What I Want In The Cash Shop

October 31, 2010 at 12:20 am | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 16 Comments
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Indisputably Guild Wars 2 will have a cash shop. Unlike some I’m not diametrically opposed to the idea of occasionally paying a small fee for something that doesn’t effect gameplay.

I’ve spent money in a free-to-play game, Runes of Magic, and eventually stopped playing it because of how it designed it’s content to force people to use the cash shop. It had a lot of things going for it, a great amount of customization, truly convenient cash shop items, a crazy variety of things you could buy that were non-essential. It was the essential stuff that turned me off.

What would I want to see in Guild Wars 2?

I'm on a beetle

Mounts

I think mounts are about more than just getting around. They’re like a pet, a loyal companion that serves a practical purpose. Sure in Guild Wars 2 we don’t need mounts at all. I say even more reason to add them. There’s already an extensive traveling system in place, so mounts would be completely cosmetic. The only problem I presume would be if mounts were used to avoid combat, but I’m sure there’s various ways around this. No speed bonus, or taking damage could dismount you.

In RoM mounts cost varying amounts, on sale you could get one for a couple bucks, and some premium mounts cost $60 dollars. I would hope mounts in Guild Wars 2 were more reasonably priced. I don’t consider $25 for the WoW or EQ2 mounts reasonably priced.

Pets

The Hall of Monuments Calculator revealed that numerous pets will be rewarded to rangers who have 30 points. As much as I’m not a fan of rewarding one profession more than others, I think pets could make a good cash shop item. Whether it be different skins for existing in game pets, or completely new pets with new skills doesn’t really matter to me.

Of course, I would hope it would be balanced, but otherwise I’m fine with it.

Costumes

It’s sort of a given that costumes will be in Guild Wars 2. My only hope is that there would be a lot more choice. So far in Guild Wars only 6 different costumes have been released. In Guild Wars 2 a more numerous selection that serves different tastes would be more tempting. Not to mention fairer prices. Due to the lack of other viable items for sale/rarity of the costumes in Guild Wars I’ve tolerated the prices for the costumes, but I’ve always felt they were far too high.

Furniture

Our home instances take up as much space as an entire neighbourhood in the case of humans. It would be nice to have various ways to personalize these areas both through in game quests and merchants but also with cash shop items. Storage chests, fancy chairs, wardrobes, plants, stray animals, monuments, even entire buildings.

RoM provided a slew of different ways to personalize the house they gave you at level 10. There was in game furniture purchasable with gold, but the cash shop items provided certain bonuses to xp or talent points. They also provided crafting tools normally available in towns, amongst the items I suggested above.

Experience Potions

I know this is opposed by, well, just about everyone but me. I’m not against it though. I don’t mind if someone else is leveling faster than me and paying for the privilege. I’m not racing them. I’m not worried about what they’re doing, I’m worried about me leveling.

Eric Flannum stated specifically they weren’t going to talk about the flat leveling scale and then turn around and sell XP potions. I can’t see why not. It’s not unbalanced or unfair. If someone can spend their every waking moment playing the game because they’re unemployed and level quickly, why is that considered more fair than the guy who’s working 10 hour shifts and can’t spend the time to level as quickly?

With a flat leveling and power “curve” I would even go so far as to say xp potions would be even more meaningless than in most games. I’m sure some would disagree.

Emotes

Not all emotes of course, but special emotes. Emotes specifically designed to show off and brag “hey I paid extra to glow while I do this emote!” People already do this for collectors editions after all.

I still keep one on my warrior

Weapon Skins

Yeah I don’t have a problem with that. As long as there are volumes of skins for weapons and armour I can get in game, I’ll never mind seeing the occasional microtransaction for weapon and armour skins. Especially if they touch on nostalgia perhaps? There is a lot of art from Guild Wars that could be put to good use.

Mini-pets

Don’t get me wrong I love getting mini-pets for free on my birthday. There’s no reason Guild Wars 2 can’t do that and design mini-pets for the cash shop. In fact I think it’s one of the more likely things they’ll have. After all it’ll be a year before our characters first birthdays, if they even end up giving mini-pets as birthday gifts at all.

Charity

A cash shop item with proceeds going to a prominent charity. Pink Day certainly showed there’s a lot of support for important causes amongst Guild Wars players. There’s no reason Arenanet can’t outdo player organized events and offer something for sale like the title “Pink is to dye for” or maybe some kind of item designed by the guys at Penny Arcade to benefit Child’s Play.

Other Stuff

Name changes, plastic surgery, change the colours of my pet or mount, or yeah maybe a dungeon. That’s right. I said it. I would prefer content to be free, but a dungeon in the cash shop isn’t going to ruin my life.

Conclusion

I want Guild Wars 2 to be successful. Success generally means loads of money going into Arenanet’s hands and I think some of the above being implemented could really help do that. They need to make a profit if we’re going to see Guild Wars 3 right? As long as nothing I need, truly need, to effectively play the game isn’t a part of a transaction, I’m reasonably open to just about anything they could throw in there.

So what do you guys want in the cash shop?

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16 Comments

  1. […] [Hunters Insight] What I Want In The Cash Shop […]

  2. One common thing I’ve seen a lot today in GW about this year’s Halloween masks is so many people saying how ArenaNet put all their effort in the cash shop costumes instead of the event items. I’ve also seen plenty of people mentioning GW is being renamed to Greed Wars. While I wouldn’t really say they are that bad, they certainly don’t do anything for me. In comparison to the costumes it does indeed look like they took a few minutes to crank these out and all effort went to the cash shop stuff. Welcome to the future of the GW franchise?

    I do know when a game starts putting lots of effort into cash shop items, regular content suffers big time. I’ve seen the exact same thing happen in game after game. RoM, ESO, FR, AO, etc., all the effort goes into cash shop items while the games, which often were quite good at the start, become riddled with bugs because they make more money cranking out stuff for the cash shop. They don’t care about losing players, in fact they factor their huge churn rate into that.

    Do we really want Guild Wars to follow that path? Why do they have to transfer so much of the content that should be included in the game to the cash shop, when they clearly make vast sums of money selling the boxes and expansions, character slots, costumes, books, mouse pads, T-Shirts, etc? GW1 made lots of money! Box sales of GW2 will dwarf GW1 easily. They don’t need a huge cash shop. Sell real stuff like books and music CDs, that is fine. And plush toys, seriously, those would be a huge seller!

    Don’t become Greed Wars!

    • Arenanet puts all the effort into things they can use to support continuing the game? I’m fine with that. People need to keep in mind this is reality and they do need to make money. I’ll also note they put a lot of effort into the War in Kryta and that was free. People tend to forget stuff like that when they’re trying to paint guild wars as greedy.

      RoM put a lot of effort into cash shop items from the beginning and a lack of content was never it’s problem. Long before they even left beta. That’s how it was designed. Free Realms went downhill because all their developers were siphoned off to a certain other game, and AO went downhill pretty much from launch day. Bad examples if you ask me.

      I think people also forget that new content is often generated solely because of microtransactions. Otherwise some of this content wouldn’t exist at all. If a guy can come up with a concept for a cash shop item, generate a business plan, project how much money can be made from it, hell they might even hire a completely new designer to make it. content we didn’t have before, and yeah, surprise, you’ll have to pay for it.

      I’m sorry, but the term Greed Wars is for lack of a more polite term, stupid. If anyone is greedy its players who expect everything for nothing, a ton of content without having to pay for it.

      We’ll have to disagree I guess.

      • SOE clearly made a change of business plan shortly after going live. I knew at the time something was up when suddenly all talk of new content ended and they started rotating top dev jobs. Right after that they started going heavy into more and more cash shop items. I’m not sure where the devs went, as clearly Clone Wars didn’t take much dev time, and I doubt they went to DCUO? Maybe just spread them around to other games or they went back to work on EQ3.

        As to RoM, they actually are fairly good at still releasing some new content (and even interface tweaks they copy from players, which is a good thing). But since beta it seems they ignore more and more bugs, while introducing more and more new ones, yet the devs can still crank out more and more cash shop stuff, rather than fix game breaking bugs.

        I think we disagree as to the degree of cash shops. I have no problems with a company making a decent amount of money (I bought stuff in RoM and lots of stuff in FR). But when they are just milking players it crosses the line. No, I don’t think ArenaNet will do that, but I certainly see them trying to edge in that direction much more than they did with GW1, then they backtrack when those of us willing to rant and rave kick up a fuss. Adding more and more to the cash shop will hurt GW2 in the long run.

        • RoM has always been bad about fixing bugs, period.

          I don’t think i suggested anything that would be milking anyone.

          and again I just plain disagree, making stuff that sells in the cash shop will only fund other content.

  3. Just wanted to mention, after having just read through a few general MMORGP forums, it is amazing to see all the current interest in GW1 being generated by GW2. Lots of new players. Considering how few players actually even pay attention to these things, I’m pretty sure ArenaNet will do whatever they want in regards to future cash shop items, barring some huge outcry by the vocal current players to at least keep them from going completely to the dark side of The Force. 🙂

    Also noted most players, both in game and on forums, don’t seem to read either the GW website or any wiki on the darn game! I swear, there is a constant stream of “when is the mad king going to be here” chat, even minutes after he just left. He shows up at set times every 3 hours! Read the wiki, read the official website! Grrrrr! 🙂

    • I’m really against the whole thought that a cash shop automatically equals a bad thing.

      • I’ve never said it automatically does. I just want GW2 to stick to the stuff GW1 has in the cash shop.

        Your list seems, to me, to add massively to what is in the cash shop.

        • Its a list of optional stuff, i don’t have any control over whats in there. Also I think you’ll note nothing there would compromise the game or constitute much in the way of content. Everything I’ve listed there is pretty small really.

  4. Yea. I don’t get the greed thing either. The fact people want cool stuff over and over for ZERO cost is ludicrous.
    I enjoy the costumes being a “pay for” option in GW, while little goodies like this years Halloween stuff (Spectacles are cool looking…AND I got it free for just standing around…lol) is perfect. Anet makes some money from those who have it to spend…and for those who don’t, just take what you get, freeloaders.
    Guild Wars entry fee is minimal. The gameplay is enormous for the costs, but they can’t keep going like this for free.
    I like your suggestions, and I would actually purchase each of them.
    Guild Wars 2 will save me from the boredom of the vanilla MMO. I can’t wait.

    • Anet has given the players so much for free, its so frustrating to see them painted as greedy because they want to sell something. ridiculous. its a business.

    • How does wanting value for money spent make me a freeloader? I’ve spent somewhere around $250 to $275 on GW1 (plus another $10 soon to put the new costumes on a secondary account). I know a lot of players on very tight budgets, due to lost jobs and such. Are they freeloaders too, because they don’t have tons of extra money to spend?

      I work in the industry (lead designer in fact, although not in competition with GW or Aion type games) and I can tell you for a fact that those of you calling for more and more stuff in the cash shop are driving up the overall costs players are paying and will pay in the future, and not just in GW2. The CMs report back to the bean counters that a lot of the players are willing to pay two or three times as much for the content as they do now. They’ll push it as far as the players let them, and those of you wanting to pay extra will run up the price for everyone. The project I’m currently working on will now cost players at least twice what it would have before, because those in charge see how much people are willing to spend extra on cash shops (we didn’t even originally have a cash shop).

      I’m glad you like the game so much (I do too), but why in the name of all the GW gods do you want more content shifted to the cash shop? NCSoft and NCWest are in charge of all of this and not only does that push up the price for GW2, but also in their other games. If they get away with charging for something in GW2, then they’ll do the same or worse in Aion. They are effectively already charging for mini-pets and weapon skins in Aion, expect the same in GW2, BTW, things that would have been included in the game price before this.

      I don’t want to argue with you and Hunter. But you’re both basically telling them to charge you more for the same content. I know you think it means more content, and perhaps to some extent it might with ArenaNet, but we’d all be better off holding the line and getting a better value for things. If you want to give them extra money, how about you just buy GW books, T-shirts and such, don’t help drive up the costs for everyone else.

      Curse you WoW and your Sparkle Pony (and those of you that bought it)!!! 🙂

      *Legal note: I have no connection to any company or product mentioned above or direct knowledge of their operations. The above is pure conjecture. Don’t sue me!

      • Look, you’ve spent money on gw, that doesn’t mean your entitled to NEW free content forever.

        And there is a drive for cash shop items on both sides of the fence. It’s a better business model for arenanet with a more steady flow of income.

        And don’t even try to tell me that my “demand” for cash shop items or the player base “demand” for cash shop items is driving up prices. Nobody is begging to spend more money on things.

        If anybody is driving up prices, WoW did that with a $25 horse, and people bought it in droves.

        Me I’m voting with my wallet by not buying the $7 to $10 costumes from gw.

        Please don’t tell me I’m driving up the cost of whatever they’re going to have in the cash shop. I offered up a few suggestions on mostly cosmetic items that could help fund one of my favourite games. big deal. All my suggestions are cosmetic, optional, or have some in game equivalence.

        They’re already going to have a cash shop and they’re already going to have plenty in it. If you look at what i’ve actually suggested there’s really not that much brand new content being “shifted” to the cash shop.

        by “shifted” i mean i bet some of it is already there.

      • you are definitely right there, and you brought up the best example, the Sparkly Pony.

        Players voted with their wallets that this was an okay thing to do, and they overpaid a lot for it, compared to the prices a full expansion like TBC or WOTLK go for.

        It is a true dilemma.

      • The 10 buck costumes that will now apparently appear on every GW / GW2 festival seem to become the standard.

        We must still be careful with this cash shop stuff: There is no going back, it is only about more things being added to the shop sooner or later. Where will it end.

        Early on, there was no cash shop. Then came char slot. Then came inventory slots. A lot more came by now to the shop.

        I think GW was worth every penny, and I think I underpaid them a lot given how much fun I had with the game and the time I spent playing it.

        I think everyone who posted here is a fan of GW and for sure wants ArenaNet to earn cash, but you are absolutely right that the store needs to be kept in check.

        P.S. mounts in GW1/2 is an interesting discussion of its own, I can see Hunter’s point, but I imagine it is hard to fit them into the fast travel environment, even as fluff item.

        • I think it’s a mistake to assume this is some kind of slippery slope that will devolve into a nightmare of a cash shop situation.


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