Following last week's news on Guild Wars rumors by its ex-employee we got in touch with the author of the blog. Given the skeptical on other blogs and controversial issues we asked for further details on his personal report on the cooperation between gold farmers and ArenaNet.
How long did you work for ArenaNet? What was it like, did you enjoy working for one of the famous publishers and how did it come to an
I worked for ArenaNet from the very beginning, which is why I have a thorough knowledge of the company's inner workings. It is an extremely enjoyable
company to work for, and one of the best career experiences I've had."
In your work, do you have to work directly with the gold farmers? What is the company's policy on gold farming business and how were you told
to handle the issue? What was your perception and experience with the gold farmers?
I'd like to take a moment and go a little off topic here. A common misconception from the responses to my first article is that working with GFCs is
a bad thing. It is quite the opposite. More co-operation means both parties are happier, and more money flowing into ArenaNet's pockets means they
can afford larger investments into the game. Apart from a slight degradation in the game environment, it does not negatively impact upon the game's
overall health at all. Like I said in my article, I am not trying to hurt anyone, only tell the truth as it is."
As I have stated, an unofficial partnership usually prefers indirect approaches. Another common misconception is that the whole of ArenaNet knew about
these "under-the-table" deals. If this was in fact the case, the whole company would be in an uproar. This knowledge is confined to only a small
circle of members.
In your blog you mentioned the "ban floods" which involved mass banning of gold farming companies, were you involved in the banning process?
How many accounts were banned? Who were the targets and what criteria was used to assess the accounts? Did you know exactly who the accounts belong
to? How many accounts were not banned that should have been?
The banning process was mostly automated. The bans in each "ban flood" varied from 1000+ accounts. The criteria used to detect accounts were linked
to our detection module (which is explained in my article). There was no surefire way to detect whether an account belonged to a GFC or not, but
common sense prevailed, as well as account emails. Most GFC bots are named within certain parameters, while normal players have more "traditional"
Had anyone in ArenaNet ever estimated the population of gold farmers? What % of Guild Wars accounts are gold farmers? How many accounts did a
big gold farming companies usually have? What about the small ones?
The MMO average of the gold farming population is around 5%, although it could vary wildly from each MMO. It all depends on its ability to be farmed,
botting detection, and company's business model etc. It is impossible to calculate the specific number, so I will use this average as a basis. Guild
Wars has sold "over 4 million". 4,000,000 x 5% = 200,000
Were you directly involved in the duping activities? Did you have or see evidence or was this an internal rumor from your peers? Was this
exploit leaked to the public by the internal employees or the public figured it out and spread words themselves?
None of ArenaNet's employees were directly involved in duping items. This was all done at the hands of various GFCs. I was not involved in the
"transportation" of knowledge to the GFCs, but I can assure you it happened. As I have mentioned in my article, there are two theories as to how
this method ended up as public knowledge. Either a normal player figured it out, or a GFC member told his friends, creating a ripple effect.
Anything else you would like to add?
Some people have been asking why ArenaNet's programmers would bother to create this "dupe" as it would have been unnecessary. Please re-read the
article, its necessity is stated in plain text. Look at it this way, why would a professional company who had claimed to be working on a reconnection
feature for months, produce a feature with such an amateur mistake? Even if you do not believe my version of the truth, is there not something
suspicious about that?