This past week, the Guild Wars 2 PvP community (don’t laugh, there is one, as you know since you read our own Fight or Kite column) blew up over a rash of accusations of win-trading in PvP, popularized by a new video from MightyTeapot. Essentially, players claim that cheaters have been abusing automated tournaments with bots, manipulating the queues, and selling or trading wins to zip to the top of leaderboards. Win-trading is essentially a blanket term for any form of match or queue manipulation that stacks friends (or bots or compensated allies) on opposing teams so that they can force a win or a loss. If you’re trying to team PvP at 4 a.m. and the other team is all standing around doing nothing instead of trying to win, yeah, it’s a fair bet something’s up.
“This has to stop now,” Teapot says, referring to the fact that perceptions about the state of fairness in PvP are hard for a studio to counter once they’ve set in. “Because the game mode is turning into a meme. […] You aren’t gonna get more players playing if you don’t take it seriously. And honestly, the less people who play, the easier it is to abuse; it is a vicious, vicious cycle.”
The furor has spilled over into the forums (though some of the threads are being deleted and archived) and Reddit, where one commenter posted a video that accuses specific players, including current and former Anet partners, of cheating as part of an alleged massive RTM scam.
ArenaNet declined to comment on the situation when we reached out for a statement yesterday, but if you were wondering whether the team was aware, well… if you don’t know, now you know. Here’s to hoping the company addresses the players sooner rather than later, as improvements to PvP are among End of Dragons’ big features, the team just rehired former PvP lead Josh Davis to run live ops, and the recent WvW test didn’t go so well.
“This morning we permanently banned 83 accounts that were identified as participating in match manipulation and/or account sharing in sPvP ranked play or Monthly Automated Tournaments. We are continuing to look into a number of leads related to this, which may result in additional permanent bans for those involved. Banned accounts will be removed from all leaderboards and ladders. For reference, Match manipulation is defined in our Code of Conduct as any action taken to fix or manipulate the outcome of a PvP match or alter or manipulate the rankings or ratings of the ladder. This also includes disrupting other users’ experiences in the Services by not actively participating in good faith (e.g., ‘griefing’ or ‘leeching’). Going forward, our security team will be monitoring ranked play and automated tournaments even more closely for this behavior and will take swift action as needed.”