With that last effort, I wanted to make it clear how seriously I was taking the issue at hand. I told the Account Admins that I frequently visit Irvine, CA, and asked if it was possible to make an appointment with a Bliz rep to further discuss my case.
The email got their attention.
I received a response, entitled "Final Review," earlier today from an Account Administrator. Here's what it had to say:
That said, the actual issue does not reflect the original action taken. As such, I have removed the penalties placed upon this account and reduced the action to a warning. In addition, I do wish to clear up any confusion and perhaps illuminate the issue somewhat. Please disregard the prior notice of Third-Party Exploitation, as I was able to verify the issue was not related to such exploitation, and no evidence of any compromise was found during the course of my investigation. I do again apologize for the miscommunication.
In order to protect the integrity of our investigation process, I do hope you understand I must be a little vague in my explanations. The action placed upon the account was done as a result of verified abuse of Game Mechanics, which took place within the dungeon of Dire Maul. While there is a mechanic in place that attempts to prevent such exploitation, the creative use of geometry performed by the character Jagoex is what drew the initial account action.
From the Abuse of Game Mechanics policy:
The distinction between exploiting bugs and abusing game mechanics is a fine one. While bug exploitation involves the abuse of what is essentially a programming mistake, the abuse of game mechanics is the act of taking advantage of the limitations of the World of Warcraft game systems. Since the line between the sanctioned use and the abuse of game mechanics is sometimes unclear, we prefer to educate players before taking any action against the account being used.
This category includes using/distributing game mechanics in a manner unintended by their design that:
* Damages another character, their gameplay, the service itself and/or its economy
If a player is found to have abused/distributed such game mechanics, he/she may:
* Be given a verbal warning
* Subsequent related offenses will result in temporary suspension from the game
Section 5: Rules of Conduct.
C. Rules Related to Game Play
1. Using or exploiting errors in design, features which have not been documented, and/or "program bugs" to gain access that is otherwise not available, or to obtain a competitive advantage over other players;
3. Anything that Blizzard considers contrary to the "essence" of the Program.
As the prior action has been reduced to a warning, please be aware that per the Game Abuse policy, any further infractions of this nature may result in further account actions and suspensions. Please note that these actions are taken to maintain integrity within the World of Warcraft, and are not taken lightly.
I do hope I have been able to clarify the issue somewhat and relieve any concerns. Thank you for your time and understanding of our position in this matter.
Account Administration Supervisor
Wow. Talk about an unexpected turn of events! Not only did Blizzard admit that they were wrong about the ban and apologize for their mistake, but they also retroactively altered the punishment level as well. Pretty nice of them. I guess they really didn't want me paying them a visit. =)
A few things still get me, though. For one thing, the email fails to address the multiple times my ban was CONFIRMED, and simply glosses over the mistake as if it were no big deal. "Sorry we messed up, Jagoex, several, several times." would have been a good start.
Also, if I read their email correctly, it pretty much states that kiting in a particular path in the DM Arena (creative geometry was the email's wording), specifically, running to the opposing wall after each teleport, is indeed an exploit. Seems strange to classify it as such.
But anyway, I'm done with this issue. The case is closed and I can finally move on from this tiny little mess that was weighing far too heavily on my mind. I definitely learned something; hopefully Blizzard did too. And thanks to those of you who posted your support -- it was much appreciated. =)