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Someone I know just picked up a gaming mouse with the ability to set macros that will send timed keystrokes into WoW. Is this a bannable offense?

To be clear, these are not using WoW's macro system; they are essentially timing scripts that will replay a specific set of button presses with the intent of setting up a kill sequence of perfectly timed spell casts with the press of one button.

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up vote 27 down vote accepted

That'll get you banned

If you get caught, yes they will. It violates their terms of use and others have been banned in the past for using hardware that bypasses the limitations of the game. One click must perform only one action!

But I want an advantage!

Mice and keyboards that perform 1 action are considered legal by blizzard's terms of use. What this means is simple, you can have a mouse or keyboard with 100 keybinds and as long as their using valid, non-timed blizzard macros you can mash them to your heart's content.

These aren't the droids your looking for

Most of WoW is a testimony to your ability to play your character. Mastering a class and understanding every circumstance and nuance of every class and reacting accordingly is how you'll achieve mastery over the game. Just as the legal /castsequence macros are legal, you will always be better off handling your class like a champ. The game (especially in pvp!) quickly loses its black and white feel to dps/healing rotations and you're frequently required to make judgement calls. When do you pop your cooldowns? What happens if a proc occurs or a cooldown refreshes? When do you line of sight? As a gladiator my suggestion is always try and improve, your ability to react to every situation is simply non-programmable. Even a bad player with intuition will trump a timed macro (even if it wouldn't get you instantly banned)

Cause sources are awesome

This guy got banned for using a programmable keyboard and with the current threat to blizzard (bots) they have begun to have very low tolerance.

(wow forums post on programmable hardware)


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Interesting sidebar, the Blizzard WoW branded mouse that came out a while back can also get you banned if you use the macro software that came with the mouse. Quite a few people took that mouse as a sign that Blizzard's stance had changed when it had not. (You have to be very very careful about this line as a multi-boxer cause people will report you all the time) – James May 31 '11 at 20:32
Do keyboards/mice like these count as one or multiple clicks? – Nick T May 31 '11 at 20:36
it is never the device that gets you banned, but the way you use it. That USE of those devices (1 keypress on one device launches many commands on many clients) would be illegal (I'm surprised Eve allows it, I somehow think there was an error here in lifting the ban or it was reapplied after seeing those pictures), just operating them not as long as they're not programmed to transmit multiple commands after a single keystroke per device. – jwenting Jun 1 '11 at 5:10

The rule of thumb is that if you can do something with an in-game macro or add-on, it's okay; if you can't, it's not. If you follow that rule, and err on the side of caution if there's ever any doubt, you should be fine.

In other words: yes, this will indeed get you banned if you're caught, because you're relying on casting multiple spells with a single keypress, which cannot be done using the in-game macro system.

Of course, even if this sort of stuff was allowed, or you (one way or another) manage to never get caught, it's generally not going to be possible to make such a macro anyway. Your latency is never constant, and any deviation in lag changes the time you have to wait before casting the next spell; cast too early, and the previous spell is still in effect; cast too late, and you're potentially wasting time.

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I actually read up on this stuff recently and in general the answers here are correct. If you build a macro that sends a command, pauses, sends another command, then you are in violation and can be banned for it.

However if you happen to have multiple clients open you are allowed to set up macros that send one command to each client off of a single button push. Bliz has said repeatedly that this is legal as long as there is no automated timing element involved. Thought I would throw out this comment since no one else touched on it directly.

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On second thought, you should probably ignore this advice and read the comments below.

Blizzard can't detect input hardware that is self-contained. More specifically, any mouse/keyboard that uses onboard logic to time clicks or key presses and doesn't contain extra software on your computer is completely identical to you pressing those buttons at exactly the right times, as far as Blizzard can tell.

HOWEVER, that doesn't mean you can't be banned for bragging about using it to your friends. They can ban you for whatever reason they choose even if they have no evidence other than you talking about your awesome new macro mouse.

I'm not an expert in Blizzard policy but I expect they're really trying to prevent unattended use of macros (as is the obvious case with Aardvark's link). As long as you're the one clicking the buttons to initiate short macros and you don't go AFK for an extended period of time, you don't sound like a threat to the game.

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Nobody will click with perfect timing, so Blizzard can easily detect whether clicks are automated (whether by hardware or software). I wonder if there's a mouse that lets you introduce randomness. – Matthew Read May 31 '11 at 17:00
You really don't think Blizzard can detect that the timing of your casts are always identical, down to the ms? This seems like very dangerous advice to give someone. – bwarner May 31 '11 at 17:02
@bwarner there used to be an addon capable of detecting the ms difference between strokes, if we have the technology on the very limited addon toolkit we have, you had better believe blizzard has it :) – Aardvark May 31 '11 at 17:16
For some reason I thought this would be masked by natural variations in connection latency - but obviously they could detect clicks with the client with perfect accuracy. My mistake! – authenticgeek May 31 '11 at 17:20
In case it wasn't clear, I was agreeing with Matthew. His comment wasn't there when I was typing, so it might give the impression that my response was directed at him. – bwarner May 31 '11 at 17:22

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