Guild Bank Thieves

VaultHistorically, given the choice between multiplayer games and solo games I have always leaned toward solo. The multiplayer game world just has too many jerks in it who ruin the game for others.

In patch 2.3 Guild Leaders gained a new responsibility – managing an in-game guild bank. Each tab requires deposit and withdrawal permissions tied to guild rank. Tab contents must be organized and managed so that the bank is usable. The bank is a nice feature and was necessary. But now in addition to managing the guild’s raids, personalities, and web site I also have to monitor the bank contents and usage.

You cannot restrict how many items a person withdraws, just how many stacks they withdraw. My bank settings do not allow anyone to withdraw gold. The gold is for buying new bank tabs, and nothing else. I have it set so that the average member can withdraw 5 stacks per day, recruits cannot withdraw at all, and officers can withdraw more than members.

This week it came to light that one person in the guild had been gradually removing items and selling them at the auction house. He did not deny it and showed no feeling of remorse or understanding that what he was doing was stealing from the rest of the guild. I /gkicked him right away, but that doesn’t get the items back. He was a member, and so was only able to withdraw 5 stacks per day, but that was no impediment to his scheme. He was taking only a few items a day so that he wouldn’t get caught, anyway. I only noticed it when I checked the log and saw that his level 65 alt had taken out 8 Void Crystals. I checked the AH and there they were, up for auction by that same toon.

The bank log goes back only a few days. In that time, though, I could see that he had withdrawn easily 200-300g worth of stuff. There is no telling how long he had been doing this, or how many thousands of gold he has that were obtained using our guild bank items.

There was no way to prevent this other than to restrict withdrawals to the point of making the bank useless. I asked a GM if there was anything I could do and he said that there was not. Once again, no matter what we do, we are at the mercy of the a$$holes that populate this game.

I plan to keep this guy on my friends list, just to keep tabs on him. When he joins a new guild I will tell the Guild Leader about his guild bank infraction. That’s the only measure of justice I can think of.


7 Responses to “Guild Bank Thieves”

  1. 1 arb
    March 31, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Sorry to hear about your little thief. I can’t imagine ever putting anything of value in the Guild Bank, but maybe I’m overly cautious.

    Perhaps you could try allowing Members to view the tab, but setting the withdrawal limit to 0 stacks. They would then need to ask an Officer if they required a withdrawal. I have no idea how practical this is in a “proper” raiding Guild where pots/flasks/etc might be regularly withdrawn by members in advance of a raid. It’s a shame Blizz didn’t implement per-tab withdrawal limits or authorisation processes.

    Of course, it’s a sad indictment on society when people feel the need to defraud others in an online game.

  2. March 31, 2008 at 7:16 pm

    There were no items that were individually of great value. What had value were enchanting mats. On raids and runs whenever we disenchant an item the resulting shard or dust or crystal goes in the guild bank. He took and sold at least a dozen Void Crystals, and some Prismatic Shards. He also took potions and elixirs and sold them. None of them were, by themselves, very expensive. But they add up.

    Asking and officer for permission to withdraw was the way guild banks were run before there was an in-game guild bank. But as you said, its sad that I would even need to consider that.

  3. 3 arb
    April 1, 2008 at 9:03 am

    The problem with Void Crystals and Large Prismatic Shards are that they are valuable when stacked. 800g for a stack of Voids, 400g for a stack of shards. This is significant value by anyone’s standards. I guess you could mitigate the risk by agreeing to stack items in smaller numbers, but that just fills up the GB quicker.

    Hopefully your swift and decisive action against this offender has rooted out the bad apple and served as warning to others who might have considered similar actions. No harm in explaining your decision in the Guild MotD I suppose.

  4. 4 Nana
    April 21, 2008 at 10:39 pm

    I really don’t understand how it’s thievery, to be quite frank. The guild bank is a community lot to be used by all the players that are given *permission* to do so. If he/she is able to withdraw an item, that item becomes his/her possession. At that point, it’s not up to you to decide what they do with THEIR item. And yes, no matter what you say, it is THEIR item under those circumstances. It’s not up to you how they use whatever item you gave them the ability to take. So if you don’t want a player to do something you don’t like, then don’t give them the ability to do so. Simple as that. “Moral” usage of an object doesn’t exist in the context of a video game. Video games are technicalities and limited by options – hence, limit the options so you don’t have to whine about something you practically invited.

  5. April 22, 2008 at 12:16 am

    @nana – I had written a long reply to your comment. Then I deleted it. Its not worth it. If that’s the way you feel then I’m glad you’re not in my guild. Simple as that.

  6. February 10, 2009 at 4:07 am

    I manage a 6 tab bank for a large guild, so I found this discussion to be especially interesting, even though I’m nearly a year behind the beat.

    The first point is that the Bank Log in the Armory goes back about a month, in 3 day chunks. You can filter and sort within each segment, so it’s not all that hard to filter on a person’s name.

    The second point is more subtle. We make it QUITE CLEAR that guild owned items may only be withdrawn for PERSONAL, IMMEDIATE use. And if somebody is withdrawing items that are below level will look in The Armory to see if they are actually wearing the item.

    Obviously folks can still take items that they can’t use, but Ninja Banking is FAR easier to detect and document than is Ninja Looting and other related assholish behaviors, and everyone underatands that Ninja Banking will get you placed on probation, immediately, while the officers are resolving the issue.

    We ask people to donate by simply rightclicking on the item in their pocket. New items start on the left, and a bank officer will drift them to the right to fill in empty slots. Each week we strip off the oldest few columns. Position in the tab therefore indicates AGE, and the freshest items are always on the left side. The Armory provides sorting and filtering, off-line.

    I’ll ignore the enchanting and jewelmaking tabs, and just talk about wearable equipment.

    Most people don’t run Auctioneer, although most of our guildies understand how to use the autoresponse query ? [rightclick link]

    We ask people to donate by color (unless they already know the price) and then we move the item to the correct tab if it’s a really nice green/blue or a crappy blue/purple.

    Initiates tab: Donate Greens – value is 2g (or the disenchant floor) to 50% of the item level stated in Gold. The most valuable item in this tab is therefore a lvl 80 item worth 40G.

    Members tab: Donate Blues – value is 50%-100% of the item level. (We routinely buy extra equipment for this tab because most people will take a shot at the auction house when something is worth more than 50 Gold. If an item is offered for less than 50% of its value we pretty much automatically buy it, wash it through the guild bank to see if anybody wants it, and then resell it at market price a couple of weeks later if it ages out.)

    Veterans tab: Donate Purples – evaluation is greater than the item level.

    Initiates may withdraw 1 item from Tab 1.

    Members may withdraw 2 items from Tab 1 and 2 (4 total).

    Veterans may withdraw 3 items for Tab 1, 2, and 3 (9 total).

    It works for us. [Ceds Carver] and [Destiny] might as well be bait, and it saves us a lot of discipline problems down stream when the assholes self-identify themselves.

  7. February 20, 2009 at 6:56 am

    Also – the appropriate response to Nana’s attitude?

    We can /gkick you, so we will.

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