The problem with your argument is that... well... it just doesn't fit the facts. Take a real world example if you'd like. Suppose it was your ACTUAL birthday and your parents (or whatever) decided to get you a present. Consider 2 scenarios. 1) They buy you 8 unused lottery tickets where one has a 100% chance of payout (even if it's small) and 2) They give you 8 used lottery tickets that are all losers, but they've written a nice (yet impersonal) note on one of them. Ask yourself, and be honest here, which you would rather receive. Then, since the choice is pretty obvious to just about anyone, ask yourself how you would feel if your parents got you the 2nd option and that was it. Would you, perhaps, feel insulted? Would you, perhaps, feel that it almost would have been better if they just forgot your birthday all together instead of such a half-assed (and even insulting) gesture?
There are plenty of things about my analogy that don't work, but its much closer to how people are reacting (and should react realistically) than anything you've said so far.
Okay, let me put that in words that will be clear to ya:
Consider family of 4 - two parents and 2 children. There are two gifting options - first: parent's buy each children the same thing, like a little plushie that's pretty bland, and some candies. Second: parents choose randomly which children gets better gift, and which gets basically worthless stuff. I mean, like full lego set and some action figure for one boy and a lolipop and socks for the other.
In first scenario maybe both kids will be dissapointed, as the gift isn't all that well thought out or exciting. Maybe one will be indifferent, and there's a small chance that both won't be ingratefull, demanding shits and be thankful for the thought. But they won't be, will they? Anyway, it could be a lot better, but the maximum potential damage done is minimal IMO.
In second case scenario one kid is really friggin' happy - he got GREAT stuff. No complains from him, no serrie. What about the other? Well he got crap. If he doesn't mind the birthday gifts, it's okay with him, maybe he really needed that socks. But if he's anything like a real human being, he'll be dissapointed, and I mean big time. What the hell? Why is he worse? 'Cause parents rolled the dice and the fate has decided? That's bullshit.
And I've got to tell you, as a person with 8 chars that through 3 years of active playing in GW1 NEVER got any mini of value, I was the second kid, I felt screwed over. There were people that were able to afford FoW sets from their friggin' gifts alone, and all I could do was to stash them away, 'cause minis are terrible anyway. Yea, there was excitment when I was opening them, but nothing much after. Yaay for me. Thankfully I was able to put them in HoM at least and get some points. Now? I've got a shitty Jennah mini. Boo ♥♥♥♥ing whoo. At least no one will get rich just 'cause his jenna got differently coloured name.
I disagree. Other games I've played that did birthday presents never deliberately gave you something you couldn't use without first going to the cash shop, or items that did nothing but take up space. Anyone with more than one character created a year ago received multiple Mini Jenna that have no purpose; they received XP scrolls that most one year old characters have absolutely no use for and they received a temporary boost (that is currently bugged to be for 2 hours rather than the advertised 24, at least for some players) that offers less in the way of boosts than some of the in-game boosts that were already there (remember the southsun cove boost for 200% magic find that you could use whenever you wanted?) In short the gifts are terrible and, depending on your level of patience, insulting.
I have use of 20lvl scroll. I will have use of second 20lvl scroll. I don't feel insulted, I feel indifferent. How are they insulting? Someone gives you candy you don't like, you just say you don't like the candy. If he put it in your mailbox, just throw it away. You don't go under his windows and shout what a bastard he is for giving shitty gifts.
I want to make one thing clear - I too think that gifts are shitty. I just thing that playerbase could be mature enough to not throw tantrums over it 'cause it's friggin' silly. It's like a parent that has no idea what his own children likes gives him some crap, and the child starts crying and moping for two days. ANet is the crappy parent, having no clue what the hell would the average player like. Seriously, they would just give people 200 gems and 90% wouldn't cry (I'm an optimist, there would be ton of posts that he's entitled to 300 so he can buy himself a pet pack). And we, the playerbase as the collective, are the crying little entitled children, that doesn't like his gifts. Boo-hoo.
And still I think we're better off with bad gift that is equal for everyone, instead of bad gift for x% of the playerbase, and great gift gor X% of the playerbase. That's my line of thinking.
Edited by Ratzing, 25 August 2013 - 04:29 PM.