Blizzard issue a massive ban campaign against Hearthstone botters in China

Hearthstone Radoslav “Nydra” Kolev

More than 680 botting accounts on the Chinese Hearthstone servers have been banned according to a blogpost on the official CN website. 

Botting has been a growing problem on the Hearthstone ladder recently. With the bots getting more sophisticated by the day, climbing the ranks nowadays can be an off-putting experience, with players losing to automated software instead of playing and interacting with real opponents. Programmed to make the most optimal play and calculate the odds with precision, the bots are able to maintain a positive win-ratio, climb the ladder step by step and win the daily gold limit for their handlers. In a recent interview with PCGamer, a Hearthstone botter event went on to say he's not even afraid of getting caught as he can easily get everything back. The stats that the interviwee provides within the article are scary - more than 2,000 estimated wins, three gold portratis (500+ ranked win on a hero) and an average 6-7 wins per arena run. 

Although players frequenting the ladder have learned to identify a bot most of the time by several cue - most notably running "simple" decks like Zoo or Sea Giant Shaman, taking equal time measures between attacks and making weird decisions when it comes to dealing with secrets - it's not much of a help as there's no convenient way for to report it or keep it away from the Hearthstone client. Occasional visits to community boards such as Reddit show numerous threads regarding the bot epidemic, which gets particularly inflated during the small hours of the night when bots' handlers go to bed and leave them grinding away.

Yesterday, a post on the Chinese Battle.net forums featured a list of more than 680 accounts, banned due to botting allegations, some indication that Blizzard are working towards solving the problem. While there's no mention of such measures being taken on the western severs where the issue is just as popular, Hearthstone players are at least given hope that violators are being addressed.