Well This latest fiasco with multiple players getting banned has left me somewhat confused. As from what I have read on this forum is they have been banned for something that has always been possible to a certain degree anyway.
It has always been possible to generate Ectoplasms using cheap mats to craft rares and then salvage. Yes it seems that profit margin was greater on this due to “underpriced” components but the process is the same in both case’s.
Crafting Rare Silk Shoulders:
15 T5 Mats + 3 Bolts of Silk + 1 Cured leather thick hide + 11 Silk string = 0 to 3 ectos + 1 to 3 silk scraps. ( might not be 100% accurate working from memory atm)
Now this recipe generates Ectoplasms, from a input of some other components.
If you can buy the components cheap enough and in bulk you can quite happily make a huge batch of these , salvage em all down for a nice stack of Ectoplasms.
You then sell some Ectoplasms to cover your materials cost and have Ectoplasms left over which are profit.
This can then be repeated Ad Infinitum to keep generating profit. Or at least till your component supply adjusts in supply on the trading post to make the profit dissapear.
Snowflake Mithril Earring of Winter
1 Ectoplasm + Pristine Snowflake + Orichalcum or Mithril Ore (12)
=0-3 Ectos +1-2 Mith/ Ori Ore + chance to get Snowflake Back
Again you are generating Ectoplasms from other components, so you make a huge batch of em , salvage them and sell back some Ectoplasms to cover costs. Which then leaves you Ectoplasms as profit.
Again you can repeat Ad Infinitum until your supply of materials on trading post start to adjust.
Now yes I am aware that due to the way this works with the Pristine Snowflake and the cost of the materials for the recipe , the wintersday recipe was much more profitable.
The problem is that in essence its exactly the same process but one is a " Legitimate " way of manipulating the trading post to make money and the other is a “Permanent Ban”.
Yes other arguements can be brought to the table such as the recipe for the wintersday jewellry was incorrectly designed in that it only used one ectoplasms, which yes is partially valid but surely the developers have to take some degree of responsibility for that. And the fact is you can generate ectoplasms of recipes that dont require any Ectoplasms to make so ( as shown with the shoulders ones above).
There has been comments made by people and I believe a Dev/Official of some sort that it was wrong as it was a infinite loop, which is just basically wrong as at each craft you had to input orichalcum/mithril and eventualy more Pristine Snowflakes.
Dont think anyone can deny it was much cheaper due to the price of materials but those materials were already adjusting on Trading post to reduce this profit ( eg mithril 1 silver a ore and Pristine Snowflake 30s even hitting 40s-1g.).
Anyway so where do we draw the line? What crosses over from making a load of money from using the shoulder recipe and this new one . Is it a question of scale as thats what its coming across to me as really. The wintersday recipe made a lot of gold with that easy supply of materials and its “undervalued” components but was using a existing process that you can still do in game now.
Personally i think its a very “grey” area , yes it seems Anet dropped the ball on this one and introduced a recipe that was to good due to it requiring one Ectoplasms and people have used this to generate money.
The question is how are people supposed to know this is a exploit of some kind when you can do the same process elsewhere to generate similiar results.
Well thats my 2 cents on it , and yes personally I feel the permanet bans are a step to far on Anets behalf on something that is this cloudy about if its wrong or not.