User:Gaile Gray/Support FAQs/Bot Ban Details

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Players have told us they’re concerned about certain aspects of the large-scale bot account terminations that took place on May 26, 2010. We’d like to provide some general information about those account terminations.


Are player appeals about account terminations actually read and responded to by a Support Agent?

Yes. When a new appeal arrives, the team reads the ticket carefully and reviews the account and any related data, such as detail of what lead to its closure. Each appeal is reviewed by an agent, and each termination is either upheld or—in rare cases—reversed. At the conclusion of the review process, the player receives an individual response.

Are players getting an “automatically-generated” response?

No. Players are sent an auto-response within a few minutes of submitting a ticket to let them know their tickets were received. After that point, each ticket is read and responded to individually. At times, a group of players will fall into a specific category, such as "You account has been terminated for the use of a third-party program." Sometimes different players get the exact same message from Support. For the May 26th account bans, a lot of players got the exact same message from Support. This is because their cases are substantially similar. For complex issues like account bans, we believe it is better for us to carefully craft a detailed message that gives the player as much information as possible as precisely as possible than to rephrase the same information just for the sake of being different. Other players will receive a different response, based on the specific details of their case.

I updated my ticket. Why doesn’t the team respond? Are they reading my updates?

You can be assured that the update that you sent was read. If you did not get a new response, it is because there is nothing new to offer. This means that the last response is the best and most detailed answer that the support team can present to you.

I filed a new ticket about this situation. Why was it merged into my original appeal?

Merging new tickets into the original ticket increases efficiency, lowers response time, and helps us maintain accurate records. Players should be aware that sending multiple tickets will not change the outcome and it will slow the process of resolving the issue.

Will I be given proof that I was botting? I want to see game logs or other evidence that I was cheating.

We do not provide detailed information about how we identify players in breach of the Guild Wars User Agreement. The bot identification parameters related to the May 26th account terminations were thoroughly reviewed, we are confident of the outcomes, and we stand behind the process and the results. Exposing details about how we identify cheaters, exploiters, botters, and hackers may allow individuals with harmful intentions to figure out how to avoid detection in the future. We need to keep the evidence and the manner in which it is gathered completely confidential, for the good of the game.

I only used TexMod or another third-party program that ArenaNet has approved. Why was I banned?

It’s important to note that ArenaNet does not approve any third-party programs. The use of any third-party program in conjunction with Guild Wars is not advised or endorsed and is always expressly at the player's own risk. Players know that we have not targeted "benign" software—the kind that does not give a player any sort of in-game advantage—and that we have no intentions of doing so in the future. Further, we can make it clear that we do not believe it is in our interest to specifically target the users of software of this sort. But that's as far as our reassurances can go. We simply cannot make any promises that any third-party software, no matter its current claims or past history, is 100% safe. The best, safest course of action players can take is to not use any third-party programs that interact with Guild Wars in any way.

Can you tell me specifically which third-party programs resulted in the closure of my account?

Due to the confidentiality under which the team conducts its research, we will not provide that information.

Why doesn’t ArenaNet check out third-party programs and tell players which ones we can use?

We’re sometimes asked to review specific third-party programs, or to weigh in other on others as far as their acceptability for use with Guild Wars. However, we're simply not able to review, endorse, approve, or otherwise validate third-party software or software distributors. If third-party program developers sent us the code, we would not look at it. If they sent us an evaluation copy of the software, we would not run it. We have no staff employed to validate external software nor do we expect to offer that service in the future.

The actual work involved in properly testing and validating software should not be underestimated, but that's not the only issue. In addition to drawing valuable resources away from actual Guild Wars development and testing, officially approving third-party software would provide an avenue for hackers to take advantage of other players with the seeming approval of ArenaNet. Further, working more closely with outsiders to create acceptable programs would also potentially provide clues to bot-makers as to how to avoid detection in the future. All of these things would distract from continuing work on the game itself.

Why doesn’t ArenaNet implement the features of (insert third-party program name here)?

The Guild Wars Live Team works full-time to continue to make Guild Wars a better game and to serve the needs of the community. There’s always plenty of work for them to do, but if you have a suggestion go to http://wiki.guildwars.com/wiki/Feedback:Main and drop us a line. Many third-party programs offer elements and features that are outside of the scope of mainstream development for the game, but we are always open to new ideas about what the team should prioritize next.

Why wasn’t I given a warning before I was banned?

All Guild Wars players accept the User Agreement before playing the game, and they are asked to accept it again each time it is revised. The User Agreement outlines our expectations for fair gameplay, as do other documents such as the Rules of Conduct, and the Conduct Breaches and Outcomes document. As you will note in the Conduct Breaches and Outcomes document, we do have a graduated system for actions taken on an account, but we reserve the right to immediately terminate an account involved in a significant breach. Use of a cheat, exploit, or an advantage-giving third-party program is generally considered to be such a case.

Is there a chance you will reinstate my account in the future?

Prior to the May 26th bans, the Guild Wars Team met and discussed the appropriate outcome for what we knew would be a significant number of players whose accounts were identified as having used an unacceptable third-party program. The team decided that it was impossible to reverse the benefits of such a program, and as such, the accounts would need to be terminated. In a very few cases, mitigating circumstances have been discovered that allowed the reinstatement of an account. But although many people appeal and ask for forgiveness for having used such a program only infrequently, and while others state they are 100% certain that their version of whatever third-party program they used does not contain unacceptable elements, the facts state otherwise. We will not reinstate accounts that were found and have been confirmed to have been involved in the use of such programs.

Can I make a new account? Will I be banned if I purchase and create a whole new account?

Our general policy is that those making a new account are considered to have "a clean slate." We will not close such an account as long as it is not involved in breaches of the User Agreement or the Rules of Conduct. If you believe your account was closed in error, please contact Guild Wars Support as soon as possible so that your account can be reviewed and, hopefully, reinstated right away.

Will you be terminating other accounts in the future?

As long as there are people using Guild Wars accounts to bot, cheat, exploit, or hack, we will do our best to identify and close those accounts. While the May 26th ban was larger in scale than most that have taken place, working to identify and terminate accounts involved in breaches of the User Agreement is an on-going, daily activity.