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Blizzard are no strangers to banning deviant Diablo 3 players. It's a hobby of theirs, one that they must be careful about when speaking in public. They've just banned an indeterminately sized bunch of Diablo 3 players for using "third-party software" in conjunction with the game. So what third-party software's got up Blizzard's nose this time? They're not telling.

Of course Blizzard won't say what software will trigger a permanent ban, in case you run off giggling into the internet trying to find it yourself, and they won't say how they know players are using it, in case you discover a way to evade their watchful eyes, but they do describe one of the functions of the illicit software, saying that it allows Diablo 3 players "to zoom out their game view and kill monsters that were beyond the normal range at which AI is triggered". Which is definitely cheating.

"As a reminder, we don’t permit the use of hacks or other third-party software in conjunction with Diablo III," Blizzard says. "Most of the programs out there that are intended for use with the game are actually cheat programs and automation programs (“bots”) that exploit Diablo III’s mechanics and provide players with an unfair advantage. However, “third-party software” also refers to any file or program that attempts to:

  • Obtain information about Diablo III that’s not normally available to the player
  • Transmit or modify the Diablo III game files
  • Provide access to features or abilities beyond what is allowed by the game’s design
  • Change how Diablo III interacts with Battle.net"

That effectively outlaws most software that interacts with Diablo 3 in any way, even leaving harmless stuff like DarkD3 right on the fringe of what might be allowed.

IncGamers speculate that the software being targeted in this particular round of account bans is more nefarious than a simple colour-tweaking mod. They point to the Duowan Magic Box as the culprit, a tool that allows players to instantly swap between equipment sets, assign mouse button clicks to the keyboard (for better automation), zoom the camera out farther than Blizzard would like and view the auction house without dropping out of the game.

All useful, all banned. The world keeps turning. The message here would seem to be that if you suspect some software you're using alongside Diablo 3 might not be permitted by Blizzard, it almost certainly isn't.

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