In my last post I discussed my recent experience of getting my Lord of the Rings Online account banned.
(For the record, although the email I received called it a “temporary suspension”, my Turbine billing account listed the game as “banned” until the year 2037.)
Four days after the initial notice, I received a second email from Turbine’s In-Game Support, stating that my account “…was identified as being compromised as it accessed our game from an IP address directly associated with gold farming, selling, powerleveling, and account hacking activities. Other accounts in addition to yours were compromised, and as soon as we identified this we suspended the affected accounts so that they could not be further abused.” Scary stuff! At the end of the email I was instructed to contact them again as soon as I had changed the password on my master Turbine account.
The following day I received a third email indicating that my LotRO account had been reinstated. Anxiously I logged into the game, half expecting to find my minstrel naked and penniless. Or worse – deleted.
Instead, I found nothing.
Nothing was missing. No gold or items had been taken. None of my characters had been touched.
Which leaves me mightily relieved and perplexed – all at the same time. I was grateful for the fact that resolution occurred in 5 days, not 2 weeks. Although I found the 2 week estimation to be excessive, and the lack of payment suspension to be annoying, it wasn’t the time or the money that truly bothered me. It was the lack of transparency.
Turbine originally claimed that they had reason to believe that my computer had been compromised, but they weren’t giving me the information I needed to take appropriate action. It’s rather unsettling to think that your computer may have been hacked, or that it contained a virus that managed to elude your best cyber defenses. I STILL don’t know what they saw in my account that caused them to take such drastic measures. Perhaps I was accidentally caught up in some type of preemptive anti-hacking initiative? Maybe it was a simple case of mistaken identity?
Or maybe Middle Earth now has ninjas?