Policy Update for Organized In-Game Services - January 2022
Boosting Communities are no longer allowed in-game, even when offering services for gold.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
As the conditions change by which various entities operate in World of Warcraft, we are compelled to update our policies to further our goal of making the gameplay experience as fair and welcoming as possible. Since we last updated our policies, we have found that an increasing disturbance of the gameplay experience has been caused by organizations excessively advertising various non-traditional services in-game.

As of today, we will now prohibit organizations who offer boosting, matchmaking, escrow, or other non-traditional services, including those offered for gold. World of Warcraft accounts found to be in violation of this policy are subject to account actions. These actions can include warnings, account suspensions and, if necessary, permanent closure of the disruptive World of Warcraft account(s). Organizations operating across multiple realms and excessively advertising non-traditional in-game sales are contrary to the terms and conditions of the Blizzard End-User License Agreement (EULA).

This policy update does not restrict individuals or guilds from using the provided in-game tools (“trade channel” chat) to buy or sell in-game items or activities for in-game currency. However, “boosting communities”, especially those who operate across multiple realms, are no longer permitted.

We urge all such organizations to cease doing business in World of Warcraft immediately, in order to maintain uninterrupted access to the game.
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
I believe cross-realm boosting is disallowed, unless I read it wrong.

Organizations who disruptively advertise across all realms and establish escrow services are the primary target of this policy update. Guilds and individuals who are inviting players from another realm to join them in traditional game activities in exchange for gold are allowed, as they were before.

Would that include things like GDKP runs? Where players benefit financially off other people?

That depends on the definition of “financially”. If it means an exchange of gold only without a middleman entity, then it sounds like the same sort of guild activities players have been enjoying for 17 years, which are not the focus of this policy update.
This article was originally published in forum thread: Policy Update for Organized In-Game Services -- January 2022 started by Stoy View original post
Comments 103 Comments
  1. Sanguinerd's Avatar
    Change in the right direction, now also adjust the gameplay decisions that made ilvl chasing result in boosting and we're really getting somewhere.
  1. Drusin's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by demonya View Post
    This is a positive change. Still allowing friends boosting each other, but ending "commercial" cross realm boosting.
    It's not going to end it though, just like RMT is against the rules already and people still do it.
  1. Julmara's Avatar
    wow now thats a welcome change
  1. Tziva's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Aresk View Post
    "This policy update does not restrict individuals or guilds from using the provided in-game tools ('trade channel' chat) to buy or sell in-game items or activities for in-game currency. However, 'boosting communities', especially those who operate across multiple realms, are no longer permitted." (emphasis mine)

    I'm confused about what activities are allowed to be sold in game and what is considered boosting in this context. Is this strictly about PvP? Are Mythic +15 and +20 dungeon runs no longer allowed to be advertised in Trade? What about mythic raid runs? Selling Ahead of the Curve/Cutting Edge achievements? What qualifies as a "traditional service" within this context? This post does not seem clear at all.
    If some dude wants to sell his instant tank queue to people on his realm, it'll be fine to advetise in trade. If a guild wants to sell mythic kill slots also fine. But they theoretically don't want people in there advertising whypugforfreewhenyoucanpaysomeone.pro or whatever in trade.
  1. Relapses's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by BetterGameDev View Post
    Random thoughts


    Strangely this happened after MS decision to buy ATVI
    MS hasn't even bought the fucking company yet. The deal isn't proposed to go through until sometime next year. MS's intention to buy Blizzard had absolutely zero influence on this decision.

    Quote Originally Posted by BetterGameDev View Post
    Boosting was probably the second if not the first source of profit for Blizzard, so strange they decide to do that.
    Wrong again. We have confirmation from people within boosting communities that even if everybody RMT'd the boosts that it'd effectively only equal a few million dollars. Sounds like a lot but when you account for the hundreds of millions of dollars Blizzard makes through subscriptions alone its a drop in the bucket and hardly "the second if not first source of profit for Blizzard."

    Quote Originally Posted by BetterGameDev View Post
    Didn't stopped us when they banned Gallywix, we made another community and already made nearly 1 Billion back
    Gallywix was only banned because they were pretty obvious about the RMT shit they were doing. Boosting communities since the fall of Gallywix now have one to two layers of culpable deniability behind their RMT boosts, though you are (regrettably) correct that this change does little to address this.

    Quote Originally Posted by BetterGameDev View Post
    Already banked all the millions so they can ban all communities
    This is very misplaced cynicism because it's incredibly, hopelessly and impossibly hypocritical. If Blizzard does nothing, you give them shit for "supporting" boosting communities. If they ban boosting communities, you still give them shit because "the damage is already done." It's almost like you have no idea what you actually want Blizzard to do, you just wanted to use this as an opportunity to share your super unique opinion that they didn't do enough.

    So while this update doesn't do a whole lot to change the overall landscape of boosting in WoW, you have to, at the very least, admit that it's a step in the right direction.
  1. The Stormbringer's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ilnez View Post
    The least alt friendly change ever.

    Why should I have the pug content with bad players just because my guild doesn't do alt runs? Legit boosting communities were nothing but convenience, just turn off trade you brain-dead turds.
    Make your own guild that does alt runs. There, easy.
  1. Unholyground's Avatar
    Looks like they are taking the right steps towards getting ready to remove the Token as I had previously told people they will do in preparation for bringing WoW to Gamepass Ultimate at no price increase making it the most appealing deal in gaming, not to mention when they merge battle.net with the gamepass ecosystem.
  1. Relapses's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Unholyground View Post
    Looks like they are taking the right steps towards getting ready to remove the Token as I had previously told people they will do in preparation for bringing WoW to Gamepass Ultimate at no price increase making it the most appealing deal in gaming, not to mention when they merge battle.net with the gamepass ecosystem.
    There is zero evidence to support this as a step in the direction of removing the token.
  1. Zypherz's Avatar
    If the aim is to disrupt boosting communities only, then fair enough. I don't think individuals or groups selling their services is bad for the game at all (I think it's healthy), I just believe that the problem has been exacerbated by in game gold selling and has made the issue appear worse than ever a result due to how accessible gold is.

    Man, I am really enjoying being able to read trade chat again though. Even if it is all Thunderfury spam.
  1. Marrilaife's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Stormbringer View Post
    Make your own guild that does alt runs. There, easy.
    Tbh one reason why alt runs died was exactly that, people just buying boosts left and right and instead of playing the game, paying to skip playing the game.

    Second reason was the amount of mandatory grinds / unlocks that are per character and not per account and this feeling so repetitive people stopped bothering with alts outside of top guilds who want to be meta-slaves and class stack.

    I'd hope Blizz addresses the second issue at least in the next xpac.

    Now if they also fixed the problem Alliance is unplayable, it would be grand. They literally admitted it themselves (in a TBCC thread, but the point stands for both versions of WOW) that people don't care about faction balance, they just want their "side" to be playable and all realms over time drift towards 1-side skewed rather than balanced.
  1. kamuimac's Avatar
    the only reason they do it is to boost the prices of boosting.

    notice how they do not ban boosting as whole - just by "cross realm groups" which significantly lowered the prices of boosting.

    smart move - now they will sell even more tokens as prices will skyrocket while boostin will not be banned from game as it shuld be
  1. Bellamas's Avatar
    Very interesting. I canceled my sub last week and wrote a paragraph to Blizzard about boosting. I told them it makes the game feel like pay to win. Maybe I am the butterfly who caused the hurricane.
  1. rrayy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Puri View Post
    Wow, that's a biggie coming out of nowhere. Wondering if this was planned all along or MS interfered.
    Nice change.
    MS is not in charge right now. They cannot make decisions until after the deal closes.
  1. exochaft's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by The Stormbringer View Post
    Make your own guild that does alt runs. There, easy.
    This is where the gray area is going to come into play, and likely the reason why the verbiage used is specific yet vague: the line between a guild making gold by selling services/items and an "organization" is extremely vague. Heck, there may not even be a line since some guilds are actually formal organizations.

    Honestly, I'm not sure how much of an effect this will be. Technically, you could make a bunch of guilds to perform the same function as organizations like Gallywix and keep it within their new terms. They could tighten up their restrictions a bit, however I understand that it may start infringing on average people not boosting but wanting to compensate other players for their time. What would have a more pronounced effect would be changing the game in a way where such boosting communities are not really desired (or desired much less than they are now). However, that takes time and effort, likely requiring a pretty hefty revamp on the level of a new expansion.

    The only effect I see is that Blizz has an official tool to ban accounts under the guise of boosting. I say under the guise of boosting, because the amount of boosting that is done by high-end mythic raiding guilds (or even mid/low tier guilds) is huge, and there's not much difference between said guilds and boosting communities.
  1. Triceron's Avatar
    Just curious, but since this doesn't affect guilds, could this be 'exploited' through a workaround? Communities could simply turn themselves into 'boosting guilds' that have a revolving door policy to people regularly 'joining and leaving' the guild after the services are complete.

    And transactions and guild promotion would just start getting shifted to 3rd party sites, the way most illegitimate trades are handled outside of WoW anyways.

    So really, is this solution just there to literally fix 'trade chat'?
  1. Unholyground's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Relapses View Post
    There is zero evidence to support this as a step in the direction of removing the token.
    Well, Microsoft is almost defiantly going to get rid of it once they add WoW to gamepass which is going to 100% happen, you would be foolish to think otherwise. Microsoft will not keep the token in the game when it gets added to gamepass, pretty much guarantee it since it will have no function, they will grandfather anyone in who has tokens but no new ones will be able to be purchased. So this way people who own them don't have to pay for gamepass they can just use the rest of their tokens first.
  1. exsanguinate's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rrayy View Post
    MS is not in charge right now. They cannot make decisions until after the deal closes.
    lol

    10 chars
  1. exochaft's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by kamuimac View Post
    the only reason they do it is to boost the prices of boosting.

    notice how they do not ban boosting as whole - just by "cross realm groups" which significantly lowered the prices of boosting.

    smart move - now they will sell even more tokens as prices will skyrocket while boostin will not be banned from game as it shuld be
    The "right" reason is that they don't want to make it against the rules to, as an example, pay a friend to run you through a dungeon. The real reason is probably because it's still a "free" revenue stream. Blizz could easily ban all boosting and just overlook friends and family paying each other or whatever non-problematic boosting is in their eyes, but obviously they aren't going that route.
  1. Relapses's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Unholyground View Post
    Well, Microsoft is almost defiantly going to get rid of it once they add WoW to gamepass which is going to 100% happen, you would be foolish to think otherwise. Microsoft will not keep the token in the game when it gets added to gamepass, pretty much guarantee it since it will have no function, they will grandfather anyone in who has tokens but no new ones will be able to be purchased. So this way people who own them don't have to pay for gamepass they can just use the rest of their tokens first.
    Or MS just adds a new "MMO tier" to the existing Game Pass service which is $15/mo more than the existing $10/mo subscription.
  1. Unholyground's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Relapses View Post
    Or MS just adds a new "MMO tier" to the existing Game Pass service which is $15/mo more than the existing $10/mo subscription.
    Nope, they plan on phasing out games with gold and then they want to add as much value to ultimate as they can so people buy ultimate over regular. If a price increase happens it will be tiny.

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