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Member Since 23 Aug 2012
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#2101474 After playing GW2, I decided I'd prefer a sub fee over any cash shop

Posted Alleji on 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.

#2083411 Anyone finding low level areas sparsely populated?

Posted raspberry jam on 16 November 2012 - 04:32 PM

So guys

I posted this map when they first revealed that GW2 would be using a classic level system. Then I posted it again when they revealed that they would scale levels because we all know that since it's a reward driven system it makes no real difference.

Now I ask you. Take the time to look at this map. Really look at it.

Posted Image

#2038223 ANet's handling of Halloween has been nothing but disappointment

Posted RivenVII on 23 October 2012 - 08:25 PM

Reposted from the R and D thread on Black Lion Chests since it wasn't 100% on topic so I brought it here.

This thread is to discuss the way that ANet has handled this installment of Halloween, most notably what they have done with Black Lion Chests. These are my thoughts.

So I had a bit of a flame battle in /map last night in LA over Halloween skins costing ridiculous amounts. Essentially the argument that: "If you don't want it, don't grind for it." is being used rampantly.

This is fundamentally wrong. Legendaries are a legitimate grind. This is HALLOWEEN. It is supposed to be a fun community oriented event. No one, save those people who do nothing but PvE and farm 8 hours a day can reliably afford these skins.

In case you missed it, what ANet did was inflate the economy so that gems trade for more gold. This combats gold sellers with a more competitive price from Dollars --> Gold but it makes the exchange for Gold --> Gems completely absurd. The problem with this is that it blew the economy up overnight. Any player who is not spending money on the game post-purchase is negatively impacted by this event because you can no longer buy gems with gold for any semblance of a reasonable amount.

If they really wanted these skins to be difficult to obtain, in a community event, mind you, they should have made it so you had to complete a certain amount of events or get "Halloween Tokens" which are awarded based on your participation in the actual event.

The real problem with them being in Black Lion Chests is that in 330 hours on my character, I have gotten 3 keys, ever. This is including the personal story. I've gotten one from a drop maybe one time. The amount of keys that you get in this game is probably a ratio of 1 key to 100 chests. The idea that not only are keys almost impossible to get in a drop, but because they are in the trading post, gem prices exploded because they make an insanely rare item put in a chest that is insanely hard to open. It's exponential, if you didn't realize.

These skins aren't account bound like EVERYTHING else you get from a chest. So people who are lucky enough to make it out of the flawed system, turn around and make the economy explode even more charging 40g for a skin driving 99% of the population who can't afford the skins to try and buy just enough gems to open a couple chests and pray that the astronomical odds work in their favor.

If anyone is going to argue that you can "Just roll a new character and get the key from the story quest." There is a serious problem. There should not be people having to grind outside of the Halloween event to get anything involved within the Halloween event. The ANet marketing team and their e-conomists seriously dropped the ball on this.

We, as a community, cannot let them think that this is ok. If the only argument that can be brought up is that if you want it, grind for it just like a legendary, or to take advantage of story quests by re-rolling characters in order to get keys that -never- drop otherwise, this is fundamentally wrong.

This is a community every reward/item should be available within the parameters of the event just like the legacy left by GW1's holiday events has established. I am incredibly disappointed by the way this marketing ploy was designed.

*This is a marketing issue, not a content issue, to be clear. I have thoroughly enjoyed the other content in this event. I have not tried to open chests and I do not plan on it. I also have not bought gems or bought a skin with in-game gold. This is outrage based on principle and what has happened to others. I have not been cheated in any way, but ANet needs to know that this is wrong.

EDIT: I have received a lot of hateful comments on account of my opinion. I have even received private messages from individuals (who obviously made fake accounts just to cuss me out [wow]) insulting me in any number of ways. I made this post to take a public stand against something ANet has done. I played the original Guild Wars and the debacle with the chests is just horrendous compared to the legacy GW1 has left.

Let everyone remember that this is a forum for shared ideas, not insults. If you are toxic to the conversation, you will be reported. Do not think that you are so pretentious that you are allowed to insult other posters. If you feel that you need to insult others, go play Xbox Live or League. I have a lot of respect for members of this community, but if individuals continue to insult, berate, and degrade, I will begin to feel sorry that I ever stood up for this community to begin with.

EDIT #2: ANet has provided a solution to the issue.

#275 is my response to the semantics behind the word chance and SEVERAL possible solutions that ANet could use in the future or could have used now. (substitute "Wintersday" where appropriate)

#2029119 Halloween Skins from lottery / casino style grab bags

Posted Eon Lilu on 19 October 2012 - 09:28 AM

It is unregulated gambling.

Why is arena net going down this route of skins inside black lions chests? Why not make them part of rewards for event chains? Or scavenging? Or Jumping puzzle rewards? Or a zillion other ways instead of this creepy sales tactic way of ripping off your custormers?

In before anyone says “cosmetic choice newb” “nobody forcing you”

Its still cheap sales tactics and a lame way to do halloween items using casino lottery type grab bags with RNG luck dependent on whether you get what your looking for. Iv seen other MMO companies take there cash store down these roads before. It did not end well for players or for the company’s.


I posted this in GW2 forums but as usual its locked in about 10 seconds, or they move it or they delete it. Seems impossible nowadays to have any sort of discussion on GW2 official forums that doesn't agree with the almighty Anet...

#2013923 Scamming

Posted Red_Falcon on 12 October 2012 - 06:05 PM

That just says stupidity is allowed.
Police cannot prevent you from giving all your money to a street thug with the promise he will double it and come back.

#1989814 Well played Anet.

Posted Shadowrose on 03 October 2012 - 07:24 PM

Rename to Zed Lepellin

#1929143 Jewels are cheaper and better then runes and go in your armor

Posted Kerdain on 14 September 2012 - 02:15 AM

I like my parrot.

#1912431 transmutation stones are just plain awful

Posted Eliirae on 10 September 2012 - 05:06 PM

You can transmute the look of an item several times already.  Just Transmute the item you already have transmuted with a new item.  You're not locked into transmuting once per item.

And since that's out of the way, the only thing left is "my colors!  I can't show off how super leet I am!" well, there's no compare system, so it doesn't matter if your items are white or orange, because nobody is constantly comparing their armor with yours like in WoW where if you don't have all purples you're apparently subhuman.