[Update: Blizzard has stated that they are willing to re-review banned Linux accounts upon request]
There's probably a lot of pro-corporate advocates sitting in front of a plate of crow right now feeling awfully sheepish about how they defended Blizzard like Johnny Cochran defending OJ Simpson. We all know now that Blizzard was wrong and one Linux user was able to get a dual refund out of the deal.
Over on the WineHQ forums a Linux user who wanted to remain anonymous, save for donning the handle vexorian, was doing extensive testing with Diablo III running on WINE. He knew he was walking into a minefield but he wanted to find out what was really going on with all the massive amounts of Linux bans occurring in Diablo III. He did, in fact, run into a very obvious problem where Warden was crashing due to a bug in Wine 1.5.13 and 1.5.14. Quite naturally, back on October 23rd vexorian was promptly banned and he took to the forums to explain what he had been attempting to do to find out if Warden really was at fault. Turns out, Warden was at fault.
After being banned and given the proverbial runarounds from Blizzard's tech support, he even tried to explain his situation and what he was trying to do for testing purposes.
Nevertheless, the ban was permanent and no refunds were being offered. However, vexorian decided to go on about his business and actually buy a second copy of Diablo III on November 8th and play the game via Windows XP. Shortly thereafter, on November 14th vexorian received the following e-mail from Blizzard's tech support...
We recently closed the Diablo III license on your Battle.net account listed above. However, we’ve found evidence that the closure may have been a mistake on our part so we will re-open the license for play as soon as possible. We humbly regret the error and hope that you will accept our sincere apologies.
Not only was vexorian given a re-opened license for the banned version of the account he was playing on Linux but he was also refunded for his second purchase of the game on Windows XP ($120 refund in total).
Oh wow, this really is the complete opposite of what Bashiok had mentioned back in July, isn't it? Remember where everyone was hopping up and down on Blizzard's sack saying that the Linux bans were in result of cheaters and Warden was infallible and all that jazz? Oh, here let me refresh some memories with Bashiok's quote...
We’ve extensively tested for false positive situations, including replicating system setups for those who have posted claiming they were banned unfairly. We’ve not found any situations that could produce a false positive, have found that the circumstances for which they were banned were clear and accurate, and we are extremely confident in our findings.
Oh burn, Bashiok....burn! It was a false-positive.
You just got freaking owned, bro. If this was Halo you would be getting tea-bagged on the face right now, eating a lot of Master Chief schlong and drinking your own salty tears.
As I mentioned in the previous article, Blizzard just got caught in a lie. I wish they had bothered to do investigations into these accounts instead of puffing their chests and claiming that if people got banned they must have been cheating.
I'm sure they'll start offering refunds to Linux users who bring their cases forward to tech support and conducting more investigations because right now Blizzard is under the microscope for faulty security and consumer fraud in a class action lawsuit.
Offering refunds to Linux users will probably help them save face and earn a few extra brownie points in front of the judge. If you play on Linux and have been wrongly banned be sure to keep at it with their tech support. Even if Linux isn't officially supported they don't tell you on the box that you'll be permanently banned and denied a refund if you decide to play Diablo III on Linux. Remember, you have rights as a consumer.