Since I was victim of the Great Guild Wars 2 Launch “Hacking” event, and am still unable to log into my Guild Wars 2 Account this morning, I thought I would catch you all up on my experiences with the game, and what little I know about the various myriad of issues that are affecting the client base.
What has actually happened to me and others is not really a hacking of accounts, but an attempted hacking, although I have heard (from their reddit stream) that some of the attempts were successful. For people like me, who merely had an attempt made, we have all been locked out of our own accounts “for our own protection”, until such time as the powers that be get through the voluminous amount of support tickets and restore our accounts to us. Personally, I consider this being hacked by Guild Wars 2 itself. I am also completely unimpressed by the lack of any information that they have given publicly to those in the same state as myself. Certainly, hacking incidents are an unfortunate and altogether too frequent occurrence affecting games, especially on launch, but Guild Wars 2 seemed to be completely unprepared for this, and indeed, contributed to it by using the archaic and notoriously insecure “email login” for their game. To further the problem they made the webpage login, game log in and the support log in all the same log in.
This allows anyone with a base of email addresses to bot the web page log in or the game log in with email addresses and a simple “reset password” attempt. This sent hundreds of reset password attempt emails to already playing, paying, and verified users. Guild Wars 2 then posted on their facebook page the standard “How to keep your account secure” post, but— turned off the password reset. Anyone who clicked on the link sent from the botters who tried to reset their password, or who dutifully followed the advice of Guild Wars 2 on their page without having any password reset mails sent, were locked out of the game.
Inside the game itself, more chaos ensued. A cascade of events that piled into a heaping stinking mess. Already having issues with their in game market, which was closed and had been closed since launch with only sporadic openings for testing, banks, bags and storage were already fast becoming full of things made by the players in the game, that could not be sold on a closed market. As the hackbots began their shenanigans, for the safety and protection of people’s accounts that might be compromised, in game mail…the only way to send items to another player—was also shut down.
Seemingly more important, given Guild Wars 2’s amount of communication on the issue and adding to their decision to shut down in game mail immediately was an exploit that was found in the game (also covered extensively on their reddit) where a high level item was selling from an NPC karma vendor for a ridiculously low amount, and thousands were bought and sold by those players who do not have an internal moral compass. So to stop the massive get rich free-for-all the mail system was turned off. This, in turn, caused already burgeoning bags to be taxed (along with everyone’s patience) further. Ah….a perfect storm.
I, myself, cannot even imagine the amount of support tickets, emails, comments, etc. that they recieved via the many unorganized channels they have chosen to use to communicate with their clients BESIDES their own launcher or their official web page and blog. I had a helluva time keeping up with what was happening, and my google-foo and net savvy is pretty good. I cannot even imagine the sheer horror of the average joe who was caught in the middle of this storm and who suddenly found himself locked out of a game he paid 60 to 150 dollars for.
My own horror was enough. I have been online since 1993 and this is the first time I have ever had a hacking attempt. In all honesty however, it was more a denial of service —- which succeeded due to Guild Wars 2’s bumbling handling of it all.
I am still at this hour locked out of my account. There is scant communication coming from the powers that be, and there is no ETA of how long it will take for the hundreds, if not thousands, of us affected by this fiasco to recover our accounts. So we wait…..and our patience grows thin. It is not just a game, It is our information, it is our lack of control over that information, and Guild War’s seemingly obliviousness to our plight. Other actions by Guild Wars 2 during this time have given off the impression that we —the reset-botted— are pretty far down in their list of priorities. This is not a good impression to have just 7 days out of launch.
I am left saddened for a game I waited 5 years for. I am sad because it is so very beautiful. It reminds me of that scene from Batman where the joker comes to the museum and defaces and destroys all the art work.