I started playing World of Warcraft (WoW) in January, 2005, shortly after it was first released, back at the time before any expansions were available and the level cap was 60. Back then, also, it took forever to get to level 60! Today, not so much; it’s possible to level a new character up to 90 in a couple weeks if you’re a mad player. Back then, no matter how many hours you put into it there was still a huge amount of grinding required to get to 60.
I don’t play WoW any more, having stopped with the Lich King expansion. A year ago, my account was hacked, necessitating an intervention to recover my characters and their supplies. Curious, I activated both of my accounts and played for a while, with the kids taking turns as well during that single month. It turns out my PC had a problem that caused the game to log off repeatedly, impossible to play. A year later, with a shiny new PC (i5 Haswell, GF 660, 8GB DDR3), I’m much more likely to be able to play successfully without issues.
But, why bring it up after so long? The last time we played regularly was in 2010 at the launch of Cataclysm. My accounts were still Lich King level, so we did not try out any of the new Cataclysm content beyond the 10-day free trial. It was fun, enjoyable. Not worth $39.95, but still a quality product.
Around this time last year, 2012, my accounts were hacked, and I reported the incident to Blizzard, like I said. This just happened again today. Someone hacked my first account, and actually paid $55 (their CC, not mine) to transfer my highest character to a new faction and server. There’s maybe 2,000 gold and misc gear, fairly good stuff but not top-tier. Hardly worth $55. So, I don’t know why someone would do that, but they did indeed, and Blizzard reversed all the damage to that and other characters (and a small, old guild bank).
Here is part of the email Blizzard sent me after restoring my accounts.
“Thank you for your patience . . . We have concluded our investigation . . . The items will be attached to an in-game mail which expire after 90 days.”
I got this notice after getting my inactive WoW accounts restored. Now, if I want my gear and gold to survive this incident, I have to log in and get the stuff out of the mailbox. Which means, I have to subscribe for $16 for one month in order to check the mail, because the mail will expire in 90 days.
Maybe that’s the only reasonable way to fix a hacked account, by sending all the stolen gear back to you via in-game mail. But I can’t check the mail without subscribing again.
Now, I have to log in again to get all the gear back where it belongs, if I ever intend to play again in the future. Realistically, Mists of Pandaria will likely be the last expansion to this aged game. I have no intention of buying it, since somewhere along the way I ended up buying Cataclysm for only one month of play.
No, there are so many better ways to spend my time and money, I have no desire to reactivate WoW. It makes me wonder if this isn’t a conspiracy by Blizzard, done to long inactive accounts, to get them to reactivate? Is that really as paranoid as it sounds? I don’t believe that, because some fool spent $55 to hack my account, probably intending to pick up gobs of gold, not realizing that our characters were rather poor from disuse.
It costs approximately $16/month per account, or $32 for both. I just purchased Skyrim Legendary for $37 from Amazon, to put that price into perspective–and Skyrim has at least a thousand hours of gameplay available if I choose to do everything again (already played it through on the Xbox 360, now looking to enjoy it again with better graphics on my PC).
I’m stuck with a dilemma, and I already know what I”m going to do, but it’s painful. Or is it? Do I really care about all of our old characters enough to want to spend $32 just to pick up their gear from the mailbox? I DO, but I’m not going through with it again this time. I found the gameplay changes in the last two years to be ruinous and I stopped playing because it just wasn’t fun any more.
Not when there’s Civilization V, and Skyrim, and Minecraft, and . . .