It's a bad month to be a bot. First Guild Wars 2's struck a "decisive blow" in the name of humanity, banishing 34,000 bots from Tyria. Now Blizzard are sending the autonomous avatars straight to hell, and banning the players they worked for to boot.
to the Diablo 3 forum in which community manager Lylirra revealed, "We've recently issued account bans to several thousand Diablo III players who were found to be using botting programs while playing."
"As always, maintaining a stable, safe, and enjoyable online environment for legitimate players is very important to us, and we'll be continuing to keep watch on Battle.net and take action as needed."
She notes that the team are working on a patch that will allow players to report bots in-game, but that in the meantime, players can report bots
Clearly botting is a big issue for Blizzard, especially with Diablo 3's economy tied to the Real Money Auction House. With that in mind, it seems strange that they've taken so long to take such a big swing at it. While Lylirra mentions later in the post that "this isn't our first rodeo," admitting that the company just hadn't been very vocal about previous efforts, surely in-game reporting should be a standard feature by now?