Conflicted

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#1 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3299 posts) -

4thVariety over at Wartower has put into words what many people have been expressing through frothing and frequently misguided internet-rage when discussing ArenaNet's cash shop plans. The article comes off as a little standoffish (it's a German site, after all), but the tone serves well as the contempt to my disappointment. Anyway, I found that the points made here were mostly legitimate. Discuss!

#2 Posted by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

That's a bunch of BS and speculation.

1. The game is 100% playable without convenience items. Convenience items are there for people who want to power level. You can buy GW2, never set foot in the shop, and still enjoy the game to its absolute fullest.

2. There is no such thing as unfair advantage in PvE as it isn't a competitive game mode. You are never playing against another player, therefore there is no such thing as having an "advantage"

3. He's speculating that the cash shop will affect gameplay mechanics without actually playing the game.

4-7. Pure speculation based on what has happened in other MMOs

All this fear-mongering is 100% baseless IMO.

#3 Posted by Rookwood (34 posts) -

I think the experience boosts are way overblown. We know that it is a fairly easy process to level in the game without them, with 1 level taking about an hour and a half. No one knows, but at least initial impressions suggest that there is plenty of original content for each hour and half long level... IMO, these boosts are for people who really just want to max as quick as possible, basically alts. I don't see a problem with this and I think you will actually want to avoid them in your first playthrough.

The rest of his arguments mostly concern the effects on the overall economy. I don't see it. The MMO with hands down the best economy period has this system essentially. By institutionalizing in-game currency and real money transfers you are essentially backing your faux currency with real dollars, actually making it worth more to everyone. The argument that the economy will be weak seems to lie on the fact that gold will inflate. That's a completely different issue than gems and has little to do with them.

He also seems to think gems are a required investment. Comparing spending on them to working for minimum wage or something. This is an MMO... you are using both your disposable time and your disposable income. You do not have to make either investment if you do not wish.

I agree that there is a potential here for Anet to really screw up. But there's also plenty of room for this to be just fine if they balance everything appropriately.

#4 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3299 posts) -
@UssjTrunks said:
1. The game is 100% playable without convenience items. Convenience items are there for people who want to power level. You can buy GW2, never set foot in the shop, and still enjoy the game to its absolute fullest.
I don't think the XP boosts seem necessary either, but then you run into another problem. Are the people buying the boosts getting ripped off? Whether or not power-leveling is actually possible in GW2, there's no denying that by rushing to 80 you'll be skipping the vast majority of the content on the way. The fact that your level scales with your location makes it all the more irrelevant as an item. So why is it there?

@UssjTrunks said:
2. There is no such thing as unfair advantage in PvE as it isn't a competitive game mode. You are never playing against another player, therefore there is no such thing as having an "advantage"
You're not accounting for humanity. People who see their peers rocket ahead of them will almost always feel a nagging jealousy. That sort of psychological competition makes an experience more unpleasant than it would otherwise be.

@UssjTrunks said:
3. He's speculating that the cash shop will affect gameplay mechanics without actually playing the game.
You're right that the speculation seems unjustified. I think the more interesting point is the commentary on Mike O'Brien's contention that the GW2 shop is inherently more well-considered than the GW1 version.
 
@UssjTrunks said:
4-7. Pure speculation based on what has happened in other MMOs
You may be right. I always err on the side of suspicion when comes to people handling other people's money. The fact that some of the cash shop items eliminate the game's major gold-sinks doesn't help ArenaNet's argument.
#5 Posted by TheHT (11250 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam: I don't think they're getting ripped off. If they don't see something that's a good value proposition for them, they won't buy it and it'd likely get filtered out if enough people don't buy it. I can see folks using it to power level another character or for someone who just wants that constant progression. Nothing wrong with that.

As far as jealousy goes, that's a personal issue that the individual has to work out. If I see a bunch of people around me levelling up super-fast I won't get jealous. I'll just notice it, and go back to playing and enjoying the game at my pace. If someone else wants to speed up their progress and there are microtransaction buffs to help, then good for him.

If I really badly wanted to speed up my progress too, there's an avenue for that.

#6 Posted by Benny (1953 posts) -

Damn, The guy that wrote that article doesn't have a clue how basic economy works.

He seriously needs a look at what supply and demand is if he thinks that flooding the market with gold and gems would move prices anywhere but down. The more cash shop items there are out there, the more supply there is, the less demand there is.

As for the idea that once 'they' controlled the market they could push up the price of gems, there is already an upper limit on gem prices to begin with.

Furthermore the tone of the article envisages this drug addicted player base feeding off gold farmers to get their necessary fix of cash shop goods. The majority of people will buy some one off thing from the cash shop every few weeks and that's about it.

I do agree it's a little unfair on those who don't have a lot of time or money though.

#7 Edited by Benny (1953 posts) -

Also, the guy talks as if gold sellers will enjoy free reign of the game and its players and be able to buy and sell as they like.

The vast majority of players distrust gold sellers because it's a fantastic way to get your account hacked.

And I very much doubt arenanet will stand around and let them steal their business either.

#8 Posted by zyn (2591 posts) -

@UssjTrunks said:

That's a bunch of BS and speculation.

1. The game is 100% playable without convenience items. Convenience items are there for people who want to power level. You can buy GW2, never set foot in the shop, and still enjoy the game to its absolute fullest.

2. There is no such thing as unfair advantage in PvE as it isn't a competitive game mode. You are never playing against another player, therefore there is no such thing as having an "advantage"

3. He's speculating that the cash shop will affect gameplay mechanics without actually playing the game.

4-7. Pure speculation based on what has happened in other MMOs

All this fear-mongering is 100% baseless IMO.

This.

#9 Posted by S0ndor (2716 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam said:

@UssjTrunks said:
1. The game is 100% playable without convenience items. Convenience items are there for people who want to power level. You can buy GW2, never set foot in the shop, and still enjoy the game to its absolute fullest.
I don't think the XP boosts seem necessary either, but then you run into another problem. Are the people buying the boosts getting ripped off? Whether or not power-leveling is actually possible in GW2, there's no denying that by rushing to 80 you'll be skipping the vast majority of the content on the way. The fact that your level scales with your location makes it all the more irrelevant as an item. So why is it there?

@UssjTrunks said:
2. There is no such thing as unfair advantage in PvE as it isn't a competitive game mode. You are never playing against another player, therefore there is no such thing as having an "advantage"
You're not accounting for humanity. People who see their peers rocket ahead of them will almost always feel a nagging jealousy. That sort of psychological competition makes an experience more unpleasant than it would otherwise be.

@UssjTrunks said:
3. He's speculating that the cash shop will affect gameplay mechanics without actually playing the game.
You're right that the speculation seems unjustified. I think the more interesting point is the commentary on Mike O'Brien's contention that the GW2 shop is inherently more well-considered than the GW1 version.

@UssjTrunks said:
4-7. Pure speculation based on what has happened in other MMOs
You may be right. I always err on the side of suspicion when comes to people handling other people's money. The fact that some of the cash shop items eliminate the game's major gold-sinks doesn't help ArenaNet's argument.

1. You might be less inclined to enjoy all the content if you're playing through it with your 18th character. Also, you can speed up your levelling through pvp as well.

2. You're going into the game with the wrong mindset if you care at all about the fact that anonymous Internet people are levelling their characters 20% faster than you in exchange for a bunch of cash.

As for the rest... speculation.

#10 Posted by Maystack (906 posts) -

Man, I never would have though microtransactions, especially ones that are as negligible as GW2's ones, would have started such a debate. We've had like four threads about it over the past week or so.

#11 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

@Maystack said:

Man, I never would have though microtransactions, especially ones that are as negligible as GW2's ones, would have started such a debate. We've had like four threads about it over the past week or so.

You should see the threads over at guru. A bunch of people are literally saying they are going to boycott the game and that they would rather have subscription fees than an unfair game. It's pretty hilarious.

No one seems to understand that NCSoft/Anet need to make money somehow and that pure B2P isn't a profitable business model for an MMO publisher/developer. GW2 is neither a P2W nor a subscription-based game, yet people still find reason to complain based on speculation and unresolved psychological complexes.

#12 Posted by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

It's pretty retarded that people can pay for an advantage. I was on the fence with this game, but I won't be purchasing if that's the case. Pretty dumb.

#13 Edited by WinterSnowblind (7616 posts) -

@Pinworm45 said:

It's pretty retarded that people can pay for an advantage. I was on the fence with this game, but I won't be purchasing if that's the case. Pretty dumb.

Have you read any of the replies here? You can pay for mild boosts that speed up your leveling process and other trivial things like that, but you are absolutely not paying for any kind of advantage (aside from saving some time).

Almost all of the items you can buy on the store are also available just as random drops or from in-game sellers. Being able to purchase the boosts with real money, is really supposed to be for those who don't play as much and want to keep up with their friends. For anyone else, there's literally no reason to buy any of them.

#14 Edited by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind said:

@Pinworm45 said:

It's pretty retarded that people can pay for an advantage. I was on the fence with this game, but I won't be purchasing if that's the case. Pretty dumb.

Have you read any of the replies here? You can pay for mild boosts that speed up your leveling process and other trivial things like that, but you are absolutely not paying for any kind of advantage (aside from saving some time).

Almost all of the items you can buy on the store are also available just as random drops or from in-game sellers. Being able to purchase the boosts with real money, is really supposed to be for those who don't play as much and want to keep up with their friends. For anyone else, there's literally no reason to buy any of them.

Leveling up faster sounds like a pretty distinct advantage to me.. especially when you're a guild such as the one I play in that is progressive and wishes to be competitive for best on the server, nevermind pvp.

#15 Posted by Brodehouse (9949 posts) -

Don't even bother replying to people getting upset over this. They're not listening. They've made their decision and any information that goes against it will be ignored.

#16 Edited by WinterSnowblind (7616 posts) -

@Pinworm45: Your level is disregarded in PVP and in PVE you scale down to be an appropriate level for the area you're in. You can never over level.

The idea is that someone who spends every waking hour playing the game, shouldn't be automatically better than a skilled player who spends less time playing. The motto in GW1 was "skill > time played" and it's just as true here. The cash shop boosters are there for those with less time, they're in no way necessary to win at anything.

#17 Edited by Cloudenvy (5891 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind: I'm honestly impressed that you're replying to some of the people upset about this. I've given up. : (

#18 Posted by Benny (1953 posts) -

@Cloudenvy: Indeed. A leveling boost in GW2 most likely reduces your overall gains anyway if you think about the fact you will be skipping events that would otherwise award karma. There's a boost for that too though.

@Pinworm45: I'm also not quite sure how leveling marginally faster than others is an advantage or necessary to be "competitive for the best on the server." Whatever that means.

And if that's all you care about, this game probably isn't for you. You're missing all the terrific leveling content on your way to max level.

#19 Posted by Jimbo (9809 posts) -

Oh look! Here comes slick Guild Wars 2 with its slick microtransaction plans!

  
I have no interest in putting the effort in to earn something in-game when I know I -or other people- could just buy it instead, and I have even less interest in buying in-game items.  Once I'm in a game I want it to be a level playing field for everybody involved - doesn't matter whether it's PvP or PvE.  If another player has some prestige item or position in the game I want it to be because they earned it in the game, not because they bought it.  So I'll tell you where I am, Guild Wars 2: ahm oot.
#20 Posted by Adamsons (877 posts) -
@Jimbo said:
I have no interest in putting the effort in to earn something in-game when I know I -or other people- could just buy it instead, and I have even less interest in buying in-game items.  Once I'm in a game I want it to be a level playing field for everybody involved - doesn't matter whether it's PvP or PvE.  If another player has some prestige item or position in the game I want it to be because they earned it in the game, not because they bought it.  So I'll tell you where I am, Guild Wars 2: ahm oot.
Where the conflict lies in this system is that:
 
Firstly you can trade in-game currency for the currency to buy cash shop items.
Secondly there aren't really any directly competitive advantages from the cash shop, In fact there aren't really any competitive advantages in-game at all. At max level there is no gear progression, stuff crafted is the same (to use a wowism) Item level as stuff dropped from the most cutting edge pve encounter. The only advantages people can get from this are excesses of in-game currency.. and I really have no idea what there actually is to buy.
 
Thats not to say I agree with this system. I think the items that are basically gambling are really tasteless and kind of exploitative. I have bigger concerns for GW2 though, server stability, floaty movement, and boring skill usage are all up there in my list of concerns.
#21 Posted by Benny (1953 posts) -

@Jimbo: Uhh, if you can buy it, it's not a prestige item.

#22 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7616 posts) -

@Jimbo: The prestige gear in the game is bought through karma or from tokens earned by completing dungeons. Both of those forms of currency or non-tradable, so if you see someone with a unique set of ghostly armour, you know they earned it. But if your sole reason for playing an MMO is to show off fancy gear, I can safely say that Guild Wars isn't for you anyway. There is no gear treadmill or "leet-position" to grind your way up to.

@Cloudenvy said:

@WinterSnowblind: I'm honestly impressed that you're replying to some of the people upset about this. I've given up. : (

I think it's worth trying to clear up some of the misconceptions, but believe me, I'm not going near Guild Wars Guru any more.

#23 Posted by mazik765 (2315 posts) -

@Benny said:

Also, the guy talks as if gold sellers will enjoy free reign of the game and its players and be able to buy and sell as they like.

The vast majority of players distrust gold sellers because it's a fantastic way to get your account hacked.

And I very much doubt arenanet will stand around and let them steal their business either.

That's the great part of this system, is that it pretty much defeats the purpose of gold sellers. If you want to pay money for gold, you simply buy some gems and then trade them to someone or in game gold. Everyone wins and your money goes directly to the developer you are supporting, rather than some leeches trying to exploit a virtual economy.

Also, if ANet starts selling something in the store that people don't want or refuse to pay for, than it doesn't succeed. ANet has said this before but to paraphrase, basically they have to sell you things you want in the cash shop for them to be successful. Unlike more traditional MMO's where you pay $15 a month and they can update it with whatever they want since they already have your money, ANet has to sell things people want to buy since this will be the main source of income. I think this is a great way to sell convenience items and vanity items, and with this system it means that even those who don't have a credit card or don't want to use it in the online store can still get these items through in game currency.

Ultimately, I think the nay-sayers are over reacting to this. I mean look at the stuff in the GW1 cash shop. There's really nothing there but convenience items like extra storage or character slots.

#24 Posted by RobbieMac (535 posts) -
I wasn't going to comment on any of this, but this is has become ridiculous.  Where was all the hate on the GW1 shop because if people don't like the idea of the GW2 shop they would hate GW1's shop.  All this speculation is insane, plus I am seeing statements by people who are clearly ignorant to other aspects of the game which completely nullify their concerns.
 
@WinterSnowblind:  Completely agree.  I am not sure if it is the WoW fans that are getting upset because you can buy vanity items, but Guild Wars has never been about super flashy gear and weapons.  There was no grind to get armour or weapons in GW1 and this won't change in GW2.  Sure you could buy costumes from the shop but they gave no benefit to the player besides looking 'cool'.  This isn't going to change in GW2 besides some buffs you can get.  So what!  How does this affect you?  It doesn't.  One of the biggest changes Arenanet have implemented in GW2 is the scaling of players so everyone is on a relatively equal playing field (whether this is PvP or PvE).  By this logic it isn't fair for for anyone not in an active guild because they won't be gaining all the great bonuses we can unlock.  All these active guild members will have increased drop rates, increased XP in WvW, etc and clearly this isn't fair to the less active guilds and guild members.  Oh wait!  Maybe this store is in place to help those who don't have the time to play as much, so if they want to keep up with their friends they make the choice to buy buffs.
 
Mind blowing.
 
@mazik765: Completely agree as well.  These gems help Arenanet make income on their game and also remove gold farmers from the equation.  Honestly, what isn't there to like in that situation?  Also another great point by mazik, not everyone owns a credit card.  What about Billy Bob the 15 year old kid from England?  His parents don't want to lend their credit card to him, but he really wants this cool costume in the online shop.  Well now he can get that costume by buying some gems in game.  Everyone wins.
 
Overall people are over reacting.   Also the guys at Guild Wars Guru that want to boycott the game because of the shop, let them I feel the community is better off with people who get this easily upset over something as inconsequential as an online store for a video game.
#25 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

Oh look! Here comes slick Guild Wars 2 with its slick microtransaction plans!

I have no interest in putting the effort in to earn something in-game when I know I -or other people- could just buy it instead, and I have even less interest in buying in-game items. Once I'm in a game I want it to be a level playing field for everybody involved - doesn't matter whether it's PvP or PvE. If another player has some prestige item or position in the game I want it to be because they earned it in the game, not because they bought it. So I'll tell you where I am, Guild Wars 2: ahm oot.

I don't mean to sound like dick, but that's your problem, and not a problem with the game. If you get worked up over what others are doing in a non-competitive setting, there isn't anything the developers can do to appease you. You can either change your mind set or you can play another game.

Do you get upset at your life as well? When your neighbour rolls in one day with a brand new Lexus, do you go into your room and sulk because you can only afford a Toyota (that does everything the Lexus can, minus the perks), or do you move on with your life?

#26 Posted by Benny (1953 posts) -

People are still forgetting the fucking guild boosts that are just as good.

@RobbieMac said:

Overall people are over reacting. Also the guys at Guild Wars Guru that want to boycott the game because of the shop, let them I feel the community is better off with people who get this easily upset over something as inconsequential as an online store for a video game.

Dude toooooooooooooooootally. I'm almost as bad as they are for being as upset at them as they are about the store itself. And I agree, it's the easiest way to see exactly the kind of people you would hope wont ever buy the final product but I'm instantly reminded of this:

Anyone that passionate about the game in the first place is almost guaranteed to buy it.

#27 Posted by Jimbo (9809 posts) -
@UssjTrunks said:

@Jimbo said:

Oh look! Here comes slick Guild Wars 2 with its slick microtransaction plans!


I have no interest in putting the effort in to earn something in-game when I know I -or other people- could just buy it instead, and I have even less interest in buying in-game items. Once I'm in a game I want it to be a level playing field for everybody involved - doesn't matter whether it's PvP or PvE. If another player has some prestige item or position in the game I want it to be because they earned it in the game, not because they bought it. So I'll tell you where I am, Guild Wars 2: ahm oot.

I don't mean to sound like dick, but that's your problem, and not a problem with the game. If you get worked up over what others are doing in a non-competitive setting, there isn't anything the developers can do to appease you. You can either change your mind set or you can play another game.

Do you get upset at your life as well? When your neighbour rolls in one day with a brand new Lexus, do you go into your room and sulk because you can only afford a Toyota (that does everything the Lexus can, minus the perks), or do you move on with your life?

Well, it's a problem with the game if their intention is to get me to buy it.  It's not a problem for me at all, because like you said, I can just choose not to play it.  Which is exactly the course of action I was suggesting I would take, for the reasons stated.
 
No, I don't get upset about that when it happens 'IRL'. I get upset when financially-driven status symbol bullshit like that starts to intrude on my entertainment.  I play games to get away from that sort of thing for a bit, not to indulge in even more of it except on a completely meaningless level.  I just want to pay the entrance fee (/sub) and then know that's it as far as money goes.  I'm totally ok with other people not wanting that, but I know that on-going monetisation like this would totally undermine my enjoyment of the game.
 
If it's truly the case (as suggested by some here) that the very best items can only be obtained by earning them in-game, then that would be something at least.
#28 Edited by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind said:

I think it's worth trying to clear up some of the misconceptions, but believe me, I'm not going near Guild Wars Guru any more.

I've made like 50 posts there over the last 2 days trying to educate people on this whole thing, but it's impossible when you're dealing with completely irrational people. I've decided it's too much stress to argue with them.

I truly hope these people don't buy the game. Can you imagine what your chat area will look like with these people spamming their malcontent 24/7?

My only concern is that these fools are a very vocal minority (they're probably spamming Anet email servers as we speak) and most of them are asking for subscription fees instead of the cash shop. I really hope that Anet doesn't take any of their whining seriously.

#29 Posted by Dark_Lord_Spam (3299 posts) -
@UssjTrunks said:

No one seems to understand that NCSoft/Anet need to make money somehow and that pure B2P isn't a profitable business model for an MMO publisher/developer. GW2 is neither a P2W nor a subscription-based game, yet people still find reason to complain based on speculation and unresolved psychological complexes.

Don't pick a straw-man. Obviously, people who are complaining about any form of a cash shop are totally irrational and not worth accounting for. I just can't help but think that ArenaNet, who we've all lauded for their ingenuity, can implement one better than what they're showing now. In fact I know they can, based on what was there in the first Guild Wars.
#30 Posted by Maystack (906 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam: I didn't really go into the GW1 store at all, but what did they offer that has you praising it so much? All I can think of are costumes, which GW2 has, character slots, which GW2 has, and skill unlock packs. The store in GW2 now has exp boosters which I think is what everyone is getting angry about, but aren't they exactly the same as the skill packs in the vein of saving time?

#31 Edited by Dark_Lord_Spam (3299 posts) -
@Maystack: It's difficult to articulate. This is going to sound dumb, I know, but it just felt better. There was no pretense of it being anything other than a place where you could spend some extra money to support development. In contrast, the GW2 shop seems to be throwing every old MT trick in the book at the player. Note that I'm not saying it's pay-to-win (I don't think it will be), but the first game was just... I dunno... humbler about it? The extra stuff that's in there now all seems boring at best and detrimental to the experience at worst. Ironing out the pricing, removing items that "solve" gold-sinks, and not making people buy preset numbers of gems forfuckssakeplease might do a lot to alleviate the discrepancy. XP boosts I don't have a huge problem with, other than that they seem like a waste of money to me based on ArenaNet's game design.
#32 Posted by MrMazz (977 posts) -

wait people are mad about the cash system in the game....but they've been talking about it being essintially F2P forever? O internet you never sease to confuse me.I see no problem with the microtransactions.

#33 Posted by Jimbo (9809 posts) -
@MrMazz said:

wait people are mad about the cash system in the game....but they've been talking about it being essintially F2P forever? O internet you never sease to confuse me.I see no problem with the microtransactions.

Do you know what the F in F2P stands for?  Hint: It isn't '$60'.
#34 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7616 posts) -

@Jimbo: They still have to pay server costs and what naught.

Having a few microtransactions is better than paying $60 for the game, $15 a month and then having microtransactions on top of it all, like virtually every other MMO out there does. Sure, there's a bit more than most here, but as long as they aren't directly affecting gameplay, I don't see what there is to get worked up about. It's especially telling that most of the complaining is coming from people who don't even understand the fundamental philosophies and mechanics of the game.

#35 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Jimbo:

What about gold farmers found in every MMO? Essentially A-Net is just taking that business away from dubious (and likely criminal) businesses and incorporates it into its microtransaction scheme. No biggie at all. Especially since it seems that gear is mostly tiered and standardized. Matched Instanced PvP is being played with set characters anyways. Prestige (and best-in-slot) items are bought with Karma points, which can only be obtained by actually playing the game.

I don't see any issues arise from A-Nets microtransaction plans. Care to enlighten me?

#36 Posted by RobbieMac (535 posts) -
@Seppli said:

@Jimbo:

What about gold farmers found in every MMO? Essentially A-Net is just taking that business away from dubious (and likely criminal) businesses and incorporate it into their microtransaction scheme. No biggie at all. Especially since it seems that gear is mostly tiered and standardized. Matched Instanced PvP is being played with set characters anyways. Prestige items are bought with Karma points, which are only available via Karma, which can only be obtained by actually playing the game.

I don't see any issues arise from A-Nets microtransaction plans. Care to enlighten me?

That is exactly the thing there are no issues with the microtransactions.  Jimbo seems to believe the buffs will give an unfair advantage to those that choose to level up faster, but as everyone knows the PvE areas and PvP are scaled so everyone is on a virtually even playing field.  His comments come off as rather ignorant, so it just leads me to believe he doesn't actually know what ArenaNet is implementing into the game.
#37 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@RobbieMac:

Oh - people have issues with the 'time savers' buff? Really? That's like buying cars in racing games with IRL money or unlocking weapons for cash in shooters - only way less grievous when taking GW2's design into account. It's for people who don't actually want (or can) play the game, as it's intended. It's about the journey, not the destination. It's not like A-Net is building GW2 like a pure F2P MMORPG, which become unplayably grindy at higher levels (at least for my standards). What's the point of a 'time savers' buff when characters get normalized to be in line with the content they're playing (genius btw.).

A-Net handles GW2 more like Blizzard handles Diablo 3, just without Diablo 3's IRL-money auction house.

#38 Posted by Jimbo (9809 posts) -
@Seppli said:

@Jimbo:

What about gold farmers found in every MMO? Essentially A-Net is just taking that business away from dubious (and likely criminal) businesses and incorporate it into their microtransaction scheme. No biggie at all. Especially since it seems that gear is mostly tiered and standardized. Matched Instanced PvP is being played with set characters anyways. Prestige items are bought with Karma points, which are only available via Karma, which can only be obtained by actually playing the game.

I don't see any issues arise from A-Nets microtransaction plans. Care to enlighten me?

When I said 'prestige' I didn't realise there was actually some tier of weapon called Prestige or something. I just mean prestige as in prestige.  As in 'Check out my sweet sword which you get from killing Gigamegamaximillion!' 'Oh, is that how you got it??' 'No, I couldn't be bothered so I just paid $3 for it at the cash shop.'
 
The difference with gold farmers fucking things up is that at least in that case the game isn't specifically going to be designed with that in mind, because it isn't the game operator that profits from it.  If you effectively move gold farming in house, then there is incentive for the game operator to design towards it.  Instead of designing the game experience primarily to keep people playing (and I'm not gonna lie, even that can have issues), you're designing the game experience primarily to be as profitable as possible.  It's nice to think considerations like that won't influence game design, but they obviously will, as surely as SWTOR's subscription focus influenced the MASSIVE rooms and snail-like running pace.  I think both models have problems, I just happen to prefer subscription's problems over nickel & dime problems.
 
Here's my issue with A-Nets microtransaction plans: I don't like microtransactions in my games.  I also think it's the worst kind of anti-gaming to design a system which encourages people to pay more to avoid playing a game they have just paid for.  I think people who buy into that system probably have some kind of obsessive disorder and should give me all of their money because they clearly cannot be trusted with it.  Personally I was hoping 'buy the box and regular expansions' would be enough, but apparently not.
#39 Posted by Adamsons (877 posts) -

@Jimbo said:

Snip

Prestige gear comes from PvE / PvP currencies that cant be traded. Endgame gear is all the same itemlevel anyway, gear is plateaued out at the level cap. Players can probably get massive economic advantages through this system, but it is yet to be seen how it will impact gameplay.

There are a few tacky implementations of the microtransaction system here though IMO. The lockboxes you get dropped in game and need a cash shop key to open is particularly egregious. But then in-game gold can be traded for the cash shop currency, which is why the system is so hard to judge.

@Seppli said:

A-Net handles GW2 more like Blizzard handles Diablo 3, just without Diablo 3's IRL-money auction house.

Tribes would probably be a better example here or something, without the real money auction house Diablo has no microtransactions IIRC.

#40 Posted by Turambar (6784 posts) -
@Jimbo said:
@Seppli said:

@Jimbo:

What about gold farmers found in every MMO? Essentially A-Net is just taking that business away from dubious (and likely criminal) businesses and incorporate it into their microtransaction scheme. No biggie at all. Especially since it seems that gear is mostly tiered and standardized. Matched Instanced PvP is being played with set characters anyways. Prestige items are bought with Karma points, which are only available via Karma, which can only be obtained by actually playing the game.

I don't see any issues arise from A-Nets microtransaction plans. Care to enlighten me?

When I said 'prestige' I didn't realise there was actually some tier of weapon called Prestige or something. I just mean prestige as in prestige.  As in 'Check out my sweet sword which you get from killing Gigamegamaximillion!' 'Oh, is that how you got it??' 'No, I couldn't be bothered so I just paid $3 for it at the cash shop.' 
You're going to have to show some examples of games that do that specific thing.  Because I'll tell you, I've been around as far as F2P games with micron transaction goes, and even the more egregious ones have yet to sell PVE loot items for cash.
#41 Edited by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind said:

@Pinworm45: Your level is disregarded in PVP and in PVE you scale down to be an appropriate level for the area you're in. You can never over level.

The idea is that someone who spends every waking hour playing the game, shouldn't be automatically better than a skilled player who spends less time playing. The motto in GW1 was "skill > time played" and it's just as true here. The cash shop boosters are there for those with less time, they're in no way necessary to win at anything.

The only options this leaves is

1. Level is completely and utterly pointless, thus there's absolutely no encouragement to progress in the game, and no "endgame", resulting in no competition or content when you reach "max level" (why do levels even exist then? And for that matter, the fact that they will charge for something that you say doesn't matter is an extremely shady business practice)

2. Paying real money offers a time advantage meaning between two guilds of equal skill, the one that pays money will advance faster and thus be better.

Either way, I'm not interested.

#42 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2562 posts) -

@Pinworm45 said:

@WinterSnowblind said:

@Pinworm45: Your level is disregarded in PVP and in PVE you scale down to be an appropriate level for the area you're in. You can never over level.

The idea is that someone who spends every waking hour playing the game, shouldn't be automatically better than a skilled player who spends less time playing. The motto in GW1 was "skill > time played" and it's just as true here. The cash shop boosters are there for those with less time, they're in no way necessary to win at anything.

The only options this leaves is

1. Level is completely and utterly pointless, thus there's absolutely no encouragement to progress in the game, and no "endgame", resulting in no competition or content when you reach "max level" (why do levels even exist then? And for that matter, the fact that they will charge for something that you say doesn't matter is an extremely shady business practice)

2. Paying real money offers a time advantage meaning between two guilds of equal skill, the one that pays money will advance faster and thus be better.

Either way, I'm not interested.

I think you're over-analysing here. Firstly, Winter was simply applying a shorthand in his description, as the actuality of how levelling and level scaling works in GW2 is a bit complicated. I will attempt to clarify.

To address your first point;

Levelling is simply a way to give people a sense of accomplishment - very little more. People like seeing the numbers get bigger and bigger, and this is the mechanic game designers have embraced to give them this. Seeing those numbers get bigger is (somewhat sadly) for most people, encouragement enough to continue to progress. But it is missing the point. I believe Anet's stance is that content is king - their desire is that players should want to progress to see more and experience more, not just to fill bars.

As such, a lot of their design decisions have centred upon engaging the player through interesting scenarios rather than masses of mindless mobs. By very nature, the "problem" of overlevelling or higher level players visiting lower level areas unbalances many of these scenarios - the classic example is a high level player killing what could have been a cool boss in one or two hits. As such, Anet introduced the idea of (rather aggressive) level scaling and boss / mob difficulty scaling to combat this.

Now, I would agree that a minority of players (and perhaps you fall into this category, considering your remarks) like to level as much as they can, as fast as they can, in order to get through a game more easily or feel more badass. These players don't get left completely behind, but instead, the auto-scaling system does tip its hat to them somewhat. For instance, a level 80 entering a level 30 area wont be scaled all the way down to 30, but more along the lines of 35. You're still slightly better than those around you, just not too much so. Additionally, elements of your character which you can only unlock through levelling to max, such as access to more traits and skills, are kept - so you will definitely have a more efficiently built character than anyone around you. You just can't go around ruining anyone else's game.

In the end, the hope is that power-levellers will level in order to unlock character modifiers and build better characters, plus qualify for better / cooler looking loot - not just to see the number go up and decimate lower level areas.

I withhold any comments about charging for faster levelling until I can see how it pans out, however - speculation isn't going anywhere. I do hope, though, that you can see why Winter used his shorthand.

To address your second point;

Your first supposition conflicts with your second. In a PvE sense, a money-paying guild will be limited by the systems previously mentioned so everything can't go completely to hell - and this is setting aside the fact that PvE is supposed to be cooperative, not competitive. If you're affected by someone else levelling faster than you then you can either console yourself with the knowledge that it'll only take them so far, or, if that doesn't work, bloody well get over it.

In terms of PvP, these items don't really have much effect. Many of them can't be used in PvP and everyone is auto-scaled to lvl 80 when they enter a PvP arena. This includes and having all of the skills and traits unlocked for them (at least to my knowledge).

For WvW though... we'll have to see. Gems -> Gold -> better-equipment-earlier may allow a money-spending guild to get an initial jump on WvW, but once people establish a stable of lvl 80 alts, this will not be a problem. Items have defined, achievable, maximum stats, so there's no such thing as paying to win once you hit max level.

*walks away whistling - I didn't really want to join this discussion, just wanted to clarify misinformation*

#43 Edited by Dark_Lord_Spam (3299 posts) -
@Pinworm45 said:

1. Level is completely and utterly pointless, thus there's absolutely no encouragement to progress in the game, and no "endgame", resulting in no competition or content when you reach "max level" (why do levels even exist then? And for that matter, the fact that they will charge for something that you say doesn't matter is an extremely shady business practice)

Several points to make here:
  • Leveling is present because players enjoy the sense of progression that they get from such a system, that's really the only point the mechanic has ever has in RPGs. Problems only arise from such a mechanic if at some point the process becomes stagnant and/or grueling. This is not a problem in GW2 because you can always experience all of the game's content.
  • As such, there is no definitive endgame in GW2 in that raiding and gear progression is not a thing. Instead, you might jump into Structured PvP, WvW, one of the three level 80 five-man dungeons, any of the vast amount of content you may have missed while you were leveling, or just create a new character to play through another Personal Story.
  • Scaling the player's level solves several huge problems encountered in the "typical" MMO formula. First and foremost, it allows to play with your friends no matter where they are in the game and not feel like you're wasting your time on boring content (i.e. charity runs). It also alleviates griefing by not allowing assholes to come along and completely dominate an event. Last, it lets you (as mentioned above) experience any and all of the stuff you would otherwise need to re-roll to play through.
  • A level 80 scaled to level 10 will still be more powerful than a native 10. They will have all of their skill slots unlocked, a complete set of traits picked out, and their gear bonuses will remain intact. Only their base stats and (I think) armor and weapon damage will be scaled with them.

@Pinworm45 said:

2. Paying real money offers a time advantage meaning between two guilds of equal skill, the one that pays money will advance faster and thus be better.

In PvE this is irrelevant. In Structured PvP, since everyone is considered to be level 80 and have everything unlocked, the only thing determining who is better will be skill. In WvW, since your level is scaled to 80 there will be a slight discrepancy in power, but this would only matter in a completely even fight, and if you find yourself in such a situation there's probably a more effective role you could be taking to help your world get points (cap supply camps, defend caravans, pick off enemy scouts, etc.).
#44 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2562 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam: Hah - good to see you round Dark, I beat you to the punch again. : )

#45 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7616 posts) -

@Pinworm45: Nope, there is no "end game". The idea is that the entire game is fun to play through, and not just a slog to hit max level so you can repeat tedious raids over and over. The fact levels have so little meaning is exactly why I'm saying you shouldn't pay for these microtransactions. It's not supposed to be hard to level up and you can buy bonus XP scrolls with in-game money anyway, there's literally no reason to purchase those boosters, unless you're very far behind your friends and want to catch up. But really, you're only skipping content.

Again, if you're trying to approach GW2 as a typical MMO with grinding, raids and gear-treadmills.. you're doing it wrong. Guild Wars 2 is not trying to be WoW.

#46 Edited by Seppli (10251 posts) -

@Pinworm45 said:

@WinterSnowblind said:

@Pinworm45: Your level is disregarded in PVP and in PVE you scale down to be an appropriate level for the area you're in. You can never over level.

The idea is that someone who spends every waking hour playing the game, shouldn't be automatically better than a skilled player who spends less time playing. The motto in GW1 was "skill > time played" and it's just as true here. The cash shop boosters are there for those with less time, they're in no way necessary to win at anything.

The only options this leaves is

1. Level is completely and utterly pointless, thus there's absolutely no encouragement to progress in the game, and no "endgame", resulting in no competition or content when you reach "max level" (why do levels even exist then? And for that matter, the fact that they will charge for something that you say doesn't matter is an extremely shady business practice)

2. Paying real money offers a time advantage meaning between two guilds of equal skill, the one that pays money will advance faster and thus be better.

Either way, I'm not interested.

Levels are a pacing mechanic. You need to level to progress to higher level zones, but you'll never outlevel content. You can level to 80 doing nothing but WvW, whilst being scaled to lvl 80. Matched instanced PvP is completely removed from your roleplay character. It's being played with lvl 80 characters with equal gear and everything unlocked.

Equal skill? You mean 'equal willingness to spend time & to a lesser extent skill'. There's no race to the endgame. If you want to, you can play most of the endgame right away. That's matched instanced PvP with set characters or WvW with your roleplay character scaled to 80. As for the roleplaying content itself. It's about the journey. Not about the destination.

GW2's world and gamemechanic design is built for 'exploration' players above everything else. You explore the lands, discover quests and secrets, as well as your fellow players - with whom you'll effortlessly cooperate with thanks to extremely sociable rules of GW2's inner workings.

Either way, how does any of it take away from your enjoyment of the game? As far as I can tell, at worst microtransactions will take away from the enjoyment of those who do pay up.

#47 Edited by Pinworm45 (4088 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic said:

@Pinworm45 said:

@WinterSnowblind said:

@Pinworm45: Your level is disregarded in PVP and in PVE you scale down to be an appropriate level for the area you're in. You can never over level.

The idea is that someone who spends every waking hour playing the game, shouldn't be automatically better than a skilled player who spends less time playing. The motto in GW1 was "skill > time played" and it's just as true here. The cash shop boosters are there for those with less time, they're in no way necessary to win at anything.

The only options this leaves is

1. Level is completely and utterly pointless, thus there's absolutely no encouragement to progress in the game, and no "endgame", resulting in no competition or content when you reach "max level" (why do levels even exist then? And for that matter, the fact that they will charge for something that you say doesn't matter is an extremely shady business practice)

2. Paying real money offers a time advantage meaning between two guilds of equal skill, the one that pays money will advance faster and thus be better.

Either way, I'm not interested.

the fact that PvE is supposed to be cooperative, not competitive. If you're affected by someone else levelling faster than you then you can either console yourself with the knowledge that it'll only take them so far, or, if that doesn't work, bloody well get over it.

Me and my friends have always played PVE competitively. We aspire to be the best. If a group of people can get an advantage by paying, that is of no interest to me. If they are a company is going to charge for the ability to increase your level which, according to all of you has no tangible purpose, then that means they are morally suspect and will likely charge for bigger bullshit later on.. Which is why I did exactly what you said, I got over it, and I am no longer interested in the game. Done.

#48 Posted by Branwulf (406 posts) -

It's obvious from reading it that the individual who wrote the article is looking for flaws, he is twisting wording in the blog post to further his point. He has a narrow an binary view on everything he reads, for example saying that A: "They should also be able to spend money on account services and on time-saving convenience items." equals B: "time-savers are being sold, which means time wastes are very much alive in GW2" is utterley baseless. His other points of argument are equally weak, in particular " what I see are systems having been programmed once and being sold ad infinitum, e.g. the Banker, or the influence boost." is clearly grasping at straws, claiming that a percentage boost in the gaining of influence is "systems having been programmed once and being sold ad infinitum" is amusingly poor.

His final comments on EVE Online are all that's needed to prove he's an idiot.

#49 Posted by WinterSnowblind (7616 posts) -

@Pinworm45: If you want to compete, you do that by actually having skill. You cannot pay for an advantage, at most, you're paying to shortcut your way through the game. I'm not sure what's "morally suspect" about that. It's stupid, yes, but some people will want to play through the game and reach the end quickly, either because they're lazy or because they're playing through with multiple characters and don't want to have to play through all the side quests/whatever again. Using that as a way to fund the game, rather than paying a set subscription, is fine with me, you should be able to very easily play through the entire game without spending money and not be at a disadvantage, that's the whole point and GW1 showed us how responsible they can be with microtransactions. Expect more minipet sets, and silly town cloth options, but you can be 100% sure there will be no gear that gives you a stat advantage, or anything of that sort.

The actual gameplay will remain balanced and force playes to rely on skill, rather than how much time they spend grinding. Speeding up the level of which you progress through the game really doesn't do anything to damage the balance. Your failure to understand how the game works is not a fault of the game. If the game doesn't appeal to you, fine, like I said, it's not trying to be a typical MMO, so I can understand why some people will be turned off. But in which case, stop posting about what you think is wrong with it.

#50 Posted by Benny (1953 posts) -

@WinterSnowblind: Seems like he can't wrap his mind around an MMO that isn't WoW. You've made a valiant attempt at explaining it to him though.

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