Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Is Blizzard Banning Diablo 3 Players For Running Linux?

According to reports on the Diablo III Forums players running Linux and using Wine, the open source application that allows Windows programs to run under Linux, are being banned as "cheaters".

Several users on the Diablo III forums have received confirmation emails noting that their accounts have been removed and banned from service for using what Blizzard is called a cheat. According to the posts Blizzard has decided to ban anyone trying to run the game using Wine, even though it in no way gives Linux users an advantage.

Blizzard is classing the practice of running Linux and Wine as "gaining an unfair advantage by running unapproved third party software."
A third party program is any file or program that is used in addition to the game to gain an unfair advantage. These programs may increase movement speed or teleport heroes from one place to another beyond what is allowed by game design. It also includes any programs that obtain information from the game that is not normally available to the regular player or that transmit or modify any of the game files.

According to the post several tickets have been opened with the Blizzard support team with responses ranging from a generic description of what unapproved third party software is, to confirmation that Linux just isn’t supported and therefore cannot be used to run the game. Blizzard is adamant in it's decision and so far has not decided to reverse any of these bans after looking at the issue.

Blizzard has responded with the following:
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.
Playing the game on Linux, although not officially supported, will not get you banned – cheating will.
So, it would appear as though there are several discrepancies here. The forums are riddled with users complaining they are being banned, yet Blizzard claims otherwise. For more information on the banning and Blizzards response see the following threads

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