I had been thinking long and hard about what to do for a blog for April 1st but I couldn’t think of anything constructive. I thought about claiming to rage quit WOW but I factored in that I may lose too many readers before I could post the retraction (what is a prank without some time). So I opted not to do that…instead I went with a subtle route. I posted my favorite prank for the year and decided to blog about something that isn’t a joke; it isn’t funny in any way…gold selling & the consequences.
I have suggested this as a Blog Azeroth Shared Topic to help raise awareness that when you buy gold…the gold doesn’t come from thin air. It comes from players just like you; it could come from your significant other, your guild mate, your best friend, your raid group…anyone.
To illustrate the severity of gold buying, I want to share with you some of my very own experiences with hackers and compromised accounts. Maybe it will make you think twice before buying into the scams. I share with you now the story of three friends; victimized at different times by a variety of experienced hackers…all of whom were devastated by the experience.
Yes, I am sad to say that I have been a victim. My boyfriend and I were sitting in our office, playing online like we always do together (we’re not discussing how lame we are here). Typically we have some internet problems and lag at the same time. It is no big deal, it tells us that it is just the internet. But one night it was very different. Rather than lagging into a D/C, I was immediately disconnected and recieved an email (on the gmail notifier) that my World of Warcraft account password had been changed. I was immediately disturbed and went to log back in. My password didn’t work. I got more emails stating of password changes and my boyfriend (again, he was in the same room) saw me come back online.
Tarinae…Aralas…Chakae…Yukami…Corelon…whoever had my account was cycling through my characters one by one. I had full GM access to 3 guild banks (one being <Age of the Phoenix>) and lots of gear that I had been saving to level other characters as this was the time before BOAs. After cycling through and getting everything of value from my personal and guild banks, the hacker logged back into Tarinae. By this point, Paul (my boyfriend) had a ticket open with capped keywords like “ACCOUNT BEING HACKED RIGHT NOW! NEED HELP!” He decided to try to talk to the hacker, to stall them. Most people who try to talk to hackers get nothing back other than an AFK notice; but not me. The hacker started to talk to Paul and other guild mates that were talking to him. He begin to hang around Undercity taunting my friends, offering them the password (Anecdote: he had a bot changing the password roughly every 30 seconds til lock-out) if they would pay him an ungodly amount of gold none of us had.
He held my account hostage as I sat there and watched for almost two hours. But my story has a happy ending you see. The GM responded to Paul’s ticket in a quick manner and was able to ping the IP of the hacker in question…he got caught. He had been had by his own pride; he even took the time to tell them all good-bye. I was able to reset the password and log on to find that my characters still had the gear they were wearing but banks were empty and I only had 12g to my name. I hear horror stories about character/gear restoration but I got everything back but about 900g I believe. He took that money from the guild bank so I doubt it was registered on my income but I can’t be for sure I didn’t get it back either. I was lucky…I had a horrific situation with a happy ending. But the stories get worse from here…