Level Orange-ish (Not a Family-Friendly Post)

I'm guessing the rating for today's post is not going to be PG-13. Today finds me at bit peevish. Oh, nevermind. I'm not going to beat around the bush… I'm pissed. Big-time. Once again my faith in human nature has taken a hit and I'm frustrated, saddened, and really really pissed off. 

I've been robbed. No, not my home, business, or person… but in the cyber world. Still? I can relate a bit to the feelings a person has when they have had things stolen in their real life as the shock was very vivid and I have to keep reminding myself "this is only a game".

I have spoken before about how I play "World of Warcraft" with some of my kids. I actually have two accounts as I took over my daughter-in-law's account when she decided not to play any longer. You are only allowed a certain number of characters in what they called a "realm" and with two accounts I was able to exceed that character number. I love making new characters and since I play so slowly I it takes me a long time to get to a very high level. (I apologize to those of you who have no clue what I'm talking about.) Right now the game has a high level of 70. After playing for almost 3 years my highest character is only level 41 – and that is on my main account.

In November after loading a weekly update patch (they do this practically every week), I found I was unable to log into my main account. Because I was busy, in pain with my neck and back, and swamped with work and holiday stuff coming up I didn't think much about it and thought I had just made a typo in entering my sign-on information. I had changed my email address a couple of times and wasn't sure which email address I had on file so was not able to use their automated password recovery to try and figure out what I was doing wrong. I didn't try to log on again until January and was still unable to. Thinking (wrongly) that if anyone wanted to steal my account and my characters, as what happened to my son-in-law several months ago, they would go for my main level 41 character – the others being level 30 or below. The couple of times I logged in with my other account I could see that my main character was right where I left her, so hadn't gone into panic mode. In retrospect, I was an idiot… and have been kicking myself. A lot.

A few weeks ago I tried to get in again – this time more seriously. No luck. I sent an e-mail to Blizzard, the parent company, and got the reply that I would have to contact the Accounts department by phone. I did so a couple of days ago and explained my whole situation to a very pleasant support person who informed me that just a couple of weeks ago Blizzard had frozen my account and had sent emails to my old email account. He looked them up and said I would need to contact the account administration people and tell them exactly what I had told him. I did and they responded yesterday by giving me access to my account again and saying they could see there apparently had been unauthorized activity on the account.

No shit.

I logged in and my stomach went into dying fish mode… you know, flipping and flopping. I was sick. Instead of logging into my main realm and seeing 8 characters, there was only one… my main… and she had been stripped, literally. She had no money, no bags, no 'stuff', not even clothing. They had taken everything except her horse (which can't be sold). I personally think the only reason she wasn't gone was because she was the guild manager of our small family guild and couldn't be deleted without handing over guild management to someone else.

Every single one of my characters (yes, even the one I created that looked like my husband and I loved to play to tease my daughters) was totally gone as though they'd never been there. All my three years of work to get to where they were… all the money I'd acrued… all the weapons and spells and bags and armor… all I had to show for three years worth of play was gone.

In their place, on 32 different realms were 32 different characters. All had the same name "Sbld" (whatever the hell THAT means)… all were level 1 and throughout most of them was scattered my money. Trust me, a level one doesn't end up with 500-some gold unless something or someone is behind them.

I'm going to have to rebuild my characters. I'm going to have to try and go from nothing to something and take another who-knows-how-long to get there. I can look at the bright side and say "at least I still have my level 41 character" which is true… but right now she's naked without a cent to her name. I've written to Blizzard again, hoping there is some way of recovering my funds from these shady characters that I'm sure are just being used as "banks". I'm not holding out much hope since they are on different realms. (If they were on the same realm as my character, it would be an easy mail transfer – but across realms I just don't know what can be done.) I am crushed by the fact that someone, somehow, got into my account and did this to me. I'm not a level 70… or even 60…  I play slowly and carefully and as far as I know, try not to piss anyone off. I try to be a friendly, helpful player. I have made sure to have anti-virus, anti-spyware, and not to ever give out my password to anyone. Ever.

I know this is "just a game"… but it still has impacted me at the cruelty and cold calculating nastiness that some people will go to – even in a virtual world!  I just want to walk away, but don't want to give them the satisfaction. If Blizzard won't give me my money I'm not sure what I'll do next. It certainly will make it a hardship to start over with nothing.

Is it so much to ask that a game… a place where you go to relax and enjoy your friends and family and chat and run around …that it could just be that? Fun? Do the bad people have to ruin everything? Fuckers.

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Middle-aged. Anti-social. Mom. Grandma. Town-raised farmer's wife. Iowan. Want more? Come read the blogs.

19 thoughts on “Level Orange-ish (Not a Family-Friendly Post)”

  1. Wait…*this* is not family friendly? Oh man, my blog must be pure foul language porn then!

    I know that Blizzard will help you out if they can. I’ll try to put some general feelers out and ask what the policy is on that and see if I can’t find you some answers from inside. I can’t promise anything but I will ask :).

  2. Oh I understand 100%, I used to play online games , including Guild Wars for awhile…You spend time and money , its like an investment in your characters! I am sure you feel really violated..At least you have a lot more “knowledge” then when you first started, so you will probably get leveled much faster!…So WOW is fun huh? I have been wanting to try it!

  3. Poppy is right. Evil is evil no matter where it manisfests. The only good thing about tragedy in the cyber world is you CAN start over. You know you have friends and family who will be there for you when you are ready to venture into that that world again. And on some distant battleground you just might crush the shit of the heartless SOB that did this to you! Come to The scryers, or choose a server you like and I will come join you. Except Malfurion, I would prefer not to return there as that server brings back too many bad memories of my owm, lol. Buck up little cowgirl (or is it bovinewench?) Karma will eventually catch up to the bastard that did this. Much like poor online connections, and slow framerates, I have learned to incorporate these negative aspects into part of the games chllenge. Personally the only way I know to win an unbeatable game is to set smaller goals and achieve them. Most recently I have been on a ‘sanity quest’ as well as the ‘tune out barren’s chat quest’ and the ‘take time out to eat quest’ and I think it is time we do the ‘play for fun quest’ again… I want to be the hunter!

  4. is it downloadable or you have to actually venture into a (gag) walmart (ick ) to buy it? And whats the monthly fee?

  5. *sigh* I don’t do online gaming – I’ve never had the time or patience for it. I hope the company running this will give your something to compensate for the loss.

    On a general security note – now that you’re back in, update all your information. Make sure they have your current email addy. Create a new password make it as complicated as they will allow – if they let you use special characters – DO IT. If they allow long passwords – make it long… write it down! Example: if they allow 10 character passwords you could use something like: T0rn^p4G3s – look familiar? (don’t use that one of course – it’s just an example of what you can do with familiar words to make them work for you) If they allow 12 characters you could begin with “!” and end with “@”… something like that. Some only allow alphanumeric and no special characters – few allow spaces as a character. Otherwise, you could take a favorite phrase and use the first letters of each word to create a password – using caps and lower case and numbers.

    I wouldn’t think you’d do it… but don’t play from the work computer. In case it stores your logon and password information.

    I’m so sorry to hear this happened it’s always a shock when someone robs you – no matter what it taken. It’s a violation.

  6. I have no idea from whence you speak, but if you tell me how to find your naked character, I promise I’ll wear,er, bring a loincloth. 😉

  7. I can tell how devastated you are, even though I also have no idea what you’re talking about. There are a lot of mean people in this world (real or virtual) and it’s not fair to us honest nice ones. It just sucks. I hope you get a good result from the company.

  8. I only know WoW on the periphery but still, it is awful that you could be violated like that. What good does it do the person who hacked into your account? They don’t get to keep anything, right? Only strip a total stranger of what they’ve built and paid for. That’s horrible and mean and I hate them on your behalf.

  9. While I don’t play online games, I DO play on the Nintendo systems–and if ANYONE deleted/changed one of the games I was in the middle of, there would be hell to pay! And this would have to be done by one of my loved ones! I can’t imagine the level of feeling violated that you must be going through. For the most part–and I put the company that backs WoW in this category–the tech/gaming world is pretty good about working with a person to straighten things out. Hopefully you can get some satisfaction.

  10. This is a pretty big deal. I feel for you.

    Something just like this happened to my friend’s twin brother. His guildmates traced it back to him being logged on while on MySpace. Password sniffers abound there. Unluckily, “they” (the hacking b@$t@rd$) got to his main (lvl 70 warrior with Tier gear) and stripped it. Luckily, Blizzard was able to get it back and is working on getting everything back from their last back-up. There is hope.

    I have a lot of characters, too: both Alliance and Horde, every class except Warlock and Priest, and a bunch of different builds for the classes I double up on (I have a Talent Builder/Calculator sickness; I interrupted creating a 32/29/0 Holy/Prot Pally build to comment here!). If even one of them was compromised, I’d be pissed. I don’t play to be l33t or the best player killer or have the coolest looking loot that makes me the baddest mo-fo on the block. I play to decompress after a long day after class/work. I feel your pain, and hope that everything turns out in your favor.

    PS: if you play Horde on Shattered Halls, look Farq up! 😉

  11. I play City of Heroes and I would be devastated by such bastardry. I guess it can’t be stressed strongly enough to protect one’s online information and keep offline files on email addresses and passwords.

    Chances are you were a target just because you had a lower level character — someone with a 70 would be on a lot, a dedicated player, and would notice the incursion before much damage could take place.

    I don’t know if the servers keep records on the ISP that signed in on your account to trace back the thief. Would be nice if they could. Unfortunately, the smug bastard who raped your account will probably never pay for this kind of meanness.

    However, you can (and should) make a point of informing the WoW world that this stuff DOES happen and people need to protect themselves. This time it was just a game (and I say “just” in comparison with things like mortgage, family, health). Next time could be worse.

    If you have a guild or alliance, perhaps you can apply to game friends for supplies and money.

    In the mean time…HUG!

  12. I don’t have the slightest idea what this game is, but I know that what that person did is mean.

    You’ve mentioned the game before, and how much you enjoy it, so I know that had to be a real shock.

    I hope you will be able to get things restored, and that you find out who did it, so maybe you can prevent them from doing something like that again.

    I was wondering..if you need a password, how did they get in?

  13. That is the softest “not family friendly” post I’ve ever read! LOL You should have seen my “not family friendly” post on my old myspace blog when my credit card number was stolen! It was most definitely an “R” post.

    I hate thieves in all forms they come in.. Sorry you had to deal with one.

  14. It’s probably some punk 35 year old loser who lives in his mom’s basement. He gets his jolly’s by doing that kind of crap because he’s not enough of a man to look you in the eye when he takes your stuff. The good news is, this loser can never get a girlfriend, get laid, or ever have children!

    I like playing role playing games, but I don’t play online because of things like that. I’m sorry Sue. I know how much emotional energy it takes to build and maintain a character.

  15. How frustrating, Sue. I would be pissed if I started up one of my long RPG games and everything was gone — and I didn’t spend nearly as much time as you have. I hope the parent company can give the items back to you, they should have a record of who took everything, right?

  16. Hello Sue, You have every right to be as upset as you are right now. What these people did to you was down right cuel and evil. They had no right at all to to this to you. Hacking and all kinds of terrible things are all over the web right now. I’ve experienced some myself ( different than your situation) and believe me it ticks me off when I’m messed with online. I feel those who do mean things to others online are very weak people and the only reason why they do these things to good people is, because they’re hiding behind they’re computers like complete cowards and no one knows who they are.

  17. Man, this is an arena I don’t really understand – but I do understand being robbed, burgled, whatever, and it absolutely sucks. I would think (naive?) the parent company could restore you to Point X in time, but I guess if it were that easy they’d have done it already. I’m sorry, it sucks!

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