Blizzard Bans Boosting Communities and Introduces Cross-Faction in WoW
Blizzard’s MMORPG giant, World of Warcraft, is finally waking up from a long slumber. Yesterday, Blizzard Entertainment revealed two announcements that shook the WoW community down to its core.
The first one was a policy update where Blizzard took a sharper stance on boosting and prohibited larger boosting communities from conducting any kind of boosting activities within the game. While the community was busy analyzing the first announcement, Blizzard unveiled an even bigger surprise by announcing cross-faction instances.
This is a massive move in a positive direction that could not only solve many of the in-game issues and revive the game’s economy, but one that could also bring back many of the old players that quit the game a while ago.
Boosting and Gold in WoW
Anyone that has played World of Warcraft in the recent years will be able to confirm that bots and boosts have become the norm. This has led to a massive gold inflation and made acquiring gold less rewarding and much more of a chore.
As a result, many players tend to buy gold through the token purchases from the Blizzard store, or they choose the more risky option of buying gold through third-party sellers. Needless to say – neither of the two are ideal for the health of the game. In such an environment, boosting began to thrive.
The more skilled players who have cleared the current content would offer boosting services in exchange for gold. While this was usually a single player or a group of friends, over time, boosting communities formed and took this to another level.
Blizzard finally decided to step in and put an end to the massive boosting communities. They have updated their policies to make the gameplay experience “as fair and welcoming as possible“.
In their official forum blue post, they said the following:
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 is pretty serious and will certainly force these boosting organisations to either disband completely or fracture into small individual groups.
Those players who simply enjoy boosting alone or with their guild, they won’t be affected.
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.
This change will strike a nice balance in World of Warcraft. Boosting will still be allowed for those who enjoy it, but it will not be allowed on such a large scale like it was previously.
World of Warcraft’s foundations were built on the conflict between the Horde and Alliance. Faction pride was always a thing, and many players felt a deeper connection to their character by being a part of one of these two factions. There’s also various RP servers that Blizzard introduced over the years who take the allegiance to their faction even more seriously.
However, Blizzard’s next move will shatter those barriers and allow the players from different factions to team up and do instanced content together.
“While we are excited to offer players the choice to reach across the faction divide and cooperate to overcome common foes, we know that there are many who will react warily to this change, and we don’t want to override those preferences. This is about increasing options for players.”
So this change will be “an opt-in feature as much as possible“. Those who wish to remain hostile to the opposite faction and engage in world pvp will be able to do so, but those who wish to establish peace and work together to fight against common foes will also have that option.
Policy Update for Organized In-Game Services:https://t.co/IkTs75hvmO
— Blizzard CS – The Americas (@BlizzardCS) January 31, 2022
A Good Direction
These changes will open many new possibilities for World of Warcraft. By lifting the faction limitations, Blizzard will not only fix the problem of faction imbalance, but will also increase the overall enjoyment of the game for many players.
They’ll certainly make a lot of money from this as well. Once the change goes live, there will be a surge of players transferring from different servers and trying out some of the new races in WoW. The “Race Change” and “Character Transfer” Battle.net services both cost $25, so you do the math.
Overall, with less boosting and cross-faction, World of Warcraft will most likely see a gradual increase in subscriptions. They’ve lost a lot of players to Final Fantasy 14, so it will be interesting to see whether this will make those players return.
In any case, these are positive changes that are taking the game in a good direction. We’ve been seeing some good news from Blizzard lately, including the Microsoft acquisition, so we hope there’s more coming our way.