ArenaNet managed to pull off a pretty seamless launch for an MMO title this major. Guild Wars 2 has been live and running for four days and so far the buzz online has been largely positive. Even I can feel my stalwart anti-MMO stance beginning to falter. Damn that hype-machine; also FOMO’s a bitch.
Shortly after Guild Wars 2 launched, ArenaNet issued a statement in which they said that they would be willing to stop sales of the game if server load became a concern. Apparently that’s now the case as they’ve suspended all digital sales from the official Guild Wars 2 website. The subtext of this, I guess, is that ArenaNet is trying their hardest to avoid a Diablo III launch situation. For this they deserve infinite Internet high-fives as they’re essentially putting the player’s experience before financial gain. Retail copies and copies purchased from other digital sellers are still valid, but for the time being, Guild Wars 2 is no longer available directly from the developer.
Another interesting piece of Guild Wars 2 news is that ArenaNet has already dished out the first load of permanent bans – 3, 000 in total. Yikes!
According to lead producer Chris Whiteside, a group of 3, 000 players found an exploit with an NPC shopkeeper who was selling high-powered weapons at a low (and incorrect) price. The group did what many would have done: they bought vast quantities of the weapons and then broke them down for their valuable crafting components. According to Whiteside, this resulted in the game’s first set of permabans because, “we take our community and the integrity of the game very seriously, and want to be clear that intentionally exploiting the game is unacceptable.”
Luckily for those 3, 000 players, the permanent ban can be turned into a 72 hour ban if they follow instructions that Whitehead left on his Reddit post.