Monday, May 3, 2010

Many Unhappy Returns

Almost 30 thousand of them, to be a bit less vague.
That is how much gold is missing from my account upon my return to WoW and the Auction House.

Perhaps I should back up a bit and explain how that is.

Last season on AH Antics...
In August, my 10-man raid team was having trouble getting 10 signups each week. (Don't worry, this isn't going to turn into a raiding blog.) Also, my possible start-time was going to get later come September, locking me out of my guild's "official" 10- and 25-mans. So I quit WoW because raiding was as important as Auction Housing for me. In fact, my Auction House Antics were merely a means to an end, not the actual enjoyment of the game. It allowed me to buy gear, mats, mounts, repairs and more for my spouse and myself. I was no Greedy Goblin, but my steadily growing bankroll, around 27k when I quit, was plenty for my needs and showed no signs of doing anything but continuing to grow. I was considering buying a motorcycle for my spouse.

Anyway, I left the game in September. Abruptly and without warning.

In December, I got a High Priority email from my former co-tank from the aforementioned raid team.
Have you been logging on? If not, someone may have hacked your WoW account. Wanted to make sure you were aware just in case.

Well, no, I had not. A quick trip to the Battle.Net site and two(2) password changes later, I had fired off an email to AND started an in-game GM ticket, ass ALL my money and banked items and Raiding gear had been "disappeared" by an account hacker. From the time my guildmates had noticed my suspicious activity to the time I had changed my password and had a ticket in (two ways), less than 3 hours had passed.

Five days later, all my stuff had been restored and I was notified by an email per character from exactly which items and how many and how much gold was restored to each character.
26957 gold to be precise.
And at least 2500 gold more in mats and items. Probably closer to 5k.

I was extremely grateful, but still not interested in coming back to WoW, yet, so I left my account alone, with a new, unguessable password, used nowhere else.

But wait! There's more!
This brings us to last week. I saw some news about Cataclysm, listened to a couple podcasts, and started feeling that urge to play again. So my spouse and I re-subbed two days ago, on Saturday. I was really looking forward to doing some instances and not having to worry about gold, since I knew I had over 25,000 gold waiting for me, as well as a knowledge of how to earn 2,000 gold per week without trying, which I'll share again later. Except...

My gold was gone!
Where could it have gone? Why isn't it there? What on earth happened? I still have the 5 emails from detailing exactly what was restored.
My guess is that it got lost in the mail. I don't recall actually logging in after getting that email to verify that my gold was there. So I think that it got Mailed to my characters, and then expired and disappeared.

I'm sure Blizzard has logs that can check this stuff. I worry that it's so old that they won't want to or be willing to dig it up. I don't know what kind of data warehouse they have set up, or how easy it is to search historical data. I do know that if they can filter it on my character names, there should be VERY few records, as I haven't played in 9 months, not counting the handful of logins in December to deal with the Account hacking.

In December, I was effusive about how well Blizzard handled my account restoration. I was ecstatic that, even though I was not actively subscribed - not counting the hacker's paying for a month on my account to reactivate it to hack it - they handled my issue quickly, politely, and with care. Well done, Blizzard. Mostly.


Well, yes. Mostly. See, I'm still out about 25,000 gold at this point. There's a handful of gold on each of my characters... maybe 3,000 total, account-wide? But that's a far cry from the 27,000 that should be there. I'll be an unbelievable Blizzard fanboy if they restore my lost gold. If they don't, I'll be disappointed, no mistake. But, by the same token, I know how to make money in WoW. I can rebuild my bankroll. It will take time and effort, but I don't have to learn how to make gold all over again. That's knowledge that doesn't disappear. Even if I didn't have a maxxed out Level 80 Scribe-Jewelcrafter and a maxxed out Level 73 DK Miner, I would still be able to make gold on the AH.

Why not farming?
The astute will have noticed that I didn't mention going farming with my level 80(paladin) or 73(deathknight), either of whom are fantastically suited to it. My tankadin can AoE grind like nobody's business. Put on my BlockValue gear, find a spot with humanoids in large numbers just low enough level for me to be able to handle 10 or 15 of them at once, continuously, and many would say "Rake it in!" Bollocks, I say.

In WoW, Farming is for chumps.
I bet that'll get a rise out of a few folks. That's kind of the point. Making people think. Beyond the 3rd grade "No, you are!" retorts, any dyed-in-the-wool farmer will need to actually *think* to refute that. I used to farm by AoE grinding and is a crap way to make money. In the same time someone can grind for 3 hours, I can spend 30 minutes at the AH, cancelling auctions, collecting the cancellations, scanning the AH, and using Auctioneer's Appraiser to Batch Post a few hundred auctions. You know what I do after that? I go have actual, real, World of Warcraft fun! /gasp! No really. While the farmer is grinding, I'm seeing content I haven't seen before, I'm running instances which is even easier with the new Dungeon Finder tool, so I actually spend 2 of the remaining 2.5 hours playing the game instead of trying to find one more body to do something, anything. Add in the nifty Disenchant option to the Loot Window and now I don't even have to bother with hanging around after the run to hope the Enchanter is going to actually hand out shards.

Next time on AH Antics...
I expect to know within a week if I'll get my old gold back or not. I sincerely hope so, as I'd much rather be seeing the content in the game than playing the "I'm better at math than you are" game or the "I'm better at configuring Auctioneer than you are" game. Yes, I can play them, and be successful at them.

But I'd rather play the other game. The one I originally bought. With monsters and bosses and elves and orcs and my once-derided Tankadin wading into the fray. Things are good in WoW right now, why would I want to spend this time staring at spreadsheets?

So, here's what you can expect from AH Antics in the future.
Yes, I'm back to posting, and back to my old Antics, but there's gonna be some changes around here.

First, I don't play WoW so that I can play the AH. I play the AH so that I can play WoW. (Hey, look, a tagline!)
I'll be writing here from that angle. There's lots of blogs aiming for the gold-cap or trying to corner a market or making the whole game about starting with (almost) nothing and documenting their rise to tycoondom. That's not my niche. I'm not playing Auction House Tycoon. Everything I do at the AH is to support my and my spouse's game time and playstyle. I need gold for the following things: repairs(lots of repairs), mounts, training, flask mats and other raiding/instancing supplies, BoE BiS gear, and shinies, preciouses, and fun things. Think of it as Auction House Eye for the Casual Guy. Feel free to steal that for a blog name.

Second, I may talk about raiding and intancing. That's the part of WoW that's important to me. However, the main focus here will still be Antics at the Auction House.

Last, it's good to be back. It will be better if I don't have to start over, but even if I do, there's some good writing in there. I've already restarted my glyph biz, already made close to 1k gold between Saturday night and Monday morning, just from leftovers from when I left and a couple of new purchasable glyph recipes. Either way, I'll keep on writing as long as it's fun. And we'll see what Cataclysm brings.

The goblin in me is already drooling at the thought of all those Goblins and Worgen alts.
That's a lot of demand for more glyphs.


  1. Mails, and their contents, disappear in 30 days.

  2. Right, I know that. I did not know that they would be sending my items via expirable mail.

    I have OTHER mails from the GM that had restored items attached to them that are NOT expiring. No timer, still there after 5 months.

    If restored gold mails expire, that's a mechanism that needs fixing.