Tuesday, 20 March 2012

[GW2] Another 2c - Gem Trading

Here's my two cents. I've read all I can on the subject, absorbed all the knowledge, so here it is:

I 100% understand the effort made by ArenaNet to combat Real Money Trading. By accepting that the only way to combat it would be to reverse the trend and bring the system "in house" ArenaNet have made RMT pretty much defunct - this is only a good thing, and trying as many options as possible to combat this blight on the MMO system is great.

I get that the "system takes gold trading out of the hands of real-money trading (RMT) companies and puts it directly in the hands of players." Great! Brillo! Fill your boots! (bu...)

I also accept it isn't going to "mess with the economy". Every economy will eventually find balance - that is supply and demand. Being able to buy gems won't make real-life rich people gods, and real-life poor people minnows. The system will eventually find its own entropy. (If you're getting my tone already, you can tell there is a "but" coming... wait for it!)

I also do not think this is Buy 2 Win. As has been stated quite explicitly: there are no items in the game which are drastically better than the ones available to the average player at each level. So, you couldn't pop into the game at level 10 with your 1000 gems bought with £100 and sell them all to buy the Sundering Lightsabre of the Elders and pwn-face for ever-more. It simply isn't possible - no matter how many gems you buy. (The "but" is almost here!)

As Mike O'Brien has said:
“… it’s never OK for players who spend money to have an unfair advantage over players who spend time.”
That's true - the advantage isn't unfair, I think that is clear. But it is an advantage.

I believe that being able to take my £10 and buy an armour set which I haven't played the game for is wrong. Regardless of whether the player receiving the gems I've bought has earned the money to buy them from me, even if that armour is an equivalent level to that which I could have achieved by playing the game - I haven't played the game to get it - and as fair and as balanced as the system is, getting the equivalent content for less effort is an advantage. Getting the armour in-game takes skill, time and effort - inputting my credit card details doesn't.

I have absolutely no doubts that the system will work. It will be balanced and fair, it won't crash the economy or destroy the game. But that doesn't make it right.

Another but: I'm not some stoic who won't listen to reason. If I've drastically misunderstood the system then let me know. The fact is I will probably use the gem store anyway, because I am a massive hypocrite.


  1. Like I tweeted to ANet... as long as I can buy extra character slots, and funky costumes... I am good. Sign me up.

  2. I think you're overlooking that they've said you obtain armours by running dungeons and getting tokens and trading those tokens to npcs... how does gold have anything to do with that?  There are level requirements for armour, so you'll have to level and play the game to wear rare armours.  There are soul bound mechanics though I admit I don't know how they work.  Nowhere does it say that armour sets are on sale in the shop or in high level areas.  Your argument only works on the assumption that gold = rare armour skins, and we have no evidence of that.

    It's reasonable to be suspicious, skeptical, and critical but I don't agree with your final conclusions.

  3. To be fair, the armour is just an example - the example could be replaced with any item which takes effort to earn but can be bought from players.

  4. You can't buy karma or supply with gems, and that's where most of the really good gear is going to come from. Also gems are only worth gold to people who want stuff from the cash store, which isn't going to be anything earthshattering and I think we'll find most people would prefer to just spend the money on the cash store in the fist place.

  5. More character slots, more inventory slots, more bank slots... I'd quit my job, but I need the money so I can buy stuff in GW2! XD

    A good example of how this system might work is Star Trek Online's Dilithium system. People can do stuff for Dilithium, they can buy Cryptic Store Points, and they can earn Energy Credits. So far, you can turn C-Store Points in Dilithium (and vice-versa) via a Dilithium Market, Dilithium into Unreplicatable Supplies, which can be put on the AH for Energy Credits, but not the other way around. So far, it works.

  6. I think it might depend on whether you equate effort with skill or with time. Personally, I don't believe that time necessarily translates to effort in equal measure, and it would seem this is ANet's stance as well.

  7. You're right, I don't think it will be earth shattering. It's more that I've realised that my philosophy differs from that of ANet's - which is surprising as I've always agreed with them in the past!

  8. It's all speculation at this point since none of us have all the information we need.

    So let's speculate!

    I think the only armor you will be able to buy with gold is crafted armor.  There will be armor "earned" through game play via Karma or dungeon tokens, but I believe that will bind to characters, and will not be tradeable.

    So yes, someone could purchase gems with real money, and then trade those gems for gold, and then use that gold to buy crafted equipment... and this is bad how?

    You'll still have to PLAY THE GAME to get certain types of "prestige" armor.

    Again, not enough specific details yet, but as long as we're just speculating, I'm going to speculate that this will turn out to be an incredibly good thing for the in-game economy, and will help support the crafters (and by extension all of the others who contribute to what the crafters do buy supplying in game materials, etc) and help support the company by providing a source of ongoing income.

    Take a step back there bro... think about exactly what specifically we were told, and distinguish that from what "we think we heard."  There are still numerous details we need to learn about this.

    On the other hand, if your version turns out to be accurate, then hand me my pitchfork and torch!



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