In the world of Guild Wars 2, ectoplasm is sort of essential. So essential that it's not the sort of factor gamers should be able to generate in significant quantities for themselves. When a brand new exploit popped up, tied in with the game's Wintersday celebrations, ArenaNet was unsurprisingly displeased with the situation. While Wintersday is about parties and presents, ArenaNet has a gift of its own for gamers who used the exploits: Permanent bans.
Apparently - while we aren't the exploitin' type - the recipe was easy: Craft 1 item which uses a single ectoplasm, then salvage that item & get two. Hey presto! Effectively limitless ectoplasm! Astonishing for you, terrible for the economy. ArenaNet speedily squished the exploit, yet a decent number of gamers took advantage of the scenario.
As a result of ArenaNet's savvy banhammering, the gamers are now the unhappy ones, with many taking to Reddit & other social networks claiming that they did not realise it was an exploit, or that a recipe isn't an exploit in the first place. Regardless of the reason, they have lost "hundreds of hours" of game progress, and they're not content.
Assistance Liaison Gaile Gray writes in response:
Any time you take one thing & can make 2, after which four, after which sixteen... ya gotta know that's just wrong. (I won't quibble on the odds, nevertheless overall, that form of doubling was not outside the realm of possibility.) And to perform that action hundreds & hundreds of occasions? That's call "exploitation," and that's against the User Agreement, the Rules of Conduct, and all that is holy.
Gaile also explains that the harm to the economy could have actually been "substantial", had the exploit not been shut down speedily, and that only the worst offenders were terminated.
This is the second major banning in Guild Wars 2, with ArenaNet closing a bunch of accounts soon after the game launched, in reaction to a karma exploit. Countless of those bans were overturned (with conditions applied), however the studio announced it was a last warning. Looks like it is now made good on its threat, with these bans more likely to stick.
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