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After playing GW2, I decided I'd prefer a sub fee over any cash shop


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#1 Alleji

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:16 PM

To preface this, I'm not trying to say "QQ I'm quitting". GW2 is still fun.

Now, on to the conspiracy theory. If you don't feel like reading a wall of text, there's a tl;dr at the bottom.

GW2 is centered around its cash shop, which is not unreasonable, because Anet wants to make money and the cash shop is going to be a significant (if not primary?) source of that. The other one being box sales. Compared to a traditional sell-the-box-and-done games, Anet is committing to keeping up the servers for an indefinite period of time and putting out monthly content updates for free (as opposed to paid DLCs in most other games). So naturally, they'd be interested in players using the cash shop.

Prior to GW2's release I wouldn't bat an eyelash at that. Yeah, sure, if they want to go with a cash shop instead of sub, that's cool. It's cosmetic-only stuff, right? No problem there.

But then I realized just how deeply the presence of the cash shop influences the game design. I'm going to use WoW as a counterpoint here, but people familiar with multiple sub MMOs will find them largely interchangeable.

The basic idea is: Anet wants everyone to stay poor. Because if you don't have enough gold, you can always go to the cash shop and get more. They want you to get more. How did they change the game design to facilitate this?

- Low-scaling rewards. A lvl 10 completing an event will earn about 0.5 silver. A lvl 80 gets 1.5 silver. Compare to a lvl 10 quest in WoW rewarding 3.5 silver and lvl 60 in vanilla about 50 silver (it varied and I can't remember exactly - been a long time). A maxed character in GW2 earns 3x more for doing basic activities than a low lvl character, whereas a maxed character in WoW made 15x more.

- High taxes everywhere. To continue the above example, a waypoint to a nearby place at lvl 10 costs 10 copper. A waypoint at lvl 80 costs 1.5 silver. In other words, a 15x increase, when rewards increase only 1.5x. WoW doesn't have waypoints, but flight paths don't scale with level at all, just with distance (and ones in expansion areas are more expensive, but we're talking no expansions here). Trading post tax is also quite high at 15%, compared to WoW's 5% tax off the profits + variable listing fee, which almost never came close to 10%.

-Lack of a trading function. This very heavily compounds the trading post tax by taking away an option of bypassing it. People would be trading bulk amounts of materials and expensive items such as precursor between themselves, which is less gold taken out of the economy, which is bad for the cash shop.

- Dye drops. There's a thread right now where people are talking about the recently reduced dye drops. Unidentified dyes are fun to open and I can see why people are upset. I'm also upset, but I'll say that it makes sense for dyes to be more rare that they even are currently. Why? Cash shop. Why would anyone buy dyes from cash shop if they're 3 silver on the TP? Anet saw that and patched it up. A sound decision all around, but unfortunately, the simple existence of dyes in the cash shop takes away a tiny bit of fun from the game here: finding and identifying dyes.

- RNG everywhere. I'm not going to go into a detailed explanation here, because I think everyone knows this one. Suffice to say that RNG instead of guaranteed whatever is good for anet because gambling in any form takes the gold out of the economy.

- Inflating prices on the already-expensive crafting components. I first saw this as a simply stupid design decision, but it's actually quite intelligent, if you only look at the bigger picture. Why use piles of t6 crafting materials and ectos to craft the new ascended gear? Well, because those materials are already in demand for creating legendaries! Kill two birds with one stone: create a new gold sink and make the old one bigger by inflating some of the crucial ingredients. Meanwhile, we get a rich orichalcum vein which significantly devalues a semi-rare material that's not really a limiting factor anywhere.

- This is a bit of an anecdotal evidence, but I think ecto salvages have been stealth-nerfed in November's update. Whereas I was not getting ectos from about 20% of the salvages before, now I'm failing to salvage them from over 30% of rares. (I've actually recorded some stats, but the sample size only around 100 rares and it's in no way conclusive because there may be other factors involved, such as the type of item).
EDIT: Apparently lots of people on official forums thought so too, but it's been statistically proved wrong since. I'm still getting terrible results from salvaging rares.

- Worldwide economy instead of server economies. This serves to largely eliminate a "middle class" : a casual trader or a crafter, who would spend some of his time at the trading post for a profit that's well above average, but not sky-high to the point where he can pay his rent by selling gold. In a worldwide economy, only the most dedicated market players can compete and there's no room for crafting because there's 5000 instead of 50 crafters online at any given time willing to undercut each other. As a result, 0.1% of players (Occupy Lion's Arch!) may become absurdly rich and never need to use the gem store in their life, but the 4.9% that would've been moderately rich are instead locked out of the trading game and kept at a controlled level of income that anyone can get from farming Orr or dungeons or whatever. The remaining 95% are unaffected.

- Lastly, the very existence of the cash-to-gold conversion is bugging me. 300g for a Dusk is a huge amount of gold to me. I have about 100g at the moment and I play quite a bit. Probably about 2 hours a weekday on average and much more on a weekend. So it would take me hundreds of hours to get a legendary, which is working as intended. But, I could put down roughly what I make it 2 days at work and buy that Dusk. (Slightly more if you make minimum wage, but for anyone with a job, with the only exception being that 0.1% professional in-game trader, RL-income is higher than game-income.)

I'm not about to do that, because it feels like cheating and I don't think I'd get much satisfaction out of buying my legendary with cash, but the idea that you can do that certainly diminishes the game as a whole for me. Moreover, there are people doing it and they're increasing the cost for everyone else by taking the gold out of the economy.



TL;DR: The cash shop in GW, although not directly selling power, influences the game in a lot of ways. The existence of the cash shop and gold-to-gem exchange makes it Anet's prerogative to keep players poor so they are tempted to buy stuff or gold with cash.

- Rewards don't scale well between low and max lvl characters
- There are high taxes built into the game in form of AH fees, WP fees, and lack of trading function.
- Drop rates get normalized to be in line with cash shop items, not with "fun". Dye nerf is an example of this. Requiring a ton of t6 mats and ectos to craft the new stuff and deter people from their legendaries is another.
- Global market as opposed to a per-server economy eliminates a "middle class", downgrading them to the baseline income/
- Ability to buy the most desired items in the game with cash via gold-to-gem, which just shouldn't be there.

I wish Anet just charged 15$/month for this game and never had this cash shop.

Edited by Alleji, 01 December 2012 - 07:51 AM.


#2 PinCushion

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:22 PM

I agree, though...you could just voluntarily pay them $15/month for gems and convert them to gold.

I currently just give them $10/month because farming stuff is boring.  I don't play these games to grind gold, and since my job involves market/pricing work I really don't feel like coming home to do more of it in a game.  I sell my gems, take my 6-10g (depending on the day), and enjoy all the extra time I just bought to WvW or whatever.

I figure in 3-6 months I'll have my legendary, if I decide to craft it, without having to grind my face off for all the T6 mats.  Now, I'll have PAID A-Net about $60 bucks for this convenience.  In my opinion, it's worth it.

Edit: I don't mind this arrangement because it's a $5/mo savings over my other favorite MMO, and it's completely under my control when and if it happens.  I don't expect a good product to be free, but I enjoy the fact that I can skip as many months as I want without any loss of features or function.

Edited by PinCushion, 29 November 2012 - 07:23 PM.


#3 Ghostwing

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:23 PM

I don't. I play perfectly fine without buying gold from the gem shop. I've done the opposite several times, used gold to buy character and bank slots. I run in full exotics and earn a small bit of coin every time I play. I skimmed through your post and I wonder, what do you "need" gold for? For me, that stuff is optional, so I rather not pay the 15 a month to have that game.

Edited by Ghostwing, 29 November 2012 - 07:32 PM.


#4 GrrBabble

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:33 PM

As a short comment I would have preferred a monthly fee option and a gem store that uses game gold only to purchase Gems.

In turn using those gems to buy things in gem store only. This would remove gold from economy. I would expect the store to offer similar things as it does now, bag expansion, skins, xp boosts, etc.

A cash shop has significant impact on the way people play these games. I feel even those who "don't use the store" are dramatically affected by the overall economy dynamic.

The store is a temptation to me as well, I have not purchased Gold for Gems. It feels like a waste, but then again boosting myself to 8-10 Gold when my play schedule pretty much has me around a 2 Gold balance. Creates a... conflict?

#5 Kaaqeli

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 07:48 PM

View PostAlleji, on 29 November 2012 - 07:16 PM, said:

- Dye drops. There's a thread right now where people are talking about the recently reduced dye drops. Unidentified dyes are fun to open and I can see why people are upset. I'm also upset, but I'll say that it makes sense for dyes to be more rare that they even are currently. Why? Cash shop. Why would anyone buy dyes from cash shop if they're 3 silver on the TP? Anet saw that and patched it up. A sound decision all around, but unfortunately, the simple existence of dyes in the cash shop takes away a tiny bit of fun from the game here: finding and identifying dyes.

- Inflating prices on the already-expensive crafting components. I first saw this as a simply stupid design decision, but it's actually quite intelligent, if you only look at the bigger picture. Why use piles of t6 crafting materials and ectos to craft the new ascended gear? Well, because those materials are already in demand for creating legendaries! Kill two birds with one stone: create a new gold sink and make the old one bigger by inflating some of the crucial ingredients. Meanwhile, we get a rich orichalcum vein which significantly devalues a semi-rare material that's not really a limiting factor anywhere.

- This is a bit of an anecdotal evidence, but I think ecto salvages have been stealth-nerfed in November's update. Whereas I was not getting ectos from about 20% of the salvages before, now I'm failing to salvage them from over 30% of rares. (I've actually recorded some stats, but the sample size only around 100 rares and it's in no way conclusive because there may be other factors involved, such as the type of item).


Gotta say I agree with you on pretty much everything else but this. This just made me roll my eyes.

First, the dyes. There was this bug sometime ago that made dyes drop from almost every monster you killed. During that time dyes went from ~5s to ~2s on the trading post. Once the supply ran out the price went back to normal -BUT- the massive amount of bots Anet has banned has infuenced the market quite suverely. These bots were getting tons of dyes as drops. Listing 100,000 dyes on the trading post will pretty much likely drop the price of said item. The price was steadily going down even before the drop bug, but after all those bots got banned and their humongous dye supply dried out, the price went throught the roof. No conspiration here.

Second, the crafting mats. Same thing here. Huge supply from bots -> prices go down. Bots get banned -> prices rise skyhigh.

Third, the ecto stealth nerf. No. Just no. This whole " I'm getting fewer ectos than last week! ANET Y U STEALTH NERF ECTOS?!" is just ridiculous. There's actually an official response from Anet on the official forums

(https://forum-en.gui...ge/2#post818370)

clearly stating that there's no nerf on the drop rate. It's just RNG people!

Edited by Kaaqeli, 29 November 2012 - 07:49 PM.


#6 Utriel

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:01 PM

But if you look at the other side of the things it is the only MMO where gold actually have some reasonable value, which you can feel (not like 18K for mount I'll never use - why not)..

#7 Eon Lilu

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

I hate to do it as iv been against subscriptions forever...but I agree with the OP.

Its so obvious that huge game design decisions have been change to cater for the free to play cash shop money grabbing. These things would never have been implemented or changed if the cash shop was not in the game. Its another reason why almost everything in the game and the entire game has just turned into one giant gold grind and hardly anything else.

It feels like all you do is get gold....grind grind grind. I just past 800 hours in game and everything is feeling like an after thought and grind compared to the cash shop. You can see parts of the game that have been changed because of this. Mini pets is another example, they could of used them for more collection of in game content, scavenger hunts like the black moa chick in gw1 but instead they just chucked them all in the gem store or rng chests in the gem store, gambling for mini pets.

If it wasn't for the cash shop there would of been no gambling rng in the cash shop and holiday items would of been attainable in game with fun gameplay, not pot luck gambling for skins in the gem store.

I am totally against cash shops, free to play games now, I will never spend a penny on them, ever. They change the way games are made way to much and make the games a whole alot worse. Cheap and shallow for cash shop grabs.

Im actually starting to think PC MMO's are dead and gone and we will never see the awesome old school type mmo's we used to love. My last hope is star citizen but they have even said there using similar model to GW2 so im starting to think there is no hope for PC MMO's.

Everyone seems to have the console / casual gamer attitude which is I want everything now, and if I can't have it im going to get my wallet out and buy my way to my goal. I want a game I can complete in 8 hours and then spend 50 pounds on another game I can complete in 8 hours.

This is the future of games. I guess the success and how popular mmo's have become is the reason why there going down hill, there catering to the majority casual players because thats where the money is. Unfortunately it means we just get shallow, cheap, easy to play dum downed games to play from now on.

I mean really the only challenging content in GW2 is fractals and they are not even that hard...the game is super easy you can sometimes play without even trying. The only challenge in this game is getting gold...so you go to the gem store.

I miss the old games where you buy it....its yours to play forever with a multiplayer built in, you run your own servers and thats it. no fee no cash shop, no bullshit. The games where so much effort was put into it you could play for years and there would never need to be a 2...3...4...5..version of the game. Thats never going to happen anymore, games are just too profitable now.

Edited by Eon Lilu, 29 November 2012 - 08:26 PM.


#8 DuskWolf

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:06 PM

I don't think this proves what you think it proves at all, OP.

What this proves is that predatorial, exploitative, insidious business models can exist in both pay-to-own and subscription models. What we have to watch out for in the future isn't the financial model, but whether any of the people involved have acted like sharks. I know I won't trust an NCsoft product ever again. Blade & Soul, WildStar, and any future titles are all off my list solely because they're NCsoft. With NCsoft being obviously owned by Nexon at this point, it's clear that future games will only be more predatory, not less.

And I'm not the kind of sheep who'll roll over and take bad punishment up the butt. I actually respect myself enough to not stand for that. So NCsoft isn't getting any more of my money. So long, ArenaNet. It was nice knowing you when you were you. Back when you were the ArenaNet that put together the likes of Prophecies, when you actually believed in your passions, rather than the shameless construct of exploitation you've become today.

#9 Korlic

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:10 PM

View PostKaaqeli, on 29 November 2012 - 07:48 PM, said:

Gotta say I agree with you on pretty much everything else but this. This just made me roll my eyes.

First, the dyes. There was this bug sometime ago that made dyes drop from almost every monster you killed. During that time dyes went from ~5s to ~2s on the trading post. Once the supply ran out the price went back to normal -BUT- the massive amount of bots Anet has banned has infuenced the market quite suverely. These bots were getting tons of dyes as drops. Listing 100,000 dyes on the trading post will pretty much likely drop the price of said item. The price was steadily going down even before the drop bug, but after all those bots got banned and their humongous dye supply dried out, the price went throught the roof. No conspiration here.

Second, the crafting mats. Same thing here. Huge supply from bots -> prices go down. Bots get banned -> prices rise skyhigh.

Third, the ecto stealth nerf. No. Just no. This whole " I'm getting fewer ectos than last week! ANET Y U STEALTH NERF ECTOS?!" is just ridiculous. There's actually an official response from Anet on the official forums

(https://forum-en.gui...ge/2#post818370)

clearly stating that there's no nerf on the drop rate. It's just RNG people!

Bot Ban is a terrible argument now. It happened nearly a month ago and only recently is the price changing drastically  This is also true for T6. We say an immediate bump in prices when the bans occurred, however weeks later the price went from higher stable to rising. This is being caused by demand for both legendary gifts and backslot items which cost 250 T6 mats. Anet admitted they were wrong to make the cost of the new backslots require that much, however the damage is done.

Even more so, this is stretched further by those manipulating the market by having the liquid assets to purchase all items at price point A and reselling them at price point B, creating a new artificial floor.

#10 Kaaqeli

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:19 PM

View PostKorlic, on 29 November 2012 - 08:10 PM, said:

Bot Ban is a terrible argument now. It happened nearly a month ago and only recently is the price changing drastically  This is also true for T6. We say an immediate bump in prices when the bans occurred, however weeks later the price went from higher stable to rising. This is being caused by demand for both legendary gifts and backslot items which cost 250 T6 mats. Anet admitted they were wrong to make the cost of the new backslots require that much, however the damage is done.

Nearly a month ago you say?

http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/24295
http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/20323

The price charts speak for themselves.
Although I agree that the mats needed for ascended gear are way off.

View PostKorlic, on 29 November 2012 - 08:10 PM, said:

Even more so, this is stretched further by those manipulating the market by having the liquid assets to purchase all items at price point A and reselling them at price point B, creating a new artificial floor.

This is true, sadly.

#11 Korlic

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:26 PM

View PostKaaqeli, on 29 November 2012 - 08:19 PM, said:

Nearly a month ago you say?

http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/24295
http://www.gw2spidy.com/item/20323

The price charts speak for themselves.
Although I agree that the mats needed for ascended gear are way off.



This is true, sadly.

I think those graphs help prove my point, if you look you see right after the bot ban the prices begin to level. They then said they were going to add more uses for T6 mats which caused them to skyrocket more heading into the Lost Shore event. My point, however, is that its ludicrous to blame this all on bot bans.

#12 The_Tree_Branch

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:33 PM

There is no room for crafting because crafting is easily accessible by everyone. You're expecting to make much profit from crafting when anyone can spend a few gold and level the crafting discipline of their choice from 0-400? No.

And as usual, seems like people don't seem to understand that banning bots is going to make prices go higher. Less supply, same demand (unless you think bots were buying dyes on the market...all the ones I saw were wearing the exact same drab armor sets).

RNG everywhere? GW1 survived 7+ years when the majority of their drops were RNG based.

Your argument on wordwide economy vs. server economy also doesn't make much sense. The only thing this does is eliminate arbitrage (buying ectos on 1 server for cheap, switching servers and selling them at a higher cost). I'd much prefer eliminating that and having higher supply of items to choose from. Having a world economy is not why crafting isn't desireable, see above points.

Regarding dyes being character locked instead of account, I think the current system is probably the best. It's significantly better than GW1 (where you needed a dye for each armor per character). If dyes were account unlocked, it would quickly become a very boring drop. Prices would be insanely huge at the start, and then once everyone has unlocked the dye, it would quickly become worthless. It goes against what Anet originally said, but I think it is the right decision from an in-game economy perspective (and helps their cash shop a bit as well, which isn't an inherently bad thing).

Overall, too much paranoia, not enough understanding of how an in-game economy needs to be managed.

#13 Corvindi

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:40 PM

View PostDuskWolf, on 29 November 2012 - 08:06 PM, said:

I don't think this proves what you think it proves at all, OP.

What this proves is that predatorial, exploitative, insidious business models can exist in both pay-to-own and subscription models. What we have to watch out for in the future isn't the financial model, but whether any of the people involved have acted like sharks. I know I won't trust an NCsoft product ever again. Blade & Soul, WildStar, and any future titles are all off my list solely because they're NCsoft. With NCsoft being obviously owned by Nexon at this point, it's clear that future games will only be more predatory, not less.

And I'm not the kind of sheep who'll roll over and take bad punishment up the butt. I actually respect myself enough to not stand for that. So NCsoft isn't getting any more of my money. So long, ArenaNet. It was nice knowing you when you were you. Back when you were the ArenaNet that put together the likes of Prophecies, when you actually believed in your passions, rather than the shameless construct of exploitation you've become today.

Aw, that sucks, I didn't realize WildStar was an NCSoft product.  Damn.

It's true MMOs can be predatory and still charge a sub.  Skinnerbox mechanics are predatory in and of themselves to a certain extent.  WoW is the king of hamster herding, and they charge a sub, after all.  But all things considered, I'd rather pay a sub than deal with a cash shop that sells more than fluff.

Also, the cost of everything versus the currency gained just from playing the game is part of what makes playing at level 4 more fun for me than playing at level 40.  But even if this were a regular sub game that might still be true because MMO devs love luring players in by making getting those first few levels snappy and fun, then sneaking the grind in when the players are hooked.

I think I'm about over MMOs in general, sub or no sub.  Can't trust these devs to do anything right.  Funcom almost got it right with The Secret World, but in the end, even though the story was great and some of the investigation missions made players think, grinding or even just traveling through packs of mobs that took forever to die killed that game for me as well.

#14 Milennin

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:40 PM

And with a subscription based game the game is designed around grind to keep you playing longer.

Pick your poison.

Point being: Whether you play sub games or f2p games, neither have a desirable game design to them.

#15 Corvindi

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:44 PM

View PostMilennin, on 29 November 2012 - 08:40 PM, said:

And with a subscription based game the game is designed around grind to keep you playing longer.

Pick your poison.

Point being: Whether you play sub games or f2p games, neither have a desirable game design to them.

Sadly this sums up the conclusion I'm coming to as well.

What a shame, I remember my first hours in my first MMO as a time of wonder and amazement.  All those avatars running around were real people that I could communicate and adventure with.  I was hooked.  Of course, I would also swear those people used to be a lot nicer than they are now.

#16 Arewn

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:49 PM

MMORPGs need to make money beyond the box fee, it's a matter of picking your poison. If you prefer the corruption to the integrity of the game caused by a sub fee over the corruption to the integrity of the game caused by the gem shop, that's your call.
But do note you aren't escaping the effects by going to a sub fee game, you're just subjecting yourself to them in different concentrations.

As a simple and well known example, a sub fee means you pay every month, which means the game developers have a vested interest in systems that cause gaming compulsion, forced time sinks, or scheduled necessities in order to make you continue to pay every month. (example: raids with lock outs. Gear gates mean you can't beat the whole thing at once, and lock out periods mean you have to come back every week. Generally this forces you back for a month or two if you want to complete the raid)

Personally I find a system like GW2's to be much less intrusive to the development of the game then most sub fees are (i.e yes it does affect it, just less then many other systems I find). Not to mentioned way cheaper for the player.

For the love of god though, if you are thinking of playing WoW instead, you better do your research a lot better, that game quadruple dips it's player base and has monetization way more intrusive to your game play then the gem store here in GW2 does.
If you're a pay and forget type of person without money worries then fine, but don't pretend WoW's money milking is less intrusive to their development, it's just much more cleverly hidden from years of practice and use of psychological techniques.

#17 Gileas898

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 08:57 PM

It's funny how Arena Net manages to surprise no one.

Another hard nerf to grinding money last night, at the same time as the amount of money you need to spend to be on par is ever increased. It's really laughable how a statement like the T6 requirements for infused back braces being too high, is apparently well received by the players? It's the most common strategy known to P2W MMO's.

- The developers introduce an item that only the people on the far side of the spectrum will pay real money to acquire.
- The developers admit this is a mistake, and lowers the price after a month or two.
- The people who didn't feel it was worth buying previously spend money on it now instead.
- The developers are received as heroes by the community (lol).
- The developers do the exact same "mistake" in the next patch, and repeats the above things.

A disgusting way of making money, but hey, the GW2 community seems to be oblivious and even thankful >.<.
I've lost so much respect in Arena Net in the last few weeks that I'm not even motivated to log in anymore.

Edited by Gileas898, 29 November 2012 - 08:57 PM.


#18 The_Tree_Branch

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:01 PM

Honestly, what I would like to see in threads like this is more of a suggestion as to ways Anet could improve the economy for more casual players. Yes, at that level, waypoint costs and armor repair is more prohibitive. And by this, I mean looking at the full picture. There has to be gold sinks in the economy, and thats not to keep the cash shop going, thats to give gold any sort of value as a currency. Otherwise, we get huge inflation.

#19 TGIFrisbie

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:03 PM

Welcome to the "People weren't buying the handful of crappy "Styles" we put in so we nerfed everything til it felt right, then we doubled it."

Why do you think the sudden about-face on gear grind happened?  Stones, coins, mystic forge - cash shop.  Need gold?  Buy gems, sell gems.

GW1 was fine, it was great.  First 2 years.

#20 ChuyDog08

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:12 PM

OP, you have made some valid points based on opinion.  I respect your opinion, but I don’t think it is fair to compare a Free-to-Play with a Subscription based game.  They are two separate beasts that most of us know the difference between the two by now.

Free-to-play is more generic.  It will offer enough content to get you hooked.  After you are hooked or maxed, you will pay something to get beyond what the “not going to ever pay more” player is stalled at, or you stop playing.  They will slowly release new content and cash offerings to keep some type of revenue flowing.  However, nothing will be over the top and the awesome things will only be for those who can pay or grind to get.  That is only fair since the “not going to ever pay more” player has already received all they are getting with the initial paid game content.
Subscription based is more dynamic with more options in armor, weapons, etc.  They will charge you for expansion pacts as well.  They keep the game exciting enough for you to keep paying your subscription.  They can give the house away because they have already earned the money and everyone playing has paid their fair price for it.

I am a GW1 player and waited a long time for GW2 to come out.  I think the developers have delivered what they promised.  I am glad I do not have to pay a subscription, and I am glad I can purchase upgrades with cash to keep the game from becoming a grind.  I have bought several bank and storage slots on my primary character, as well as, spent cash on Gem-to-Gold to purchase exotic jewelry for my main.   I have since leveled 2 alts to 80 and they are both equipped with a mixture of Rare and Exotic equipment.  I have not paid for storage slots or Gem-to-Gold for equipment for either of these two alts.  Those two can survive most things solo, help a group in most dungeons, and play WvW without dying all the time.  Right now there is nothing in the cash store that interests me.  If new items come out that I like, I will probably buy them at my leisure.  In GW1, I would buy a new costume almost every season just for fun.  I will do that again once they allow you to wear the costume and retain your armor rating.  

I think this game is perfect for my style of play.  I would like to think that there are many others out there that feel the same.

If players are not happy with the Free-to-Play model, they can go back to a Subscription based game.  It won’t hurt our feelings.  :D

#21 Sinful01

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:25 PM

View PostThe_Tree_Branch, on 29 November 2012 - 09:01 PM, said:

Honestly, what I would like to see in threads like this is more of a suggestion as to ways Anet could improve the economy for more casual players. Yes, at that level, waypoint costs and armor repair is more prohibitive. And by this, I mean looking at the full picture. There has to be gold sinks in the economy, and thats not to keep the cash shop going, thats to give gold any sort of value as a currency. Otherwise, we get huge inflation.

Karma.

Casuals will never be able to compete in the gold economy.  It rewards people that play more, with more, like a job does.

No one can seem to balance a game so casual players get upgrades at a quick enough pace that they don't feel like the whole game is a grind while ensuring non-casuals don't just farm the everloving hell out of things, get maxed out in gear and then demand/require more.  Grind is then added for the non-casuals, and it has the worst affect on the casuals.  In this case, extra bad.  Anyone without exotics before who was saving for them just saw the prices across the board double if not go higher.  That dude thinking he only has a week of casual play left (after spending 2 weeks already) saving up for some exotic stuff just saw the goalpost moved.

So, IMHO, Karma is the only current thing.  Communist Karma shall set casuals free.  Make hideously ugly gear with Ascended stats, and make it cost a reasonable (reasonable for a casual person playing for a few hours a week, tops) amount of karma to purchase.  Hell, make it a paper bag with a "I'm Not Hardcore" stamped on it in that "This End Up" font you see on packages IRL.

That way, casual players can purchase their welfare top-tier items and then move on to horizontal progression in the form of making their fugly gear less fugly.... or, if you really want to stick it to people, make the welfare gear un-transmutable. :P

Non-casual players can continue as the game is.

Edited by Sinful01, 29 November 2012 - 09:29 PM.


#22 Kaaqeli

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:25 PM

View PostKorlic, on 29 November 2012 - 08:26 PM, said:

I think those graphs help prove my point, if you look you see right after the bot ban the prices begin to level. They then said they were going to add more uses for T6 mats which caused them to skyrocket more heading into the Lost Shore event. My point, however, is that its ludicrous to blame this all on bot bans.

Looking at the powerful blood graph the highest peak is actually dated on november 14, when no one knew if these new ascended items could be crafted and/or what materials they'd require. Atleast I haven't seen Anet state that T6 mats would be used (feel free to link the source). And no, I'm not blaming this all on bots. I'm just saying that they had quite a big impact on this.

#23 Steadfast Gao Shun

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:26 PM

Another way to look at the problem: Anet might've wanted everyone (literally, everyone) to stay poor, so in a fantasy parallel universe, the rewards makes sense. The real situation is that you have players who are willing to invest time and effort in playing the auction house system, which immediately generates a "rich" playerbase that could buy out say, all the precursors and arbitarily determine how much these things are worth, in turn profiting heavily. Coupled with intelligent investors, and voila. We have our situation today.

Just as the problem is "caused" by people, so it could be solved by people. If in our 3rd parallel universe, where no one was really interested in having a legendary, the prices of those precursors will either fall or the sellers have to wait for someone who is A) willing to pay for it at their listed price and B) desperate enough to want it that badly. I think one of the reasons that are contributing to the issue is that far too many players are willing to take it like a man and willing to shell out whatever amount of gold necessary, due to whatever motivates them to chase after such "rares."

And guess what? Given the design of the game, those players are always going to be there. ;) We can't change other people, so we can only change how we choose to play the game. ;) In its current stage, the price of fully gearing out a character isn't terrible to the point where it's breaking the backs of the majority of players yet.

Yet.

Would be kind of interesting to see what happens if we ever reach that stage, though, and it is looking like we might be hitting that point within the next year. I believe in a dev interview they mentioned that this is why they wanted to have multiple currencies present in the game - and one of the comments above regarding karma is a pretty realistic scenario, all things considered.

Edited by Steadfast Gao Shun, 29 November 2012 - 09:29 PM.


#24 Barbieslayer

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:30 PM

If this was a subscription based game I wouldn't be playing it.

#25 Asha2012

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:50 PM

As someone who analyzes P&L's (profit & loss, income statements) for a living as well as business models (i.e. "how does a company make money"), I have a hard time arguing that the OP is wrong.

Anet, you may be creative with your game design but your business model, as presented here, is unimaginative.  Furthermore, it is affecting your product more intrinsically than simply choosing a cheaper part to keep costs down.

I have been vaguely aware of all of this but it is quite something else to see it all spelled out point by point like this.  The various gold sinks DO change the way I play.  They affect my decision to use WP too frequently which means I need to allow for more time to run places (great when I HAVE the time but not when I just want to quickly accomplish something in say 20 or 30 minutes).  They affect how many times I will throw myself against a challenging foe (after 3 or 4 dmged pieces of armor I'm out because the drops never cover the cost of repairs).  Dungeons speak for themselves.

I did see a nice video on YouTube on how to "game" the system and make anywhere from 50s to 3g in just a few hours and that has helped.  Still I can not deny the fact I do NOT play the way I want because of the in-game cost.

I 100% understand running a business is expensive and Anet has a lot of costs to recoup from the development of GW2, but, like the OP, I wish they had found a way to get me to open my wallet without affecting, consciously or subconsciously, HOW I play the game.  They pulled it off in GW1, not sure why that changed.

Edited by Asha2012, 29 November 2012 - 09:51 PM.


#26 Heart Collector

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:54 PM

I was about to post a snarky comment when I saw the title. but I was pleasantly surprised and treated to a well written post with actual thought and effort put in! And no, I'm actually not being sarcastic.

That been said, I would still prefer GW2's system. 15 a month for a game just isn't worth it for me... And I know I wouldn't have bought this game if it was p2p. The only thing I'm feeling inclined to get from the cash shop are 3 more character slots.

#27 alucard13mmfmj

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 09:58 PM

Diablo 3... lol. Buy to play with a built in ebay. gg

Also.. maybe they should put more aesthetic skins in the cash shop.

Edited by alucard13mmfmj, 29 November 2012 - 10:00 PM.


#28 MazingerZ

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:01 PM

They need a premium customer membership like what CoX had.

By providing them with a steady revenue stream, you got access to a trickle of things.  Cosmetics, rewards, boosters.

They still had the cash shop and they still had F2P.
It's okay to enjoy crap if you're willing to admit it's crap.
Every patch is like ArenaNet walking out onto the stage of the International Don't Kitten Up Championship, and then proceeding to shiv itself in the stomach 30 times while screaming "IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD! IT'S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD!"

#29 DuskWolf

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:01 PM

View PostThe_Tree_Branch, on 29 November 2012 - 08:33 PM, said:

Overall, too much paranoia, not enough understanding of how an in-game economy needs to be managed.
Or maybe just too much shameless kissing up. I honestly can't believe you rattled off that PR line about dyes without having to stop the post right there to leave to have a little cry. I'm baffled by people who think that predatory behaviours are the best thing ever for consumers. Do you support totalitarian dictators as the best form of national rulership, too?

No shame at all.

#30 Gilles VI

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Posted 29 November 2012 - 10:02 PM

View PostThe_Tree_Branch, on 29 November 2012 - 08:33 PM, said:

Overall, too much paranoia, not enough understanding of how an in-game economy needs to be managed.

Problem is, everyone thinks they're smarter than the entire economy team of Anet together and they think they could make it better.. :P




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