Guild Wars 2 Hub

Your Source for Original GW2 Guides and Features

Snowflake Ban Hammer

Around the Web

January 3, 2013 - 5:07am -- Xerin
Guild Wars 2

Several hours ago ArenaNet swung the ban hammer on a large amount of accounts that were found to have exploited Snowflake salvaging. Needless to say the official forums and Reddit are alive with stories (and tears) from the innocent, wrongly banned. ArenaNet’s Gaile “the ban hammer” Gray (as I’m now calling her) has issued the below statement, see in this particular thread.

I’ve seen the numbers, and the damage to the economy could have been substantial, if the exploit wasn’t closed down and if these people were allowed to use their ill-gotten gains. People whose accounts were terminated were the worst offenders. I’m talking a lot of ill gotten gains, and a significant risk to the economy.

Any time you take one thing and can make two, and then four, and then sixteen… ya gotta know that’s just wrong. (I won’t quibble on the odds, overall, doubling was not outside the rules of probability.) And to perform that action hundreds and hundreds of times? That’s call “exploitation,” my friend, and that’s against the User Agreement, the Rules of Conduct, and all that is holy.

I know the OP will disagree. But we’ve been more than kind, in the past, and everyone needs to own up to his/her errors and recognize: We all are part of the game economy, and those who exploit it are hurting the rest of us.

Exploit closed.
Worst offenders terminated.
That’s what has to happen to make things right for all of us.

Gaile Gray
Support Liaison

For those not in the know, the exploit in question involved players making rare snowflake earrings that they would then salvage. The sticking point however is the fact that the snowflake jewel had around an 80% chance to be retained on salvage while still providing an Ectoplasm (or three). This allowed players to profit heavily dependent on the number of Ectoplasm’s they received and how cheaply they purchased the original snowflakes.

I’ve read several threads this morning from people complaining that the margins were small, so how can it possibly have upset the economy. However, what they’re failing to realise is that snowflakes weren’t always at the price they are now, allowing those who discovered this exploit early, to unquestionably reap rewards.

Obviously those purchasing Pristine Snowflakes at their highest price (27 silver) were making small margins in comparison to the first adopters of the practice.

I must admit I whole heartedly agree with Gaile but it does leave me questioning how lawful salvaging crafted rare items are. If I can make rare tailored shoulders for as little as 14 silver and yet salvage them for a chance to obtain 3 Ectoplasms (thus making huge profits) how can this also not be considered exploitative. If it is, half of the player base is likely to be banned. *Gulp*



Ayelet's picture
Submitted by Ayelet on

The difference of course is that when salvaged the snowflake returned not just ecto, but the snowflake itself, and sometimes more than one of them.  

If you were to buy an intricate silk insignia from the TP for 16s, add a few silk and some leather you'd have a piece that you could salvage for the possibility of ecto, plus receive back some silk or leather -- but you'd NEVER receive the insignia back.  With the snowflake you could craft the trinket and salvage it  and have the possibility of the ecto, some mithril AND the snowflake.  It's the endless loop that was the problem and I believe that the people who have been banned understood that it was a problem.  

So, while your example shows the initial investment of 27 silver for the snowflake it doesn't show it as a one-time investment, and that is the crux of the exploit.  That endless loop that John Smith spoke of and that Gaile mentions in her post where 1 becomes 2 becomes 4 becomes 8...  

Do you really believe that these people had no idea that there was a bug at play?