World of Warcraft bot factory gives up after massive Blizzard banhammering

World of Warcraft Panda Shark Punch What

In the wake of yesterday's banning of more than 100,000 World of Warcraft accounts, the makers of the Honorbuddy bot appear to have thrown in the towel. In a statement released on the Honorbuddy forum, developer Bossland said it appears that Blizzard can now detect the presence of the bot, and so it's shut down the Honorbuddy Authentication system.

Honorbuddy is a bot that automates actions in World of Warcraft. Players fire it up, then let the machine handle mundane tasks like gathering resources or grinding mobs unattended. Of course, that sort of thing is very much against the terms of use, and so once Blizzard is able to tell when people are using it—as now appears to be the case—it's game over, both figuratively and literally.

"It seems like Honorbuddy was detected, we are not sure, but looking at the ban threads, we think that its the most likely option atm," Bossland wrote. "We are sorry for all your lost WOW Accounts, hopefully you can use them again after the 6 months ban is lifted. I have read here in the forums a bit, a lot of the accounts were 10 years old. This is a pity. We always say, do not use your valuable accounts as the risk is always there."

Bossland also referenced the Glider bot, the makers of whom Blizzard successfully sued in 2007, and suggested that Blizzard may have put extra effort into detecting the Honorbuddy bot after coming out on the short end of a previous legal action against it earlier this month.

"With Honorbuddy you thought that we are unbeateable, we never thought that, we've succeeded since 2010 - Honorbuddy had not a single software detection," it wrote. "It seems there is one now."

Whatever the case, unless it turns out that this round of bans is unrelated to the Honorbuddy—which seems very unlikely—it means the end of the bot. "For now we closed our Honorbuddy Authentication," Bossland wrote. "When we know any more details we will inform you."

Update: It appears that Bossland isn't ready to give up just yet, as the statement released following last week's banhammering has since been updated. "We want to be offering Honorbuddy as soon as possible," it now says. "Right now, we have no news for you. Please do bear with us—immediately we have news we will share it."

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.