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Reader Comments (209)

Posted: Mar 21st 2012 8:19PM Primal Zed said

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@aurickle All that means is that they'd have to make an initial investment to get started. I don't expect that to be too intimidating to the gold farmers. Again, they've been quite successful in infiltrating subscription games and switched to running on stolen accounts once they've established themselves. There's no reason to think they won't be able to do the same in GW2.

From that point, it really doesn't matter how little ArenaNet puts up the gems for, the gold farmers will be able to undercut it. (Besides, how much gold per dollar can be gotten legitimately will be based more on the in-game market value of gems than on how many dollars gems cost. I can guarantee you the gold farmers will be able to undercut that.)
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 9:00PM Yoh said

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@Primal Zed
"There's no reason to think they won't be able to do the same in GW2."

That's a beautiful argument from ignorance right there.

The problem is is that everybody else can compete directly with gold farmers as well, and bots will likely be a great deal less effective in a skill and decision making based game like this.
So it will be near impossible for a handful of gold farmers to compete with a very large number of players that can just as easily undercut the gold farmers.

This allows the players to see the prices of gem to gold ratio, not the gold farmers.
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 9:31PM Primal Zed said

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@Yoh Ok then, what makes you think gold farmers will be unable to enter into GW2 and from there start running on stolen accounts? The barrier for entry won't be any more of a problem than it is in other MMORPGs. In fact, it will be cheaper to get into than sub-based MMORPGs.

This same sort of argument you provide here for gold farmers not being able to sell - players collectively making more gold than gold farmers - works just as well (or rather, just as poorly) in GW2 as it does in any other MMORPG. If true, it would mean that what is being bought and sold among players for gold would be worth more gold than the farmers are able to provide at a price at which they can make a profit. Obviously, that is not true - gold farmers are able to get tons of gold and sell it very cheaply when the going rate of items in the player market is considered. It doesn't matter what the going dollars-to-gems-to-gold rate is, the gold farmers will be able to easily undercut it.

How did you conclude that gold farmers won't know the going rate of gems-to-gold in the game? That doesn't make any sense. Of course they will be able to find that out, just as easily as players do.
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 9:39PM Primal Zed said

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@Primal Zed Also, arguing that gold farmers won't be able to gems is pretty silly when you consider they do undercut the market rate in other MMORPGs that work similarly, such as EVE and RoM.
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 9:57PM Yoh said

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@Primal Zed
Aaaah, the strawman fallacy, old faithful.
Please don't misrepresent my position.

I'm just not running under the impression that gold farmers are this somehow supernatural entities that can hack every bodies accounts without limit or difficulty, and control the whole market like a monopoly.
At least not without the tools to do so, which they don't really have here.

If forced to compete I don't think they will be able to, and I think this system forces them. But we won't really know until release, so I don't really see the point in worrying about it.

Enough with the doom and gloom already.
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 5:39PM real65rcncom said

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The funny thing is that just about all these elitists who spurned other mmos because they had a cash shop and berated/laughed/railed against them were talking up GW2 as a savior to the industry. A F2P mmo with all the bells/whistles that you could want.. FREE!

Now flash forward to the disclosure about a full-on cash shop that will allow instant winning (no matter what Anet says) and they poo-poo all that and suddenly cash shops are OK.

If it was so sad, it would be funny. But there are just too many Mitt Romney-type gamers who change position because their game now does something undesirable and they turn the blind eye.

Posted: Mar 21st 2012 5:58PM Nenene said

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@real65rcncom
Do you think I -like- having to sit down and seriously ask myself whether or not I'm going to buy the game I've spent the last year+ hyped as hell for? Do you think I enjoy pondering how the hell I'm going to put up with the 'lol poor people suck lulz' people?

Allow me to assure you I don't enjoy it. Depending on what's in the cash shop, I conceivably will not be buying the game I've built entirely new computers to play. Does that seem like something I necessarily want to run all over the internet crowing about? "HEY GUYS, A GAME COMPANY I LIKE JUST TOTALLY CRUSHED MY HOPES AND NOW I HAVE TO WRESTLE WITH A MORAL DILEMMA, ISN'T THAT RANDOM LOL XD ECKSDEE"

Yes, I'm disappointed and yes, I'm pondering not buying this. Would you like me to lean closer to the monitor so you can taste my bitter tears?
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 6:22PM real65rcncom said

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@Nenene

Nene, I assure you I didn't have you in mind. :)

But you know what I'm talking about: plenty of people ridiculed every other previous mmo for having any FORM of a cash shop, even the hidden ones like Rift had when they sold their spider mounts.

I'm just not sure how many (not you, trust me) deluded themselves into thinking a full-fledged, modern, huge project mmo like GW2 with ALL those touted features were going to be made.. absolutely 100% F2P without any "pay to win" status attached to it.

It's fairytales for anything else to have entered anyone's mind which is why I coudn't understand why they said before "cash shop.. evil!" and now it's "oh, I don't think GW2 will be that bad with a full-service cash shop" lol
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 6:33PM Nenene said

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@real65rcncom
Am I some kind of neophyte for believing it? I feel pretty dumb right now, but in all honesty, I had faith. I really did.

I honestly believed that it would function exactly like GW1. I mean, GW1 made Anet a boatload of money, and I believed-- honestly believed-- that would be enough to make the game a success. And I still believe that it would have been, except I guess that 'fabulous wealth' just isn't enough for Anet, and they're trying for 'ridiculous wealth' instead. Filthy lucre is a powerful motivator, I guess.

Thanks for clarifying. You're still welcome to drink my copious tears of grief if you care to. If I'm about to be taken for a sucker yet again, at least allow me to serve as an excellent source of potential schadenfreude.
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 7:30PM Yoh said

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@Nenene
I think it's still too early to be calling it quits.
I honestly don't think it's nearly as bad as many are making it out to be, and I'd rather that new computer of your's isn't put to waste, or for you to have a bad experience.

I don't think Arenanet are doing anything dishonest here, or that their going to screw over their player base like Blizzard would.
Their honestly looking for an equitable solution for everybody, well everybody except gold farmers that is.

Give it some time and see how it pans out. Esp since the next round of beta weekends is going to tackle this very issue.
I promise you it will work out.
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 5:52PM Nenene said

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So the 'worst-case' scenario came true, and Anet decided to totally fark over their game by pandering to the 'I don't like playing video games, so I'm going to play video games by spending money not to play video games' crowd. Because what this game really needed was a horde of people sneering at those who don't like microtransactions as 'poors'.

This is like taking a beautiful luxury sports car and using it to haul shit.

Posted: Mar 21st 2012 6:00PM Primal Zed said

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@Nenene If people being elitist about something stupid were such a big concern for you, then the only solution is to avoid MMORPGs altogether. This isn't creating a new problem.
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 5:53PM Primal Zed said

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I'm not sure how gold sellers or botters are 'hidden perils' of GW2's microtransactions setup. These happen anyway, and I don't see how the GW2 cash shop will make them any more prominent.

I'm not sure how "pay to win debates" are a peril either, any more than "endgame debates," "pvp debates," or any other debate that's regularly had about any MMORPG out there.

Posted: Mar 21st 2012 6:11PM blackcat7k said

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ArenaNet is doing something that makes Guild Wars 2 no longer a game.

Games are about a level playing field and successful games do their best to maintain that level playing field whether it be virtual or real world.

If I was playing chess and you had gold covered pieces and I had mangled and dirty ivory pieces it wouldn't matter at all to the playing of the game.

Now, if you paid to have more turns than me, paid to bring in pieces that were taken out of play, or paid to make have more time to make your move then of course you're using money to get an advantage. That HURTS the integrity of the game.

What ArenaNet is proposing to do is no different. Cosmetic stuff doesn't matter to the game, and it sells fine. If gold sellers are doing something that is UNETHICAL AND DETRIMENTAL to gameplay the doesn't mean it's OK for the developer to do it.

They're not putting power in my hands, they're cheapening their product. Period. No amount of tap dancing and double talk can excuse that. Guild Wars 2 WILL have balance issues, it won't be perfect. By adding another potential source of balance issues in the form of gems it just makes more avenues for their gameplay to be negatively affected.

I understand the developers need to make money for their company, but THERE ARE SOME THINGS YOU JUST DON'T DO! EVER!

Posted: Mar 21st 2012 6:27PM Irem said

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@blackcat7k
That's how I feel about it. It remains to be seen how much of an effect it actually has on the game, but it's the developer adopting RMT tactics that puts me off. It's not about the health of the game, it's about the fact that RMT makes a great deal of money off people's laziness and willingness to cheat, and if a developer can justify player cheating and laziness, they stand to make quite a bit of money, too. If a developer really felt strongly about this kind of thing, they'd change the way their currency worked, instead of implementing the same old system and then allowing players to pay to get out of it.

The only thing that makes this remotely palatable is that they seem to have put some effort toward making it fair for people who don't want to spend money on microtransactions. In the end, though, even that is just a way to lure players into providing the currency needed to sell gold without creating it from thin air and wrecking the economy outright. It makes me wonder how much they think they'll make from gold trading that they're willing to take that much of a potential cut to their outright MT sales.
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 6:28PM Primal Zed said

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@blackcat7k It seems like you're talking about PvP, what saying they're all about "level playing field" and comparing to chess. A very important note: GW2's competitive PvP, everyone will have the same equipment/stats available to them automatically and immediately, creating that level playing field you desire. No amount of money or time an individual player spends in the game will change that. ArenaNet wants their competitive PvP to be about who's the better player, not who has better gear.
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 6:51PM Irem said

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@Primal Zed
It doesn't have to be about PvP. It depends on how much gold gems go for as to whether or not the advantages offered by this system are unfair. People are praising ArenaNet right now for making this stuff available to buy because hey, why shouldn't they be able to spend money to avoid boring stuff? They have real lives and no time to grind!

However, what happens if demand is very high for gems, and ArenaNet offers boosts of some kind in the cash shop just because people technically can buy them eventually through gold? If supply of gems--that is, people willing to spend RL cash for gold--isn't high enough, and prices for them soar, then it suddenly becomes a lot less equal, because people who can't or aren't willing to spend money in the cash shop for really useful buffs will be spending a lot more time to get what they want or need. People who spend money are at an advantage because they don't need to spend their game time in preparation and farming...which is exactly what the argument was for allowing people to spend money instead of time in the first place. Only it benefits ArenaNet far more to make people want to spend money.
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 7:03PM Primal Zed said

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@Irem Where else besides PvP does your "level playing field" matter? GW2 does have levels and gear acquisition outside of competitive PvP, so how can that "level playing field" exist even without a cash shop?

Why is it ok to spend time grinding to get gold but not ok to spend money to get gold? What's the distinction there that makes one acceptable and the other not?
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 7:13PM Irem said

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@Primal Zed
It's a crappy attitude for developers to take that part of their game isn't worth playing as long as you can pay the price. I'm not sure how I can make this any clearer.

All of their talk about how accessible the game is and still people are jumping on this like it's just saved them millions of hours in gold farming. If you were going to have to spend all your playtime farming for gold in GW2, they created a terrible game. There is no balance here. People who were going to grind for hours are still going to do that, and they're going to end up exactly where they were before. All this does is make money for ArenaNet at the expense of people who don't want to put in any time or effort whatsoever, and I dislike the idea of companies capitulating to people who think so little of their product just because it makes them a bit more money.
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Posted: Mar 21st 2012 6:20PM Irem said

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They need to be really careful with this whole system. I'm still willing to wait and see how it works out, but I'm kind of pissed that some of us had concerns back when they changed the wording of the cash shop stuff in the FAQ and got a lot of "*sigh*" and "nothing's changed" and "it's all cosmetic!", both from ArenaNet (looking hard at you, Martin) and other players, only to find out now that the reason almost certainly wasn't just -clarification-, unless by clarification we mean, "We'd like to clarify that the items we'll be offering in the cash shop actually aren't cosmetic only, and that the entire thing doesn't really bear as much resemblance to GW1's cash shop as people thought." So if those of us with concerns have been treated with dismissive exasperation and we find out later that said concerns were warranted and there are gameplay boosts in the cash shop, I'm going to be very upset. Possibly not-buy-the-game upset, and I never saw myself saying that previously.

I'm not exactly comforted by it not being -technically- pay to win, or by the continued insistence that anything they could possibly put in the cash shop would be fair because you can buy it with gold anyway. Anything that devalues gameplay in favor of putting real money down does not sit well with me, and I'm appalled by the attitude it encourages in other players. This debate has really brought out the worst in some people, and having been told over the past few days that my only reasons for not liking this must be that I'm jealous of others' real life wealth or an elitist that can't stand to see anyone else succeed is exactly why I can't stand the idea of bringing real life money into a game world where we play with other people.

My one big concern is that there are going to be things like +karma and influence boosts, and that'll be justified by the fact that they're buyable with ingame gold. If they're worth spending real money on, they'll have to be powerful, and if they're powerful, they're going to end up feeling a lot more mandatory than they would otherwise have if they WEREN'T earnable through gameplay. If they're ignorable, fine, but I'm wary of the fact that it could be very easy to start balancing around the cash shop just because of the assumption that anyone who wants the items can get them.

Tread carefully, ArenaNet. You're in territory I honestly never thought I'd see you cross into.

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