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Another week, another batch of leaderboard updates. Did you make the cut this time around?

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Mike Lewis, security coordinator for ArenaNet, has just posted a new blog article on combating the bot issue in Guild Wars 2. The article states that ArenaNet has banned over 34,000 bot accounts in November alone, but they have noticed a decrease in botting reports - in October over 2,000 were reported every hour and now they receive about 20 reports per hour.

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I’d like to briefly outline the steps that we have taken to shut down botting.

Collecting and analyzing data is very important to us at ArenaNet. Data is the most powerful weapon in our arsenal against bots. We’ve gathered massive amounts of information about the habits of both normal players and automated bot players. We contracted a team of data specialists to help us build comprehensive tools that comb through this data and find effective ways to single out and terminate bot accounts. Automating this process has been a major focus of the ArenaNet security team, and we’re now seeing the considerable fruits of this labor.

Another way we identify and combat bots is through manual observation. Our GM staff is equipped to monitor the game around the clock and detect bots from within the game itself. We have a considerable task force assigned to patrolling the world and eliminating bots, as well as helping us continue to improve and refine our automatic detection tools.

Last but not least, we’re in a good position to monitor and investigate bot reports as they arrive from players. Aided by our analysis tools and strengthened by manual investigation as necessary, GMs are able to react quickly and efficiently to bot reports and terminate offending accounts in short order.
Not only does Mike outline the process of removing bots in the game, but he also thanks the community for helping out by reporting suspicious activity in-game. You can read the full article here.

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Do you wish there was an easier way to keep up with the Wintersday schedule this year? Well, Naima Omadara has a solution for you! You can now use this lovely wallpaper he/she created to keep track of event dates and times. For the full image, please see the original thread and make sure to give your thanks!

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Today, Gaile Gray has posted ArenaNet's new account restoration process:

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We’re pleased to tell you that we are launching our Account Restoration Tool (ART) today. With that tool, we will be able to restore qualifying accounts that were compromised on or after December 1, 2012.
From the FAQ
How does Support conduct a restoration? Agents will:
  • Verify that the person requesting the restoration is the original owner of the account.
  • Confirm that the request is for an account compromised after December 1, 2012.
  • Review account history to verify that the account was hacked by a third party.
  • Check account “snapshots” or saved states.
  • Research other accounts involved and take action as appropriate.
  • Restore (roll back) the account, when appropriate.
How far back do you go to restore an account? We seek a restoration date that is as close as possible to the date of a verified account compromise that took place after December 1, 2012. The account snapshot may have been saved a few hours prior to the compromise or it may date from a period substantially prior to the event.

Can you use the Account Restoration Tool to restore a specific character or item? No, the entire account will be restored to its previous state; all progress and acquisitions after that date will be lost.

Can I pick the date of my restoration? No. The agent will identify the saved state or snapshot closest to the compromise incident.

Will I get everything back? Your character, items, and wealth will be exactly as they were in the saved stage/snapshot. However, you will lose progress and items that you acquired between the time of the snapshot and the time of the compromise. For example, if you were hacked on February 10th and the most recent saved state is February 5th, the account will lose anything acquired between February 5th—the restore point—and February 10th.

How long does it take to conduct an account restoration? The process takes only a short time, but because the research and verification process is time-consuming, we ask that you allow several days for us to complete the restoration.

Is there a limit on account restorations? We offer one restoration during the lifetime of a Guild Wars 2 account. To safeguard your account, please be sure you use the best security processes, as outlined in this article.

Account Restoration Tool Quick Facts
  • The account will be reverted to its exact condition in the account snapshot. Characters, inventory, achievements, and wealth will reflect their state on the date and time of the restore point.
  • Individual characters or items cannot be restored; the ART operates on the account as a whole.
  • Account restoration does not affect any serial codes that were applied to an account. You would use the same serial code to verify your account ownership in the future.
  • Account restoration is only for an account that was compromised by an unauthorized person. We do not restore accounts impacted by scamming, erroneous gem purchases, accidental deletions, etc.
  • Shared accounts are ineligible for restoration.
  • Accounts involved in the use of a third-party program are ineligible for restoration.
  • Restorations do not impact guild banks.
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Is your mind looking for a creative outlet? Do you punch your screenshot key more often than you kill your enemies? Are prizes your thing? Great! Then you're definitely going to want to participate in this screenshot contest!

A single entry consists of a series of screenshots gathered from Guild Wars 2 and placed together in order to create a story or something similar. Think of it as a comic strip of sorts, though it doesn't have to been exactly like one you'd find in the newspaper or comic book. Keep in mind that a good deal of the submission is up to you, creatively. You can make a poem about Wintersday, a story about your asura's first time in The Grove, or something a little less traditional. All you have to do is remember a few simple guidelines.
  • Screenshots must be taken from Guild Wars 2. No concept art, etc.
  • You are allowed to build on screenshots (text, filters).
  • A single submission must have a minimum of two panels, and a maximum of 10.
  • Be creative!
The deadline for this contest is 11:59 PM PST on Friday, December 14th, 2012.

Prizes
In order to win the first place prize, you simply need to have the most favorable entry. Beyond the single winner of the first place prize, we will also pick three honorable mentions. You can find the prize list below. Once the winners have been chosen, we will place *every* entry in a public gallery for everyone to enjoy once the contest has passed.

First Place (1)
  • 2,000 gem card (North America only)
  • Custom forum title
Honorable Mentions (3)
  • "Creative Quaggan" user title
Submitting an Entry
All you have to do is post your contest submission in this thread. We will announce the winner and honorable mentions publicly once they have been chosen, then I will contact the appropriate members for prize distribution details.

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Another week, another batch of leaderboard updates. Did you make the cut this time around?

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The event page for Wintersday has been updated! Here are some of the event highlights:
  • New Wintersday Items in the Gem Store: With festive town clothes, wintery weapon skins, and chests full of holiday treasures, The Black Lion Trading Company has everything you need to celebrate Wintersday! Check out the new items and much more in the Gem Store today!
  • Winter Wonderland: It’ll take more than a good pair of snow boots to get you through this Wintersday’s jumping puzzle. Speak to the Festive Youth near the snow globe in Lion’s Arch to test your luck—and your balance.
  • Snowball Mayhem: If you’ve got holiday spirit and a good throwing arm, visit the Festive Lionguard near the Lion’s Arch snow globe to try out the new snowball fight PvP activity!
  • Bell Choir: Ring in the season with this new musical activity inside the Lion’s Arch snow globe, accessed through the Bell Maestro. It doesn’t matter if you have rhythm—Wintersday is all about harmony.


Trixx's Schedule
  • December 15th: The Grove
  • December 16th: Divinity's Reach
  • December 17th: Black Citadel
  • December 18th: Hoelbrak
  • December 19th: Rata Sum
  • December 20th: Lion's Arch
For more information, along with new concept art, screenshots and wallpaper, make sure to check out the event page! Back to Top

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It's been a good long while since World Vs World has received some update love, but with Wintersday on the horizon, Habib Loew has shared the list of changes that will be pushed to the live game for the upcoming winter festivities. While it isn't the major update that's expected to hit next year, players who frequent the Eternal Battlegrounds will no doubt enjoy these improvements.

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Wintersday is coming and along with all the other goodies there will be a few updates to WvW. Some of these changes are the result of forum feedback while others are part of our longer term plans for WvW. Here’s a quick preview of what WvW will get for Wintersday:

Advance notification of new builds
In order to allow WvW players to make good decions about siege placement, assault timing, etc. we’re adding a new build pre-announcement. This will be in the form of a message broadcast to all players some time before the current build expires. Because this notification is tied to one of the final steps in our build process, and those final steps take a variable amount of time, we won’t be able to say exactly when the current build will expire. Instead, the message will provide a window of time in which the new build will become available.

Alt+F4 is no escape
If someone that you’re fighting disconnects during combat (via Alt+F4, killing the client process, etc.) their character will be instantly killed, death penalties will be applied, and XP & loot will be handed out as usual.

No more insta-build walls & gates
Destroyed walls and gates will now rebuild when they reach 10% health rather than on the very first repair. This means that when attackers down a wall or gate defenders won’t be able to instantly rebuild it. Walls and gates which are destroyed can still be damaged if they have any health.

Breakout events
We’ve added a new event type to WvW called Breakout events which trigger when one or more teams have been pushed completely out of a map. They’re designed both to help players break out of severly camped portal keeps and to provide assistance in establishing a foothold in each map. Here’s what designer Matt Witter has to say about them:

Break Out Events are special WvW events that will happen when a team has lost control of all defensive structures, not counting supply camps. An NPC commander will appear in the team’s start area and an event will start that prompts players to gather around. Once enough players are in the commander’s presence he will summon his trusty dolyak to give all allies in the area full supply. He will then lead the charge to the nearby objective and give players protection and assist with building siege to assault the objective with. Those benefits, along with a defensive boon that he applies to all nearby allies, makes the attacking players a force to be reckoned with. Defenders will have their work cut out for them, as once the gate or wall piece is destroyed the commander will move to the tower lord inside and attack anyone in his path.

These changes are just a small part of what the WvW team has been up to lately. As you may have already heard, we’re hard at work on some larger updates that we plan to deliver in February. We’re not quite ready to talk about the details yet but as February gets closer we’ll start to reveal more of our secrets.

Happy Wintersday and we’ll see you on the battlefield!
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The Wintersday Workshop is back! And since Guild Wars 2 has launched, they'll be taking submissions from both games this year! What's the Wintersday Workshop you ask? Well, I think Tzu can explain it much better:

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The goal of the Workshop is creative and artistic growth, regardless of skill level or medium. We encourage every participant to facilitate this growth by actively posting progress of their work and giving and receiving constructive criticism on everything posted in the thread. We also strongly support and encourage each participant to submit their art to the Official Guild Wars Wintersday Contest if applicable - however this is no prerequisite to join the Workshop. We welcome everyone.
Not only that, but this year is special in that the Workshop will also be running a screenshot competition! And if you're looking to contribute to the project outside of participating in the contests, they are also accepting donations for prize categories. For more information, check out the Wintersday Workshop thread.

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If you haven't purchased the game yet, this is a great time to do so! For a limited time, you can get a free upgrade to the Digital Deluxe version with the purchase of Guild Wars 2. Not only that, but you will also receive an exclusive Wizard's Hat.
  • Summon Mistfire Wolf Elite Skill: Summon a deadly Mistfire Wolf, a spectral animal with unique powers of her own.
  • Miniature Rytlock: He may not even reach your character's knees, but this tiny miniature Rytlock still has all the spirit and ferocity of the charr!
  • Chalice of Glory: This chalice provides your character with Glory, which they can use to unlock PvP rewards (single use).
  • Tome of Influence: Boost your guild's influence with this sacred book (single use).
  • Golem Banker: An automated manservant that allows you to access you storage account from anywhere for 5 days.
  • Wizard's Hat: This pointy headwear will give your character that classic wizard look.
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