World of Warcraft limits boost, but players doubt it’ll stop
Blizzard has implemented a new policy that tightens restrictions on boosts in World of Warcraft, where players help each other clear content and earn rare items and achievements in exchange for in-game gold.
In a post on the gaming forums, community manager Kaivax wrote: “Starting today, we will be banning organizations that offer boosting, matchmaking, escrow or other non-traditional services, including those offering gold coins.”
According to Kaivax’s post, Blizzard will issue warnings, account suspensions, and permanently shut down any accounts found to belong to a booster group, which typically operates across multiple servers via a consolidated Discord server.
The new policy states that individual players or players’ guilds can still use in-game chat to buy or sell “in-game items or activities in exchange for in-game currency.”This line in the announcement has led to something to point out The new policy will not completely remove the boost.
Instead, Blizzard is trying to specifically crack down on larger communities (via WoW tokens) or Battle.net balances that utilize pure gold transactions that don’t violate the game’s terms of service and the ability to convert in-game gold into game time or Battle.net balances for other games and services.
(Image credit: Blizzard)
There is a surprisingly complex process for these fostering communities. They hire players to advertise their services on various servers. Buyers contact them and pay them gold, which is then paid to a “bank” or a representative of the boosting community. From there, boosters paid for with that bank’s in-game gold do the job of getting players what they want. All of this happens on multiple servers and is reported back to a centralized Discord server. That way, players who, for whatever reason, can’t make tough raids or get fancy mounts, can either buy World of Warcraft tokens with gold, or pay for the gold they already have to help them. Advertisers, boosters, and other admins can take the gold and keep subscribed if they want, or turn it into Blizzard money.
Some of the most popular boosting communities, including Nova, Sylvanas, and Huokan, have announced that they will stop serving on Discord following the announcement.
“It would be foolish to believe it would suddenly stop,” Windz, one of Nova’s founders, told PC Gamer. “People just do it in a shady way.”
Ascension is ridiculed by many in the gaming community, mostly to encourage players to buy things other players have to do themselves. Last year, Blizzard head Mike Ybarra angered some of those players for a tweet about his “sales run” raid, suggesting it was part of a boost to the service.
It’s unclear how Blizzard will determine what an “organization” is, and how it will identify whether an individual or guild is associated with a larger community — breaking the rules. And, as Windz alludes, these services may be done for real money, which violates the game’s terms of service. While this may seem like a tough stance on boost, it’s clear that Blizzard’s decision leaves a lot of holes.
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