Permanent bans for duping but not for botting. Blizzard.
So the reality is Blizzard aren't interested in permanently mass banning everyone who has made a few gold from exploiting a bug. They are after the big fish. For the smaller fries, if they can give them enough of a fright to deter them from trying anything like that ever again, that is perfect.
Which is not to say one should ever be complacent about these things. Making an example out of a few relatively minor transgressors is also an effective deterrent against others trying the same thing.
I've known plenty of people (myself included) who have "used" a bug and thought "huh, neat, that was cool" and then never did it again and didn't have any serious repercussions to our accounts. At worst I got a 1 day ban once.
Then there are the people who exploited bugs (i.e. used them over and over again, not just for fun but to gain an advantage/items/money) and then cry afterwards that "they just did it once for fun".
I also believe that this could likely have resulted in a perma-ban being issued automatically by the system.
If this is the case, especially based on the OP's story, you should get your account back if you appeal. If somehow you are genuinely innocent but they refuse to reinstate your account (and it is likely that this will happen to someone out there - or that some people simply won't have it in them to fight it enough) you have my sympathy
Defending Blizzard's retarded policies and unwarranted bannings also isn't doing you any favors. You cannot sit there and tell me that thirty thousand people.. THIRTY THOUSAND. Just think about that number for a moment. You cannot tell me that thirty thousand people ALL exploited this glitch to gain any sort of meaningful monetary gain or otherwise on purpose. Whenever a mass ban happens in any game there's always at least a handful of accounts that fall through the cracks and for a ban this size, that handful is considerably larger just as the number of unwarranted bans surely is. Don't be stupid.
1) They probably did a ban on anybody who did as you described above. Get them out of the game now.
2) They went back through the list (probably using complaints like yours as a basis) and restored anybody they couldn't find directly using this to exploit the game world.
3) To avoid 1 in the future, don't do something just for kicks.
Blizz was protecting it's playerbase...if they wrongfully bann 1 out of 10k people by accident than I'd say they have still done a good job.
Got a response from Blizzard
Thank you for your follow-up contact. An additional review of the previously communicated action taken against the World of Warcraft account (USERNAME) on (battle.net email) has been completed. Unfortunately, we could not find anything you did wrong at all. Allthough we did look back a bit and saw that in 1993, you were playing Contra for the Nintendo Entertainment System and used the "up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right b, a, start" code to gain extra lives. We find this to be a great disadvantage to other players and and economic catastrophe on the "coin-op" version.While this is not in direct violation of our policy, we already banned you so we're not going to go back and fix it. Therefore, the account action will not be reversed or amended.
but ofc compairing the moon/univers to a video game in beyond me.
---------- Post added 2013-01-10 at 04:00 PM ----------
And yes, I do suspect that a large percentage of those bans were warranted, even though you are definitely going to get quite a lot of false positives from such a process.
I would also not be surprised if that number was far bigger than what Blizzard were expecting, which likely would have strained their Customer Service team trying to rectify the false alarms. In the end though, it is the most expedient method of sorting the problem out. The thing is that the DMF is only out for a week. A lot of players who put in legitimate effort to make decks would have been counting on being able to do business, but all the cheaters have messed things up for them. The choice Blizzard had was to be slow and careful and hurt a bunch of honest players, or to be quick and brutal and hurt another group of players.
No matter what they did, some people were going to be pissed off which really did put Blizzard in an unenviable position.
At least this way it hit the real offenders hard, and this kind of action absolutely deters other would be exploiters, reducing the frequency with which similar events will occur in the future.
Personally I reckon Blizzard made the right call given the situation - with the proviso that they manage to restore the accounts of those unfairly caught up in it all (eg the OP). For those who were negatively affected - yeah it sucks, but the real blame lies with the exploiters, not Blizzard.
Doing something very specific to do with milling/vendoring/whatevering herbs and then DCing yourself is not something that millions of people will do every day, and therefore the people doing it are more likely to have done it due to hearing of the bug by word of mouth and deciding to try it themselves. That means that they intended to exploit, and deserve a ban.
Some of the "analogies" are seriously flawed here.
Some people say that it doesn't matter if you cheat for 1 cent or 1 million. Really? In the real world it does make a huge difference, and so does in Blizzard terms if you actually read it, permanent bans are given only in extreme cases, depending on the severity of the act. And the people who only DC themselves did not gain even that 1 cent(or copper). The bug to make you DC doesn't give you any advantages, you need to perform additional steps in order to actually exploit it to create dupe items.
Really if people would care about consequences of exploiting, why not focus more on the real abusers.
Let that be a lesson. You should've made your money by botting.
Your analogy is silly. Going to the moon didn't break any laws (well, except maybe the laws of gravity at the time, LOL... ahem), and was done to better humanity through learning, which is why it was widely approved and celebrated. Clearly Blizzard did not approve nor celebrate the use of creating infinite herbs, whether for amusement or money, and in fact said not to do such things in the ToS people agreed to beforehand. Also, I highly doubt anyone learned anything from it besides "my friend/the forum post that told me about this was right!"... well, that, and that Blizzard really will ban you if you're bad.
Saying you were curious is not ever a valid excuse to break a law. Every crime in the world would be excusable if that were the case. "I was just curious if I really could get home with a blood alcohol level of .3, I didn't think those people would still be awake and on the road with me at that hour!"
Curiosity is natural and innocent - knowingly breaking a rule purely for fun or personal gain is not innocent in the slightest. If you know you're forbidden to do something, but do it anyway, it's intentional, and it's not curiosity anymore - it's mischief. Wondering what a view looks like from the top of a building under construction is curiosity. Pushing past the signs saying 'Do Not Enter' and crawling through a hole in the fence so you can climb it is mischief, no matter what you don't disturb and how pretty the view is.
I can't tell you that thirty thousand people did this all for profit, but I can definitely tell you that not one of them who didn't report it actually thought they were doing something allowable. They may have thought that Blizzard would turn a blind eye or not notice, but I guarantee none of them thought that a method to create infinite herbs was legitimate or okay. That people like the OP only did it to test it, but not profit from it, shows that they knew it was morally wrong to use it, or else they would've gone to town with it. They knowingly dangled their toes over the yellow line hoping they were safe as long as they didn't put an entire foot over it, but this time they happened to be punished for it.
And no, just because you think it's good clean fun doesn't mean it's harmless. You're essentially slapping Blizzard or any lawmaker in the face by thinking you're above the law because you can do things that you personally don't think effect anyone else, which just opens the door to doing more things that you think are in good fun, until stuff hits the fan. If you're going to do something irresponsibly, you know by its very nature that there are multiple outcomes, but still have to take responsibility for all of them. Just because no one knows doesn't mean a minor can legally get drunk in their own home and that they're guilt-free the one time the police or an ambulance is called. Poking the items in the 'do not touch' display case is all well and good until you break something. Even something simple that doesn't seem to have any unfavorable results can still go horribly wrong - being able to walk through walls to explore in WoW is all well and good, until you have to explain to the GM how your character is completely stuck, naked and upside-down on the spectral sandbox tiger on GM Island. Finding a way to transmog Thunderfury won't hurt anyone (and would be awesome!), until the one day you forget to take it off in town or an LFG and it spreads like wildfire. It's only a matter of time, and for these people, this was that time.
Besides, Warcraft already has a red button in Ulduar that says you should not push it, exhaust your curiosity on that if you must.
Last edited by Forumchibi; 2013-01-10 at 09:34 PM.