So, I have been playing World of Warcraft for almost five years now. It's my way of letting off some steam and having a good time in a multi-user environment. My guildies are great people and it is actually nice to have adults I can chat with over ventrillo to offset the toddler language that I get during the day most of the time.
In the time I've been playing Warcraft, I've had to deal with the GM's (in game support staff) on a couple of occasions and they were all very curteous and helpful in resolving the issues I had contacted them about. I had listened to various people in the game and in my guild discuss their efforts in dealing with hacked accounts and getting their toons and/or items back. Not once did I contemplate that I might have to go through this myself.
Well... was I wrong :p
Yesterday I woke up and checked my email (like normal) and was surprised to find two emails from Blizzard. One was about my battle.net account and was was about my Warcraft account. Needless to say I was rather shocked to read that my account had been issued a 3hr ban for spamming/advertising and that I needed to do a password reset on my battle.net account. Shocked because I haven't even logged in for the last couple of days. Which meant only one thing... I'd been hacked.
I called the man at work, since he's the Guild Master, and let him know and then proceeded to figure out how much damage had been done to my account. First thing I discovered, with the help of a fellow guild officer, was that the hacker had pretty much taken out all the valuables from the guild bank *sighs*. We already know, from past experience that the majority of those items will be returned to the guild master.
After I changed my password I logged into the account and my heart sank when I saw that both of my level 80 toons were gone. Now, yes, these are only bits of light on screen but keep in mind I've played them both for a very, very long time now. There was a significant investment of my time and effort into them and here they were completely gone from my account. So, I launched my bank toon and discovered she'd been wiped out as well... so now I have no level 80 toons and no way of financing any of my other lower toons up to level 80. I didn't bother looking at the other toons, knowing they'd all suffered the same fate.
Lo and behold, when I finally managed to get in touch with a real person at Blizzard's billing department (holy insane call volume, Batman!) I was actually very surprised at how easy the entire process was. He got my account info, verified I was who I said I was and then looked at what he could do. Since I couldn't access my account at the time (a 72hr ban had come down the pipe for trading in game goods/gold for real world money) I wasn't able to talk to a GM to discuss getting my stuff and toons back so Eric, my hero right now, put me in the GM queue for that and told me that my two toons had not, in fact, been deleted, but were in the process of being transfered to another realm. He put a stop to that and even wrote to Account Management to see if the 72hr ban could be lifted early.
So... at the end of all this there is hope that I will, at the very least, have the ability to get back online and play my toons by Saturday. In a week or so I may even get all my stuff back *crosses fingers*. And, yes, I will be ordering an account verification tool from Blizzard so that this doesn't happen to my account ever again.