After banning several WoW Classic players for layering exploits, Blizzard clarifies where it draws the line

(Image credit: Blizzard)

Nearly a month on from release, it's been safe to say that World of Warcraft Classic has been a resounding success for Blizzard Entertainment. The remastered vanilla edition of the hit MMORPG is so popular, that players are having to queue up in-game just to kill certain bosses, while many have already hit the max level cap of 60, and are being rewarded for the achievement. 

But the game's launch has not been without its trials. Some players have managed to exploit Blizzard's layering technology (which creates different versions of the same zones in a server to manage player populations) to create endless respawns in certain dungeons for quick levelling, but the company has now issued multiple bans out to those who committed the crime. 

Some have argued that this is unfair, given that these WoW Classic players were merely making use of a technical issue on Blizzard's part, rather than outright hacking the game itself, but - in a post on the game's forums  - one of the studio's Community Managers explained the decision to issue the bans. 

"The key factor here is intent.", explains the post. "Did the player do something with the specific intention of causing a glitch to occur, and did they do it order to exploit said glitch for their own benefit? This recent glitch makes a pretty clean example. The players who were abusing it had to do some Very Weird Stuff to cause it to occur, and then did so repeatedly. 

"No reasonable person would expect that this behaviour was intended, and the players involved had to go out of their way to cause it. It’s obviously unintended, it’s obviously a glitch, and the people who abused it were obviously exploiting said glitch for their own benefit. That’s pretty open and shut."

The debate around "intent" could suck us into a whole conversation around legal philosophy, but Blizzard's stance on the issue makes sense from a developer's perspective, and also serves as a clear guide for those who may have been thinking about exploiting certain aspects of WoW Classic's antiquities. Play safe, stay safe, folks. 

For more, check out the best MMORPG games to play right now, or watch our latest episode of Dialogue Options to discover how horror games are stealing from cinema. 

Alex Avard

I'm GamesRadar's Features Writer, which makes me responsible for gracing the internet with as many of my words as possible, including reviews, previews, interviews, and more. Lucky internet!