On August 31, 3,000 Guild Wars 2 players were banned from the game for exploiting a bug: an in-game vendor was selling an item for far too cheap, people bought it (repeatedly), and then sold it on for profit.
ArenaNet wasn’t amused. They quickly deployed an emergency hotfix, banned the offenders permanently, and only reduced these bans to 72 hours upon receiving a commitment from the offenders not to do it again.
This caused a bit of a stir at the time. The players weren’t hacking the game, and only taking advantage of one of the few bugs that made it into the final release. Still, ArenaNet justified their actions based on the argument that the players knew they were being bad.
ArenaNet then said that any future exploiting would be met harshly, and that they wouldn’t be so quick to pardon lifetime bans in future. So what else could you get banned for?
Going AFK in PvP
AFKers are the scourge of PvP games everywhere. That’s why they receive special mention in the Guild Wars 2 Rules of Conduct:
“While participating in Plaver-vs-Player (PvP) gameplay, you will not participate in any form of match manipulation. Match manipulation is defined as any action taken to fix or manipulate the outcome of a match or alter or manipulate the rankings or ratings of the ladder. This also includes disrupting other people’s game experience by not actively participating in matches in good faith, a.k.a leeching.”
“Not participating in matches in good faith” seems broad. If you have to take an emergency AFK, is it a violation? Probably, as it would be difficult to prove your sudden urge to go to the toilet. It’s your word against theirs. As such, make sure you relieve yourself before signing up to PvP. Your account privileges depend on it.
Modding the UI
You can’t “Use, or provide others with, any ‘hack,’ ‘cheat,’ ‘exploit’ or ‘mod’”. The inclusion of mods in the prohibited programs list is interesting. Most other MMOs allow and even encourage mods. Half of WoW’s features were built on player-created mods.
I’m guessing that Guild Wars 2 doesn’t even include the code hooks to make a UI mod, so it’s just as well the default UI works. Still, it is a relief to know that damage parses and other such annoying tools will be excluded from the game.
Playing the game at a cybercafé
You can’t, without written authorisation “Be a party to any commercial activity related to the Game, including but not limited to:
- providing or obtaining any Item; or
- use of the Service, the Game, Content or Software at an Internet café, cyber café or computer gaming center.”
The first part is a clear prohibition on gold farming. The second part means you can’t play Guild Wars 2 at a cybercafé without the signed, written permission of ArenaNet themselves. I have no idea how this will be enforced, but I suppose you’re best off playing the game from home, anyway.
Advertising your guild
You can’t “market, promote, advertise, or solicit within the Guild Wars 2 Game or on the official Guild Wars 2 websites.”
Obviously, this is more aimed at commercial advertising, and it’s possible I’m using a bit of hyperbole here. But the open wording of this section makes it a bannable offense to recruit people to your guild, in Guild Wars 2, if ArenaNet really wanted to. You never know.
Losing your grip on reality
We all hate those crazy people who believe gamers are itching to take a sniper rifle to the nearest rooftop. However, ArenaNet’s going a step further and demanding you agree to your sanity. This is quite the boon, because if anyone ever tells you that video games have affected your psyche, you can just waive the Guild Wars 2 EULA at them — the bit where you legally agreed that you were untouched by gaming:
“You understand the Game sets forth a virtual world and not the real world, that You understand the distinction between a virtual world and the real world.”
It is, after all, what we’ve been telling to opponents of the R18+ rating for years, so it’s good to see ArenaNet join the cause. But just to make sure you understand the importance of this:
“You understand that Your privacy, as well as the privacy of others who do not know each other personally in the real world, is well served by keeping interactions in a virtual world separate from those in the real world.”
There you go. Don’t name your character after yourself, don’t talk on TeamSpeak with complete strangers, and don’t expect to meet your future next girlfriend in Guild Wars 2.