For years, some dedicated World of Warcraft players have been “multi-boxing,” a term that refers to utilizing multiple accounts and machines to play several (or droves of) characters at once.
In the before-times, this was commonly known as “dual-boxing,” when players would have two PCs (or a laptop and PC) next to them, allowing two characters to quest together. But over time multi-boxing became a cottage industry for gold farmers, altering the course of Auction House prices and in some cases, the open world experience. Now, Blizzard is taking a stand before the launch of the Shadowlands expansion.
In the innocuously titled post “Policy Update for Input Broadcasting Software,” Blizzard directly calls out “third-party input broadcasting software, which allows a single keystroke or action to be automatically mirrored to multiple game clients,” using the term “multi-boxing” by name. Blizzard says that this is now an “actionable defense,” and will start warning users before suspending/banning them if they detect this activity. They couldn’t have put it more plainly: “We strongly advise you to cease using this type of software immediately to maintain uninterrupted access to World of Warcraft.”
As someone who has played WoW since the start, this was a long time coming. Although I’ve known many people with multiple accounts, multi-boxing has always been sort of a grey area, and has gotten much worse in recent years (particularly during Legion into Battle for Azeroth) as software has made it easier to have armies of bots running around.