Ephemeral Transactions

December 18, 2013 at 8:13 pm | Posted in Gem Store, Guild Wars 2, mmorpg | 1 Comment
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I’m much better at complaining about things than celebrating them. So, while I could spend my time defending Scarlet from the hate she’s been getting or more thoroughly examining and dismissing overheard opinions from twitter or map chat, I guess I’ll take the time to whine about the strange pricing and terrible products from the gem store.

For me, my biggest gripe with the gem store these days is the temporary nature of the items. If I’m plunking down cash with Arenanet it better be for something I can enjoy permanently. I’m not a fan of something that has limited uses or becomes useless once I tire of it.

Therefore I am not a fan of the gem store armours. Oh some of them look good, damn good, but can I move them around from character to character? No. So once I’m bored with Magitech on my engineer and decide to go with another look, that’s 10 bucks down the tubes. Another 10 bucks if I change my mind, or another 10 bucks if I want it on an alt character.

But this is an old argument. People want a skin wardrobe. People are unhappy with town clothes. Hardly a new argument coming from me.

I will take this moment to complain about their pricing models however. Sets of armours, boots, legs, gloves, coat, shoulders, helm, typically cost 800 gems. It’s a price that is a little high for my taste but hey, they have to make money, fine. What really irks me though are special armour pieces like a helm for 500 gems, or gloves for 300. I can’t be convinced that those are fair prices. It’s as if they’re inflating the price of these items just so they can price people out of the gem exchange. So maybe we’re not supposed to be able to get any gem store item in game after all.

Unfortunately armours are hardly my only concern. Take for instance the Instant Trait Reset consumable. I’ve been thinking of it as the most foul ripoff of a cash shop item that Guild Wars 2 has. What would cost you 3s at an npc in any city, costs you 70 gems (which is around 5.5g on the exchange) at its base price. Even if I bought the Grandmaster’s Training Manual as a workaround reset to carry with me (does that even work? I’m not sure) I’d still only be paying 2g a pop. And to add insult to injury, it’s pretty much a slap in the face to original Guild Wars fans. Being able to change our builds on the fly was an amazing feature in the original Guild Wars, and I’m not saying Guild Wars 2 should be exactly the same, but surely the Instant Trait Reset item as it exists now is extremely exploitative. Especially when considering fans have called for this ability to be attached to the trait menu window, gold sink attached or not.

The Royal Pass, for me, is also quite disappointing. At first glance it is something I might have actually liked. Access to the Royal Terrace, a bank, trading post, crafting stations, mystic forge and merchants all tightly located in a small area. Except it only lasts 2 weeks. 2 weeks for 300 gems or very rarely from drops. Such a finite period of time, I can hardly believe anyone would bother to buy it. If it were permanent and 800 gems, I’d buy it in a heartbeat.

I could go on I suppose. I dislike that some faces and hair are exclusive to the makeover kit, those should be in character creation. I dislike the insane pricing on the Upgrade Extractor/Transmutation Splitter, 5000/6000 gems for just 25 uses? What? That’s like 60 bucks! And how are infinite gathering tools now 1000 gems now being account bound, when they should have been account bound to begin with. I don’t understand how that’s justified and not just greedy.

It saddens me that many of these items would be so much better, so much more functional and desirable if they were just account bound and permanent. Armour sets, Royal Passes, and yeah, if you’re going to charge 5000 or 6000 gems, those items should be permanent too.

Arenanet has to make money, sure. I just think more people would spend more money with them if their products weren’t so fleeting. What am I spending my money on here? It certainly isn’t anything enduring, which is kind of what I’m looking for, and I think what most people are looking for, in MMO items.

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1 Comment

  1. […] Insight recently that GW2′s cash shop really don’t encourage you to purchase with the needless restrictions on […]


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