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[US] SOD Account Restrictions: how can Blizzard help new players who are affected?

Home » Bluepost » [US] SOD Account Restrictions: how can Blizzard help new players who are affected?

[US] SOD Account Restrictions: how can Blizzard help new players who are affected?

In case you don’t know, Blizzard have imposed restrictions on new accounts who play Season of Discovery (click, click). Accounts which have consumed under 30 days of paid time cannot trade, send mail, or use the Auction House.
Orlyia from Customer Support says that topics about it should go here instead of in the customer support forum (click), so I’m making a thread for talking about it here.
I would like to get off on the right foot and try to keep the discussion productive. I’ll start by clarifying a few things based on my understanding:

As of right now, we don’t know why this change has been made. Most people assume that it is to combat bots, which seems likely to me as well, but Blizzard is yet to release any kind of official statement about it.
The staff who reply on these forums, as well as the staff who answer support tickets, seem to know very little about the situation, so you should take whatever they say with a pinch of salt and don’t be shocked if they contradict each other (I appreciate that this has been very confusing, because you seemed to get a different answer wherever you went).
Some accounts which should not be affected are being affected anyway, eg. accounts which have consumed more than 30 days of paid time, or accounts on regular WOW Classic or Hardcore rather than SOD. This is said to be a glitch.
Blizzard are entitled to change the game based on their EULA (Blizzard has faced a lot of lawsuits for their conduct, but I think they’ll wriggle out of this one).

Personally, I really don’t want to talk about whether this is a good anti-botting measure or not. If that is why, then Blizzard decided it was good enough for them already. For all I know it’s a perfect one, it just also affects me! Losing out on trade and AH is a huge blow to a new player; it hurts cooperation, training professions and other things. And as Kutuzov said (click), it’s going to be hard to raid without buying consumables.
And while it’ll blow over for me and the friends I’m playing with in a few weeks (hopefully), it’s going to be difficult for us to invite our other friends to play with us, make a guild, &c. “Hey, would you like to play WOW with us… in 30 days?” ← not happpening. So this will never stop being an issue in SOD.
So is there anything Blizzard can do to stop this from hurting legitimate players? Have you ever heard of another game that implemented something similar? It’d be nice if you could email them and say “Hey, Blizz, I’m a real guy!” but I doubt they have the staff for that. But some other users mentioned a capatcha system as a possible alternative. I think some kind of appeal system that legitimate new players could initiate would really help here.
Thanks for reading
P.S. if anyone who knows is reading this, can I get some clarification on two questions:

When Blizzard says “consumed at least 30 days of game time”, does that mean 30 days in real life since purchasing game time, or 720 hours /played? The wording of Article 358296 (click) makes it seem like the latter which is a little alarming!
When we talk about adding game time, what payment methods does that include? If I purchased a reccuring subscription instead, would my AH access be restored?

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WoW Developer

#39 – April 9, 2024, 5:47 p.m.
Blizzard Post

Hi there, firstly, apologies for the radio silence on this change, it is targeting a group that that we specifically wanted to keep in the dark as long as possible. Let me now try and fill in some details for you!
We’ve been recently experimenting with a change to Classic Era and Season of Discovery that places restrictions on new accounts that have not yet purchased and consumed one month of gametime (i.e. one month has also passed since the purchased time). Specifically, we’re preventing those accounts from transferring in-game wealth to other players (mail, trade, auction). Players under this restriction can still receive gold and items, so established players can still help friends.
A very small number of you may have seen this restriction erroneously applied to your accounts periodically in the past week while we wrestled with some edges case, these have now been resolved. Once an account has passed this aging threshold, it will never see this restriction again.
Of course, we want this change to impact legitimate new players as little as possible. We understand that this level of restriction will impact gameplay, so we’re evaluating the effectiveness of this change very carefully. If we stick with it, we’ll consider adjusting the restrictions to further minimize negative impact to new players.
It’s our hope that this change will have significant effect against the Real Money Trade that is fueling multiple negative impactful behaviors in Classic Era and Seasonal, but we’re watching it closely.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work to make World of Warcraft a fairer place for all.

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