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The Daily Grind: Do MMO studios owe us item restoration?


MMOs vary widely in their account and item restoration policies. In some games, like some of NCsoft's offerings, if you're hacked or you lose access to your account because your memory is toast, it's game over unless you happen to have your original account key. In games like Lord of the Rings Online, you're not guaranteed full reimbursement of your money or gear if a hacker strips you naked and leaves you dancing on a mailbox. BioWare won't refund guild bank items stolen by rogue guildies, either.

In World of Warcraft, you'll almost always get your account back if you're hacked or you accidentally delete your favorite hat, but it might take an agonizingly long time. This week, Blizzard launched a new item restoration service that attempts to solve the second problem by simplifying the process of reclaiming lost trinkets (though not items stolen by hackers). I was surprised that Blizzard considers this a problem worthy of automation, but maybe it's more common than I thought.

So now I'm wondering whether companies are actually obligated to restore items we've lost through our own goof-ups. Do you consider this a vital service of a support team, and would you quit a game if your items were truly gone for good?

Every morning, the Massively bloggers probe the minds of their readers with deep, thought-provoking questions about that most serious of topics: massively online gaming. We crave your opinions, so grab your caffeinated beverage of choice and chime in on today's Daily Grind!

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