- Account Suspension (a temporary block on an account)
- Account Termination (a permanent ban on an account)
An account suspension (i.e. a block) prevents a player from logging in to their account for a limited amount of time. ArenaNet uses a sliding scale to determine the duration of this punishment: lesser offenses will result in smaller blocks and repeat offenses will result in stiffer penalties, up to and including account termination. Common reasons for blocking an account are: use of offensive language, using an unacceptable character name, spamming a chat channel, or scamming.
Some offenses are minor enough that the support team will not impose a penalty unless they are part of a pattern of behavior. For example, an account will not usually be suspended for a first offense of chat-spamming, but ArenaNet is more likely to block accounts for those who do spam chat regularly.
An account termination (i.e. a ban) is a permanent block: the player will never be allowed to login to the account again. Accounts are only terminated for serious conduct breaches, including use of disallowed third-party programs, use of bots, exploiting game bugs, scamming, real money trading, and repeated patterns of behavior that might otherwise result in blocks.
Reporting, escalation, and past conduct
Players can report inappropriate conduct of others through use of the in-game reporting feature, through ArenaNet's support site, or via email. ArenaNet investigates each claim individually and decides on an appropriate response for the circumstances, which includes reviewing the past conduct of the account in question. That sometimes results in the appearance of uneven penalties.
- For example, two players might each be reported for failing to complete a trade in good faith. The first, without any marks against their record, might receive a 3-day block. However, the second might have their account terminated because they are a repeat offender.
- Similarly, two players might be reported for spamming a trade channel. The first, with a good record, might not receive any penalty. While reviewing the second account, ArenaNet might notice use of an unacceptable character name and block that account for three days and require them to choose a new name.
Account terminations can be appealed directly to ArenaNet by creating a support ticket. A supervisor from the support team will review details of the ban and determine if the proper internal procedures were followed correctly. Only a small fraction of bans are reversed, almost always because the player was able to present a reasoned case that a mistake had been made. ArenaNet typically responds within three business days (Pacific Time).
- Officially, ArenaNet uses suspension and termination, but players (and sometimes even ArenaNet employees) typically refer to both these actions as bans.