Stranger Danger

My blogging muse monkey graced me with another interesting story yesterday: apparently World of Warcraft is rampant with players who want to steal your items, money, achievements and soul. Or at least my brother believed.

Would you trust this man?

Would you trust this man?

It all kicked off yesterday evening when I had a curious phone conversation with my bro in which he started telling me a story about another player he had met in WoW whilst out questing in Duskwood earlier that day. This stranger invited him into a group (strike one), helped him complete some quests together (strike two) and then offered to log on his level 80 main to “boost” my brother (strike three). Now my muse was really freaking out. “Boost?! Some kind of hacking attempt, no doubt!”

My brother decided to outwit his would-be hacker though and, after graciously accepting his offer, waited until the player logged out to change character and then quickly ran as far away as he could and hid from him.

After laughing so hard I almost cried, I had the pleasure of explaining to my brother that this poor chap was actually just trying to honestly help him out and that not everyone you meet in MMORPGs is a complete tosser. Some people, believe it or not, genuinely want to help out newbies.

Apart from being quite frightfully amusing, this tale is also a little depressing. What’s happening to the Internet and society these days? Why are we so full of mistrust and doubt? Now every email is a phishing scam, every group invite a hacking attempt and every man with a moustache a paedophile (notice how Tom Selleck is keeping a low profile these days). Sometimes things are just exactly as they appear to be and not some Machiavellian attempt at harming you.

And finally, on a completely unrelated note, I’m running a competition where I randomly transfer $1,000 into a reader’s bank account. If you would like to take part, please send me your bank account number, PIN and password. Thanks.


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  1. J.S. Daniels says:

    This post has inspired me to roll about on PVP realms in Contested Territories, on both sides of the realm, and pretend to help a lowbie out for a while. Of course, I help them, building their trust with my cherubic nature, and after I feel I have built their trust enough, I tell them I’ll make this go faster by bringing my 80 to ‘power’ them through quests, and to wait for me at a determined location.

    Of course, sitting in the same zone, is my 80 of the opposite faction, who–knowing full well the exact location of the PVP-flagged player I just helped–I use to commit a most satisfying and well-earned gank. Just once, mind you. A ganker must have standards and temperance.

    Afterward, I log back onto the character I originally helped this poor, unsuspecting player with, and go, “Gosh, did you see that Horde, just now? Heard someone got ganked. Terrible.”

    And then I log off, cackling to myself, and post a satirical, sarcastic thread on the official WoW forums about how allowing players to maintain characters on both factions on a PVP realm was Blizzard’s greatest idea, and how it has no downsides at all.

  2. Dustin Moore says:

    Haha, nice post. You’d think online security would be common sense to most people these days. Yet, people still visit random links posted in-game, use trading methods not provided by the game, and really do dumb shit. It wow’s me at the lack of common sense some people have, now I admire your brother for playing it on the safe side but still funny stuff :) .

    @J.S. Daniels – I’m a new WoW player but I don’t see anything wrong with playing both sides on the same server… actually after writing that sentence I thought of a couple more lol. Death is a joke in WoW, I’m not scared of death, I miss my heart beating with the game. If there was a death penalty of any consequence then it probably would tick me off that you could do that.

    • Gordon says:

      There’s definitely a fine line between being too trusting and click happy and being overly suspicious. I guess when we are new to things, it’s hard to know where that line is. My bro is very new to MMORPGs so to him it’s reasonable that someone might be able to steal his gear or money. To veterans that seems like a ridiculous concept but that’s only because we already know the rules.

  3. Inquisitorgoody says:

    It is very sad that this is now the case, No one is to be trusted, everything is loggin your details and Big Brother is definitely watching you! At least that’s what we are told to believe.

    I’m not so naive as to think caution on the net isn’t necessary but I think (hope) that things arn’t as bad as we are constantly told

    ….and lol to your bro :-)

  4. stnylan says:

    With paranoia like that, he should be playing EVE :)

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