Upset Over Guild Wars 2 Cash Shop LeakBy: End_Break_Fomar posted at Mar 23, 2012 2:49 pm
In their newest blog post, Arenanet explained they are testing microtransactions in this month's closed beta. Apparently, someone did not like what they saw and leaked it. I don't either, but I guess I should add the disclaimer that this is a beta cash shop. Or should I say a beta cash shop leak. Not sure where the leak was first posted, but the photo source is from a GWO user who reposted it from another site.
Arenatnet's stance from the pre-leak blog article - "We think players should have the opportunity to spend money on items that provide visual distinction and offer more ways to express themselves. They should also be able to spend money on account services and on time-saving convenience items. But it’s never OK for players to buy a game and not be able to enjoy what they paid for without additional purchases, and it’s never OK for players who spend money to have an unfair advantage over players who spend time."
I guess I better ignore all the unfair advantages in the leak because it's beta and they're there because of a bug or some beta glitch.
Then we have a clarification of why anything in the cash shop is OK from their facebook.
The community has actually been split this time. Where we originally saw most posters on the forum support Arenanet's decision to have microtransactions, the gamers poured into various forums with news of the dollars to gem conversion announced in the recent microtransaction article (http://www.arena.net/blog/mike-obrien-on-microtransactions-in-guild-wars-2) and we saw more players disliking the system. To explain the gems system briefly, you buy the gems with real money, then you are free to trade the gems for gold with other players. Buy 2 Win in WvW anyone? Siege blueprints cost large amounts of gold, and so does the commander position. Your utility, healing (Other than the starter) and elite skill are all earned in PvE by doing skill challenges for skill points, so PvE does matter.
To be honest, this cash shop really reminds me of Nexon's cash shop. Really? A megaphone? Am I not allowed to use global chat because you took it out and put it in the cash shop? Gachapon random loot and dye? WE the people will have to pay $60 for Guild Wars 2 and we're rewarded with a free to play game's cash shop?
Lastly, in the blog post, one of Arenanet's co-founder explains there were microtransactions in Guild Wars 1, which seems like he's implying that makes having one in Guild Wars 2 acceptable. This is a half truth. For anyone who played before the fourth anniversary update, all you could buy were bank slots, character slots, and PvP unlock slots. The first two, you did not need as you were given such copious amounts of bank space and even more on purchase of other campaigns. This was also true of character slots. You always at any time had 2 slots less the number of classes you had access to. Buying a campaign gave you access to two more classes and 2 more character slots. There were 10 classes so you would only need to buy 2 more slots (Because you were required to buy the expansions to get the class). They pretty much added the cash shop when it was dead and are now saying there was one, with the intent of decieving you that everyone played a cash shop filled Guild Wars 1.
The PvP unlocks are like a mirror onto the current gems situation. Chinese RMT were unlocking all the skills and then selling them to players. Arenanet said this was a no-no, so they banned people and started selling unlocked pvp skills to people. Sound familiar? It is. With the gems situation, you can buy Gems from Arenanet, which you can trade for gold or use for the cash shop.
Buy gold from RMT? It's a bannable offense. Buy gems from Arenanet which you can trade for gold? No problem.
The excuse that game company sponsored RMT is there to beat Chinese RMT is just an excuse to add the system. RMT can be beat, you just have to... put some effort into it. Ignoring the hundreds of RMT monk bots running to the gate of Riverside province and Bergan hot springs is not the way to do it (See Guild Wars 1). Though they did flex their muscle once and banned all of them because the community complained, they didn't follow up on it and they just came back.
Are any of the millions of players who played Guild Wars 1 reading this? This means your 15k armor sets and Obsidian armor can be anyone's for the cash they have in their wallets. Really the joy of working towards the hard to get drops and armor sets is gone because Anet can just sell the good looking skins in the cash shop or someone can just buy it so everyone's walking around looking the same. Even mini-pets, a major facet in the GW1 economy were not safe. But it should be obvious, since people were willing to spend the max tradable amount of gold to get them.
Originally, players thought the gems would be illiquid and difficult to trade because only junk would be in the cash shop. Looking at this whole line up, I would think otherwise. It seems to me like the corruption of Arenanet. Originally they were the champions of the no subscription online game. But now? Gems, cash shop and even an Elite skill for buying the game. Cash shop and microtransactions are the alternative to charging a subscription. Except that then, you never pay for the game.
Arenanet picked up that fans believe that microtransactions are how companies fund development and now are using that as their excuse for having a cash shop. Not true at all, as how did games get funded in the pre-cash shop era? Publishers (And Anet has one of the biggest in the industry, NCSoft), previous sales, and estimates on future profit are how development is funded. Guild Wars 1 did not have a cash shop, Oh my God! A ghost funded them! They apparently have enough money to buy the whole Arenanet studio Ipads for Christmas. I don't know about you, but Ipads are expensive. And the fact that they have around 270 employees makes it seem sort of ridiculous that they have to act like they're in such desperate need of money. Especially when millions of players fork over $60 to play the game.
I'm not a firm believer of change during a beta, but Arenanet has changed things due to outpouring of the community before. So carry on, remembering these are from the beta cash shop, then go on and send a message to Arenanet about how there shouldn't be microtransactions in Guild Wars 2 unless the game is free.
See http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/03/27/arenanet-president-talks-microtransactions-and-the-risks-of-going-subscription-free/ for more excuses and attempts to pass Guild Wars 2 as a "Free to play game" that you pay $60 for.
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