeals. To start my own process, I submitted a ticket on every account banned with the same message (sure I could have approached this better but at the same time, I think I was in panic and shock mode). Here is a link that shows my initial response. Approximately one day later, I get the lovely response from GM Vorria who literally copy and pasted the same message to ALL accounts. Here is the response. In my thoughts, I am like "well ok, I guess I deserved that for copy and pasting my message on multiple accounts." HOWEVER, I'd love to hear y'alls opinion on this. I think this highlights an issue that even the APPEALS PROCESS is automated or there are GMs that will not give the benefit of the doubt to players. This shows a massive problem with their approach to customer support when we have MULTIPLE posts that indicate players need to send MULTIPLE TICKETS to get a human response or someone that will at least give them a chance to see what the problem is.
Second round of appeals: Ok, so I follow the recommendation of many other redditors about posting again until you get a human response. This is where we get MASSIVE INCONSISTENCY on their response. I respond a message indicating my frustrations and identify that I am planning to pursue credit card charge back and a complaint to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). This is the message I sent on my accounts. After another day of waiting, I get different messages for each account. Three accounts acknowledge my ticket and state they will initiate an additional review. One account states they will uphold the decision. One account removes the suspension but issues a 6 month ban. Uhh… what? So here are the responses:
- Review 1- a response states "so what I can see here, there seems to be a problem with your account being banned and with no reasons as to why."
- Review 2 – at least gives me some benefit of the doubt and initiates a thorough review
- Review 3 – a response states "closure on the account doesn't provide a lot of information and detail which is important to the investigation process. There seems to be some generic notes but the specificity is what we're looking for so we'll have to take a different route with this."
- Maybe I have struggle comprehending the message, but to me, this makes no sense. The review suggests I was not using any exploitation/cheating so the closure is removed. But they apply a suspension for what…?
- Okay so you don't bother to check details and just see it was reviewed? Yet your colleagues here indicate there is lack of information and needs further investigation. Great customer service here.
My response: Since there are five accounts involved here, the investigation might take a little longer than normal. Sure that's fine with me. I appreciate Blizzard taking a THOROUGH REVIEW and they will see that ALL I AM GUILTY OF IS MULTIBOXING, which is allowed by their terms. I fear that each account will be seen individually instead of seen together which is highly relevant to the multiboxing case. If they just see one account, they'll see pretty much my chars on auto follow and following the same keys that are pressed from my main. The way I play my characters though like getting into the arena, responding to guildies/friends, and general movement shows there is no hacking/botting/explotiation/insert something that makes player guilty. I came up with this response to assist them in the investigation.
TO BLIZZ GMS: THANK YOU GMs Gromnaskod, Thakdrar, and bethshadd for displaying quality service that seems rare in this current era of Blizzard gaming and customer support. GM Nuvradant, while I appreciate looking further into the case, I find that there still was inconclusive evidence to warrant these actions against my account, and strongly encourage/request that you see the inconsistencies between all responses and use due diligence to suggest I was engaging in botting/exploitation/hacking. GM Vorria and Trolanalyd, your lack of cordiality and dismissive attitude is a true disappointment and reflection of Blizzard Customer Service. I encourage you revisit your approach to customer service and recognize that each customer deserves more than a second in whatever case they present.
So what now? I am in my third round of tickets and hopefully the investigation/account review team will look at that recent ticket and review my case with all five accounts considered. As I have indicated before, multiboxing is a controversial topic, but my post here is not to highlight that issue. I am here to raise awareness of Blizzard's controversial process of handling appeals and approach to customer service. This clearly is an issue and perhaps enough attention will warrant them to address this problem. I fully expect many flame posts about accusing me of guilty, but all I have are my words, narrative, and posts to suggest otherwise. I have full confidence that if Blizzard THOROUGHLY reviews my accounts, they will see that I engaged in no cheating/hacking/exploitation/botting whatsoever. I have been following their terms this entire time and was false flagged as a botter or whatever in my pursuit to get SGC. I am happy to continue to provide updates as they come.
TLDR: Blizzard banned five of my accounts as a multiboxer for farming SGC. I use five accounts to minimize time it takes for 5 instance lockouts. I started the appeals process and the initial response was a copy and paste response saying I am guilty and decision will be upheld. I sent a second ticket stating my intentions to file charge back and submit a CFPB complaint, to which I received VERY INCONSISTENT responses. Three state a further review with two of the messages indicating little information and generic notes. One states decision won't be changed. One reversed the ban but gave me a 6 month suspension. I sent another ticket encouraging them to look at all accounts together when investigating. This shows Blizzard's appeal process and bot detection is very flawed and identifies the need for massive improvement in their approach to customer service.
BLUF: I am a multiboxer and love playing the set-up. I firmly believe I am innocent of this ridiculous accusation of hacking/cheating/exploitation. Blizzard indicates multiboxing and associated software is allowed. There is no proof nor any evidence that would suggest I would do something so stupid as to bot/cheat/hack.
Blizzard CS, if you are seeing this, my ticket references are: US74200542, US74218407, US74239481, US74200557, US74218430, US74239500, US74200565, US74218445, US74238110, US74200575, US74238200, US74200602, US74218467, US74239529
THANKS FOR Y'ALLS TIME AND I HOPE TO PROVIDE EVERYONE WITH PROMPT UPDATES AND GOOD NEWS AT THE END OF ALL THIS <3.
- In light of the recent accusations of exploit against a multiboxer
- You can get wrongly banned with just player reports. Please be careful, especially when farming a lot [x-post from /r/woweconomy]
- Blizzard is issuing bans for buying instance boosts.
© Post "Multiboxer banned for farming SGC during the week Blizzard announced 30 instance lockout and 74k bot ban. Here is my appeal and case" for game World of Warcraft.
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