I love Guild Wars 2, let’s not pretend. Everything about it so far has amused, delighted and even titillated me in wondrous ways and not least amongst these has been the subscription price – to wit, nowt. Bugger all. Gratis. Free. Nada. Nothing. Boy do I love that.
In the end the subscription is what drove me away from LOTRO, not directly but in so much a series of bad decisions (in my eyes) made me wonder why the hell I was paying for something that made me so mad. Easy solution to that – stop paying and feel better. Stop playing and feel *much* better. Goodbye LOTRO.
Now with Guild Wars 2 I have paid for the game and now need to pay for no more. Except I’m loving the game so much I actually want to pay them something akin to a subscription to ensure they stay afloat and keep the game going. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to pay them an actual subscription because I never, ever want to pay another game company a recurring monthly fee – I feel it damages the relationship between developer & community by making the company complacent (if not down right hostile) towards the players whilst making the players into entitled QQers. No, the subscription model is a very unhealthy way to fund a game and I’m much happier with micro-transactions and an in-game cash shop than I am with a funnel from my wallet.
Obviously cash shops and the micro-payment model also has problems (*cough* SWTOR *cough*) and can slip from a convenient & flexible way to support your game to a rather unpalatable pay-to-play rip-off (*hack* SWTOR *hack*) but when done right they can be a beautiful thing. Except when not quite done right. Guild Wars 2 I’m looking at you.
Fuck a duck but the GW2 cash shop/gem store is dull. Apart from extra bank & inventory space and the extra character slots there is literally nothing I want to buy from it and that irks me. Look Arenanet, I bloody well want to give you my money but you have to put something of value in your shop first! Aviators and boxing gloves are, sadly enough, not floating my boat so instead of expensive, dull outfits why not offer a shit load of clothes piecemeal for a few quid each that I can tailor to my needs. There is no way I’m spending a tenner on an outfit unless I customise the crap out it otherwise I’d just look like the doofus who spent a tenner on an outfit that makes me look exactly like the other 15 doofuses (doofi?) who bought it too. For the love of all that is holy open up the town clothes options and offer a good range of role playing gear (and the stoopid aviator & boxing gloves kind of crap too if you must) that I can buy from in a mix’n'match style. Do that and make them cheap enough that I will drop you some moolah without thinking about it and you will have cracked it. If you are going to charge me over £2 for a bloody hat I’m not likely to spend another £8 or more buying the rest of the outfit. Ten quid for one outfit? Do me a lemon! £5 for a complete cosmetic outfit is cheap enough that I’ll buy the bugger and then probably another one as well. £2 for just fucking bunny ears I can’t ever role play in (at least not in any way I care to imagine) and I’m not buying anything from you. And that just covers town clothes! What about armour & weapon skins? What about facial & body scars? Holy crap, the list of stuff I would buy is huge and if a tight fisted get like me would part with hard cash for it, you can bet your life other players would too!
So for gawd’s sake Arenanet, get some good stuff in the gem store & drop the prices. I want to give you some money to keep your amazing game going, but you have to meet me half way.