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ArenaNet bouts Guild Wars 2 Plagues, 1600 Bot Accounts Terminated

ArenaNet, developer of the recently-released fantasy MMO game Guild Wars 2, is currently addressing players’ latest mutual concerns associated with ‘botting’ activities in the game. To date, the game developer has already terminated more than 1,600 bot accounts since last week. The rate of bot accounts termination is expected to increase in the following days, as Anet continues to tackle the issue.

Image: www.gamearena.com.au

Anet has been receiving reports regarding virtual players who are botting during the game.

Internet bots, also known as web bots refer to software applications that automatically run over the web, performing tasks at a higher rate than human. In short, they carry out extraordinary things that humans cannot do.

Apparently, bots are becoming an epidemic in the game lately. They are plaguing on different servers, mining all available resources and filling up population of certain guilds. Eventually, the presence of these bots annoys real players, saying they are no fun to play with.

In an effort to uphold its promise of providing every GW2 player with the best possible in-game experience, ArenaNet quickly responded by getting rid of the existing bots they have detected. So far, GW2 developer has already eliminated over 1,600 bot accounts. Yet, this is just the beginning of the team’s anti-bot crusade.

Security coordinator Mike Lewis posted pertinent update on the recent botting issues, stating the team’s initial moves and plans to address these concerns.

Mr Lewis said they are currently monitoring the most common bots in use so they can continue to get rid of them from the game. While the team carries on gathering more information about these bots, they are also increasing the rate of account termination.

Players are therefore advised to immediately report any suspected botting activities in the game.

ArenaNet is also enhancing methods for better in-game bot activity detection. Automatic ‘bot’ detectors are created, including tools for verifying botting reports, designed for Anet customer support. These would help them issue account termination efficiently. Data specialists are recently hired to help Anet create more effective methods for botting reports analysis.

Mr Lewis also explained that these efforts also have direct bearing to third-party gold sellers’ activities as well as to spammers. In addition, Real Money Trading is now under close monitoring. Hundreds of gold spammers and sellers are actively being removed each day.

All these labors are in conjunction with Anet’s commitment to keep the Guild Wars 2 community free of bots and illegal gold sellers.

Sources : PCGamesn | Game Arena | Guild Wars 2 Forum

ArenaNet deals with Guild Wars 2 Account Security Issue, New Authenticator App Coming Soon

Account breaches are a common issue among popular MMOs of these days, including Guild Wars 2. Good thing ArenaNet recently comes up with a transitory, yet, effective solution that limits hackers from pilfering more GW2 accounts. ArenaNet is also expected to roll out a new authenticator app that will help keep player accounts more secure.

At yesterday’s blog post, Mike O’Brien, co-founder and president of ArenaNet and executive producer of Guild Wars games talked about the company’s proactive approach in dealing with account security issues that emerged since Guild Wars 2’s beta release.

Initially, Anet has failed to provide an authentication system upon the release of Guild Wars 2. As an outcome, the company has been receiving criticisms apart from customer complaints concerning hacked accounts, in light of the game’s highly triumphant launch. Since then, account security has been a reiterating issue raised by a number of GW2 account owners.

Nevertheless, these concerns are now being moderately addressed.

According to Mr. O’Brien, account security issues are usually inflicted by using poor passwords as well as utilizing same good passwords through different websites. So far, Anet has already developed an email authentication system for Guild Wars 2 as prior means of keeping customer accounts secure. But despite this integration, hackers continue to penetrate GW2 accounts.

Given the persisting dispute, GW2 developers came up with a new authenticator app, in testing.  It was a smartphone two-factor authenticator system designed in a way that players can access quickly. However, Anet had to recoil this app and replaced it with Google Authenticator instead.

As elucidated by Mr O’Brien in his most recent announcement, Google Authenticator’s authentication implementations are tougher than the company’s homegrown implementations on most major smartphone platforms. This made them opt for Google instead of their own authenticator app. The new system is expected to roll out in the next two weeks, according to Anet’s president.

For now, ArenaNet is utilizing a proactive approach to address these account hacking concerns. Knowing the fact that hackers generally target weak and commonly used passwords to infiltrate numbers of Guild Wars 2 accounts, ArenaNet has blacklisted a group of passwords, which they considered vulnerable. The banned list is already comprised of over 20 million passwords.

While password blacklisting is just a transient fix, ArenaNet has by far managed to lessen the number of account security issues with Guild Wars 2. As noted by GW2’s executive producer on his most recent declaration, the rate of account hacking incidents approximately dropped to 0.1 percent from 1.5 percent. That applies to all GW2 accounts created before and after the blacklist is implemented.

Meanwhile, Arena Net has not yet disclosed a definite date as two when the Google Authenticator will be integrated into Guild Wars 2. For sure, many of GW2 fans are already looking forward to gauge with the new authentication implementation by then.

Sources: GuildWars2.com | GameArena

Guild Wars 2 sky-high sales achieved, new end-game concept projected

After the successful rectifications on prior in-game issues, the latest MMO fantasy game Guild Wars 2 is recently showing more signs of optimistic prospect. Over two weeks since its official launch, GW2 has already attained a sky-high sales record in which 2 million game copies sold out despite the 10-day online sales pause. Yet, it does not stop there, as ArenaNet recently talks about rethinking the end-game concept.

Two days after the game’s full release on August 28th, ArenaNet decided to halt its first-party digital sales and retail replenishment in order to ensure best possible online gaming experience to every customer. Knowing the fact that Guild Wars 2 is among the highly anticipated online games, hundreds of thousands of gamers are already expected to crowd new servers. Such high user concurrency rates eventually led to some network issues and delays, which apparently brought inconvenience to players. Anet has no choice but to halt purchases effective August 30th, as temporary remedy.

The halt on sales lasted in ten days.

Earlier this week, ArenaNet started selling the game again following the deployment of more game servers in Europe and North America. Added to this are a double number of its customer support agents enough to handle present and future customer issues and concerns.

In just a few days later, 2 million copies of the game were sold.

So far, the game is still seeing over 400,000 of concurrent players. Brief server delays may still transpire at certain point of time, but these are more likely caused by Anet’s scheduled game status/software updates. Overall, the game is already getting more stable and flawless.

Seeing Guild Wars 2 is finally doing well, the developer is now moving forward to making the game better than expected. ArenaNet is now talking about giving all GW2 players with the best possible MMO end-game experience. And it is going to be diverse.

ArenaNet is now in talks about rethinking GW2’s end-game concept.

Instead of following a pretty standard pattern like most MMORPGs do, Anet thinks of applying some dynamic changes into Guild Wars 2.

Contrary to what many people thought of when reaching the game’s maximum level of 80, the battles become more spectacular, circumstances become more dire, and dynamic events become larger. Enough variety will then be infused in all levels of the game so as to keep players engaged with a wide range of interests. As what Anet has previously noted, the endgame content is going to be beyond the customary model.

Full details of the developer’s projected endgame concept for Guild Wars 2 are available on the official GW2 website, labeled “The EndGame Reimagined.”

Sources: Game Arena | NBC News

Guild Wars 2 under attack, Over 11 Thousand Accounts hacked

Hackers have just found a new target and this time it is the latest and increasingly popular massively multiplayer online game, Guild Wars 2. Game officials, on their recent announcement said they already have recorded more than 11,000 of GW2 hacked accounts since the game officially went live.

Based on initial reports published on ArsTechnica, ArenaNet officials received approximately 8,500 requests associated with hacked accounts, from Guild Wars 2 players beginning last Friday to Sunday. The number is added with another 2,574 requests by Monday, all for similar issue.

Hackers are purportedly utilizing some password crackers to penetrate accounts belonging to GW2 players. Those utilizing credentials tapped from an unknown fan site are recently compromised.

Because of this, ArenaNet is constantly prompting all GW2 players to keep their accounts secure all the time. Use of strong, unique and random passwords for Guild Wars 2 is highly recommended. Ideally, passwords have to be generated using a password management program and should be at least 8 characters in length, alphanumeric.

In addition to this security measure, Anet is recently starting a new practice of proactively e-mailing customers every time they notice new logs into an account from a different location. Users, on the other hand, are advised to check e-mails only from trusted devices.

Over the weekend, officials with Guild Wars 2 developer ArenaNet have been reiterating reminders that e-mail addresses and passwords for GW2 should not be used in other games or websites. Hackers purportedly seize a long list of emails and passwords they got from malware and other vulnerable sites and games. Using certain methods, hackers then test Guild Wars 2 for any matching accounts.

“Hackers have lists of email addresses and passwords stolen from other games and web sites, and collected through spyware and are systematically testing Guild Wars 2 looking for matching accounts. To protect yourself, use a strong, unique password for Guild Wars 2 that you’ve never used anywhere else,” Anet said on its game status update via GW2 wiki, as of September 8th.

ArenaNet officials are recently warning users about joining any fan site, particularly an unidentified Guild Wars related fan site, which is purportedly compromised of a crack of its account database.

One employee from a Norway-based security firm Norman ASA, on Thursday claimed about receiving some warnings via e-mail, telling that someone from China tried to access her GW2 account using her details. Apparently, these were hacking attempts that happened a day after the account was created. Good thing, ArenaNet designed a system that enables players confirm login locations through e-mail notifications. This way, users like the said Norman ASA employee would know something wrong is going on.

Hacked account details are usually used for spamming ads for gold sales or botting. Once a Guild Wars 2 account gets hacked, Anet will have to ban it.  By the time it gets fixed, it will be given back to its rightful owner.

One indication that the account gets hacked is a message that says: “This account has been permanently banned for a violation of the User Agreement.” Anet said if this message pops up when logging in and the user is not a gold seller, then it is possible that the account just got hacked.

Sources: Game Arena | Video Gamer

Guild Wars 2 takes lead in 10 European countries

Ten days since its official full release, the no-subscription MMORPG, Guild Wars 2 is already dominating the official All Formats charts, occupying the No.1 spot in ten European countries including the Netherlands, UK, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Belgium and France in this week’s countdown.

ArenaNet’s MMO sequel to Guild Wars has just posted the second largest debut for a non-Warcraft MMO PC title next to Star Wars: The Old Republic. It is also the first PC-only release game to reach All Formats’ top spot since Football Manager 2011, which took the lead in November of 2010.

Meanwhile, All Formats’ No. 2 post is currently occupied by Sleeping Dogs, followed by Super Mario Bros 2 at No. 3. London 2012 is doing well, as it retains its rank at No. 4 and LEGO Batman 2 also moves up to No. 5.

Darksiders 2 however, is showing some bad signs lately. So far, the title is posting a 71 percent drop on its second week, falling down to No. 6.

At No. 7 is Madden NFL13, a new entry to the chart, followed by Transformers: Fall of Cybertron at No. 8, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: Future Soldier at No. 9 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 at No. 10.

Other games appearing in the All Formats’ chart this week include Mario & Sonic London 2012 Olympic Games, Dead Island Goty Edition, Batman: Arkham City, Tales of Graces F, The Amazing Spider-Man, Lego Harry Potter: Years 5-7, FIFA 12, BattleField 3, Call of Duty: Black Ops and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations.

Mike O’Brien, president and co-founder of ArenaNet is glad to know their games have won the hearts of the European players as manifested by this latest achievement.

“Our games have always been well-received in Europe, but this level of enthusiasm is both awesome and humbling,” O’Brien said.

Anet’s president further stressed that this attainment excites the whole team, stirring them to keep up the responsibility they have to all GW2 players. According to him, this is the reason behind their recent move to limit sales of the game. Nevertheless, he assured to rectify this matter, sooner or later.

Despite various issues that showed up since the head-start launch, ArenaNet’s Guild Wars 2 has proven its worth to be regarded among the finest MMO PC titles ever created.

Topping the official All Formats charts in Europe and the millions of purchase with the Collector’s Edition box upon its full release are mere patents that Guild Wars 2 is indeed, prevalent in today’s world of massively multiplayer online games.