Monday, March 15, 2010

In the end... we won

Two recent guild happenings that I want to talk about today.

First, one of our friend's accounts who has been taking a break from the game for a while got hacked last week. The hackers actually paid to reactivate her account, then spent some time farming herbs. Apparently they were planning on turning the toon into a farming bot? I had no idea that hackers did this! Anyways, it was discovered pretty early and the real Suz came on to take over her character and found her bags stuffed to the gills with frost lotuses and herbs.

Yes, she was able to regain control of her account before the hackers were able to sell stuff or send gold elsewhere. So thanks to you hackers, now Suz is back playing again with us for a month on YOUR dime, plus thanks for taking all the time to farm all those herbs for her! How thoughtful of you!

Second story is a longer one. Yesterday we had our first instance of guild bank ninja-ing (is this the right conjugation of the verb to ninja? hmmmm). Let's step back for a bit. A couple joined our guild last fall when we were very desperate for raiders to fill out our runs. They raided with us for a bit, though there were red flags everywhere. It was quite clear that they were loot whores, even in 5 mans. When the new ICC 5 man heroics came out, they didn't want to run with any other guildies who could compete with them for gear.

So yeah, lots of red flags with the loot whoring in raids and 5 mans. But it also moved to quite inappropriate behavior like questioning individuals on certain armor pieces they had chosen to equip. For example, there questioning a hunter's trinket choices for the faction champions in TOC. Or questioning the equipped gear of a dps person who had agreed to be our third healer. They probably had no idea that we knew the extent of what we knew, but yeah, Jess and I did. What they may not have realized is that most of us have been playing together for 2+ years and we talk... a lot. And because we rarely have drama, when we do, Jess or I immediately hear about it. Even all the small one off comments or incidents.

But we were so desperate at the time for raiders, that even though it was clear that they were not a good fit, because nothing egregious had occurred that we could clearly gkick them for, we kept them. While neither of them were horrible players, they were not anything to write home about. Nico or I could outheal her with one hand tied behind our backs, though that was probably because she was too occupied being all Snottydin-like with "I am a girl in RL! *shy smile*". The guy? Well he never topped dps meters, though he wasn't horrible. But he had horrible spatial awareness and would always be standing in something or not dpsing the bonespikes or whatever dps was supposed to do.

Fortunately, around last December they started to not show up for raids that they had signed up for. When this happened three weeks in a row, I felt that it was an awesome early Christmas present for us because we had good reason to no longer invite them to our raids. Their mains eventually transferred back to Horde (without saying anything to any of us BTW), but their alts remained in our guild. But because we hardly ever saw them, they had sorta become out of sight out of mind, aka thank God they are gone. Everyone was happier, raids were more successful, and we brought in much better folks like Darcness and the ever lovable Sammy.

In retrospect Jess and I should have at least demoted these alts or outright kicked them all together. But like I said, out of sight, out of mind, right? Well Jess sends me an email Sunday morning to let me know that two folks had taken stuff out of the first tab of the guild bank and then gquit, ending it with "I don't think I need to tell you who". When I log on, I see that the log shows their alts having ninjaed all of the abyss crystals, frozen orbs, dream shards, greater cosmic essences, in addition to some flasks, pots, fish feast, and other small items here and there. While there was a limit in the number of stacks they could withdraw, it did add up.

Was I surprised? In a way yes, in a way no. I knew that they were not trustworthy. Even though this is a virtual game, you get a sense of how people are by interacting with them. There was no mistaking with these two that they put the shade in shady. When word got out that this had happened, it was quite humorous in guild because folks started to share stories like "Well, I never liked her since she did blah blah blah" and "I never liked him because he was inappropriate by saying blah blah blah". I said "Guys, if we were to share all our stories of those two here, we'd be here all day"

Were folks angry? Sure. Even if its just virtual pixelated goods, it is still theft. But really, do I think they've "gotten" us somehow with this? Child, please. More so than being angry, I feel sorry for them. These two are very young, I like 19 or 20 years old. I foresee a bleak bleak future in front of them if this is their level of morality, or their sense of what is right or wrong. I do hope for them that they eventually learn about karma and that their actions do have consequences.

What is the lesson here? Well first, I think that Jess and I need to trust our instincts more about people who just don't fit or are not trustworthy. We need to worry less about how things may look, be more upfront and honest with our concerns, and act on them. Gkicking is not rocking the boat, if it is necessary. Personally, I think I need to care less about seeming harsh (I know! shocking right?), even though there is a part of me that wants to be a nicer, more supportive person (yes Jess and Kal, its true!).

But really at the end of day, just like with Suz's hacker story, we won here. Blizz may replace the items, and hello I am Ms. Gold Cap, remember? I probably should have thrown them a couple thousand pity gold to have them leave earlier. But if this ninja-ing is what needed to happen in order to take out the trash, honestly I'm good with that.


Update 3/16: We got everything replaced by Blizz yesterday. So about a day after this happened, we're back to normal. I was quite surprised and impressed by Blizz's quick turnaround!


  1. Tell a GM that they have pinched a lot of stuff and done a runner. You never know - you might get some stuff back. I have heard of several cases where this sort of thing has gone on and guilds have been reimbursed.

    Second - change most of your GB to Officer removal only - apart from stuff you would be OK with losing. We had too many people have their accounts hacked, or got greedy so now we only allow officers with authenticators to take stuff out. It's a bit more tedious, but saves heartache and hassle.

    I hope you get your stuff back and am happy that you no longer have dead weight in your guild - hugs.

  2. Yikes. But, live and learn, ne? I've found that bringing in puggers to fill desperately empty raid slots is a better option than inviting unsavory types to share the guild, my home, with :) Have actually found some good recruits out of doing that.

    Glad you were able to finally be rid of them, at least!

  3. my first thought on reading this one was "oh noes!! that sucks!!!" second thought was "... yeah, those two. surprised it didn't happen earlier really." /sigh.

  4. What else should we expect from the Axis of Douchebaggery?

  5. God, people are pathetic. I do feel sorry them - in a way - as, yes, their lives are likely bleak, but mainly I feel contempt. Mean Tam is mean!

    The weird notion of "fit" is something that seems next to impossible to regulate. I mean, people who don't "fit" can make a guild miserable and drag the whole thing down, but kicking somebody or bringing somebody to task for not meeting this arbitrary "fit" standard seems incredibly unfair.

    Except maybe it isn't as unfair as it seems - maybe it's perfectly reasonable.

    Also I hope you and Jess don't blame yourselves, I mean there's a bit of a spectrum being "kind of loot whore-ish" and "actual fucking ninjas."

    Still, the important thing is that they're gone and they seem to have done no harm to your guild.

  6. Thanks guys! I just updated the post that we already got everything replaced yesterday. So we are back to normal, well we are lighter now with less dead weight.

    @Nkm and Sammy: Yeah it says something that no one was surprised they did this.

    @Tam: Yay mean Tam! You're right about the notion of fit. They clearly didn't fit, but it wasn't something that we could kick them over. I think that's why Jess and I didn't take any action and were just waiting for them to gquit.

  7. I remember a long time ago, back when I was a cleric in Everquest. I watched my guild get torn apart by the likes of them. Granted, there were more than just a few and things had been building for some time. But in the end, the same personality types struck the final blow.

    I am glad our guild is stronger than that. I like being a Claw, plate dress and all ;)