ArenaNot: Guild Wars 2 Permabans, Direct Sales Halted

By Jim Rossignol on August 31st, 2012 at 12:00 pm.


ArenaNet has permanently banned 3000 players for exploiting a weapon-reselling bug. Seems a bit harsh for just messing with virtual economics? ArenaNet say it’s a statement of intent. Speaking on reddit, lead producer Chris Whiteside said: “We take our community and the integrity of the game very seriously, and want to be clear that intentionally exploiting the game is unacceptable… The players we banned were certainly intentionally and repeatedly exploiting a bug in the game. We intended to send a very clear message that exploiting the game in this way will not be tolerated, and we believe this message now has been well understood.” UPDATE: These bans can now be appealed via the game’s support process.

Blimey. And these are some bold moves from the company: ArenaNet have even stopped selling the game directly from their site until they have things sorted for existing players. This does not stop you from buying it via other outlets, however.

ArenaNet boss Mike O’Brien has addressed all the major outstanding issues in the game, again via Reddit, including the terrifying possibility of account theft. On this he says:

We’re seeing an uptick in reports of account theft and attempted account theft. We believe hackers are using databases of email addresses and passwords stolen from other games and web sites, and pre-existing trojan horses, to search for matching Guild Wars 2 accounts which they attempt to compromise. To prevent this, we have temporarily disabled the “reset password” feature, and we’re working to bring email authentication online. To protect yourself, please ensure that you use a unique password for Guild Wars 2 that you don’t use for any other game, email account, forum or web account.

Then there’s the annoying-but-less-critical in-game issue of party and Guild failure. He explains:

Parties, guilds, and other social features are periodically failing. This causes issues such as party members not appearing on the map, and party members not staying in the same overflow servers as they travel between maps. This happens particularly during times of peak usage. We’re working to fix related problems and mitigate this issue with each subsequent update.

This has consequences for Guild Wars 2′s way of dealing with high user numbers, the overflow maps. O’Brien suggests the following as the best solution to the issue:

If you want to play with a friend, but you’re not on the same overflow map, you can form a party together, then right-click on your friend’s portrait in the party list and click “join”. Note that this functionality is sometimes intermittently unavailable due to the “parties, guilds, etc.” issues noted above.

It’s my feeling that these are all understandable issues in the opening days of an MMO, and at least most folks can log in…

We’ll have a Wot I Think coming up as soon as Richard has finished thinking.

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215 Comments »

  1. DestructibleEnvironments says:

    I love you. :)

  2. bit_crusherrr says:

    I like how they have went back on the permabans after the community kicked off.

    However you need to contact them to get the ban changed from permanent to 72 hours, and the only place they posted that info was Reddit. Why not just change all permabans to 72 hours or at least email everyone affected? Not every internet user has Facebook/Twitter or uses Reddit.

    Why can’t they just bring up the Official Forums but lock them so only staff can post? At least then all the info will be on the Official site rather than some random third party one where if you have an unpopular opinion it is buried and your voice wont be heard.

    Before anyone suggest I was banned I wasn’t. I never knew about the karma bug till it was fixed.

    • mnem says:

      Why they would do that? In my opinion, they wanted the exploiters to make an extra effort if they wanted the ban revoked. They even said that the player themselves need to deleted those items/golds when they finally have access to their account or they will perma ban the player again, where Anet can just delete the offending items or wipe the players inventory.

      Think of it like in grade school where a teacher will tell the student to write “I will never cheat again” over and over in a blackboard.

      • Victuz says:

        Good analogy, however remember that the teacher is usually not trying to sell products to the student you mentioned. Punishing for exploiting is all well and right. I agree completely that if there is a crime or more correctly if you don’t follow the terms of use you agreed on you should be punished for it.

        However.

        These guys are still their customers, they purchased the game and expect to be treated as customers. That means when you ban them, wipe their accounts do whatever you inform them DIRECTLY about the issue and why you had taken such steps, not through facebook, not through twitter, not through reddit. Only directly on their e-mail or acceptably enough through the official forum.

        Imagine if me and my friend played Diablo 3 and used the old exploit that allowed you to skip to further elements of the story (say last act on inferno despite the fact that we barely started inferno). This is an exploit, we just used it. If Blizzard banned us for it it would be entirely in it’s rights. However they have to inform us what they did, and why they did it. It’s the very basis of good customer relations.

        • mnem says:

          From my understanding, you will see a pop up in the launcher saying you are temporary/perma banned by using an exploit. And to contact support if you have question.

        • BluElement says:

          So you’re saying that they should be scared to discipline customers for fear that they won’t buy anything from them again? I’d lose a lot of respect for them if they did that. They broke the rules and they knew it. Tough luck. Don’t be stupid next time.

          • Silva Shadow says:

            There’s only one reason they’re doing it, and it’s to make people believe they can be banned for exploiting a bug, and getting them to spend money on the game again. It’s disgusting. They should patch the game, wipe the players items and that’s it.

            Dirty, dirty way to make money, these permabans are scumworthy and amounts to theft. Unfortunately the people being banned will believe they’re in the wrong and not do anything about it. Surprised RPS even buys into the opinion that exploiting a bug is a bannable offence. Patch the game free of exploits you cheap devs. Stop scamming people.

          • Phantoon says:

            I thought that too, but people that bought just the weapon they wanted didn’t have this problem.

            It was the people that were buying them by the hundreds.

      • codename_bloodfist says:

        If you want to be treated like a grade school student, by all means, go ahead and enjoy yourself.

        • mnem says:

          @codename_bloodfist

          Eh?

          Where in my post that I said I like to be treated as a grade school?

        • FriendlyFire says:

          If you behave like a grade school student, expect to be treated like one.

        • Triplanetary says:

          I’m not sure what you’re referring to as being “treated like a grade schooler.” I hope you’re not referring to the part where they should inform you of the rule you’ve broken and such. Because that’s sort of the whole basis of post-Enlightenment due process. Not that ArenaNet is under any obligation to follow due process when it comes to banning accounts, but I’m just saying, expecting to be told the nature of your offense isn’t childish. Just the opposite.

      • bit_crusherrr says:

        It’s not just that they post on Reddit. All state of the game posts are there. The second major post they actually bothered to link n the Official site. However the one previous to that (detailing whats broke and whats being fixed) wasn’t.

        Also the ArenaNet Reddit account was telling banned players they will have to buy another account. Only posting the “ok we’ll unban you” speech on Reddit means less people will see it and more people will likely buy a second copy of the game.

      • chewbaccasdad says:

        I think you are right. It’s about ensuring the people who used the exploit acknowledge that they did something wrong and that, in future, if they come across an exploit they should report it and not just take advantage.

        It’s making people take responsibility for their actions and I applaud it.

  3. Metonymy says:

    Could be a lot worse. At least they don’t have days of not being able to log in at all, that certain games experience at launch.

    While I’m typically a fan of harsh punishments, the distinction between rules I’ll break and rules I won’t break are quite arbitrary. Permanently shutting someone out of a game they paid for is too much. It’s not the best move for their company.

    • Shivoa says:

      As with all GAAS, I hope people are being fully refunded for their purchases with each permaban. Paying money for no access to a server seems like the worst kind of deal, even for exploiting a glitch in the game (the game allowed them to take this action, they did not hack anything to get undefined behaviour out of the client they were provided to interact with the system).

      Of course this won’t be happening because we seem to treat GAAS rather differently to other things (banks typically don’t stay open but tell people their accounts have been zeroed so there is no money to take out, yet we see F2P games close while the companies that run them are still operating and zero out the balance of credits that were purchased with actual money).

      • Joshua says:

        I disagree, mainly because I see games differently as you do. I see a MMO as a visit to say, a summer camp. If I repeatedly break the rules, the camp has the right to kick me without doing any refunding.

        There is a huge difference between banks and games, as banks hold your actual money – you don’t own anything in a game when you “buy” something. When you buy something in a free 2 play game, you pay for the right to use the item, rather then owning it.

        • tetracycloide says:

          Exploits, by definition, are not a breaking of rules. They’re poorly written rules.

          There’s a huge problem with this premise of yours that you aren’t owed anything when you pay for a game.

          • Joshua says:

            I was mainly challenging the notion that those who get permabanned should get refunded. I don’t think you should get refunded for breaking the rules in a heavy manner. After all, it is an MMO. You don’t really own the world itself.

            What exactly “breaking the rules in a heavy manner” is something else entirely (I do consider the permaban to be harsh myself – I just think that those who get permabanned should not be refunded).

    • Kyrie says:

      Sorry, but, when you start the game for the first time, there’s a set of rules that you SHOULD READ, that states if you abuse of game mechanics or third party programs to have a unfair advantage over the other player, you can and will be perma banned with no refund of the game. It’s there and they even make sure that you have to scroll down to the end to able to click on the “I acept” button. If people are dumb enough to sign a contract WITHOUT READING it, don’t blame the company for making what they said they would if you broke that contract.

      • Blackseraph says:

        While I agree somewhat with you Kyrie, eula is not legally binding contract and shouldn’t be thought as such. It’s worth is absolutely zero.

        • Reverant says:

          It’s an agreement between the consumer and the developer that says the developer has the right to revoke the consumer’s access privileges to the product should they fail to follow the outline of the agreement. Worth nothing? I’d say it’s worth about $60, actually.

        • Mordsung says:

          It may not be legally binding, but the BBB considers it a valid agreement.

          I used to work for Xbox support at the corporate level, when people tried to sue them and shit, and I worked with the BBB very often, and the AG of most states, and as long as Microsoft was following their own ToS and EULA in the interactions with the customer, the BBB would rule in our favour and the AG would not pursue the case.

          So it’s not technically legally binding, but it is treated as legally binding by the organizations that matter.

          • tetracycloide says:

            Hooray for corporations getting to write the law! Let’s defend them while they do it!

        • spedcor666 says:

          Didn’t EULAs used to say consumers weren’t allowed to resell software. Seems they were wrong about that, at least in the EU anyway.

          • thegooseking says:

            EULAs have always, always said that where the EULA contradicts the law, the law takes precedence. But that doesn’t mean the EULA can’t contradict the law; it just means the parts of the EULA that contradict the law are void.

          • spedcor666 says:

            And unless someone actually takes them to court, they’ll continue to put whatever they feel like in them, regardless of any laws or consumer rights. Which was pretty much my point.

        • Lemming says:

          It’s nothing to do with legality, it’s a contract of terms like you’d sign if you got a job at a private company. So (a broad example) if you have a job where the contract states ‘no eating at your desk’ and you do, you can be fairly dismissed on those grounds. You might think that rule is ‘stupid’ but you agreed to the contract, end of.

          Anet (a private company) are saying you agree to certain terms if you wish to play the game on their servers. They aren’t laws, they are house rules.

      • Shiz says:

        funny thing is, if it were contracts like you say, you would get to see it BEFORE you pay up. If i don’t agree with a contract i don’t buy the product but with eula’s i’m forced to because i already gave them money. Now it’s like me buying the house and after i paid, the bank comes and tell me that in order to finally enter my house i have to sign the contract that says that they have the right to kick me out if i say have a dispute with my neighbor. Do i have to sign the contract. No, but then i have no house. so i’m forced to sign it… If a bank would have a policy like that people would scream murder and fire and call the bank criminals but when it comes to a game, it’s allright. yay for double standards.

        • Triplanetary says:

          There’s a lot of reasons you’re wrong, but let me focus on this one. If you were genuinely concerned about familiarizing yourself with the EULA before purchasing the game, rather than just using it as an excuse to whine, you’d have already known that was there.

          • tetracycloide says:

            “But Mr. Dent, the plans have been available in the local planning office for the last nine months.”

            Ludicrous defense you’ve got there.

          • Shiz says:

            fair enough, but still you have to actively search for it. you shouldn’t have to actively search for a contract. you should actively read what’s in it not where it’s on the site. they can’t indeed do like a bank in that they have no person you can counsel before but least they could do is make a link to it on their homepage. like ever mmo should do actually. but what does it matter, you already decided i was a whiney bitch because i was to lazy to go and search for it… ah well, whatever you say. I’m sorry for wanting more transparency, which is apparently something bad to want…

          • Phantoon says:

            It’s ludicrous because he’s comparing a false analogy to a false analogy.

        • studenteternal says:

          “the bank comes and tell me that in order to finally enter my house i have to sign the contract that says that they have the right to kick me out if i say have a dispute with my neighbor. Do i have to sign the contract. No, but then i have no house. so i’m forced to sign it”

          Actually this is pretty much exactly as described when I moved into my house, the agreement was to be bound to the regulations of the homeowners association, but it is a clause in the mortgage and they will not sell you the house without your signature on the HOA agreement. Not saying its right, but this sort of contractual abuse is common even outside of the game industry and its not limited to EULAs. They are just usually the most egregious examples.

      • tetracycloide says:

        So we’re just supposed to pretend that because there’s a clause in an adhesion contract that makes it ok? Fuck that noise.

        • Ultra-Humanite says:

          Sounds like the kind of dipshit defense an exploiter would use.

          • tetracycloide says:

            Sounds like the kind of ad hom someone with no point would use. Do you even know what an adhesion contract is?

            For the record, I don’t even own the game. Not that that’s even relevant.

          • Phantoon says:

            I’ll disagree with you, Tetra, because I don’t like your attitude.

            It’s not that I think you’re wrong, it’s that I think you’re a jerk.

    • dE says:

      I don’t care about people breaking the rules – If there is no harm done.
      But people abusing the economy to this degree has a massive effect on the game. It hyper-inflates the prices to a level that would normally only be reached after several months. The result is a clear division into the haves (the exploiters) and the have nots (those that didn’t) and would persist for months to come, with an impact on every player that didn’t abuse this.

      Thus, harm done – be gone.

    • pupsikaso says:

      It is absolutely the best move for their company. Imagine if they did NOT slam their foot down and banned those exploiters. How many people would have stopped playing then once they saw that exploiters are free to abuse any loophole they find without repercussions?

      • Shivoa says:

        Repercussions are great.

        Egregiously exploit a flaw in the client or server to make masses of profits and next time you log in you find all your characters are level 1, have a dunce cap of cheatz that cannot be taken off, and have no gold/loot any more. Maybe that’s after the week cooling off period where you couldn’t even get into the game due to a temp ban. That kind of thing is an excellent deterrent to prevent people exploiting issues with the game (EVE offers rewards for reporting exploits rather than taking advantage of them) to ruin the experience for everyone (just as abusive behaviour does) but when people have paid for access to a game then saying they can’t have any access ever again is well beyond what should be considered reasonable in my book.

        This kind of thing is possibly something the community as a whole have to agree on the shape of (spam or abuse chat enough and your character is forever silenced except from talking to people who have opted into hearing them or just get a suspension to cool off to show repercussions for failing to meet the agreed standard?) but an online only experience to which you have no access is no experience at all, which is why companies should think twice about permabans.

        • Phantoon says:

          Yeah, the punishment was too drastic.

          That said, it was clearly and exploit. No flippin way a level 80 item should cost one one-thousandth everything else at 80 does.

          An oversight is not an invitation to exploit, especially when it means you can flood the market with things from salvaging/reselling the items. There is no way you could’ve looked at those prices and thought it was intentional.

  4. DanielSF says:

    Over on Reddit, Anet have updated that anyone who got permabanned over this can appeal to have the ban revoked PROVIDING they then delete all their illicit gains (failure to do so will result in being permabanned again).
    Which is not unreasonable and undercuts anyone arguing about not knowing they were going to be punished so harshly. And in future, hopefully there’ll be a lot less exploiting and a lot more bug reporting

  5. KikiJiki says:

    They also temp banned Kripparian’s first account for streaming himself exploiting a bug with a karma based cooking recipie – using the karma he had to earn a much larger than intended return in gold which he then used to buy gems. This got upgraded to a permanent ban after due to his actions towards ArenaNet.

    I think the perm bans for the weapon exploit are a little bit harsh – a perma ban should be the weapon of last resort in my opinion – but people are messing with an economy that ArenaNet need people to have faith in to spend money on so they need to be proactive to protect that.

    • Phantoon says:

      I have no idea who you mentioned, but I assume that’s a reddit thing.

      But yes, faith in the system is paramount at this point. This action was too much, but the guy you mentioned sounds like he deserved it. From the information you provided, I’m assuming he threw a tantrum when he got a temporary suspension.

  6. derella says:

    They have gone back on the perma-bans — the exploiters can contact support and it will be reduced to a 72 hour suspension. Once back in the game, players will have to delete anything they gained from the exploit, or they will be re-banned.

  7. SophieH says:

    “Thus, just this once, we will offer to convert permanent bans to 72-hour suspensions”

    seems like more of a warning to me, setting the tone that exploiting the money system isn’t cool, and if you did it by accident you can get rid of your cheat-money/items and carry on playing. I don’t see anything wrong here tbh, apart from them not having control to correct the exploit faster.

  8. rustybroomhandle says:

    They’ve been pretty good about banning people for obnoxious gittery too.

    • Unaco says:

      Such as? I’ve seen a few people saying that they’ve seen bans for bad language and verbal abuse.

      • RandomEsa says:

        I’m not in to details but sounds much like the ones in SW:TOR. For example one player was banned by calling his friend ( who didn’t report him) with nasty names over a whisper.

      • Kestilla says:

        This just in, so-called ‘minority players’ banned for using the stated offensive language, themselves? Hell breaks loose!

        I’ve seen a lot of things in my time, but when a game company tries to clamp down on player behavior when there are so many other places where these restrictions are not in effect (everywhere else in life that isn’t Candy Land) a gigantic ton of ill will is generated.

        The offending parties will not change their behavior, nor will they change as individuals, they will simply alter their behavior and continue as they always have. What Guild Wars is trying to do is interpret intent, and there’s no telling who is saying these things or for what reason, and while it is commended for certain behaviors like exploiting to be summarily dealt with, the rest of this is a black mark on the game for a lot of people, especially when in private conversations, there is no reason to expect you can say what you want, when you want, when your avatar is outwardly being silent as the grave and offending nobody.

        This sounds a bit like thought police frankly. It’s saying ‘We don’t want you as a player,” and if that is truly the case, then half the population of the anonymous internet is already invalidated, which is a shame for a game which places its success on its lack of a monthly fee, automatically attracting droves more people than would ever play a subscription-based MMO.

        • mnem says:

          @Kestilla

          Anet will only investigate your chat log if somebody reported you. If your in a private conversation and you say foul things, you will not be banned unless your friend reported you.

        • deke913 says:

          “black mark on the game for a lot of people”

          Why does the mark have to be black? I think I speak for black marks everywhere, when I say we are tired of the derogatory way our name is used.

          • Phantoon says:

            As a pirate, I’d like to say I’m tired of you scallywags usin’ the term “black mark” like it means anythin’ but you’re bound for Davy Jones’ locker. The misuse of the term be highly offensive to me, and my peg leg.

            Yarrr!

    • Lemming says:

      Yeah the reddit thread where you can read the naming and shaming is absolutley hilarious.

      It’s quite frightening as well when you see how some of these players don’t even understand what they did wrong or don’t even remember saying it when they are talking about pedophilic (?) acts and making racist or homophobic remarks.

      Quite rightly, out of the gate Arenanet have decided they have no intention of being the next Call of Duty.

      • Iliya Moroumetz says:

        They don’t want to be the next Call of Duty, you say.

        When you take into account the kind of ‘people’, and I’m using that term rather loosely here, that play Call of Duty, that’s not entirely a bad thing.

        Arenanet’s gonna be Arenanet. And if they want to encourage good behavior and punish bad behavior for exploits, hacks, foul language, that’s their prerogative. If Little Johnny Potty Mouth doesn’t like that and feels his ‘rights’ tread upon to be a complete douchebag, well, perhaps he can just tell everyone whom he is and where he lives if he’s such an internet tough guy, because he can evidently take anything real life throws at him.

        • Achilles84 says:

          This +10

          If it makes the raging potty mouthed douchebags mad. I’m all for it. I don’t need that crap filling the chat window. I for one can do without seeing or hearing from those that can’t speak without swearing every other word. Anet want’s to do all it can to help create a polite and friendly community. And I support that goal.

        • Lemming says:

          Weird. It seems like you only read that one sentence in my comment, because I was saying Call of Duty in a negative light (as are you), but you sounded like you were rebuking me as if I was knocking Anet?

          • Phantoon says:

            I did laugh at that. He disagreed with you while actually agreeing with everything you said.

            I enjoy when people do that to my comments.

  9. Zanchito says:

    Respect for them for being clear and upfront about the problems. Many other big name companies just lie through their teeth or pretend eveything is fine and dandy. They are not doing everything perfectly, but it’s hell of a lot better than what Blizzard, Microsoft or Sony use to do.

  10. D3xter says:

    The more of this stuff I see, the more my already almost non-existant interest in this game is waning. This almost seems like Bioware in SWTOR banning people for the dancing bug or for buying and reselling items from the AH.
    Don’t punish people for exploiting game mechanics you have screwed up on, fix the game instead and be more careful next time.

    I also saw an article on PCGamer that they are also babying people on what they are allowed or not allowed to say, despite there being a “bad language filter” ingame.

    • Unaco says:

      Yeah, this reminded me of the SWTOR stuff… the ‘Illum Bans’ I think it was.

    • vee41 says:

      Why should be people not ‘have to behave’ when they are playing an MMO? It’s rather social experience and anything like this undermines it. Anyone who bought hundreds of these cheap weapons knew they were using an exploit.

      ANet protect their community aggressively, there are plenty of places for people that want ‘absolute freedom from evil oppression’. ANet owns the world, so they set the rules. We are the customers so they are responsible for maintaining quality of our service which includes taking care of community and economy.

      • D3xter says:

        Because they are also customers who bought the game and shouldn’t be baby-ed into playing it or behaving a certain way unless they really go overboard or do something serious, but I wouldn’t count foul language/cursing like a sailor or exploiting ingame bugs as that.

        ArenaNet could open a server for all the players that want to be pampered and protect their eyes and ears from the other players instead. I believe they usually call those “RP Servers”.

        • vee41 says:

          I’ve played enough games that allow cursing and general a-holery without any kind of punishment. Thank you but I’ll take strict moderation over that any day, there are plenty of alternatives for those that don’t want to do so.

          Being a customer doesn’t allow you to ruin the experience for other customers and ANet is making a clear stand on what kind of customers it wants it’s community to be formed of.

          • Jambe says:

            I don’t mind cursing (within reason) but as to the prohibition of “general a-holery” and the strict moderation, I say: hear hear!

            I’m unimpressed by this “we should be able to play on the servers you provide and maintain in whatever manner we damn-well please” entitlement. Absolute bullshit.

            fwiw, I adore EVE Online (though I haven’t played in years) because of the backstabbing, asshattery and meta-gaming that goes on in it. That doesn’t mean every single game developer or publisher needs to make products like EVE Online or manage them like CCP does.

          • AngoraFish says:

            well said vee

          • D3xter says:

            I much prefer the approach in EVE Online or Ultima Online etc. back in the day and other games where people are allowed to do whatever the hell they please within the world, if there’s a problem with the world, fix it through gameplay/coding not rules and bans. I certainly won’t ever be a customer of theirs this way.

            They are offering/selling a product, not operating a daycare center and they should better keep that in mind and shouldn’t treat their customers that way.

          • mnem says:

            @Vee41

            +1

            @D3xter

            Good thing for us your not interested in the game.

          • Achilles84 says:

            I love it. A-holes getting mad because they can’t be an A-hole and ruin other peoples experience. If you won’t play GW2 because of Anet’s stance on this… I say mission accomplished.

          • Phantoon says:

            It’s amusing that a lot of people worried about this are worried about it not because it looks like it’s indicative of the beginning of SWTOR Oprah style bans “You get a ban! YOU get a ban! Everyone gets a ban!” but that they can’t be dicks.

            I’ll hope for the best, here. Arenanet probably just wanted to stomp the first offenders to set a precedence. Probably.

            I just hope it doesn’t get draconian, or anything- the dragons are bad, after all. If my character swears as part of RP, and I don’t dodge the filter, that shouldn’t be bannable.

            Besides, “bookah” is the most offensive word in-world anyways.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          If you want to exploit bugs, you’re free to play a singleplayer game.

          When you play online, expect to follow the rules of the house. I for one am gaining respect by the day for ANet, and it was already mighty high.

          • NathanH says:

            Ever taken advantage of an AI quirk in your favour in a multiplayer game? Disgusting exploiter, you should be banned immediately.

          • Dominic White says:

            Yes, Nathan. You’re a total l33td00d pr0 gam3r if you’ve found an exploit that would wreck the global economy of a game shared by hundreds of thousands of people. There’s nothing wrong in exploiting that – it’s in the game, right? So it has to be intentional!

            Pull the other one, mate.

          • NathanH says:

            FriendlyFire made no reference to the scale of the effect of an exploit in his argument, so I made no reference to the scale of the effect of an exploit in my rebuttal.

          • Phantoon says:

            You don’t win an argument with the bandwagon by immediately reacting on their level, specifically the lowest common denominator of the group.

            That literally never works, ever.

    • Lemming says:

      Track down and read the reddit thread where Anet name and shame what the people who were banned did.

      If you still have a problem with what they are doing then, well…good luck in life I guess.

  11. chickenhawk says:

    So thats why i kept reciving mails about reseting GW2 passwords altough I did not buy the game? Maybe they are using old GW1 databases.

    Permaban is ok. Never exploit games like that.

  12. solariz says:

    It’s a shame that they only use Reddit for such important news. Why the fuck they not writig it on their own webpage? I dont use reddit and most of EU countrys dont use reddit either. Really ArenaNetTeam WTF? Ever heard ybout community management outside of fucking USA?

    This information politic is currently huring more than the actual bug itself. Everything is fine if they explain and talk to the community but instead of using their webpage newssystem for what it is supposed to they makeing posts on reddit. What about opening the Forums, or put a Arenanet Team blog on the page?

    Also ongoing patches but no changelogs. This really bugs, looks like they want to reinvent the wheel of community communication and this for sure is going to fail.

    The Fact that they only announcing and writing about Things to come in “Seattle Time” continues to show that they just dont care about the European guys. I mean yesterday they decided to patch and restart the server at 19:00 this is the main play time. This forced all connected players to relogin and guess what: overloaded login servers. So again 2h no possiblity to play.

    ;(

    • chickenhawk says:

      Calm down. They will probably send emails and stuff. Also people are getting the information one way or the other. And finally its about people abusing the system. Can’t care about them.

    • SophieH says:

      they post on reddit and link to it through their other news stuff, I found the reddit post through their twitter account.

    • ran93r says:

      Aside from Twitter & RPS, Reddit has been my only source of information. The subreddit is up to 60k+ subscribers and is pretty active. I’m not saying they should only use that channel but it’s a decent community to address in addition to official channels.

      • sOLARiZ says:

        O just dont get it why use reddit instead of the official page… Problem: I using internet at home from my university network and reddit is not accesible so I forced to use damn proxys. I know its not their fault but really WHY reddit ?

        • briktal says:

          Because they don’t have to worry about keeping the reddit servers running or any other traffic issues.

        • Lemming says:

          Because they don’t have their own forums yet. They made the decision to only have them once the teething issues with the game are resolved so their developers aren’t overwhelmed and can just concentrate on fixing the issues.

    • bonjovi says:

      I happen to like the idea of posting on Reddit only. they were reaching out to the community.

      Anything that gets posted on official Website or official forums will always have an “PR/official” ring to it. Posting it on Reddit only makes it look very differently.

      Also it makes the banned players put some effort into finding out what to do to get unbanned. Had they made it easier by posting on official channels, it would defeat the whole “permanent ban” effect they wanted.

      additional benefit is that they just did a massive bow in Reddit’s community direction. And got themselves few more die hard fans because of it.

      • RandomEsa says:

        You are deluding yourself if you think that there isn’t any PR behind what those guys say. Reaching for the community is fine but little bit of professionalism doesn’t hurt either.

        • Lemming says:

          The PR was a bonus, but it wasn’t the reason. The fact that they don’t have any official forums up yet – that’s the reason.

      • Kaira- says:

        Reaching out to a small portion of the community. Hell, apparently a million copies were pre-reserved, 60,000 is but a drop in the ocean. And this is without mentioning how awful reddit is in general.

    • RandomEsa says:

      I like the game and all but they desperately need a forum or something where they can post this kind of stuff. I don’t personally like reddit and it’s upvote/downvote system so it isn’t the first place I go for critical information about the game.

      Finding tech related stuff or developer thoughts would be a lot easier to find from a official forum or a blog.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      Yeah, totally. Fuck those guys for performing server maintenance when it is convenient for them to maintain the servers for the largest percentage of the game population.

      All the information that anyone NEEDS to know is posted on the website. The people who spread the exploit came from Reddit, so why the fuck wouldn’t ANet go to Reddit to discuss the spread of the exploit?

      Changelogs will come when they stop updating the client every ten minutes, just like in the first GW. Forums will eventually appear. Right now, they’re trying to avoid bringing the entire system to a crash by putting unnecessary bullshit on their servers.

  13. Deano2099 says:

    Interesting to see the different reactions. There’s a ton of account hacking, which of course is from old password lists. But when that happened with Diablo 3 the week after launch, everyone was quick to “omg Blizzard can’t secure their servers”.

    • chickenhawk says:

      One is a mmorpg the other isn’t.. big big difference.. One says there is a problems, we will try to handle it, the other says thats our fault… onether big big difference…

    • theleif says:

      There is a big difference between Diablo 3 and GW 2 though. In Diablo you can earn real money by selling things, and money is being exchanged, albeit indirectly between players.
      With great power comes great responsibility.

    • Drayk says:

      Except that most Diablo 3 players don’t need an account…. they play solo and offline… + the auction house and gems makes the game insultingly easy if you purchase a bit of good equipment…

      Blizzard always connected policy, which is primarly an anti-piracy measure no matter what they say… prevented people to play the game, even SOLO, for days… and on top of that they had this security problem.

      GW2 launch isn’t perfect but you can at least play the game… a MMO game. and they are pretty honest with the trouble they are facing.

  14. Jabberwocky says:

    I understand that a perma-ban might seem harsh. But MMO economies are fragile things at the best of times. A light slap on the wrist isn’t going to change player behaviour – it’s a risk/reward equation.

    If the community thought this through, they might get more behind a harsh punishment. Exploits ruin the game for honest players, because their loot becomes near worthless (clone exploits), and/or the value of their gold drops through the floor (clone or gold exploits). This affects an honest player’s ability to accumulate (relative) wealth, trade in the auction house, and have competitive gear vs. the cheaters. Not fun.

    They’re not doing this to be dicks. They’re doing this to protect the honest players.

    • mnem says:

      I agree 100%

      If one is a honest player I cant find any reason for him to be against this kind of policing. And if they punish a wrong player they retracted the punishment once shown an evidence.

      One thing I find funny is one person complaining in reddit that hes been banned because he bought a “few” item in the karma vendor and he got banned. Then Arenanet swooped in saying he buy the items thousand times.

  15. Arbodnangle Scrulp says:

    Maybe I’m an old fart, but I live my life by one rule* – don’t do anything you would be ashamed to tell anyone you did. Embarrassed, yes, go for it, but ashamed? I can’t help but wonder about the parenting skills of people who have children that cheat at games that are played for fun.

    *Actually, I have more rules than that, but that one is near the top. The other ones heavily feature turnips and chickens, you won’t be interested.

  16. Milky1985 says:

    I just found it funny when i found out what the exploit they were talking about was, which is really bad and evil for people to use obvoiusly and they should have known better.

    What the exploit?

    People were buying tiems from a vendor where arenanet had set the item costs wrong

    Yep thats what they did, arenanet set the values wrong, people bought them and basically disassembled them to get good items.

    And this is a perma ban offence, really? Not got the game yet but if thats the treatment they give people because of the consquences of one of the their screw ups i really don’t want to be invovled with that :/

    And before peopel shout EULA breach(not counting that eulas are after sale agreements so as useful as a fart in a jacuzzi), it is and it isn’t. I was interested so read the eula, no mention of bugs/vendors etc, in the code of conduct however (where they can set anything they want free from pesky things such as contract fairness) its in there that you should not exploit or show others how to expolit a bug, and breach of the code of conduct means eula breach.

    Although i’m still not convinced that buying items from a vendor counts as exploiting a bug, if players were spawning the vendor via a dodgy debug command maybe. I can’t help but think that they would not be doing this if it wasn’t for the microtransaction system, they say its to keep the game economy in check but it screams “oh we might sell a few less gems”.

    • vee41 says:

      You could say that if there is a truck full of beer with open doors, unguarded at the side of the road it’s ok to take that beer? The situation is pretty much the same. The truck driver made a mistake by letting the truck there and now it’s suddenly ok for everyone to act like an a-hole?

      • Zanchito says:

        HAHAH, same example written at the same time!

        • vee41 says:

          Guess it is a bit too obvious analogy huh? :P

          • Unaco says:

            Not really though… In your analogy, the beer is an actual, physical thing… you’re depriving the rightful owners of the beer of that beer by taking it. In the GW2 situation, ArenaNet are not being deprived of anything, are they… the weapons aren’t limited or physical.

          • spedcor666 says:

            Well, it might be analogous if the truck driver accidently sold the beer for a price that was too low. And yeah, I’m pretty sure no one would take advantage of a mistake like that.

          • chickenhawk says:

            Well the punishement is not the some also…

          • Vorphalack says:

            It’s not an analogy about ”theft” but about breaking the very obvious rules of the world in an opportunistic situation.

          • NathanH says:

            They haven’t broken any obvious rules, though. At worst, they have broken a very vague rule. Everyone playing a game is going to push the game mechanics to work for them as much as possible. Unless they’re going to carefully define where the boundary between “good play” and “exploit” lies, they should be fairly lenient, particularly when people are just taking advantage of what seems to be a blatant error on their part.

          • spedcor666 says:

            No rules of the game world were broken at all, obvious or not. The rules of the world are defined by the game logic. ArenaNet made a mistake by not implementing the rule correctly and so the only rule broken is, as NathanH says, the vague exploit rule given in the EULA.

          • Vorphalack says:

            Exploiting is banned by the EULA. Convince me that generating infinite wealth from vendors for practically no effort is not an exploit, then come back and tell me they broke no rules.

          • RvLeshrac says:

            @NathanH

            They’ve clearly defined the line you’re not to cross.

            To wit:
            When you refer to what you’re doing as exploiting the game, you should stop doing it. You should never have started doing it in the first place.

            MANY people have been warning others not to take advantage of these exploits in-game. I was one of them.

            The stupid fucks who were banned deserve everything they got. They were warned, yet they continued to abuse the exploit.

            ANet also made it clear that people who said “Oh, neat, cheap weapons” and bought a couple were not punished, and will only be expected to dispose of the items.

          • NathanH says:

            Well, I should point out to start with that I don’t agree with rules against “exploits” and I definitely don’t agree with banning people over them. Having said that, I wouldn’t have a problem with the developers simply removing the ill-gotten gains from the characters responsible. They could perhaps even go as far as deleting the offending characters. Banning people, however, is an extreme response to their own ineptitude.

            But there are obviously lots of cases where you’d totally abuse exploits, and nothing would be done. Every time you take advantage of a bad AI quirk? Exploit. You should be banned. Would you want this? Of course not, it’d be ridiculous.

          • Milky1985 says:

            What clearly defined line, I call lots of things in games an exploit. Like for example in certain 3rd person shooters hiding behind a wall where i can’t be shot to heal because the AI is too stupid to go around. Some people call abusing the AI exploits, others call it smart play.

            Also you were warning them, are you a games master? Are you assoicated with arenanet in any way? Why should they listen to you, you are simply another player on a massivly high horse (or other wierd mounted thing)

            I say it again, they were buying from a vendor, a arenanet approved vendor as it was one of there own.

            Its arenanets screwed they should NOT be passing it off onto the customers.

          • Vorphalack says:

            > ”Banning people, however, is an extreme response to their own ineptitude.

            > But there are obviously lots of cases where you’d totally abuse exploits, and nothing would be done. Every time you take advantage of a bad AI quirk? Exploit. You should be banned. Would you want this? Of course not, it’d be ridiculous.”

            The banned players made a personal decision to REPEATEDLY abuse the Karma vendor for financial gain. Players who simply bought a cheap weapon from this vendor were not banned, but have been asked to destroy the items.

            To me that sounds like a fair and proportionate response. Buying a weapon from a vendor is perfectly normal in gameplay, so buying a weapon deemed to be far too cheap is an oversight by ArenaNet, hence no bans. Repeatedly exploiting this oversight is simply abuse of the game system. Such actions are entirely the players responsibility and are quite ban worthy.

          • NathanH says:

            One man’s “abuse of the game system” is another’s “playing the game”. It’s the goal of the player to increase his character’s power, after all.

            The developers have near-infinite power over a particular character, so they have many options that lie somewhere between “do nothing” and “stop that player ever playing at all.” They should have chosen one of these options. Fortunately, they now seem to have realized their mistake and chosen a different option.

          • Vorphalack says:

            ”One man’s “abuse of the game system” is another’s “playing the game”. It’s the goal of the player to increase his character’s power, after all.”

            You aren’t really playing the game if your actions are intended to deliberately circumvent normal game mechanics and give yourself an artificial advantage. That’s what we call cheating.

      • Milky1985 says:

        No, thats a retarded anaology.

        Its more like you go into a shop and someone has priced a DVD at £2, you take it to the counter get todl its the wrong price its meant to be £20.

        In the real world the shops have to either honour the price or remove it from sale at that price (either remove or update the sticker)

        They CANNOT send the baliffs round to anyone who bought the dvd at the price to take the dvd away and then ban them from the store for buying it at that price.

        If your going to argue by using analogies use ones that are relevent and not completly off point.

        I swear RPS comment threads are becoming more and more like eurogamers ever day, they will add the neg system next and this will be negged while your silly analogy will be plused to high heaven.

        • vee41 says:

          Of course we can’t make comparison between real and digital world, it just doesn’t work. But analogies are funny! :P

          The point here would be if people know that they are doing something wrong and still do it, they should be punished.

          • Milky1985 says:

            yes but i ahve real world examples of what happens when what happened here in the virutal world happesn in the real world, basically int eh wreal world its accepted that its the retailers not the clients fault. Why should it be any different because its the software world.

        • Aedrill says:

          “I swear RPS comment threads are becoming more and more like eurogamers ever day, they will add the neg system next and this will be negged while your silly analogy will be plused to high heaven.”

          Oh my God, you should quickly find some different, better place so you can be part of the elite again!

          Also, you’re wrong about your analogy. Shop does not have to honour the “shelf price”, the price at the counter is the only binding one, price on the shelf is nothing more than a note inviting you to buy certain thing. Check out “Pharmaceuticals Society of Great Britain v. Boots Chash Chemists, 1953″

          • Milky1985 says:

            Yes they can refuse sale, but most places for customer service reasons will honour the shelf price then take the items off of stock.

            They still cannot go round to your house and take the items back after purchase and ban you from the store.

            And what is wrong with wanting a comment section of peopel willing to have a discussion not a bunch of raging fanboys negging anyone who doesn’t believe the same things they do?

        • RvLeshrac says:

          The difference is called “intent to defraud.” If you purchase something at the incorrect price and the cashier notes it, that’s a simple mistake.

          If you then go back and buy hundreds of them, KNOWING that the price is incorrect, at the self-checkout, that’s a crime.

          • Milky1985 says:

            Have you ever worked at a shop before, thats really not the case. Another analogy taken to a stupid extreme is what you are suggesting

            Beside the company has the right to REFUSE sale if they want to, if you rocked up with 50 of something someone normally buys 10 of someone will notice and say “ok maybe not”.

        • Nick says:

          “In the real world the shops have to either honour the price or remove it from sale at that price (either remove or update the sticker)”

          Nah, they can just refuse to sell it to you. They are under no obligation to sell their goods to you.

      • tetracycloide says:

        What actually happened is closer to a store labeling beer as $0.399 instead of $3.99 and people bought them. I absolutely loved that you somehow managed to conflate that with theft though.

    • Zanchito says:

      Hey, this suburb house door is unlocked! I guess it’s allright if I come in and help myself to the contents of their refrigerator. I mean, if they didn’t want people coming into their home and eating their food, they should have locked the door, shouldn’t they?

      • Unaco says:

        I’d think it’s more like “Hey… Tesco is selling Bacon for 2p a pack, rather than £2!! I’m buying heaps”. Then you get to the door, get arrested and sent to prison… for the rest of your life!

        A Vendor, charging a (much reduced price) is not really like an open door on someone’s house.

      • Milky1985 says:

        Utterly stupid analogy, you know its someones house. Its a completely different situation.

        If your going to use anaologies i will use one that makes sense and is relevent,and expand on unaco’s analogy (which has actually happened in the UK in shops, the wrong price not the get arrested thing). In that situations the shops have to either honour the price or remove the item from sale.

        They cannot send someone round to previous buyers house to remove the bacon from the fridges and then ban them form ever entering a tescos again. If tesco did that they would be rightly riddiculed and shot down.

        • vee41 says:

          Guess the keyword here would be common sense. Anyone that has played the game knows that the price is not correct. How they react to that is up to them and shows well how high morale they have.

          • NathanH says:

            Although it’s true that it’s of questionable morality to repeatedly exploit obviously undercosted vendor items, it doesn’t seem something worthy of banning. It’s the mistake of the company, after all: they offered the players certain items at certain prices, and it doesn’t seem fair to punish people for accepting these offers.

            Thinking more generally, do we really want to be looking over our shoulders every time we work out a way to use the game mechanics in an advantageous way that the designers didn’t want or expect?

        • Drake Sigar says:

          “Utterly stupid analogy”

          No. You’re being far too generous there. Comparing using the mechanics set on an online game to your advantage, to burglarising someone’s home or stealing from some dude’s truck is so far beyond utterly stupid it defies belief. It’s like these two morons embody a corporate wet dream.

          • vee41 says:

            Sigh. The point is not the mechanics behind it, it’s the morality.

            Someone above replied pretty well when they said that it’s matter of people taking advantage of opportunistic situation. There are clear rules that everyone is aware of, breaking them has consequences. Yes ArenaNet made a mistake but some people decided to take advantage of that mistake. Is taking advantage of that mistake somehow not punishable as they did obviously know it is wrong?

          • Milky1985 says:

            Some people might not have know it was wrong, just some hidden vendor (some games do that, seen many in RPG land , the hidden vendor thats either round a wierd corner or in plain sight)

            Be interesting to see what would happen if this sort of thing happened in eve.

          • Unaco says:

            Taking advantage of an opportunity is a permaban offence? Don’t think so. What sort of opportunities should not be taken? Where do you draw the line.

            What rules did these people break? The rules are surely determined by the game itself… the mechanics and the logic of the game. Vendor sells item A for X. Player1 buys at this price. Which rule has he broken?

          • spedcor666 says:

            ‘There are clear rules that everyone is aware of, breaking them has consequences.’

            Their definition of an exploit is far from clear. Also, you shouldn’t presume to know what is obvious to other people.

          • dE says:

            These kind of things always make me laugh. It’s funny how quickly people come up with “how should I have known?! I’m innocent!”. It’s not like suddenly swimming in thousands of coins with no effort whatsoever is any clear indication, no sir.
            Let’s be honest here, those that used this were fully aware this wasn’t intended. Exhibit A with no others being needed: Those that were banned, did it an awful lot in a short amount of time. They got greedy and went full-in.

            The quantity signifies their knowledge of it being not intended. They noticed the unusual amount of reward for a minuscule amount of effort. The timely limitation further signifies this. They knew this was unintended and decided to grab it while they could, because they knew there was a fix coming.

            That’s what the Bans scale with. Stumble onto it and not abuse it: No ban. Find out about it and try it a couple of times to see for yourself – 72 hours ban. Abusing the bloody hell out of it, to completely skew the economy for all times and all other players while getting unreasonably rich in the process and gaining a several months advantage for what still amounts as minuscule effort – yeah, ban for life. I’m sad they allow an appeal though.

          • Drake Sigar says:

            It’s not like these players modified files or hacked accounts, they only acted in accordance with what the game allowed them to do. And even if you’re not convinced by that, I don’t see how you can advocate taking well over £100 (collector’s edition) from a player, then telling the player to piss off whilst providing no further service. That would be the real theft here, and a downright dangerous mindset to have when it comes to our own consumer rights.

          • spedcor666 says:

            I couldn’t care less if people knew if it was intended or not. As far as I’m concerned they should be punishing people for actual cheating and attempting to get around the rules of the game. Not for taking advantage of the rules as implemented by the developers.

            But fair enough, if you think sticking a vague definition of an exploit in the EULA and dishing out permabans when they feel like it is fine, then good for you.

        • briktal says:

          Or use an example that does seem to happen a lot: an online retailer lists some product for a really low price (like $100 for a TV instead of $1000). Tons of people rush to buy them, the retailer notices and then cancels the orders.

          • Unaco says:

            Good analogy, but it doesn’t quite go far enough. The Online retailer doesn’t just cancel the orders, they ban your account/credit card so you can never shop with them again, send people round to your house to remove anything you’ve already bought from them, and take £30 from you (the cost of the game).

          • Milky1985 says:

            Excatly, ordered one of those during my uni years, it got canceled.

            What they didn’t do was ban the account for making the order :P

          • Zanchito says:

            This is the only counterargument that has made sense to me, well put toghether, sir!

    • Drake Sigar says:

      I think perm bans are a gross violation of consumer rights, often given for offences in which the developers themselves should be taking responsibility.

      • f1x says:

        As much as I love GW2 and Arenanet, I too think this bans are too harsh,

        but on the other hand, I’m quite sure responsabilities will be accounted, but probably inside the company

      • JiminyJickers says:

        I agree. Don’t care if they took advantage of a glitch, the dev’s should fix the mistake and take the items/gold back, not perma-ban people.

    • MacGuffin says:

      This isn’t true exactly. They weren’t banned for buying obviously underpriced weapons, people who just bought a single weapon at a steep discount were not permabanned. The bans went to people who, realizing that the price was a bug that would be fixed, then bought thousands of the underpriced weapons and broke them down into component materials for resale. That crosses the line from innocently taking advantage of an oversight and into exploitation of a bug to the detriment of the game and the rest of the community.

      People defending exploiting game mechanics for personal gain will try to claim that “Anyone can just be banned for accidentally buying stuff from vendors!”. This is false, the people who were banned knew that what they were doing was wrong and they were punished. The only question is whether the punishment was too harsh for a first offense. I think establishing a low-tolerance towards exploitation is a good thing in the long run, personally.

      • RvLeshrac says:

        I think the response, banning them outright to begin with and then agreeing to lower the punishment *only if* the banned demonstrate that they understand what they did was wrong and that all gains from that exploit are destroyed, was perfect.

        The *ONLY* people disagreeing are:

        1) People who knew this was wrong, yet continued to do it anyway (For the record, of course, the maximum reasonable amount of bag space is currently around ~100, while many of the banned were banned for 200 or more purchases)

        2) People who don’t understand the situation, and are just making up bullshit excuses for the exploiters.

        • NathanH says:

          There are also type 3: the people who believe that banning people over “exploits” is ridiculous in principle, and that the point of playing video games is to try to take advantage of the systems provided by the developers.

          • FriendlyFire says:

            Isn’t the point of a video game to play and have fun?

            Min/maxing at the detriment of the rest of the player base is shitty. I’m glad the people who thought this was a good idea are getting the hammer.

          • NathanH says:

            The developers as Gamesmasters have near-infinite power over the game. There are plenty of solutions available to them to rebalance the economy should they deem it necessary. None of these solutions require going to the extremes of banning people permanently.

          • MacGuffin says:

            ArenaNet seems to be sending a pretty clear message to people who would use obviously broken mechanics to knock over the economy and enrich themselves. That’s the purpose of the ban, to create accountability in the community. I’m tired of MMO gamers who act like sociopaths, screw up games for everyone else and cost developers the financial burden of cleaning up their mess and then walk away laughing with a slap on the wrist. Having no consequences just encourages such people to push the boundaries of acceptable behavior as much as possible because they believe they can get away with it.

          • NathanH says:

            As I said, the developers have near-infinite power. They can do whatever they want to a particular player. There are very many options between “do nothing” and “prevent them from playing at all”.

  17. Beernut says:

    I was wondering, why I had gotten two “password-reset”-emails, without even owning the game. Turns out, that I’d been invited to a GW-Factions-preview-something-or-other back in 2006 and apparently made an Arenanet-account at that time. I found no information on their website regarding this issue, with their forums being down and all. Why would Arenanet take their forums down during the launch-phase of a humongous MMO, which is expected to attract potentially millions of people? They’d have to anticipate, that half of those might probably have some questions at some point and the need for a somewhat “official” place to exchange information with their fellow players.

    • hotcod says:

      Unlike other MMOs they don’t have any projected income from subs so they are more open to being badly hurt by having to much over capacity for any given part of the service in the long run once the launch spike in players dies down. They likely know that their forums will not be able to handle the load that will be put on them during this launch and can’t risk having a beefier set up than their long term projections indicate they need.

      This is also I think the reason why they are shunting down direct sales, they know how many units are at retail and how many units are active so they have a cap on the number of players who could be playing and can estimate levels of use for any given time. They’ve likely hit the point where if they allow any more units in to that pool they are risking providing unacceptable levels of service. They could of course set up more capacity and keep on selling but they are understandably being conservative giving they can’t use subs to eat up the costs that come with having to shut down servers.

    • ProudPlatypus says:

      Yeah the forum thing is a shame. I believe they haven’t opened it yet because of the burden currently on their servers. I think they are waiting for things to calm down a little first.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      I don’t own WoW, but I constantly get WoW phishing.
      I don’t own EVE, but I constantly get EVE phishing.

      I don’t own a lot of the things I get phishing mail for. That’s the point of phishing, it targets people who have accounts on similar sites.

  18. Lobotomist says:

    They sent a clear message : “The quality of our game is more important than sales for us”

    Every day I have more respect for Anet.

  19. ProudPlatypus says:

    Don’t feel too sorry for those they permabanned, they knew exactly what they were doing. They didn’t ban just anyone who stumbled across it, they banned those who took 50+ weapons.

    • Thurgret says:

      I’m somewhat surprised that the main article refrained from mentioning this.

      Come on, guys. You’re literally giving ArenaNet bad press right there, without actually including the full story along with it. They’ve already said that people who bought less than fifty of the mispriced items weren’t punished at all, those who bought up to a hundred received a temporary ban, and those who purchased in excess of a hundred received permanent bans. You’re still calling it a bit harsh. Really? It seems to me that even letting off people who had bought up to fifty is rather lenient — there’s no way anyone could have a genuine personal use for more than four or five or so.

  20. trjp says:

    erm – surely they’ve stopped direct sales because their hardware is melting and not because people are hacking.

    That seems disingenuous to say the least…

    • Zanchito says:

      And they didn’t. What I understand from the text is that they are stopping direct sales until they can get the servers working more smoothly.

  21. Commander Gun says:

    I don’t blame companies when launching a mmorpg when things go wrong, i blame them when they fail to communicate.
    Now, Arenanet does that better (much better) than any other company, so props for that.
    HOWEVER,
    They do that via every method except the correct one: Their own website. At the very least redirect players to these sites via a link on your own website. Facebook, Twitter and Reddit (that last one is almost not used at all in the NL, is this something USA?) is not the correct way to do it imho.

    Two other things of note that i find mildly annoying is their USA-centrism. Updates on ALL (incl. european servers) in the middle of the night? No tx.
    And instant patches throughout the day, especially at peak hours, Yesterday there was an immediate patch at 20:30 in the afternoon. Login wars after that of course.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      The very first item on guildwars2.com is a link to their Reddit post.

      Why is the post on Reddit? So they can read and respond to comments without putting a shitload more stress on the GW servers.

  22. Freud says:

    So basically Arenanet sold things too cheaply and then smacked the ones buying too cheaply, if they bought a bunch of the cheap items.

  23. grable says:

    Well this is fucked up indeed.
    Would they permaban people for exploiting mob behavior and terrain features for farming as well?
    Its all on them for having buggy shit imo.

    • codename_bloodfist says:

      I agree, this is completely ludicrous. I’ve done things in GW2 that seemed a little too easy. For instance, for some 15 silver, I increased my cooking skill dramatically by buying cheap resources for karma along with some supplementary goods for coin and converting them into whatever. Am I exploiting or playing the game as intended now, because it was rather easy compared to levelling cooking with other recipes? I honestly don’t have a bloody clue.

      I’ve always viewed success in MMO economies as a matter that is often determined by wit and discovery. For instance, I’ve made a fair bit of gold in WoW by manipulating the action house, essentially selling a large number of goods at a low price, thus decreasing their overall worth and buying back even more for less after enough people put their own same goods there. It’s just being smart. Would I be banned from Guild Wars for doing this with something like gems? Not a clue, but it would be pretty damn stupid if I did.

  24. DiamondDog says:

    If people are so immature that they can’t keep their mouth shut in public or resist putting their hand into the cookie jar then maybe they need an angry digital parent to shout at them.

    I realise that sounds horribly like a “conscription would do ‘em good” kind of comment, but as someone brought up with manners am I ever sick of hearing people defend others for being arseholes. So they paid for the game and then got banned for trying it on. Tough shit, I paid for it too and I’m still playing because I haven’t been fucking about.

    Now excuse me while I go vomit up all this conservative bile.

  25. Shooop says:

    While I do appreciate not tolerating massive exploits, is a full ban really necessary for a first-time offense? AreaNet does own the servers, which means they own your characters’ inventory. They could have deleted anything anyone wasn’t supposed to have couldn’t they?

    • Bostec says:

      Like they did in EVE with no permban right? One would wonder if they were this happy with the ban hammer if One had a sub. I don’t think they would of. It all sounds like a good option to free up the servers.

    • Lemming says:

      The article doesn’t really get the nuance of it. Those they exploited a couple of hundred times or less – they got 72 hours. Those that exploited thousands of times – they got perma-banned. Somewhere a line had to be drawn, surely?

      • Freud says:

        The game has been out four days. How are people supposed to know what stuff is really worth so they can distinguish where the line between cheap and exploit is? If you see something that is a great deal, of course you are going get as much of it as possible. Banning people for doing it many times is stupid. They are doing it many times for the same reason someone did it few times. It seemed like a very profitable thing to do.

        • RvLeshrac says:

          They should know because people were STANDING NEXT TO THE VENDOR saying it was an exploit, and that people would be banned for abusing it.

        • Lemming says:

          Why would you buy something in those numbers if you didn’t know it was an exploit? Mass-buying is admission of guilt in this case.

      • dissident says:

        This is incorrect, those who did it more than 50 times were suspended, those who did it more than 100 times were banned. There is no line between those who bought 101 items and those who bought thousands.

        • Lemming says:

          On the reddit thread some were advised they had done it 200 odd times, and told they could appeal their ban. That seems more lenient to me than those that were perma-banned with no appeal.

  26. caddyB says:

    Oh so they could buy the real life money gems with the gold they made, so it’s obviously not entirely virtual.

    I think. I don’t play it, you see.

  27. SexualHarassmentPanda says:

    I for one am happy with aNet. Last thing we need is chinese gold farmers exploiting the shit out of the game. Ban the fools and be done with it!

    And for those defending the exploiters, the vast majority only recieved 3 day bans. The people who were permabanned were exploiting for thousands of items so they could resell them for easy gold.

  28. Moraven says:

    So let me understand this correctly.

    You could buy lv 60 weapons for karma then which then can be salvaged for profit. People found this out and went all out doing this.

    Why should people be banned for this? It is not their fault something is cheap and/or salvaging for more than it should. Blizzard would not ban people over a simple vendor screw up of theirs. It would be disabled (via vendor does not sell item or you can not salvage the item) and hotfixed.

    And even if they did there would not be a instant perma ban for their mistake.

    Also, why is there not automated name reporting feature that simply forces the player to rename their character (like in WoW). Repeat offenses merit a suspension.

    • roy7 says:

      I think the issue is the karma weapons of other races were all one price, but one of the vendors was broken and selling at 1/100 of the normal price. It was an obvious error.

      • dissident says:

        So must we check the price of every similar item, before we buy something to make sure its not too good to be true? It is not the buyers responsibility to decide if a price is fair or not, we are paying customers not quality control.

        It was their error and they should have apologised and fix the issue. A rollback to fix the error would have been fine to protect the economy, but an instant permaban was going way too far.

        • mnem says:

          If you unintentionally buy the said items you will not get banned.

          But buying the items hundreds or thousand of times for the purpose of getting the gems, forging a level 80 weapons and/or selling it for gold? I think you agree with me that its intentionally exploiting the game.

          Anet already said it, you will only get permabanned if you bought the said items more than 50 times. There are some people you only bought 1 item and they didn’t receive even the temp ban.

    • mnem says:

      I guess that’s the difference between Arenanet and Blizzard.

  29. TheTourist314 says:

    If they’ve disabled reset password for now, how am I supposed to ensure my password for GW2 is unique and not used for anything else?

  30. Achilles84 says:

    The people that got banned were exploiting. They new they were exploiting or they wouldnt have done it thousands of times. Good riddance.

    • NathanH says:

      Ever taken advantage of an AI quirk in your favour that obviously wasn’t intended by the designers? Exploiter, you’re banned, good riddance.

      • Dominic White says:

        If it’s a bug that will obviously cause *the entire goddamn economy to crash*, then you should probably steer well clear.

        This isn’t anywhere close to ‘I got a boss stuck on a rock so I can shoot him safely’. That doesn’t even register as the faintest blip on most developers radars. However, pulling shit that can and will screw up a fundamental part of the game for EVERY player – literally millions of them – is something to come down on hard.

        The auction house economy for this game is global. It links all servers. That needs to be protected. And you don’t seem to have cottoned on to the fact that people can get these ‘permanent’ bans lifted by just saying sorry and that they won’t do it again, and destroying their ill-gotten goods.

        • NathanH says:

          Well, I wouldn’t blame the players if the developers have ineptly created an economy that crashes when players attempt to use the in-game rules to increase their wealth. I guess this is one reason why RPGs like this have no appeal to me whatsoever: the developers are bad Gamesmasters. They want things to go the way they want, and if they’ve messed up and allowed things to go a way they don’t want, they don’t want to follow that route and explore where it goes, they want to go back to their system.

          Still, it’s good that they’ve realized their mistakes and adopted a more proportionate response, even though I think it is in principle the wrong one. I don’t think they should ever hand out permanent bans for people doing things that they’ve allowed them to do, so it’s a good thing that they have backed away from it.

          • Achilles84 says:

            Trolls will troll.

          • Achilles84 says:

            Yeah a “good gamemaster” would say, “Hey, this bug was exploited and has the potential to wreck havoc on this game we have spent years on, lets just sit back and watch it happen..” Thats sound logic there….. just wow

  31. Dominic White says:

    Just repeating because everyone seems to have missed this part: These ‘permanent’ bans are being lifted on the agreement that those using the exploit own up and apologize. If you’re too much of an internet badass to say sorry for deliberately screwing the economy? Well, you don’t get to play GW2. That seems pretty fair and reasonable to me.

  32. Ministry says:

    I couldn’t even name my pet “Opium Devourer” so that raises a lot of red flags for me personally, but some people enjoy their rated G time while killing people.

    • Dominic White says:

      The game is rated Teen/12+. No swearing, no gore, no racism, none of the usual bullshit. You don’t get to drag that shit in with you when you play – leave it at the door.

      If you can’t deal with the idea of acting like an adult in a game suitable for kids? Well, go play one of the less friendly MMOs.

      • lexoneir says:

        An adult? But you just said that the game is Teen/12+. It seems like the game instead makes adults, who are mature enough to handle swearing, drug references, or racism as a joke, act like teen and twelve year olds in terms of their maturity level and what they’re expected to talk about.

        • Achilles84 says:

          Hey genius, if an adult came into your kids classroom and started cursing, glamorizing drugs, or being perverted, he or she should be shown the door. Being an adult means FAR more than being able to participate MATURE themed content. It’s also about being responsible and considerate. Being 18+ doesn’t mean you know how to act like an adult.

        • mnem says:

          If your mature enough, you will not act like that in public especially in front of the children.

          If acting like a jerk is normal for you, I guess Anet is doing a good job convincing you not to get their game.

          • Dominic White says:

            Exactly. If you can’t behave yourself in public, nobody is going to treat you like a responsible adult. If you insist on acting like a petulant child, then ANet can and will take your toys away.

        • katinkabot says:

          In what place do you live in is it ok to just start cursing and hurling racial epithets at random people? Or just screaming them? Seriously? I’m not talking about a game, I’m talking about the real world. If I saw someone doing that while walking down the street, I’d think they were nuts and possibly dangerous. I think the same of people who do it in a game. As people have already said, there’s a difference between being a mature person and mature themes. I don’t want the garbage that you seem to qualify as normal adult behavior in a game meant for 18 year olds and I certainly don’t want it in this game.

          P.S. Racism isn’t a joke. Never has been. Still isn’t. Never will be.

  33. goettel says:

    Yeah well, after a mostly smooth launch things turned sour a bit over the last week. But even in its current state, I’m loving it: it’s an outstanding game, warts and all, and has done what seemed impossible after all the MMO failures we’ve had: deliver exactly what was promised.

    As for the bans: we’re talking about exploiters – basically cheaters. These people knew what they were doing, and nobody who actually loves this game will miss them. Good riddance.

  34. Punchbowled says:

    Anet’s attitude to player discipline won sales from me and my partner. The way players conduct themselves in online gaming communities has poisoned the scene for too long. Anet have given me hope.

    I want people to behave *better* in online games than they do offline. It wouldn’t take much to shift the dominant culture away from its present forms, but it will take consistency. As such I’m only sorry they’ve gone back on the permabans.

    • Achilles84 says:

      Yeah it’s pretty sad when people get outraged that someone would have the gull to expecte them to be well mannered.

  35. ScatheZombie says:

    Wanted to pop in a clear up a few things that seemed to be confused/confusing:

    1) “Seems a bit harsh for just messing with virtual economics?”

    There were several bugs with pricing that lead to the exploit, most of them having to do with inaccurate prices on Karma items and then reselling those items for Gold. The exploits were fixed rather quickly (within a few hours) but by then the top exploiters had made 100s of gold, in at least one case over 1,000, while the average player’s total gold was somewhere closer to 2-20g, or less. The reason this is a big problem … is that it directly affects the gem market because of the ability to buy gems for gold. So people with 1,000+ gold buying/selling gems in a market where the average player has <20g within the first week of release is rather market breaking – both from a in-game economy standpoint and RMT economy standpoint. They really needed to send a clear and strong message.

    2) Not everyone who used this exploit were banned. In fact, most people were not banned at all. Some received 72 hour bans. Only the biggest ~3,000 abusers were given permanent bans.Which isn't that much given their ~2 million players.

    3) "These bans can now be appealed via the game’s support process."

    You could always appeal your ban. There was never a time when you could not, or were not directed to, contact customer support. Saying "now" implies that you could not before, but you can now. That's always been an option. The only thing that's changed is that they announced to everyone, banned or not, what their policy is.

    4) Reddit isn't the only place to get this information. If you were banned, when you attempted to login, you would get a message stating you were banned, for how long the ban was, and the reason for the ban – along with a link to contact customer support. In addition, you should have received an email from ArenaNet stating basically the same information. This wasn't something that was hidden deep within Reddit from the people being banned. The reason it was posted on Reddit was to let those *who were not banned* what the policy was, should they decide to do something warranting a ban.

    Admittedly, I'm leaning for more toward ArenaNet's side on this, so much of what I've said above will likely reflect that. But after reading the article and several of the comments, I felt like a lot of the information about this situation was either missing or misleading.

  36. Ulkjen says:

    I have a working analogy for this whole ban situation. How would everyone feel if this happened. Say, I personally found a loophole in our real world market. I found a way to make -billions- of dollars. However, by performing this loophole it eventualy leads to a massive increase in the price of the items related to said loophole. The increased price on these items slowly overtakes everything else…

    How would you feel if everything you owned was suddenly worthless while I sat swimming in my pool of liquid gold?

  37. Wulf says:

    Sigh. Another article of scandal and sensationalism, just to generate clicks. If it’s not, then why not do your research before you post? VG24/7 have been given hell about this and they got better, they actually took that on board.

    I don’t know, I thought I could have expected better of you, Jim. Guess not. RPS just gets more and more depressing, especially after Alec’s bout of ridiculous hyperbole a while back.

    I just feel bad for ArenaNet. So sue me.

    • Unaco says:

      What about the article is sensationalist Wulf? All of it is confirmed, by ArenaNet themselves.

      Also… do you remember your comments when the Illum bans happened in SWTOR? Just to refresh your memory… The players should not have been punished, you said. They were just playing the game, and you should never punish someone for playing the game. It was the Devs fault, and something like this would NEVER happen in GW2. Do you remember that? Why have you changed your mind? Is it because you’re biased towards GW2?

      Also… you railed against people being banned for using bad language in SWTOR. But not here. Again, why the hypocrisy? What’s different here? Is it because it’s GW2?

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