GW2: Buying Shortcuts and Pay2Lose

Today’s insightful yet funny quote of the day comes from a MassivelyOP commenter Arktouros:

I think it’s less about turning a blind eye to it and more a difference in opinion on what “P2W” means. To me, you have to be able to show the “Win” part of P2W in order to make that claim. So a game that spells cash shop exclusive ammo/guns/gear that is better than what you can obtain in game allows you to win over those who don’t spend money is a clear case of P2W.

In this case, there’s literally none of that. If anything you could argue it’s a loss.

Emphasis mine.

The big bruhaha is about GW2 selling character-based waypoint unlocks, which seems to me like as much as a nonissue as Arktouros.

I dunno if I’d go that far with my definition of P2W – my personal one revolves somewhere along the lines of clear advantage between those-that-have and those-that-don’t, balanced playing fields and philosophical equivalencies with an additional porn-like you-know-it-when-you-see-it qualifier.

Like if it became an account-wide waypoint unlock, that might be a tide more unbalancing and ‘necessary’ in the eyes of most players to have.

But character-based waypoint unlocks to me seem like a big waste of money for not that much convenience personally.

I could just run around the zones with a raptor and unlock necessary waypoints in really short order, and if I wanted legendaries, I’d still need to map complete and criss cross those waypoints multiple times.

All this is besides the point: Arktouros is right, you could make a damn fine argument for it being a gigantic loss.

Let’s see:

a) A guy (or gal) who paid money to quick boost a lvl 80 and unlock all waypoints

b) A guy (or gal) who leveled their class up to 80 and played for long enough to unlock waypoints the old fashioned way

Who would you rather bring along with you in group content with a reasonable confidence that they can actually somewhat function and have a clue as to what’s what?

To know where, if not what, their skills and traits are, what weapons and gear they actually own, and how to chain them together in some semblance of order?

To know what their UI means, what dynamic events are, and so on?

If seasoned vets buy it, it’s a shortcut convenience they’ve decided was worth the price and none of our damn business.

For everyone else, it’s arguably a loss.

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7 thoughts on “GW2: Buying Shortcuts and Pay2Lose

  1. Jeromai says:

    Or the shortcut guy, since he’s so used to paying for stuff, could pay me to unlock more things for him.

    That’ll be a win.

  2. Gevlon says:

    The problem is that the shortcut guy doesn’t have “shortcut guy” written on his head. He can lie and claim that he leveled the right way and you take him and end up carrying him, while the leveling guy is still in his 40-es.

    • Jeromai says:

      In GW2, you can easily see that shortcut guy has low AP (achievement points) – lower than 1000 is an immediate warning sign of noobiness, what you choose to do about it (ignore, tutor or kick) is up to you.

      It’s also ridiculously easy to tell by performance if the player has a clue or no, simply due to the many dodge-or-take-massive-damage mechanics in GW2, and even easier with the recent acceptance of arcdps as a dps meter to measure your party member’s performance. (Arguably, too easy, to the point of enabling toxicity or refusal to play as a first response.)

  3. Isey says:

    Thing is, the other players don’t know how that player unlocked the waypoints on the journey (or button press) to 80.

    Clearly, asterisks are needed beside names to indicate!

    • Jeromai says:

      Given the extreme cluelessness evinced by Twitch streamers who boosted to lvl 80 – as in, doesn’t even know the keypress or where in the UI to bring up the character’s paper doll to see their equipment, or see their traits, or unlock their traits, or unlock their masteries (all of which, in GW2’s admittedly checkered development history were layered on top of each other and found in different places)…

      … not to mention the, “I’m level 80, now what?” reddit posts weekly…

      … I daresay any ‘skip learning game’ shortcuts taken will be obvious indeed, and at the player’s own risk.

      Waypoint shortcuts are a huge nonissue. “Ok, guys, Trillia time, Fields of Ruin.” If you actually know the Ascalon region and have experience with the guild bounty, you already know where to go. If not, then you’re stuck begging for “link wp pls” like most guild members to click and be automatically brought to a region.

  4. Bhagpuss says:

    As I commented in the MOP thread, this is the start of a path that logically leads to paying a few hundred dollars for the right never to install the game at all. As another commenter put it, it’s “Pay To Not Play”.

    If people are so keen to avoid the gameplay in an MMO that they’ll pay money to get past it then why should developers turn them away? The ideal customer, after all, is one who gives you money and doesn’t want any goods or services in return.

    • Jeromai says:

      Yep. Pay a sum, unlock everything, take one look at the lateral endgame horizon that just opened up, and immediately quit from overwhelm or after a few too many rough encounters from experienced players with increasingly less patience.

      Everybody wins!

      Except, I guess, shortcut guy. (And the poor players who had to interact with him for that brief moment.)

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