WoW Boosting Communities Deleted from Discord
Today, several months after the Policy Update for Organized In-Game Services, a few boosting communities in Europe got their discord server deleted.

Servers affected by this include Dawn, Nova, Oblivion, Sylvanas and Twilight. The owners of these servers also had their Discord account suspended and received the following message: "Your account participated in selling, promoting, or distributing cheats, hacks, or cracked accounts."

According to multiple sources, this is not a mass report on the discord servers. This is more likely a follow-up from Blizzard's risk team since communities simply ignored the new policy update from January and continued to offer escrow services.


Remote FollowUnit Script to be Disabled in Dragonflight and Wrath Classic
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker / Official Forums)
So, Blizzard has recently issued heavy-handed anti-boosting measures. However, addons are still able to accept a remote /follow command from another player. This makes boosting services more attractive as boostees can then be fully AFK for a very long time. This is (or was) a common practice for boosting on Faerlina.

How this looks in practice: A booster advertises that they are doing slave pens boosts, and that they have the auto-follow weakaura. 1-4 boostees join, and then the booster shares a weakaura with them that will accept a remote /follow command. Now after they pay the booster they can just go AFK for 30 minutes, since the booster can just type a command in party chat and the boostee characters will automatically follow the booster out of an old instance ID and into a fresh one without them even being at the keyboard.

If the above doesn’t give you an idea of what this would look like, just look at the first 10 seconds of this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6voUtTiLz0

I don’t see how the ability to remotely issue a /follow command meaningfully benefits anyone except multiboxers and people selling a service that allows someone to AFK for exp/gear, and Blizzard have now shown that they don’t really appreciate either of these gameplay styles, so I’m wondering why it’s still in the game. While boosting has taken a heavy hit, there do appear to be some boosting options still available albeit not as accessible as before, so in my mind it makes sense to make whatever’s left as inconvenient as possible.


I reached out to our UI and accessibility teams and we’re investigating this.

In general, we agree that accessibility is important, but that doesn’t mean that every effort to stop automation or botting is an attack on accessibility. There are lots of game functions that the game requires a hardware event for, and it makes sense for /follow to be added to that list, based on the behavior Kruffzz suggested. We’re targeting that change for both Wrath of the Lich King Classic, and Dragonflight releases.

Before making decisions like this, we reach out to gamers with disabilities. To be clear, the change we’re planning will still allow a disabled player to follow a guide, including through the use of a Macro or UI Mod to issue the follow command. The behavior it prevents is for UI Mods to initiate a follow on their own based on receiving a message from another source, such as a message from another player.

Thanks for the suggestion, Kruffzz!
This article was originally published in forum thread: Boosting Communities Deleted from Discord, Remote FollowUnit Script to be Disabled started by Lumy View original post
Comments 250 Comments
  1. scubi666stacy's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rhorle View Post
    Not really. People don't boost just because they aren't having fun or the game isn't engaging. They simply boost because they want to. People love to ascribe stuff to whatever thing they don't like about the current game instead of just being honest. Boosting happens because people want to do it and no amount of "fun and engaging" game design will stop it. Not to mention how nebulous fun and engaging is because it varies per person.
    No amount of "fun and engaging" will help you if the goal you need to achieve is blocked by group content which you cannnot access due to several reasons. Like, m+ has so many difficulties that the group of people you can play with at a current difficulty level is constantly bleeding people out who outlevel it by gear. Instead, it fills up with people who are probably more a burden on the group than a real contribution to it.

    Back in the "older days" where you only had a couple of difficulties (normal and heroic in Wrath, or the introduction of Mythic in dungeons, and nothing above it), the amount of people who were able to run your Heroic / Mythic grew, because people could not outlevel it anymore. As the result, runs became overall easier - not only because of the increasing gearscore of the players running dungeons, but also because more and more people knew them. And it was a thing which I liked, because it happened to me just as well. I have farmed the heirloom trinkets back in WoD - and I did fine despite not setting foot in any raid above LFR - I did have my Mythic gear of course, and I knew how to play my characters and I knew tactics and stuff. I contributed well to my group, be it as tank, dps or healer. With the introduction of m+, I just cannot compete anymore, because people outgear dungeons faster than I can. So people I can play with get worse and worse, since all good player level out.

    That's great for esports, but its a really bad social engineering in an MMO. FFXIV does it much, much better.
  1. craigw's Avatar
    simple solution. dont use discord. go to the website directly.....

    problem solved.

    www dot houkan dot org

    /thread
  1. Exkrementor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rhorle View Post
    Blizzard deems it cheating and Discord doesn't outline what a "cheat" is. Just because it doesn't fit your definition doesn't mean it isn't something that falls into those categories when talking about things. This isn't a dystopian nightamre. They are not screwing someone over just because they didn't like them. This isn't even the first time a company has done something like this. Nintendo routinely has things taken down. YouTube is always taking things down. Even Discord responds to copyright claims.

    It is always strange when people see Blizzard do something then act as if they are the first and some new evil has been unleashed on the world because of it.
    Thanks for making my point for me. Youtube and Nintendo are notoriously bad companies in this regard.


    Quote Originally Posted by Delekii View Post
    Lol. Get over yourself just a little. They are both private companies and can do what they like. You are free to not use their services.
    PRiVaTe ComPAnIeS CAn dO WHat ThEY LiKE. No, they fucking cant. I mean they can because they have all the money and nobody can challenge them, but they shouldnt have that kind of power.
  1. rhorle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Exkrementor View Post
    Thanks for making my point for me. Youtube and Nintendo are notoriously bad companies in this regard.
    It doesn't prove anything about your point because those two companies haven't made a dystopian nightmare. All you are doing is blurting out terms then saying "see you proved my point" when someone tells you these things happen all the time with any company. Even non-digital things. It is just the way things work. This isn't even the first time Discord has policed their own company for content.

    Even MMO-Champion does the same thing every time they take action against a post for breaking the forum rules. Private companies should have the power to police their own service for what content they want on it. The alternative you suggest where no content can ever be removed usually turns out to be a huge issue or it is arbitrarily applied based on views of the contents topic.
  1. Exkrementor's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rhorle View Post
    It doesn't prove anything about your point because those two companies haven't made a dystopian nightmare.
    I mean if we cant agree that Youtube banning, demonetizing and shadowbanning channels for arbitrary and sometimes even flatout wrong reaons, catering mostly to big companies who only wanna pump out ads and totally manipulating the search algorithm isnt already some kind of dystopian nightmare, then I guess it must be nice living in a world full of cotton candy clouds and dancing unicorns.

    Man I wish I could go there. Reality fucking sucks.
  1. rhorle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Exkrementor View Post
    I mean if we cant agree that Youtube banning, demonetizing and shadowbanning channels for arbitrary and sometimes even flatout wrong reaons, catering mostly to big companies who only wanna pump out ads and totally manipulating the search algorithm isnt already some kind of dystopian nightmare, then I guess it must be nice living in a world full of cotton candy clouds and dancing unicorns.
    Moving the goal posts a bit aren't you? Private companies should be able to moderate their service. The entire reason why most of these companies started out is because they grew from small things people started to have their own community. If people don't like how Discord manages their service they can start their own competing service, right? It could see success and eventually spawn offshoots when there is a disagreement. It is the nature of things but moderation has been a core part from the very beginning and it isn't dystopian at all.

    This very forum would be an absolute mess if it couldn't be moderated. You may see that as your utopia but I bet very few users would want to wade through hundreds of spam posts.
  1. Yayeet's Avatar
    So Discord decides to delete these servers, but they allow racist, lgbt phobic and antisemantic servers to roam at wild.

    Wonder how much blizzard paid them to do this.
  1. Rocksteady 87's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Yayeet View Post
    So Discord decides to delete these servers, but they allow racist, lgbt phobic and antisemantic servers to roam at wild.

    Wonder how much blizzard paid them to do this.
    Probably nothing at all.

    I'm sure you'll find some other way to get people to play the game for you. Don't worry, buddy.
  1. Cæli's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rhorle View Post
    It is incorrect because in your very first post on the subject you described how a website would have to shift their operations in order to "hide" from an entity trying to stop them. Even now you indicate you understand it will have an effect because of needing decentralized solutions to hide. You keep making statements that indicate you agree with my point yet refuse to allow yourself to be wrong for whatever reason. This isn't semantics either and deflecting to insults only shows that you aren't interested in anything of substance but merely bullying your way into being correct no matter what.
    I'd say that's semantics. I didn't insulted anyone. my point is if someone want to operate a website that blizzard doesn't like, they will succeed if they're determined, which is allowed by how the internet works. whether they adapt or plan ahead. that's all there is to it, it's just that. whatever semantics you want to argue on, I really don't have time to discuss about that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Somic View Post
    The fact that he is required to write *more* sentences in order to explain it to *you* isn’t a reflection on his ability to explain things. It’s a reflection on your ability to comprehend. You are now talking with two people who are attempting to explain something to you and you aren’t understanding still. Do you need 3? 4? 15?
    I asked his point, which could have been summed up in a short statement. you're once again making things up. and who cares about it, why are you discussing a sentence about the length of his post, literally it doesn't matter, it could have been any length. stop being obsessed about me and do something more interesting maybe.
  1. rhorle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cæli View Post
    I'd say that's semantics. I didn't insulted anyone. my point is if someone want to operate a website that blizzard doesn't like, they will succeed if they're determined, which is allowed by how the internet works. whether they adapt or plan ahead. that's all there is to it, it's just that. whatever semantics you want to argue on, I really don't have time to discuss about that.
    Right. As I said from the beginning you are describing ways that a website can continue to exist if someone tries to stop them. What you keep calling semantics is not semantics. Any one can go after any website. Will they always be successful? No. Every time you keep trying to defend that false claim you actually prove how false it is. Strange, right?

    My point was summed up in a short statement. One you didn't like which then required a more lengthy, yet still brief, response. It is a strange thing for you to pick a fight over while at the same time telling others to stop being obsessed and focus on more interesting things. If it didn't matter why even bring it up?
  1. Cæli's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rhorle View Post
    Right. As I said from the beginning you are describing ways that a website can continue to exist if someone tries to stop them. What you keep calling semantics is not semantics. Any one can go after any website. Will they always be successful? No. Every time you keep trying to defend that false claim you actually prove how false it is. Strange, right?

    My point was summed up in a short statement. One you didn't like which then required a more lengthy, yet still brief, response. It is a strange thing for you to pick a fight over while at the same time telling others to stop being obsessed and focus on more interesting things. If it didn't matter why even bring it up?
    some websites will succeed to continue operating despite blizzard not liking it or trying to attack it. the internet allows that. really I don't know what to tell you more.
  1. rhorle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Cæli View Post
    some websites will succeed to continue operating despite blizzard not liking it or trying to attack it. the internet allows that. really I don't know what to tell you more.
    Right. The point of contention has been your claim that you can't just go after any website because of how the internet works.
  1. MrFawlty's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by rhorle View Post
    Not really. People don't boost just because they aren't having fun or the game isn't engaging. They simply boost because they want to. People love to ascribe stuff to whatever thing they don't like about the current game instead of just being honest. Boosting happens because people want to do it and no amount of "fun and engaging" game design will stop it. Not to mention how nebulous fun and engaging is because it varies per person.
    People would pay extra money to avoid fun and engaging content they are already paying for? LOL you dont half talk a load of nonsense sometimes.
  1. Jinpachi's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Zenfoldor View Post
    Assuming none of these bannable offenses are illegal...I miss when programs like these were communication tools and not social scoring systems.

    Just to clarify this for myself...they are investigating people to verify that they are cheating in World of Warcraft, and banning them, but they do not make nor are associated with World of Warcraft, is that correct?
    yup. time for a new app.
  1. rhorle's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by MrFawlty View Post
    People would pay extra money to avoid fun and engaging content they are already paying for? LOL you dont half talk a load of nonsense sometimes.
    So you think the only reason people boost is because they don't enjoy playing the game they pay for? People boost for many reasons.
  1. Poppen's Avatar
    I would say better late than never but gold inflation has been out of control on classic for a long time.
  1. Val the Moofia Boss's Avatar
    Once again, Blizzard doesn't address the problem that they themselves created, just further alienating their dwindling customerbase.
  1. Gorsameth's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Yayeet View Post
    So Discord decides to delete these servers, but they allow racist, lgbt phobic and antisemantic servers to roam at wild.

    Wonder how much blizzard paid them to do this.
    Have you considered reporting those servers so they can be deleted aswell?

    People have already mentioned how many servers Discord shuts down for violating the ToS.
  1. oplawlz's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Exkrementor View Post
    PRiVaTe ComPAnIeS CAn dO WHat ThEY LiKE. No, they fucking cant. I mean they can because they have all the money and nobody can challenge them, but they shouldnt have that kind of power.
    They shouldn't have the power to control their own services? That's an interesting take that has ramifications I'm not sure you fully understand.
  1. exochaft's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by scubi666stacy View Post
    No amount of "fun and engaging" will help you if the goal you need to achieve is blocked by group content which you cannnot access due to several reasons. Like, m+ has so many difficulties that the group of people you can play with at a current difficulty level is constantly bleeding people out who outlevel it by gear. Instead, it fills up with people who are probably more a burden on the group than a real contribution to it.

    Back in the "older days" where you only had a couple of difficulties (normal and heroic in Wrath, or the introduction of Mythic in dungeons, and nothing above it), the amount of people who were able to run your Heroic / Mythic grew, because people could not outlevel it anymore. As the result, runs became overall easier - not only because of the increasing gearscore of the players running dungeons, but also because more and more people knew them. And it was a thing which I liked, because it happened to me just as well. I have farmed the heirloom trinkets back in WoD - and I did fine despite not setting foot in any raid above LFR - I did have my Mythic gear of course, and I knew how to play my characters and I knew tactics and stuff. I contributed well to my group, be it as tank, dps or healer. With the introduction of m+, I just cannot compete anymore, because people outgear dungeons faster than I can. So people I can play with get worse and worse, since all good player level out.

    That's great for esports, but its a really bad social engineering in an MMO. FFXIV does it much, much better.
    This is exactly where the fun and engaging aspect comes in. Sure, fun is relative for everyone, but it does tie in with engagement aspects of the game. To skip to the end point, the reason boosting is so prevalent is because there's a huge gap between what's efficient and what's fun and engaging.

    A lot of this stems into the arduous restrictions, whether literal or artificial, when it comes to the game. When the classic versions of the game came around, people were saying "Man, these raids are ridiculously easy!"... and there's several reasons for that. One is that the skill of players and the information available is higher than back then, this is true. However, another major factor is that gear wasn't the limiting factor in progression.

    To simplify, the game is currently in a catch-22 scenario for many players (not all): you need gear to complete the content, but the content you're trying to clear drops the gear you need. If you want to get your BiS gear, you're going to have to work harder and put in more hours than you did back in the earlier days of WoW when normalized to the current standard, which classic versions of the game clearly demonstrate. If your goal was getting BiS, as it is with many gear-driven players, it's a lot harder to accomplish on average unless you're a top tier player clearing all the hardest content. However, the restrictions on these forms of content is considered very arduous, which deters engagement and can be considered not fun for players if you peruse any forum about these sorts of things. Basically, Blizz has been designing a game in a way to make their lives easier and obtain their goals, but it goes against what the average player probably considers fun or worth their time.

    When I say making the game more fun and engaging would reduce boosting, the method through this would work is if Blizz got rid of all their silly restrictions and scaled back on their time-gating, difficulty settings, etc. The MAIN reason boosting occurs is because people that boost don't feel it's worth their time to play the game to get what they want; they'd take the path of least resistance because there's nothing in the gameplay aspect that they deem is worth it. Now, you won't completely get rid of boosting, that's like saying you can regulate whales out of a mobile game. However, the concept of fun and engagement ties into making the game more accessible and entertaining, with the emphasis on making the experience of playing the game offset the time investment required to achieve your goal. Obviously not everyone enjoys the game the same way, but there's broad areas and systems that could be changed and overhauled where likely the vast majority of players would experience an increase in fun and engagement with the game.

    The overarching goal is to make playing the game to reach your goals (whether it's acquiring gear, killing mythic bosses, etc.) worth your time. The moment it's not worth your time, you either quit playing or you buy a boost. The main issue is that the game is really not worth the time and effort to reach many of the classic end-game goals, so boosting has been on the rise for a long time. This is core game design issue more than anything else, and much of it has to do with the game design reducing playing engagement due to arduous and arbitrary restrictions (i.e. making the game not fun) for many. Again, you won't ever completely stop the boosting, but going after the boosting communities is just attacking the symptom of a game that players just don't want to play to achieve their goals.

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