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On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions

The ArenaNet Blog has a post by Mike OíBrien discussing microtransactions in Guild Wars 2, their upcoming MMORPG. He explains: "We have a new player-driven market that allows players to trade gold for gems and gems for gold. If you want something, whether itís an in-game item or a microtransaction, you ultimately have two ways to get it: you can play to earn gold or you can use money to buy gems. We think thatís important, because it lets more players participate on a level playing field, whether they use their free time or their disposable income to do it." In spite of how the original Guild Wars also used microtransactions, this is not going down well, as demonstrated by the 100+ pages of comments on the Guild Wars 2 Guru Forums on the topic. Thanks Titus_Nefarius.

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65. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 23, 2012, 13:19 Agent.X7
 
Haha! Megaphone broadcast: Broadcasts one message to everyone in the game world.

In actuality, it broadcasts 2 messages. The first is whatever you type in, and the second is "Hey everyone, I'm a big douche for spending money to make you all read my dumbass message!"
 
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64. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 22, 2012, 12:02 Endo
 
Mikus_Aurelius wrote on Mar 22, 2012, 07:58:
Looks like we have our answer about what's for sale, so far.

http://www.guildwars2guru.com/forum/cash-shop-items-leak-t32319.html?t=32319
Yep. Pretty much exactly what I would have expected. The bag and bank slots are going to be their early money-maker. Those are going to be the items you'll find you really need, and they'll cost a ton of in-game gold to buy otherwise.

Also, I expect all the items in the cash shop won't be readily available any other way, so the only way to get those extra bag and bank slots unlocked is going to be to buy gems one way or the other. And THAT is why there will be a virtually unlimited supply of gold available for your gems.

Since 400 gems supposedly costs $5 according to a poster on the thread linked, and going by what I've seen in other games, in GW money terms it should be around 100plat for 400 gems once the market flattens out. So as the leaked images show a bag slot selling for 400 gems, I'd expect to pay the equivalent of about 100plat for a bag slot. Sounds reasonable to me. Of course we won't really know until the game has been out for at least 6 months. Before then I'd expect to get less gold for the gems, with it gradually going up.

This comment was edited on Mar 22, 2012, 12:11.
 
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63. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 22, 2012, 08:54 Verno
 
Wow much ado about nothing going by that list. I remember some of that stuff from the first game too. So much for the big Diablo comparison.  
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62. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 22, 2012, 07:58 Mikus_Aurelius
 
Looks like we have our answer about what's for sale, so far.

http://www.guildwars2guru.com/forum/cash-shop-items-leak-t32319.html?t=32319
 
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61. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 23:54 xXBatmanXx
 
Well, that will destroy the ingame economy....that sucks.  
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60. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 22:51 Undocumented Alien
 
Which I could care less about, and would lead to even more hypocrisy from those that have a problem with D3 being online required vs GW2 being online required.

Wow, you simply just don't get it. No one has an issue with GW 1/2 being online because it ALWAYS required that, it has NO HISTORY OF HAVING AN OFFLINE MODE.

Again... Diablo 1 & 2 had a dedicated offline mode, it's part of the franchise, the HISTORY OF IT, it SHOULD be part of D3.

There is a CLEAR and DISTINCTIVE difference between GW and Diablo.

But, this all coming from a person who thinks that Diablo offline characters ruined B.NET Diablo play, so expectations are set pretty low.

On the topic of this thread, I'll also take a wait and see with GW2, sounds like the MT will be more intrusive then they were with GW1.

GW1 was very smooth with leveling and loot, it seemed that most items were easy to get with just typical play and no grinding. I'm not getting the warm and fuzzies that GW2 will follow suit. But again, we'll have to see.
 
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59. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 20:59 Agent.X7
 
Guild Wars 2
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
 
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58. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 20:31 Endo
 
Calwen wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 19:51:
True, the blog post does state that there will be some convenience items. Fair enough, but we really don't know what that purposefully vague statement implies, which leaves it open to interpretation. In my interpretation, I wasn't thinking of XP scrolls or somesuch; I was thinking of something along the lines of a Golem Banker (see the Digital Deluxe/Collector's editions of the game). Handy, but hardly necessary or game-changing. My point is that I still don't see any "Pay to Win" here, even with the vague statements. Hell, I'm not convinced that XP Scrolls would count as pay to win in a game that linearizes the leveling treadmill and debuffs high level players for low level content. Only in WvW can I see those sorts of convenience items being considered remotely unfair, where higher level players do have a moderate statistical advantage.

Now I'm not even sure what we're arguing about. Of course paying for extra goodies will net some sort of minor advantage on some level. I was merely picking apart the gear-advantage argument across two different games. Other advantages are just fluff, in my opinion.

Who knows about the PLEX thing. Eve players can literally buy game time with game money, so I can see that being a pretty big driving force for PLEX demand. The purchasable items in GW2 may not be quite that desirable -- and they don't seem to be if the blog posts are to be believed -- but we'll see in the next month or so.
Well first off, I wasn't trying to argue. I apologize for coming across that way. I was merely trying to participate in some discourse.

My main point is that there has to be some purpose for putting in the RMT currency at all. So there has to be *some* incentive to get players to spend money on them. And I'd say it's a fair assumption that they're looking to get more money from the cash shop in GW2 than in GW1, thus there has to be more incentive (again, otherwise why go to the trouble of putting in the gem system?) than there was in GW1, which means the rewards are greater. Ultimately what it comes down to is you just can't run a full-scale MMO very long on $60 per player, so there's obviously going to be some other form of revenue, and this is it. And the majority of the cash shop items found in GW aren't the kind of thing that you find yourself wanting to buy early on. You don't need more character slots, you don't need customizations or name changes, etc. So what exactly are they going to have in their cash shop? Obviously we don't know exactly yet, but I'd stake good money it's going to include some things that some players won't be too happy about. But them's the breaks in the MMO business.
 
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57. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 20:30 Dades
 
Krovven wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 12:46:
F2P != no subscription. It's not F2P, it costs $60 as the price to play.

Clearly it's become P2W, but I'm sure people will defend it, because "it's not Diablo 3".

What a surprise, its the unpaid Blizzard marketing flunkie here to rant.
 
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56. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 19:51 Calwen
 
Endo wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 17:04:

There will be a lot more available from the GW2 cash shop than just cosmetic items. They've already said as much. Here's a quote from the blog post:

"[Players] should also be able to spend money on account services and on time-saving convenience items."

The "time saving convenience items" is a big giveaway here, and the fact that they're actually telling us that much is a big indicator that it's going to be more than that too.

But then there's also this: "..itís never OK for players who spend money to have an unfair advantage over players who spend time."

What's interesting is how vague that statement is. He didn't say it's not ok for players who spend money to have any advantage over players who spend time. He also didn't say that it's not ok for players who spend money to have all the same advantages as players who spend time. And he said nothing about how much time he's talking about here. For example, he didn't say that it's not ok for players who spend $10 a month to have some advantages (as long as they're not "unfair" advantages) over players who spend 200 hours a month grinding for the same stuff.

Unless the gems are useless (in which case, why put them in at all?), then yes there will almost certainly be an effectively unlimited supply of in-game gold available for purchase with gems. Take Eve, for example, where they have the PLEX system. You can buy PLEX with real money, and sell them for in-game credits. There are ALWAYS people who have fairly competitive buy orders active for PLEX. Sure, you can possibly get a bit more for your money if you're patient, but you can ALWAYS get a nice amount. A grand in US dollars will let you buy PLEX which you can immediately sell at any hour day or night for in-game credits, (I never checked specifically, but I'd be willing to bet the market would support selling even 10 or 100 times that much PLEX at any given moment) and then buy pretty much whatever you like. The same was true in every other MMO I've played that had similar systems. Expecting it to play out differently in GW2 is absurd.

But let me reiterate what I've said before, just so there's no misunderstanding: I don't think any of this is bad. I think it's just a different way to collect the revenue they need to keep the game running and keep ongoing development funded. And I like it, because it gives each individual player the choice of exactly how much time and/or money he wants to invest.

True, the blog post does state that there will be some convenience items. Fair enough, but we really don't know what that purposefully vague statement implies, which leaves it open to interpretation. In my interpretation, I wasn't thinking of XP scrolls or somesuch; I was thinking of something along the lines of a Golem Banker (see the Digital Deluxe/Collector's editions of the game). Handy, but hardly necessary or game-changing. My point is that I still don't see any "Pay to Win" here, even with the vague statements. Hell, I'm not convinced that XP Scrolls would count as pay to win in a game that linearizes the leveling treadmill and debuffs high level players for low level content. Only in WvW can I see those sorts of convenience items being considered remotely unfair, where higher level players do have a moderate statistical advantage.

Now I'm not even sure what we're arguing about. Of course paying for extra goodies will net some sort of minor advantage on some level. I was merely picking apart the gear-advantage argument across two different games. Other advantages are just fluff, in my opinion.

Who knows about the PLEX thing. Eve players can literally buy game time with game money, so I can see that being a pretty big driving force for PLEX demand. The purchasable items in GW2 may not be quite that desirable -- and they don't seem to be if the blog posts are to be believed -- but we'll see in the next month or so.
 
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55. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 17:53 Endo
 
Creston wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 17:30:
If it's solely for the PvE, I don't care. If someone buys all his shit, it doesn't bother me; he's on my side, and he's wiping out monsters quicker. This is why I don't care that there are people running around in ME3 with a Black Widow X: They bought like $300 worth of EAware points and spent it on packs.

If this was allowed in PvP, however, that'd be a serious problem. Well, not for me, since I won't play PvP, but it's easy to see how people would get pissed about that.

Creston
Well, as others have pointed out, there will be things in PvP that you can buy with in-game gold... which you will be able to quickly get a lot of by buying the gems and selling them in-game. I doubt there will be PvP aids or buffs available directly from the cash shop though. I also expect them to keep the gold costs low enough that none of this should really matter all that much for PvP. If the ANet developers are smart (and I think they are) then this is exactly what Mike O'Brien meant when he said it's never ok for players who spend money to have unfair advantages over those who spend time. I expect the non-fluff items in the cash shop to be mostly the same stuff you find in other cash shops: experience buffs, health potions, etc. Most cash shops also have mounts, but since GW2 won't have mounts I'm not sure what the equivalent would be.
 
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54. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 17:30 Creston
 
If it's solely for the PvE, I don't care. If someone buys all his shit, it doesn't bother me; he's on my side, and he's wiping out monsters quicker. This is why I don't care that there are people running around in ME3 with a Black Widow X: They bought like $300 worth of EAware points and spent it on packs.

If this was allowed in PvP, however, that'd be a serious problem. Well, not for me, since I won't play PvP, but it's easy to see how people would get pissed about that.

Creston
 
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53. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 17:06 Endo
 
Alamar wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 16:53:
Endo wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 16:41:
But for the love of sanity, please STFU and quit whining for evidence and proof where it's not needed. Also, any further responses from you will be ignored.

Interestingly, when I want an 'argument' to end, I'll just stop responding to it... Ya know, instead of demanding the other party do that and plugging your ears... : )

Feel free to respond or not, I may read it : )

-Alamar
Of course, when you plug your ears they can see you're ignoring them. I was just doing the online version. Expressions on the internet just don't translate so well, unless you make them really excessive and obvious.

This comment was edited on Mar 21, 2012, 17:13.
 
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52. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 17:04 Endo
 
Calwen wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 16:08:

P2W? What exactly are people "winning" in Guild Wars 2 by purchasing cosmetic items? A beauty contest?

As far as we know, gear is statistically equivalent at any given level, with certain stats favoring certain builds. But on average they should be comparable. So in neither PvE nor PvP should purchasing gear offer any sort of statistical advantage in combat.

Please correct me if I'm wrong (as I'm not in the D3 beta), but doesn't gear in Diablo 3 increase the relative power of your character at a given level? That's where I'm guessing some of the vitriol for the D3 auction house comes from. You can buy your way into a combat advantage, which could become problematic for PvP -- for whenever they decide to release that patch. It could then become a Keeping up with the Jonses type phenomenon, not unlike the inane gear grind of WoW and its imitators.

I think the most interesting part about the gems will be how it affects the economy. Some crazies on the forums seem to think that buying gems will yield gem-buyers an unlimited supply of in-game gold -- as if saturating the market with gems will somehow saturate the market with demand as well. To have extra gems implies that 1) the buyer has no self control but does have daddy's credit card, or 2) they purchase gems with the intent to trade them for in-game gold. Seems like the latter could backfire very easily, should enough gem-buyers partake in that plan.

All in all, I think it's a clever system in which everyone can participate on their on terms. Except RMT botters, of course.

There will be a lot more available from the GW2 cash shop than just cosmetic items. They've already said as much. Here's a quote from the blog post:

"[Players] should also be able to spend money on account services and on time-saving convenience items."

The "time saving convenience items" is a big giveaway here, and the fact that they're actually telling us that much is a big indicator that it's going to be more than that too.

But then there's also this: "..itís never OK for players who spend money to have an unfair advantage over players who spend time."

What's interesting is how vague that statement is. He didn't say it's not ok for players who spend money to have any advantage over players who spend time. He also didn't say that it's not ok for players who spend money to have all the same advantages as players who spend time. And he said nothing about how much time he's talking about here. For example, he didn't say that it's not ok for players who spend $10 a month to have some advantages (as long as they're not "unfair" advantages) over players who spend 200 hours a month grinding for the same stuff.

I think the most interesting part about the gems will be how it affects the economy. Some crazies on the forums seem to think that buying gems will yield gem-buyers an unlimited supply of in-game gold -- as if saturating the market with gems will somehow saturate the market with demand as well. To have extra gems implies that 1) the buyer has no self control but does have daddy's credit card, or 2) they purchase gems with the intent to trade them for in-game gold. Seems like the latter could backfire very easily, should enough gem-buyers partake in that plan.
Unless the gems are useless (in which case, why put them in at all?), then yes there will almost certainly be an effectively unlimited supply of in-game gold available for purchase with gems. Take Eve, for example, where they have the PLEX system. You can buy PLEX with real money, and sell them for in-game credits. There are ALWAYS people who have fairly competitive buy orders active for PLEX. Sure, you can possibly get a bit more for your money if you're patient, but you can ALWAYS get a nice amount. A grand in US dollars will let you buy PLEX which you can immediately sell at any hour day or night for in-game credits, (I never checked specifically, but I'd be willing to bet the market would support selling even 10 or 100 times that much PLEX at any given moment) and then buy pretty much whatever you like. The same was true in every other MMO I've played that had similar systems. Expecting it to play out differently in GW2 is absurd.

But let me reiterate what I've said before, just so there's no misunderstanding: I don't think any of this is bad. I think it's just a different way to collect the revenue they need to keep the game running and keep ongoing development funded. And I like it, because it gives each individual player the choice of exactly how much time and/or money he wants to invest.
 
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51. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 17:00 Prez
 
Guild Wars had a cash shop, just not at first. And it was kind of limited in what you could purchase initially. It's arrival pretty much signaled the beginning of the end for my involvement - I quit not too long after. I'll occasionally revisit it for some coop missions with a friend, but only a couple of hours here and there.

The inclusion of a cash shop in GW2, even though it's a completely different animal from Diablo 3, means I'm going to stay away from it just like I am from D3. As to the question of how they are supposed to make money - that's not my problem. Guild Wars did fine for a good while without one.
 
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50. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 16:53 Alamar
 
Endo wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 16:41:
But for the love of sanity, please STFU and quit whining for evidence and proof where it's not needed. Also, any further responses from you will be ignored.

Interestingly, when I want an 'argument' to end, I'll just stop responding to it... Ya know, instead of demanding the other party do that and plugging your ears... : )

Feel free to respond or not, I may read it : )

-Alamar
 
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49. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 16:53 Teddy
 
Endo wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 16:41:
Teddy wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 16:03:
And again, no evidence produced by you. Your best claim was "they said there will be more MT's in GW2". More what? Of what type? Can you provide ANY examples whatsoever? No? Didn't think so. Can you provide ANY details on costs associated with the game and how much has to be made up by MT's? No? Didn't think so.

Apparently you STILL don't understand what conjecture is. You've tried to claim something true while providing absolutely zero evidence to back your claim up. THAT is conjecture.

As I said before, the only thing we can do is wait and see. Your claims to know otherwise are nothing but BS at this point and anyone with half a brain can see that.
You really don't get it do you? I was trying to be civil, but I guess you don't like that, so I'll stop. I'm not going to go out of my way to dig up the specific "evidence" and "proof" you want because frankly it's irrelevant and your disbelief on this doesn't mean jack fucking shit to me. I couldn't give half a rat's ass if you believe me or not. Whether you believe me or not doesn't change what they're going to have to do. Any idiot with two brain cells can figure it out.

So like I said: don't believe me. I really don't care. You'll see when they release the game. But for the love of sanity, please STFU and quit whining for evidence and proof where it's not needed. Also, any further responses from you will be ignored.

Yep, who needs to prove statements these days anyways. Just make up some bullshit, type it out and claim you don't give a fuck when someone calls you out on it. You sure showed me.

You're not going out of your way, because you don't HAVE any sources to back up your claims, and it's just a convenient way to brush aside the fact that you're full of it.
 
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48. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 16:41 Endo
 
Teddy wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 16:03:
And again, no evidence produced by you. Your best claim was "they said there will be more MT's in GW2". More what? Of what type? Can you provide ANY examples whatsoever? No? Didn't think so. Can you provide ANY details on costs associated with the game and how much has to be made up by MT's? No? Didn't think so.

Apparently you STILL don't understand what conjecture is. You've tried to claim something true while providing absolutely zero evidence to back your claim up. THAT is conjecture.

As I said before, the only thing we can do is wait and see. Your claims to know otherwise are nothing but BS at this point and anyone with half a brain can see that.
You really don't get it do you? I was trying to be civil, but I guess you don't like that, so I'll stop. I'm not going to go out of my way to dig up the specific "evidence" and "proof" you want because frankly it's irrelevant and your disbelief on this doesn't mean jack fucking shit to me. I couldn't give half a rat's ass if you believe me or not. Whether you believe me or not doesn't change what they're going to have to do. Any idiot with two brain cells can figure it out.

So like I said: don't believe me. I really don't care. You'll see when they release the game. But for the love of sanity, please STFU and quit whining for evidence and proof where it's not needed. Also, any further responses from you will be ignored.
 
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47. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 16:15 Cutter
 
I'm taking a wait and see approach on this. Overall I think some people are really making a mountain out of this molehill unecessarily.
 
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46. Re: On Guild Wars 2 Microtransactions Mar 21, 2012, 16:08 Calwen
 
Krovven wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 12:46:
InBlack wrote on Mar 21, 2012, 10:42:
Well its a F2P MMO what the hell did people expect?? No Grind at all?? Or maybe no Pay2Win??? Dream on...

F2P != no subscription. It's not F2P, it costs $60 as the price to play.

Clearly it's become P2W, but I'm sure people will defend it, because "it's not Diablo 3".



P2W? What exactly are people "winning" in Guild Wars 2 by purchasing cosmetic items? A beauty contest?

As far as we know, gear is statistically equivalent at any given level, with certain stats favoring certain builds. But on average they should be comparable. So in neither PvE nor PvP should purchasing gear offer any sort of statistical advantage in combat.

Please correct me if I'm wrong (as I'm not in the D3 beta), but doesn't gear in Diablo 3 increase the relative power of your character at a given level? That's where I'm guessing some of the vitriol for the D3 auction house comes from. You can buy your way into a combat advantage, which could become problematic for PvP -- for whenever they decide to release that patch. It could then become a Keeping up with the Jonses type phenomenon, not unlike the inane gear grind of WoW and its imitators.

I think the most interesting part about the gems will be how it affects the economy. Some crazies on the forums seem to think that buying gems will yield gem-buyers an unlimited supply of in-game gold -- as if saturating the market with gems will somehow saturate the market with demand as well. To have extra gems implies that 1) the buyer has no self control but does have daddy's credit card, or 2) they purchase gems with the intent to trade them for in-game gold. Seems like the latter could backfire very easily, should enough gem-buyers partake in that plan.

All in all, I think it's a clever system in which everyone can participate on their on terms. Except RMT botters, of course.
 
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