All is not well in Azeroth and the Outlands; the spammers have found their way in. For the past few weeks players of World of Warcraft have been bothered every 10 minutes with random in-game instant messages saying "buy cheap gold now at". It's incredibly obnoxious.

It's so bad that users have tried to compensate by writing spam filter addons that block the messages and file support tickets about them. It's a bad day when your game is as bad as your email. And now Blizzard's unhappy about all the work the reports are creating and are taking steps to make it harder to file tickets. If this battle lasts much longer I think the game will be ruined.

What kills me is that Blizzard hasn't taken the obvious steps to simply stop spam. Messages inside World of Warcraft go through a tightly controlled central server. All they have to do is put some basic throttling and account limitations in and the problem disappears. So far they're unwilling. A particular frustration is that it's commonly believed that the spam comes from free temporary accounts, but Blizzard is more more interested in allowing the free users to send messages than protecting paying long term customers from getting spam. It's a bad business decision.

Update: the 2.1 patch will include some spam prevention measures, mostly better user blocking tools. I sure hope they're doing some behind the scenes stuff to stop the spam being injected in the first place.
  2007-05-09 07:38 Z