No, seriously. Guild Wars players hanging out in Heroes' Ascent this afternoon noticed an interesting sight. Dhuum in all his giant shiny glory was popping in and out of different districts, banning people with a swing of his scythe. What was it all about?
ArenaNet announced today that they have banned over 3,700 accounts and disbanded over a dozen guilds in Guild Wars for botting and match manipulation. Design Director James Phinney, addressed the issue in the newest ArenaNet blog post, explaining more about what they're doing. First of all, if you break the User Agreement, you may get banned at any time in the future, it's as simple as that. "...there is no expiration date for breaches of the User Agreement or RoC." Just don't cheat.
Second, they plan to take a much more active and public approach to this problem from here on out, so you'll see more in the future. All Guild Wars players need to read through the blog post to understand what's going to happen from here on out, but James' closing statement encompassed it nicely: "For those of you who raised concerns about this issue, we're sorry it took as long as it did to put these changes in place. We should have been faster and more prepared. With your help, we will be more responsive in the future. We are listening, and we are ready to take action."
[Update] The Guild Wars team, including Emily Diehl, spent some time in Great Temple of Balthazar this afternoon, and Emily stated: "We checked and have been told that the following mods are OK: KSmod, GWstats, TextMod, and MultiLaunch. NOTE THOUGH: this is the original code of these guys. So we cannot guarantee that future updates of these mods will remain pure. So use caution, and if you're truly unsure, err on the side of caution." Regina chimed in as well on the forums to remind us that while it's okay, you are on your own should anything go wrong.
Want to see the Dhuum-slaughter for yourself? Follow along after the jump for a video.