“World of Warcraft” patch 5.2 went live Tuesday, bringing several minor gameplay changes to the popular MMORPG, but one unannounced change is hindering a blind player's ability to participate in PvP (player versus player) content. The problem is that Blizzard has removed the ability for players to use the “follow” command in battlegrounds, but the ability to use the command was instrumental in enabling the character named Refunki to earn over 25,000 Conquest Points and score over 10,000 Honorable Kills.
He is consistently in the top half of DPS in random BGs when someone leads him to the fight. Playing World of Warcraft has been the first time since going blind that he has been able to play a video game, and it has brought him many friendships and immense satisfaction.
Though Blizzard has not yet answered any questions about the change, which was not in the official patch 5.2 notes, players speculate that it is an attempt to solve the problem of bots in battlegrounds, something that players nearly universally agree is bad for the game. Another casualty, though, is the practice of multiboxing, or playing multiple characters at once.
While the practice of multiboxing is controversial, it has always been tolerated by Blizzard in the past. Multiboxers claim that they enjoy the challenge and are helping the community by paying for multiple subscriptions. They feel they should not be lumped together with botters, who use scripts that allow automated play while they are away from their computers.
The era of multiboxing may be over in “World of Warcraft,” but the majority of the community seem supportive of Refunki and will be interested to hear what accommodations can be made in this situation.:
Update: While not in direct answer to Refunki's situation, Community Manager Bashiok did explain why the change was made with no advanced warning: "We chose not to communicate it beforehand in attempts to catch as many bots unaware as possible."
Read the rest of the explanation via MMO Champion's blue tracker.