Legal Opinion: Does the Guild Wars 2 EULA contain any nasty surprises?

Guild Wars 2 EULA

By on September 13, 2012 at 4:56 pm

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:

  1. providing or obtaining any Item; or
  2. 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.

15 comments (Leave your own)

So many people online get away with things by using the “I didn’t know excuse.” It is as if common sense doesn’t apply and if its possible to do something, you can claim you thought you were allowed and you didn’t know it was wrong.

 

This isn’t particularly unique to GW2.

 

“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.”

In other words, If your retarded son jumps off a cliff thinking he wont die because real world physics are the same as GW2′s physics. Don’t bother suing us for your inept parenting skills.

 

So you can get banned by doing something in-game that the game allows you to do.

This seems a bit stupid to me, fix the bug you created and if the money completely ruined the economy remove the currency from the players that gained from the bug.

 

This is bizare. The whole part of ‘playing’ a game is about identifying advantages with the given set of constraints, and taking advantage of them.

Finding something which can be sold for profit is literally something you should actively be doing in a game, and is no different to figuring out which skills/builds work better than others.

Punishing players for simply playing in a way they dont like is beyond the pale. They werent cheating by changing the games constraints, just playing the game.

If Anet doesnt like a playstyle, patch the game to remove that particular advantage.

Making any sort of punishment to players in this instance is just flat-out wrong, and this behaviour by a company should not be encouraged or condoned by anyone.

 

coatsy22:
This is bizare.The whole part of ‘playing’ a game is aboutidentifying advantages with the given set of constraints, and taking advantage of them.

Finding something which can be sold for profit is literally something you should actively be doing in a game, and is no different to figuring out which skills/builds work better than others.

Punishing players for simply playing in a way they dont like is beyond the pale.They werent cheating by changing the games constraints, just playing the game.

If Anet doesnt like a playstyle, patch the game to remove that particular advantage.

Making any sort of punishment to players in this instance is just flat-out wrong, and this behaviour by a company should not be encouraged or condoned by anyone.

It happens in real life champ, see: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Man-Withdraws-and-Gambles-Away-1-5-Million-1-1-Million-Bank-Error-275982.shtml

After 15 days, the bank noticed the error and stopped all the transactions. Now, Page could be sentenced to 15 months in prison, Bank of America being partly blamed for the incident.

Was it his fault the ATM allowed him to draw all that money out? no. Should the man be allowed to keep the money? fuck no, Should he be punished for it? Yep. It’s stealing.

It wasn’t their property to take, they should have reported the bug and left it alone. You think Anet intended for the bug to be there, and before you say anything, I dare you to look at thousands and thousands of lines of code and find EVERY mistake.

 

It wasn’t a bug.
Just an item with the wrong price tag.

In this country, if an item has the wrong price tag AND the shop sells it to you for that price then its their loss.

It is as simple as that, no matter how many items a shop has it is their responsibility to set the price correctly or decline to sell the item at the incorrect price.
They can’t retroactively bill you for it or press charges of shop lifting.

 

This is why the Eve economy is better. That is all

 
Village idiot

collect0r: It happens in real life champ, see: http://news.softpedia.com/news/Man-Withdraws-and-Gambles-Away-1-5-Million-1-1-Million-Bank-Error-275982.shtml

Was it his fault the ATM allowed him to draw all that money out? no. Should the man be allowed to keep the money? fuck no, Should he be punished for it? Yep. It’s stealing.

It wasn’t their property to take, they should have reported the bug and left it alone. You think Anet intended for the bug to be there, and before you say anything, I dare you to look at thousands and thousands of lines of code and find EVERY mistake.

Analogy fail. That would be like logging in and seeing that you magically had 1000 gold and then proceeded to spend it all, knowing that you weren’t entitled to it. In that instance yes you should be punished.

In this case it was more like what trb said. It was an item with an incorrect price tag that was sold and it’s ANets fault pure and simple.

 

Their rules their gamer, dont like it, don’t play it. Seems pretty simple to me.They new exactly what they were doing an hoped to profit from it to make it so they could bypass the main game. They deserved the ban an while its down to Anet to decide, I wouldn’t have given back some of their accounts. All Anet did was show that you can get away with anything. Case in point. The game is becoming infested now every day with more an more bots.

Anet don’t ban them. I even got a warning for “griefing” a known bot. Because I would train mobs on him to get him killed.

I am really hoping Anet show some backbone an stand their ground but I think they have already lost the fight.

 

tas:
Their rules their gamer, dont like it, don’t play it. Seems pretty simple to me.They new exactly what they were doing an hoped to profit from it to make it so they could bypass the main game. They deserved the ban an while its down to Anet to decide, I wouldn’t have given back some of their accounts. All Anet did was show that you can get away with anything. Case in point. The game is becoming infested now every day with more an more bots.

Anet don’t ban them. I even got a warning for “griefing” a known bot. Because I would train mobs on him to get him killed.

I am really hoping Anet show some backbone an stand their ground but I think they have already lost the fight.

This is the problem with games in this day an age, in that you pay for something that isn’t technically yours.

It’s stupid really you buy a game you should be able to play it however you like.

 

villageidiot: Analogy fail. That would be like logging in and seeing that you magically had 1000 gold and then proceeded to spend it all, knowing that you weren’t entitled to it. In that instance yes you should be punished.

In this case it was more like whattrb said. It was an item with an incorrect price tag that was sold and it’s ANets fault pure and simple.

And tell me, how do you prevent the automatic sale of an item in a game? Unless you know about the issue before hand IE an honest citizen tells you that the problem exists.

 

No UI mods? What a joke.

 

trb:
It wasn’t a bug.
Just an item with the wrong price tag.

In this country, if an item has the wrong price tag AND the shop sells it to you for that price then its their loss.

It is as simple as that, no matter how many items a shop has it is their responsibility to set the price correctly or decline to sell the item at the incorrect price.
They can’t retroactively bill you for it or press charges of shop lifting.

Agreed.

A-net is just getting arrogant.

But then you’d expect that since due to the hype, the become self styled saviours of all all MMO players sick of the current the models ….

But then they secretly collect other data about you … heheh

 

flabcab: This is the problem with games in this day an age, in that you pay for something that isn’t technically yours.

It’s stupid really you buy a game you should be able to play it however you like.

Well its …….. back to the single player games ^_^

 
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