Alright, now I’m going to say, first off; I have been happy (the whole first year) and disappointed (the back half of the 2nd year) with GW2. The fact that I have to even put a disclaimer as such is really depressing. That’s how hostile a lot of people have gotten to even discussing serious topics that effect the game. To a lot of people, if you’re not on your knees, groveling and being eternally grateful of everything Anet does, you’re QQing.
As I stated in another post, a while, back during year 1, I applied to Anet, twice. That’s how impressed I was with GW2 and the GW series in general. But I was more impressed with the very “not greed” oriented business model. Let me be specific, profits, yes, greed, no.
Now, I’m not so impressed, specifically because they’ve started enacting game/policy decisions that encompass precisely that. Further nauseating specificity, I don’t blame Anet, I blame NCSoft. To be totally honest, this is based only on my belief that Anet would never actively, or intentionally kill a game they love so much and invested so much work into.
All the obnoxious formalities out of the way, let’s get to the meat of the issue. Gems.
The Gem Exchange was a beautiful concept, and very unusually fair minded of a company to allow. I have over the course of my game play, secured a number of Gem Store items. I won’t bore you with the specific list. Furthermore back at the start 100 Gems was 20 silver. Because nobody HAD 20 silver. Old times right?
Then, the game got (more) popular, and inflation hit. Ok, no big deal, in the beginning; we expected this to happen. Expected it to go to 50s, 1 gold, 2 gold, even 3-5 gw2 gold. Then, it didn’t stop. So came the unintended consequences, and poor policy decisions.
We can start with the most obvious a prevalent example, constant, continuous, hype-based releases of Gem Store goodies.
They could, barring some issues with quality control, whip up a batch of 24 dozen armor skins; and let us have at it. They could, release a copper, silver, gold varieties of salvage bots all at once. They could even simply produce a BIG release at the end of the Living Story Season, giving people to react to changing markets and save up their Gems for things they REALLY want.
But no. They do 1-2 week releases, over and over, forcing people into a frenetic journey to collect Gold fast enough to buy enough Gems to get an item that might be gone for a whole year after the sale ends. I won’t say “that’s not fun,” because for some people, it is. I am NOT one of those people. Most casual gamers, are not those people.
So, one can say, delivery could be improved. Variety, less hype, longer stretches between releases. Because if your cash flow situation needs to function like the commodities exchange on a stock market, you’re doing something wrong.
But ok, hey, nothing’s perfect, ever. That’s something that could be fixed. Sadly, WvW, was not so lucky. The second most, well, the polite way to say it is, money oriented, decision; occurred to WvW.
Now a preface, GW has always been billed as a game where experience, and skill trumps numbers in most cases. It was sold to us this way, as the promise that GW embodied to “not be like those other games.” And, for the most part, that promise was kept. Until WvW. At which point, someone, somewhere; said “greed is good.” The Result?
Server Stacking. Again total honesty, yes, I’m from SoR. Yes, I’m referring to the tactic BG used against us, in Season 1 and before. Yes, this is personal; because I loved WvW and was proud of SoR’s capacity to actually fight against superior numbers and win. My personal investment in the topic does not make it any less relevant to being a poor policy decision. However, I felt it prudent to be upfront about it.
Now then, what is server stacking? Essentially, for those who don’t do WvW, but might be concerned enough about policy decisions to keep reading; it’s the process by which one recruits entire guilds and transfers them to a server.
(continues below, sorry, I tend to be verbose and explanatory. I try to give people an idea what I’m talking about if they aren’t aware of something.)