Blizzard Entertainment recently banned “a large number” of players on their MMORPG ‘World of Warcraft’ for using bots or programs that play the game for players.

As their their forum announcement states:

We’ve recently taken action against a large number of World of Warcraft accounts that were found to be using third-party programs that automate gameplay, known as “bots.” We’re committed to providing an equal and fair playing field for everyone in World of Warcraft, and will continue to take action against those found in violation of our Terms of Use. Cheating of any form will not be tolerated.

Most of these bans are reportedly temporary, set to last for only about 6 months.

One of the bots that seems to have been specifically targeted by Blizzard is Honorbuddy, a bot with reportedly over 200,000 registered users. The bot lets players collect honor in PvP without them having to actively do so themselves, alleviating what some players feel is tedious gameplay. In a forum post Honorbuddy apologized for the bans, saying: “We are sorry for all your lost WOW Accounts, hopefully you can use them again after the 6 months ban is lifted.”

Though some players feel bots is a valid way to avoid grinding so they can focus on more interesting parts of the MMO, according to Blizzard using them is a clear violation of their Terms of Use as well as simply unfair cheating. As WoW Community Manager Bashiok said on Twitter: “Botting is defined as automation of any action, not just character movement. If a program is pressing keys for you, you’ve violated the ToU.”

It seems lately Blizzard is working their hardest to run third parties that profit off their game out of business: their recently created WoW Tokens, which in part allows players to spend real money for in-game gold, was created with the explicit intention of gutting third party gold sellers out of ‘World of Warcraft’, especially the ones that scam players.