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[Column] Guild Wars 2: Is the Gem Store Ruining Guild Wars 2?

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,585MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

Over the years the MMO genre has gone through some changes, but has mostly stuck to well established norms. ArenaNet wanted to go in a separate direction with Guild Wars 2, going against what we see in MMO game design. One little feature that has become very common in MMOs, did make its way into Guild Wars 2. I'm talking about micro-transactions, which happen in the Black Lion's Gem Store. Does this mean ArenaNet kicked the need of skill to the curb, and embraced pay to win? 

Read more of David North's Guild Wars 2: Is the Gem Store Ruining Guild Wars 2?

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Comments

  • Righteous_RockRighteous_Rock Youngstown, OHPosts: 495Member Uncommon
    As someone who played and was happy to buy to play, the lackluster pve and the weight of microtransactions in my face pushed me away. It wasn't that they pushed the shop, but more so I was convinced it was buy to play only to see the cities filled with players who obviously took advantage of microtransactions, you can't tell who earned what or just payed for it.
  • azurreiazurrei Phoenix, AZPosts: 93Member Uncommon
    At launch, I thought the gem store was fine.   After a few weeks post launch it started to become readily apparent to me that the game was designed to steer you into using the gem store (makes sense for a B2P game.) The problem...and perhaps THE PROBLEM, is the gems-->gold conversion.  The game is RIDICULOUSLY SKIMPY on gold earning unless you exploit or bot - and nearly EVERYTHING desirable, even though it may be cosmetic, can/has to be purchased with gold.  Therein lies the problem with GW2 - get rid of the gems-->gold conversion, make gold easier to obtain, and make gem store stuff trade-able on the market.  Thus, you would have to use $$$ to purchase gem store stuff but it can still be bought with (more readily available by PLAYING THE GAME, not being wealthy IRL) gold.  In this instance, things like say, LEGENDARY WEAPONS, could not be purchased with $$$ (at least, without paying a gold seller...)
     
  • ZetsueiZetsuei Dana, KYPosts: 252Member

    As someone who went from WoW to GW2 I can easily say the Gem Store in its current state is easily acceptable and fine. You have Wow which is a monthly fee AND they cut content from game and let you buy for ridiculous amounts. GW2 pumps FREE content out on such a fast pace you easily get your moneys worth.

     

    Azurrel who says gold is hard to get is correct though, and that is intended. It lets gold keep value and not get to stupid amounts like WoW which is easily in the millions. The fact ANY player can get gold and buy items from the cash shop is a extra bonus. You don't NEED any items in there, they are a bonus if you decide you want it, whether that;s with real money or gold.

     
  • ZzadZzad Palma de MallorcaPosts: 1,332Member Uncommon

    The stuff they sell in the gem store is not pay to win and that´s for sure.

    You can play all you want,enjoy all content in the game & be as competitive as evereone else without expending a single coin BUT i really dislike how all the patches are somehow centered/structured the same way over achievements & gem store.

    It doesn´t bother me that much anyway...since it doesn´t have subscription fees.

  • TorvalTorval Oregon CountryPosts: 7,196Member Uncommon

    The gem store doesn't ruin anything for me. There really isn't much in the store that appeals to me. The main things I've been thinking about are expanding inventory and bank slots, stack sizes, and maybe a couple more character slots. The cosmetic stuff doesn't have a look I'm that interested in, or I should say that I like the look of the gear I get in game.

    Most everything on Black Lion is cheap. I haven't yet run into a situation where I've wanted to trade gems for gold.

    Overall, I would say this game has one of my favorite payment models. Along with this the system in Neverwinter, Rift, and Tera are also pretty nice.

  • SkuallSkuall UnknowPosts: 1,282Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Zzad

    The stuff they sell in the gem store is not pay to win and that´s for sure.

    You can play all you want,enjoy all content in the game & be as competitive as evereone else without expending a single coin BUT i really dislike how all the patches are somehow centered/structured the same way over achievements & gem store.

    It doesn´t bother me that much anyway...since it doesn´t have subscription fees.

    i agree 100% with that ,the lack of endgame and no trinity didnt help (for me ) , everything is warrior zerged nowadays ~~ , no fun playing some classes because of the perceived UP view of some classes....

  • PyatraPyatra Kansas City, KSPosts: 644Member
    No Gem store = No GW2
  • Ender4Ender4 milwaukee, WIPosts: 2,253Member

    At no point in the game did I feel the gem store was important for play so I'd say no, I disagree. They added a grind because everyone whined about having nothing to do, has nothing to do with steering people to the gem store. Just people reading nonsense into the actions of the devs as usual.

  • PhryPhry HampshirePosts: 6,289Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Pyatra
    No Gem store = No GW2

    QFT.

    I think sometimes people miss the obvious, B2P with a cash shop is just F2P with a box price, thats not to say that its wrong, but just a sign that avoiding going the P2P route is not that easy, continued revenue is a necessity for any MMO.image

  • doodphacedoodphace Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,815Member
    Originally posted by Zetsuei

    As someone who went from WoW to GW2 I can easily say the Gem Store in its current state is easily acceptable and fine. You have Wow which is a monthly fee AND they cut content from game and let you buy for ridiculous amounts. GW2 pumps FREE content out on such a fast pace you easily get your moneys worth.

     

    Azurrel who says gold is hard to get is correct though, and that is intended. It lets gold keep value and not get to stupid amounts like WoW which is easily in the millions. The fact ANY player can get gold and buy items from the cash shop is a extra bonus. You don't NEED any items in there, they are a bonus if you decide you want it, whether that;s with real money or gold.

     

    WoW cutting out game content and making you pay for it? Really? Pets and mounts that are few and  no better than the hundreds found in game, equals game content to you? Getting that desperate, are we?

    If you are that desperate to defend GW2's item shop by erroniously comparing it to WoW's, come back when WoW's item shop lets you pay for resources, perks, boosts, convient fast travel items, content area's etc like GW2's does lol.
  • SpawnbladeSpawnblade Sandy, UTPosts: 203Member

    No.  I'd say ANet's tunnel vision on SPvP is what's ruining the game, leading to balance and fun issues across the rest of the game.  (Necros, for instance, having their Death Shroud be a mechanic to be avoided, since ANet is too scared to let them heal while in it thanks to how important that extra health pool is in SPvP--even though it's more or less useless in WvW/PvE.)

     

    But any game that takes away rewards that should be earned in game (vanity options or whatever included,) and turns them into a 'How Deep Are Your Pockets?' game, is going to lack in that same drive for people to keep playing as much as other mmos that properly reward players for commitment.

     

    Also, funneling so much development effort into the cash shop is a surefire way to lower the quality of other content.  I mean, if ANet has 80% of their armor designers working on cash shop stuff (which, frankly, it seems like it does,) then you only get 1 piece/set of gear that's earnable through gameplay for every 4 pieces that Mr. Trump can come buy for 20 bucks a pop.

  • AldersAlders Jack Burton'sPosts: 1,857Member Uncommon

    The gem store is fine.  Their insistence on revolving the entire economy on legendary weapons and allowing players to actually purchase and sell them ruined it for me.  Having a global auction house controlled by a select few in the legendary market didn't help things either.

    Spending 6 months farming mine legitly while seeing players acquire 2 or 3 in the same time frame really bummed me out. Some were done honestly but i can guarantee most were not.  While i understand they gave no advantage numbers wise at the time, legendaries were the only long term goal to work towards in the game.

  • askdabossaskdaboss LondonPosts: 631Member
    Originally posted by doodphace
    Originally posted by Zetsuei

    As someone who went from WoW to GW2 I can easily say the Gem Store in its current state is easily acceptable and fine. You have Wow which is a monthly fee AND they cut content from game and let you buy for ridiculous amounts. GW2 pumps FREE content out on such a fast pace you easily get your moneys worth.

     

    Azurrel who says gold is hard to get is correct though, and that is intended. It lets gold keep value and not get to stupid amounts like WoW which is easily in the millions. The fact ANY player can get gold and buy items from the cash shop is a extra bonus. You don't NEED any items in there, they are a bonus if you decide you want it, whether that;s with real money or gold.

     

    WoW cutting out game content and making you pay for it? Really? Getting that desperate, are we?

    [...]

    Totally comparable right? Come back when WoW's item shop lets you pay for resources, perks, boosts, content area's etc lol.

    I can't see the "go to max level" by paying in GW2 Cash shop.
     
    Getting desperate, are we?
     
  • SpawnbladeSpawnblade Sandy, UTPosts: 203Member
    Originally posted by doodphace

    WoW cutting out game content and making you pay for it? Really? Getting that desperate, are we?

    Lets compare, shall we?

    Just SOME of the stuff in the GW2 gem store (i am leaving out all of the armor appearances):

    *snip*

    WoW is more of a Pay to Win than GW2, now that you can buy your way to 90.  It would take you years of spamming those gathering swiftness potions to save the same amount of time you save by buying yourself a level 90 in WoW.

    To top it off with a bitter cherry -- WoW is a freaking subscription game, yet it has the gall to charge real money for -the best- Pet in the game, the best mounts in the game, and an instant boost to level 90.

  • Ender4Ender4 milwaukee, WIPosts: 2,253Member


    Originally posted by Phry
    Originally posted by Pyatra No Gem store = No GW2
    QFT.

    I think sometimes people miss the obvious, B2P with a cash shop is just F2P with a box price, thats not to say that its wrong, but just a sign that avoiding going the P2P route is not that easy, continued revenue is a necessity for any MMO.


    Well they shot themselves in the foot by not going for an expansion. There would be no big hurry on adding stuff to the cash shop if they just released a $30 expansion every year or so like most assumed they would be doing when they announced B2P.

  • doodphacedoodphace Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,815Member
    Originally posted by askdaboss
    Originally posted by doodphace
    Originally posted by Zetsuei

    As someone who went from WoW to GW2 I can easily say the Gem Store in its current state is easily acceptable and fine. You have Wow which is a monthly fee AND they cut content from game and let you buy for ridiculous amounts. GW2 pumps FREE content out on such a fast pace you easily get your moneys worth.

     

    Azurrel who says gold is hard to get is correct though, and that is intended. It lets gold keep value and not get to stupid amounts like WoW which is easily in the millions. The fact ANY player can get gold and buy items from the cash shop is a extra bonus. You don't NEED any items in there, they are a bonus if you decide you want it, whether that;s with real money or gold.

     

    WoW cutting out game content and making you pay for it? Really? Getting that desperate, are we?

    [...]

    Totally comparable right? Come back when WoW's item shop lets you pay for resources, perks, boosts, content area's etc lol.

    I can't see the "go to max level" by paying in GW2 Cash shop.
     
    Getting desperate, are we?
     

    I don't see it atm in WoW's either...

     

  • SpawnbladeSpawnblade Sandy, UTPosts: 203Member
    Originally posted by askdaboss
    Originally posted by doodphace
    Originally posted by Zetsuei

    As someone who went from WoW to GW2 I can easily say the Gem Store in its current state is easily acceptable and fine. You have Wow which is a monthly fee AND they cut content from game and let you buy for ridiculous amounts. GW2 pumps FREE content out on such a fast pace you easily get your moneys worth.

     

    Azurrel who says gold is hard to get is correct though, and that is intended. It lets gold keep value and not get to stupid amounts like WoW which is easily in the millions. The fact ANY player can get gold and buy items from the cash shop is a extra bonus. You don't NEED any items in there, they are a bonus if you decide you want it, whether that;s with real money or gold.

     

    WoW cutting out game content and making you pay for it? Really? Getting that desperate, are we?

    [...]

    Totally comparable right? Come back when WoW's item shop lets you pay for resources, perks, boosts, content area's etc lol.

    I can't see the "go to max level" by paying in GW2 Cash shop.
     
    Getting desperate, are we?
     
     

    To be fair, GW2 does have a max level button.  It costs even less than WoW, too.  You just buy gems, sell them for gold, and buy crafting mats.  Then craft your way up to max.  It's probably most effective to level up to about 30 and then max two trade skills to get to 70, since you get the same % of level for crafting at higher levels as you do at lower levels.

     

    It probably takes about an hour of following the appropriate crafting leveling guides, with the appropriate resources purchased ahead of time, to level two skills to max (for forty levels.)

  • doodphacedoodphace Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,815Member
    Originally posted by Spawnblade
    Originally posted by doodphace

    WoW cutting out game content and making you pay for it? Really? Getting that desperate, are we?

    Lets compare, shall we?

    Just SOME of the stuff in the GW2 gem store (i am leaving out all of the armor appearances):

    *snip*

    WoW is more of a Pay to Win than GW2, now that you can buy your way to 90.  It would take you years of spamming those gathering swiftness potions to save the same amount of time you save by buying yourself a level 90 in WoW.

    To top it off with a bitter cherry -- WoW is a freaking subscription game, yet it has the gall to charge real money for -the best- Pet in the game, the best mounts in the game, and an instant boost to level 90.

    You cannot buy the best pet or mount in the game. Try harder...

    WoW is a 10 year old game, getting boosted to the latest xpac (90-100) is not "Pay to win" in an endgame based themepark.

    The post I quoted stated "after going from WoW to GW2".......the instant 90 stuff isn't even in the game yet.....unless you have a delorian...

  • KyleranKyleran Tampa, FLPosts: 19,981Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Phry
    Originally posted by Pyatra
    No Gem store = No GW2

    QFT.

    I think sometimes people miss the obvious, B2P with a cash shop is just F2P with a box price, thats not to say that its wrong, but just a sign that avoiding going the P2P route is not that easy, continued revenue is a necessity for any MMO.image

    That's the part that many players forget, (or disbelieve), MMO's need to keep making money month after month, they are not console games where you pay once and forget  about it. (and are those really like that these days with DLC?)

    Someone has to pay, just a matter of who.  In P2P models, everyone pays, at least some amount.   In F2P models there are definite freeloaders and truth is, outside of them being potential paying customers and fodder for those who do, companies really don't want them in their game if they are not really going to be customers.

    Back on topic, nothing I've observed in GW2 appears to be pay to win, (not sure there is anything to win in GW2, but that's a different discussion) though the short amount of time I did play (one character to level 15) I clearly was made aware of the cash shop.  Not saying it's a bad thing, more of a necessary evil I'd say.

     

     

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  • BeelzebobbieBeelzebobbie MalmöPosts: 429Member
    Originally posted by doodphace
    Originally posted by Zetsuei

    As someone who went from WoW to GW2 I can easily say the Gem Store in its current state is easily acceptable and fine. You have Wow which is a monthly fee AND they cut content from game and let you buy for ridiculous amounts. GW2 pumps FREE content out on such a fast pace you easily get your moneys worth.

     

    Azurrel who says gold is hard to get is correct though, and that is intended. It lets gold keep value and not get to stupid amounts like WoW which is easily in the millions. The fact ANY player can get gold and buy items from the cash shop is a extra bonus. You don't NEED any items in there, they are a bonus if you decide you want it, whether that;s with real money or gold.

     

    WoW cutting out game content and making you pay for it? Really? Pets and mounts that are few and  no better than everything found in game, equals game content to you? Getting that desperate, are we?

    If you are that desperate to defend GW2's item shop by erroniously comparing it to WoW's, come back when WoW's item shop lets you pay for resources, perks, boosts, convient fast travel items, content area's etc like GW2's does lol.

    well 60 dollars gives you a lvl 90 char.

  • doodphacedoodphace Vancouver, BCPosts: 1,815Member
    Originally posted by Beelzebobbie
    Originally posted by doodphace
    Originally posted by Zetsuei

    As someone who went from WoW to GW2 I can easily say the Gem Store in its current state is easily acceptable and fine. You have Wow which is a monthly fee AND they cut content from game and let you buy for ridiculous amounts. GW2 pumps FREE content out on such a fast pace you easily get your moneys worth.

     

    Azurrel who says gold is hard to get is correct though, and that is intended. It lets gold keep value and not get to stupid amounts like WoW which is easily in the millions. The fact ANY player can get gold and buy items from the cash shop is a extra bonus. You don't NEED any items in there, they are a bonus if you decide you want it, whether that;s with real money or gold.

     

    WoW cutting out game content and making you pay for it? Really? Pets and mounts that are few and  no better than everything found in game, equals game content to you? Getting that desperate, are we?

    If you are that desperate to defend GW2's item shop by erroniously comparing it to WoW's, come back when WoW's item shop lets you pay for resources, perks, boosts, convient fast travel items, content area's etc like GW2's does lol.

    well 60 dollars gives you a lvl 90 char.

    No it doesn't.

  • TorgrimTorgrim GothenburgPosts: 2,088Member

    I have played since beta weekend 1 and during all that time I bought gems for maby 30 dollars total and now I have "re earned" those money by just farming gold, I'm buying gems for gold now, getting gold nowdays are so easy.

     

    If it's not broken, you are not innovating.

  • PurutzilPurutzil East Stroudsburg, PAPosts: 2,924Member Uncommon

    Gemstore is pretty much F2P BUT with a box price on top. Fortunately it isn't THAT bad, but it still has issues such as gambling and the fact the gold has more value in the game and you can buy it really tends to cause some strain. 

     

    Box + Cash Shop I feel is what pushes it a bit over the edge, granted then you can look at WoW and claim the same with it charging insane prices for services and mounts.

  • eye_meye_m Notta Chance, ABPosts: 3,133Member Uncommon
    As a casual player, I can make enough gold to turn into gems to buy the fancy armor skin within a weeks play easy. I wouldn't be surprised if people told me they could do it in a day or two.  Someone could spend 10 dollars to get the same thing. I think it's a pretty fair balance. If you want to pay, then pay.

    All of my posts are either intelligent, thought provoking, funny, satirical, sarcastic or intentionally disrespectful. Take your pick.

    I get banned in the forums for games I love, so lets see if I do better in the forums for games I hate.

    I enjoy the serenity of not caring what your opinion is.

  • blazzen67blazzen67 Virginia Beach, VAPosts: 65Member
    well, the problem i see for any B2P game, or so called F2P games for that matter, is that eventually it will hit max in players buying the game...then what?? no body buying the game, means the game will eventually shut down. all MMO's need money monthly in order to stay online and to make new content...GW2 lost $80 million last quarter...the only way that game is still online is because of the company that owns the game. NCSoft..they have several games that do bring in money and thats the only way GW2 is still viable.  GW2 will see a spike in revenue when its released in the asian market, but then what will happen when those sales dry up? Its great and all to be able to just buy an MMO and never spend a dime on it ever again....but they can only sell so many box/digital copies to keep the game online, developers of B2P/F2P games depend on any in game store for monthly  revenue..period.
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