@ZoomyRamen: You're mostly right, but on digital purchases such as this, at least in the majority of the US, we don't pay taxes. That's the point I was getting at. So the price you see in $ is the price we pay, period. Where as in EU, the price you see in € is the price you pay, but that includes VAT, which accounts for at least some of the premium you guys are seeing in pricing compared to the US.
Edit: And I just verified this by going to the final stage of purchasing gems, and it indeed charges $0.00 in tax on the purchase.
@Hunkulese: The problem with that is that then you are still generalizing to an extent. By your rule, people in California should have to pay more for games than I do in the midwest, because the standard of living is higher there, therefore market prices are higher. I want my $30 games for living in cow country!
But yeah, as a couple of people have pointed out here, I believe those EU prices are including their respective VAT, where as here in the US, in most cases, there are no taxes on digital online purchases. So EU may be getting screwed, but it's by pennies, not euros, and by their government, not Anet. There's no reason Anet should take a hit on gem profits because your country wants to charge a tax.
@No0b0rAmA: Ha! Joke's on you! I flip flopped my prediction on the most recent podcast!
In all seriousness, as we discussed on the podcast, this really is for the better. Allows Anet a chance to do a sort of soft launch with this BWE, and a month from there to better prep for the real thing. Friday is gonna be nuuuuuuts though.
I would not call Tropico an RTS experience. Tropico is straight up a city builder. The biggest difference between it and Sim City is that if people don't like your reign, they can leave the city and become rebels that can/will attack your city. Also, you have to worry about your relationship with other powerful nations like the US who will begin bordering your island if you begin to become suspect. Even with all that, the game is still just a city builder at its core. There is no unit management, unit upgrading, nothing at all that would resemble a real-time strategy game.
So I jotted down a few of the major points they talked about in regards to end game:
They believe you should not be playing a whole different game once you hit max level than you did leveling up.
Idea of increased group size (raiding) not appealing. Focusing on doing things you enjoyed doing while leveling up to 80, at level 80.
(I hope I'm spelling this right) They talked about Orr, and how it is distinct. Orr focuses on events, and has no renown hearts at all. Stories focus on larger meta events that are focused around taking key locations.
There are 8 story dungeons; over 25 different explorable dungeon paths through those dungeons, most intended for level 80.
Players will continue getting skill points past level 80, same as you did while leveling. You can trade skill points at the mystic forge for specific items used in specialty recipes.
Legendary weapons are in (I'm not sure if this is a new confirmation or not). Legendaries are player crafted, and require lots of components from different things around the game. A lot of the components are not items that can be purchased from players, meaning you have to go out and earn them yourself.
Legendaries are not more powerful than top exotic weapons. They're more about being aesthetically striking. Bow that has a rainbow trail, great swords whose blades are made of the day or night sky were talked about. Those two greatswords can be combined to make a different greatsword that changes between day and night.
Anything you do in the game to get experience is contributing to the end game to get skillpoints.
Takes about 170 skillpoints to unlock all abilities for one character.
And that's pretty much where I stopped taking notes. Some really interesting stuff in there, though it was surprisingly short.
Yeah, BWE access with an Amazon preorder is only for US and Canada. It's odd that they would be limiting BWE access so much at this point, what with this being the last BWE and having sites like Curse giving out tens of thousands of keys.
I've mostly played necro, so its hard to say that one class is my favorite over another. That said, the classes I'm interested the most in descending order are as follows:
I plan to give Engineer and Thief more of a go this next BWE, as well as some more Elementalist (only played like 30 mins of one thus far). I'd like to see Mesmer just so I can get a better idea of how they're played, because I have no clue right now, which is why they are on the bottom of my list. On one hand, it surprises me that necro is so far down on people's lists, but on the other hand, a non-minion necro can be a low-damage, support-based playstyle which doesn't tend to be popular with people, and minions are too fragile to rely on, especially in PvP.