Karatechop, leader of The Marvel Family guild, found himself holding Martin Fury, a shirt that adds +34 mana and +34 strength – and also instantly kills all enemies within a 30 yard radius. The item is intended only for the developers, presumably for testing or such things, but when Karatechop found it in his inventory he did what comes naturally: He went out and kicked ass.
People noticed fairly quickly that Karatechop was punching way above his weight and with a great amount of success. He racked up some very impressive Achievements in a very short span of time, including the destruction of Flame Leviathan with four active defense towers on Heroic difficulty. Naturally, rumors swirled, questions were whispered, blog posts were written and ultimately Blizzard cast its baleful eye upon the whole great mess. The end result: Karatechop tried to log in on Tuesday and discovered his account had been banned.
For his part, he claims the item had actually been given to a guildmate when his characters, which had been lost when his account was hacked, were restored. Each of the restored characters came with an in-game mail from Blizzard and random equipment, “tons of low level stuff, stacks of Silverleaf and the link,” Karatechop said in an interview with WoW Insider. Included among the items given to his friend’s level 13 warlock was Martin Fury. “We didn’t think it was real,” he said. “I honestly thought it was something Blizzard gave to one of Leroy’s alts for four months of ignoring the problems with his account.”
After discovering that it was real they used it on various high-level instances, one-shotting everything they saw. Karatechop claims they didn’t consider it cheating because the item came from Blizzard directly. “We were laughing about it,” he said. “This wasn’t, for me anyways, a way to get loot or achievements. This was purely a comedy thing for me. It was funny.”
In the end, Karatechop was banned, everyone in The Marvel Family guild who was online at the time had their accounts locked for 24 hours and despite being a long-time World of Warcraft player, he says he probably won’t reroll a character. He also stands by his assertion that Blizzard overreacted to something that wasn’t really cheating in the first place. “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,” he said. “We didn’t hack the game. We were given a ‘You Win’ button and it was something we used.”