D2 Hacks FAQ
This Hacks FAQ was compiled in early 2002, during a huge outbreak of hacked items on the D2 Realms. The information herein may not be relevant to the current Battle.net realms.
- 1 Punishment
- 2 Hacks
What is "flagging"?
Flagging is the term used for an account that has been marked for cheating or breaking some other Battle.net rule. Accounts that have been flagged can log onto Battle.net and play games, but they can not join public D2X games, even if they know the name and type it in. Flagged characters can only play with other flagged characters.
Flagging is a sort of warning, and you can be flagged for varying amounts of time, from half an hour to a week or longer. Accounts that are repeatedly flagged are likely to be banned, and the CD-Keys that have logged onto that account may be banned or deleted as well.
How long does being "flagged" last?
This varies depending on what you did to get flagged, and if you've been flagged before. There are a lot of automated flaggings, triggered by excessive packet sending or other activities that resemble known hacking techniques. These occasionally hit innocent players who get disconnected or have some other sort of bad luck, and are generally of a short duration, just half an hour or so.
If your flagging persists longer than a day and you honestly don't know what you (or someone else using your account or CD-Key) might have done to get flagged, you can mail firstname.lastname@example.org and ask about your case. Include your character and account name as well as other relevant information.
If a player is tagged for cheating, they will be unable to join any normal public games, that is to say any games that don't have a password, other than normal public gmes created by someone else who is also flagged for cheating. Even if they type in the game name.
There is not anything to keep a flagged person from joining private games though, passworded ones, with anyone they like.
So whichever of you can't join a normal public game (and won't see them on the join list either, so there will usually be just 2 or 3 games listed, ones created by others who are flagged) is flagged for cheating by bnet. Flags last for various times, mostly a few days or a week as a warning, though some people are flagged permanently for persistent cheating.
Whether you or the other person were actually cheating is not really the issue, since bnet thinks you were. This often happens by accident, and for a while people were reporting that just about every time they got disconnected they'd be flagged for a day. Bliz has been tweaking the software for months, and it seems to mostly be ironed out by now, but there are still people who get flagged for no known reason. Most often it's using a hack. I don't think bliz can scan for or knows anything about duped/hacked items, their recent warning aside, but the bnet software detects people who send weird packet strings, and those are the ones who are flagged. Lots of people have trojans and viruses on their machines, and many versions of maphhack have various cheat it and hack it programs on with them that will trigger the flagging mechanism.
If you feel that none of the above applies to you, then you can mail email@example.com with the accounts that are affected and explain your situation. Also note that most flagging is for a limited duration, and random accidental ones will expire on their own.
What is "muting"?
Accounts or CD-Keys that have been caught breaking the B.net EULA or TOS will be muted. When you are muted you can play normally, and talk in games, but you can not chat in any Battle.net public channels. Muting lasts for a week or longer, depending on what you did to get muted, and if you are a repeat offender.
Does Bliz ban cheater's accounts?
Yes, if a player has had their account(s) flagged and other warnings, but continues to cheat or violate the Battle.net EULA, they may have their accounts or even their CD-Key banned for a week or a month, or permanently.
Why doesn't Bliz ban more cheaters? This is a good question. Most players think that hacking would be much less common if the punishment for being caught at it was to have your account deleted or your CD-Key banned. It seems to be common sense; if there weren't any penalties for stealing in real life, lots of people would have a house full of new TV sets.
Hacking began slowly in Diablo II, and as the early hackers had no punishment, other than having their hacks disabled as Blizzard figured them out, there was no disincentive to hacking. Evidently there are varying opinions within Blizzard about how aggressively to punish cheaters, and for a long time there was no punishment at all. You can read more about this topic, including a rather scathing editorial we wrote on the topic, as well as a listing of Blizzard's official anti-cheater efforts, right here.
Most players support strong anti-cheater measures, and there was great discontent over Blizzard's lack of strong anti-cheating response back when the cheating first began. Why the company lacked the will to do what players wanted done, and what most players thought desperately needed to be done, is an enduring mystery.
What is "Maphack"?
Maphack is what it sounds like. A program that shows you the map for the entire area you are in, as though you had already cleared it all out, including stairs and waypoints. Some versions go further and show the locations of all the monsters, random mods on boss monsters, shrine locations and type, and others include item drop display hacks.
Is Maphack cheating?
Blizzard considers it cheating, as are all third party programs. Most players consider it cheating, even the ones who are using it. The argument that it's not cheating goes along the lines of "It's just a way to save time when doing a turbo." Which is true, but having to fight your way around a level to find the exit is part of the (rather limited) challenge of the game. If your version of maphack includes shrine location/type, and monster location and boss monster stats, then that's obviously cheating, since it's giving you a big advantage over people who are playing the game legit.
Can I get flagged for using maphack?
Yes, we hear from players all the time who have been flagged or banned for it.
- For about a month I was playing fine until a pk came into the game I was playing. He killed my allies and almost killed me. I was a lower level and weaker, so out of bad habit I turned on maphack to get an advantage over the pk'er and bring peace to the rest of us. Well, I ended up not being able to kill him, and even worse when I left the game to join another, I found my join game list to consist of only about 5 games. I found out soon after than I had my cd-key marked for hacking. I would really like to get back to playing in normal games, but I don't know if I can, or any time soon.
Most players who use maphack do not get banned or flagged though, so it seems to depend on whether or not you have some other hacks riding piggy back on top of maphack.
What are item display/grabber hacks?
Programs that make it easier to quickly see top quality items, and grab them up. Various item grabber programs have come and gone over time (as Blizzard fixes them), and these are loathed by legit players. With one of these, any items that fall in range of your character (or anywhere on the screen, in some versions that used to use Telekinesis) will be instantly snatched up, whether you had any part in the kill of the monster that dropped it or not.
Item display hacks are often built into or included with maphack, and will show any good items on the ground, highlighting the name hover display of runes in red, and charms or jewels in pink, for example, to make them stand out from the majority of white/blue names.
Both of these are obviously cheats, and there's no excuse for using any of them.
What are bots like "Pindlebot" or "Mephbot"?
These are hacks that macro programs. They essentially automate the playing process, saving movement commands like "run to the left, run up, click portal, run to the right, Whirlwind back and forth, pick up items." It's more complicated than that, but basically it's a way to let a program play the game for you, while you aren't there. The programs have various packet sending and interpreting aspects to let them operate correctly and to pick up "good" items, while not filling your inventory with junk. They execute, exit that game, create another one, and repeat.
Other versions are just to gain experience and only work with a few characters. They might run your Bowazon up to the first Waypoint in Act Five, then down the steps and open up towards Shenk with multishot. After fifteen seconds the program would exit the game, and then repeat.
Aside from giving players items and experience they didn't actually earn, these programs clog up Bnet, creating waiting lines, largely since they bombard the servers with packets and game creation requests far more quickly than human players can. There are almost always 500+ lines to create games now, and it's due mostly to people running these hacks.
Are the bots "cheating"?
As with other cheating questions, this one depends largely on your own sense of morality. Legit players would never dream of using such a program or using items gained in this way. Players who just want to get ahead in terms of finding items, use them constantly. If you mostly play legit but can't find anything good and really want one, you might try your luck for a few hours one time. There's no fun in running one, but if you are only playing to gain better items and don't actually enjoy "playing", then maybe it's worth it to you to potentially find something useful.
The lag and server stress they create can't be excused, and is obviously a very negative feature. These are also a large part of the economy, ruining it for legit players by letting players find far more items than they actually deserve or earn, when then flood the market and lower the value of items actually earned by legit players.
Does Blizzard ban or flag players who use bots?
Blizzard considers these programs cheating, and they have banned players for using bots. If the bot is set to send out tons of packets and is causing lag, it's easy for the Blizzard techs to trace it to the source and flag that character or account, or even delete the cd-key for repeat offenders.