BNETDocs
Why is BNETDocs in read-only mode?
BNETDocs

Hey all, I figured it might be time to remind everyone why BNETDocs is in read-only mode, and how to continue serving the community you love.

Earlier in 2014 when I inherited BNETDocs from Kyro, it was given to me with a warning that someone had used SQL injection exploits to delete data. There were holes in the code which allowed malicious parties to inject harmful queries to BNETDocs. Kyro turned off logins to the site after realizing what had happened. This was the state I was given it in.

After inheriting BNETDocs, I analyzed the access logs and mapped them to the code. I realized there were many holes in the code that couldn't easily be fixed in the small time I have to this project. I put the entire site into read-only mode (the SQL user itself can't insert, alter, or delete). This was to safeguard the data from being deleted or tampered with until the holes could be fixed. Move on a couple years later to the present year: 2016, and these holes are still present. I've patched the ones that alert over on New Relic, but I can still see access logs that indicate users trying to break in to specific parts of BNETDocs.

BNETDocs Redux has a lot of unmanageable code that needs to be brought up to date with current technology. It is architecturally a bad design under the hood as well, so bringing it to the future is no trivial task. It is this reason that as the owner of BNETDocs, I decided an entire rewrite of BNETDocs was in order. This is where BNETDocs Phoenix comes in. However, like I mentioned above, I have little time to dedicate to BNETDocs. I've been tremendously busy as of late, and haven't put in the work I'd like to for BNETDocs Phoenix.

Now here comes the fun part. All of Redux and Phoenix are on GitHub, open-sourced so everyone can contribute. Not only that, but any email sent to the BNETDocs domain will arrive to my inbox, so if there's any questions or concerns, I'd love to hear them. If you have something to contribute to the BNETDocs documentation, shoot me an email or message me on IRC, or any other means you have to contact me, and I'll personally update the database that BNETDocs reads from myself. Hell, even creating an issue on the BNETDocs/bnetdocs-web repository will work.

With all of the above out of the way, I have no plans to ever take Redux out of read-only mode, sorry to anyone who had their hopes up. I want all effort to be dedicated to the new BNETDocs Phoenix site. I consider the Redux flavor to be archived code and only reasonable patches to it will be considered.

| Edited: Carl Bennett
Diablo II 1.14a Patch
Diablo

Blizzard made an announcement on March 12, 2016 that they've finally come back and updated Diablo II after all this time. The new patch is labeled 1.14a and includes new hashes, a new version byte 0x0E, and of course bugfixes for the actual game.

Here's a copy of the news post:

It’s been a long time coming, but today we’re releasing 1.14a for Diablo II.

This update focuses on system glitches introduced by modern operating systems. In related news, you can finally retire those old Mac PowerPCs. Included with the update is a shiny new installer for OSX.

We’ve also begun working to improve our cheat-detection and hack-prevention capabilities. There’s still work to be done, but we’re making improvements every day.

There is still a large Diablo II community around the world, and we thank you for continuing to play and slay with us. This journey starts by making Diablo II run on modern platforms, but it does not end there. See you in Sanctuary, adventurers.

And here are the patch notes:

Diablo II v1.14a Patch Notes

Specific Changes & Improvements
- No need to run in XP mode anymore, Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 compatibility complete
- Mac installer and compatibility for 10.10 and 10.11 has arrived
- First client run will migrate saved characters to avoid issues from Windows system 
admin changes

Known Issues
- Mac 10.9 and earlier are not supported
| Edited: Carl Bennett
Blizzard Sues Bot Maker For Copyright Infringement
Blizzard

Blizzard Entertainment is taking a stand against popular cheating bots for World of Warcraft, Diablo 3 and Heroes of the Storm. The game company is suing the alleged operator(s) of a series of popular bots for copyright infringement and accuses them of ruining the gaming experience for legitimate players.

Over the years video game developer and publisher Blizzard Entertainment has released many popular game titles.

However, to the disappointment of the developer and the majority of its customers there exists a small subgroup of players who are happy to deceive their opponents to get an edge in Blizzard’s games. Through hacks and cheats these players are often able to dominate the competition with minimal effort.

In an attempt to stamp out this type of abuse Blizzard has now filed a lawsuit against James Enright (aka “Apoc”) and several unnamed defendants who are allegedly behind a popular series of gaming bots. Enright’s software allows users to cheat in World of Warcraft, Diablo and Heroes of Storm, among others.

In a complaint filed at a California federal court, Blizzard notes that the “HonorBuddy,” “DemonBuddy” and “StormBuddy” bots infringe on its copyrights. In addition, the bots ruin the fun for other players, which causes financial damage to the company.

“The Bots created by Enright and his team have caused, and are continuing to cause, massive harm to Blizzard. Blizzard’s business depends upon its games being enjoyable and balanced for players of all skill levels,” the complaint (pdf) reads.

“The Bots that Enright has programmed and helps distribute destroy the integrity of the Blizzard Games, alienating and frustrating legitimate players, and diverting revenue from Blizzard to Defendants,” they add.

Blizzard believes that the bots cause legitimate players to lose interest, costing the company millions in lost revenue. The bot maker, meanwhile, is generating a significant profit.

“As a result of Enright’s conduct, Blizzard has lost millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue and in consumer goodwill. Meanwhile, Enright and his team have been massively and unjustly enriched at Blizzard’s expense,” Blizzard adds.

Blizzard believes that Enright may have made millions through the bot sales, which start at €24.98 ($27) for the most basic World of Warcraft version.

The WoW Honorbot honotbuddy

Aside from breach of contract, by violating the EULA which prohibits the use of bots and cheats, Enright and his team are accused of copyright infringement.

“Defendants have infringed, and are continuing to infringe, Blizzard’s copyrights by reproducing, adapting, distributing, and/or authorizing others to reproduce, adapt, and distribute copyrighted elements of the Blizzard Games without authorization,” Blizzard writes.

Blizzard asks the court to issue an order against the defendants to prevent them from distributing the software. In addition, they demand actual or statutory damages for the alleged copyright infringements, which could add up to tens of millions of dollars.

The company’s claimed losses are supported by research which has shown that WoW bots can create a massive amount of in-game gold, which raises the prices of items for legitimate users. These users may then lose their motivation and stop playing, hurting Blizzard’s revenue.

At the time of writing the Buddy Forum and the associated website remain operational, claiming that “botting is not against any law.”

Update: Zwetan Letschew, CEO of Bossland GmbH, informs TorrentFreak that his company owns and operates the software Blizzard mentions in the lawsuit.

“Apoc is neither the owner nor the creator of Honorbuddy, Demonbuddy and Stormbuddy. The trademarks belong to Bossland GmbH, the software belongs to Bossland GmbH, a German company created by two shareholders in 2009.”

“Apoc is not a shareholder or a decision giver at Bossland GmbH, Apoc is not even an employee of Bossland GmbH.”

“I find it funny, no not even funny, but ridiculous for a company of this size, to go after and mention publicly people, that are at best random freelancers, keeping in mind that they sued the creator of the software in question in Germany.”

In addition, Letschew refers to an expert opinion which show that Honorbuddy does not harm WOW or Blizzard.

Original Post

Blizzard Nukes Popular HTML5 Version of StarCraft Game
Starcraft

schtml5

Blizzard has taken down a browser-based version of the classic game StarCraft, citing multiple copyright infringements. The game and dozens of forks were hosted on GitHub for less than a month. The developer said he created the HTML5 game because he loves Blizzard and StarCraft, but the feeling clearly isn't mutual.

Browser-based copies of popular games, both new and old, have become quite popular over the years.

With Javascript and HTML5 it’s possible for “hobbyist” developers to mimic the look and gameplay of their favorite games and share them among friends and other enthusiasts.

The problem is that the use of trademarked names and copyrighted images generally isn’t accepted by large game companies such as Nintendo and Blizzard, who see it as direct competition.

Developer “Ryuta” has just learned this the hard way after his HTML5 version of StarCraft was pulled offline. Ryuta hosted the game on GitHub and actively promoted it on Hacker News last month.

While his work was praised, several commenters pointed out that its success would be short-lived because of the apparent copyright issues.

“The Blizzard legal team will come knocking on your door very soon. If I were you and if you’re serious about continuing working on this, I would take this down immediately..,” one warned.

“I recommend you to remove all proprietary Blizzard graphics from GitHub and possibly just recreate the repository without it,” said another.

The warnings were not in vain. A few days ago Blizzard’s copyright protection partner Irdeto urged GitHub to remove the repository, as well as the 50 forks that were created from it.

“This repository is a blatant, direct, literal copy of the StarCraft software and is disturbing [sic] source code and artwork assets owned by Blizzard without permission,” they write.

Fast forward and Blizzard indeed managed to take down the repository.

github-dmca

TF reached out to “Ryuta” who is disappointed that GitHub decided to take down the entire project, even the JavaScript files he spent hours on coding.

“Removing just the copyrighted assets is acceptable, but they shouldn’t have removed the whole project. The JavaScript code is written by me, they have no right to remove these files too,” Ryuta says.

The developer doesn’t think he’ll be able to get the files back on GitHub, but he is not giving up on the game just yet.

“It will be difficult to get my files back on GitHub, but I plan to continue developing the project and host it on my own site,” he explains.

Ryuta has no plans to monetize the browser game. He’s just a fan and simply created it because he loves Blizzard and StarCraft, and wanted to play it in the browser.

For now, however, play time has ended until the project is revived somewhere else.

Original Post

emNet is back!
BNETDocs

JoYkiLLaH has announced that emNet is officially back and better than before. It's already shaping up with a lot of familiar faces coming online and chatting with everyone.

I've gone ahead and updated the server list on BNETDocs with the updated servers. There are now 4 different servers:

  • cali.emwar.com (San Francisco, CA)
  • dallas.emwar.com (Dallas, TX)
  • kc.emwar.com (Kansas City, MO)
  • ny.emwar.com (New York City, NY)

The servers each talk to each other and emulate Battle.net sync, server splits and all.

I've heard word that the Dallas server is the main hub where they each connect and that it is also where the MySQL database is at.

Happy warring!

Original Post

| Edited: Carl Bennett

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