In an effort to preserve an enjoyable and fair experience for all players, we constantly monitor all World of Warcraft realms for exploitative activity. Using internal tools and special processes we can detect behavior that is harmful to the game environment. Accounts found to be participating in this behavior are promptly suspended or closed. We strive to protect our players from the negative effects of such actions.
On this page you will find answers to questions commonly asked by players whose accounts have been suspended or closed because of exploitative activity.
Frequently Asked Questions about Exploitative Activity
What are some of the violations that Blizzard considers "exploitative activity?"
There are several primary types of exploitative activity that we look for. Each type can have broad, far-reaching sub-categories but all have the same ultimate effect: they are harmful to the World of Warcraft. The most common examples include-
Abuse of the Economy
We take action against accounts for Abuse of the Economy when one or more characters on the account are identified exchanging, or contributing to the exchange of, in-game property (items or gold) for "real-world" currency. This exchange process negatively impacts the World of Warcraft game environment by detracting from the value of the in-game economy. Please note that this category can include accounts we find to be "supplying" property for exchange to "real-world" currency. "Supplying" can be described as otherwise normal in-game play (such as gathering ore and herbs) and filtering these goods to a final account for the "real-world" currency exchange.
Unauthorized Cheat Programs ("Hacks")
We take action against accounts using Unauthorized Cheat Programs, or "Hacks," when one or more characters on the account are identified using a third-party "hack" program. These programs provide character benefits normally not achievable in the World of Warcraft. Such benefits include, but are not limited to: increased speed, teleportation, or running through walls/boundaries. Uses of these unauthorized programs harm the game environment because they offer an unfair advantage over other players and supersede the intended limits of the game.
Unauthorized Automation Programs ("Bots")
We take action against accounts using Unauthorized Automation Programs when one or more characters on the account are identified using a third-party program (or "bot") to provide character automation. Use of these "bots" negatively affects the World of Warcraft game environment, since they allow characters to progress without a fair degree of player control. These "bots" include, but are not limited to, programs that automate combat, movement, and use of gathering professions (such as fishing and mining).
Through our research, we've found exploitative activity such as the above is often directly tied to gold-selling companies. Please see this page for more information on Blizzard's stance against gold-selling.
My account was suspended or banned, but I wasn't playing it at the time. Will I still be held responsible for the exploitative activity?
We understand that not everyone's account information is voluntarily given to unauthorized users. We will gladly investigate the matter on your behalf and make appropriate adjustments based on the evidence we're able to find.
So, my account was compromised and I didn't have any control over the situation. What will happen?
If we see that your account was likely compromised (your account information was taken without your knowledge) we recognize that you should not be held responsible for the actions on the account. Instead we will provide you with information to better your knowledge of account and computer security, and work to repair any damage to your account.
If you have been suspended or closed for exploitative activity and you did not share your login information willingly, please contact our Support team for assistance.
Please note: The determination of whether an account was "compromised" is at Blizzard's discretion. If we determine that another issue led to exploitative activity, such as account sharing, we will take different steps. Please see below.
I admit my account has been shared recently and the person I shared with may have performed this activity. What are my options?
If an investigation suggests your account may have been shared with a friend, family member or third-party service (generally, a service for character progression), you will be partially or fully held responsible for the violations performed by the account. Any time you provide another person with your account information, it creates a possibility that an unauthorized user will use your account to do something harmful to the game. This is especially the case when you do not know the other user personally.
Specifically, we have found that many third-party services for character advancement also participate in exploiting the game economy through the use of hacks, bots, and the selling of in-game goods for real world currency. Additionally, these same people distribute viruses and phishing links meant to compromise other players' accounts. Even worse, they frequently accomplish this using the same accounts and characters that were voluntarily shared with them for their "services".
If you knowingly shared your account with an unauthorized party recently, and your account is suspended for this reason, we ask that you serve the suspension and consider our position when you return to the World of Warcraft. If your account was closed due to repeat violations, feel free to contact our Support team to discuss the issue further.
I was directly responsible for this activity. What will happen to my account?
If your account was suspended for exploitative activity that you are directly responsible for, we ask that you serve the suspension and consider our position upon your return to the World of Warcraft. If your account was closed due to repeat violations, feel free to contact our Support team to discuss the issue further.
Article ID: 200783