Posted 24 December 2012 - 06:01 PM
I actually appreciate the OP doing this because it proves what I've said all along.
I'm not being nasty, I never have been. I'm just really tired of predatory business tactics, and not just in GW2, but in free to play games in general, on the mobile market, and so on. Essentially it's a kind of gamble, it's a massive fog between price and product. You're paying a price for a product you might not get, or for a sort of product you might not have expected. And then the environment is shaped as such to convince you to continue to splash gold around, and with each passing month the environment will be changed a little so that you splash ever more of it around.
I have a group that I run with, my social circle, and we all see that this is what's going on. And we try to tell people not to be foolish and not to waste their money. There is the old axiom that a fool and their money are soon parted, but it doesn't make you feel any better, does it? If ArenaNet were the paragons they were supposed to be, they'd just sell access to each zone as a simple price-for-product transaction, rather than using obfuscated and predatory business tactics like the gem system to make money. At the moment, GW2 is as bad as Maple Story or Farmville ever was.
But the difference is is that you don't see people jumping to the defence of Maple Story or Farmville. Everyone knows the score there, so they don't feel that it's smart to try and defend them. The sad truth is, ladies and gents, is that this isn't the ArenaNet we once knew. There are plenty of honourable and non-predatory ways to make money. In fact, let me tell you a story about a company I've learned to respect, and that company is Bethesda. See, they slipped up once, they sold horse armour for Oblivion, and their fans didn't like that. People found it to be a shady thing to do. It wasn't even outright predatory in the way that the goldgems system is, it was just... well, a weird thing to do. They were selling, for a high price, something that should have been patched into the game.
So what did they do to rectify this? They made a number of substantially large DLCs for Oblivion, then they made an expansion pack. For Fallout 3, they endeavoured to make each DLC large. These DLCs might not have been to anyone's tastes, but they were good value, they weren't just a rip-off. And with every GOTY version of a game, they included their DLC. Then Skyrim came along and, bless 'em, they kept up this trend. The DLC was beefy and value for money, and it didn't take anything away from the game to not have them. Each DLC was its own self-contained thing. Moreover, they even listened to what people wanted from DLC in order to make it.
So the end result is is that for all Bethesda might have done, I respect them for treating us like people. For respecting us enough to believe that we're not dumb. Now, what if we had ArenaNet making Skyrim? Well, what would have happened is that gold would hardly have dropped in the game, for starters. Then you would have had to have bought amazingly expensive ingredients for whenever you wanted to craft, dipping into your gold reserves, and there would have been a nasty tax on fast travel, too. Oh, and the best gear and items would be sold for prices you couldn't afford, some stuff would drop, as a gesture of 'good will,' but they'd decrease those drop rates over time. So after paying the box price for Skyrim, you'd then be frequently buying gems just so that you could play the game.
Except Bethesda doesn't do that. ArenaNet does.
See, that's my major issue, here. And like I said, it's not exclusively an issue with ArenaNet, but with predatory business practises in general. Whether it's free to play ones, mobile ones, or what have you. And every time we do something like buying gems, we're telling a business that it's okay for them to manipulate us, it's okay for them to treat us like we're stupid, it's okay for them to take advantage of us, it's okay for them to be too lazy to create a product worth buying (since they can just make their money other ways), and so on. Outside of the Internet, we have regulatory committees to make sure that people can't be exploited like this, but the whole online scene is a wild west.
For what I hope are obvious reasons, I respect Bethesda but I don't respect ArenaNet. I wish ArenaNet were more like Bethesda. There are ways you can make money honestly and be a massive success, Bethesda proves this. ArenaNet is not your friend, they're a business, they exist to make money. And if they're not making money honestly and they're taking advantage of you, then you should stop giving them your money.