So I have been away from posting for a bit here due to that thing called life but just had to share my views on this whole Guild Wars 2 ban hammer situation.
To be transparent about my view on Guild Wars 2 as a game I will say this. I never played Guild Wars more then perhaps a week total and have yet to pick up Guild Wars 2 though I am planning on doing so in early September. I tend to take a wait and see approach with new MMOs and let the rush die down before I enter the game.
Now as for this banning situation. I get it. Shit is screwed up because a mistake was made and players took advantage of it. What these players did may be questionable or sneaky but using the term cheating or hacking is a bit of a stretch.
I think the easiest way to view the situation is to translate what happened in to a real world metaphor.
What these players did to me is the same as if Target made a mistake and sold the LEGO Millennium Falcon for $49.99 instead of the standard retail $129.99 and someone bought them all and sold them on Ebay for $100.00 Target made the mistake… the buyer just capitalized on it.
The person that makes their own bar codes at home and places them on the box and changes the price themselves is the same as the person that uses 3rd party software to exploit the system and deserves the ban.
One is clearly going outside the system to make money, one is merely ringing up the item at the register and walking out.
What this situation has really shined a light on though is the way ArenaNet choose to handle it. Once again, real world metaphor.
Most of us have worked retail in one way or another and have seen those emails or memos that come in and say ‘hey… we screwed this thing up… pull it from the shelf’ or ‘we screwed up… change the price right away or put this sign out that says the price is wrong’. I have not often seen the response to a improperly priced item to be to continue selling it and then go back and pursue those that bought it.
Is it not possible to shut off one NPC in an MMO? If not then what about a simple EULA notice on login that states the vendor is screwed up and any purchases will be open to review and action? ANet said many responsible people reported the issue rather then take advantage of it so clearly they knew it was happening.
I respect ANet for wanting to show a hard stance on cheaters and hackers, most MMOs certainly do not care as long as they get the sub and box price. (Looking at you Blizzard) However, I respect a level headed approach even more… and taking care of your own house before simply banning people is a great place to start.