If you like multi-boxing or happen to be tired of seeing it in World of Warcraft, you might want to pay attention to Blizzard’s policy update on broadcasting software.
Basically, Blizzard is turning the use of third-party input broadcasting software into an actionable offense, meaning the current method of multi-boxing will very soon be out of vogue.
Multi-boxing, in its current iteration, allows a player to press a single button and multiple clients will mirror that action, thanks to third-party broadcasting software. You might have seen them out in the world, a bunch of characters moving in sync, all with similar names and the same class and spec. Players use multi-boxing to mass harvest resources, collect loot from kills and the like, taking the resources to the market and sometimes flooding the market with cheap materials that would take players an order of magnitude longer to farm the old fashioned way.
Blizzard said the following with the policy update: “We’ve examined the use of third-party input broadcasting software, which allows a single keystroke or action to be automatically mirrored to multiple game clients, and we’ve seen an increasingly negative impact to the game as this software is used to support botting and automated gameplay. The use of input broadcasting software that mirrors keystrokes to multiple WoW game clients will soon be considered an actionable offense. We believe this policy is in the best interests of the game and the community.”
At first only warnings will be issued, but things will escalate from there. “We will soon begin issuing warnings to all players who are detected using input broadcasting software to mirror commands to multiple accounts at the same time (often used for multi-boxing). With these warnings, we intend to notify players that they should not use this software while playing World of Warcraft. Soon thereafter, the warnings will escalate to account actions, which can include suspension and, if necessary, permanent closure of the player’s World of Warcraft account(s). We strongly advise you to cease using this type of software immediately to maintain uninterrupted access to World of Warcraft.”