Monday, June 10, 2013

World of Warcraft: Guild Thieves

Last year Blizzard put in code to the game in order to save their GMs time. Now if a guild leader stopped logging in for a month the game would ask other people in the guild when they logged in if they'd like to become guild leader to save the guild. Sky thought this was a good system and I hated it. Saving GMs time (and therefore Blizzard money as they have to employ fewer of them) is probably a fine thing, but you need to think about the side effects of the change. While this system is merely automating what went before, it's also making the option of taking over a guild extremely trivial for the prospective usurper. Having to message a GM and make up a story as to why you should get control of the guild creates a barrier that I think would deter many people. Just hitting a button? That's pretty easy.

A couple people had made use of the feature during the lull between Cataclysm and Mists of Pandaria on our guild, but no one was a jerk about it. No one sold the guild, or kicked people out, or raided the guild bank, or changed the tabard. When I came back before Mists I was able to use it myself, and actually did some of that stuff. To be fair I cleaned out the guild bank of worthless junk instead of stealing it, and changed the tabard to something pink because I'm odd, but it wasn't malicious. Even then, I think it would have been better if Sky had still been guild leader the whole time. He did come back and could have promoted me if he really wanted to, or he could have cleaned the bank up himself. If he didn't come back then we could have messaged a GM and made the change. It would have taken more time, but if I wasn't willing to spend that time why should I become GM?

I started playing again last week when Blizzard gave me a free week. I was no longer GM (no big surprise there, I was gone for 5 months so people had plenty of opportunity to jump in) but the person who is GM was an unfamiliar name. A level 1 priest named Sairoy. I spent a while trying to figure out who this person could be. An alt of an old DK named Saideath who has since server transferred away? Maybe? If the old guild forums still existed I could try to look up Saideath's email from his application to ask him if I really cared, but they don't. Oh well, whatever. Play a bit, do some quests... Eventually I get to a vendor and go to repair my gear from the guild bank since that's the button my brain wants to hit. Can't be done. No funds.

Juh? Ok, log over to an alt that's still an officer in town and check out the guild bank. Completely empty of cash. The MoP Gems tab is completely empty and I feel like that probably had some stuff in it. The really good leg and shoulder enchants are gone from the MoP enchants tab. I don't know if we'd stocked any in there (and anyone who wanted them could have taken them as the whole guild had access to them). I clicked on the log tab but it was blank.

Ok, that's annoying. The guild bank had a lot of money. It being broke now doesn't actually change anything for me except that I need to repair by clicking another button since I do have more money than the guild bank and no desire to spend it on anything as it is. But it's annoying that someone would take all of the money. I liked that the guild was paying for everyone's repairs and now it can't. Of course now everyone is no one... But maybe someone else would come back and want to repair. And they can't because we're broke.

On the plus side they didn't kick everyone out of the guild. I guess they were content with just taking all the money, promoting an alt, and leaving?

I went back in today while writing this post and randomly clicked on a guild bank log before alt-tabbing out and came back to find it was populated with month old data. Turns out these logs just take time to load! So now I can piece together what happened... Turns out there was nothing in the bank of value as the empty tabs were empty the whole time. All that went away was the cash, and Stochastic took it all. Someone we went to school with in Waterloo, and who was in our challenge dungeon group. I'm pretty sure he was also very rich personally, which confuses me greatly as far as why he took the guild bank. My hope at this point is he took it for safe keeping to prevent anyone else from taking it later. He also invited the Sairoy character to the guild and promoted him to leader, and hasn't logged in since then. I guess another option is he got hacked or sold his account and the recipient stole the guild bank cash too. Or that he's just mean.

Holding the cash for safe keeping is a reasonable plan, and one I now wish I'd done myself. I wouldn't have taken the entire 268622 gold though. I would have left enough to cover repairs for people. Though in the 4 months prior to the guild bank being emptied it looks like less than 350G was spend on repairs. So it really would have just been a convenience thing, not an actual value thing. Heck, I should just put 1k in for repairs now myself. Done! Maybe Stochastic will come back and take that too, but at least now I can hopefully hit the right repair button?


Sky Roy said...

Well, if the guild was abandoned for half a year and the only thing that happened is a RL friend wandered in and took all the money I can't complain. Of course my situation is much like yours in that the guild bank is poor compared to me anyway...

Brendan Lucier said...

Huh. I guess my account was hacked. This was an odd way to find that out. I wouldn't have realized it, otherwise; I actually cancelled my account a few weeks back. I suppose it hadn't deactivated yet.

Anyway, I guess it's unlikely that any of my characters are still in possession of the guild's gold, unfortunately. (Or any of their personal gold, for that matter). Sorry to have been the vessel for guild bank thievery.

Nick Page said...

Well, I'll submit a GM ticket and see what they say. They're pretty against people hacking away guild banks, so maybe they'll do something about it.

Sthenno said...

Even if we don't get our gold back (which I don't think any of us care about) I encourage the ticket. Presumably the person who took the gold is a person who has taken other gold too and if this report is helpful in finding them then that's something.