Last fall, the boosting situation in World of Warcraft bubbled up into the mainstream when the new Blizzard co-lead encouraged it and even advertised a “sales run” for his WoW guild. Boosting, of course, is essentially a method of carrying weaker players through endgame raid content and getting them gear in exchange for piles of currency then converted into tokens. As we noted, while the practice is almost as old as MMOs themselves, players argued the prevalence of the activity had become a major problem in WoW and illuminated long-standing design problems that created troublesome incentives for Blizzard itself. It was also spammy as hell.
Well, Blizzard is finally doing something about it after all these years, and the groups selling these services are going to have to do so on the down-low.
“Since we last updated our policies, we have found that an increasing disturbance of the gameplay experience has been caused by organizations excessively advertising various non-traditional services in-game,” the studio writes.
“As of today, we will now prohibit organizations who offer boosting, matchmaking, escrow, or other non-traditional services, including those offered for gold. World of Warcraft accounts found to be in violation of this policy are subject to account actions. These actions can include warnings, account suspensions and, if necessary, permanent closure of the disruptive World of Warcraft account(s). Organizations operating across multiple realms and excessively advertising non-traditional in-game sales are contrary to the terms and conditions of the Blizzard End-User License Agreement (EULA). This policy update does not restrict individuals or guilds from using the provided in-game tools (‘trade channel’ chat) to buy or sell in-game items or activities for in-game currency. However, ‘boosting communities’, especially those who operate across multiple realms, are no longer permitted. We urge all such organizations to cease doing business in World of Warcraft immediately, in order to maintain uninterrupted access to the game.”