Blizzard is still busy fighting with bots in Hearthstone. While you might not encounter a lot of them while playing on NA or EU servers (you probably do play against them, but the problem is not nearly as severe), they’ve been plaguing Asia-Pacific server for a while now. You can see that, for example, based on the number of players hitting Legend. Last month, it was around 30k both in NA and EU, and… 165k in Asia-Pacific. That’s because getting through Diamond ranks is just so easy there, owing to the fact that at one point most of the matchups you face are bots.
Today, they have announced the biggest banwave to date. Just yesterday, they banned 135k players. If you add that to the 60k they banned over the course of January, that’s almost 200k bans in total. To give you some perspective, they banned a grand total of 284k bots over the entire 2023. The pace at which they’ve been banning bots has been ramping up, but seeing that they needed to get rid of hundreds of thousands of accounts and the problem is still very much present is concerning, to say the least.
Also, if you are wondering how they’ve been identifying bots, that question will probably remain unanswered. Celestalon explained that they don’t want to share it, because it would make botters take countermeasures to avoid the banhammer.
A massive part of being able to keep identifying bots involves not letting the botters know what exactly it is that they do that gets them caught.
So I understand the curiosity, but for that reason, we won’t be sharing details of exactly how we identify bots.
— Celestalon (@Celestalon) February 8, 2024
Read the blog post about the latest banwave here:
Throughout last year, we shared several updates with you about our ongoing fight against unauthorized bots in Hearthstone. This year, we plan to keep the fight, and the updates, coming.
Yesterday, we dropped the largest banhammer the Tavern has ever seen, several times the size of our previous banwaves. Over 135,000 accounts were actioned—targeting bot accounts that real players are most likely to run into on the ladder.
In addition to this latest action, we actioned about 60,000 accounts throughout the month of January for botting. We also banned some bad actors who were using malicious third-party software to cheat in Heroic Duels.
We remain committed to ejecting these disorderly patrons from our friendly tavern and we’re going to keep taking these types of actions throughout the year and beyond.
We’ll see you (real players) in the tavern! And if you think about botting, we’ll see you, too.