Posts tagged ‘Family’


No, not me.  My Mom.  😦

All of my friends think it’s awesome that my mom plays WoW.  It’s certainly led to some epic moments … like the time in Gruul’s Lair that a certain cat druid decided to violate my corpse and forgot that my Mom was watching.  (You’ll never live that one done, eh, Keaton?)

My little sister and I got her into the game over a year ago, and she’s just as addicted now as we are.  Granted, her goals are very different from ours.  Whereas we raid and PvP (or, rather, I raid and my sister PvP’s), Mom enjoys the leveling game.

She plays WoW in single-player mode, questing her way from zone to zone, maxing her professions and nurturing the occasional stray she manages to pick up along the way.  (And when I say stray, I mean players, not mini-pets: a surprising number of latch-key WoW kids call her “Mom” — or “Mum,” in the case of the little English rogue she adopted somewhere between Winterspring and Hellfire Peninsula.)

To Mom, the ultimate goal of the game is level cap.  She ding’d 80 on her Death Knight last week, and has three up-and-coming alts between 71 and 76: a druid, a mage and her original main (in the family tradition), a warlock.

She’s raided a few times with my guild, or with friends of my sister, but she doesn’t particularly enjoy it; it’s too much pressure.  Players tend to be less forgiving than quest givers of the Death Knight decked out in spellpower plate or the warlock who somehow managed to equip bullets in her wand’s ammunition slot.  (I didn’t even know that was possible until I inspected her one day.)

After cycling her characters through all of her children’s guilds (Did I mention that my brother also plays?), and being equally unhappy in all of them, she struck out on her own and finally found a niche as the GM and official “Guild Mum” of the Squishy Marshmallows.  All of her guildies are young, and most are first-timers to WoW; she protects them from the same kind of ridicule she herself has experienced with all the ferocity of a mama bear.

Anyway, Mom logged onto e-mail this morning to find not one but two messages from Blizzard, confirming her recent password change.  Alarmed, she immediately tried to log onto her account, to no avail.  Attempting to reset her password on the official site led to more frustration, in the form of a glaring red error message: “This account’s password has been reset too many times today.  Please contact customer support at 1-800…”  (Or something along those lines.)

Unfortunately, it was only 6 AM in California and Blizzard wouldn’t open for another two hours.

Frustrated to the verge of tears (and, I suspect, in tears), Mom logged onto my little brother’s account and ticketed a GM.  While she was waiting for a response, she noticed two things.  First, her Death Knight was not only online, but moving around Northrend: from Borean Tundra to Wintergrasp, and back again.  Mining?

Her increasingly frantic — and angry — whispers went unanswered.

Second, a level 1 Orc named Addshine was selling off what appeared to be the contents of her bags in /trade chat.

Testing a theory, she whispered her main: “Your friend Addshine says hi.”

Her Death Knight immediately logged off.

Eventually, 8 AM rolled around and Mom was able to get in touch with customer service and reclaim control of her account.  Predictably, most of her gear was gone — vendored, presumably — along with all of her gold, the entire contents of her guild bank and even her bags.

I’ve reassured her — and Blizzard has reassured her — that most of what was taken will be restored.  She’s especially concerned about her warlock’s raid gear, and understandably so: for someone as trepidatious about raiding as she is, that five piece T4 was hard-earned, and Fang of the Leviathan utterly irreplaceable.

Mom is not a worldly person, but she felt personally violated by the theft — and I don’t blame her.  I know all too well how emotionally attached we can become to our characters; how even little things can take on sentimental value.  I still have all of the gear I ended The Burning Crusade with, along with the Vodoo Skull I picked up in our final bear run, a lost pendant it took eight solid months to find, and a whole host of odds and ends you wouldn’t believe: from the tasty cupcake my priest officer sent me for my birthday last year to every boquet of Beautiful Wildflowers my boyfriend has ever given me (one a day, every day, for the first six months of our relationship).

It absolutely infuriates me that someone could do this to another person — for what?  50 gold from a guild bank and a few stacks of saronite ore?  In the grand scheme of things, hacking someone’s WoW account and stealing their pixels is a relatively small crime, but it certainly isn’t a victimless one.

My Mom has never been a good player, by Elitest Jerks’ standards, but she has always — always — been a happy one; one of those rare people who take such joy in the game that she makes Azeroth a better place simply by being in it.  Unfortunately, that joy is something that no GM can restore.


February 19, 2009 at 6:02 pm 14 comments


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