One thing I like to keep in mind as a writer is that no one thinks they're the badguy of the story. Everyone who does something wrong justifies it to themselves one way or another. Whether the rest of your team is too stupid to deserve loot, your guild screwed you over so you might as well take their bank, or you just don't think you'll get caught . . . bad things happen when individuals act selfishly.
I Didn't Know It Was Against The Rules
I cover WoW offenses and their punishments here. Some people work under the false assumption that "I didn't know" is a free pass from judgement, or at least that it will get them a softer sentence. Some may even avoid reading the rules so they won't have to face what rules they're breaking.
The best example of this is the Martin Fury scandal, when Blizzard accidentally handed a "kill anything" shirt to a player while returning his hacked goods and he used it to help his guild one-shot (and, yes, I mean kill everything in one shot) raids. They used it 14 times, and we won't go into the level of culpability for everyone -- it varied.
Their defense was that they'd thought the item had been given to them intentionally. They did not see it as exploiting since it was an item given by the gods of WoW, nor did they ask if they were given it as a present. They assumed and, in my opinion, didn't want to know the truth.
They got caught when the guild leader logged off with the shirt on and it showed up on armory, which the guild leader used to back up his claim that he didn't think there was anything wrong with it. I suspect that he had niggling doubts and left it on when he logged as a way to double-check without putting in a GM ticket. If he logged out and no one noticed, it would be further proof that they were meant to have it and further reason Blizzard shouldn't take extreme measures if he and his guildmate were mistaken.
WoW Insider had a poll and half of voters would have used it just like they did.
And they would have gotten permanently banned for it just like they did.
If you didn't read the punishments post, let me quote:
exploiting, abuse of game mechanics, use of third party software, malicious UI mods, and data manipulation/mining. Penalties are based on the player's awareness and use of the exploit, how badly it hurt the surrounding players or server, and whether or not the player tried to conceal their use of the exploit. (source)Their actions fell into the perameters for account closure. And, no, ignorance was not a good enough excuse. Kind of like if you stick bills under the bed and act surprised when they reposess your car. Not opening your bills is not going to make them give you leniency.
- Penalties: Warning, temporary suspension, and actions up to and including account closure.
I Thought I Could Get Away With It
We've had a bit of hooplah last night and today in IVV. A 25-man raid killed KT and the master looter piped up (after rolls) with "My UI won't let me hand out loot. I'll ticket a GM."
Suspicious. IVV and BFO (the guild a subgroup of IVV raiders politely left for after Wrath, so we have a strong acquaintance with them) suspected him of foul play. A small number of IVV and BFO stayed in the instance to make sure the master looter didn't return and ninja everything off the boss.
He did return. The players who stayed (until the server and raid reset) confronted him.
Mr. Master Loot did (afterward) speak to a GM, who put all applicable items into the correct hands -- except one. An IVV rogue had won Calamity's Grasp (screenshots of roll available if needed), which the Master Looter took for himself. The GM noted that he'd been master looter and gave it to him without further questions. Mr. ML defended this later by saying he took it because he'd been "harassed" and accused of ninjaing.
The friend who spoke to him suspects that ML's guildmates encouraged him.
It degenerated from there with whispers, ML creating alts to harass the above-mentioned friend, even to the point where our guild leader had to ban ML's IP in our Vent.
The friend who spoke to him, a former member and even guild leader of accomplished hardcore raid guilds, championed the cause. I've asked him to write an article for me on how to handle a ML who loots in spite of the loot system in place. He told us he's dealt with this sort of thing more than once and the reason it doesn't get justice more often is sheer laziness on the part of the victims.
But the point is that "well, you were mean so this is my prize" is not a defensible position, nor is "you called me a ninja so I'll just ninja this." That's facepalm logic. Face. Palm.
If you break the rules, whether you know them or have "reasons" for ignoring them, don't whine and harass the people willing to call you out.
I have always known (even as a little girl) that if I don't want to get in trouble, my actions should be above reproach. Period. There is no other way to avoid punishment.
Just be good.