ArenaNet issues bans over infinite ectoplasm exploit in Guild Wars 2

Guild Wars 2 Snowflakes

By on January 4, 2013 at 2:30 pm

An exploit in Guild Wars 2 that allowed players to receive infinite ectoplasm has now been patched, and any egregious offenders “terminated”, according to a thread on the official Guild Wars 2 forums, where outraged players are claiming they’ve wasted their time without knowing it was wrong.

The exploit allowed you to craft a Snowflake Jewellery item using a singular ectoplasm as an ingredient, then salvage it to get two ectoplasm out of it — repeat ad infinitum, and you have what ArenaNet’s Gaile Gray calls “a significant potential impact on the economy”.

“I’ve seen the numbers, and the damage to the economy could have been substantial, if the exploit wasn’t closed down and if these people were allowed to use their ill-gotten gains. People whose accounts were terminated were the worst offenders.”

“Any time you take one thing and can make two, and then four, and then sixteen… ya gotta know that’s just wrong. (I won’t quibble on the odds, but overall, that form of doubling was not outside the realm of possibility.) And to perform that action hundreds and hundreds of times? That’s call ‘exploitation’, and that’s against the User Agreement, the Rules of Conduct, and all that is holy.”

Source: Massively via VG247

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29 comments (Leave your own)

Deserved what they got. Ectos are a rather costly max level material, theres now way in hell that you would have done this in excessive amounts without knowing it was an exploit.

 

Too hard to just remove the money/items gained from the exploit.
Too hard to roll back their character to before the exploit took place.
Too hard to delete their character and force them to start fresh.
Let’s just ban their entire account instead. Forcing them to purchase the game again if they decide they still want to play.

Gamers should never be punished for the developers screw ups.
They created the exploit, don’t expect no one to take advantage of it.

 

They could easily roll back all the players that exploited. But the exploiters have agreed on terms not to do so upon playing the game.

Every little thing that hurts the economy hurts the other players that deal with it. So I support any actions taken to restrict these people from doing so again in the future.

 

If it’s as black and white as you claim then every single person in the game that took advantage of this exploit, whether they did it only 3 times or 300 times, needs to be banned.

 

yeapal:
Too hard to just remove the money/items gained from the exploit.
Too hard to roll back their character to before the exploit took place.
Too hard to delete their character and force them to start fresh.
Let’s just ban their entire account instead. Forcing them to purchase the game again if they decide they still want to play.

Gamers should never be punished for the developers screw ups.
They created the exploit, don’t expect no one to take advantage of it.

^
Agreed if a developer fucks up it should be their responsibility, If I can exploit something I will it’s human nature.

 

I think you can tell im quite obviously not saying that people who impact the economy of other players by less than a copper coin and are not in some way guaranteed to be aware of the exploit should be banned.

I shouldn’t have to spell it out, but if you read it again it says that it is entirely within Anet’s right to do so no matter how big or small. These guys that were banned, happened to cause a large enough impact to support a ban.

 

spooler: If I can exploit something I will it’s human nature.

No lol, it’s not human nature. Some of us have something we like to call ‘self control’. ;)

 

yeapal:
If it’s as black and white as you claim then every single person in the game that took advantage of this exploit, whether they did it only 3 times or 300 times, needs to be banned.

That’s just silly, ban the exploiters not the people who stumbled across it and stop when they worked out it was an exploit and I’d like to believe most players would of stopped. (I know the people i game with wouldn’t of exploited it)

 

syncourt: No lol, it’s not human nature. Some of us have something we like to call ‘self control’. ;)

Bollocks you do, if you can get something for nothing without causing any tangible harm to someone/thing you will take it.

 

spooler: ^
Agreed if a developer fucks up it should be their responsibility, If I can exploit something I will it’s human nature.

No…. no it isn’t….. Games have bugs. It’s fairly easy to tell when a bug occurs, even easier to tell if you’ve exploited it 100 times over. Any person with half a brain can see that what they’re doing is going to have negative side effects and stop themselves.

 

spooler: Bollocks you do, if you can get something for nothing without causing any tangible harm to someone/thing you will take it.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most people have enough self respect not to do things like that. In this case, it is most certainly causing grief to players and especially the devs who now need to figure out a solution to a crashed in-game economy.

 

iambeanie: No…. no it isn’t….. Games have bugs. It’s fairly easy to tell when a bug occurs.

/shrug I “exploited” glass cannon builds in diablo 3 for a long time before they fixed them as did alot of other people, was it wrong of me to do it ?

iambeanie: I’m going to go out on a limb and say that most people have enough self respect not to do things like that.

I wouldn’t then again I’m an honest kind of guy I can admit that when in the gaming world I see a way to make my life easier I use it, unless ofcourse it effects another player “crashing” the economy as you put it is untrue i doubt one type of craft material would “massively destroy” the eco.
Besides if developers do properly test new mechanics it is their fault not mine.
Sure games have bugs, people make errors it happens but I shouldn’t be responsible for someone at arenanet’s mistake.

Sure take the ill gotten gains off of people but there’s no need for a ban imo, bans for exploitation are weak attempts to cover up a design flaw.

 

agreed
the winter event has been up for ages and only ended a few days ago, instead of fixing it they let people do it for X number of days and then when the event ends they ban them.

Seems a bit screwed up to me. This is exactly like the karma merchants, they fuck up so they shift the blame to the player who “exploit” it

 

The entire point of gameplaying is to ‘exploit’ the game mechanics so you get an advantage and succeed, be that from observing AI patterns, moving around intelligently, observing an economic advantage etc. This holds true for chess, go, or any game, nomatter how far back you go.

‘exploiting’ game mechanics IS gaming. If your not exploiting things for your advantage, then you really don’t know how to play games :P

So, when the goal is to ‘exploit’ mechanics, expecting players to know which ones are intended and which are accidental bugs is absurd. Patch to remove if its an accident, but to penalise gamers for playing well by noticing an ‘exploit’ to the mechanics is just absurd.

 

syncourt,

lex,

So really, what you believe is that the people who did it a number of times are the ones deserving of a ban. However, the ones who only did it a few times are not deserving of a ban because they “may not have known” even if they knew full well and still used it to gain a personal advantage, they didn’t do it enough times to warrant a ban.
Where exactly is the line? Is it written somewhere that if you use an exploit 87 times you get banned, but if it’s only 86 and under you don’t get banned?

It’s because of these unclear lines that they shouldn’t have been banned and their characters should have instead been modified/reverted to before the whole situation took place.

The simple fact is, the number of people who exploited this situation is far higher than those who were banned. Making it near on impossible to sit there and revert/edit absolutely everyones characters. Making a few scapegoats was the easiest choice, though isn’t fair in any sense of the word.

The best solution they could have come up with would have been to revert/edit the “worst” offenders (whatever that means?) characters and slap them with a temporary ban. Even that would be unfair in the grand scheme of things.

At the end of the day it’s their game and they can rule it however the hell they like and we have zero sway in their decision.
At the end of the day ignorance is no excuse. And I put it on you to prove that those who only did it 20 odd times were ignorant of the exploit. Because there’s absolutely no way you can prove that. In fact it’s idiocy to believe the ‘non worst’ offenders were ignorant of the exploit.

 

They already banned a whole bunch of people near launch for exploiting one of the vendor weapons to essentially make unlimited gold or something. If people didn’t learn then, well they sure did now.

If you say “guys feel free to try hack the game or find exploits, the worst we’ll do is just revert whatever gains you made, no loss to you.” then it’s a virtual free for all. Imagine the work they have to do to revert thousands or even millions of accounts. How would they have the manpower? Only by creating an effective punishment does it deter people from making a small issue (where they need to investigate and ban maybe a few hundred accounts) into a global issue (where they need to investigate and revert a few hundred thousand accounts).

 

aetherfox,

Pretty much what I just said.

But what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Sweeping bans across the board for all those that exploited or none at all.
There is no clearly drawn line of how much exploiting is allowed and how much is not.

If it’s a flat out zero tolerance on exploitation like is being claimed, then ban everyone that took advantage of the exploit, not just those that did it the most.

 

spooler: /shrug I “exploited” glass cannon builds in diablo 3 for a long time before they fixed them as did alot of other people, was it wrong of me to do it ?

Yes. Given that you clearly knew it was exploiting, then yes, yes it was.

I wouldn’t then again I’m an honest kind of guy I can admit that when in the gaming world I see a way to make my life easier I use it, unless ofcourse it effects another player “crashing” the economy as you put it is untrue i doubt one type of craft material would “massively destroy” the eco.
Besides if developers do properly test new mechanics it is their fault not mine.
Sure games have bugs, people make errors it happens but I shouldn’t be responsible for someone at arenanet’s mistake.

Sure take the ill gotten gains off of people but there’s no need for a ban imo, bans for exploitation are weak attempts to cover up a design flaw.

You claim to be an honest guy, yet seem to think its OK to exploit everything you can. Pick one.

Ectoplasms are an expensive end game crafting material that you get either by paying lump sums of gold or by salvaging high level equipment. They’re used to craft the best stuff in the game, so when the market is flooded with them, especially if it’s controlled by a select group of people, then the market will be severely damaged if not completely crash.

Of course you shouldn’t be held responsible for their error, you should be held responsible for exploiting it. In the real world for example, those who ‘exploit’ entities, such as centrelink, are punished severely, even though it causes no ‘tangible’ harm.

Nobody reads the Terms of Service but we all implicitly sign it when we play. If you exploit something with obvious intent then by all means you should receive a permanent ban.

coatsy22:
The entire point of gameplaying is to ‘exploit’ the game mechanics so you get an advantage and succeed, be that from observing AI patterns, moving around intelligently, observing an economic advantage etc. This holds true for chess, go, or any game, nomatter how far back you go.

‘exploiting’ game mechanics IS gaming. If your not exploiting things for your advantage, then you really don’t know how to play games :P

So, when the goal is to ‘exploit’ mechanics, expecting players to know which ones are intended and which are accidental bugs is absurd. Patch to remove if its an accident, but to penalise gamers for playing well by noticing an ‘exploit’ to the mechanics is just absurd.

By that logic the people who used macros to shuffle side to side in Bad Company 2 to reduce their hitbox to the size of a pea are genuinely good players.

 

spooler: Bollocks you do, if you can get something for nothing without causing any tangible harm to someone/thing you will take it.

I never exploit in games because it hurts my own gaming experience and the satisfaction of doing things legitimately. Ever since I bought warcraft 2 when I was little and cheated my way through the game and entirely ruined such a great game for myself, I pretty much vowed off that sort of thing.

yeapal:

So really, what you believe is that the people who did it a number of times are the ones deserving of a ban. However, the ones who only did it a few times are not deserving of a ban because they “may not have known” even if they knew full well and still used it to gain a personal advantage, they didn’t do it enough times to warrant a ban.
Where exactly is the line? Is it written somewhere that if you use an exploit 87 times you get banned, but if it’s only 86 and under you don’t get banned?

Well as with all things, innocent until proven guilty. Some players may have exploited a bit just to be able to do a bit of crafting. The worst offenders made absolute tonnes of the things just to upload them onto the trading network. I’m not about to whip out my calculator and calculate how much is a reasonable impact on the economy, I’ll leave that to Anet and trust them to ensure the quality of my gaming experience. After all it is thier job not mine. Go ask them if you want a technical answer.

 

aetherfox: try hack the game or find exploits

Hack the game ? you should be banned for, exploitation should be encouraged always, acting like they are the same thing is stupid.

syncourt: I never exploit in games because it hurts my own gaming experience and the satisfaction of doing things legitimately Ever since I bought warcraft 2 when I was little and cheated

The rocket jump in quake was exploitation and it’s one of the most iconic things in gaming, or atlest was for a long time.
My favorite exploit of all time was the 9 second heroic ICC exploit in WoW their was a mob in ice crown citadel that had an ability that could kill a boss in 9 seconds and could be mind controlled we got a good 2months worth of epics for that, we reported our finds and blizzard let us keep the loot even after they identified the bug and patched it, which is exactly what developers should do IMO.

People having been pushing games to and beyond the boundaries of their design since the beginning of gaming and from that some of the most epic moments in gaming have a-risen.

iambeanie: You claim to be an honest guy, yet seem to think its OK to exploit everything you can. Pick one.

I am honest, I admit I do it I don’t lie and say “I would never do that” you can’t compare outright lying to center-link to making and breaking down an item in a video game, they are 2 completely different things.

It’s interesting that there are people opposed to doing anything with game mechanics other than exactly what you are supposed to … What boring lives you people must live.

 
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