With W3Arena being the - by far - most popular alternative server in the West, it is a place where the more competitive players can clash against each other. The server has gotten very popular owing to what Battle.net lacked: low ping and a maphacker-free enviroment.
New users of the server now face a problem when trying to play on W3Arena: they automatically get banned. "What is the reason for this?" and "How do I resolve the issue?" are questions you might be asking yourself. The following article will try clear this up and help you understand what is going on.
The whole reason why W3Arena is popular, is the fact that competitive players can find sanctuary from maphackers. This safe spot was, however, compromised, as banned maphackers continually have found their way back into playing on the server. To secure the server, they had to resort to drastic means: initially autobanning every new account from accessing the server.
If you usually play on W3Arena and suddenly encounter the ban-issue, it might be due to one of the following reasons:
It is a very radical, highly controversial and a quite inconvenient solution to the problem, but, no matter how ugly a solution it is, that is the way they have found to keep maphackers excluded and thereby keep the server competitive - which is a core value of W3Arena.
You might be reading this article due to confusion as to why you cannot log on to the server. There are two ways you can make sure to get yourself unbanned from W3Arena:
1. Creating a thread on the W3Arena forum
Like the head admin of W3Arena, Yosh, writes in this post you can head to the W3Arena Hallway and create a new thread. The threads subjectline should include your main account's name and whether or not you are a new user.
Example: [Username] - Existing user or [Username] - New User
In the post itself you have to elaborate on the situation and answer the following questions:
If you have just replied to an existing thread the admins won't unban you as it is a drag for them to go through all the replies, so make sure you create a new thread in the correct forum. Also make sure to include all the details or the thread will be ignored.
2. Contacting 'iism.' through Discord
Head to the W3Arena Discord channel and locate the admin 'iism.'. issm. is the only admin who's able to resolve the issue, so there is no need to bother the other members of the staff.
Send a personal message to iism. and write your external ip address together with the username of the account you used for your initial login in the message. He will then unban you once he gets the time.
I urge you to have patience with iism. as he is only one man and has a lot on his plate with this.
Q: Why have I been banned?
A: The system bans new computers connecting to the gaming server automatically
Q: How exactly does the process work?
A: The gaming server is set up to allow any (new) user with a new computer to connect ONE time. This is called the "initial login". Once you login into the gaming server and get to the chat lobby the system will whisper that you are muted as well as blocked from 1vs1 and 2vs2. When you log off from the gaming server you will not be able to rejoin again. (the BAN-Message appears)
Q: Okay, how do I proceed? What have I to do in order to get unbanned?
A: Gather your IP address and note down the account you have used to do the initial login (Note: If you have more than 1 computer to be whitelisted, create for EACH computer a NEW account!) and message IISM. (discord account: iism.#4446) with said information.
Q: Alright, how long does it take to get unbanned?
A: On average it takes up to 24hours, depending on . If IISM. is already online and takes on your request it will take around 2minutes (in case the provided information is correct).
Though it is a controversial decision that has been made, banning all new users, it is nice to see that the W3Arena takes the situation about maphackers seriously.
After having been in contact with OverAdmire, an admin from W3Arena, I have been told that their development team is currently designing an automated system that makes the process a whole easier, so people do not have to wait in line in order to access the server. I, for one, am very happy to hear this, and hope that it will soon be ready for the benefit of all of us.