GAMING BLEND

Blizzard Perma-Bans Linux Users From Diablo 3, Lets Botters Continue To Play

By William Usher 2012-07-02 22:03:46 discussion comments
(Update: Banned Linux users have spoken out against Blizzard's assertion that all the users who were banned and denied refunds were cheaters. Read the full story here.)

Listen up Linux users, if you're using Linux plus Wine you can allegedly be banned from Diablo III and you won't be getting any refunds back at all. If you live in the United States you're screwed, if you live in France, Korea or Germany you might be able to seek help.

Let me repeat that because this concept may be hard to grasp for some people: You pay $60 for a game. You run the game on a Linux system with Wine so that you can get Windows type functionality out of your Linux OS. Eventually you can get banned by Warden. Blizzard is not issuing refunds because running the game on Linux is considered third-party software that can break the terms of service.

The news comes courtesy from the official WineHQ forum as well as another PlayOnline Linux site, where players lament that after the latest patch they are unable to log-in or play the game because they've been banned. One user decided to investigate and opened a ticket asking if Linux is supported by Diablo III, to which the customer support responded with the following...
Diablo III on Linux is not 'supported but this should not cause any ban or suspension as the game files is not modified in any way.

Usually an account is banned for the use of third-party application as bots and programs designed to receive advantages not allowed in the game.

In your case, you can use Linux if I could run the game on that operating system.

If I had any questions, please respond to this ticket.

Regards,

Arytae
Blizzard EU Support

This is completely opposite of what another player was told when he inquired as to why he and other Linux users were banned suddenly. Blizzard responded with the following e-mail...
Salutations [User]! Thank you for contacting us. An additional review of the action taken against the Diablo III account on [E-mail address] has been completed. We have confirmed our initial findings, and the account action will not be reversed or changed.

Actions are based on the violation's severity and take previous violations into consideration. This action was taken in accordance with the Terms of Use (us.blizzard.com/en-us/company/legal/) and our Diablo III Policies (us.battle.net/support/en/article/diablo-iii-policies), which all players acknowledge and agree to before logging into the game.

We understand that these policies may seem harsh, but they are in place to ensure that every player is able to enjoy their time in Diablo III. Thank you for respecting our position.

And yet ANOTHER user also wanted clarification. So there was yet another follow-up from another Blizzard representative who decided to go a little bit more in-depth, basically saying, "You are screwed, you cannot do anything about it. We won't do anything about it. You are screwed. Good day, sir." Check out this response and cringe to your heart's content...
Greetings [User],

Unauthorized third party software was found to be being used on your account. Because this is a breach of the terms of service, we will not be providing a refund to you, and the license is permenantly banned. As this issue has been reviewed by multiple representatives, it is now considered closed. Should you have any questions regarding a different account or issue, please feel free to contact us again. However, further inquiries regarding this issue will no longer receive a reply.

Regards,

Ben B.
Customer Services
Blizzard Entertainment

Now let's get one thing perfectly clear before the Blizzard White Knight Squad comes in saying "But, but, but...the TOU, the TOS, the private policy, the EULA....the customer is always wrong!" Plain and simple there is absolutely nothing in the terms of service that fit the description of being banned for using Wine in Linux to play Diablo III. The closest thing is the following from the official Terms of Use, section 2, sub-section 'G', which states...
facilitate, create or maintain any unauthorized connection to any Game or the Service, including without limitation (a) any connection to any unauthorized server that emulates, or attempts to emulate, the Service or any Game; or (b) any connection using programs or tools not expressly approved by Blizzard

That's the closest thing in the TOU that comes close to fitting the description for banning someone for using Linux and Wine. It's not a mod, a hack, a bot or a server-modifying service, so it doesn't really fit into any other description. Wine does help facilitate Windows services but that does not fit into the description outlined in the Terms of Use. You may as well label XFire, Fraps or Windows Live under the same category. The only other instance is that it's not "approved by Blizzard", which basically turns the whole thing into a totalitarian virtual society.

What's more, is that in a related story on the D3 forums (warning: the comments in that thread will make you lose IQ points), it was found out that the way Wine handles memory allocations can sometimes trigger Blizzard's security system, Warden, which resulted in a mass ban of Linux users. So it's not like it's something people are doing or triggering from malicious intent.

Plain and simple, these guys have been banned on false charges and Blizzard is refusing refunds.

What's worse is that it's on Blizzard's end to prove how these guys violated the terms of use in order to justify a "no refund" policy, otherwise it just looks like they took $60 from a bunch of people and then told them to bugger off. There's a name for that.

If you think that's bad, though, it gets worse.



Diablo III is still currently being farmed by bots. A gold farmer came forward acknowledging that at this very moment, he's still farming gold using bots in Diablo III and auctioning off his load at Player Auctions. And since proof is required, proof shall be provided, check out screenshots of the guy's bot in action here and here. Notice that the one screenshot is taken two hours after the submission on Reddit, "How Diablo destroyed Tristram", which means it was taken on June 30th. What on Earth. Am I missing something?

Now, according to the confessions of a gold farmer, they say that Blizzard doesn't regularly ban botters because they help Blizzard make money. How? Because they drive up the GAH prices due to players buying black market gold to afford overpriced items from the auction house, thus continuing to keep GAH prices on the fritz. In turn, this discourages players from buying from the normal auction house and instead, according to one gold farmer, this goads people toward the Real-Money Auction House, and we all know how Blizzard manipulates loot drops to profit from the RMAH.

Now you can call it a conspiracy theory all you want but we have proof that botters still pervade Diablo III and Blizzard doesn't seem to be doing much about it. We also have confessions from gold farmers saying it's good business for them to stay in business, which is why they aren't being banned regularly. We also have legitimate Linux players who are perma-banned and denied refunds due to a shady area of the TOS that no Blizzard support staff has properly explained.

As a word of advice, if you lost money in a grey area of Diablo III's RMAH or you've been banned without proper reasoning and denied a refund, be sure to contact your local paper, news outlet or a trustworthy online press agent. Also, if your case isn't resolved in a timely manner, be sure to file a complaint with the FBI's IC3 division. Remember, this is your money and this is your rights they are violating. Don't let corporate bullies stomp on your consumer rights.
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