And The Cash Shop Gets Leaked

March 22, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Posted in Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 87 Comments
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The one hour boost cash shop items as they stand before release.

I’m sure once people have had a few months to digest the whole cash shop they’ll be at ease with it. I’m also pretty sure a calm and reasoned blog post explaining what is in the cash shop would have made the whole thing go down much easier.

Apparently that is not going to happen.

Somewhere on 4chan someone leaked things (as is my understanding) and from there it went to Guild Wars 2 Guru and then Reddit. Of course it was deleted on Guru but here we are.

Essentially we’re talking about a series of screenshots that show items in the cash shop. They are slightly photoshopped (or something) so that the snitch could cover their identity.

All of these items can be bought with in game gold. That makes things more balanced than people seem to realize. The costs seem reasonable, especially if you thought the original Guild Wars cash shop items were reasonable. For instance, the most expensive costumes seem to cost 700 gems and according to the leak 400 gems cost about 5 bucks, so we’re talking similar prices for costumes.

Another thing is some of these items and prices are likely experiments. Who knows what will be in the final cash shop, they are still testing and still iterating. I wouldn’t count on all of these making it to the final game or in this form.

Also, only a few of these items are questionable in my opinion.

Purely Cosmetic Items

    Cook’s Outfit: 700 gems – Costumes were never going to be a surprise. I find the choice strange though I suppose it will facilitate role-play for people in the cooking profession. A very similar cost to Guild Wars costumes. It is a 5 piece outfit.

    Scholar’s Outfit: 300 gems – This is a 2 piece outfit and reflects it in price. Hard to say how these costumes look from the art shown but Arenanet typically makes good looking costumes.

    Ringmaster’s Hat: 200 gems – I’m not sure a simple hat should be worth quite this much. By their own pricing structure shouldn’t it be 150 at most? It’s not something I’d buy anyway, but still.

    Pirate Mate’s Outfit: 700 gems – This will probably be very popular. I’ve already seen people complaining about costumes and I have to wonder at the sanity of someone who wouldn’t want a pirate costume. 5 pieces.

    Transmutation Stone: 50 gems – This is the non-premium version working on any items up to level 79. Seems relatively reasonable considering T-stones are also available through the karma system in game.

    Fine Transmutation Stone: 100 gems – This is the premium version working on items of any level. Definitely implies that both types work on weapons, can’t remember if that was previously known. Hard to say if this type of stone is available through karma or not.

    Minis Pack: 300 gems – This actually sounds like a good deal. 3 minis for less than 5 bucks. One is uncommon even. People will eat it up.

Utility Items

    Experience Boost: 150 gems – I have no problem with experience boosts. I didn’t spend my gold on them in Guild Wars and I won’t spend real money on them in Guild Wars 2. There is always someone who is going to be leveling faster than you, whether you have an experience boost or not. Stop worrying about other people leveling and just have fun. People seem to forget that Guild Wars 2 has a flat experience rate, and that they have stated repeatedly that they aim to have you leveling up something like every 2 hours, though I forget the exact quote. If the experience curve were different or adjusted to make you need to buy this, it’d be a whole different ball game but it isn’t. Finally it only lasts an hour and only works on mob kills not events or hearts.

    Crafting Boost: 150 gems – All gear is going to be similar to Guild Wars at max level. We’ll all have the same stats. A boost to crafting just doesn’t warrant any kind of freak out. As with any MMO we’ll be out-leveling our gear every few levels I assume.

    Magic Find Boost: 150 gems – As I understand loot tables, basically every time something drops you get the same chance at something in the table. So if you have 1000 things in a table, you have a 1 in 1000 chance of getting it. If you double your chances of getting something, effectively increasing your chance by 100%, you then have a 2 in 1000 chance for that rare item. This item increases your chances by 10%. For one hour. Bless the fool who pays for this item in the Guild Wars 2 cash shop because he is financing the next expansion.

    Karma Boost: 75 gems – Not really a fan of this one, it’s borderline for me, but I don’t really have a problem with it. I suppose it all depends on how much karma you can gain over a 1 hour period, but it doesn’t seem like much. I guess I just wish they were keeping karma separate from this stuff. But again I don’t care if someone else has more karma than me in a game where all that gets them is aesthetics at best. Wish I knew more about what we can get with Karma and what we can’t.

    Additional Character Slot: 800 gems – Again this works out to similar pricing to Guild Wars. About $10. We saw in some beta videos that players had 5, and I know some people will not be happy with that if that is the final number, but I have no problems with it. One slot for each race is all I need, but I do want more, so I’ll probably end up buying one.

    Asura Bank Portal: 1 for 35, 5 for 125 gems – I like this idea a lot. I probably would never spend the gold/gems to have any, but the convenience is damn tempting. Hell, I wish other games had this. Would certainly be useful in SWTOR. The pricing is a bit high in my opinion, and I question whether a better marketing strategy would be to sell loads of these types of items for a similar price, but I’m sure they have their reasons.

    Instant Repair Canister: 1 for 70, 5 for 300 gems – This has the same amount of usefulness and temptation as the bank portal to me. I’ll still probably never buy one. I’m that cheap. But it is a good idea and seems fair enough, depending on how many repair NPCs are scattered throughout the game. My attitude will quickly change if they are rare.

    Resurrection Orb: 250 gems – Yet another tempting item that I will never buy. There is too much quick travel and too many skills with speed boosts to bother spending money or my hard earned gold on this. A good idea I’m sure some people will spend money on but not me.

    Megaphone Broadcast: 75 gems – Runes of Magic had these although cheaper. They could be fun, exasperating, useful, annoying, and spammarific. Overall my impression of their use is good. It brought the community together, it was good for a laugh or trade, and the drama was occasionally hilarious. Please make them blockable in chat.

    Unlock Account Bank Tab: 600 gems – I believe I noted in a previous post that the bank gives you 24 storage spaces. That may have changed as this says you get 20 spaces. The price seems fair, about 7 bucks. Fairly similar to Guild Wars.

    Unlock Bag Slot: 400 gems – This is no different than buying a bank tab except it seems to be unique to a character. The price seems fair if you can obtain bags with more than 4 storage spaces, but overall I need to know more about bags. See below. Also please change the slot terminology. Confusing.

Ambiguous Items I Am Neither For Nor Against

    12 Slot Bag: 300 gems – Beta videos have shown you start the game with a 20 space bag, and 4 bag slots. Those 4 bag slots are quickly filled with 4 space bags, adding up to 36 storage spaces in very early levels. That being said 8 additional spaces sounds good, but there is a lot I don’t know here. Can you buy larger bags at vendors? Can you craft larger bags? Are the 4 space bags permanent? If there isn’t an in game way to get the 12 space bag I’m against this and if there is, I don’t care at all. My suspicion is that we’ll somehow be able to get bigger bags, but I don’t know.

    EDIT: Elixabeth tweeted me that you can in fact craft bags with more space than 12, and up to 20. That solidly moves this item into the ‘fine by me’ category.

    Mystic Key: 125 gems – This seems similar to a few other games mechanics like the lottery in LOTRO or more specifically and likely Team Fortress 2 crates. To me some random drop in a chest isn’t worth the bother, the money, the gold and only a fool would waste their time. However I wish we knew what they did in fact drop. Or what the phrase “hidden places of the world” meant. Don’t mess with my jumping puzzles Arenanet, that nonsense will go straight to the shit list.

Items I find Questionable

    Magical Plant Food: 120 gems – I’m not very happy with the dye system as we understand it today. The video I saw last seemed pretty awful. It implied it takes a day to unlock a single dye, and with 400 dyes available that would take a while. This is one of the few cash shop items I find horrendous. You’re taking a horrendous in game system and instead of fixing it, making people pay to fix it. No no no. The items themselves are cosmetic, yes, but you do not fix broken game mechanics with cash shop stuff. As a caveat, there may be some other in game way to get dyes, who knows.

    Dye Box: 150 gems – The same goes for the dye box. The rarity doesn’t matter to me, it’s the idea that you’re buying a fix to a system that doesn’t work. Again, yes, cosmetic but I think a lot of people will agree with me. But there is the above caveat, there may be some in game way to get dyes more efficiently.

    Perfect Salvage Kit: 1 for 35, 5 for 125 gems – I gave other items the benefit of the doubt but I won’t go that far with this one. I have not seen how salvage kits work, or how they are obtained, so part of this is just ignorance I admit. However I don’t think this should be a cash shop item. There are too many questions for me to not have a problem with it. Are perfect salvage kits only available in the cash shop? How important are the things we’ll be salvaging with it? How common are runes, sigils, rare crafting materials? How expensive will the things I’m trying to salvage be on the auction house if I use a regular salvage kit and lose them? It just seems like punishment for wanting to salvage things you already went through the trouble to get the first time. That said if they’re obtainable in game then I’m fine with this.

    Loot Bag: 1 for 70, 5 for 300, 10 for 550 gems – I am whole-heartedly against selling random items in the cash shop. With the mystic key, at least there is the idea that someone worked for it. Went out, played the game, got a drop or found a hidden place. Here not so much. However, the way they’re selling it leads me to believe the items can’t be just random gear or crafting items. There is more to this loot bag than we can tell from the screen shots. It all depends on what you can get. I’m also left with a similar impression to mystic keys that it isn’t worth the bother.

And those are my opinions on general on every single cash shop item we know of so far. Very little to complain about if you ask me. Though I expect some people are pitching conniption fits over the one hour boosts. Damn, if I thought Guild Wars 2 fan forums were a mess the past couple days they must be burning down today.

I find some of these items to be less than desirable.

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87 Comments

  1. Mystic Chests are basically what TF2 uses, so I don’t see any real issue there. What I would like to see is the ability to break down the “Chests” into misc parts for crafting if desired. I would hate continually throwing these things out because I don’t want to buy the keys.

    Of the utility items, I wouldn’t look into the Exp/Karma boosts until my third or fourth time through the game. The crafting boost seems nice. I would never use the magic find boost. Of the ones we’ve seen I have no issue.

    I appreciate that they’re doing something similar to the Plex system in EVE, though I feel like Turbine’s Turbine Points (LOTRO) are more accurate. Since there isn’t a sub in GW2 that you could use Gems to pay for.

    I can honestly say that I’m becoming more comfortable with cash shops. I used to abhor the idea and generally stayed away from F2P games because of it. Thankfully more games are implementing the shops in a smart way.

    • Hmm yeah salvage the chests for crafting materials or something. That would be good or sell to a merchant or something.
      I wish there were a more direct 1 to 1 ratio or 1.00 dollar to 100 gems or something like that. Much more customer friendly.
      From your tweet I thought you were much less happy with this, good to see that at least you’re getting more comfortable. Oh wait, I just realized you were maybe referring to the beta invites.

      • Yeah, I was. xD

        But oh well. We’ll just pretend that we were all on the same page.

        A more customer friendly ratio would definitely be appreciated. If I stop and think about it, the bizarre ratios in other cash shops was usually a big deterrent.

    • If the chests can be sold on the Trading Post, it may be possible to make decent money from selling them. At least on TF2 the boxes are pretty popular with certain people.

      • Someone on reddit seemed convinced they were tradeable on the auction house but I never found what they were referring to.

        • I did see a leaked screenshot of a Mystic Chest on the trading post. So if you’re not a key-buyer (and who would be!?), straight to the AH they go.

          • I’ve still yet to see it but I’ll take your word for it.

  2. Can you only plant one Dye Seed a day? If it’s possible to plant multiple seeds simultaneously, it would make a difference I think. Otherwise I agree that it seems like an arduous process to get all the colors.

    • Impossible to say without testing it out myself or nagging someone in the beta to find out, but that was my impression of the video.

      • In all honesty, that seems like a pretty unreasonable assumption. It takes him one day to make the dye (remember that an in-game day isn’t nearly as long as a real day), but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring him 100 dye seeds and have 100 dyes the next day. There is little to no chance that the staff at Arenanet would force you to take over a year to unlock each dye individually (assuming you play every day and remember the seeds). I think we should have a little more faith in them than that.

        • I disagree. It’s in plain text and a player wouldn’t assume the day night cycle, they’d assume a real day.

          • I am with you on this one Hunter. I assumed a real day, not a game one.

            In fact, I wasn’t even AWARE that there was a different night-day cycle within the game. I knew there was night and day but I assumed it was bound to your server time. So if you logged in at noon server time you would be playing in daylight and if you logged in at midnight youd play in darkness.

  3. The images are not deleted on Guru. There is a 95-page thread about them right now (a thread ANet even posted in). Just saying. But yea, something like this, once the cat is out of the bag there is no cramming it back in. The only thing we as a community can do is to react to such leaks with a calm head. Such as you do here.

    • My bad, I saw the thread late last night and when I clicked on links from reddit to guru today they were to deleted posts. I should not have presumed. So some posts may have been deleted but not all I guess.

  4. About the Instant Repair Canister, I don’t think that they will be needed in any way in the open world, no matter how many are there you can always port to someplace that has one and the go back to whatever you’re doing. It won’t be really common to need repairs while doing Events anyway.

    The place where they will be useful is inside dungeons, since from what I’ve seen there are not any repair NPCs inside them, and that is where we’ll be dying A LOT.

    And that what makes this item one of the “questionable” ones for me. Every single dungeon run video I’ve watched, almost all players found themselves full of broken equips, so until they master the dungeon repairs will be fundamental, but repairing is right now a kinda awkward thing where you can actually leave the dungeon for repairs… unless you’re the leader, since leaving would reset it. I imagine that the leader can actually leave the dungeons as well if there are still players inside, but that means that if everyone breaks, then you need to have one group leave for repairs while the leader waits inside, then everyone goes back, the leader goes for repairs, and so on. That can become really cumbersome fast, so having Repair Canisters might become necessary to do even PUGs. That just can’t happen.

    • I agree, dungeons will be the main use for them but I’m sure there will be times outside dungeons when we’d prefer to not have to warp somewhere to repair and back.
      It’s not really a questionable item for me because according to Arenanet you don’t lose any functionality from armour until every single piece of your armour is damaged and then they start to break. that means you’d have to die about 5 or 6 times before you’d see problems, which to me is an acceptable number of times depending on difficulty.

  5. I suppose someone out there is a little displeased, all those wow people who like to get out there and race to max level. This obviously will explode their heads, and a clear way for someone to get in there and buy their victory – which it is. There’s no gold at the start of the game.
    I don’t understand selling xp or karma boosts, I thought the game was supposed to be fun? Why do you want to skip it? Sends the wrong signals. I’ll try to keep calm as with the rest of the thread but i dislike much of what I see here. This is clearly not for looks stuff, and it clearly gives you an advantage in leveling, karma, whatever really if you want to pay for it. Am I wrong?
    One of the cool things I loved in WOW was us all leveling up together, chasing each other up the levels as we enjoyed the game. I guess not any more. Scary to me. Can’t people buy these and level up faster and pown it in wvwvw till i catch them months later?

    • GW2 was never going to be about leveling just like GW was not about leveling so xp boosts, to me, just don’t matter. People who don’t get that will race to 80 and be done with the game missing out on having fun, but so what? Worry about what you’re going to do in game, not them. There are always going to be people who level faster.

      • Getting to level 80 does make a difference for those who are primarily interested in WvW where the skills you have unlocked, and the equipment you’ve acquired are carried over from the PvE game.
        .
        I know I won’t be considering sticking my nose into WvW until I have at least gotten to whatever level is necessary to have at least “some” skill assigned to all 10 slots on my hotbar… when do you unlock the elite skill slot?
        .
        Yes, WvW artificially “levels you up” to 80, but you still have to have a skill unlocked for it to get “leveled up” in this way, and your armor is still whatever armor you’ve managed to get in PvE.
        .
        If all you’re interested in is the PvE, then I agree with your premise, just slow down and enjoy the journey – those who are focused on battle in the mists will likely see it differently.

        • I’m sure there are people who will rush straight to 80 so that they can spend all their time there without a thought for proper pve leveling. If that’s what they want to do, fine. again that doesn’t affect me.
          .
          Not sure why you’d wait, you’ll be roflstomped no matter what level you are, its about numbers not skill or level.
          .

          • lol
            You’re probably right about the numbers > skill or level.
            I’d still like to have at least “something” to hit on all buttons of my hotbar before declaring myself ready for stomping.

            • Yeah I admit, I thought about it a little, that would be frustrating, and I probably won’t end up going there in the early levels at least.

    • For altoholics, I’m sure the exp boosts will be appreciated.

      • True, but i’m sure there is an even split among altaholics who will love it and hate it.

    • If you group with someone high/lower level than you to play together, you will be auto-leveled to match the content you’re doing. So really, you won’t have to catch up to your friends; no matter what level they are relative to you, you will always be able to play together equally.

      • I’d be surprised if side kicking included traits. The wiki also states “When a character is sidekicked up they do not receive any new abilities, but are scaled up in power to be more equal to other players and to access the higher-level content. However, a character scaled from a lower level is weaker than one with a higher level even after being sidekicked. For example, level 1 sidekicked up to level 80 is worse than level 20 sidekicked up to level 80, which is worse than level 40 sidekicked up to level 80” so there is still an advantage to being the actual level.

        • Yeah i would put money on it not including anything other than a health boost, and… I don’t know, other basic necessities to make you viable.

      • The scaling system is pretty great, especially in wvw.

  6. The boosts seem hilariously overpriced. Can’t imagine why anyone would pay nearly $2/hour just to get faster xp gains, that’s getting up into early 90’s Compuserve game pricing territory isn’t it? And you got a game for that hourly rate, not just 50% more xp in one you could already play for nothing!

    But I got no problem with that, if you’re willing to throw money at ArenaNet for a boost, knock yourself out.

    My only issue with what we’ve seen so far is the gambling. The loot bags, the mystic keys. This sort of stuff is cheesy and lame, the province of terrible Asian F2P games. I’m sure it won’t affect gameplay and I’m absolutely sure that I’ll never buy either of them, but I must say I have lost some respect for ArenaNet to see them adopt an idea that should have been left in the gutter where it belongs.

    • That is something I considered mentioning, I don’t think I’d ever pay that much for those boosts. But hey maybe it’s worth it to somebody. Valve and Turbine have had plenty of interest in their lottery type stuff. Hats and chests fund Team Fortress 2 as far as I know. I don’t blame anet for trying it.

      • I’ll admit that I will likely buy the XP boosts for my first character.
        *
        With 80 levels, average 2 hours/level that’s 6, almost 7 days played to reach max level. If you cut that time in half by buying XP boosts you’re talking 80 hours or a little over 3 days played.
        *
        For $160 I can save myself the better part of 80 hours. Being someone that likes to level quickly I’ll happily do this. I can always go back later on alts to experience the things I missed.
        *
        As for chests for which you have to buy the keys (ala TF2), it’ll really depend how sweet the rare drops are, and how rare they are. I’m ashamed to admit I spent over $1k on TF2 crate keys for very minimal rewards. I do not seeing myself doing that again. But the weakness is still there… I’m a bit of a gambling addict.

        • More power to you. There are a lot of people that think getting to max level is the point of MMOs and they’ll be disappointed with gw2. I’m not saying that’s you, just that people are going to do the same thing as you and then be absolutely done with the game and won’t “get it”.
          .
          On another note, thanks for financing guild wars 2 in the future.

  7. The only real issue I have with the cash shop is that I know I’ll be spending a ludicrous amount of money in it.

    • With something like 400 possible dyes to get, I know what I’ll be blowing most of my money on… I’m always terribly vain in these games.

      • I’m still hoping they’ll change the dye system.

    • Judging by your other coment, you ain’t lying.

    • You just about made me spew water all over my computer with that one! Haha I am definitely going to have to quote you on this one.

  8. I dislike cash shops. I have paid for a sub to LOTRO in the past for about 3 years, but a cash shop just seems wrong. Why should I have to pay for things that should be in the game?

    A game developer has so much control over their game world. I think there is a lot of temptation for them to make things hard to get and then put them in the cash shop. Turbine did some of that with LOTRO. There are items that are technically in the game as loot, and they are also for sale in the cash shop. However, the items are so hard to find in the game that they might as well not be there. Turbine is able to control the supply for something that they created a demand for. It is a shady business that can piss off customers.

    • I am new to cash shops, outside the browser. I’ve stopped playing any game like Ultima Online (the browser one, not the real one) which you have to pay to play properly. If they start doing anything you mention Ualtar I’ll have to stop playing GW2 too. Here’s hoping GW2 isn’t like the above.

      It’s a pitty they didn’t stick with the GW1 model as I have no issues with that at all, unlike whats been leaked. Goes to far into shady territories; and thats from someone whos got more money than time. I’d hate to think what the school kids are thinking!

      WOW i pay monthly, for nothing I really know about. GW1 I paid about the same over the time for the expansions, and I paid a bit more for some costumes. GW2 they want me to pay for the game and expansions, plus stuff per hour of play or I waste my time? hum.

      • I don’t see many shady areas in their cash shop personally, overall I have very little problems with it and don’t know enough about the rest to truly assume anything.

    • So you’re saying you’d prefer a subscription? Well i’d prefer the cash shop to a sub. It worked for guild wars and I’ve never spent a dime in that cash shop, I’m not expecting to spend much in the gw2 one either, maybe a character slot, some bank space. If you don’t like what is in the cash shop don’t support what is in the cash shop.

      • Its not that I prefer a sub. It is that I prefer a cash shop that doesn’t include things that make game play easier, or can become sort of required to play the game right. It is to easy for the game developer to tweak the game to make those things needed more. Not enough people buying XP boosters? How hard is it to slightly change leveling and make it take longer to “encourage” people to buy the boosters.

        • In my opinion next to nothing in this cash shop looks like it will be exploited. You bring up experience, but why make gw2’s experience progression a flat line instead of a giant curve? That’s a big innovation they’d be tampering with. It’s one of the big reasons xp boosts matter even less than they would in a sub game let alone any other f2p game.

          • My only real experience with cash shops is LOTRO. It started out looking ok, but just got worse and worse. I hope GW2 will avoid some of the slippery slope choices. However, when money is involved I have little trust in people.

  9. Finally some INFO, Engage rant:
    1.Just make it 1 gem = 1 US cent, it just helps the math.
    2.%Boots, I dont care if the natural pascing is 1 hour seesions, mine will be in 8 hour sessions
    3.Outfits and stones, people like to be different and unique.
    4.Minis-Pack, as an mtg player I know the instinct of collecting.
    5.Bag, if you can get a better one for free its only a test of patience.
    6.Also #5 applys to Bank portal, R Orb, IR Canister and PS Kit.
    7.Extra Slots is OK, I’m a hoarder.
    8.Dye’s, If you can trade extra ones I’m ok.
    9.Loot Bag and Key, want more info.
    10.Megaphone, I’m thinking of a creature with a face full of wrinkles and a rage inducing grin.

    • That 1 to 1 ratio is looking more and more logical, don’t understand why they don’t do that. I guess we pretty much agree on everything here.

      • At the risk of sounding like a cynugget, I have an answer for that. They don’t do it because they are purposefully obfuscating the value. I have seen it over and over in PWE games. Players are gated through so many currencies, that although it is possible to get a breakdown of each currency, most people just can’t be bothered.

        Additionally, if you are one of those people who CAN be bothered, and you try to explain to your guildies that they’re paying a lot more if they buy X from the cash shop instead of Y buyer, they … mostly don’t want to know. They don’t wanna think about it. And this, in the end, makes the company more money on impulse buys and the like.

        Here’s my breakdown of PWE’s currency gating system for FW – but believe me, most people, even those spending in a ton in game, DO NOT WANT TO KNOW.

        http://nugget.posterous.com/to-the-searcher-who-asked-how-much-money-equa

        • No I perfectly agree with you, the only possible explanation is to confuse players as to how much money they’re spending. I’m only left wanting to know how people could just chuck their morals at the door when instituting a system that purposefully misleads their own customers. Do people chuck their morals when they enter business school or something?

  10. Wow. I was so busy this few day. and missed this!? Although they’re leaked I’m glad to see them. No complain here. but today i just sadly found this :

    “Okay guys, if you did not get a beta key by now, you will not be in the test this weekend. Thanks for being patient! ~RB2”

    so i’m a bit sad and relieved at the same time. I’m relieved I can stop checking my inbox (and going crazy when the new mails are not from GW2Team). and i’m sad that i didn’t get one but the scam GW2 Beta tweet.

    • Hey thanks for the heads up! I’ll save some bandwidth from checking the email every few minutes (after I do one last check….). but yeah I’ll share the pain with you. Oh well, one month till we get to play the next beta… queue the work so I can get rid of it in time for next month.

    • Don’t forget to check your spam folder, but yeah, its definitely a sad moment when you realize you’re not in the beta.

  11. I have mild objections to the various boosts only because I think it encourages exactly the wrong type of thought process, and I know that certain segments of the player population will feel compelled to use them (like those folks interested in participating in WvW wanting to do so with actual level 80 gear and skills available to them as opposed to lower gear and skills that are “leveled up” artificially.)
    .
    Boosts are essentially a game designer saying, “Ya, we know our content is tedious, but here’s a way to speed past that…” Simple solution, don’t make your game f***ing tedious in the first place, and look for more acceptable ways to milk your customer cows.
    .
    At least on the boosts there is an argument that some players may not be interested in their personal story, or PvE content at all, and these provide a means for moving past those more quickly – for a price – if they feel stongly enough about it.
    .
    However, I really do object to even the concept of the “gambling” items in a cash shop. You know what I feel when I see someone taking advantage of another person’s mental shortcomings? I feel angry.
    .
    I am reminding myself (repeatedly today) that this was NOT an official announcement, and that this game is STILL IN BETA. I’m more than a little bit disappointed that they even feel like it’s ok to “test” some of this stuff, but I’m hopeful that someone with principles will get some of these items pulled before they see the light of day in a launched version of the game.

    • Well said, agree with you. Though I tend to take your view as more a baseline minimum must do, I’d rather see them set the bar a bit higher…

    • I don’t think the game will be tedious but they are smart enough to know that some people want to race ahead no matter how fun the game is. If someone wants to pay ANet not to play, and it means I don’t have to pay a monthly fee TO play, fine by me. And to be fair, it may also be people with limited time who want to catch up to their friends rather than rely on side kicking. Really it’s as much for casuals as it is for hardcore players compelled to skip to the end.

      I don’t think they are taking advantage of people who are mentally deficient, either. Some of the people looking to take advantage of boosts seem articulate enough. They just have different priorities.

      I also suspect the loot bag isn’t a gamble designed to cheat players out of their money. Too soon to judge without knowing precisely what it is.

      • Just my personal opinion of course, but if you are paying real world money to gamble on the “chance” of getting something you “might” like out of a “mystery” box of pixels… well… there’s some indications of mental deficiency present in that… just sayin’
        I realize some folks just love the opportunity to throw away their money on hopeless things like this (hell… there’s a whole city that is practically built on the principle of bilking fools out of their money) but that doesn’t make it right, and it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t safe guard our fellow man from such cons.
        .
        If you see a sharp tongued, whip-smart salesman taking advantage of a partially senile elderly person, what’s your emotional response?
        (and yes, any company selling “mystery boxes” are the salesman, and any players buying them are partially senile in this analogy…)

        • Okay all lotteries are rigged so that the ‘house’ wins but lets not underestimate people who play the lottery, they are often intelligent people doing it for fun and willing to pay the price for that fun.

      • The limited time thing really does make a solid case for being in favour of things like xp boosts. It really is a perspective thing in many cases, and just because some of us don’t see eye to eye on this subject doesn’t mean one side is wrong. There may be a bunch of people complaining about some items but I fail to see how it is any of their business if some other player is leveling faster than them. Concentrate on what you’re doing, not what some stranger who has no effect on you is doing.

    • I think experience boosts are so familiar to MMOs that really they don’t say “my content is tedious” any more. Maybe the content is tedious, but the fact is some people just want to be max level no matter how good your content is and developers know this. Hell maybe in some games that are free to play they design xp with boosts in mind, but that is the opposite of the case with gw2.

      As for lottery items, I’m still waiting to see what these things actually drop. It’s possible that the goods inside are worth it. Unlikely but possible.

  12. […] Deoarece câteva aspecte din postul lui Mike O’Brien nu au fost suficient de clare, The Tyrian Order, Eternal Alchemy dar și Kill Ten Rats s-au oferit să analizeze acest subiect mai în detaliu. De asemenea: Leaked Cash Shop. […]

  13. […] Hunter’s Insight — And The Cash Shop Gets Leaked. “I’m sure once people have had a few months to digest the whole cash shop they’ll be at ease with it. I’m also pretty sure a calm and reasoned blog post explaining what is in the cash shop would have made the whole thing go down much easier. Apparently that is not going to happen. Somewhere on 4chan someone leaked things (as is my understanding) and from there it went to Guild Wars 2 Guru and then Reddit. Of course it was deleted on Guru but here we are.” […]

  14. I have to admit my interest in GW2 did just decline a little bit. Mainly the pricing for things like storage, which I imagine will be greatly needed, just like in GW1 where you need tons of extra storage for Nicholas’ items and such. So anyone that wants to play all aspects of the game will need to pay more on top of the boxed price (or hope gems can be bought for less than insane amounts of grinding out gold to pay for them). And it is just a matter of time until the tax people get involved with any online game offering some type of gamble item. I know in my state they are already talking about taxing players for any online game that has anything that can remotely be considering gambling, even if there is no way to convert virtual winnings into real ones. They want a big cut of anything they think competes with the lottery or other forms of gambling. A slippery slope and I had hoped ArenaNet wouldn’t keep sliding more and more the wrong way. We’ll have to see how this all plays out once the game goes live. Still looks better than most of the SOE and really bad F2P cash shops, I have to say, but then that isn’t hard to do.

    • Well this stuff is still in testing, but like I’ve said all along I don’t have a big problem with cash shops as long as they aren’t exploitive. To me the storage situation isn’t exploitive, and I just have to scoff at the suggestion that this is. 36 storage spaces to start, and another 20-24 in the bank, not to mention the guild vault.. Its not arenanets fault if you want to store a crazy amount of stuff, that is all on you in my opinion.

      • Limited storage is one of the worst ways F2P games exploit cash shops and this just feels a bit like moving towards that. Golem banker with limited time use, teleport type buyables for when you keep running out of space while trying to play, etc. I really can’t tell how much a factor that is not having played, but it is certainly the vibe I’m starting to get from all of this. At least they aren’t going the rental bag route. In quite a few of the game play videos I’ve noticed players mentioning filling up their inventory quickly and how they’d just dump everything at a merchant, and how would they be able to have enough room if they wanted to craft in between adventuring, let alone room for other items such as mini-pets and whatnot? A valid concern IMO. But scoff (to speak derisively; mock; jeer) away, I’m sure your way of playing is superior to mine and my friends. That seems to be a pretty common attitude among MMORPGers, their way of playing is the only way that counts, they just ‘scoff’ at others enjoying the game in their own way.

        • i scoff at the notion. But to address your concerns, you start with a 20 slot bag, and you have 4 bag slots with 20 slot bags that you can eventually craft. That is 100 in storage space just on your character, not counting the bank, not counting the guild bank. The last test had 24 spaces in the bank, and I assume a similar amount in the guild bank, which begins to add up to damn near 150 in storage space. Name another game that gives you 150 in storage space without forcing you to spend a dime on a subscription or a cash shop?

          • Okay, I missed the bit about crafting extra bags, I thought it was 20 spaces in your bag and 24 shared between characters in the bank, which isn’t much, then you have to buy everything else. Time to read up more and watch less GW2 beta gameplays I guess. But I could have sworn people mentioned only having a single bag, but then if they needed to craft them maybe that wasn’t in the beta or they didn’t know how to go about doing it. Or they weren’t clicking in the right place to switch bags? Back to the TERA beta (yuck, wasted 23.6 gigs worth of my download cap for this?) being I didn’t get a GW2 beta invite. 😦

            • Well i admit you do start with a 20 storage space bag, and i think your first or second personal story reward gives you a 4 slot bag to put in a bag slot (judging from gameplay videos i’ve seen/reports from players) and bags reportedly drop/ can be bought, which adds up to something like 36 storage in early areas. Which may or may not be confining, I can’t say having not played. So maybe in early stages its a bit much but the ability to increase storage in game is definitely there according to various reports.

      • We will not know about the bags until the game kicks off for real. How much stuff will you need to keep? I don’t mean want to keep, I mean need to keep. LOTRO has a TON of tokens and such that you have to keep to trade in for items. They take up a lot of bag space. Will GW2 fall into that kind of trap? I want to love GW2, but I know I will hate the cash shop. If the game is trying to force me into the cash shop then I will end up hating the game.

    • The problem in ROM was that they created lots of items that it was necessary to store, in order to push players towards paying for more storage. At least in GW2, there’s no indication that they will *rent* storage as they did in ROM.

      • Well they also gave you more permanent ways to store things in the form of chests but yes i agree.

  15. I’m super psyched about being able to get character slots with gems (that I can hopefully get with in-game currency). That was what I spent money on for the most part in GW1. And considering the expanded character options (five races and eight professions each race= 40 characters?), I’ll be glad to not find myself paying out the nose for a new character.

    What’s strange to me is the mechanics of GW2 are looking more and more like Perfect World International.

    • This is one of the brighter aspects that people keep skipping over and paying no heed to. If you play a lot you have more than enough gold to subsidize your desires of the cash shop.

  16. I think the cash shop is a little more aggressive than I was hoping and some of the items verge on the suspect e.g. karma boost.

    Cash shop becomes a problem when they start to put things in the game that are less fun than they could be, because they see an opportunity of making money in the cash shop. This creates a conflict of interest in that the devs don’t try to improve the game so much as to create additional ways of pushing players into the shop. Lots of examples of this in LOTRO and other games.

    Perhaps the dye system, mystic keys and a few others are pushing into that territory. In theory, of course, you can find the cash shop items in game. In practice though that is rarely actually the case.

    • I expect a few thing to be “tested out” during betas. There is a reason to have a NDA atm. How are ArenaNet to find the fine line of how far you can go with cash shop, if they are not crossing it when testing.

      I think they will realise that karma really is better to have pure and not to be bought in a cash shop- not to say they really need to call it something else if its to be bought! 😉

      • It really depends on what you can buy with karma, I’m not counting on it being the be all and end all of currency in the game, so if its less important then a karma boost is also less important. Then again if it is important, hopefully they’ll reconsider.

    • They have less motivation to tamper with the game to encourage people into the cash shop than other games because of the upfront cost. My instincts say this will be little different to playing guild wars. These items are still in testing and I’m sure they’re looking for feedback, so hopefully anything that doesn’t go over particularly well like some of the things I’ve pointed out, may be reconsidered.

  17. It is quite strange to see this again and again when a favored game/company brings forth a cash shop.

    First it’s denial that items in the cash shop are anything but pay to win.

    Then when it is revealed through gameplay that is very much pay to win it will be argued how else are the developers suppose to make money (maybe the same way they did BEFORE they started these cash shops).

    Then we’ll fast forward a few months to a year down the road when the company/developer does something completely heinous and everyone gets up in arms about an item in the cash shop or the direction the game is taking that puts pressure on the player to use the cash shop in order to stay competitive.

    Then after all the players are chased away we will yet again have another borderline MMO that destroyed its potential growth by trying to gouge players left and right with a business model that is antithetical to making an even playing field.

    Insanity is doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result: You’ve seen this before gamers, and it has always led down a bad path for the MMOs. Don’t think that Guild Wars 2 will suddenly be that shining jewel that won’t devolve into a pay to win game. WAKE UP!

    • That’s a bit of an over reaction: Guild Wars 1 is over six years old now and there is nothing remotely evil in it’s cash shop. Arenanet, then, are surely well aware that being too aggressive with their cash shop could in the long run lead to less profits rather than more.

      That could change, of course, if say Arenanet changed management and they wanted to cash in their chips as quickly as possible. But, some companies do appreciate that in order to be in business over a long period it’s not a good idea to rape customers.

      • Guild Wars could have added anything by now and certainly needs the revenue after 7 years, they aren’t exactly selling boxes like hotcakes. I think arenanet is trying to walk a fine line, and most major F2P titles do the same. I can’t think of a large non-asian MMO that has game breaking cash shop mechanics that are truly so bad they ruin the game.

        • They didn’t even charge us for all the new GW Beyond content.

    • Okay so, name something listed above that makes this game pay to win? Your slippery slope argument has to start somewhere right?

      • Agreed. I don’t see anything that shows an actual gameplay advantage. Except maybe it doesn’t take as long to get from point A to point B on leveling and such, and even then everyone goes at their own pace anyway.

    • You can’t pay to win a skill based game because you can’t buy skill. And it doesn’t “always” lead down a bad path. They had one in GW1, and it wasn’t game-breaking or even all that controversial. The last time I even used the cash shop was years ago when the skill packs were on sale since I was too lazy to look up the specific skills I needed and grab them in game. Hmm, a one time additional investment of $15 vs all the games that ask for the same monthly just for the privilege of playing. And I totally started beating the pants off everyone. Wait, no. No change on PvP, just got me better builds for my heroes a little faster than playing would have. Yeah, ANet is so evil.

  18. […] like time-saving convenience items include temporary boosts to XP, crafting, karma, magic find and more.  I’m tending to agree with a post I read by Keen, where I guess these bonuses are […]

  19. I don’t see what you see wrong with the dye system. From what I have looked around and found out. . . this is what I have seen on how it works.

    Dyes are account based (accessible via any character on your account) and unlockable. When you get a dye from the vendor (I don’t know much about how seeds are obtained. . . but I think you get them from the overworld or as drops) then it is processed over time (i think that time is one day) and given to you in the form of a bottle. You activate the bottle and it unlocks for your account. You can switch colors on your armor any time you aren’t in combat via your armor menu. Each race STARTS with some dyes relevant to their cultural background (So Charr have lots of reds . . . where as Slyvari have more natural greens and blues)

    From what I see, (as it happens in the video you linked to at around 58 seconds in) if you already HAVE the dye, it appears to stay in your inventory and just say you have unlocked it already.

    To ME this means the following (and this is an assumption, so I could be wrong)
    The dye item is not consumable, and can be traded if you already HAVE the dye on your account. (I did not see any note on the item saying it was bound) And even IF you can only get one dye a day from the vendor in game, you can presumably do it with every character on your account. (That one there is the biggest assumption. . . and the most likely to be incorrect. . . but its one I feel someone safe making because I haven’t heard of any limits regarding separate characters yet.)

    For me, I worried when you said you hated the dye system so I had to go do research right away. But then I found out that they are all account-bound unlocks, and can be used any time, and you don’t start with nothing. And I can LIKELY share ones I have unlocked with friends who haven’t. . . or sell them on the auction house. . . I have little problem with this. It seems like an account-bound version of vanity pets or mounts from WoW, only with WAY more things to unlock and you start with some at the beginning. I pictured a system that has all consumable items and you have to go to a special in game vendor and change stuff with lots of in game gold, and that isn’t the case here.

    So I am curious. What do you hate about the system exactly?

    • A daily unlock, if you remember to do it, for nearly 400 colours will take something like 400 days. Far too long and annoying. The colours you start with seem pretty limited. The cash shop is a means of fixing this, but I don’t think a cash shop should be used to fix game mechanics, no matter how aesthetic those mechanics are.

      • Okay, I can see what you mean there, but as long as the colors are tradeable/sellable, you can probably get them on the Auction House for fairly cheap after a while. After all. . . even if it DOES take 400 days to unlock all the colors. . . there are going to be people with time/money to spare to grab all the colors fast, and there are going to be people who don’t care about colors at all so they just sell them all. I may actually sell colors on the auction house early on because they will be worth more at launch most likely. It depends on the market value though.

        I DO agree with you on the daily unlock thing being “fixed” with cash shop stuff.

        But on the whole of things, supply and demand will level itself out and people won’t even NEED to buy an item for real money because the gold hoarders will be grabbing that free color every day and selling it, and the people who CARE about colors will have most of them. Eventually new players with colors to find will be less because less people are making new accounts, and the Auction House will be full of relatively cheap colors to grab.

        Personally, since I plan to play with my friends, we will probably be passing colors between each other in order to make things faster. . . and if the daily unlock can be done with more than one character a day. . . I can see most of us making alts JUST to grab more colors quickly. Anyone else doing the same will likely flood the market with the excess colors fairly early on and the price will hit the floor within a month or so of release. It all depends on the limitations and how far the players are willing to take it. In the long run though, I am seeing this one as a waste of real world money, ESPECIALLY if its allowed to be done once per character per day.


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