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Guild Wars 2 players are pulling an in-game version of swatting

Published: 16:26, 01 November 2018
Picture of a Charr fighting a monster in Guild Wars 2
Guild Wars 2

ArenaNet may have another PR issue on their doorstep, as GW2 players are reporting they are unprotected from attacks from other, malicious players. They are buying gold from illegal sellers and making innocent players suffer the penalties.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned a salty player in Guild Wars 2. Should someone want to get another player banned, they can apparently do so by illegally purchasing in-game gold and instructing the delivery towards the player they want banned.

Guild Wars 2 does not feature a direct trade system, since all the trading is done via the game's auction house. Players can, however, send gold to other players via mail and this is the catch that allows malicious players to purchase gold from Real Money Traders (RMTs) and ask them to send purchased gold to another player's account. Naturally, this puts both the delivery and the receiving accounts at risk.

It appears that ArenaNet keep RMT-associated accounts flagged, and in turn issue warnings or bans to any players who receive gold from such accounts. This happened to a Reddit user named europaea, who was apparently a victim of such an attack.

In a reportedly short period of time after banning a player from their guild, europaea received a mail with 200 gold from an RMT-associated account, sent the gold back the next time they logged on, with a message taunting the player who attempted to get them banned, but still received a warning about the possibility of getting banned for using RMT services.

Therefore, europaea's account was immediately flagged as well, as ArenaNet sent an email warning just after the mail arrived at the inbox. The player didn't have any warning or chance to defend themselves from such an attack, returned the gold and yet, they were to be held accountable according to ArenaNet's GMs.

ArenaNet Picture of Ellen Kiel and Evon Gnashblade in Guild Wars 2 Guild Wars 2 - Ellen Kiel & Evon Gnashblade

Other Redditors are speculating that the only course of action that wouldn't get them on ArenaNet's watchlist would have been to click the return to sender button, before accepting the gold, but this option does not allow writing a message, which may have proven to be a mistake out of ignorance for europaea.

This issue has been reported over a month ago by another Redditor, describing in detail how to get someone in Guild Wars 2 banned for less than €3 / $3.4 / £2.66. Since that time, ArenaNet has not posted any warnings to players about potentially being the target of such a scheme, Guild Wars 2 still does not have a report button on the in-game mail and the scheme has not been dealt with yet.

The company seems rather zealous about keeping Guild Wars 2's in-game economy healthy, which often comes at the expense of the players, who in the past got banned for converting currency, just days after the game was released, due to ArenaNet perceiving this as an exploit.

ArenaNet Picture of a Charr holding the Scion's Claw sword in Guild Wars 2 Guild Wars 2 - Scion's Claw

In truth, this turned out to be either a design oversight by ArenaNet where Karma and gold values were badly aligned or their own staff forgot to put some zeroes in the Karma value, and players, being new to the economy, could not know it wasn't allowed since there were no warnings whatsoever but that didn't stop the company from banning over 3000 players permanently.

Those bans are a six year old issue that has been long buried, but it sets a bad precedent on what could happen in the future if these targetted bans, which are an equivalent of in-gaming swatting do not get addressed and ArenaNet doesn't post warnings for such schemes for all players to see.

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