Blizzard brought down the banhammer on “almost 120,000” World of Warcraft Classic accounts after discovering players were creating bots to exploit the Death Knight class to farm resources in the Wrath of the Lich King Classic expansion that launched in September.
For the uninitiated, World of Warcraft Classic World of Warcraft Classic launched in 2019 and is a reversion of WoW to its state in 2006 but using the current game’s modern infrastructure. As the game has gradually added the main game’s expansions, it has since reached Wrath of the Lich King. In this expansion, the Death Knight class starts at level 55. Initially, the World of Warcraft Classic version was available to players with no restrictions, rather than requiring a player to reach the level as they did in the original World of Warcraft. Despite removing that requirement, Death Knights still start at level 55, which meant players could create new accounts, start as Death Knight and jump right into the Wrath of the Lich King expansion endgame content much quicker and farm high-level resources. The result is that bots have flooded the servers and Blizzard has finally taken action.
In a statement on the company’s forums, Blizzard says it has not only banned 120,000 accounts who were engaging in this nonsense, but reinstated the level 55 requirement from the original game in an effort to discourage it altogether.
“We felt it was very important for the launch of Wrath of the Lich King classic to give anyone who wanted to hop into this iconic expansion the ability to do so with as few barriers as possible,” the statement reads. “Allowing every account access to Death Knights— even if they did not meet the historic requirements —was important. However, now that the initial launch period has passed, we no longer wish to allow the unrestricted creation of Death Knights on brand new accounts. It’s a tempting vector for malicious actors to use to get into the game and start exploiting very quickly.”
The community already seems pleased with the decision, with one user on the forums calling it a “direct nerf to botters,” though some seem to feel like this was an avoidable error. One comment reads “that restriction should never have been lifted, but better late than never I guess.”
The team has since added expansions in the form of Burning Crusade Classic and Wrath of the Lich King Classic. While the studio has yet to announce any plans to release Catacylsm, the next of the game’s expansions, for World of Warcraft Classic, the team seems at least open to the idea.