Monthly Archives: June 2010

Pass the fire ants please.

(Ah.  Authenticators in place we’re back in business.)

I was thinking last night as I traversed the dock in Menethil that things weren’t always so tranquil.  That is to say, things weren’t so tranquil on the PvP server I was on when I really got into the game from a social aspect.  Now I ride out on the pier and wait for the boat.  Back then, on the PvP server, you did not know if there was a stealthed rogue waiting for you, and your back to turn.  Or, worse, they were on the boat. Waiting for you, flagged because you’re in the Wetlands, to board.  This was like a luxury liner with botulism on the menu.  This was grounds for panic.  This was where the adrenal glands kicked in.  Senses heightened, blood flowing, you were alive, and wanted to stay alive.

Now, on my RPPvE servers, I know I’m safe until I do something like steal a flame, invade a city, or join a battleground.

See, back on my *first* server, before I’d gone over to the PvP server, they were talking about picnics in the forums.  Between Horde and Alliance.  Out in the barrens.  Or wherever.  In the community forums.  And I was thinking “They just don’t get it.  We’re at War!  This is World of Warcraft for crying out loud.”  Picnics?  PICNICS?  You should be chasing them down, driving their soldiers to destruction, hearing the lamentations of their womenfolk.  Conan got it right!

And things improved in that department when I got over to the PvP server.  And then to the next PvP server where I enjoyed the game to it’s fullest.  The stress of the PvP environment and being with a kick ass group of over 60 players to progression raid the 40-man content.  There were no picnics.  We raided Menethil until the Dishonor rule kicked in.  That was too risky a move to someone interested in gaining rank. One idiot in the raid kills a civilian and those working on ranks were totally screwed.  That killed the organized enmasse city raids for us.  But, lordy, wasn’t it fun to get a 5-man party together and go knock on Aldrasil’s door.  Silly level 2 Night Elves actually attack and get instagibbed.

I eventually left the PvP servers, being 8 hours out of synch with them and playing more with the wife and certainly not wanting or willing to watch the wife ridden down by some level 34 Dwarf in Ashenvale while we’re just trying to play this game.

And, heck, I know I’d not want to be on the receiving end of an endless gankfest.  (Of course I’d also be guilded and have friends to rely on in that case.)

But the concept of some pacifists wanting to have picnics with the Horde still irks me.  That’s not the concept of this game.  It’s about conflict.  Not picnics.  This isn’t a sandbox where you write all your own stories.  There’s a story around us.  Let’s abide.  (And, okay, I admit, Thrall would probably have a picnic with Taretha Foxton, if he still could, poor guy, and with Jaina, since the story there is these two are such friends.  But you and I, we’re soldiers in the ranks.)

That takes us to Shattrath and Dalaran.  These are picnics forced on us.  And the same clowns I mowed down, or who blasted my soul, in Wintergrasp five minutes earlier, are there with me in Dalaran picking mustard flowers, or sitting on mounts outside of our community banks.

I think it’s good news to hear that there won’t be any mamby pamby “neutral” places in Cataclysm.  (No more than already.  And consider Gadgetzan, Everlook, and Booty Bay aren’t neutral in the same sense as Shat and Dal.   You are still flagged and vulnerable on PvP servers.  That edge and sense of conflict still remains in the Goblin towns.)

No more picnics.  Pass the fire ants please.


Posted by on June 27, 2010 in Musings




Blizzard’s 7 day a week hotline?  It’s been “full queue” every time I tried.  5 minutes after opening shop, on a Sunday morning, and their “on hold” queue is full for the day??  They don’t even bother trying, sending you to the forums direct.  So no talking to a person.

And this 2nd time the hackers added an instant authenticator (iPhone app?) to lock me out permanently.

My own authenticators are coming via ground mail because that’s how they do it now.

I can’t even complain on the forums because I need an authenticator to log on, to access my own account even, and with the hackers locking my account with an authenticator of their own, “So sorry Charlie.”  Sucks being me.

Msaker was who they logged in with and did the robbing.  Six hours ago, wiping me out a second time, in the middle of the night, six hours or 4:30.

What had I done to fix the computers?  I did full scans of both machines.  (First hack was while on my laptop in a hotel room.  Second here at home on my Mac.)  I used SpyBot on my PC laptop to scan for something (nothing), Intego’s VirusBarrier X6 on my mac (also nothing).  I removed all the add-on updaters.  The Mac’s a new machine and had nothing installed on it, nor have I added anything suspect.

I also created a new e-mail and attached the bnet account to it.  And a new password to go along with it.

And I ordered the authenticators.  But ground service isn’t via Flash Gordon so I was stuck.

With impunity they logged on again, my e-mail and password change ignored, and applied an authenticator of their own, and went to town a second time.  With the new gold, probably sold my level 74 Paladin’s crafted armor, again, some gems and eternals, those I’d gathered last week.

However, this was not a “hack worthy” account, not anymore.  And they knew it.  (I’m assuming the same people who got me this time got me last time.)  Now it’s just malicious spite to mess with me.

And, again, it’s just me and the wife.  There are no guildmates involved who may have done this with a borrowed account.  Nobody knows the new password.  Not even the wife.  I simply typed it in.  On clean machines.  What the frick gives???

So, who can suggest a good software keylogger spotter?  (It’s obviously not a hardware USB logger since these are private home machines, and nobody sees the machines but us.)  Spybot-S&D saw nothing (nothing!) on the laptop.  Intego’s VirusBarrier X6 saw nothing on my Mac.  Am I searching for something not even on my machine?  Is Battlenet compromised?

Follow up:

Blizzard did help me on the phone.  20 minute wait, but at least I got someone.  (Thank you!)  Friendly help, offered some advice, helped me reset, and  I got logged back on.

What did they get?  550g my Death Knight managed to gather again doing quests since then.  A bunch of gems I’d gathered and set aside to do my JC dailies.  Saronite Ore I’d gathered together to craft the i178 gear set for my Paladin.  All of it.  Gone.  The Eternals.  The new Titansteel bar to start the weapon and shield crafting.

Apparently, the overseas hackers have access to all the hardware based authenticators they want.  (Stateside distributors, of course.)  You buy on one account, and you can apply it to any account you have access to.  So they got me, the night after I order my own, with their own hardware authenticator.  Insult to injury this time:  They took my Death Knight’s complete T9 kit.  They left him boots and his level 58 gear.  So much for dungeon running to recover the gear.  (I’ll assume they’re reading this and will delete this “rp” kit the next time around.)  They went out of their way to destroy Stormsoul’s pvp shoulders, and the rest of the crafted gear the wife had made him after the first hack.  They actually cleaned out the last of my tokens, something they’d overlooked the first time.  And they sold my level 45 warriors boots, and stripped my 65 rogue of everything non-heirloom, including his epic engineering goggles.  It’s one thing to rob someone, it’s quite another to mock them while doing it.  I guess wasting $6.50 to hack the remains of an account irked them.

So far all of my hardware here scans clean.  I have NO IDEA how they’ve managed to do this.

Follow up to the follow up:

Blizzard and/or the hackers have managed to lock me out of my account yet one more time. I managed to log in long enough earlier today to do some fishing dailies for cash.  Then I logged out for dinner.  Then I tried logging back in to head to Sholazar with the wife to complete the cooking dailies and collect some eggs and I find I’m locked out of the account again.

Then I see Blizzard sent me an e-mail to go online and fill out a form.  Sigh.  Isn’t that causing all the problems in the first place?  Phishing attempts that I’m supposed to ignore?  But I go, figuring WTF and do it.  They respond with a form e-mail saying I should get another e-mail to reset my password.  Except two hours later it’s still not arrived.

So.  I got my account back with Blizzard’s help.  That must have been their right hand.  Because later Blizzard denies me access to my account.  This must be their left hand.  At least I hope it’s Blizzard.  And not a 3rd hack.

If you’ve gone to the technical support forum today it’s alive today with report after report of bogus (i.e. not applied by the owner to their own account) authenticators locking folks out.  That’s way too many people at the same time, in the same style.


Posted by on June 20, 2010 in rants



I’ve done nothing wrong.  Trust me, I know what not to do.

I don’t share my password with anybody.  I can spot phishing attacks a mile away. “” is a dead giveaway that this is a phishing site.

And yet I was hacked.

They left my Pally a mile above Wintergrasp to fall to his death.

They stripped what they could, sold my Edge of Ruin and Titansteel Destroyer on my two DPS, and who knows what else.  They sold the bags, and half the guild bank.  For some reason they’d didn’t decimate my personal bank accounts inventory.  And they took thousands in gold.

Follow on thoughts:

So after notifying the in-game and gm’s, and having breakfast, I realize something.

This isn’t a big deal.

I’m not raiding.  A guild isn’t dependent on me having wads of gold for consumeables, or being geared right.  Everything I have, I got on my own.  I work on something, I get something. 

Unlike the hackers, gold spammers, and the gold buyers that did this to me, I’ve got a work ethic.  I can recover.  I spent an evening collecting 200+ saronite ore to craft a set of savage saronite gear with all my eternals.  That’s all gone.  The ore, the eternals, everything.  But I’m not gone.  They didn’t delete my mounts.  They didn’t delete my hands.  … My engineer can craft another pick/hammer device and send it to my miner/blacksmith and he can make anything he could make before.  It’s not even a set back, if the time was spent calmly, flying about, collecting virtual things on a virtual character, listening to real music and enjoying being in the environment on the back of a virtual dragon.

I’d probably be happy with just a Worgen, starting out at level 1, and getting to the place where the big dogs run.  It’s the fun, not the stuff.


Posted by on June 12, 2010 in World Of Warcraft


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.