Fri. Mar 24th, 2023
Guild Wars 2 developer hands out cruel and unusual punishments to hacker

South Park Studios

In general, breaking the rules in online video games – whether by using cheats, exploiting glitches, or just being a generally unpleasant person – results in a slap on the wrist, or at worst a permanent ban. But in the case of a certain Guild Wars 2 player, developer ArenaNet decided that its crimes against the community required more than simple banishment—complete and utter public humiliation.

For weeks, users had been reporting that a character named DarkSide had been using all sorts of hacks and exploits to make other players’ lives miserable. This included dealing impossible amounts of damage via superhuman strength and teleporting across the map to easily escape retribution from the game’s increasingly frustrated inhabitants, neither of which should be possible.

In scenes eerily reminiscent of the South Park episode “Make Love, Not Warcraft,” groups of players even banded together to try and take down DarkSide before he could do any more damage. Unfortunately, all their attempts failed. Tired of their torment, players even resorted to posting videos of the hacker in action on the game’s forums, which eventually caught the attention of ArenaNet employees.

RIP dark side

“We don’t need to see it in game,” wrote Chris Cleary, head of game security on the forum, “sometimes good video evidence is enough for me to track down who it was. In this case, the video was enough for me to find out who it was and take action. Thanks for the video, and with your video I’m giving you this video of his account’s last moments… Oh yeah, he’s been banned too.”

In the video (embedded above), ArenaNet took control of DarkSide’s account, stripped his character down to his underwear and then sent him, in a form of virtual capital punishment, to his death from the top of a high castle. Instead of respawning DarkSide, ArenaNet permanently removed its characters, along with the hacker’s other accounts, from the server.

While account deletion by DarkSide is a common form of punishment for online cheaters, popular Twitch streamer Reckful was recently removed from World of Warcraft for account sharing.ArenaNet’s method of handing out that takedown is certainly unusual. So, has justice been done? Or is even virtual death penalty (and a bit of online humiliation) a step too far?

By akfire1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.