Thank you for playing
As the usual Monday night DL crowd departed for home, I stuck around so Dennis could show me one last game: World of Warcraft Miniatures. Now, apparently this is not released yet, but they have a print-and-play version on the web to whet your appetite. So Dennis explained the rules to me (they are simple but still have some variety to them that makes each character different) and we played. It was enjoyable, if brief. As we finished, we talked briefly about the online game.
Now I generally have really liked WOW. I liked the art direction, the music, the variety of different characters and weapons and so forth. Eventually I got tired of it and suspended my account. Now I was never a powergamer. I never got a character to the top level (60 at the time) and I don't think I ever owned a purple item, but I never really cared. I just ran around and did whatever just to have a good time. One of the big reasons I quit, though, was because I didn't know anyone else who played, so after a while it felt like this big empty vacuum. I always figured that if only I had other real life friends who played, I might have enjoyed it more.
Well, Dennis mentioned that he started playing again a few weeks ago. Perfect! Maybe now that I knew someone in the game, I might enjoy it more. I figured I'd give it a spin again, especially since I owned Burning Crusade but never played it. If I tried it and got bored again, no big deal--$15 bucks for a month to find out.
On the way home, I started wondering, Do I need another game? I've got so many games on the XBox and board games that I never play. How am I going to squeeze this in? Will I be even less likely to play other games I have? What if it still ends up feeling like a boring grind? Do I really want to invest any time in this? I kept mentally flip-flopping back and forth, feeling like I wanted it to be fun but fearful that despite having a RL friend to play with it would still feel like a grind and not be much fun after all. Do I install? Should I avoid the temptation? Am I going to ever see the sun again?
When I got home, I checked my email.
***Notice of Account Closure***This is a notification
regarding the World of Warcraft account ********. Access to this account has
been permanently disabled for exploitation of the World of Warcraft economy or
for being associated to accounts which have been closed for intended
exploitation. While we try to be as lenient as possible in our assessments of
the results of exploitation investigations, exploitative endeavors on your
accounts have ultimately lead to their closure. The recurring subscription on
the account has been disabled to prevent further charges.As a result, this
account will no longer be able to access any aspect of World of Warcraft. This
agree when installing World of Warcraft, Section 5, Paragraph C [Rules Related
to Game Play] states that you may not do anything that Blizzard Entertainment
considers contrary to the "essence" of World of Warcraft.
How funny, I thought. This junk mail about my WOW account slipped through my filter not 30 minutes after I was thinking about reactivating it.
Then I started checking some of the links. Hmmm...they go to the real Blizzard website. That's strange. Plus, how would junk emailers have my WOW account name? They wouldn't.
So I went to the WOW website and clicked Account Management.
Access to this World of Warcraft account has been disabled by
Blizzard Entertainment. For more information, including the amount of time it
will be in place, please check the email address registered on the account. All
information and any updates on the account will have been sent there by the
Account Administration team.
Yep. They really banned me. Wow, indeed.
So now I'm a cyberspace felon, apparently.
Like I said, I don't have a character that made it to level 60. I don't own any purple items. I didn't sell much beyond a few green items in the Auction House when I played and I don't think I've owned more than about 100 gold, so I'm not your prototypical gold farmer. I didn't download any third-party software that would illegally level my character. The last time I played was in December 2007-January 2008, when I played probably 20 hours total over two months. Not exactly powergamer numbers. I haven't had an active account in about 7-8 months.
The only thing I can think of is that I helped some random person found a guild when I played last (you need 10 people to sign a guild charter for you to let you make a new guild, and I thought I'd be nice and help). I think I played one or two more nights after that, thinking it'd be nice to belong to a guild but never really meeting or playing with anyone else in the guild.
So maybe over the last six months, this guild turned rotten and became a bunch of WOW hooligans, and somehow I'm "associated" with them and thus got a permanent ban. Who knows? I sent an email to Blizzard asking for details of why I was banned a few days ago. Will I hear anything back? Probably not--as far as they're concerned, I'm a no good cyberspace criminal and they've already determined they don't want (or certainly need) my money. So, I think that's it.
Do I care? Well, I'm offended that I got labeled a cheater for something I didn't do, and a serious enough one to warrant a permanent ban. I'm offended that these people judged me on some kind of faulty "evidence" and that I have no recourse, no forum in which to plead my case or even obtain any details. Beyond that, probably not. I, like others, have moved on (and now have been "moved on" as well, it seems). I've got plenty of other stuff to do, games that I've already paid for, no less.
Plus I'm thinking of math trading my World of Warcraft boardgame out of spite now (or burning it, I haven't decided which), which means more room in my closet. Always looking on the bright side of life--that's me.