The Lincolncast, Episode 11: Balance and Cash

#1 Edited by selfconfessedcynic (2590 posts) -

The Lincolncast, Episode 11: Balance and Cash

Hey guys!

For those who don't know, this is the Giant Bomb community's Guild Wars 2 podcast (made by our guild, Lincoln Force). On this week's show we discuss the up-coming balance changes to the engineer and other classes followed by a lengthy main topic: What is Arenanet going to do to make money off Guild Wars 2? Various facets are touched upon, including what is currently on the Gem Store, the British VAT crisis, our ideas for DLC timing and some interesting takes on possible pricing structures.

Also, subscribe to the show!

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Streaming Embed (audio only):

Show Notes

Intro music: "The Pentagon" by The Hamster Alliance

Featured Members: , , , ,

Run time: 2:31:28

Topics for the week:

  • We chat about what we've been playing to fill the time between now and release (including The Secret World and SWTOR)
  • Noob diverts us into to the Jon Peters Guild Wars 2 hub interview (so GW2 discussion starts at 17:10)
  • Mageknight seems surprisingly laid back about the whole Pet AI thing
  • We reveal how little we currently know about the Engineer (with promises to play one come BWE3)
  • The main topic of the week kicks off; "What is Arenanet going to do to make money off Guild Wars 2?" And we have a whole lot to say
  • We roll through our dark desires for in-game purchases
  • ZoomyRamen lays out what it's like to be British
  • The extra character and bank slots seem like the way to go from the current crop of gem store items
  • Noob comes up with a really cool idea for DLC plans if Anet does it
  • Dourin blows my mind with an interesting pricing structure idea
  • We round out with mixed reactions regarding what future expansions are likely to encompass.

Plugs!

Special Mentions!

  • I'd like to thank for his efforts in getting this show recorded
  • Also a huge thank you to for his amazing banner art

Enjoy! Also, feel free to leave some criticism or feedback - TheLincolncast@gmail.com or @TheLincolncast on Twitter

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#2 Posted by Benny (1955 posts) -

Was just scrubbing through and heard you talking about gems and gem prices. As far as I know that stuff is all handled by Arenanet and an algorithm sets the prices. When there is a big demand for gems, prices go up, when there is a low demand for gems, prices go down.

If you can find a way to level up super fast early on and get gold farming ASAP once you hit 80 you will be able to spam buy tons and tons of gems at rock bottom prices since the majority of players don't have access to the kind of cash you have. Then in a few weeks, sell em all once the prices rise.

I guess you should hoard your gems for the first few weeks and maybe even hold all of your assets in the form of gems, similar to the way people held all of their assets in ectos in GW1.

Of course this is only viable as long as the gems are worth more than what you paid for them in gold originally.

#3 Posted by Jack_Lafayette (3458 posts) -
@Benny: I came to the same conclusion from looking at the exchange services in the BLTP. The rate seems to be adjusted automatically.
#4 Posted by Patman99 (1620 posts) -

I agree with Canada dude. USA is just Southern Canada.

#5 Posted by ZoomyRamen (237 posts) -

Waiting to be destroyed about my terrible explanation of VAT!

#6 Posted by Jack_Lafayette (3458 posts) -
@Patman99 said:

I agree with Canada dude. USA is just Southern Canada.

I say Canada is just Swedish America.
#7 Posted by No0b0rAmA (1478 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam: Says Mexican Canada.

#8 Posted by Patman99 (1620 posts) -

@Dark_Lord_Spam: Well Sweden is basically Germanic Japan

#9 Posted by Elitespy (48 posts) -

Downloading now to listen tomorrow at work, will come back and post everything I disagree about later, lol.

#10 Posted by RobbieMac (535 posts) -

good podcast, only 2nd time I was able to get through entire thing. Lots of interesting ways to potentially make payments for expansions. Also you can't switch out pets to get auto revive anymore, that was removed.

#11 Posted by Mageknight (124 posts) -

@RobbieMac: I knew I wasn't crazy! I relied on that a lot during longer fights in the beta. Maybe I needed more pet healing skills?

#12 Posted by Subjugation (4740 posts) -

The easy way out (not that it's a bad thing) to handling pets dying too quickly is to give them avoidance/resistance against AoE damage. That's the way it was handled in WoW and it generally seemed to be a pretty fair way of making sure pets took a reasonable amount of damage instead of being one-shot. Then again, aggro works differently in GW2 so I'm not sure if pets are excluded from being the focus of direct attacks from boss mobs. That would negate the AoE resist, and you can't give them straight up damage resist because then you risk swinging the power of pets too far in the opposite direction.

On the topic of buying future content via gems, I'm not sure I see that working out (as much as the frugal [cash strapped] college student in me would love it) due to the price of gems fluctuating. It is going to be a real market with constant variance such that it would be really difficult for ArenaNet to ensure that an ostensibly static gem cost (for the content) would net them what they want. Unless they implement some sort of artificial price floors/ceilings (economics bro) and then price the gem cost of the content such that even the rock bottom gem value still lands them their desired return, I seriously doubt it happening. It's certainly a cool idea since I know people would love to earn new content for their game by playing that same game if they save cash and have fun at the same time.

My personal speculation on how the dye packs will be handled is that (I believe one of you hit this) you will be allowed to receive duplicates because of the ability of the mystic forge to recombine for another. I'm not saying that it's an idea I particularly like, but it is something that I can realistically see happening that really wouldn't surprise me. Also, "50 Shades of Grey" should totally be an achievement for unlocking all grey dyes.

I had other thoughts while listening but I foolishly waited until it was over to write anything.

You guys did a good job on this one. I enjoyed the cast combination, although at times people are too eager to get their say in to the point of talking over each other and making it impossible to tell what anyone is saying. Opinions and enthusiasm are great but so is taking turns.

#13 Posted by Jack_Lafayette (3458 posts) -
@Subjugation said:

The easy way out (not that it's a bad thing) to handling pets dying too quickly is to give them avoidance/resistance against AoE damage. That's the way it was handled in WoW and it generally seemed to be a pretty fair way of making sure pets took a reasonable amount of damage instead of being one-shot. Then again, aggro works differently in GW2 so I'm not sure if pets are excluded from being the focus of direct attacks from boss mobs. That would negate the AoE resist, and you can't give them straight up damage resist because then you risk swinging the power of pets too far in the opposite direction.

An AI routine to respond to AoE would certainly make managing the profession easier, but it wouldn't widen the tool set. It's already entirely possible to have your pet avoid big damage by switching them to passive whenever you see a red circle where they're standing. Right now it just requires that ranger players keep an eye both on their character's and their pet's position.

@Subjugation said:
My personal speculation on how the dye packs will be handled is that (I believe one of you hit this) you will be allowed to receive duplicates because of the ability of the mystic forge to recombine for another. I'm not saying that it's an idea I particularly like, but it is something that I can realistically see happening that really wouldn't surprise me. Also, "50 Shades of Grey" should totally be an achievement for unlocking all grey dyes.
As the system is now, it's entirely possible to receive duplicates from the dye packs. Seems like a bad decision to me, but then I'm probably biased since I fused 4 uncommon dyes I already had in the Mystic Forge and a common dye I already had popped out.
#14 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2590 posts) -

I'm really tired, so I'll make meaningful responses later, but;

@Subjugation said:

although at times people are too eager to get their say in to the point of talking over each other and making it impossible to tell what anyone is saying. Opinions and enthusiasm are great but so is taking turns.

Yeah, I know about that issue.

I think my response last week to someone with the same opinion was.... oh fuck it, I'll paste it (from youtube comments)

"Thanks for the feedback guys. I'd like to address one point - talking over one another. So, this week we did it more than most because we were excited, however it's a very difficult issue to overcome. We can't see eachother while doing these shows (they are done over voice chat), as such, on the one side you can sound like NPR with no one interacting or on the other, you can have a show like this one. I'll try to clean the next up in post a little, but in general I prefer this lesser evil."

So what I did this week was write down every instance of people talking over one another on a pad while we did the show. There are about 39 instances with 35 of which being long enough to warrant me editing them out in post. Sadly, the audio issue happened and I didn't get a chance.

The reason I choose to do it this way (though it'd prob add an hour to my production turn around time) is that I love the energy of these shows, so I don't want to instruct people to wait for others. Hopefully by keeping the energy and fixing the cross talk in post, I can produce an ULTIMATE show. Something I sincerely plan to do next week.

#15 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

I played engineer to level 16 or so. I really like the idea of the turrets, but like it was said in the podcast, they're pretty much completely useless. I hope that they add some great buffs to them as I prefer using turrets rather than the different kinds of kits.

#16 Posted by garion046 (12 posts) -

Hey guys, love the podcast, it's really good discussion and entertainment. :D Sorry this post is so long, I am awful at condensing.

I'm not sure how much feedback you've got about your discussion about the current state ranger pets early on in this podcast, but I'd like to give my perspective as someone who basically only played ranger to level 35. First thing, you can still swap pets to revive them at this stage, people thought it was removed as it was in the leaked notes before the BWE however it did not eventuate. Swapping pets has a long cooldown in combat though (but out of combat it's basically instant).

It should be noted that I saw large improvements between BWE1 and BWE2 on pets, however there are still major issues at this point. The biggest problems I've come across with them are:

  • Pathing. Examples include running around cliffs instead of following over them; not being tethered closely enough (ie. if I stop, my pet runs past where I'm stopped and aggros a mob in front of me; this could potentially wipe a group in a dungeon. I think this is a lag issue as the pet just seems to take a second to realise you've stopped).
  • Responsiveness. Going from passive to attacking often fails to function, or occasionally even if it shows attacking the pet remains passive or vice-versa. I feel if this was fixed to a point of extreme responsiveness it would allow a ranger to micro the pet in order for it to dodge to some extent (and hence increase survivability on pets that aren't bears). Aside from this, hitting F1 for a pet to attack doesn't always work either.
  • Ability Delay. This is particularly applicable to their unique abilities which you have to activate (F2). Often you'll hit an ability, it takes a little while to register, then there's an animation (such as a leap, roar etc) that takes another couple of seconds before the effect is applied. This often results in >3s ability delay. In some cases it's better to just let the pet auto-attack atm.

With survivability, there's a few options. One is, as you mentioned on the podcast, to give them dodge AI. This is probably really tough to implement though, and I'd be worried that it would dodge the wrong way or wouldn't be reliable. Or you could just give them all more HP/toughness. This creates other problems though, mainly in sPvP where pets seem pretty good at surviving tbh. Also there's no reason to take a tanky bear/drake if the cat/bird is survivable enough, as they do tons more damage.

Another option is to have them negate most AoE damage. This would help a little in some situations (mainly WvW), however it's worth noting that the combat in GW2 works such that a swing with, say a greatsword, is always a cleave. Most big mobs have default AoE cleave attacks. So you end up rigging the damage input to the pet being basically no damage, or just big stomp/rain AoE in which case the cleave kills them anyway. It still might be the best option though. Personally I think if they fix everything else, especially responsiveness, pet survivability will see a marked increase and once rangers learn to micro the low HP pets will be used more as they output some insane damage (see lynx).

Also a FYI on the downed state of rangers. You can rez pets (ability 2) and pets can rez you (ability 3). This can be useful for PvE and occasionally WvW, however mobs still often target you when downed rather than your pet (ie. they're smart, this should stay as it is, otherwise pet rez is OP). However in sPvP this ability doesn't come off cooldown fast enough to even begin a pet rez before you get stomped. So the downed ranger abilities are almost worthless in sPvP. All you can do is spam 1 and hope to blind them long enough so your pet can kill them and you can rally. I'm not sure whether this really needs a fix or rangers just need to not die (I suspect the latter).

Here's hoping the pet stuff gets fixed just like they said in the interview!

TL;DR: It's the same pet problems we all know and hate by this stage. Responsiveness needs fixing first, then we can debate the other stuff.

#17 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2590 posts) -

@garion046: Hey duder - that is a great post.

Also, I'm gratified that your first post on these forums was for our little podcast.

Anyway - the main thing I have to say is that I want more people to see what you wrote here, so can you make a thread with those notes and perhaps add some open endedness to invite further discussion? I believe being a ranger fellow would have something to say.

#18 Posted by garion046 (12 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic: Sure, done. Hopefully it's useful :)

#19 Posted by Benny (1955 posts) -
#20 Posted by Benny (1955 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic: Just wondering what the plans were for the possible GW1 livestream? I have my Paragon (imbagon obviously) that I got 30/50 HoM with that can participate in everything except the majority of prophecies missions (never finished it on that character) Were you considering doing dungeon or mission runs or something? Would be kinda fun since I powered through everything that was soloable on my paragon in about a month and haven't completed underworld or even tried DoA.

#21 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

Ooh, I'd be up for UW on my Dervish. I can only do about half of the quests solo. I haven't tried any of the others except FoW, but I barely did one quest there.

#22 Posted by shinboy630 (1192 posts) -
@Maystack FoW is the shit, I know that place like the back of my hand. It gets me vote
#23 Posted by ZoomyRamen (237 posts) -

@Benny: Hmmm not TOO bad. Slightly less concerned about it now.

#24 Posted by Subjugation (4740 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic: Yeah, I understand it's completely out of your control and trying to regulate it may actually hinder organic conversation. I'm not bagging on the podcast in a hateful way, I'm just saying that's the only thing that detracts from it for me. However, I'll take instances of people talking over each other for a second or two over awkward silence any day. And you definitely don't need any more NPR since Noob provides that (NPR ... BBC ... close enough).

#25 Posted by Jack_Lafayette (3458 posts) -
@Maystack said:

Ooh, I'd be up for UW on my Dervish. I can only do about half of the quests solo. I haven't tried any of the others except FoW, but I barely did one quest there.

The Underworld is the very last thing I want to do in Guild Wars before "putting it on the shelf" for the arrival of GW2. It's pretty much the only piece of content in the game I've never beaten.
#26 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

Regarding buying dye packs, I think it's really slimy if they give repeats, especially if you're spending real money on it. This is a bit of a strange comparison, but on the 3DS street pass thing, you can use the coins you get from walking to get new puzzle pieces, and it annoys me when I get duplicates. If I get that feeling when I spend some virtual coins I get from doing a simple task that I do everyday, then it would be all the more frustrating if I'm spending some real money.

Also, Zoomy Ramen is a pretty cool guest, you should have him on more often.

#27 Edited by No0b0rAmA (1478 posts) -

I'm down for Slavers Exile, Urgoz Warren, FoW or UW.

#28 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2590 posts) -

@Subjugation: Nono - your intentions were understood. You were being hateful and a bastard and I'll never forgive you.

But yeah - I consider myself a little bit of an audiophile, so I tend to jump all over audio concerns. I'll definitely try seeing how my editing skillz can fix the cross talk issue so we dont continue to a) blow out the levels by shouting over one another and b) be unintelligable during some of the more interesting parts of the conversation.

Funnily enough though, during the main discussion this week we all kindof took turns naturally, and I barely have any notes past the 1 hour-ish-mark.

Anyway, yeah, dw Subs, we cool.

#29 Posted by Subjugation (4740 posts) -

@selfconfessedcynic said:

But yeah - I consider myself a little bit of an audiophile, so I tend to jump all over audio concerns.

Ah, so you have to register your name by law and inform your neighbo(u)rs when you move into the neighbo(u)rhood? That must be rough. Maybe you should check out Tera, I think it caters to your interests.

#30 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2590 posts) -

@Subjugation said:

Ah, so you have to register your name by law and inform your neighbo(u)rs when you move into the neighbo(u)rhood? That must be rough. Maybe you should check out Tera, I think it caters to your interests.

Wow, that made me actually laugh out loud.

This is why we like you subs.

#31 Posted by Jack_Lafayette (3458 posts) -
@Subjugation said:

@selfconfessedcynic said:

But yeah - I consider myself a little bit of an audiophile, so I tend to jump all over audio concerns.

Ah, so you have to register your name by law and inform your neighbo(u)rs when you move into the neighbo(u)rhood? That must be rough. Maybe you should check out Tera, I think it caters to your interests.

That, sir, is solid gold.
#32 Posted by ZoomyRamen (237 posts) -

@Maystack: Cheers dude! I love being on there and hopefully can be on a few more times.

I understand the street pass thing. If I street passed with someone who didn't have one of my kirby corner pieces I felt compelled to hunt them down an ask them if they realised what they'd done. I have no idea how I'd react getting a few dye repeatables in a row.

#33 Posted by PeezMachine (246 posts) -

Man, you guys are MISSING OUT if you don't play Engineer. It was my main, and while I found the Rifle skills to be underwhelming, rocking Dual Pistols and building for Condition damage and duration was just too much fun.

TOO. MUCH. FUN. So if you have Engy questions, drop me a line.

#34 Posted by UssjTrunks (534 posts) -

New banner is looking sexy on that guru front page.

#35 Posted by Benny (1955 posts) -

@UssjTrunks: What's more awesome is that the lincolncast gets 2nd highest billing in that post , above gamebreaker tv even, that's pretty fucking cool in my opinion.

#36 Edited by project343 (2838 posts) -

@RobbieMac said:

good podcast, only 2nd time I was able to get through entire thing. Lots of interesting ways to potentially make payments for expansions. Also you can't switch out pets to get auto revive anymore, that was removed.

That completely sucks. The whole pet revive thing is the one thing that keeps me from enjoying the ranger. It's just a chore and isn't even worth the time you put into it. The game should just auto-rez the pet if you're out of combat for more than 5 seconds.

@Maystack said:

I played engineer to level 16 or so. I really like the idea of the turrets, but like it was said in the podcast, they're pretty much completely useless. I hope that they add some great buffs to them as I prefer using turrets rather than the different kinds of kits.

I got up to level 26 with my Engineer. With the new lowered recharge times, I've found them to be infinitely more useful. The trick is to throw a bunch of them down and explode them all for massive amounts of enemy damage (not unlike the shattering of Mesmer clones). For me, the most enjoyable and effective leveling combination was a full turret setup.

#37 Posted by Jack_Lafayette (3458 posts) -
@project343 said:

@RobbieMac said:

good podcast, only 2nd time I was able to get through entire thing. Lots of interesting ways to potentially make payments for expansions. Also you can't switch out pets to get auto revive anymore, that was removed.

That completely sucks. The whole pet revive thing is the one thing that keeps me from enjoying the ranger. It's just a chore and isn't even worth the time you put into it. The game should just auto-rez the pet if you're out of combat for more than 5 seconds.

I like the change to resurrection in that it makes a pet death in fights more significant, but you're right that it needs to resurrect automatically outside of combat. Maybe it'd work if the pet's res-bar started to fill as soon as the increased health regen kicks in, so that it would take the same amount of time as before but you wouldn't have to go corral your pet and kneel in one place for 20 seconds every time.
#38 Posted by Tijj (1 posts) -

Just something about the gem store and buying future content. They won't be losing money off of that. They don't pump gems into the system, gems can only be traded between players. So if someone spends X number of hours farming gold to buy 2000 gems to get the expansion (just assuming the expansion is $20 and the gems cost $1/100gems) ANet already has that money. It's not a lost sale. Someone already gave ANet $20 for gems and traded them away for gold. I think from ANet's perspective gem store expansions is a fantastic idea.

#39 Posted by Branwulf (409 posts) -

Good stuff, keep it up

#40 Posted by Benny (1955 posts) -

@Tijj: Is this confirmed? What if nobody pays real money for gems? I wasn't aware of there being an actual gem market but rather just an algorithm that sets prices based on demand, not supply.

#41 Posted by Jack_Lafayette (3458 posts) -
@Benny: He's right that gems can only be traded between players. I imagine the price fluctuates based on how many gems are currently in circulation.
#42 Posted by RobbieMac (535 posts) -

Lincolncast finally made it on the User Created content for GB. That is the first time I have seen it there. Good job gents.

#43 Posted by Jack_Lafayette (3458 posts) -
@RobbieMac: Indeed!
#44 Posted by yyZiggurat (1026 posts) -

That was a great episode. Both funny and informative. This mostly likely wouldn't happen but if you guys started a regular podcast after GW2 launched, I would listen.

#45 Posted by selfconfessedcynic (2590 posts) -
#46 Posted by Maystack (902 posts) -

Just bumping this thread because I found this.

"Dyes are now tradable in the Black Lion Trading Post"

I'm not familiar with the whole trading system, but does this mean that Dyes can be traded between players now? This changes a lot of things if it means you don't have to keep buying dye packs just to get that one rare dye you've been looking for. You can just hop on the trading post and find it there.

#47 Posted by Benny (1955 posts) -

@Maystack: Seems that way. They also mentioned somewhere that the glory chest rewards (random armor and weapons for ranking up in PVP) can be broken down and used at the mystic forge to get something more useful if you don't get the item you wanted. Not sure if that's in this weekend's build of the game but it will be in by release.

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