Friday, October 30, 2009

AHK, G15, and other Jedi Magic

People constantly look for ways to improve the glyph making process. One question that people bring up a lot is auto milling (or auto prospecting). There are technical ways to do this but they exist outside of wow and at face value they break the ToS. These other methods are a use at your own risk. It is a very gray line where usage of these ticks will and will not get an account banned.

I also want to mention that I am not a lawyer and this is my interpretation of the ToS and other information I have found. These are my opinions on the topic and you should form your own opinion.

The Jedi Magic that I am talking about are the ways you get around Blizzards built in limits on macros and actions to get wow to do more with less effort. Auto milling is that example. Many people look for ways to automate the milling process. Some external scripting/macro programs will simulate key presses, some hardware is programmable and will allow automated key presses, some hardware support turbo options to repeat a single key over and over while it is held down. These are all tools and some are very common.

As tools they do not break the ToS, but you can break the ToS with them. Just like carrying a hammer does not break the law, but swinging it at someone does. AHK is used by multiboxers, G15 sits on the desk of many gamers, many control pads have turbo button options, and every computer has vbscript installed. There are ways all of these can be safely used and ways they can all get your account banned. This is why this subject becomes very grey.

The closer to that line you go, the higher your risk is. Because the devil is in the details and the line is not so clear cut. You don't know if the guy checking on your activity understands these details. Just because you think your within the ToS the other guy may not agree.

Here is a good rule of thumb. If your are sending actions to your character and you are not at the keyboard then you have broken the ToS. If you have something making game decisions for you then you have broken the ToS. This is why AHK is allowed for multiboxing. Each keystroke is done by the user at the keyboard and AHK sends it to the other windows. If that same user put timed actions into AHK (like self buffing every 30 min) then he is breaking the ToS. If he sets it to press his mill macro every 3 sec for 15 min and he walks away from the computer, he broke the ToS.

It is hard to tell if they will ban you for auto milling/prospecting. If you auto mill but stop to chat with the GM when he pops up, I would guess you could save your account. This is why its a use at your own risk. If you are looking for help on how to do this automation, please look someplace else. I will remove comments asking about or giving too much information on how to do this.


  1. Excellent write up on the subject, it is indeed a very very grey area.

    Unfortunately Blizzard will always refuse to give a straight answer on the subject - if they are too lenient then botters will say "Hey, it's not against the ToS " yet if it is too strict multiboxers and the like will come under fire.

    This actually came up recently in a discussion with someone and in the end personally my morals won't let me do any form of automation, whether at the keyboard to talk to the GM if they show up or not.

    It just feels a tiny bit like 'cheating' for me, although if anyone else there wants to do it (and understands the risks) then I'm not going to tell them not to or report them.

    It is however important to warn people of these risks every single time things like this are mentioned. I feel it is our responsibility when discussing the subject to say it is a grey area - otherwise if someone just reads about doing it, or how to do it, they may just think
    "Oh so and so does it, so it must be okay!"

  2. Eh, my pet woodpecker does all the milling.

  3. Just as Sarainy I do consider this cheating and I also think Blizzard does. If anyone want to do it it's on their own risk, I don't like it though.

  4. What about pseudo-AFK-milling? I do that all the time. I play in windowed mode, assign the milling macro to a key, move the window to a side so that only a small portion of it is visible and I mill away while watching a movie in another window. If a GM were to message me I would be oblivious to it.

  5. Here is something I don't understand, though. As a crafter, I can tell my Jewelcrafter to make 60 Shadowmight Bands (Create all button). One button, and I walk away and come back in 15 minutes or so to have it all done.

    This is supported by the basic game UI. Why do Prospecting, Disenchanting, and Milling require me to hit the button each time? Why is "Craft all" a basic function of the UI, but "Prospect all" is not?