Dec 20, 2007


There's a lot of uproar right now in blogs and on forums about people downloading addons laced with keyloggers. Not only are they loosing their characters' stuff, their guild bank contents are getting stollen.

Character hacks have been around as long as I've played WoW or anything other game, actually. Countless guildies have been hacked. I can recall a particularily bad time where a semi-popular hunter addon was corrupted, causing 2 or 3 of our hunters to loose everything. And even as little as 3 weeks ago one of our mages not only had his stuff stolen, but his characters deleted.

So what's the big deal now all of a sudden? Why are people so upset at something that's been happening for years? Because now it involves the guild bank, plain and simple. Before it was Bob's fault for downloading suspect files, and he alone would suffer the consequences. Yeah, so Bob couldn't play for a week while Blizzard did an investigation and finally returned his loots. Chances are you already had an extra of Bob's class, so it wasn't a big deal.

Add in guild banks, and you've got +50 people feeling like they've been robbed. Now the previously isolated problem is inflated to this guild-affecting drama. Things that are difficult to obtain, like raid patterns and end-game gems, are gone, as are the funds you were collecting to get that next bank slot. The nest egg as been cracked.

Gun Lovin' Dwarf Chick wrote an article about watching one of her guild mate's hacked characters rob them, likening it to a rl robbery. I've actually been robbed irl three times. The second time I came home while the guy was still going through our things. Just like on TV, everything was pulled out of drawers and things knocked over. Glass from where he broke in the back door window was spread clear across the house. I saw the guy as he left on his getaway bicycle, and the police still couldn't catch him for 6 months. It was via the news I found out we were just one of 22 houses he had robbed for drug money.

And just like people are feeling in-game, I was angry that the police couldn't even catch a guy I SAW leave my house. There was no finger-printing, no consoling. They took my statement and left me to clean up the mess. The landlord's solution? Put a piece of plywood over where the window in the backdoor had been. And I paid him a hell of a lot more than $15/month. In the end, we've never gotten our things back, some of which couldn't be replaced.

Why am I telling you all this? As much as people are getting irrate over the way Blizzard is handling their cases, I want to remind them that it's still just stuff. The important thing is that you're safe. You will get the majority of your things back in a week, whether Blizzard ever figures out who did it or not. Anything else can be re-earned if it's important enough. It only takes time.

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