Around 3,000 Guild Wars 2 perma-bans have been dished out to players who "intentionally and repeatedly" exploited a bug in the game enabling them to craft high level weapons at "one thousandth of their normal price".
According to PC Gamer an emergency patch has now closed the loophole, which developer ArenaNet described as the "first example of a widespread exploit in the game".
Lead producer Chris Whiteside said on Reddit that, just this once, the studio will offer to convert permanent bans to 72-hour suspensions.
We take our community and the integrity of the game very seriously, and want to be clear that intentionally exploiting the game is unacceptable. The players we banned were certainly intentionally and repeatedly exploiting a bug in the game.
We intended to send a very clear message that exploiting the game in this way will not be tolerated, and we believe this message now has been well understood.
We also believe and respect that people make mistakes. With this in mind, we are offering the members of our community who exploited the game a second chance to repair the damage that has been done.
This is a first and final warning. Moving forward, please make sure you that when you see an exploitable part of the game, you report it and do not attempt to benefit from it.
We said in our 8.9/10 Guild Wars 2 review: "An entertaining MMO that combats the dreaded grind with smart design. The lack of a monthly subscription fee only sweetens the deal."