Blizzard just decided to nuke the last remnant of multiboxing from orbit, with a now comprehensive ban on all forms of input mirroring. Let’s look at the potential reasons and the effects if any.
How prevalent is multiboxing?
If we want to predict the effects we have to have some idea about how many players were using hardware to multibox. Sadly I have pretty much zero insight into that area, so I can only really guess. Overall it has seemed to me that the prevalence has already gone down significantly with the ban of input broadcasting software.
Only the most die-hard multiboxers have stuck to it, so I doubt it has a large impact on the current WoW economy.
Why are blizzard doing this?
I’ve seen a ton of players on twitter and on wowhead dogpiling any screenshot of players doing multiboxing after the ban. Personally I think the most likely reason Blizzard is doing this is straight up a cost reduction move. Persumably anyone doing hardware multiboxing is generating a ton of reports from players who thought all types of multiboxing was banned. This would presumably be a drain on customer service departments. By just banning all forms of multiboxing they can save a lot of time when processing reports.
Obviously multiboxing is an uneven playing field. I know this because I have two accounts. Now I just use my second one for reposting auctions, but even then it allows me to spend a lot more time crafting and reposting. To the point where I am obviously playing the game much more efficiently than someone with one account. Multibox-farming with input broadcasting takes this efficiency gain to the next level. If multibox farming is too prevalent then solo farming is not going to give enough gold per hour to really move the needle, as you will be generating a much smaller fraction of the materials generated per day or per hour.
Will materials go up?
Usually when farming efficiency goes down you would expect quantities to drop and prices to go up. At this point of the expansion we are in the first “valley of death” for demand any way. I doubt that multiboxing is prevalent enough that it will move the needle and I doubt that it will be a stronger trend than the general decrease in material prices we see in the first content lull.
The rise of botters
I’ve seen many goldmakers say that this will drastically increase botting. It will certainly make the raw gold value proposition of botting better. That being said as I alluded to earlier this will likely free up Customer service and account investigation resources. In theory this will give blizzard more resources to combat other ToS breaking activities. Now whether or not they do is of course up in the air, but we can hope they can put up a slightly better fight agains the botters.
What do you guys think?
Good or bad?