Guild Wars 2 players have earned permanent account bans for taking advantage of an exploit introduced in the Wintersday holiday event.
The exploit allowed players to craft items using one ectoplasm - a rare ingredient - and then salvage them to receive two in return. In the wake of the exploit's popularisation, the market price of ecto was considerably lowered, although ArenaNet moved fast to close the gap.
As is to be expected, the game's forums and other discussion destinations like Reddit are chockers with banned players arguing that the method was not an exploit, or that they had no way of knowing it was an exploit, and mourning the loss of hundreds of hours of game progress.
ArenaNet is unmoved.
"Any time you take one thing and can make two, and then four, and then 16 - ya gotta know that’s just wrong," support liaison Gaile Gray wrote in response.
"And to perform that action hundreds and hundreds of times? That’s called exploitation, and that’s against the User Agreement, the Rules of Conduct, and all that is holy."
Massively reports this is the second round of mass bans handed out in response to exploits; after the first incident, ArenaNet unlocked many banned accounts, but warned that it would not do so again.
"We’ve been more than kind, in the past, and everyone needs to own up to his/her errors and recognize: We all are part of the game economy, and those who exploit it are hurting the rest of us. Exploit closed. Worst offenders terminated. That’s what has to happen to make things right for all of us," Gray added.