Skip to main content

It’s not just because you suck: Guild Wars 2 explains account suspensions

Guild Wars 2 still
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The free-to-play MMO Guild Wars 2 just arrived at retail, but thousands of players have already been suspended. We thought the game was pretty great, but were unable to get the full Guild Wars experience thanks to a foolish reluctance to karma-farm, hack other players, or deny the existence of the Holocaust. Lots of other players don’t share our restraint, and developer ArenaNet is banning them for it.  After facing lots of forum outrage for actually enforcing their conduct policy, ArenaNet has gone to Reddit to explain exactly why a screenname like “Adolf Chitler” isn’t welcome in Tyria.

Reddit was quickly swarmed by players cheekily inventing hypothetical names to see if those would be permitted, some of which were so funny that the ArenaNet admins conceded that it’d probably give them a pass for laugh value. ArenaNet also took the opportunity to clarify some aspects of its forbidden names policy, noting, for example, that while the prohibition on names for religious figures prevents you from calling your avatar “JesusOfCool,” common Biblical names like David, Saul, or Nimrod are fine.

Much funnier is the publisher’s willingness to publicly inform players exactly what got them banned. Many visitors to the thread threw out their chests and complained about why their ordinary screennames got banned, only to have their self-righteousness ground into the dirt when the ArenaNet representative replied with “Name: OK. Chat: Not OK” — followed by a published chat transcript that got the whiner banned. Devotees of name-and-shame websites like FatUglyOrSlutty (which, despite the confrontational title, exists to expose players who indulge in sexist behavior on Xbox Live) will find plenty of horror stories here to stroke their outrage. One particular player was so moved by the shaming to whimper, “I feel so stupid,” fulfilling the fantasies of many MMO players who’ve wished that some little troll would someday realize how awful he was.

There’s much less comedy in the many innocent players who are asking why they’ve been suspended despite perfect behavior, only to get the chilling reply that “Your account seems to have been hacked.” After only a few weeks of beta testing, Guild Wars 2  already harbors a substantial population of account hackers, gold farmers, bot-runners, and exploit-wielders — and although ArenaNet deserves commendation for reacting swiftly to those who’d break the game, a lot of players are becoming collateral damage.

ArenaNet has also been admirably focused on putting the same level of attention into its community as it puts into the game. “We’re not a video game company, we’re a community building company. We just happen to have one of the coolest ways to build a community, which is through a video game,” said Martin Kerstein, ArenaNet’s community manager. This is a fascinating perspective on what it means to make MMO’s. Even more admirable is ArenaNet’s willingness to engage with the community through personal communications via its website and Web forums, rather than just handing down dictates.

However, the enthusiastic swinging of the ban hammer has many players venting their outrage on every soapbox they can find, and many players may decide that if their supposedly funny racist friends can’t play, they don’t want to play either. It remains to be seen whether ArenaNet can build a business on the venn diagram intersection between people who want to play a fantasy MMO and people who don’t enjoy racism, sexism, and homophobia. But it deserves credit for trying to find out.

Daniel McKleinfeld
Former Digital Trends Contributor
GTA 6: release date speculation, trailer, gameplay, and more
Lucia and her partner rob a store in GTA 6.

Believe it or not, it has been over a decade since the last GTA game. While tons of people are still dumping hundreds of hours into GTA Online, everyone has been (not so) patiently waiting for Rockstar to finally confirm that a new entry is in the works. Despite many leaks and rumors, the team held strong until late 2023. Now that the game is finally confirmed, we have a lot more solid ground to cover in terms of what Grand Theft Auto 6 will be. This is going to be the biggest game of the generation, if not all time, so let's hotwire a car and pull off a heist to get all the information about GTA 6 there is.
GTA 6 release date speculation

Along with the official announcement trailer for GTA 6, we got a release window for the game. While it is a little disappointing, we won't be exploring the next open-world phenomenon until sometime in 2025.

Read more
Save $950 off the Alienware x16 gaming laptop with RTX 4080
Screen on the Alienware x16.

You should be prepared to spend some serious cash if you want to buy a powerful gaming laptop like the Alienware x16, but fortunately, there are savings that you can enjoy with your purchase. Dell has slashed the machine's price with a $950 discount, so it's down from $3,450 to $2,500 -- it's still not a budget-friendly device, but it's a reasonable price considering its capabilities. This bargain may not last long though, as gaming laptop deals almost always expire sooner than you think, so you have to proceed with the transaction as soon as possible if you're interested.

Why you should buy the Alienware x16 gaming laptop
Get serious about PC gaming with the Alienware x16, which challenges the performance of the best gaming laptops with its Nvidia GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card, combined with the 13th-generation Intel Core i9 processor and 32GB of RAM that our guide on how much RAM do you need says is the sweet spot for high-end gamers. These specifications will not only let you play the best PC games on their most demanding settings, but also leave you prepared for the upcoming PC games of the next few years.

Read more
This Lenovo Legion gaming PC deal just dropped below $1,000
The Lenovo Legion Tower 5i Gen 8 gaming PC on a white background.

A decent gaming PC usually costs more than $1,000, but you can get one for less than that today by taking advantage of Lenovo's offer for the Lenovo Legion Tower 5 Gen 8. From its original price of $1,500, it's down to a more affordable $994 following a 33% discount. There's no telling how much time is remaining before you miss out on the $506 in savings, so if you're interested in this deal, it's highly recommended that you complete the transaction as fast as you can. Today if possible, because tomorrow may already be too late.

Why you should buy the Lenovo Legion Tower 5 Gen 8 gaming PC
If you want to get into PC gaming for a relatively affordable price, the Lenovo Legion Tower 5 Gen 8 is an excellent choice. It's not the most powerful machine out there, but it will be enough for you to enjoy the best PC games with its AMD Ryzen 7 7700X processor and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, plus 16GB of RAM that's the best place to start for a gaming PC, according to our guide on how much RAM do you need. It's also equipped with an air cooling system and meshed front vents to keep it cool even after hours of playing.

Read more