One of the most annoying problems with the Diablo 2 experience over Battle.net are the bots that constantly spam in the chat channels and even in games. They want you to buy their gold or items, or just come to their gold selling site which might sell gold, and which will almost certainly try to trojan something onto your computer.

    These sorts of bots make the public chat and the trade channels basically unusable, everyone hates them, but they seem unavoidable. After all, by the time they’d taken over, Diablo II was years and years old and wasn’t generating any ongoing revenue to pay the salaries of CMs, plus the old B.net code didn’t include proper anti-spammer tools, plus the game wasn’t a closed online system so CD-keys could be generated by spammers, etc.

    Those excuses were valid for D2, but for D3? No. B.net 2.0 is new and designed with modern security measures in mind, D3 is online-only so valid CD-keys are required for everything, there are built-in tools to report spammers, etc. In light of that, the fact that gold spamming bots have been overrunning the service almost since D3’s launch seems unacceptable, and a fan sums up that attitude pretty well in a forum post today.

    Goldspammers: When will you deal with them?

    Seriously Blizzard. Enough is enough already. Since day 1, there is goldspamming on chats and pretty much everywhere. Even PM’s and friend’s invitations. Why can’t you do anything about it? You know this is happening. Everyone else knows it. Even the forums get flooded with this. When will you do anything?

    …The best and simplest solution is right here: Filter words, but don’t let anyone know you’re filtering them. As in, if someone says “www.insertgoldsellingwebsitehere.com”, or adds anyone with that as a message, etc etc, you stealth block them for an hour and don’t let the message/friend add go through. You allow them to keep sending messages, but only they can see what they are sending. No one else sees, since they are stealth muted.

    …There is no harm in this measure, and it fixes a very annoying issue, which is also a big part of why people don’t go in General, Trade and other chats ingame, since it is very [removed] annoying to be chatting with someone, and all of a sudden, an enormous message occupying 2x the chat size, in all caps, gets spammed several times, and you can’t chat anymore.
    Vaeflare: We certainly understand that the activities of gold spammers can negatively impact everyone’s gameplay experience. Rest assured, though, that even if we don’t explicitly call it out, we’re actively investigating and actioning gold-spammers on a regular basis.

    The best thing you can do about gold spammers both in-game and on the forums is to report them so that the proper teams can investigate those reports. Doing so allows us to hone in on problematic players so that we can take appropriate action against offending accounts.

    How do we actually know action is taken against gold spammers? We need some names and figures. Would be better if the reports we reported reply us to say like “on this day you reported a gold spammer so today that account has been banned.” Something like that would let us know we do make a difference.
    Vaeflare While every now and then we will post about particularly hefty account suspension and bans, the actions we take on accounts around the clock aren’t widely publicized.

    As far as the actions taken against specific accounts or players, that’s a private a matter to be dealt with between the account holder and Blizzard, no one else. We will not tell you if someone else’s account has been suspended or banned. Keep in mind also that some gold spammers might actually be using compromised accounts, so we endevor to carefully investigate reports so that we can try to do right by legitimate players.

    Are you swayed by his explanation? Do you feel Blizzard is doing all they can and should do to block spammers and bots and create an enjoyable Battle.net experience for Diablo players? Or do you need a spoonful of sugar to help you choke down that shovelful of PR excuse-making?

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