Guild Wars Conduct Breaches & Outcomes
The whole reason for having a Rules of Conduct is to make sure that the game world is a pleasant place to be. If you've read the Rules, you will note that they are simply common sense guidelines for appropriate behavior. They contain restrictions on bad language and in-game behavior, and on inappropriate names that may be rude, crude, or socially unacceptable. They contain protections for you, so your privacy is maintained, and for us, as developer and publisher of Guild Wars, so that the integrity of the game is preserved.
The rules are all pretty basic: Don't swear or spam or break any laws. Don't use a name or guild acronym that would offend someone; don't harass other players. Don't link to pornography or advertise in the game. Don't buy or sell in-game items for real-world cash or buy or sell accounts or access keys for in-game or real-world currency. Report hacks and exploits and do not use them yourself; play Guild Wars on the Guild Wars servers, and so forth.
So what happens when someone breaks the Rules of Conduct? In the interests of keeping things pleasant for the majority of players, we've set up a system to deal with lapses in behavior. We think the system is fair, balanced, and reasonable. The system involves two types of administrative action: account suspensions and account terminations. Those who fail to observe the Rules of Conduct will usually have an administrative "mark" placed on their Guild Wars account that results in a temporary account suspension. However, in the case of extreme breaches—such as using a game exploit, attempting to hack the servers, or acquiring a large number of marks and moving into a "frequent violation" status—the account will be closed outright.
When a temporary account suspension is given, the length of the suspension will rise with each subsequent mark. Account marks that result in temporary account suspensions will expire after a period of time although a record is retained to track those who frequently violate the Rules of Conduct and/or the User Agreement and those accumulated violations may result in account termination In normal circumstances, a player can clear his/her account of marks and remove the risk of lengthy suspension simply by obeying the Rules of Conduct. Account terminations for breaches of the User Agreement or the Rules of Conduct nearly always are permanent.
- Some account actions come as the result of staff member observations; others came as the results of player report. All player reports are fully investigated.
- We will take action and place account marks only after careful consideration and a review of all available facts.
- Account marks apply to the full account, rather than an individual character within the account.
- We do not issue warnings; the first mark, with its temporary account suspension, is considered a form of warning, and should be accepted as such by the player.
- We will not contact you externally (via email) to inform you of disciplinary action on your account. Instead, you will receive an in-game message that alerts you that your account has been rendered inaccessible. That alert will provide as specific a reason as we are able to give for the account mark, as well as the duration of the temporary account suspension.
- Those who report a possible rules infraction by another player may be given general information on the outcome of their report, but details may remain confidential.
- The suspension periods are designed to be effective and fair. The first mark results in a relatively brief suspension; players who slip up once in a great while will not suffer dire consequences. The suspension periods do scale up, though, in order to better handle those players who are in regular breach of the Rules of Conduct. For them, the account marks can result in weeks of suspension or in termination of their account.
- A Guild Wars account will be terminated in instances of severe abuse of the Rules of Conduct or the User Agreement. Account terminations are permanent.
All names must comply with our Guild Wars Naming Policy. There are two kinds of infractions: Naming infractions and in-game (behavior) infractions:
- Naming Infractions
- If a character name is reported to us and is in violation of the Naming Policy, the account will be blocked and receive a mark, and therefore will be inaccessible for whatever period of time is called for within the escalating suspension system. This means that the character and all the inventory items and attainments associated with it will be inaccessible during this time and until the character has been renamed. For the first offense, you will be required to rename your character upon your next login. For the second offense, we will assign you a new name and your account will again be marked. We may also take further action at our discretion.
- For unacceptable guild names, a mark will be placed against the guild creator's account. The guild will be reset to "0" on the Guild Ladder and will be unable to issue challenges; the only option will be to dissolve the guild. There is no option for renaming a guild at this time.
- In-game Infractions
The following will result in an account mark (suspension) or an account termination, depending upon the severity of the matter:
- Inappropriate in-game behavior — such as obscene, offensive, or racist talk or behavior, abuse of another player, or harassment.
- Selling or buying a Guild Wars account, in-game item, or gold for real-world currency; selling a Guild Wars account for in-game currency; aiding others in such transactions, or advertising the intent to commit such acts.
- Selling services of any kind—including such things as "runs" through portions of the game—for real-world currency.
- Repeating in-game chat to an excessive degree ("spamming").
- In-game linking to inappropriate sites, including those offering bots, macros, or other third-party programs, or those selling or buying accounts, items, or in-game gold.
- Taking advantage of another player ("scamming") in order to take his/her items or account.
- Accessing another player's account in order to take or delete characters or items.
- Abusing game exploits.
- Advertising cheats, hacks, and exploits
- Using, developing, releasing or promoting a "bot" program
- Engaging in PvP match manipulation, disrupting a PvP match by not actively playing in good faith, or any other form of PvP griefing, exploitation, or abuse.
Infractions result in one of two types of account actions: Either the account earns a disciplinary flag, or "mark," or the account is terminated. Marks accumulate over time, and having a number of marks can result in a lengthy account suspension or an account termination. Account terminations apply to the account as a whole and renders the player permanently unable to play on that account. Warnings are never given for either kind of account action.
Depending on the type of infraction there may or may not be an appeals process for the player.
- In-Game Behavior:
- For marks that are the result of inappropriate in-game behavior, no appeal will be accepted.
- Players who err only occasionally will find that the system is designed to handle infractions in a fair and reasonable manner. The early levels of account marks result in relatively brief suspensions, and it is only persistent bad behavior that results in lengthy suspensions.
- Players who run up a large number of account marks will have received warning by the very escalation of the suspension periods. Each mark is more serious than the one before it; marks accumulate or "stack" and can result in a lengthy account suspension. It is not in our best interest to engage in a debate about suspensions with those who are frequently in breach of the Rules of Conduct.
- Name Blocking
- In instances where the player feels that a character or guild name has been improperly blocked, the player may submit an appeal. Keep in mind that only a small percentage of character or guild name blocks will be reversed; history shows that most reviews confirm the initial name block.
- Staff will be unable to enter into a dialogue about such blocks or account marks, but will inform the player if the block has been upheld or removed after a review by senior staff.
Permanent Account Terminations
Obviously, we do not terminate the accounts of Guild Wars players without cause. We exercise careful judgment in every case of an account termination, and we will use the mark system instead of outright account termination if that seems sufficient to address the misbehavior. However, we will review breaches of the Rules of Conduct and the User Agreement with close attention to the most flagrant forms of rules abuse. In instances like these, particularly when we perceive a risk of substantial real or potential harm to the Guild Wars community or to the game's stability, an account can and will be permanently terminated.
Updated 8 October, 2009