Over the last week the Martin Fury scandal has rocked the world ... of Warcraft. I got the chance to sit down with Karatechop, the player at the centre of the scandal, to hear his side of the story.
WoW Insider: Who are you?
Karatechop: I'm Karatechop, the Guild Leader of The Marvel Family on Vek'nilash-US.
There are postings on the net where someone purporting to be Karatechop says they work for Blizzard. I'm assuming this is not the case?
I'm not an employee of Blizzard. I'm not a hacker, I'm just a person who had a pretty tight regular group of people who liked playing WoW.
How did this whole thing start?
One of my guild members, Leroyspeltz, had his account hacked back in December. He was an Officer at the time and whoever hacked his account ravaged the guild bank, which happens. Once Blizzard was able to rescue his account, he noticed several of his toons were gone.
When you say gone? Are we talking deleted or transferred?
According to him, some were deleted and some were transferred to other accounts, but at the time he assumed they had been deleted. He opened a ticket with Blizzard back in December I believe and they never responded.
Things just sat there until sometime in mid-March. We had a looting error in 25 man OS . As the guild leader I handed an item to Leroy by mistake so he immediately opened a ticket so the item would go to the proper player. They resolved that problem then they asked him for more information on this problem he had reported months ago that hadn't been solved. He received some emails from Blizzard detailing what they were sending him, and when he logged in on April 19th all of his characters were back.
So what happened next?
All of them had in-game mail from Blizzard and lots of random items. He had no idea why he was getting them. Most of them seemed to fit Blizzard's usual M.O. for restoring hacked account, tons of low level stuff, stacks of Silverleaf and the like. Blizzard has rarely restored any toon I've seen hacked to its former glory. They seem to give you some random stuff and just leave it in one of these multiple in-game mails. On his level 13 warlock, I believe, was Martin Fury.
When he realized he had Martin Fury and shared that information with you, why not open a ticket immediately?
I was unsure of what it was exactly. Sure, we read the stats, but we didn't even contemplate a ticket.
It was in-game mail from Blizzard. We just assumed it was something they sent him. We didn't think it was real. I honestly thought it was something Blizzard gave to one of Leroy's alts for four months of ignoring the problems with his account.
So when did you first use Martin Fury?
On April 20th the guild was in a 10-man Ulduar run. Leroyspeltz was not in my Ulduar group at the time when he opened the mail. We were on Ignis and I brought Leroy into the group. We tried it and it worked.
And you didn't consider this cheating or worry that a GM might notice? You didn't worry you might get into trouble?
No, it came from Blizzard. We were laughing about it. After killing Ignis we went out and reset the raid to heroic. We went back in and killed Flame Leviathan
How many charges did the item have?
When we got it, Martin Fury had 100. We used it fourteen times.
So when did things go wrong?
We had used it on Malygos and 25-man OS earlier in the week and, again, this wasn't, for me anyways, a way to get loot or achievements. This was purely a comedy thing for me. It was funny. We went back to Ulduar with twenty-two people and made several legitimate attempts at Flame Leviathan. This is where I feel really bad. Some of the people we had with us didn't know we had Martin's Fury. Then we engaged and used the item, it was a riot!
I was unable to play over the weekend and didn't check in with my friends. When I tried to login on Tuesday is when I had discovered my account was banned. That's when they started to let me know that we had achieved some world's first, which was also never my intent.
So you hadn't achieved any world firsts?
Some of the people wanted full clears, but I didn't want to take that away from the guilds who had worked so hard to get there. I didn't think we had world firsts, but some people have claimed we had. I also wasn't worried about hiding anything as, again, it was an item sent to us by Blizzard.
Did Blizzard get in touch with you? No GMs mid-instance?
No. They claimed to have sent me an email once I found my account was banned, but this didn't happen either. I had to jump through the hoops to reset my email address with my account banned and open a web form questionnaire.
And your account is still banned?
And, during any of this, you never took screenshots?
I'm not that type of player. We never took screen shots that often of anything. We didn't record encounters. Again, it was a group of friends who just had a good time playing the game together
Do you think it's fair that you've been banned?
No, I don't believe banning is fair, especially since this would be my first infraction in the 4+ years I've played the game. But it's Blizzard's game and they are the ones calling the shots, so fair is relative. Up until the bans, I honestly didn't think I was destroying the World of Warcraft.
You must have thought that this item didn't belong in a player's hands even if it came from Blizzard?
I thought it odd, but with the charges I wasn't sure.
Do you expect to get your account back?
Do this bother you? Has it put you off WoW?
Yes, I loved that game. I was never bored with it, I had 159 days of my life on that character.
Are you going to reroll?
I don't believe so. I think I'm going to try something else. Again, this being my first infraction on any level whatsoever it seems like they overreacted. Where they really failed was that they locked the accounts of all my guildies who were online at the time. Not people who had any of those raid IDs mind you, but everyone.
Did many people on your realm know what was going on?
No. Not even the whole guild just the people on the runs. Actually it wasn't even all of them. As I said before I tricked 3 or 4 of them, I thought it was funny.
Who else has been banned as a result? Was it just you and Leeroy? Was it other folks in the raid or your guild?
Everyone in the guild who was online had their accounts locked for twenty four hours, regardless of whether or not they were in the run.
How are they reacting to this?
They aren't happy. Some are upset at me, but most of them have my back on this. We didn't hack the game. We were given a 'You Win' button and it was something we used.
Well thank you for speaking to us.
Thanks for taking the time.