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ArenaNot: Guild Wars 2 Permabans, Direct Sales Halted

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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Jim Rossignol

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