Would you prefer to pay for content? — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Would you prefer to pay for content?

Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭
edited November 30, 2017 in Guild Wars 2 Discussion

This is something I've been thinking about on and off for a while but it seems particularly relevant now. GW2's pricing system is a little...odd. Specifically the fact that they give away a large portion of the new content for free to anyone who logs in within a few months of it's release, which I suspect is the majority of players.

In any other game the Living Story would be called DLC and we'd all have to pay for it - either directly or getting it "free" as part of a subscription or season pass or other payment system. But in GW2 it's free and it's development is funded through the sale of cosmetic and convenience items instead.

I see a lot of people complaining variously that too many cosmetics go into the gem store instead of being included as in-game rewards, and a lot of others saying they'd be happy to spend more on the game but there's nothing they want to buy because it's all cosmetics.

So I'm curious: Would you prefer to pay for the Living Story and other releases (like new Raids and Fractals) and then have some of the items which currently go into the gem store put into the game as rewards, or do you prefer the system we have now?

(You may have noticed there is no option to refuse to pay for either and no 'other' option - that's because that simply is not an option. You as an individual can choose to get the Living Story for free and not spend money on anything in the gem store, but to keep making the game Anet has to get money from somewhere. But if you've thought of an alternative to the options listed which is not 'everything should be free' please do post it.)

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Would you prefer to pay for content? 115 votes

I prefer the system we have now.
81%
nottsgman.8206Haishao.6851Rhiannon.1726ReaverKane.7598Electro.4173Dashingsteel.3410Endless Soul.5178IndigoSundown.5419starhunter.6015Vavume.8065st elmos fire.2987crosknight.3041DeanBB.4268Asztarte.2957Alatar.7364Inculpatus cedo.9234Orry.1297JustTrogdor.7892TexZero.7910Sarision.6347 94 votes
I would prefer to buy Living Story episodes and other releases, but only if they stayed 200 gems each.
6%
Arzurag.7506Silmar Alech.4305FrizzFreston.5290dragonkain.3984zombyturtle.5980Bravesole.2684Kaizok.7839CharJC.8365 8 votes
I would be willing to pay more than 200 gems for Living Story episodes and other releases.
11%
Xcorpdog.2840zealex.9410Hevoskuuri.3891Malediktus.9250Chrury.4627Cyninja.2954Tseison.4659Rennie.6750VaaCrow.3076Lollipup.6537Rysdude.3824Grampybone.3716nimitz.2348 13 votes

Comments

  • I prefer the system we have now.

    keep it as it is . as it is right now i do not wish to buy gems at all unless it is with in game gold at the very best

  • I prefer the system we have now.

    I'd honestly prefer the system we have now because Living Story (for me) varies so much in terms of quality that there are simply some episodes that pass that I wouldn't throw any money/gems at it. Episode 1 of LWS4 would be an example. Considering how the story panned out, I would have been angry to have spent 200 gems on it.

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  • There's one point of view in which we already paid for the Living World when we bought the expansion. I think that mindset was more common after HoT, considering its price and how many maps it had. But there are probably some people who think PoF wasn't worth what they paid for, and see the Living World episodes as part of the same package.

    I would have been happy to buy the expansion and have access to the Living World content as a sort of season pass, buying it directly from ArenaNet (instead of through gems), like we buy PoF itself. I have no idea of how many episodes season 4 will have, but assuming it has more than 4, I wouldn't mind paying as much as the price of PoF.

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  • I prefer the system we have now.

    I have to buy all of Living World Season 2 and I can't even play Season 1. So I'll just pick the only option that fits me.

  • I prefer the system we have now.

    it is a hybrid system, which works out in the player and the company's favor. I had to buy all of season 2 & 3 due to IRL things happening and not being able to get on during that time.

    But, how does this work for both in a positive way you ask?

    Simply put - it creates incentives for the players to log in - which in turn also creates a supply and demand when they log in and see what is going on. Allowing the players to continue to explore a game that they thought they had already 'beaten', as well as check out things from the gem store, tp, etc etc.

    For the company it creates good will towards the players who have purchased the expansions, sort of like "hey, this is for you, we hope you enjoy it" and whets the appetite for whatever else content wise is coming up. It also allows them to make money if someone doesn't log on and does not get that episode, they can later purchase it (like me). Unlike season 1 in which if you missed it, you missed it.

  • Shirlias.8104Shirlias.8104 Member ✭✭✭✭
    I prefer the system we have now.

    What would be the point of selling episodes for 200 gems?

    • Players will pay for something they have now for free
    • ANET won't get anything, since 200 gems are 50g converted more or less.

    If you think that they will release more content this way, you are wrong.

    They should introduce a new currency only avaible through cash, if they were interested to sell more content.
    But since the Gold > Gems exchange and the fact that now they tend to sell items ( skins or bundles ) with high value ( Mike stated that they get not significant profits through 500/700 gems items ), it would simply ruin something which now is almost perfect.

  • Ohoni.6057Ohoni.6057 Member ✭✭✭✭
    I prefer the system we have now.

    Here's the thing, I would pay $2.50 per living story release. I would pay more than that, even. but, I do not want that to happen because I believe it would be destructive to the game. I believe that splitting the content up into "people willing to pay for this portion" and "people who aren't" will just fragment the community. Some people would buy none of that content, some would only buy the ones that they heard were particularly cool, players would have far more mixed impressions of the game based on that, and maps would have wildly different population sizes. I think it's better that everyone can access all the content (for the most part).

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, the issue is not solved by making content have a cost, it's by adding more actual value to the gem store, more armor skins, less outfits, and make it so that people can buy the mount skins they want without being at the whims of RNG.

  • I prefer the system we have now.

    It's a good balance for keeping the game inviting. If they're going to do that, they might as well just start GW3. Gem store in it's current state plus mandatory gem store purchases would really turn me off as a player. Making a new game would allow them to clean up the code for race additions and better character interaction. They will have to start from fresh but if they put in the effort they could get a better quality product that will appeal to a wider fan base. Breaks character stats from armor so changing build and playstyles is more accessible. They would see an uptick in players and if they don't go whole hog in store purchases they could do more in game skins and aesthetics to justify charging for content.

  • Pifil.5193Pifil.5193 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I'd be happy to pay a monthly fee/subscription for moderate advantages like bank/crafting access.

    I don't think that paying for content is good for a game because it splits the community. Paying for "chunky" content like expansions is fine, IMO, but paying for finer grained content like LS episodes or dungeons/fractals is a terrible idea.

  • MokahTGS.7850MokahTGS.7850 Member ✭✭✭
    I prefer the system we have now.

    The living world episodes are part of the expansion price as far as I'm concerned. They only do things they way they do to keep people logging on to see the latest gem store sales.

  • starlinvf.1358starlinvf.1358 Member ✭✭✭✭

    The biggest issue right now is that its getting harder and harder to establish the value of a game that lasts longer then 2 years. I've spent hundreds of dollars on this game at this point, but I've yet to feel like I've gotten the kind of mileage I got out of GW1, which I spent roughly $250 in total between 4 campaigns, and some add-ons. Even without that comparison, I'm spending $10 for cosmetics I may use for 2 years or 2 weeks.... many of which bug me when I can't find a use for. My spending slowed a lot once all my characters were saturated on costume items.... and the feeling of not having a use for an unlock you paid for eats at you after awhile.

    The problem I'm seeing is that the way their doing cosmetics right now, gives it an upper limit on how many conscious purchases people are willing to make. For some that number is really high, others very low (not need much to let them look good). The more visible process of the Gen 2 legendaries, and the obvious grinding associated with them, is also exposing another problem with GW2's reward system being tied to multi-tiered achievements. Gen 2.5 is the same problem, but has even fewer distractions to cover up the rout gold sink it always was. Part of that I feel might be related to how Gen 1s had a distributed collection model for the materials, while Gen2/.5 are more laser focused.... but the game's reward system for materials is still overly dependent on heavily dilution, making gathering certain rare materials extremely frustrating. Core is currently the more profitable, because it yields the most tradable materials. But in HOT and POF, the account bound materials are utterly frustrating when needed in large volumes, and it takes them a LONG time to hone in on a comfortable drop rate.

    None of these problems are new either..... but while it was once tolerable due to ample alternatives, the slow but steady move to more metered rewards coming from increasingly exclusive channels, is starting to boil over. I think legendary armor was the tipping point, and the realization that there is now a hard upper limit for game-side investment for functional equipment. That path is long, but it is finite..... which makes many of the cosmetic items seem like a lesser investment without an extremely strong aesthetic impact to make them attractive.

    For those who still claim "its just cosmetics" I consider them to be completely out of touch we our new reality, where cosmetics are the driving force of our reward system, and how its leveraged in monitization of this game. And many games are trying to followed suite, with Overwatch being a prime example. Controversy after controversy, we're becoming more aware of how corners are being cut in game development, and in turn are now demanding more value to prove we're not being fleeced for a quick buck. What was once a spark of hope on the consumer front, 5 years later, has just about burned out... and in that time bathed in its light, we've found it comes with an ever increasing cost we're no longer willing to keep paying. Its been pushed too far, and I'm starting to see a 180 back toward previous states to get things back in line.
    Despite having held on for as long as its had, fueled by a lot of loyal fans not wanting to see the one victory on the consumer side die out, its becoming clear GW2 can't maintain its current Gem store model after being below critical mass for so long. We've carried this game through 2 content droughts..... and I can say with relative confidence that no one is really wanting to carry it through what could potentially be a 3rd, if MO's statement about the game's project funding is to be taken at face value. Fewer people are having to bare more weight on cost- and I can tell you right now, having items just be more expensive isn't the same thing as increasing the value of a cosmetic item. This is the hypothetical thats worrying me now..... the reason higher priced items started getting more popular, is because those items were the ones that projected the most value for gems spent. If they can't maintain that quality level, and seeing the complaints with past outfits thats a very valid concern, we'll hit a breaking point where even those won't be worth getting.

    If I had to make any suggestions, its to cut living story current model, and roll all of that content into expansion's price point. It doesn't change how content is released, but it does make 2 major changes that might let them refocus their pricing model.
    A: $60 Expansion that includes all LS chapters in the price point. This resolves the biggest problem of splitting up the player base, and the hurdle of having to buy chapters after the fact. It also resolve the problem of the gem store being the driving factor for LS development, and rely less on projections that might flop due to the whims of player tastes. That lump sum of the expansion sale sets the pace and budget for LS development.
    B: Refocus the gemstore on items that will sell consistently well. This is currently happening, but the whole UI for it needs a face lift to better accommodate the change in marketing focus.
    C: and this is the part I don't have a good answer for....... something needs to be done with the Gem Exchange so its not driving the pricing model of the gem store. The gem store needs low hanging fruit for less thoughtful purchases.... and big purchases involve too much thinking, and a much higher demand for value, to which just raising gem prices blow in their face. A new normal needs to be established for Gold to Gems, and refocus this activity more toward disposable items.... such as dropping the gem price of boosters and consumables, so they'll be bought by all players.

  • I prefer the system we have now.

    I don't know.^ Do you think they only expect an average of $30 in Gem Store purchases over 2 years per player? It seems, to me, like expansions would need to be priced a lot higher than $60 to make up the Gem Store income.

  • Cyninja.2954Cyninja.2954 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 1, 2017
    I would be willing to pay more than 200 gems for Living Story episodes and other releases.

    Honestly, I'm fine with the system right now but I'd be more than willing to pay for content if it meant that some of the more expensive cosmetic items got toned (price wise) down or better yet, the amount of content increased.

    The on thing I'd be absolutely against is any type of pay-to-win (and no I do not see regular expansions to the game as p2w features no matter how many vanilla players scream about it) features. Some of the mining tools and other convenience items are borderline at the moment.

    Long term I do expect stuff happening since there has been a shift towards more expensive cosmetics ever since HoT and I doubt this is going to decrease. Do I think arenanet is in trouble? Absolutely not, but I do believe that as the players and their wealth and cosmetic appetite gets more saturated, more and more cosmetics and gem products will have to get sold. I'd prefer to pay a small fee regularly than have this affect the game more than it already has.

  • ReaverKane.7598ReaverKane.7598 Member ✭✭✭✭
    I prefer the system we have now.

    We already pay for content... Well not the F2P (their decision, still not happy that they gave away the content i paid 80€ to play).

  • TheQuickFox.3826TheQuickFox.3826 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I'm already paying a lot. I bought the game, all expansions and many gems.
    When I would pay more for expansions I think they should deliver way more content. The current expansions have been small in comparison to the campaigns of the original Guild Wars, but the Living World makes up for that.

    In the end, I payed more for GW2 than I ever did for GW1. (Due to the gem store) I think GW1 delivered better bang for my buck that way. But I can understand that the artistic quality of GW2 requires more money.

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  • OriOri.8724OriOri.8724 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I have trouble picking an answer for this poll. I would not mind paying for LW episodes in addition to expansions (especially if expansions stay at $30) as long as they were reasonably priced. And 200 gems is honestly insanely cheap for the amount of content that a LW episode brings (seriously, $2.5 for a new map, a new mastery, new story episodes, and at least through the end of LWS4 a new legendary to work towards, not to mention new skins/AP/minis etc.....). Spread out over the releases, that's barely over a dollar a month in terms of what each of us would pay individually if this was all we paid for out of pocket. Even if it went up to 400 gems (I personally can't justify more than that per episode since there is a history of episodes in the game for 200 gems each) it would only be around $2 / month for all of us to obtain the episodes.

    I really wouldn't mind paying that for how much content each episode brings to PvE. That said, I don't think it would be the wisest move for ANet to move to that model now. There would be HUGE backlash to this idea, because people would speak and think with their emotions rather than logic (I mean really, even at 400gems / episode. That's stupidly cheap for how much permanent content you are getting access to when you average it out over a per month basis). And emotionally it hurts a lot to go from a F2P game where all I have to pay for is expansions, to a game where there is new, paid, DLC every 2-3 months. I think the backlash over this would be astronomical. Maybe I'm wrong, hopefully I'm wrong. I do think if Anet moves to this model though, they should give the community a large heads up, at least 6 months.

    Also, if they did do this, it would open up more options for the higher tier expansion packages to be more lucrative. Assuming 6 episodes a season, and 400 gems each, that would be 2,400 gems to buy the whole season. I can easily see the ultimate bundle including free access to all episodes in the next LW season that comes after X expac. Or similar deals.

    I guess TL;DR - I would support this, I don't think the community at large would be ok with this, and I dont know if ANet could recover from potentially huge negative PR.

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  • Shard.4791Shard.4791 Member ✭✭✭
    I prefer the system we have now.

    I'd rather buy stuff from the gem store than farm an open world achievement for a skin.

  • STIHL.2489STIHL.2489 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I made a similar poll, and even broke it down to the kind of content that could be bought. Check it out.

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  • OriOri.8724OriOri.8724 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Shard.4791 said:
    I'd rather buy stuff from the gem store than farm an open world achievement for a skin.

    There's nothing that would force Anet to take skins out of the gem store ifthey were available in game....

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  • I prefer the system we have now.

    I can afford the current price of new content.

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  • I think people get over excited this is probably a trial, they will be left with a cliffhanger a beautiful monday morning when they log-in and see that to continue lv4 they have to buy it as the period ended :-D snickers

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  • Ben K.6238Ben K.6238 Member ✭✭✭
    I prefer the system we have now.

    Charging even active players for each episode risks turning them into ghost towns, which makes the experience worse for everyone.

    The current system gives those who can pay more something to buy, while those who can't are still able to participate and keep the open-world content viable (in theory).

  • Oldirtbeard.9834Oldirtbeard.9834 Member ✭✭✭✭
    I prefer the system we have now.

    I did pay for the content, that was included in the buy to play contract when I bought Path of Fire, I'd be willing to pay a subscription if they made everything in the gem store available for in game rewards.

    Some of MOs comments regarding the Gem Store seem to lump people that actually buy the game in with free to play players suggesting that our money isn't as good as the people that spend the most money in the gem store.

    Don't get me wrong I just dropped $50 on gems after I got payed today, however if you can't run your game as a B2P title while using the cash shop for profit then they might as well make the whole thing F2P since MO indicated in recent comments that the whales were bankrolling content development.

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  • Ardid.7203Ardid.7203 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I'm willing to pay MORE for the WHOLE expacs if they are going to include more quests, weapons, armor, glider and mount (skins) obtainable inside the game, either immediately or along the year.
    I'm also willing to pay for new armor, glider and mount skins in the as long as I like them, there is no RNG involved, and the prices don't become unreasonable (2000 gems is unreasonable. Very few people would have complained for 1000 gems).
    I'm willing to pay with cash for MANY other things they are not including in the gemstore, from Emotes to more base customization options.
    I'm willing to pay for specific side-stories sold at the gemstore as long as they are well done and fun, and diverse, including all the different races and cultures in Tyria.

  • Endless Soul.5178Endless Soul.5178 Member ✭✭✭✭
    I prefer the system we have now.

    I'm ok with the system as is, I see no need to change it.

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  • DeanBB.4268DeanBB.4268 Member ✭✭✭
    I prefer the system we have now.

    I see the LS episodes as part of the overall expansion, so have already paid for them when buying the expansion. I continue to buy gems cards, and occasionally gems directly from Anet, and all my gem store purchases are with real money.

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  • Just a flesh wound.3589Just a flesh wound.3589 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited December 1, 2017

    It might be worthwhile to pay for LS episodes if some of the current (or old) Black Lion weapon skins and gemstore armor skins were added to those maps as rewards for playing. However I don’t see that happening. What I expect would happen is they charge for LS and continue to charge for cosmetics. At least now we can get the episodes for free.

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  • Ameepa.6793Ameepa.6793 Member ✭✭✭
    I prefer the system we have now.

    Best system I have encountered so far

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Apologies for not replying until now, I was expecting a lot more free time today than the none I've actually had. But I have been reading everyone's replies.

    I have to admit I don't know how I feel about this myself, so seeing everyone's responses has been really interesting. On the one hand the system we have now works better for me because I never have to spend money if I don't want to, but I still get to play all the content either way. But on the other hand I guess I'm kind of old fashioned when it comes to buying games - getting the content for free and paying for in-game objects just seems kind of backwards to me.

    @Shirlias.8104 said:
    What would be the point of selling episodes for 200 gems?

    • Players will pay for something they have now for free
    • ANET won't get anything, since 200 gems are 50g converted more or less.

    If you think that they will release more content this way, you are wrong.

    They should introduce a new currency only avaible through cash, if they were interested to sell more content.
    But since the Gold > Gems exchange and the fact that now they tend to sell items ( skins or bundles ) with high value ( Mike stated that they get not significant profits through 500/700 gems items ), it would simply ruin something which now is almost perfect.

    Even if people converted gold to gems to buy it Anet would still get money because apparently all the gems sold on the exchange are originally bought by players and then traded for gold. Also if everyone did it the price would jump up (like it does every time there's a gem store sale) and it would quickly become too expensive for everyone to do that. (Or it would be balanced out by people taking advantage of the exchange rate to buy gold cheaply.)

    But there's also people like me where 50g every 2-3 months is a lot, whereas $2.50 (or £2.12 in my case) is nothing. I could afford 50g for each Living Story release but it would have a big impact on my ability to buy in-game items, so I'm more likely to spend real money on it instead.

    @Ohoni.6057 said:
    Here's the thing, I would pay $2.50 per living story release. I would pay more than that, even. but, I do not want that to happen because I believe it would be destructive to the game. I believe that splitting the content up into "people willing to pay for this portion" and "people who aren't" will just fragment the community. Some people would buy none of that content, some would only buy the ones that they heard were particularly cool, players would have far more mixed impressions of the game based on that, and maps would have wildly different population sizes. I think it's better that everyone can access all the content (for the most part).

    I've said it before and I'll say it again, the issue is not solved by making content have a cost, it's by adding more actual value to the gem store, more armor skins, less outfits, and make it so that people can buy the mount skins they want without being at the whims of RNG.

    You make a good point about splitting people up. I'm not aware of that being an issue in my other MMO (which does sell DLC), but then that has a lot less group content, you could do the majority of stuff in the open-world solo without much trouble, and dungeons only need small groups anyway. I can definitely see the benefit to not splitting players up and I have to admit that's one aspect I hadn't considered.

    On the other hand I have to disagree that more armour and less outfits is guaranteed to add more value to the gem store. That might be true for you, but I've never bought gem store armour and I have bought some outfits. The main thing stopping me buying more is that they all share the same dyes. I can always find in-game alternatives that look just as good as gem store armour (or better), but if I, for example, want a casual look for my warrior when he's in town I can either try to find heavy armour pieces that mostly look like cloth and carry around a set with those skins, or I can buy something like the Monk or Pirate outfit and switch to that whenever I feel like it. So for me outfits are better value than gem store armour, but could be even better with some changes.

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  • Ohoni.6057Ohoni.6057 Member ✭✭✭✭
    I prefer the system we have now.

    @Danikat.8537 said:
    You make a good point about splitting people up. I'm not aware of that being an issue in my other MMO (which does sell DLC), but then that has a lot less group content, you could do the majority of stuff in the open-world solo without much trouble, and dungeons only need small groups anyway. I can definitely see the benefit to not splitting players up and I have to admit that's one aspect I hadn't considered.

    Yeah, it does depend on how they frame it. I mean an expansion is technically like this, and we do have "All the things," "F2P only", "HoT only," and "PoF only" players in the game now, I assume most active players being in the "all" category, but still, probably a decent split. And that's with expansions that have a very meaty amount of content and new features like added specs and mounts. If it's just a story chapter, a map, and some minor new gimmicks, then I imagine a lot less people would bother if they were nickle-and-dimed for it. I think if they went that route they would do better to just have semi-annual or annual expansions that had at least half the content of PoF at $15-25 a pop, rather than quarterly LS updates that were at $2-5 each.

    On the other hand I have to disagree that more armour and less outfits is guaranteed to add more value to the gem store. That might be true for you, but I've never bought gem store armour and I have bought some outfits.

    Well, I haven't bought a lot of gem store armor either, but that's because most of the gem store armor sucked. Most of it was stuff that, even if I were given it for free, I wouldn't bother slotting on any of my characters. But the same is not true of Outfits, there have been a TON of Outfits on the Gem Store where I really liked the look of some or all of it, and if it had been available in armor form, able to mix and match with my existing wardrobe, then I would have snapped them up in a heartbeat. I will never buy an "Outfit" though.I've heard at least some people express similar feelings, although this is clearly an area where individual tastes vary.

    I should also point out that a necessary part of this would be to finally get around to synchronizing the armor weights, so that you can mix and match at will, and if you want your Heavy character to be wearing cloth, he can easily throw on some Light armors. Ideally they would also have some form of "appearance template" system that would allow you to swap a few wardrobe choices at a single press.

  • I prefer the system we have now.

    (I did pay for most of LS3. )

    I am happy buying non-essential stuff, when I have some room in the budget. When a new story part comes out, I don't want to have to wait till my bills are paid. What's more, there are those who will never buy it, which means underpopulated maps, which means not enough people to take down that big boss. I like the model of paying for the big expansion, then being able to sit back and enjoy the new stuff as it comes out.

  • Electro.4173Electro.4173 Member ✭✭✭
    I prefer the system we have now.

    Keep the LS episodes free. I suspect there are a great many people (mostly that don't bother with forums) who wouldn't pay to unlock LS content, and that means maps with lower populations, and that means less playability for everyone. Plus, LS stuff comes with things like mastery points, achievements, ect. that would probably cause some people to cry "pay to win" a lot more than the current model where you can get the new gameplay stuff for free as long as you're around during certain time periods.

    GW2 having free story updates every few months is also a nice hook to get new players to try the game. And in some ways Living Story is part of the GW2 endgame, and locking part of the endgame behind paywalls would be detrimental.

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