Missing the “Micro” in Microtransaction in Guild Wars 2

After reading the ArenaNet response regarding Build and Equipment templates, and the resulting furor over Reddit, I was briefly inspired to blog a response.

I wanted to tell a story about how I regularly am ‘encouraged’ (sometimes over-excessively) to buy stuff in Path of Exile and Warframe because each small item values to less than $5 usd.

Oh, a lockbox where I am guaranteed to get at least the equivalent points worth of a digital item, and possibly 5x the value? 30 points, or 3usd? Oh… maybe one this login. Just for fun, and the cheap thrill. Ooh, look at what I got. “…” Maybe two more. $10 is my cap. I walk away happy.

The next log-in, that is hopefully separated by a few days of real time, I might do it all over again.

Stash tab for 30-40 points? I need space. It’s less than a Starbucks drink. Fine. Clicks “Buy.” Several months later, I’m left staring at 40 tabs and realizing the bottleneck is now my incapable inventory management, and not actual storage space or pricing. The company meanwhile has walked off with $120 from me over time and I don’t begrudge them any of it, for the freedom and flexibility and convenience it offers. (If only I had the self-discipline for organization too.)

Affinity booster for Warframe? I have a few things I want to level up. I’m not playing this game for an uninterrupted month. I don’t want to pay 200 platinum x 6 cents for this. But a three day booster for 40 platinum? Yes, it’s overall less value, but I can see myself grinding for 3 days and not for 30 days. 40 plat x 6 cents is $2.40 usd, cheaper if the plat is bought discounted… less than a Starbucks drink. Ok!

And the more you get used to the speed and pace of it, the more you’ll pick it up again when it is time to grind for more things.

Conversely, if I am looking at >$5 (~$8-10+) for a single purchase, that’s a mental barrier that is going to severely limit my spending – both the initial purchase and the frequency thereof.

But you know, this user kinda summarized all my sentiments for me with much fewer words:


And I realized it was pointless to spend so many hours writing blog text on a topic that is patently going to get ignored anyway.

So instead, I have farmed out the job to some neural net AI instead.

Missing the ‘micro’ in microtransaction in Guild Wars 2 – How to fix it?

I’m really not happy with this game and I think that some of these issues need to be addressed.

In this blog I will cover issues that I face when attempting to play the game properly in the early game and how I can hopefully fix them.

If you want to know more about the issues and my troubles with this game I have a separate article on my blog with a lot of more specific info.

For a few things to help improve your gameplay I highly recommend the following games: Borderlands 2, Call of Duty: Black Ops 2, Dead Island, Star Wars Battlefront 2, Skyrim, Star Citizen, and The Division.

What I mean is that I will focus on the things that will impact your play time. You will notice that there are no micropayments in these games. As this is a free to play game you will not miss your “microtransactions”.

However, I will explain below which of the micropayments I’m struggling with and if there’s another

From <https://talktotransformer.com/>

Missing the ‘micro’ in microtransaction in Guild Wars 2 is a big mistake? Here’s how to fix it…

Guild Wars 2 is still on the brink, and I’m sure many gamers are in despair as they see game’s progression to being slow, buggy and even broken and I, too, can’t help but feel it could go one way or the other, so how do I stop this game from going downhill like the rest of them?

We could start by getting rid of microtransactions. I’m not one to preach about a change, but I can see why fans wouldn’t want to sacrifice the fun of the game and the money that comes in when you use it. I could also go with a free to play model where the player can buy one ability from a list of abilities that already exist and have more in the game.

There are ways to fix the microtransactions and I’m sure GW2 fans will find them. The main one being to stop the “trade” that is implemented in the game that changes the available options on your character.

The problem with that

From <https://talktotransformer.com/>

I think the AI did a great job. Maybe not quite the game examples I would have used, if I had been the real author, but in terms of time-saving and demonstrating the equivalent amount of tone-deafness, I think it is spot on.

2 thoughts on “Missing the “Micro” in Microtransaction in Guild Wars 2

  1. Or you could just play GW2 and not buy anything. Or buy the very few things you want with in-game gold, which rains down like autumn leaves these days. In seven years of continuous play, often at 30+ hours a week, I would estimate I’ve spent approximately nothing on the game other than the cost of the original box and the expansions. Maybe I might have spent about $15 – I have a vague memory I bought some gems about five years back.

    I agree that most of the stuiff in the gem shop is overpriced but my problem with it isn’t that – it’s that they sell next to nothing I want and never have. In the lifetime of the game the only things i’ve ever really wanted were the Flying Carpet, the Riding Broom and some inventory and character slots. The first two are the cheapest things in the store and the inventory and character slots I buy once a year when they go on sale – and I buy them with gold. What’s more, I have some of those Inventory upgrades stashed in the bank. I only buy them becasue I have over 10k in gold and nothing to do with it.

    EQII’s cash shop, however, is stuffed to bursting with attractive items, some at a few cents, some at $20 and more. There’s loads of choice and lots of things I want. And even there I don;t spend much because “want” isn’t “need” and I mostly stick to the latter, in games and in real life.

    I don’t think the problem lies in the design of the stores. It lies with the design of the games. If GW2 was more entertaining than it’s become over the last three years or so then most people wouldn’t care what was on sale in the store not how much it cost. The problem is the game has become repetitive and dull and the people making it frequently seem either not to realize that or not to care.

    The last update was a huge improvement though, so there’s hope.


    1. This one is specifically regarding build and equipment templates though.

      They brought it up in an announcement, Reddit left feedback for two weeks ranging from “I want it all free” (granted, that’s unreasonable), “It would be better if account-based or more slots available, because here’s how many builds we have and how many slots are needed” (wishlist item, perhaps explain why it can’t be account based or whether it might ever be possible to create more slots – perhaps they’re just starting with a total and final cap of 6, or is it some kind of hardcoded limit?) to “we’re willing to pay for this, but it should be comparatively less than bag, bank and character slots, given the functionality of these new slot types and the fact they’re character based.”

      The next announcement is, “we understand there’s some concerns, and they will be priced in the range of bag and bank slots” (400-600 gems, by the way, or $5-$7.50 for 1/2 of what is commonly understood as a build template. Per character. Per build.

      That’s called – we read your feedback and we’re not doing anything about your concerns, either because we’re not allowed to, we really want to price these things this high, and/or we’ve chosen to disregard them for reasons of our own.

      A casual player is unaffected, they barely change their build anyway, nor need to change it on the fly. I’ve gotten by with 22+ characters and character swapping, and play a limited amount of game modes/roles, so I can probably get by with the basic free two-build only option. Anyone who is a little more hardcore than a casual and less of an altholic is basically screwed, especially if they were used to swapping between more than two builds on one character.

      Perhaps they’re waiting to see how much gold they can drain out of the economy with gold to gem conversions from the hardcore build users. I would grin wryly, but I’m not sure I care that much any more.


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