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  1. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by nodoze View Post
    My understanding is that Blizz has only spoken against Cloud Computing... Cloud Computing typically does involve virtualization with but it is with "VMs hosted in the Cloud" (not your home). Cloud Computing is not the same thing as using virtualization technology at your home...

    After reading multiple great threads with many great contributions regarding hardware based options with tools/utilities (especially from Jak, bpkdasbsaum, & Ellay) I think a 5 physical PC 5box setup could be replicated possibly very inexpensively without buying 4+ more PCs (maybe only spending ~$170 to ~$400 total) by leveraging virtualization. The viability of this depends in part on what your current multi-box system is capable of and what your current monitor setup is...

    In my head I can see this all working and put this down on "paper" quickly to get the word out so sorry in advance for any mistakes:

    https://www.dual-boxing.com/threads/57967-So-hardware-multiboxing?p=433463&viewfull=1#post433463

    Note that I haven't had time to really double check all of the above let alone try to set up a test lab but I have decades of experience with virtualization experience in large complex enterprise environments and believe I spec'ed it out in my head correctly...

    I figured it best to share the info ASAP before folk consider buying 4+ PCs.
    VM’s would be input broadcasting on a new level, through my understanding is innerpace has this kind of technology.

    thr biggest concern I have is, making up hardware setups and then get banned later with the tos hammer without confirmation, how are we going to get a what is ok or not from blizzard?

    this is a delicate situation for blizzard as they must be very careful in the public eye with any official posting, any GM’s may not be classification unless it’s blueposted and been moderated to stay for viewing.

    personally I would like a volunteer to make these setups and directly contact GM’s and get their opinions and n the forums, to get some confirmation what is or against the rules.

    nothing worse than reinvesting , and later being shutdown saying elements of the setup are considered not acceptable under their policies.

    any takers? it’s like beta testing a carrot on a stick...don’t get chomped!


    Paladin Team: Holyalpha, Holybravo, Holycharlie, Holydelta, Holyecho
    Warlock Team: Pantafive, Soxisix, Setteseven, Oktoeight, Novenine
    Shaman Team: - Twiz, Twjz, Twlz, Twrz, Twfz
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  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by boxblizzard View Post
    VM’s would be input broadcasting on a new level, through my understanding is innerpace has this kind of technology.

    thr biggest concern I have is, making up hardware setups and then get banned later with the tos hammer without confirmation, how are we going to get a what is ok or not from blizzard?
    First I'll say that my gut tells me that that banning hardware is probably going to be tricky to pull off without catching a lot of false positives. It will probably require more resources on Blizzard's end of things. Server resources and probably human resources. Even if input broadcasting detection advances as people find ways to accomplish it without Innerspace, the use case has a very distinct signature due to the single PC involved.

    I'm referring to more than one client from the same public IP with the same Local IP and the same hardware MAC address (on the networking card). I'm sure we've all heard about Warden. I imagine it is a trivial update for warden to phone home with these three data points if it is not already doing this. This is part of what drove me to focus on hardware and not some other software solution, even if it was not key broadcasting. If it was my job to write warden code to flag multiboxers, this is what I would start with.

    With hardware sync via a USB device, the local IP address on the network is different for each PC and each networking adapter has it's own MAC address. The devices attached to a KM sync look like generic USB devices, so I'm guessing that can't necessarily look at the devices on the PC to find us? Client activity will be hard to distinguish from normal users playing WoW together from the same house, dorm, apartment etc...

    At that point banning hardware multiboxing in an automated fashion is going to require some pretty careful profiling of data. Two people playing at the same time from the same internet IP doesn't necessarily mean they're multiboxing. To effectively flag hardware multiboxing without getting regular users caught in the mix is likely going to need a GM to go watch the people play. So, more GMs.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by boxblizzard View Post
    VM’s would be input broadcasting on a new level, through my understanding is innerpace has this kind of technology.
    VM boxing is an interesting detection target as it has a similar networking profile as hardware sync does (different local IP, different MAC address).

    They shouldn't just action people who are playing WoW with a virtual machine running. Many of us have to use these for work and I imagine the same is true for blizzard developers too. To that end Warden would probably need to be updated to look at the machine it is running on and try to figure out if it is a known virtual machine.

    I've never had a reason to have my KB/Mouse input go to my actual machine and a virtual machine I was running. I know of at least one other person who was using third party software to get this accomplished. To that end if the VM host doesn't have a way to natively send input to the host and guest at the same time, the third party programs will be targeted if VMs are not OK but somehow hardware sync still is.

    Honestly I think blizzard will just ban multiboxing in general before they dive into the cat and mouse game they're already losing with bots. With a blanket ban, they could focus on flagging the multi client activity that is highly repetitive for GM review. A human can call a multiboxer pretty easily if they know what to look for.

  4. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by boxblizzard View Post
    VM’s would be input broadcasting on a new level, through my understanding is innerpace has this kind of technology.

    thr biggest concern I have is, making up hardware setups and then get banned later with the tos hammer without confirmation, how are we going to get a what is ok or not from blizzard? ...
    Agreed though at least right now Bizzard is only targeting Software that enables MultiCasting/Broadcasting and is at least tacitly allowing Hardware based MultiCasting (though I would recommend making things "effectively UniCasting" even when MultiCasting in any approach you pursue by binding any MultiCast key into only 1 WoW client).
    Quote Originally Posted by Wootenblatz View Post
    VM boxing is an interesting detection target as it has a similar networking profile as hardware sync does (different local IP, different MAC address). ...

    I've never had a reason to have my KB/Mouse input go to my actual machine and a virtual machine I was running. I know of at least one other person who was using third party software to get this accomplished. To that end if the VM host doesn't have a way to natively send input to the host and guest at the same time, the third party programs will be targeted if VMs are not OK but somehow hardware sync still is.

    Honestly I think blizzard will just ban multiboxing in general before they dive into the cat and mouse game they're already losing with bots. With a blanket ban, they could focus on flagging the multi client activity that is highly repetitive for GM review. A human can call a multiboxer pretty easily if they know what to look for.
    Right now as far as we know VMs are premitted and hardware broadcasting is at worst currently a gray area...

    Even if VMs or multiboxing were banned there are multiple ways to attempt to get around detection via approaches like:
    • Each VM could have different virtual hardware and you could rename virtual hardware to have identical names & characteristics to real physical hardware;
    • Each VM could have totally different local subets configs and go out over a different VPN to a different geographically located VPN server with different latency and lag signatures;
    • Each key broadcast could have different random delays at multiple points to better simulate real humans;
    • etc...

    Not saying Blizz couldn't find ways to mitigate the effects of the above and still have a good chance to detect MultiCasting or MultiBoxing if they wanted to via methods like these but in the end it comes down to how many folk spend the resources to employ advanced countermeasures and how much Blizz wants to spend to counter them... Personally I don't/won't care at that point as I won't be playing if Blizz goes that route as I am not interested in trying to play outside the ToS...

    The bottom line is there are no guaranteed tomorrows and Blizz can change their ToS and their interpretations of their ToS and the levels of enforcement of their ToS at any time so I would NOT invest tons of $ into any workaround... There are ways to play at least a 5box under the current understanding of the ToS without spending tons of $ so I would pursue those if you want to...
    Last edited by nodoze : 11-18-2020 at 09:01 PM

  5. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by nodoze View Post
    Personally I don't/won't care at that point as I won't be playing if Blizz goes that route as I am not interested in trying to play outside the ToS...
    This is my sentiment as well. As soon as blizzard escalates their interpretation of the open ended EULA to ban Hardware sync, that is when I'm done. Playing cat and mouse with blizz to get around the latest actionable offense (really the detection of an actionable offense) makes us no different than the folks coding the bot software.

  6. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by nodoze View Post
    Right now as far as we know VMs are premitted and hardware broadcasting is at worst currently a gray area...
    Can you elaborate on what you mean here? The input broadcasting announcement and the follow up blue post specifically talk about third party input broadcasting software. The follow up reiterates that playing multiple accounts is not against the ToS and that input broadcasting software is against the rules now. No specifics beyond that from what I saw.

    Since blizzard has never officially supported multiboxing, we're never going to get a clear cut list of what is and is not allowed. They basically only tell us what is against the rules and occasionally a GM might provide contextual guidance for what kind of play is OK. Even a statement by a single GM in the forums or in a ticket reply isn't necessarily 'gospel' so to speak. More than one GM saying the same thing, that's probably something to adhere to.

    This is basically the start and end of it for me right now: https://us.battle.net/support/en/article/24258

    I'm very interested in any source material that makes you suggest virtual machines are safer than HW sync? While I am obviously in the HW sync camp, I like to know the landscape I'm in. If VMs were green lighted explicitly, this is something I want to read up on. Thanks.

  7. #17

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    @Wootenblatz Yes, you are correct that all the official communication from Blizz was specifically prohibiting "input broadcasting software". All the discussion about hardware broadcasting is largely our own speculation.

    There was 1 GM on the forums who told someone that they need to control their char's individually (which would seem to imply no broadcasting of any type), but you're correct that 1 GM post doesn't necessarily make that rule "canon" per say.

    Some have speculated that Blizz may consider any hardware broadcasting to also be software broadcasting, as there's always micro-code/firmware/something running at some point, but I personally think that's a bit of a stretch. I don't think there have been any blue posts at all to clarify what they mean by "software".

    Some of have speculated that Blizzard will not be able to tell the difference between software broadcast and hardware broadcasting when viewed from a server-side log. So you could be correct, but still get banned anyway and then subject to the competence level of whichever service rep gets assigned to look at your tickets.

    Finally, some of us have speculated that what Blizz should have said was simply "no broadcasting" - and then followed that up with a clarifying post that 1 keystroke can only equal 1 in-game command on only 1 client. I think a few of us are advocating that should become our communities stance as that seems to be clear guidance that is the easiest to evaluate different options against, and the most difficult to abuse.

  8. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wootenblatz View Post
    Can you elaborate on what you mean here? The input broadcasting announcement and the follow up blue post specifically talk about third party input broadcasting software. The follow up reiterates that playing multiple accounts is not against the ToS and that input broadcasting software is against the rules now. No specifics beyond that from what I saw.

    Since blizzard has never officially supported multiboxing, we're never going to get a clear cut list of what is and is not allowed. They basically only tell us what is against the rules and occasionally a GM might provide contextual guidance for what kind of play is OK. Even a statement by a single GM in the forums or in a ticket reply isn't necessarily 'gospel' so to speak. More than one GM saying the same thing, that's probably something to adhere to.

    This is basically the start and end of it for me right now: https://us.battle.net/support/en/article/24258 ...
    Sure one can argue we are obeying the "Letter of the Law" because we are only "Hardware MultiCasting" and no longer "Software Multicasting" but why not just effectively Unicast and have "1 human action causing only 1 action in only 1 wow client" and be done with the risk? Even if you are hardware MultiCasting/BroadCasting you can easily bind each keybind in only 1 WoW client and result in 1 key causing 1 action in 1 client...
    Quote Originally Posted by Wootenblatz View Post
    ... I'm very interested in any source material that makes you suggest virtual machines are safer than HW sync? While I am obviously in the HW sync camp, I like to know the landscape I'm in. If VMs were green lighted explicitly, this is something I want to read up on. Thanks.
    As far as I know there is nothing in the ToS saying VMs are or are NOT allowed.

    It was never my intent to suggest that VMs were safer nor more riskier... My points should have been focused on VMs/MDs being less complex, using less physical space/storage/RAM/CPU/electricity, and producing less heat.

    I think you are conflating 2 different things...

    1) The source/propagation of inputs (hardware/software) and whether those inputs are casted to multiple WoW clients or not...

    vs.

    2) The Destination of those clients are running on (PC, VM on a PC, or MD on a PC).

    If running in a VM or a MD concerns you, even though there is nothing in the ToS restricting them, then by all means use PCs instead if you want...

    None of this recent action was triggered because of people running in VMs... The Nuke hit us because of automation and Multicasting/Broadcasting being used in ways detrimental to the community...
    Last edited by nodoze : 11-17-2020 at 06:03 AM

  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jak3676 View Post
    Some have speculated that Blizz may consider any hardware broadcasting to also be software broadcasting, as there's always micro-code/firmware/something running at some point, but I personally think that's a bit of a stretch. I don't think there have been any blue posts at all to clarify what they mean by "software".
    This isn't targeted directly at you, but to folks who are speculating on whether or not hardware sync is allowed, I ask this:

    If Blizzard wanted to include hardware sync in the ToS change, why didn't they just say so?

    I think that announcements like the one a few weeks ago are very carefully crafted. If their intention was to action hardware they would have made that clear. It is as simple as saying "third party input broadcast software and any hardware that sends input to more than one computer simultaneously". They repeatedly used the word software and did not mention hardware.

    I'm hearing more people make the assessment that firmware == software. This is amusing to me to some extent. In a conceptual way, firmware is a program and so I get the mental gymnastics going on. In practice, these terms are not interchangeable for people who have worked with computers or in IT for any period of time.

    Firmware represents programs that run computer hardware. They are not user serviceable beyond updating to the latest version. In many cases (like a USB switch), it's a closed code base that we cannot alter. As users of a system we never interact with the firmware itself, we interact through it while the hardware does what it is meant to do.

    For most people, "Software" represents programs that run in the user space of a computer. This is software that we actually control, configure and use. It has a totally different purpose when compared to firmware. I encourage zero people to take my word for it though. They should spend some time with Google, tell them to look for "firmware vs software".

    Even still, a non-syncing USB switch has firmware. So if HW sync is actionable some day, it will be for a reason that does not involve the overly simplified reason that firmware is software. They'll hit us with something a little more concrete, I feel.

  10. #20

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    tested aimos 4 ports logitech g502 hero and logitech g502 not working.
    razer orbweaver works.

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