In the few short days since its explosive release, ArenaNet‘s Guild Wars 2 has been taking the MMO world by storm. Its breathtaking visuals, well thought out gameplay and immersive storyline drew countless players immediately on its early release (which was available to players who pre-purchased the game), and again when it was officially released on the Tuesday. On the flip-side of its success and huge following, however, the World of Warcraft successor is already dealing with the negative aspects of growing very large, very quickly.
ArenaNet recently laid its ban hammer down on over 3000 Guild Wars 2 accounts, whose users were caught exploiting a fairly simple mistake in an NPC shop. The shop in question was selling an otherwise basic item for an incredibly low price, while allowing users to sell the item back for a much greater amount — resulting in a huge amount of in-game currency being generated. It’s difficult to tell how far-reaching the exploit may be, as players may have used this acquired currency on very expensive and rare items in the game-wide trading post, or may have traded it with other players.
Another highly-debated topic of conversation is the gravity of ArenaNet’s action towards the players taking part in the exploit, who could arguably be seen as simply being opportunistic. Guild Wars 2‘s lead producer, Chris Whiteside, shared a statement on Reddit about the incident.
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.
In light of the conversation taking place over the exploit, and the fact that this is the first of its kind in the game, ArenaNet has offered to lift the bans after 72 hours to players who agree to delete any currency or items gained through using the exploit. It should also be noted that the exploit was not initiated by any player in any way, nor were there any hacking methods used in order to cause the incident.
As well as struggling to defend itself against game-breaking exploits, ArenaNet has also suspended its first-party digital sales until it can accurately assess the sheer wealth of users playing Guild Wars 2, and determine the stress on their servers, as well as on other players. Regina Buenaobra posted a statement on the official Facebook page for the game, offering some insight into the decision to temporarily close their digital sales.
Ensuring the best possible play experience for our fans is our highest priority. We’ve said before that we would be willing to temporarily disable first-party digital sales if we felt our high player concurrency may compromise player experiences. We have now reached that point.
It has certainly been a busy week for ArenaNet, but Guild Wars 2 itself has been doing very well. It has received 94% on Metacritic, as well as garnering many other favorable reviews. Our own review of the game is currently underway, so keep an eye out for it! In the meantime, you can check out our Guild Wars 2 initial impressions.
Guild Wars 2 is currently available for Windows PC, and physical retail copies can still be purchased where available.
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