Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions- My Take on Them

There has been a furor of sorts over the microtransaction (MTX) mechanics being implemented in Guild Wars 2. This has really got my mind going, thinking about how I'm perceiving this- and whether or not its a "game breaker". If you haven't read it yet, jump over to Mike O'Brien's blog post to read up on it before continuing to my take...

Got it? Moving on! Gems are the currency purchased with real-world money to buy cosmetic items, "services" and "time savers" from the MTX store. Gems can be traded to other players in-game for gold (the in-game currency you earn while adventuring). As ArenaNet has specifically stated that the MTX store will not offer players any items that grant them an advantage, I see no problem here. Even if the "services" are things such as limited use teleports to a guild mate's location, and "time savers" are things such as "20% additional XP for an hour potions", it doesn't unbalance the game. Consider my reasoning- The devs have already stated that there is no raid content, per se, at the end of the game. So, even if you rush to the end, there's not going to be the high-level raid for "uber raid armor set" that the traditional MMO players are used to. In World-vs-World PvP, all characters are set at max level when they enter the battlefield, so the match will be fair and balanced, relying on player skill. Even in the game world, your stats do not take a front seat to your skill, reaction time, etc. They're secondary. In addition, there is a third currency, karma, which is not tradeable, and is used to purchase the best items in the game. Also, do not forget the Hall of Monuments mechanic, which says that the rewards in GW2 are based on achievements, not power.

Now, the controversial part. At its core, trading gems for gold is essentially trading cash for gold, with an extra step. No matter how much you want to sugar coat it, if I buy a gem for $1, and trade it to Joe for 100 gold, I bought that 100 gold for a buck. However, knowing that neither gems nor gold will be purchasing "power items", I don't see a problem here. Joe gets the gems he wants to buy cosmetic/convenience items without paying real world money for them, I trade my unused gems for in-game gold that I can use for other things I want, and ArenaNet turns a dime. This keeps the free-to-play mechanic operational, while providing ArenaNet with an income stream to add additional game content. Everyone wins. I'm looking forward to seeing this game finished, and this MTX system implemented. If done correctly, this could finally break the subscription-based model that's so prevalent and open up a new, economically-friendly (read: recession-friendly) model for all future MMOs.

49 Comments
49 Comments
Posted by BiG_Weasel

There has been a furor of sorts over the microtransaction (MTX) mechanics being implemented in Guild Wars 2. This has really got my mind going, thinking about how I'm perceiving this- and whether or not its a "game breaker". If you haven't read it yet, jump over to Mike O'Brien's blog post to read up on it before continuing to my take...

Got it? Moving on! Gems are the currency purchased with real-world money to buy cosmetic items, "services" and "time savers" from the MTX store. Gems can be traded to other players in-game for gold (the in-game currency you earn while adventuring). As ArenaNet has specifically stated that the MTX store will not offer players any items that grant them an advantage, I see no problem here. Even if the "services" are things such as limited use teleports to a guild mate's location, and "time savers" are things such as "20% additional XP for an hour potions", it doesn't unbalance the game. Consider my reasoning- The devs have already stated that there is no raid content, per se, at the end of the game. So, even if you rush to the end, there's not going to be the high-level raid for "uber raid armor set" that the traditional MMO players are used to. In World-vs-World PvP, all characters are set at max level when they enter the battlefield, so the match will be fair and balanced, relying on player skill. Even in the game world, your stats do not take a front seat to your skill, reaction time, etc. They're secondary. In addition, there is a third currency, karma, which is not tradeable, and is used to purchase the best items in the game. Also, do not forget the Hall of Monuments mechanic, which says that the rewards in GW2 are based on achievements, not power.

Now, the controversial part. At its core, trading gems for gold is essentially trading cash for gold, with an extra step. No matter how much you want to sugar coat it, if I buy a gem for $1, and trade it to Joe for 100 gold, I bought that 100 gold for a buck. However, knowing that neither gems nor gold will be purchasing "power items", I don't see a problem here. Joe gets the gems he wants to buy cosmetic/convenience items without paying real world money for them, I trade my unused gems for in-game gold that I can use for other things I want, and ArenaNet turns a dime. This keeps the free-to-play mechanic operational, while providing ArenaNet with an income stream to add additional game content. Everyone wins. I'm looking forward to seeing this game finished, and this MTX system implemented. If done correctly, this could finally break the subscription-based model that's so prevalent and open up a new, economically-friendly (read: recession-friendly) model for all future MMOs.

Edited by UssjTrunks

I agree with you. I love the new system. People on Guru are crying about this left and right, but nobody seems to understand that MMORPGs are expensive to maintain and support. The only way a developer can acquire the revenue to support an MMORPG is through:

1. Subscription fees

2. P2W system where performance gear/items are sold

3. GW2 system where only cosmetic/convenience items are sold

Unless people are expecting a completely free game, they need to choose one of the above, and #3 sounds extremely reasonable to me. I fully support Anet on this model.

Posted by CornishRocker

I don't see what all the fuss is about, why should I care what other people pay for in a non-Pay2Win store? In fact, they're effectively paying for my microtransactions if they trade me their gems for my gold, why wouldn't I be happy about that? This system ArenaNet's decided to go with is much better than other in-game stores in the MMO space I could mention. It's win-win for everyone.

Posted by RIDEBIRD

There is no flaw with this system and people that whine about it either didn't understand, are communists, 14 years old without a credit card, or the most likely option, entitled PC gamers that bitch over anything that costs money, ever.

Clarfication of that last group - I'm an avid PC fanboy, but what I hate most about us all is the constant, never ending, pining for the 90s and complete refusal of understanding that games cost a fuckton to make these days.

Posted by SamStrife

I see no problem with the example you used with Joe buying the gem for 100 gold. Look at it the other way round, Joe can't/won't spend money on microtransactions for whatever reason. Instead, Joe got the gems that are associated with MTX's, without spending a penny. It's a win/win situation where you were happy to get the hundred gold and he was happy for the gem. It's a system that also elimates gold farming; if you want the gold, you buy the gems from Anet and sell them on for gold.

Secondly, it adds another layer to the economy; Gems may be worth 100 gold today but if you hold out, you might be able to buy some tomorrow for 90 a piece. It helps alleviate the feeling that it's an MTX, it's just another currency in game that if you want, you can pay money for but you can obtain other ways if you have the time.

Finally, there's the trading post, an auction-house like place where players trade items for gold with each other. Anet have said they have big news regarding this and they are confident in its quality.

On paper, it's the perfect system. Obviously when put in practice there may be falws or expolits but they will be for Anet to solve... I'm mad looking forward to it.

Posted by Hats

Until we see what can be purchased with these crystals its hard to tell how it will effect the game. If its just "time savers" and cosmetic stuff its no different than PLEX is in EvE

The real upside for players is its really diminishes the market for gold sellers meaning less spam

Worst case scenario I can see is at some point they end up selling a weapon buff that you can only get with gems meaning you will have to farm gold or pay for it but its unlikely they will do that.

The Internet is just going to be the Internet I for one am still looking forward to this game.

Posted by Karkarov

Well see here is the problem, what is a "time saving item"? 20% exp for an hour is a helluva advantage over other players. You don't agree? I reply with play more WoW and listen to the goblins because like wise man once said "time is money". There are only so many hours out there in a day and I only have so many days off. Also I have yet to see any game that does a cash shop that doesn't coincidentally also make the cash shop basically required to be competitive at high level in one way or another. Be it storage space you need but have to pay for, buff items that are required to be 100% effective, upgrade items you need for whatever reason, or even in Champions case player housing, there is always something you have to pay for to get the whole enchilada.

That being said cash shops is the price you have to pay for no monthly fee. So this was inevitable from the day the game was first revealed. People who don't like it need to wake up and smell the coffee. There is no such thing as a free mmo that gets regular updates.

Personally, I would rather just pay monthly and know there is no part of the game I am blocked out of because I don't feel like dealing with a cash shop.

Posted by BiG_Weasel
Posted by BiG_Weasel

Just wanted to point out that not one of these optional items affects your stats. About Stats...

Posted by FauxNinja

If you are able to buy things with GOLD that increases the power of your character at all, then this system is unbalanced.

MMO In-game economies are based entirely around the scarcity of GOLD. Prices on the auction house will gravitate towards the average amount of GOLD that people are willing to spend. Therefore the value of GOLD is variable, and depends on the average income of a player.

If you are able to buy GOLD with GEMS, then this will immediately skew the average GOLD income of a player across the playerbase, meaning the price of items will change to accommodate this.

Allowing GEM to GOLD transactions to take place will automatically decrease the value of GOLD. Since the maximum gold income for non micro-transactioners is static, they will very quickly become "priced" out of purchases.

You will end up with items being out of reach of non micro-transactioners, meaning they will be forced to spend real money or accept being mediocre. Which in turn further decreases the value of GOLD as the increased GEM demand will further depreciate the value of GOLD.

Sigh...

Posted by BiG_Weasel

For starters, gems/gold will not buy you the best gear. They will not buy you anything in terms of influence/faction either. They're for commodities, repairs, etc. This isn't a Korean MMO. These guys, judging by the leaked photos, are doing it the right way.

Posted by TheHT

It all sounds reasonable. Just like everything else Guild Wars 2-related. This might end up being the least rage-able game ever.

And I want that damn ringmaster hat.

Edited by JustKamToo

Ringmaster hat and account bank are a must buy. I'm fine with all of the above and remember you still have to pay monthly for eve (regarding its PLEX system).

Posted by BiG_Weasel

I just think its laughable that some people say they are going to pass up a great game because of optional content no one is forcing them into, and is not going to affect them at all if they don't participate. That's like saying, "I don't want to buy this car because it has air conditioning! I don't use AC, but I still don't want it!"

Posted by Benny
Posted by Jayzilla

I have no problem with any of what ArenaNet proposes. They have always done well by the community and they delivered in spades with GW1. That game is solid fromt he ground up. Everything from UI, to game play, to loading screens to service has been top notch. They are also quite transparent for an MMO dev. It's refreshing.

Edited by Maystack

@BiG_Weasel: Okay, I didn't originally care for any of the microtransactions, but that transmutation stone is potentially awesome.

EDIT: On second thought, I'm calling fake. They misspelt transmutation on one of the items, but not the other.

Posted by Jack_Lafayette
@Maystack: T-stones are totally a real thing. They can also be purchased from karma vendors.
Posted by SteamPunkJin

Glad to see they're doing it right - seems like no matter how you play you'll be able to get everything, just becomes time vs. money (even the cashop items by trading gold w/ other players)

Pirate outfit....fuck me I know I'll be buying that.

Also, what are minis? Why do I want to collect them?

Edited by Maystack

@Dark_Lord_Spam: Then they're silly because they spelled it wrong.

Posted by SlasherMan

@Ertard said:

There is no flaw with this system and people that whine about it either didn't understand, are communists, 14 years old without a credit card, or the most likely option, entitled PC gamers that bitch over anything that costs money, ever.

Clarfication of that last group - I'm an avid PC fanboy, but what I hate most about us all is the constant, never ending, pining for the 90s and complete refusal of understanding that games cost a fuckton to make these days.

Spot on there. I don't know if I agree with the 'entitled PC gamers' part not because those don't exist, but because MMO players seem to have no problem spending $15 a month for years just to keep playing the same game in addition to buying the base game and its expansions. So expenses can't possibly be the issue. Unless of course it's coming from people who dislike the P2P model and/or haven't played too many MMOs, and just don't understand that a developer has to have a steady stream of income as long as the game's up and running.

I'd probably dispute the age argument as well, since unfortunately, even with the supposed barrier to entry, kids and teenagers seem to have no problem getting access to P2P MMOs. WoW, being the prime example, is full of little whiny bastards (then again, those are not necessarily always underage :P).

I really don't understand how anyone can take issue with this. There is literally no reason whatsoever to dislike this system.

Posted by Jack_Lafayette
@SlasherMan: If anything, it's because this just seems worse in comparison with the GW1 store. The fact that they're saying they spent a bunch of time planning this out beforehand makes it all the more disappointing.
Posted by SlasherMan

@Dark_Lord_Spam said:

@SlasherMan: If anything, it's because this just seems worse in comparison with the GW1 store. The fact that they're saying they spent a bunch of time planning this out beforehand makes it all the more disappointing.

I haven't played enough of GW1 to really be able to agree or disagree with that. All I can say is that on its own merits, this system seems perfectly fine. And if for whatever reason it turns out that it isn't (which I doubt), it'll be very obvious pretty quickly. But until then, I can't find much to criticize.

Also, you have to keep in mind that this will be a much bigger and whole lot more ambitious game than GW ever was, in addition to it being an actual MMO this time around. A different approach to this stuff had to have been expected even by the most hardcore GW1 fans considering what ANet are going for here.

Posted by Adamsons

I think the fact that transmutation stones are split between 1-79 and 80 is pretty ugly, as well as the whole increase rare drop rate.
 
The mini's / Loot bag / Dye box are essentially gambling as well. I'm not totally bothered about any of the rest, but the things mentioned seem pretty tasteless.
 
This is really hard to judge though, as gems can be bought with gold so it's a really strange concept.

Posted by WinterSnowblind

@Adamsons: Transmutation stones can also be purchased ingame with karma. Most of the other items are available via drops or merchants as well.

I don't know about mini's though, in GW1 they were only available from birthdays, but it seems they may just be random drops too. Anyway, I'm not a fan of how they're handling some of these items, but it seems like you can very easily ignore the cash shop and not miss out anything (unless you want an asura wearing a chef hat, and who doesn't?).

Posted by Codeacious

For anyone who's freaking out about the boosts, there are scrolls in GW1 that give very similar boosts that drop from mobs. I'm willing to bet they'll still be drops in GW2 as well.

Posted by Jack_Lafayette
@SlasherMan said:

@Dark_Lord_Spam said:

@SlasherMan: If anything, it's because this just seems worse in comparison with the GW1 store. The fact that they're saying they spent a bunch of time planning this out beforehand makes it all the more disappointing.

I haven't played enough of GW1 to really be able to agree or disagree with that. All I can say is that on its own merits, this system seems perfectly fine. And if for whatever reason it turns out that it isn't (which I doubt), it'll be very obvious pretty quickly. But until then, I can't find much to criticize.

Also, you have to keep in mind that this will be a much bigger and whole lot more ambitious game than GW ever was, in addition to it being an actual MMO this time around. A different approach to this stuff had to have been expected even by the most hardcore GW1 fans considering what ANet are going for here.

The question then becomes this: since I - someone who ended up spending close to $200 in the GW1 cash shop - don't have any interest in the merchandise I see here, then what does that signify for a desired increase in profits? I'd love to see ArenaNet be successful as much as anyone, but most of this stuff seems to be the right amount of poor taste and uselessness to drive people away.
Posted by SlasherMan

@Dark_Lord_Spam said:

@SlasherMan said:

@Dark_Lord_Spam said:

@SlasherMan: If anything, it's because this just seems worse in comparison with the GW1 store. The fact that they're saying they spent a bunch of time planning this out beforehand makes it all the more disappointing.

I haven't played enough of GW1 to really be able to agree or disagree with that. All I can say is that on its own merits, this system seems perfectly fine. And if for whatever reason it turns out that it isn't (which I doubt), it'll be very obvious pretty quickly. But until then, I can't find much to criticize.

Also, you have to keep in mind that this will be a much bigger and whole lot more ambitious game than GW ever was, in addition to it being an actual MMO this time around. A different approach to this stuff had to have been expected even by the most hardcore GW1 fans considering what ANet are going for here.

The question then becomes this: since I - someone who ended up spending close to $200 in the GW1 cash shop - don't have any interest in the merchandise I see here, then what does that signify for a desired increase in profits? I'd love to see ArenaNet be successful as much as anyone, but most of this stuff seems to be the right amount of poor taste and uselessness to drive people away.

I don't know, maybe I'm dense, but I'm just not seeing it. What exactly is done in poor taste here? I can understand useless, but that's subjective enough that I'd consider it irrelevant. If you don't find anything useful in what they have to offer, that's fine, but I'm sure someone out there does. I say give this a chance to prove itself in practice, at least.

Posted by Adamsons
@WinterSnowblind said:

@Adamsons: Transmutation stones can also be purchased ingame with karma. Most of the other items are available via drops or merchants as well.

I don't know about mini's though, in GW1 they were only available from birthdays, but it seems they may just be random drops too. Anyway, I'm not a fan of how they're handling some of these items, but it seems like you can very easily ignore the cash shop and not miss out anything (unless you want an asura wearing a chef hat, and who doesn't?).

Since you can buy gems for gold, I guess that ALL of the cash shop items can be bought from ingame gold indirectly. 
Posted by BiG_Weasel

@isnipeyoudie said:

For anyone who's freaking out about the boosts, there are scrolls in GW1 that give very similar boosts that drop from mobs. I'm willing to bet they'll still be drops in GW2 as well.

WoW does this too. They call it "Rested XP", and it can potentially last more than an hour. Just wanted to point that out.

Posted by duggshammer

Honestly... I want to play this game now. This sounds really interesting. Thank you.

Edited by selfconfessedcynic

@Dark_Lord_Spam: Hmm - what would you change about the items you see here?

To me this seems somewhat similar to the GW1 store, though that had cooler costumes than this one (why would I be a pirate mate? I want a pirate captain costume damn it). Skill unlock packs that unlocked all skills in PvP were the only really good items in the GW1 store though, at least as far as I was concerned (and extra character slots, if you're into that sort of thing - and those are here too). Of course, from memory, in the mists you get all of the skills automatically unlocked for you so there's no need for that here.

Most of the random item stuff are pretty shady, I'd agree - but I don't see these packs unbalancing the ingame economy or anything. Oh, and we know that a bunch of this stuff can be bought with karma anyway, which is what I'd be planning to do in general.

I'm interested to hear your whole argument (if it's in the other thread just point at it).

Edited by UssjTrunks

@Karkarov said:

Well see here is the problem, what is a "time saving item"? 20% exp for an hour is a helluva advantage over other players. You don't agree?

No I don't. +20% EXP gives you no advantage over any other players because you aren't playing against any other players in PvE. This is a convenience bonus.

Posted by UssjTrunks

@BiG_Weasel said:

I just think its laughable that some people say they are going to pass up a great game because of optional content no one is forcing them into, and is not going to affect them at all if they don't participate. That's like saying, "I don't want to buy this car because it has air conditioning! I don't use AC, but I still don't want it!"

Those are primarily 13 year old kids who don't know the first thing about what it takes to run a sustainable business. They think that Anet owes us a free game. In a way, this news will help weed out those players, and that's always a good thing.

Posted by S0ndor

@FauxNinja said:

If you are able to buy things with GOLD that increases the power of your character at all, then this system is unbalanced.

MMO In-game economies are based entirely around the scarcity of GOLD. Prices on the auction house will gravitate towards the average amount of GOLD that people are willing to spend. Therefore the value of GOLD is variable, and depends on the average income of a player.

If you are able to buy GOLD with GEMS, then this will immediately skew the average GOLD income of a player across the playerbase, meaning the price of items will change to accommodate this.

Allowing GEM to GOLD transactions to take place will automatically decrease the value of GOLD. Since the maximum gold income for non micro-transactioners is static, they will very quickly become "priced" out of purchases.

You will end up with items being out of reach of non micro-transactioners, meaning they will be forced to spend real money or accept being mediocre. Which in turn further decreases the value of GOLD as the increased GEM demand will further depreciate the value of GOLD.

Sigh...

How is this any different from people buying gold from gold farmers? Buying in-game currency for cold-hard cash is a fact of life in all MMO's. All ArenaNet is doing is legalizing it and keeping it under their control. Also, the scenario described in your first sentence does not apply to GW2.

Posted by Karkarov

@UssjTrunks said:

@BiG_Weasel said:

I just think its laughable that some people say they are going to pass up a great game because of optional content no one is forcing them into, and is not going to affect them at all if they don't participate. That's like saying, "I don't want to buy this car because it has air conditioning! I don't use AC, but I still don't want it!"

Those are primarily 13 year old kids who don't know the first thing about what it takes to run a sustainable business. They think that Anet owes us a free game. In a way, this news will help weed out those players, and that's always a good thing.

Again time is a finite commodity that is actually important to most of the people around. It certainly is important to me. Them getting the same result for less time invested is definitely an advantage.

Edited by UssjTrunks

@Karkarov said:

@UssjTrunks said:

@BiG_Weasel said:

I just think its laughable that some people say they are going to pass up a great game because of optional content no one is forcing them into, and is not going to affect them at all if they don't participate. That's like saying, "I don't want to buy this car because it has air conditioning! I don't use AC, but I still don't want it!"

Those are primarily 13 year old kids who don't know the first thing about what it takes to run a sustainable business. They think that Anet owes us a free game. In a way, this news will help weed out those players, and that's always a good thing.

Again time is a finite commodity that is actually important to most of the people around. It certainly is important to me. Them getting the same result for less time invested is definitely an advantage.

But it doesn't affect you in any way. They chose to take a short-cut, and that's their decision. It doesn't preclude you in anyway from achieving the same results through grinding.

It's like being jealous at your neigbour because he can afford a Lexus and you can't. Him buying that Lexus has no impact on your life whatsoever.

I likely won't be buying any of these items, and I couldn't care less if others were buying them because I'm not playing against those other people in PvE.

Posted by Rookwood

Meh, I think the QQ is valid, but narrowminded and overstated. People won't be able to buy stats. If they can buy gold, they can only turn that into cosmetic armor because all stats are level. And even then some armor will be exclusive to content.. The only legit problem is that of the buffs that you can buy. That's really up to Anet to balance though. These buffs should be fairly cheap where it's not really much of an issue to buy them just with disposable income you accumulate in the game. Hopefully it will really boil down to time vs. money in this case where both costs are relatively low and inconsequential in the long run.

Posted by Jack_Lafayette
@selfconfessedcynic said:

@Dark_Lord_Spam: Hmm - what would you change about the items you see here?

To me this seems somewhat similar to the GW1 store, though that had cooler costumes than this one (why would I be a pirate mate? I want a pirate captain costume damn it). Skill unlock packs that unlocked all skills in PvP were the only really good items in the GW1 store though, at least as far as I was concerned (and extra character slots, if you're into that sort of thing - and those are here too). Of course, from memory, in the mists you get all of the skills automatically unlocked for you so there's no need for that here.

Most of the random item stuff are pretty shady, I'd agree - but I don't see these packs unbalancing the ingame economy or anything. Oh, and we know that a bunch of this stuff can be bought with karma anyway, which is what I'd be planning to do in general.

I'm interested to hear your whole argument (if it's in the other thread just point at it).

I've tried to boil what was said down to make some sense out of it, but I know I've been a bit incoherent when it comes to this issue: 

@Dark_Lord_Spam said:
The whole in-game time = real-world money debacle is the precise reason I'm avoiding Diablo 3 (that and the DRM). I just can't see enough positives here. It turns gold farming from a paid job with potential legal ramifications for some poor motherfucker in China - one which (number out of my ass) less than .01% of the player population buys into - into something that causes people to grind their ass off in a job-like fashion for in-game benefits at the expense of actually spending time in the real world. It just seems like a cheap draw that results in dull gameplay. And the fact that dudes with plenty of disposable money can effectively buy enough gold to never worry about gold-sinks or crafting expenses really rubs me the wrong way.
 
@Dark_Lord_Spam said:
Seems to be a hodge-podge of different microtransaction ideas, i.e. Valve's TF2 keys, the random "booster packs" from TCGs, the MapleStory megaphones, FarmVille growth-boosters, etc. I really don't like the look of any of it, based on appeal or anything. I hate temporary bonuses for one thing (if I'm paying, give me something I can keep), and I don't want to risk random dice-rolls either (just let me pick out what I want/need).
 
EDIT: And predetermined amounts of gems to buy? That's exactly the kind of shitty inconvenience that squeezes out extra money from the player, and it straight up sucks.
 
I really don't think I've been clear enough about the fact that I fucking adored the GW1 cash shop. It encouraged me to want to spend extra money like no other game I've played. So why does this one make me so uncomfortable? It's like they picked out all of the dumb MT tricks that I derided over the past few years (e.g. randoms, time-savers) and stuck them in as an after-thought. Hell, they're even selling instant repairs. Doesn't that eliminate the entire reason for that mechanic to exist by allowing lazy players to succeed?
 
Was it because the first game's store didn't generate enough additional revenue? If that's the case, then they should communicate it better so that I'd at least have a decent reason to fall back on. I genuinely don't believe that ArenaNet is the sort of company to sucker people out of their income, but after seeing that the special editions are exchanging the Prophecies baditude of sparkly hands for a bunch of temporary crap I can't help but think that they don't understand what their audience wants when it comes to money-on-top.
 
I'm not sure I should get into my issues with gold for gems because that seems like an almost-philosophical problem of time vs. money at this point, but I hope it's at least implemented well (please, please, no predetermined amounts).
 
If anyone here has additional information or statistics concerning profit from micro-transactions and why the shift in direction may be necessary, please share those.
Edited by selfconfessedcynic

@Dark_Lord_Spam:

*boots GW 1*

*looks at store*

Ok, I see what you're getting at. Everything on this list is a (mostly) decently priced, permanent add-on which is either entirely cosmetic or unlocks content which can be gained through minimal time expenditure in game (like skills / weapons for PvP). All of the costumes look like they're designed with a lot of detail, and all of them look cool.

I cant say the same at all about the GW2 stuff I can see above. I too hate paying real money for expendable digital goods. That said, some of the elements are carried over - like character slots - which is good, though obvious. I guess I just don't mind it if they put stuff in which people with more time than money can splurge on. It comes down to opinion on that point, methinks.

On the point of gems, I agree with you - it's entirely down to personal philosophy. For me, I wouldn't mind having the ability to pay for gems which can be traded for gold. For example, if there's a bloody cool looking weapon in game that I can't get with karma and requires way more gold than I have, then I can see myself in a point of weakness paying real money for it - it'd have to somehow be worth $7 or whatever, but it COULD happen. Considering all end-game items will have a definite maximum stat rating (which can be gotten on normal everyday max level items), in the end the above isn't any different to paying for a costume - aside from the inevitable in-game economic effects.

I'm willing to wait and see how that kind of stuff pans out - though all they really have to do is make the "coolest" armour obscure but moderately-easily obtainable via dungeons/karma or whatnot. For example, a karma trader has this really cool item set but he's in this really inaccessible place (like the FoW, etc stuff in GW1 - though I didn't like any of those armour sets and they were WAY overpriced imo).

Edited by Benny

@selfconfessedcynic: I hardly touched the fissure of woe stuff in the original but i remember the entire thing being really tough and the armor forge dude requiring a some tough quests before he'd do his thing. I'd love to see that sort of thing make a return, like you said with the vendors being in nigh-on impossible to reach places in the heart of hellish locales etc. That kind of thing has a very awesome old school feel to me and it should be a monumental task to get that stuff.

The dynamic event system is ripe for these sorts of challenges.

Edited by selfconfessedcynic

@Benny: Yeah, definitely.

Like in the original GW, you could do those things / get to those vendors if you're with the right team of people rather easily - well, not impossibly. In the end, it required dedication and attention if you were doing it for the first time, which is exactly as it should be. I loved the idea of the FoW content in GW1 as well - just never had enough money to bother. (though I did spend hundreds of plat on skills for my pve characters so they could be viable in PvP - oh, and runes... >_>)

From what they've said thus far, I have no reason to believe that they wont be constructing something similar in GW2 - as you say, dynamic events could make it hard (well, difficult but achievable by the dedicated) and also make sense. Eg. the pirate home base could have some amazing vendors for that level, but you have to go through the entire event chain in order to unlock that area - and fend off pirate raids to take back the home base to keep it.

Man, I want this game now.

But back on topic - as long as the things you get via micro transactions aren't the best things ever, and you can get them through normal gameplay with some manageable effort, I have no problems with cash-sinks. In this game or others for that matter, D3 included.

Posted by BiG_Weasel

@selfconfessedcynic said:

@Benny:

But back on topic - as long as the things you get via micro transactions aren't the best things ever, and you can get them through normal gameplay with some manageable effort, I have no problems with cash-sinks. In this game or others for that matter, D3 included.

Very good point about Diablo 3. You don't hear the bitching and whining as much when its Blizzard offering Pay-to-Win.

Edited by Adamsons
@BiG_Weasel said:

@selfconfessedcynic said:

@Benny:

But back on topic - as long as the things you get via micro transactions aren't the best things ever, and you can get them through normal gameplay with some manageable effort, I have no problems with cash-sinks. In this game or others for that matter, D3 included.

Very good point about Diablo 3. You don't hear the bitching and whining as much when its Blizzard offering Pay-to-Win.

That's probably because Diablo isn't an MMO, in fact it isn't even launching with a competitive component.
 
As gems are tradable for ingame gold and gear is plateaued at the max level there isn't really any huge pitfall for abuse in this system. The only things I dont especially like are the loot bags. Though they aren't especially different to things like the Z chest and birthday presents etc in GW1 though.
Edited by BiG_Weasel

@Adamsons: It may not be an MMO, but D3 will be played online by thousands of people. Those that spend the additional money to get the best gear will do the best in the game, surpassing the non-paying players, creating an advantage for them. I'm glad that ArenaNet has this figured out, though. I'm also glad that a lot of the pay-to-play fanboys are griping about it. I bet when they add up all the money they've spent on expansions, subscriptions, character transfers and the like, it doesn't come remotely close to what they would spend on this game.

Let's do the math on a hypothetical WoW subscriber, if he's been playing WoW since Day One: Base game and 3 expansions ($50/each)= $200. Subscription fees for 6 years= $1080 ($15/mo). Two character transfers= $50. That's $1190 total. No way GW2 is going to make that kind of money from any single player.

Posted by Grilledcheez

I don't think it's a big deal, it sounds like they're being fairly smart about it unlike most other developers.

Posted by UssjTrunks

@BiG_Weasel said:

@selfconfessedcynic said:

@Benny:

But back on topic - as long as the things you get via micro transactions aren't the best things ever, and you can get them through normal gameplay with some manageable effort, I have no problems with cash-sinks. In this game or others for that matter, D3 included.

Very good point about Diablo 3. You don't hear the bitching and whining as much when its Blizzard offering Pay-to-Win.

I don't know about the system in D3, but the GW2 system is most certainly not P2W. None of the items in the cash shop are needed to "win".

Posted by BiG_Weasel

@UssjTrunks said:

@BiG_Weasel said:

@selfconfessedcynic said:

@Benny:

But back on topic - as long as the things you get via micro transactions aren't the best things ever, and you can get them through normal gameplay with some manageable effort, I have no problems with cash-sinks. In this game or others for that matter, D3 included.

Very good point about Diablo 3. You don't hear the bitching and whining as much when its Blizzard offering Pay-to-Win.

I don't know about the system in D3, but the GW2 system is most certainly not P2W. None of the items in the cash shop are needed to "win".

Never said that GW2's shopw was P2W, just that D3's most certainly will be.

Edited by UssjTrunks

@BiG_Weasel: My bad, I understood it wrong.