Tobold's Blog
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Don't play a different faction than your wife in WoW

I'm so happy I don't have an account in World of Warcraft any more. Because my wife still has one, her computer is in the same room as mine, and apparently that is against the terms of service of WoW. Quote:
As stated in the World of Warcraft Terms of Use, Blizzard Entertainment reserves the right to permanently terminate this Agreement "without prior notice," resulting in an immediate and permanent account 'ban' if you engage in behaviour that Blizzard Entertainment considers to be a “serious” violation of the World of Warcraft Terms of Use Agreement. “Serious Violations” of the World of Warcraft Terms of Use Agreement would include the following:

6. allowing players who are playing characters aligned with the "Alliance" faction to chat or otherwise communicate directly with players who are playing characters aligned with the "Horde" faction, or vice versa;
Now I'm sure it isn't meant like that. But the obvious phrase of "on the same server while in a PvP battle" or something similar is just missing. So as I had mostly Horde characters, and my wife has several Alliance characters, I was apparently committing a bannable offence. Oh, no! Can I still talk to myself if I have both Alliance and Horde characters?

This must be the silliest termination of service rule I've ever seen.
Considering on non-pvp servers you can have both a Horde and Alliance character on the same server, that's a pretty silly rule.

If they really cared, they wouldn't make it possible for you to have different faction characters on the same server for any ruleset.

Seems like just another stupid open ended loophole for Blizz to ban people that annoy them :b
I can't remember the exact post, but it has been stated that this rule only applies to in-game communication. It is intended to apply to a mod called, I believe, Babelfish, which allowed opposite factions to communicate.

Out-of-game chat such as Ventrilo, or chatting with your spouse, isn't covered.
I'm pretty sure DAoC had a similar rule.
You're making fun of an interpretation of a rule that, as far as you know, has not been interpreted that way that resulted in any termination of service.

I think that sensationalism is pretty silly, myself.
No, I'm making fun of a formulation of a rule, not an interpretation. Sorry, but this is a legal text, and in any legal text you need to formulate rules as precise as possible. If you only want to ban mods that change the in-game communication between factions, you need to say so. Not just make a rule that prohibits all communication and then interpret it as you like.
What you linked to is not the actual Terms of Use. It appears to be a non-legal text summary of the ToU.

The actual Terms of Use contains the modifier "When engaging in Chat in the Program, or otherwise utilizing the Program, you may not..."

It's pretty clear that it's in-game restrictions only.
GM Notified
on a side note:

Most ridiculous British laws

1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament (27 per cent)

2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside down (7 per cent)

3. In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless except as a clerk in a tropical fish store (6 per cent)

4. Mince pies cannot be eaten on Christmas Day (5 per cent)

5. In Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet, you must let them enter (3 per cent)

6. A pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman's helmet (4 per cent)

7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the king, and the tail belongs to the queen (3.5 percent)

8. It is illegal to avoid telling the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing (3 per cent)

9. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour (3 per cent)

10. In the city of York it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow (2 per cent)
-start of quote-
Rules Related to "Chat" and Interaction With Other Users.

Communicating with other Users and Blizzard representatives is an integral part of the Program and is referred to in this document as "Chat." You understand that Blizzard may record your chat sessions and you consent to such monitoring or logging. Your Chat sessions may be subject to monitoring, logging, review, modification, disclosure, and/or deletion by Blizzard without notice to you. Additionally, you hereby acknowledge that Blizzard is under no obligation to monitor Chat, and you engage in Chat at your own risk. When engaging in Chat in the Program, or otherwise utilizing the Program, you may not:
Snip (1.-9.)

10.)Communicate directly with players who are playing characters aligned with the opposite faction (e.g. Horde communicating with Alliance or vice versa); or
-end of quote-

You took this a bit out of conext, didn't you? Meant to be funny of course, but do not do this if it endangers your otherwise great quality.
I think it has now been clearly shown that you have misconstrued the actual terms of service in this case, unintentionally or otherwise.

Until there is a reported case where someone has had his account banned for talking to his wife, I stand by my assertion that your post is sensationalist crap.
'Sensationalist Crap'? Personally I thought it was a bit of tongue in cheek fun?
Maybe I took it too seriously. Apologies if that's the case.
Yes, apparently the rule is out of context. But it wasn't me who took it out of context. Just click the link I provided, and you see the shortened rule without the qualifier Savrukk found on the official WoW website. Apparently Blizzard tried to make the rules more understandable by shortening them, and cut out some vital parts.

your post is sensationalist crap

Under *my* terms of service I have the right to terminate your right to comment on my blog, by simply deleting your comments. If you don't want to be banned from here, please keep your language civil.

Of course this post was for fun. Do you really think anyone would believe that Blizzard can ban you for talking to your wife?
I retract my apology, and stand by my original statement.
Taking the most important part of savrukk's post...

"When engaging in Chat in the Program, or otherwise utilizing the Program, you may not:

10.)Communicate directly with players who are playing characters aligned with the opposite faction (e.g. Horde communicating with Alliance or vice versa);

So if you're utilizing the program, in other words, playing the game, you may not communicate directly with players who are playing characters of the opposite faction. That's it.

As tongue-in-cheek as Tobold's post may be, the TOU can be clearly interpreted to mean that if you and your spouse (brother, flatmate, etc) are playing in the same immediate location and are playing opposing factions, communicating directly with each other is a violation of the TOU.

Regardless of how you want to interpret the TOU, that's how it's written. Whether or not Blizzard has banned anyone for this particular violation is irrelevant as Tobold was just discussing a hypothetical situation using real life examples. As for his not being allowed to communicate with himself because he plays/ed both Horde and Alliance, the TOU clearly refers to players, as in plural, so communicating with yourself, even if you have toons on both sides, is permissible.
I retract my apology, and stand by my original statement.

Which is an excellent example how pissed people react when presented with the theoretical possibility of being banned, even if no actual banning took place. And that happens to be the point of the original post, besides the humorous value. Thank you for the demonstration, Elf! :)
When my wife was learning the mechanics of WoW for the first time (her previous video game experience being the first Mario Bros.), she was rather jerky on the controls. Run, stop, pause, turn, pause, run, hit obstacle, struggle to get around it, etc. I sat with her for the first several levels to answer questions and explain concepts as they were introduced.

We are on a carebear server, and her Tauren was in Bloodhoof Village when a ?? flagged Alliance toon began to hang around and pester her, get in the mouse paths, etc (you know the drill). I explained what was going on (and the concepts of griefing and corpse-camping), then something happened that really surprised me: She received a whisper from a high-level Horde toon (from a BG) telling her to click her picture and turn on her PvP flag.

Obviously (to me, anyway) the Alliance toon and the Horde toon were scheming together - and that is, IMO, one reason for that vaguely-worded legalese in the EULA / TOS.
I think the "are playing" probably meant present tense, not that they merely have characters of each faction.

Imagine what would happen if Eve had such a rule? no more spying on vent?
Taking a step back, it is even more ironic that a Terms of Service states you may be removed from playing the game permanantly for just about any reason, "if" you press agree. Not that you couldnt already do that yourself, they infact state guidelines how they will help you remove yourself from their game.

This battle with legal scribble is kind of rediculas when you compare it to other forms of intellectual property that doesnt actually have a palpable and real world value. Take for example playing simon says, and if you choose to cheat you qualify yourself for removal from the game. Or if you consult with a player who is a master at simon says and he gives you his place in the competitive arena for a trade of RL money... a bannable offense for playing which otherwise is the exact same game with only a swap of Titles/position/time involved.

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