[1. Local]: Chariots and cheats

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[1. Local]: Chariots and cheats
Reader comments -- ahh, yes, the juicy goodness following a meaty post. [1.Local] ducks past the swinging doors to see what readers have been chatting about in the back room over the past week.

Dominic Hobbs, our warlock columnist, speculated about flying mounts for warlocks in this week's Blood Pact. He found the following suggestion the best one from the readers (though there were many):

Dear Hobbs,

While I agree with your idea of Metamorphosis or sprouting wings, I find the thought of being carried by my shoulders by a Doomguard to be utterly demeaning, and if you have seen the model for Invincible and the new "Sparkle Pony," you would see that while the wings are ingenious, the steed itself has legs stumpier than a dwarf's!

No, my dear friend. For a warlock, the only mount suitable for us masters of shadow and fire is nothing else than an enormous, obsidian-black chariot with wheels made of the bones and skulls of magi, pulled by a pack of at least ten or twelve fel-green hellhounds.

The animation would be so full of demonic splendor and top-of-the-line graphics that it would cause the video card of any cowardly mage to explode violently.

Grow In Shadows-
Caneyn Ravenshield, Future Worgen Warlock
Continue reading for an in-depth discussion of cheating -- and what's this about breeding WoW.com staff?

Does Blizzard encourage cheating in its no-monthly-fee Battle.net games?

Blizzard banned thousands of Warcraft III and Diablo II players, which sparked a fascinating debate about cheating.

Obarthelemy: I think that banning a whole batch of people every once in a very long while is assholish:
  1. Cheaters have a long time to ruin the game for legit players.
  2. Naive cheaters, who think they won't get banned -- that their hack is acceptable -- have no way to know they WILL be banned.
  3. In the mean time, blizzard makes money.
Spazmoose: News Flash: If it looks like a hack, smells like a hack, acts like a hack...it is probably a hack...and you will likely eventually get banned.

JC_Icefox: While I agree with point 1, it's rather absurd to think that "oh, I'm cheating in a game that says I can be banned on the whims of an invisible overlord, I see no flaws in this plan!" You cheat, you ought to be banned. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but one day. And for the rest of your account life.

Also, how does Blizzard make more money? I thought those games were free to play on Battle.net?

clundgren: I sort of agree with this sentiment, though not necessarily with the way it is expressed.

By tolerating cheating for a long time, Blizzard allows a culture of cheating to develop, to the point that many players feel A) that they need to do it also in order to compete, and B) it isn't really cheating anyway, since it is so widespread and nothing is done about it.

We actually see this with real world laws, and there is considerable legal precedent to suggest that when laws are seldom enforced, or enforced in what seems like an arbitrary manner, they lose validity and may even be overturned in court when challenged.

I don't play these games, and this is not to say that I endorse cheating, because I don't. But I think it is correct to assert that a policy of seeming neglect followed by a massive, ruthless crackdown sends mixed signals and is potentially deeply unfair.

glyakk: With Diablo at least, Bliz does not charge a monthly fee. Unlike World of Warcraft, once you buy the game you have unlimited access to the servers to play. So, no, they didn't make extra money waiting to do the bans. Wouldn't make a difference if they banned somebody sooner or later, either way their account is going to get banned eventually.

clundgren: But it makes a huge difference to the culture of that game. By waiting to do mass bans, Blizzard passively encourages cheating. When nothing is done about a problems for months and months, it is not a stretch to see how many players could assume that nothing will ever be done. Then they are left with some choices to make:

  1. Quit the game.
  2. Follow the rules and get beat by blatant cheaters. Frustrating!
  3. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em: start using the same exploits, and assume that is how the game is now played.
I suspect that *many* of these 320,000 people fall into the latter category. And banning them strikes me as deeply unfair, since Blizzard themselves allowed the problem to fester. In effect, Blizzard's neglect pushed many players in the direction of using exploits, and then Blizzard hammered them for doing so.

A proactive policy of quickly crushing exploits would get the true cheaters without punishing players who simply wanted to be able to compete.

Request for a breeding program

Whiplash warning, as we go from serious to silly.

Jamie: In an ideal world is there any way WoW.com can fund a breeding programme between Dawn Moore & Chris Belt to create the best WoW blogger? And also is there any chance we'll be seeing a Discipline Mage or a Frost Priest so that said offspring would have something to write about?

Grovinofdarkhour: Chrawn Beltmoore, Disciprost Prage. At your service.

Kylenne: I'm a Discipline Mage, but only in my off hours.

(cutaia): He would probably just rebel against his father and become a warlock columnist. Kids these days...

Evandrial: throw some Frostheim DNA in there for good measure ... and Sacco's hair.

Kurash: And Rossi's chest hair too, while we're at it ...Though that would be way less cooler if said offspring is female.

brian: And to keep this heir alive forever we can upload a copy of their personality onto the internet, and they can be Insidro, Lord of the Blog.

Enjoy your weekend!

Ha, caughtcha looking! Hey, don't scroll away ... Come join the conversation on these and other posts around the WoW.com community. We'll see you around in [1.Local]!

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