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Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

Guild Wars 2 and The Great Unwashed

In Uncategorized on August 31, 2012 at 7:23 am

 

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.

The HACKING

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.

 

 

Two Tickets to Paradise And Two Weeks to Go!

In Guild Wars 2 on August 13, 2012 at 5:58 am

Last week we had 3 days of “Stress Testing” and of course most of us who pre-purchased are looking forward to perhaps some additional play time via more stress testing in the …less than 2 weeks left before launch. Most of my guild mates have made their initial profession choices, and we all seem to be complimenting each other at this point. I will be playing my human ranger first, although I do plan on making a few of my toons on the first day (in the first hours) in order to make an attempt at grabbing some of my names that are currently not “reserved” because they are one word names, and not ones I used in the original Guild Wars.

 

Hoping that Alex, Charlie, Adam and Jared join us after launch. But if not, we will be into recruit mode anyway.

 

One thing that troubled me during the Stress tests that has not been sufficiently answered is the continued “musical server” changes that continues to plague our little group. During last week’s stress test, our home world server was randomly changed to one not of our choosing, and we were just lucky, I guess, that our entire guild made it onto the same server. No one gave us any explanation for the switch, and we were left to guess that it had something to do with over population (again). I hope they will work out these issues in the next two weeks, because it leaves me with a nagging sense of unease and confusion.

 

Our plan is still to choose Blazeridge  (our first Beta Weekend Homeworld) if it exists at launch, but if not we will try to get Blackgate again. The server ambiguity and “semi-permanent” state, still has me a bit peeved, since it really throws a curve  into any planning, and the fact that Guild Wars 2 is going to “charge” to change servers, and yet there is no stability in server choice seems a bit “bait and switchish” to me. I am going to be charged if THEY have not sufficiently planned for server population. Really?

 

Other than the server issues, however, I find the game to be exciting and fun, fast paced and most of all….beautiful. There is sooo much more to it than bang bang shoot shoot. So much to see and do and explore and learn. It will take me years to feel even a modicum of  expertise in the whole spectrum of game play. I am ready to jump in with both feet, however, and can hardly wait.