In For A Penny: Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Detailed

By Craig Pearson on March 21st, 2012 at 6:00 pm.

I'd buy that for a gem.
Sometime in the last five or so years, the notion that a game is something you keep on paying for after you’ve bought it took hold. We’d understood expansions and subscriptions for years, but this was something different. It wasn’t about a drip feed of more stuff, or a wholesale extension to the original game, it was about paying for optional bits and pieces that came later. I no longer hear about an online game and wonder whether microtransactions are going to be introduced, but I do want to know how they’ll be implemented. That’s the bit that hasn’t really become standardised, and each game that arrives seems to have its own take. Guild Wars already had a bit of a shonky payment model, but it was bolted on after the fact. Guild Wars 2, however, will have additional paid-for elements from the moment you start playing the game.

That’s not to say that it’s easy to understand, either. Guild Wars 2 will have three currencies: gold, gems and karma. Let’s take a look at what that means.


Gold is the easiest to get your head around: it’s earned in-game as a means to buy gems or spend in the player-to-player trading post. Gems are what’s used to purchase microtransactions from ArenaNet, whatever they might take the form of. According to ArenaNet’s Mike O’Brien:

Here’s our philosophy on microtransactions: We think players should have the opportunity to spend money on items that provide visual distinction and offer more ways to express themselves. They should also be able to spend money on account services and on time-saving convenience items. But it’s never OK for players to buy a game and not be able to enjoy what they paid for without additional purchases, and it’s never OK for players who spend money to have an unfair advantage over players who spend time.

There’s nothing specific in there about what you can buy, but at least you’ll be able to earn what you want in-game.

So it seems you can either spend the time earning the in-game gold in order to buy the gems for what you want, or you can lay down real world money for the gems and pay for it that way. There’s no indication of the worth of one compared to the other or the cost of items, so this could either be a good way of roping off the in-game economy from outside influences (because gold can be traded for gems and vice versa), or it could be an easy way for ArenaNet to dangle shiny baubles in your face and offer you a quick route to them. The upcoming beta will have some elements of the store, and we’ll ask our brave reporter to see if he can figure that out.


But how will you spend the money once you have it? Again:

We also like the tradability of gems and gold because it makes the rest of the game’s economy more compelling. We’ll have a player-to-player Trading Post in the game—it’s like an auction house but better—which we’ll discuss in an upcoming blog post. Because gems can be traded for gold and vice versa, we don’t need two different trading systems, one for gold and one for gems. In Guild Wars 2, everything on the Trading Post is traded for gold, but of course, somebody who wants to earn gems can just sell items for gold, and then convert the gold to gems.

ArenaNet are drawing similarities to the Eve’s PLEX system, which Jim thinks is a way of packaging it to test your response to it. If it’s clear enough of a system, something they can sell as PLEXlike, then the response of players, and the press, might be positive. It’s not exactly clear how it can be equated with PLEX, though, or if the kinds of purchases made will be the same. But anyway, it seems to me that they’ll ultimately control the economy if you can only purchase gems from ArenaNet, which makes sense because if they allow players to set gem prices then they could easily be undercut. There’s always going to be a set worth for the currency, which is super-important to control the more complex emergent economic things like inflation. If a certain amount of gold = a certain amount of gems, and gems have a real-world value, then setting gold prices in-game will have to take into account that base worth. Ultimately ArenaNet’s microtransaction prices will set the base worth of your time, although I guess if you’re dealing directly with another player you can choose yourself what a gold-to-item worth is, if you’re feeling generous.

Karma’s role in all this is as something you can only earn in-game and you can’t trade it. It’s used for unique items that you won’t be able to buy in any other way. It won’t really have a monetary function, so I’m unsure as to why it’s considered a currency. I suppose we will learn more about that soon.

Check out ArenaNet’s original post on this topic for more.

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80 Comments »

  1. goodgimp says:

    I feel EVE’s PLEX system works really well, so this could work out pretty decently. Gold still has to be earned in-game, but you can trade online store currency on the market. I had typical cash shops, but if their shop is similar to GW1 this is a system I can definitely work with.

    • afarrell says:

      Sometime in the last five or so years, the notion that a game is something you keep on paying for after you’ve bought it took hold.

      This is less puzzling to me than the fact that sometime in the last five or so years, the notion that a game is something you keep on receiving (other than patches) after you’ve bought it took hold.

  2. Luke says:

    “It’s used for real-world items.”

    Unless you’ve got more info than what was in the original post I think you might have misread that.

    Although being able to buy real-world hats with in-game currency might be amusing.

    • President Weasel says:

      That would be excellent! Wandering round the convention wearing the +2 hat of awesomitude that you can only get if you defeat the Uberdragon two Tuesdays in a row…

      • Premium User Badge Craig Pearson says:

        Heh. I’m not sure what I was thinking then. I am dead with a cold. This is my ghost typing .

    • ninasbusal says:

      Fun stuff! Chocolate lighter! http://vork.us/go/hvs9

  3. Dominic White says:

    Basically, they’ve kept to their word here – the cash-shop stuff will be cosmetic and convenience stuff (like the costumes and bank extensions in GW1), but you can now buy it with in-game money if you really want to grind for it. You can spend real money and speed the process up, but that’s about it.

    Hell of a lot better than a $15-a-month subscription, IMHO.

    • aircool says:

      I’m no stranger to spending some cash on ‘vanity’ items. I love some of the costume sets that you can buy for Champions Online, and I’ve also spent a fair bit on Guild Wars in the past. The Champions Online model is one that appeals to me.

      As long as they never break the golden rule of ‘Thou shalt not sell advantageous items or content that should have been in the original’, then that’s fine with me.

      Let’s face it, there’s been much worse ideas; episodic gaming… now that was shit!

      • Dominic White says:

        Episodic gaming revived the point & click adventure genre. Hardly a failure, really.

        • shadow9d9 says:

          What on earth are you talking about? Adventure point and clicks have been thriving with an indie and european scene for years and still is. Just because Telltale has big IPs doesn’t mean it is adding anything great to the genre. Episodic gaming stands for dumbed down and short money makers. Go to adventuregamers or one of the other adventure site. 90%+ isn’t episodic.

        • RegisteredUser says:

          Sam and Max in 3D is a boring abomination compared to the days of awesome fun I had with the Lucasarts adventure. Also utterly hate the episodic content idea.

    • DrGonzo says:

      They haven’t kept their word, they’ve just given more of their word. Still waiting to see if they’ve kept it. If it’s hats then I’m fine with that. If they charge you for fast levelling, or anything gamey in the slightest then I think I will give it a miss, which is a shame as it’s a game I’m very much looking forward too.

      But I’m not buying a game, and then spending money on micro-transactions, and I can’t stand them even really being there at all for something I paid for. The dozen or so items you could buy in Guild Wars 1 was enough to make me feel a bit miffed.

      If however, there is no price for the game and it has micro-transactions, I will be a lot more tempted to give it a go.

  4. Vinraith says:

    Depending on implementation, this is somewhere between irrelevant and a dealbreaker. It’s not encouraging, certainly, but then very little about GW2 has been from the perspective of this GW1 vet.

    • Dominic White says:

      They’ve said quite a few times that the cash-shop stuff from GW1 is a fairly good example of what to expect in GW2. I have no problem with that whatsoever, and if they’ve added the option to save up in-game money to buy that stuff, too? Well, that’s just great.

    • ScubaMonster says:

      I don’t really see anything here that could be considered a deal breaker. From the sounds of it, everything is basically cosmetic or fluff unnecessary to game progress. If someone wants to buy a fancy hat or pony let them, I still don’t have to pay a subscription fee.

      Also, as mentioned, you can use in game currency negating any need to spend real money.

    • ExplosiveCoot says:

      The only way this would be a deal-breaker for me would be if they pitched the difficulty or “grindy-ness” of the original game in such a way that it felt necessary to purchase items to progress at a decent clip. It’s enough to make me wait for reviews, at least.

    • Icyicy9999 says:

      Something important to note is that Guild Wars 2 (like GW1) does not have a gear carrot in front of you.
      Gear dropped from ultra difficult dungeons or open world bosses is no different in stats than the most basic and cheap gear you can find at the same level, sometimes even simply bought from a vendor.

      A lot of people seem to think buying gold has the power to somehow make you stronger in PVE and WvW. It doesn’t. Gold only has the power to make you LOOK better, although in many cases the most expensive and hard to get armors actually look terrible (but most people wear them anyway because they’re “exclusive”)

      • aircool says:

        Agreed. It wasn’t difficult to trade items to make gear that was almost as good as the rare loot. It was the cosmetic options that were in demand.

        I think that some of the items they will sell for £££’s will be vendors and whatnot for the Guild Halls (which, in GW, are some of the best I’ve ever seen).

        • DrGonzo says:

          It took me months to get my archer in nice gear. That was a very time consuming experience and really quite frustrating.

    • Brise Bonbons says:

      The most problematic thing I’ve seen is what comes in the Digital Deluxe edition of the game – one-time use items which give chunks of influence (guild XP) and glory, (the PvP currency).

      Now, to be clear, GW1 had this sort of item as well, but you could easily buy them with in-game currencies. We just don’t know how this will work in GW2 yet.

      I’m not overly concerned, either way, and I think borrowing the PLEX mechanism is a good plan. I much prefer it to the disgusting system in Diablo 3, where Blizzard basically says “go crazy, RMT sweat shops, just make sure you give us our cut”.

  5. realityflaw says:

    So its going f2p now? Or do you still have to buy the game/expansions with real moneys?

    • ScubaMonster says:

      Still have to buy the game, it just doesn’t have any subscription fee. Pre-orders start on April 10.

    • Nevard says:

      It has basically always been B2P, in the same manner as the original Guild Wars
      you pay the box price but there’s no subscription on top of that

  6. z310 says:

    I think PLEX is a bad comparison.

    Selling a PLEX for ISK can make you much stronger. It can buy you bigger ships before you would have had the money, let you pay for higher costing skill books, let you buy more effective weapons, etc.

    So PLEX can directly influence the STRENGTH and POWER you wield.

    However, Guild Wars 2 will be similar to Guild Wars 1 in the area of Gear. All gear at a certain level has essentially the same stats. Meaning once you hit 80, you will very quickly plateau with your gear, and any gear upgrades you get will be for the cosmetic prestige value, not for added strength.

    This is why I don’t mind the Guild Wars 2 – it’s not “buy to win” like EVE or Diablo 3 could be – it’s “Buy to look pretty.”

    For this reason, I’d compare it more to TF2 Hats than PLEX.

    • Brun says:

      Other valid comparisons might be League of Legends skins and IP/XP boosts.

      • Barnaby says:

        I’m not familiar with LoL’s system, but how is this anything like an XP boost? Aren’t they saying essentially that this is in no way related to experience boosts, etc?

      • Sillywhiteguy32 says:

        That system works for a MOBA type game, where your main goal is to get to, say, level 30 in league of legends and then you can start playing competitively. Because of that, ip boosts and exp boosts are fine because all they do is accelerate the process. But for, say an mmo such as guild wars 2, exp boosts are not OK because part of the fun in pvp and pve is playing with people of different levels and such. The crystals to gold exchange rate thingy is basically ip boosts, but you don’t have to spend any time in game to achieve that, just hand in money. Personally i think a gold multiplier is a better idea, but that’s just me.

        • DrGonzo says:

          I think any boost is a no no. It completely puts me off playing if I always suspect others are doing better than me/ killing me because they used gold boosts or exp boosts. It’s definitely a deal breaker for me. But hats, by all means sell all the cosmetics you want for real money.

    • Eldray says:

      Does it mean that dungeon/raid bosses don’t reward better gear in GW?

      How do they motivate people to clear them then?
      Pure raid progression rankings?

      Or does the game just stop at max level, and they don’t care because there’s no subscription?

      • Struckd says:

        the point of this is that you run dungeons because you WANT to, becuase they are FUN to do…not because you HAVE to, to get staff of kickass to run the next dungeon which might be fun…

        and the game starts when the game starts…there isn’t strictly “end content”…end content starts at level 1…thats their philosophy

      • z310 says:

        Power creep isn’t a neccesary part of MMO’s. The reason they don’t want gear creep is that they want all content to be challenging. That’s why even if you go to a lower level zone, you’re downleveled and downscaled to par with the content so that it’s still a challenge.

        When an expansion is released, it won’t instantly make the rest of the game obsolete like in other MMO’s like WOW. All dungeons will be relevant and fun.

        The reason to get new gear is the same reason in any other MMO – prestige. Getting max level explorable dungeon loot will be very difficult, and getting an armor set of that nature will be very hard to do.

        Guild Wars 1 has largely the same view with regards to gear… and this means the high level dungeons of the first game, Prophecies, are just as relevant and difficult as the later expansions, and still a fun challenge to play.

        One of the reasons of Wow’s power creep is to keep people buying expansions and subbed. They make your gear and level obsolete so that you have to keep subbing to stay current so you can play with your friends.

        In Guild Wars 2, Once you’re max level, you don’t have to worry about keeping up with the joneses – you’re free to tackle any content and even if your buddies manage play a LOT more than you and get awesome epic gear, it won’t mean that they’re actually STRONGER than you.

        It’s really a dream come true for folks like me, who LOVE a challenge, but don’t always have time to keep up with the gear grind of most MMO’s.

        • elnalter says:

          Because most of us have things like career and family to spend time on, and not play an MMO 8 hours of the day every day of the week.

        • Davee says:

          Very well put.
          The gear grind and using it as the number 1 incentive to keep playing (“Just one more quest to that fancy sword I need to go to fight in next area!”) is what puts me off most ‘classic’ MMORPGs. And it’s the apparent lack of this in GW2 which is one of the things that makes the game so interesting to me!

      • aircool says:

        Elite skills (and to a slightly lesser extent, normal skills) were the major factor in continuing to play. Elite skills weren’t more powerful than normal skills, but allowed you more flexibility in your build. Recruiting new henchies was another reason to keep going.

        For me, seeing new areas, new monsters and challenging quests was the driving factor. Unlike pretty much every MMO out there, GW had massive instances which allowed some pretty interesting and challenging quests.

        All of these things combined to take the focus away from loot; with eight (N)PC slots per mission and a vast amount of skill & henchie combinations, there was just tons of stuff to do.

  7. Lorc says:

    Sounds more like KoL’s Mr Accessories than Eve’s Plex. Which is no bad thing.

  8. djbriandamage says:

    I used to oppose the idea of real money transactions to buy your way past an in-game grind, but having played many MMOs since then I realize that if the developers don’t provide this service the third-party gold farmers will. I would much rather give my money to the devs than endure gold farmer spam. I sincerely hope this in-game economy of gems\gold\RMT ends up being the solution to gold spam because it’s a real blight – the most immersion-breaking reminder of the real world exactly in the place you least want to endure that.

    • Thants says:

      They could always make a game that doesn’t make players want to pay money to skip parts of it.

      • djbriandamage says:

        I don’t think anyone has ever made a game like that. Some people play games for the journey, others play for the resolution.

      • z310 says:

        There won’t be EXP boosters

        • Tau Psi says:

          There probably will be something like +20% EXP-Boosts. As long as these remain the only kind of boosts (levelling should not be such grind like in other MMOs) I personally don’t care

        • Smarag says:

          Is this confirmed? Because that’s exactly how “being able to save time by paying money” sounds to me and it makes me very afraid. Very very afraid.

          • Tau Psi says:

            Nothing is definitely confirmed at this point to be fair, and the numbers are made up by me. Nevertheless they confirmed that the levelling curve will be flat after level 30, approx 90 min per level (I ASSUME you can level faster if you really want) . So nobody needs these boosts, but I imagine some people with less time (or simply too much money) will buy them nonetheless.

            In PvP everyone will be levelled up to cap, hence no “unfair” advantage (I don’t care that other people level faster as long as leveling does not feel like grinding).

            I just hope they won’t sell Karma-boosts or sth.

      • Consumatopia says:

        I’m with you. In the same way that combat should be skippable, I should be able to skip the boring parts of an MMO. Bots and scripts should encouraged, not banned. (Not that Second Life is my ideal MMO, but it at least got that right.)

        Of course, that’s probably only compatible with a subscription model. Another reason why subscriptions are the MMO business model God intended.

  9. Jimbo says:

    ‘Time-saving convenience item’ is vague enough to mean pretty much anything.

    • Barnaby says:

      What I don’t understand is how he can say essentially:

      ‘Players should be able to spend money on account services and on time-saving convenience items.’

      …and a sentence or two later say…

      ‘It’s never OK for players who spend money to have an unfair advantage over players who spend time.’

      If you can spend money on time-saving convenience items, how is that NOT having an unfair advantage over players who spend time? Maybe it depends on how you define fair, but it seems like there is a contradiction here.

      • Dominic White says:

        Convenience stuff like extra bank slots means you just have less boring management to do. It doesn’t give a player any advantage in the field, just makes the logistics stuff afterwards less of a hassle.

        • Smarag says:

          Then I want them to please please please clarify it like that. After having read this blog post I’m very afraid of what GW2 might become, because of the f2p bullshit. I don’t want to keep buying exp boosts and gold earning multipliers.

          • Dominic White says:

            I’m fairly sure they’ve explicitly confirmed that there’s no XP boosters. The game doesn’t need them, really – folks in the press betas were gaining at least a level an hour.

      • Dr. Evanzan says:

        @Barnaby,

        Fair in the sense that you have two options for obtaining the same result. You can either spend the time to earn the in-game gold to buy an item, or spend the real-world money directly to obtain it.

        If there was an item you could only purchase with real-world money and not with in-game gold, then it would be unfair as those unwilling to pay real-world cash would never be able to attain it (outside of trading in-game gold/items with other players).

      • Consumatopia says:

        Like Dr. Evanzan said, I suspect they mean that whatever a player spending $X can obtain, another player spending Y hours can also obtain.

        But that shouldn’t impress any one. Nothing stops Y from being prohibitively high. It also means that time spent playing the game is considered a cost, something one pays to avoid.

        Not only are microtransactions unstandardized across games, but we don’t even have a good vocabulary for talking about them. So we have “fairness” defined in a completely worthless way–that a player spending money has no advantage over a player spending an unlimited amount of time. I consider it a warning sign when anyone defending a game uses “fairness” in this way.

        I would argue that talking about fairness of any kind is always a mistake–MMOs will never be fair. Players have always been able to buy from gold farmers, and players who have lots of time to spend on the game will always have an advantage over otherwise busy players.

        More importantly, players should look for clarity–it should be reasonably predictable what kind of advantage paying money will give a player. I don’t think there’s too much reason to worry with regards to GW2–you pay for the same kind of gold that players earn in-game, and no doubt player communities will spend a lot of time figuring out how useful any purchasable items are.

        They should also look for…well, I can’t think of any other word but non-evil–playing the game should always be fun, not make-work. Or at least when it’s make-work, it should be make-work to suit the gameplay, not the business model.

    • Jimbo says:

      If it’s buying non-aesthetic items / XP multiplier / Drop-rate boost etc. with IRL money then it’s a dealbreaker for me. I’m just not interested in games with mechanics like that.

      • triple omega says:

        I still don’t understand why people care so much about how fast other people progress. In a few months time everyone will be max level with similar gear, so PvP isn’t THAT big of an argument against it. And if you’re playing PvE, how does other people’s progression affect you?

        I can understand buying power directly, as that screws over balancing. But if people progress similarly yet faster, what is the problem. And how is it different from someone who’s minmax grinding his way to max level?

  10. TormDK says:

    As long as we get female elves running around in almost nothing then it’s can’t be a wrong thing.

    • Milos says:

      Sadly this isn’t going to happen. On the other hand if dryads are more up your alley – things could be arranged…

    • Davee says:

      You may want to have a look at “TERA” for that.

  11. Kryopsis says:

    While I am not a fan of microtransactions in general, this will likely complicate things for gold farmers since people will just trade gems for in-game gold. I always liked the idea behind EVE’s PLEX and making gems tradeable items seems like a nice idea.

  12. hbarsquared says:

    PLEX is a dangerous inspiration. The reason EVE’s economy is sustainable (besides all of the professional economists they employ) is the destruction of capital. If money is constantly being generated (as is the case in any MMO), then goods have to lose value, either through inflation or destruction. If there is no destruction of goods, the only possible outcome is inflation.

  13. man-eater chimp says:

    I’m more comparing this is LoL’s Riot Points. They are the only way to but skins and quicker routes to unlock champions or extra Rune Pages. However Influence Points (earned in game) also unlock champions (at a slower rate) and Runes can only be bought with Influence Points.

    • Kryopsis says:

      Except you can’t get RP with IP whereas you can get gems with in-game gold. The appeal of the system being discussed here is that gems and gold can be exchanged for one another.

  14. Astalnar says:

    All nice and well, it is good they are taking EVE’s PLEX for example but I think we are forgetting one thing. In EVE whole economy is driven by players. The ISK that players themself can generate from NPC and similar resources is really small amount in comparison to the trading between players. While in GW2 there will come to massive hoarding of money at some point.
    In EVE there is also the whole concept of building better ships that holds the economy in check. A larger ship costs more money, meaning more resources and so on. In GW2 there is a ceiling point where everybody wear armor that is equally strong (it may differ in looks). Besides gearing your alts, there is no incentive to run the economy in game.

  15. Moraven says:

    So really how is this much different than me buying something on the Diablo 3 RMT to save my time in trying to farm that set of items? I could also get gold (and items) and trade for those same items, or even sell them for Battle.Net Bucks (Gems) and then buy items also that way.

    gold = gold
    gems = battle.net bucks

    Not as much chaos with this (yet) as their was with D3 RMT. I do not plan to use the RMT unless I sell something first. Its my choice, they are not forcing me to use it. Make some bucks(gems) and save time grinding an Act for Sword of Awesomeness that I want. Also it controls 3rd party selling with will be without it and causes more headaches with hacked accounts and people getting ripped off. Yes, it is their fault for doing it in the first place, but first thing they do is send in a support ticket for help. And they will be helped since the company wants to keep up an enjoyable experience.

    As said, LoL has a set up where Every champion is eventually obtainable free, as with rune pages and runes, but that will take a lot of time. Can shortcut that with real cash. They also have skins for real money only. Which have no direct affect on gameplay experience.

    • Sardaukar says:

      Was about to ask this myself. Maybe we’re missing some detail, but this doesn’t seem at all different from the seemingly universally despised and reviled and insidious and icky Diablo 3 RMAH. Are people not hating on it here because this is Guild Wars and not something owned by Activision?

      • Chris D says:

        I think it’s a lot to do with the differences in how the games are perceived. The Diablo series is a type of game that traditionally you’ve paid for once up front and that was it. Guildwars 2 is an MMO, which have been traditionally paid for by subscription fees. They may arrive in the same place (I’d need to see more details to be sure that’s actually true) but they’re approaching it from different directions.

        Other factors are that Diablo’s auction house is perceived to be the reason behind require a permanent internet connection so gets points against for that. Arenanet are also innovating on an enormous scale and I think that buys them a lot of goodwill from most people.

        • Sardaukar says:

          I see the Diablo RMAH as a minor innovation itself, though; Anyone (and there were millions) who got into playing it online quickly learned two things: If you manage to wrestle a great item in a trade, it’s probably duped; Further, there was a young and already immense third-party item market growing around the game causing serious trade economy instability. Like PLEX, the RMAH solution seems to solve the second problem handily, while giving them justification to enact measures to ensure that online is more secure.

          It would be nice if they added a more flexible and isolated singleplayer mode, though, which I imagine they will eventually, much like some games remove DRM after a few months.

          • Chris D says:

            That’s fair enough if that’s what you’re looking for but I think a lot of people just wanted a single player game and for them the RMAH is at best irrelevant and at worst preventing them from playing at all, hence the outcry. On the other hand Guild Wars 2 was always going to be an MMO, so offline play was never a possibilty while some form of ongoing cost was always a given.

  16. Darkwings says:

    Sadly, there are games allowing a player to buy something with real money and then trading that for some other in-game item/gold.

    That’s horrible because the in-game economy will just keep inflating to the point where anything that isn’t ‘real money only’ becomes useless.
    If GW2 will avoid that (even if it could mean losing money) together with the ‘buy to win’ stuff, the game will be ok. And I’ll most probably play.

    • Mattrex says:

      This is the thing that gives me pause. If gold and gems are fungible, then is there a mechanism in place to prevent someone from simply buying a lot of gems and converting that into gold with which to purchase items, either from vendors or other players?

      ArenaNet may not have a vendor set up where they sell +1 gear for 100 gems a pop, but if a player is selling something for gold, and I can buy gems to turn into gold, I’m essentially paying my way into an advantage, even if ArenaNet is not the one directly providing that advantage. Things will end up costing a LOT of gold if this is true.

  17. Nate says:

    If GW2 weapons and armor is easy to get (not being like WoW at all), I think this gems thing is all about nothing. If the must-have item to be competitive chase doesn’t exist, then I could care less about purchasing cosmetic stuff for my char.

  18. HaVoK308 says:

    “Here’s our philosophy on microtransactions: We think players should have the opportunity to spend money on items that provide visual distinction and offer more ways to express themselves. They should also be able to spend money on account services and on time-saving convenience items. But it’s never OK for players to buy a game and not be able to enjoy what they paid for without additional purchases, and it’s never OK for players who spend money to have an unfair advantage over players who spend time.”

    This should be the standard. Unfortunately its not.

  19. Premium User Badge jrodman says:

    Once you’ve got multiple in-game currencies and multiple economies and all of this tied to real money in some fashion, I’m kind of 10% as likely to want to spend time with your game.

    I was considering pre-ordering GW2 to have something to take joy in, but these kinds of systems suck it out for me.

    I could be wooed back by other news, but I kind of doubt it.

  20. Morcane says:

    Ah microtransactions. One less game to pick up and play.

  21. sophof says:

    This has nudged down my enthusiasm quite a bit, but judging from the reactions here, I am quite alone in this? In the best case I don’t care at all, in the worst case it is going to make the game awfully tedious, unless I pay. I always fail to see the advantage for the player in these systems.

    Just because it is not pay to win, doesn’t mean it is suddenly a good idea. I’m definitely going to wait for some reviews now.

  22. sneetch says:

    Here’s our philosophy on microtransactions: We think players should have the opportunity to spend money on items that provide visual distinction and offer more ways to express themselves. They should also be able to spend money on account services and on time-saving convenience items. But it’s never OK for players to buy a game and not be able to enjoy what they paid for without additional purchases, and it’s never OK for players who spend money to have an unfair advantage over players who spend time.

    This is the important part with Mike O’Brien’s emphasis restored (kinda important Craig). So long as they deliver on this I don’t care.

    Items that offer visual distinction are no different to the WoW mounts. If someone wants to buy one and lob a few quid to allow ArenaNet fund the servers then that’s great!

    Account services I would imagine are things like extra character slots and bank slots as well as rerolls and transfers.

    By “time-saving convenience items” I believe the bank golem that the collectors edition has is a prime example. For 6 days it saves you a minor amount of time travelling to the waypoint in a city, running to the bank, travelling back to the waypoint near where you were playing.

    From their facebook page:

    Here are a few important clarifications about our microtransaction system. First, that gold is coming from other players. So somebody must have an abundance of gold if he trades it to a player. The system is not adding new gold from the outside.

    Second, take into account the gem/gold trading system. Everything that is in the store will basically be available for gold with this system – so it doesn’t really matter what is in the store, as it is also available for players who play and don’t want to spend additional money. Hope that helps! ~RB2

    http://www.facebook.com/GuildWars2/posts/10150668434754209

  23. Dominic White says:

    Just being the voice of reason here – running a server network capable of supporting millions (and that’s what they’re shooting for here – they got a million beta signups in one day, remember) isn’t cheap. This isn’t an instanced thing like GW1 – it’s a full-blown big social MMO with a 1500-concurrent-player PvP mode.

    That has to be funded in the long-term somehow, and if their solution is optional account perks and pretty dress-up items, I’ll take that over a monthly subscription any day.

    • Premium User Badge jrodman says:

      It turns out that for significant scales of 60 dollar game purchases, running the server network really isn’t very expensive at all, and the costs per hardware continue to fall.

      The cost of getting all of it working in the first place is not at all to be trifled with, but the subscription is a red herring.

      Meanwhile paying for content updates is something I’d happily do.

  24. Davee says:

    They should be able to swat two flies at once with this. Sustained income from those willing to pay for cosmetic items or trading gems for gold with other players – thus also getting rid of the gold selling companies/spamming/scamming.

    Considering how gear and level shouldn’t be of much importance in GW2; I think XP boosters would be rather unnecessary. I think they confirmed that there would be none? Not sure.

    Anyway. ArenaNet just keeps on talking about their ideas… And I love their approach! But I’ve had too many bad experiences with falling for the hype/sell-talk of “revolutionary MMOs”, pre-purchasing and then getting utterly disappointed after release. So I’m still hoping for a Beta invite to go through before I make up my mind.

  25. mwoody says:

    Just like that, this game drops completely off my radar. And yes, I know not everyone agrees, but I’d be doing the devs a disservice if I held my tongue. They need to understand that there are real consequences to adding a cash shop in terms of damaged reputation and lost sales, or this will only get worse.