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BA Shared Topic: Raising Awareness

March 17, 2010

Blizzard has been on the fast track to promoting account security lately. They all new options for when accounts are compromised, they offered pets for authenticators, they made several posted awareness sheets, etc. But running parallel to that is the amount of gold sellers we see. I have seen two of my guildmates hacked already this year by devastatingly experienced hackers. I was going to construct a post about the ugly truth behind gold buying. Do I know anyone who buys gold? No, but I know people who suffer the consequences. I did it once. I want to try to make sure people are aware of what happens when a gold seller needs to fill an order…they don’t create this stuff out of thin air. So I thought I would promote it as a shared topic so you can share any (hacking or other) experiences you have to help raise awareness. People expect blizzard to say this stuff…but we are just players….real players with real experiences.

Damn straight. I’m gonna raise awareness through Anecdotal evidence. Back in my early days of playing, one of my friends in the game bought Gold. 200g’s worth. 100g of which he gave to me. Dirty money, it was. At the time, I didn’t really understand the concept – it being my first ever MMO and concept of fiscal trading between IRL and WoW had not yet settled in my mostly empty cranium. I saved it wisely. I think a lot of it went towards my first mount at 40. He bought more, later. He didn’t see anything wrong with it. For him, money is being exchanged for enjoyment, in the way that’s perfectly acceptable in most walks of life. You see a can of Coke on the counter, you approach the salesman (how tempted I was to say <Coke Vendor>) and purchase it, therefore providing yourself with a carbonated beverage in exchange for your own hard earned pennies.

Buying Gold in World of Warcraft isn’t like that. At least not anymore, they merely used to crash server economies with farming and botting and AH carpet bombing. Now it’s the hacking. When you buy that can of Coke or those new clothes, no-one suffers. (Strictly speaking, there are plenty of people who get exploited down the lines of production to make the things our consumer society loves to mash through, but that’s not a rant for here.) When you buy Gold, that gold has come from a player, and possibly his guild. I can think of around seven people I know who’ve gotten hacked. Two of them were major WoW monopolists, and the infiltrators emptied the mats and the 50k+ gold from their many full personal Guild Vaults. We’ve had a hacking of one of our officers in my current guild, who despite guild regulations didn’t possess an authenticator. They emptied our guild stock, our rich gold resources, and /gkicked anyone who was online. Thank goodness it wasn’t our illustrious leader, or our 5 year strong guild coulda seen a /gdisband.

In every case of player hacking I’ve encountered, the person has been left angry, upset, often gearless and itemless. I’ve known Blizzard only restore one of the 80’s of a friend of mine, who had 5 all at ToC10 Gear level. I had another who ran around in only half her gear, since Blizzard missed restoring her neckpiece, weapons and trinkets and they delayed getting it done for a further month. We’ve had our main tank hacked the day before a major progression run. As recently as last week, a level 50 mage in the guild, a friend of a friend starting for the first time, had his account hacked. His meager 14g and few green items of gear were shredded for money and taken. And then they deleted the character. All he wanted to do was level up for the first time, enjoy the social side of our guild, and talk to his friend. He’s made a new paladin, and is trying to get Blizzard to restore his mage. He’s mentioned a couple of times he felt like quitting. I wouldn’t blame him in the slightest, it’s a horrible thing to happen. I keep myself on the securest setup I can, running a Mac with Firefox and a complex password on WoW that isn’t duplicated anywhere else topped off with an authenticator. And I’m still afraid of being hacked. That poor guy was new, he didn’t deserve that. If you’re buying gold, you’re doing that to him. Not some ‘faceless noob that probably deserved it.’ (Noone deserves that, by the way.) A nice guy, who was just in it for socialising and having fun.

Think about it.



Not everyone has a character to come back too.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Moenghus permalink
    March 18, 2010 5:13 pm

    Great post, with very good points. Thanks for taking the time to write this up.
    It is important to realize that the victims aren’t faceless.

    • Zal permalink*
      March 19, 2010 11:13 pm

      Cheers. I think a big part of realising your actions is seeing the impact of it. 🙂


  1. Shared Topic: Raising Awareness « Twisted Nether Blogcast

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