Definition of the Week: ToS

Every Thursday, we try to forcibly educate the WoW populace about frequently misunderstood and/or misused terminology. We may not see results yet, but our children’s children will tell the tale of the heroes who valiantly stood up for vocabulary and proper spelling. It is for them that we persevere.

ToS stands for terms of service. It is very literally the rules for World of Warcraft. It is very rarely that a week goes by and I don’t see or hear someone who has very clearly not read them who is convinced they know the contents of them. So I will summarize a few main points.

It is NOT a ToS violation if you:

  • gank someone
  • use addons
  • undercut repeatedly on the auction house

These may seem obvious to you, but I have personally witnessed someone accuse another player of breaking the ToS for all of these.

Now what actually is in the ToS? Well Blizzard has said you may not:

  • violate their naming policy (I will be going into depth on this topic tomorrow)
  • use any sort of automation software which plays your character for you
  • use the game to make real life money (i.e. gold farming)
  • exchange real life currency for in game items (unless authorized by Blizzard)
  • impersonate a Blizzard employee
  • use racist/sexist/etc. language
  • harass other players
  • disrupt chat or send unsolicited messages to other players to advertise commercial goods
  • defraud other players
  • exploit existing bugs to gain an advantage over other players
  • anything Blizzard thinks violates the “essence” of the game

Do you see that bolded part? That means you can be banned for anything Blizzard thinks you need to be banned for. Your $15 a month does not buy you immunity from Blizzard enforcing the rules of their game, and if you want a game where $15 buys you the right to do whatever you want I highly recommend you investigate not playing World of Warcraft.

Are you likely to be banned for just walking down the street tomorrow? No. But if you think you’re oh so clever and have found something that isn’t explicitly stated in the ToS, don’t be surprised if you aren’t playing WoW tomorrow.

Now that you know what the ToS is, the next few Bad Idea Fridays will cover ToS violations that commonly result in disciplinary action.

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