I don't understand Arenanet's philosophy on making money off the gemstore. — Guild Wars 2 Forums

I don't understand Arenanet's philosophy on making money off the gemstore.

Tuesday, when the skins for the warclaw were released, I was about to buy them because I wanted the branded skin. Right as I was about to complete the purchase, I stopped because I really didn't want the rest of the skins. I would have been a waste of money. In fact, there's a lot of skins I don't go for because I can't directly buy them. There are roughly 17 mount skins and 2 glider skins that immediately come to mind. I have to ask the guys in charge of how things are sold to us, is it really worth it? I can only imagine that I'm not the only one holding out until they can buy what they want directly or at least a way having said skins sold on the trading posts so I can convert cash into gold and buy them that way. On the other hand, setting things up so players have to purchase more than necessary to get what they want feels careless at best and predatory at worse. To make matters worse, some of these things are over 2 years old and there's still no direct way to buy them. Surely by now, nearly everyone whom was willing to shell out the extra cash to guarantee getting what they want have done so by now.

Isn't it time you set up direct sales to these items by now so you can profit off of those whom are holding out? I can't speak for anyone else but I certainly am not budging on my stance. I'm never going to buy black lion keys as long as black lion chests are loot boxes. Also, I'm not going to buy skin packs unless I want all the skins in them. Whenever you decide to sell all the gem store items directly or allow all the skins to be posted on the trading posts, let me know. I and my wallet will be waiting.

Comments

  • Inculpatus cedo.9234Inculpatus cedo.9234 Member ✭✭✭✭

    If one is hoping bundled items would be offered at the same Gem cost individually, it probably won't soon happen. Unfortunately, lower Gem-cost items result in little extra revenue, as many employ the Gold-to-Gem option.
    Do keep in mind that, as far as Mount Skins go, many are offered individually outside of bundles, at an increased cost to bypass RNG.
    As much as another marketing plan might benefit some players, it's the marketing plan that ArenaNet chooses that probably benefits the studio the most.

    Good luck.

  • Erasculio.2914Erasculio.2914 Member ✭✭✭

    @Crossplay.2067 said:
    On the other hand, setting things up so players have to purchase more than necessary to get what they want feels careless at best and predatory at worse.

    That's the entire point. To make players purchase more than what they want. Hence the random mount skin boxes and the mount skin packs.

    @Crossplay.2067 said:
    I'm never going to buy black lion keys as long as black lion chests are loot boxes.

    A lot of people are buying them anyway.

    Your best bet is hoping the USA forbids loot boxes, that's the only way this kind of thing would go away.

    How about some anti eyes bleeding options? Here's the direct link to the concept.

  • IndigoSundown.5419IndigoSundown.5419 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Inculpatus cedo.9234 said:
    If one is hoping bundled items would be offered at the same Gem cost individually, it probably won't soon happen. Unfortunately, lower Gem-cost items result in little extra revenue, as many employ the Gold-to-Gem option.

    Where did ANet state that gold-to-gems is the reason why low-priced individual skins don't generate enough revenue? What I remember ANet saying was that cosmetics don't appeal to everyone, and that as a result selling low-priced fixed-ticket skins does not generate the kind of revenue needed to support development. Apparently, selling bigger-ticket skins does, as does selling bundles. If a 2000 gem skin or bundle sells 10,000 units because of desirable skin, selling that skin as a stand-alone for 400 gems would have to sell 50,000 units just for ANet to break even. Apparently, the opportunity cost of selling a low-priced skin as a stand-alone is too high.

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. -- Santayana

  • Vayne.8563Vayne.8563 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @IndigoSundown.5419 said:

    @Inculpatus cedo.9234 said:
    If one is hoping bundled items would be offered at the same Gem cost individually, it probably won't soon happen. Unfortunately, lower Gem-cost items result in little extra revenue, as many employ the Gold-to-Gem option.

    Where did ANet state that gold-to-gems is the reason why low-priced individual skins don't generate enough revenue? What I remember ANet saying was that cosmetics don't appeal to everyone, and that as a result selling low-priced fixed-ticket skins does not generate the kind of revenue needed to support development. Apparently, selling bigger-ticket skins does, as does selling bundles. If a 2000 gem skin or bundle sells 10,000 units because of desirable skin, selling that skin as a stand-alone for 400 gems would have to sell 50,000 units just for ANet to break even. Apparently, the opportunity cost of selling a low-priced skin as a stand-alone is too high.

    They didn't state it, but it has to be true. It's too easy to farm gold in this game and there are quite a number of people in my guild who never spend a dollar on gems, because they farm gold to convert. As the game goes further and further along, there's more and more gold being made too...more and more rich people. I'm not particularly rich and I'm sitting on 5500 gold and I make legendaries pretty much regularlly.

    The thing is, I'm not sure how it wouldn't be true. Most other games, you buy from the cash shop, you have to pay cash. Here there's another option. You make stuff too cheap, everyone buys the one "coolest" skin, with gold, or many do, and that's that.

    We know from experience in other games, that only a small percentage of the playerbase pays cash for games in non-sub games. Many people come to games that don't have subs to save money. Ergo they're not likely to fork out money when they can just farm gold. Not everyone, but I'd wager a decent percentage of the population.

    If even only 25% of the people would do it, you're losing 25% of your sales. You make stuff more expensive and less people will have access to the funds to do it. The people who don't mind paying will pay. Anet did state that they found offering expensive packages made them more money....they never said why one way or another. I strongly suspect this is why.

  • IndigoSundown.5419IndigoSundown.5419 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Vayne.8563 said:

    @IndigoSundown.5419 said:

    @Inculpatus cedo.9234 said:
    If one is hoping bundled items would be offered at the same Gem cost individually, it probably won't soon happen. Unfortunately, lower Gem-cost items result in little extra revenue, as many employ the Gold-to-Gem option.

    Where did ANet state that gold-to-gems is the reason why low-priced individual skins don't generate enough revenue? What I remember ANet saying was that cosmetics don't appeal to everyone, and that as a result selling low-priced fixed-ticket skins does not generate the kind of revenue needed to support development. Apparently, selling bigger-ticket skins does, as does selling bundles. If a 2000 gem skin or bundle sells 10,000 units because of desirable skin, selling that skin as a stand-alone for 400 gems would have to sell 50,000 units just for ANet to break even. Apparently, the opportunity cost of selling a low-priced skin as a stand-alone is too high.

    They didn't state it, but it has to be true. It's too easy to farm gold in this game and there are quite a number of people in my guild who never spend a dollar on gems, because they farm gold to convert. As the game goes further and further along, there's more and more gold being made too...more and more rich people. I'm not particularly rich and I'm sitting on 5500 gold and I make legendaries pretty much regularlly.

    The thing is, I'm not sure how it wouldn't be true. Most other games, you buy from the cash shop, you have to pay cash. Here there's another option. You make stuff too cheap, everyone buys the one "coolest" skin, with gold, or many do, and that's that.

    We know from experience in other games, that only a small percentage of the playerbase pays cash for games in non-sub games. Many people come to games that don't have subs to save money. Ergo they're not likely to fork out money when they can just farm gold. Not everyone, but I'd wager a decent percentage of the population.

    If even only 25% of the people would do it, you're losing 25% of your sales. You make stuff more expensive and less people will have access to the funds to do it. The people who don't mind paying will pay. Anet did state that they found offering expensive packages made them more money....they never said why one way or another. I strongly suspect this is why.

    The only way whatever % of players who'd switch to using cash could be factored as an opportunity cost would be if ANet scrapped gold-for-gems and kept gems-for-gold. That would turn the half-exchange into a gold faucet. The more people who exchange gold for gems, the better gems-to-gold looks. Every time the gold-for-gems spikes up, it tends back down, though the equilibrium point does get higher over time. That strongly suggests that some gold buyers take advantage of the spikes to better their return.

    How much revenue does gems-to-gold produce? We don't know. However, how likely is it that the people who use the gems-to-gold portion of the exchange are at or approaching "whale" status? If ANet scrapped the exchange, they'd be out revenue unless the players who would switch to using cash made up for the revenue lost from players who currently buy gems to get gold. As you say, the percentage who'd shell out cash is not likely to be huge. My take is that 25% would be very optimistic.

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. -- Santayana

  • Vayne.8563Vayne.8563 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @IndigoSundown.5419 said:

    @Vayne.8563 said:

    @IndigoSundown.5419 said:

    @Inculpatus cedo.9234 said:
    If one is hoping bundled items would be offered at the same Gem cost individually, it probably won't soon happen. Unfortunately, lower Gem-cost items result in little extra revenue, as many employ the Gold-to-Gem option.

    Where did ANet state that gold-to-gems is the reason why low-priced individual skins don't generate enough revenue? What I remember ANet saying was that cosmetics don't appeal to everyone, and that as a result selling low-priced fixed-ticket skins does not generate the kind of revenue needed to support development. Apparently, selling bigger-ticket skins does, as does selling bundles. If a 2000 gem skin or bundle sells 10,000 units because of desirable skin, selling that skin as a stand-alone for 400 gems would have to sell 50,000 units just for ANet to break even. Apparently, the opportunity cost of selling a low-priced skin as a stand-alone is too high.

    They didn't state it, but it has to be true. It's too easy to farm gold in this game and there are quite a number of people in my guild who never spend a dollar on gems, because they farm gold to convert. As the game goes further and further along, there's more and more gold being made too...more and more rich people. I'm not particularly rich and I'm sitting on 5500 gold and I make legendaries pretty much regularlly.

    The thing is, I'm not sure how it wouldn't be true. Most other games, you buy from the cash shop, you have to pay cash. Here there's another option. You make stuff too cheap, everyone buys the one "coolest" skin, with gold, or many do, and that's that.

    We know from experience in other games, that only a small percentage of the playerbase pays cash for games in non-sub games. Many people come to games that don't have subs to save money. Ergo they're not likely to fork out money when they can just farm gold. Not everyone, but I'd wager a decent percentage of the population.

    If even only 25% of the people would do it, you're losing 25% of your sales. You make stuff more expensive and less people will have access to the funds to do it. The people who don't mind paying will pay. Anet did state that they found offering expensive packages made them more money....they never said why one way or another. I strongly suspect this is why.

    The only way whatever % of players who'd switch to using cash could be factored as an opportunity cost would be if ANet scrapped gold-for-gems and kept gems-for-gold. That would turn the half-exchange into a gold faucet. The more people who exchange gold for gems, the better gems-to-gold looks. Every time the gold-for-gems spikes up, it tends back down, though the equilibrium point does get higher over time. That strongly suggests that some gold buyers take advantage of the spikes to better their return.

    How much revenue does gems-to-gold produce? We don't know. However, how likely is it that the people who use the gems-to-gold portion of the exchange are at or approaching "whale" status? If ANet scrapped the exchange, they'd be out revenue unless the players who would switch to using cash made up for the revenue lost from players who currently buy gems to get gold. As you say, the percentage who'd shell out cash is not likely to be huge. My take is that 25% would be very optimistic.

    Anet said, directly that they make more money on packages that are more expensive. That's not something we're guessing at. It was directly stated by Mike O"Brien. Logically there's a reason for that. My guess is that the cheaper stuff doesn't usually get paid for in cash, where the more expensive stuff does. I can't really think of another reason.

  • IndigoSundown.5419IndigoSundown.5419 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Vayne.8563 said:

    Anet said, directly that they make more money on packages that are more expensive. That's not something we're guessing at. It was directly stated by Mike O"Brien. Logically there's a reason for that. My guess is that the cheaper stuff doesn't usually get paid for in cash, where the more expensive stuff does. I can't really think of another reason.

    Absolutely. You want another reason? Think Occam's Razor, and keep it simple.

    If a given, desirable skin is big-ticket or part of a package, all it takes is enough people who are willing to plunk down that price for that skin to more than make up for the people who won't buy unless it was sold at a low price. You'd also have to factor in whether the big-ticket buyers would spend more if package items were sold at higher separate prices.

    O'Brien's statement included an opener, in which he stated that cosmetics don't appeal across-the-board because of different tastes. This strongly suggests that the market for a given skin is smaller than it might be for certain non-cosmetic items, and that not every item in a package is going to be equally desirable. All you have to do is look at the complaints about the current package offering undesirable skins to see that.

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. -- Santayana

  • Leo G.4501Leo G.4501 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Crossplay.2067 said:
    Tuesday, when the skins for the warclaw were released, I was about to buy them because I wanted the branded skin. Right as I was about to complete the purchase, I stopped because I really didn't want the rest of the skins. I would have been a waste of money. In fact, there's a lot of skins I don't go for because I can't directly buy them.

    I'd tend to agree as I'm one of those individuals who weighs desire for an item to the likely cost of obtaining it. That being said, I have a rather generous standard when it comes to stuff like that and frequency of purchases also plays a factor (even if something might seem too pricey now, it might feel less so a couple of months down the line where I didn't purchase any game-related stuff).

    @Crossplay.2067 said:
    There are roughly 17 mount skins and 2 glider skins that immediately come to mind. I have to ask the guys in charge of how things are sold to us, is it really worth it? I can only imagine that I'm not the only one holding out until they can buy what they want directly or at least a way having said skins sold on the trading posts so I can convert cash into gold and buy them that way.

    I believe this is as intended.

    One factor I often think about when it comes to desire is exclusivity. As much as I like something, one thing that affects my enjoyment of a thing is how often I see a thing or how popular a thing is or how easy a thing is to obtain. Each of such considerations aren't always applicable and have different effects on just how much I want a thing.

    I think it's a possible reason why people had a love/hate for Greatsword...it's an awesome weapon with awesome skins but everyone uses it and everyone uses the same skins or go for the same legendaries. If the weapon weren't so cool, it'd probably have a neutral audience.

    Same could apply for a great new outfit that is released. People will sigh and roll their eyes as everyone goes off to wear the new hotness (this is how I felt when wings were the new craze but I honestly feel the same now as wing backpieces are kinda corny when you really stop to think about it).

    Basically, where I'm getting at is, the skin you want isn't desirable enough for you to throw regret to the wind and put cash/gems down on it but it IS desirable enough for others. For net profit, it doesn't really matter because the more options you have to buy, the less you're going to care about more options going forward. For in-game desirability, you not purchasing it makes the item less common and more exclusive thus more interesting and desirable to someone.

    There will be other sales and other skins and as you interact with the activity of being a consumer, you'll be more and more aware of what you want, might want or don't. But a sucker is born every day and a bright-eyed consumer will buy impulsively. It's not predatory, though. Just have to understand the more savvy a consumer is, the harder it is to sell them things without cutting deeper and deeper into profits (case in point: your OP).

  • Vayne.8563Vayne.8563 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @IndigoSundown.5419 said:

    @Vayne.8563 said:

    Anet said, directly that they make more money on packages that are more expensive. That's not something we're guessing at. It was directly stated by Mike O"Brien. Logically there's a reason for that. My guess is that the cheaper stuff doesn't usually get paid for in cash, where the more expensive stuff does. I can't really think of another reason.

    Absolutely. You want another reason? Think Occam's Razor, and keep it simple.

    If a given, desirable skin is big-ticket or part of a package, all it takes is enough people who are willing to plunk down that price for that skin to more than make up for the people who won't buy unless it was sold at a low price. You'd also have to factor in whether the big-ticket buyers would spend more if package items were sold at higher separate prices.

    O'Brien's statement included an opener, in which he stated that cosmetics don't appeal across-the-board because of different tastes. This strongly suggests that the market for a given skin is smaller than it might be for certain non-cosmetic items, and that not every item in a package is going to be equally desirable. All you have to do is look at the complaints about the current package offering undesirable skins to see that.

    I think that they've had smaller items sold for very long periods of time, that more people could have bought, but they STILL make more doing it this way. However, if you don't think gold to gems factors in, I don't see how it can't. It has to be part of the equation. I never said it's the whole equation.

  • The bundling and other practices I can understand. What honestly leaves me scratching my head is the cost of some of the utility items. The price compared to the utility offered seems pretty high.

    Does anybody actually buy revive orbs? I mean, presumably people must, otherwise it would be lower. But I don't understand why they'd pay such a premium for such a little thing. For 250 gems, I could get a zone with loads of content. The convenience of not having to go to a waypoint and paying one or two silver can't possibly be worth the 99 gold it would take to buy those gems, or the 3 dollars it would cost me if I bought the gems with cash.

    To be clear, I'm a whale. I have spent more money on this game than I should have. I shell out for games I like because I want them to continue development. But paying 3 bucks for a single use consumable that doesn't even offer that much convenience - I need more to justify that kind of price. If I sound irate, I'm sincerely not. I'm just really perplexed. I think I'm pretty representative of the average whale, so if I'm not willing to bite, who is?

    It just seems like a really strange decision, and I'm honestly genuinely interested in why it's priced that way. Monetization is an aspect of game development that I'd like to understand more of.

  • Erasculio.2914Erasculio.2914 Member ✭✭✭

    @Vayne.8563 said:
    They didn't state it, but it has to be true.

    Wasn't it you who said...

    @Vayne.8563 said:
    I feel like there's a lot of misinformation and speculation in this thread.

    ...And now you are also engaging in speculation?

    @Leo G.4501 said:
    One factor I often think about when it comes to desire is exclusivity. As much as I like something, one thing that affects my enjoyment of a thing is how often I see a thing or how popular a thing is or how easy a thing is to obtain. Each of such considerations aren't always applicable and have different effects on just how much I want a thing.

    The flaw in your argument is assuming that people think like you do. You may care about "exclusivity" and so on, but not everyone else does.

    How about some anti eyes bleeding options? Here's the direct link to the concept.

  • Leo G.4501Leo G.4501 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Erasculio.2914 said:

    @Leo G.4501 said:
    One factor I often think about when it comes to desire is exclusivity. As much as I like something, one thing that affects my enjoyment of a thing is how often I see a thing or how popular a thing is or how easy a thing is to obtain. Each of such considerations aren't always applicable and have different effects on just how much I want a thing.

    The flaw in your argument is assuming that people think like you do. You may care about "exclusivity" and so on, but not everyone else does.

    I didn't assume that, rather described my personal reason why exclusivity plays a role.

    Your reply doesn't really debunk that people factor in exclusivity in how they view a reward, prize or purchases or if exclusivity is valued. It is a factor and it has value.

  • IndigoSundown.5419IndigoSundown.5419 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Vayne.8563 said:

    I think that they've had smaller items sold for very long periods of time, that more people could have bought, but they STILL make more doing it this way. However, if you don't think gold to gems factors in, I don't see how it can't. It has to be part of the equation. I never said it's the whole equation.

    What we don't know is whether the exchange generates more revenue than ANet would get without it. That possibility gets short shrift because people believe that whales buying gems for gold are not going to counter-balance people who might spend for gems if there were no exchange. I believe that there are a raft of people who are never going to spend cash for gem store items. I also believe that if ANet thought the gold exchange were seriously impacting their revenue, it might already be gone -- though they'd doubtless have to consider how much salt that would bring.

    It seems like bigger-ticket items are coming into play more and more as the game ages. That could be due to the possibility that a lot of players already have the non-cosmetic gem items they want, so sales of things like character slots, bags, bank slots, etc. may not be generating the same level of revenue as when the game was young. If staple items are generating less revenue, then other items would need to step up.

    Anyway, to return the thread topic, the answer to why ANet uses the big-ticket pricing philosophy is simple. They think they are going to make more money that way.

    Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. -- Santayana

  • Substance E.4852Substance E.4852 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 17, 2019

    @IndigoSundown.5419 said:
    It seems like bigger-ticket items are coming into play more and more as the game ages. That could be due to the possibility that a lot of players already have the non-cosmetic gem items they want, so sales of things like character slots, bags, bank slots, etc. may not be generating the same level of revenue as when the game was young. If staple items are generating less revenue, then other items would need to step up.

    It's because the game is increasingly relying on whales to keep the coffers full as more and more regular MMO players drift away and leave behind people who stand in town or farm (fotm gold maker) while watching netflix for hours a day.

    One group picks a look and sticks with it and the other just buys gems with gold. Neither is that sweet spot of player who plays the game because they genuinly love the mechanics and either don't mind RMT'ing gems or simply don't play enough to have the gold to buy them.

    Anet embracing BLC as a way to literally gamble for exclusive account bound skins was them fully committing to this reality. Gambling for mounts that cost $20 to directly buy was just a continuation.

  • Eloc Freidon.5692Eloc Freidon.5692 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Really wish this time they would have let you buy the skins individually for 400 Gems each. Surprised that this is the only bundle of mount skins that aren't sold at a perpetual discount!

  • @Eloc Freidon.5692 said:
    Really wish this time they would have let you buy the skins individually for 400 Gems each.

    They will never sell MountFits at a retail price of 400 gems for a specific skin.

    • 400 is the cost of a random MountFit (from a set of 15 or 30) and the average cost of a bundled MountFit. (240 is sometimes the discount price)
    • 1200 for a specific MountFit within a set. (760 is sometimes the discount price)
    • 2000 for a premium MountFit. (1600 is sometimes the introductory price and the typical discount price later)

    "Face the facts. Then act on them. It's ...the only doctrine I have to offer you, & it's harder than you'd think, because I swear humans seem hardwired to do anything but. Face the facts. Don't pray, don't wish, ...FACE THE FACTS. THEN act." — Quellcrist Falconer

  • Teratus.2859Teratus.2859 Member ✭✭✭✭

    I don't have a problem with it..

    The first round of mount skins were a little excessive tbh.. took me a good while to get the skins I wanted as I was buying between 2-4 skins a month.
    The newer packs have been far more friendly imo as their overall mount number is significantly lower thus I am far more likely to get the skins I want thus overall I spend less money on them.

    I don't have a problem with the Warclaw pack though since I like all the skins and will use them all on various characters.
    What I do have a problem with are the 2000 gem deluxe skins which are absurdly overpriced imo and in no way justifyable.

  • kharmin.7683kharmin.7683 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Vayne.8563 said:
    It's too easy to farm gold in this game and there are quite a number of people in my guild who never spend a dollar on gems, because they farm gold to convert.

    And people wonder why Istan got nerfed? Um, hello? Yeah, this is why.

    I am a very casual player.
    Very.
    Casual.

  • Substance E.4852Substance E.4852 Member ✭✭✭

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:

    @Eloc Freidon.5692 said:
    Really wish this time they would have let you buy the skins individually for 400 Gems each.

    They will never sell MountFits at a retail price of 400 gems for a specific skin.

    • 400 is the cost of a random MountFit (from a set of 15 or 30) and the average cost of a bundled MountFit. (240 is sometimes the discount price)
    • 1200 for a specific MountFit within a set. (760 is sometimes the discount price)
    • 2000 for a premium MountFit. (1600 is sometimes the introductory price and the typical discount price later)

    Just because they've committed to an idea doesn't make it a good one.

  • Trise.2865Trise.2865 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 18, 2019

    Do you believe the skin is worth 2k gems on it's own?
    If yes, then no problem! You get your money's worth and some extra stuff on the side.
    If not, then don't buy it. You didn't need it anyway, and you still have your money.

    If we want ANet to step up their game, then we must step up ours.

  • @Substance E.4852 said:

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:

    @Eloc Freidon.5692 said:
    Really wish this time they would have let you buy the skins individually for 400 Gems each.

    They will never sell MountFits at a retail price of 400 gems for a specific skin.

    • 400 is the cost of a random MountFit (from a set of 15 or 30) and the average cost of a bundled MountFit. (240 is sometimes the discount price)
    • 1200 for a specific MountFit within a set. (760 is sometimes the discount price)
    • 2000 for a premium MountFit. (1600 is sometimes the introductory price and the typical discount price later)

    Just because they've committed to an idea doesn't make it a good one.

    We haven't established that it's a bad idea. There's plenty of evidence that some people don't like it and ANet claims to have plenty of data to show that this pricing policy earns more money for them than selling (character) outfits for 800 gems retail.

    So (a) it's a good idea for the long-term health of the company that produces the game, thus (b) allowing most of us to play without spending any real world cash at all, even though (c) it rubs some of us the wrong way.

    "Face the facts. Then act on them. It's ...the only doctrine I have to offer you, & it's harder than you'd think, because I swear humans seem hardwired to do anything but. Face the facts. Don't pray, don't wish, ...FACE THE FACTS. THEN act." — Quellcrist Falconer

  • Wildon.7618Wildon.7618 Member ✭✭

    To all the comments about the gem conversion meaning they don't make money, I thought that in order for players to purchase gems for gold another player had to sell gems to the exchange for gold. Wouldn't the transaction fee's would mean that purchasing an item through gold should earn them more money than if it was just purchased straight with gems. Is that not the way that the gem exchange works?

    To comment on the subject of the thread though, there is only 1 skin that I really want for the warclaw, I also feel same as the OP in that I don't want to buy the bundle to get all of the other skins that I dislike. I would gladly pay 1000 or even 1500 gems for just the single skin that I want though. Might be strange, but I just don't like buying things that I have no intention of using:P

  • Illconceived Was Na.9781Illconceived Was Na.9781 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 18, 2019

    @Wildon.7618 said:
    To all the comments about the gem conversion meaning they don't make money, I thought that in order for players to purchase gems for gold another player had to sell gems to the exchange for gold. Wouldn't the transaction fee's would mean that purchasing an item through gold should earn them more money than if it was just purchased straight with gems. Is that not the way that the gem exchange works?

    Not quite.

    Say I want to buy an outfit (800 gems), but I don't have US$10 that I can spend on the game. On the other hand, Ernestine has disposable income she can plunk down and is happy to buy 2000 gems a month to support the game, even if she doesn't spend them all. Occasionally, because she has little time to play, she'll convert some gems into gold.

    So when I convert my ~300 gold to 800 gems, I might be getting the eight hundred she sold for under 200 gold.

    The net result is that ANet is US$10 richer (from Ernestine's initial outlay), but not $20 richer as it would be if there were no exchange for me to buy gems...and I still wanted the outfit.
    The other impact: the economy is 100 gold poorer, which helps keep inflation at bay (one of the reasons why there are transaction fees).

    tl;dr no, the transaction fees don't mean ANet earns more cash; it could mean that they earn less from the gem shop
    (there are other reasons for having the exchange, though).

    To comment on the subject of the thread though, there is only 1 skin that I really want for the warclaw, I also feel same as the OP in that I don't want to buy the bundle to get all of the other skins that I dislike. I would gladly pay 1000 or even 1500 gems for just the single skin that I want though. Might be strange, but I just don't like buying things that I have no intention of using:P

    You're not alone. But you also aren't ANet's target market for this particular bundle. (Neither am I for that matter.)


    Mind you: in ANet's shoes, even if I were convinced by my microtransaction experts that bundles like this are a good thing for the bottom line, I still would choose a different order of release. I'd start with the most expensive and attractive premium skin (at an initial discount), then release the random selection sets, and only release the bundle last. That would anchor people's expectations at the high end and make the bundle look especially attractive (4 skins for less than the cost of one! such a deal!). But then again, I'm not in the same business, so ... I'm hoping they know what they are doing.

    "Face the facts. Then act on them. It's ...the only doctrine I have to offer you, & it's harder than you'd think, because I swear humans seem hardwired to do anything but. Face the facts. Don't pray, don't wish, ...FACE THE FACTS. THEN act." — Quellcrist Falconer

  • Wildon.7618Wildon.7618 Member ✭✭

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    Say I want to buy an outfit (800 gems), but I don't have US$10 that I can spend on the game. On the other hand, Ernestine has disposable income she can plunk down and is happy to buy 2000 gems a month to support the game, even if she doesn't spend them all. Occasionally, because she has little time to play, she'll convert some gems into gold.

    Ahh, so it's basically just a gold drain rather than a gem drain. Makes sense.

    What I would question though, would Ernestine in your example keep purchasing that 2000 gems every month if she did not have anything to spend them on and just kept stockpiling more and more? If she was unable to convert the extra gems to gold, she might stop purchasing more once she has lets say 10,000 gems in the bank. And there is no guarantee that the player converting gold to gems would purchase gems if the exchange was not available (I know I have friends who won't spend a dime on a game regardless of how much they want something, but they will grind like mad for a currency exchange system). In this scenario the gem exchange does still earn them an increased profit over not having the exchange.

    I know I am one of the people that will sometimes buy gems to convert to gold to let me get some shinies when I have a limited playtime. For me it isn't a case of me having too many gems that I want to liquidate, but it's a case of me wanting to purchase something that I lack the gold for. So if the option was not there, all other factors being equal, I would have spent less money on the game than I have. It really does make for an interesting question that I'm sure the people making these games have spent a lot of time and money trying to answer so they can make the most money:P

    Although one thing I would really get behind would be a monthly subscription option for the game. Make it something you subscribe to for $15 a month and get 1200 gems and a few small extras to spice it up added to your account every month, lets say a black lion key and some transmutation charges for an example off the top of my head. Nothing too crazy, but would be a nice way for me to auto budget my spending and over time get a nice stockpile of gems built up. I also know that I am far more likely to purchase something like this mount bundle if I just happen to have a few thousand gems sitting on my account than I am to specifically purchase gems just to buy the bundle. Not to mention if I am just a few gems short I am far more willing to toss an extra $10 into the gem store to top off my gems and get the new shiny than I am to buy the whole 2000 gems at once. That would be their best method to get me to purchase something like the mount pack anyways:)

  • Zet.9130Zet.9130 Member ✭✭
    edited March 18, 2019

    I really don't have any answers on how to make everyone happy. I do have questions that I hope Anet has answered. I've found that as we see more DR of drops, creep on the amount of RNG, salvage rate adjustments and convoluted collections masquerading as content, I found myself more and more dissatisfied with the game. Not saying I'm going to rage quit but I have pretty much quit spending RL coin on the game.

    My main question is has Anet factored customer goodwill in their decision making process? From my view as a player since launch is that Anet has decide to burn through original players and hopes to convert F2P players as the new income stream. I've resigned myself that GW2 would not be the game I had hoped it would be. I've tried a few other MMOs and come back, I'm still having fun and for now will continue to play - who know I may finally get a precursor drop.

  • Deimos.4263Deimos.4263 Member ✭✭✭

    To be honest I don't understand it either, but I'm tired of being angry about it.

    We have to assume they know what they're doing to maximize their revenue...or will figure it out. If you're not happy with the way things are being presented, don't buy them. They'll adjust.

  • AlexxxDelta.1806AlexxxDelta.1806 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 18, 2019

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:

    @Substance E.4852 said:

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:

    @Eloc Freidon.5692 said:
    Really wish this time they would have let you buy the skins individually for 400 Gems each.

    They will never sell MountFits at a retail price of 400 gems for a specific skin.

    • 400 is the cost of a random MountFit (from a set of 15 or 30) and the average cost of a bundled MountFit. (240 is sometimes the discount price)
    • 1200 for a specific MountFit within a set. (760 is sometimes the discount price)
    • 2000 for a premium MountFit. (1600 is sometimes the introductory price and the typical discount price later)

    Just because they've committed to an idea doesn't make it a good one.

    We haven't established that it's a bad idea. There's plenty of evidence that some people don't like it and ANet claims to have plenty of data to show that this pricing policy earns more money for them than selling (character) outfits for 800 gems retail.

    So (a) it's a good idea for the long-term health of the company that produces the game, thus (b) allowing most of us to play without spending any real world cash at all, even though (c) it rubs some of us the wrong way.

    I would argue that the majority of us HAS spent real world cash for the game and that doesn't include gem purchases which are indeed optional. This was a B2P game, not pure F2P, meaning you have spent cash for the base game + HoT (at full game price) + PoF for the full experience. Or any combination of base + expansion. I see no evidence of pure F2P players coming after HoT being the majority, quite the opposite. Now one could argue that this is not enough to sustain an AAA mmo for long term and they might be right. But if the cash store policies are near identical with f2p games (catering to minority of big spenders), what's the point of B2P?

    Of course, I agree it is a good idea for the company, they have all the numbers after all. But I believe it is a good idea for NCsoft's lofty, short term goals instead of Anet's long term health. Which is the way the industry works these days, it would be naive to expect something radically different here.

  • @Wildon.7618 said:
    What I would question though, would Ernestine in your example keep purchasing that 2000 gems every month if she did not have anything to spend them on and just kept stockpiling more and more?

    Some people seem to. Some spend on other thing (BL keys seems to popular).

    If she was unable to convert the extra gems to gold,

    And if my grandma had wheels, she'd be a car? I'm teasing because I don't understand the relevance. The game does have a gems-to-gold system. My comment was strictly about how the mechanics work.

    Although one thing I would really get behind would be a monthly subscription option for the game. Make it something you subscribe to for $15 a month and get 1200 gems and a few small extras to spice it up added to your account every month, lets say a black lion key and some transmutation charges for an example off the top of my head.

    I have trouble understanding this. You can already spend US$15/month... or $25/month. Except instead of getting a fixed set of things, you get whatever you like.
    (They aren't likely to offer discounted gems: that turns out to discourage people who buy gems irregularly.)

    @AlexxxDelta.1806 said:
    I would argue that the majority of us HAS spent real world cash for the game and that doesn't include gem purchases which are indeed optional. This was a B2P game, not pure F2P, meaning you have spent cash for the base game + HoT (at full game price) + PoF for the full experience. Or any combination of base + expansion. I see no evidence of pure F2P players coming after HoT being the majority, quite the opposite. Now one could argue that this is not enough to sustain an AAA mmo for long term and they might be right. But if the cash store policies are near identical with f2p games (catering to minority of big spenders), what's the point of B2P?

    The majority have not spent real world cash on the game outside of the expansions. And a surprisingly number of people haven't spent on those. (As we can see from various posts here and on Reddit complaining about expansion-related restrictions.)

    Regardless, my comment was about people spending RL world cash on gems; the majority do not (that goes for any game, not just this one).

    Of course, I agree it is a good idea for the company, they have all the numbers after all. But I believe it is a good idea for NCsoft's lofty, short term goals instead of Anet's long term health. Which is the way the industry works these days, it would be naive to expect something radically different here.

    Near as I can tell from what ANet's posted, gem shop strategies are long term, not short. It took them some time to figure how they wanted to monetize mounts, for example, and that's intended to generate income for years, not just for a few months.

    "Face the facts. Then act on them. It's ...the only doctrine I have to offer you, & it's harder than you'd think, because I swear humans seem hardwired to do anything but. Face the facts. Don't pray, don't wish, ...FACE THE FACTS. THEN act." — Quellcrist Falconer

  • Biff.5312Biff.5312 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Given that the gem store price for this set of skins is the same as what they often charge for a single skin, I don't understand your complaint. Basically you are paying for one skin and receiving the option to chose which of 5 to use. They should do this more often, or else reduce the cost of individual skins (which I doubt will happen).

  • I honestly don't understand what can be discussed at such length for such topic. None of the content in gemstore is even remotely mandatory. To some extent you could say LS chapters are very useful, as they provide access to very good maps, but then again you could consider them as another form of expansion you can buy bit by bit, and problem solved.

    What else could you demand from Anet? Gemshop is for those who are willing to dump some money for cosmetics and QoL, supporting the game in the process and it's "take it, or leave it" kind of deal at this point. If they are a bit too grabby to make money, then what's the problem? Let them be, if it's better for their budget. You can't afford it? Too bad, farm gold in Tyria less, and farm $ IRL more, then. Don't buy it if those few extra $ you'll pay for stuff you don't need worth such a fuss for you.

  • Wildon.7618Wildon.7618 Member ✭✭

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    I have trouble understanding this. You can already spend US$15/month... or $25/month. Except instead of getting a fixed set of things, you get whatever you like.
    (They aren't likely to offer discounted gems: that turns out to discourage people who buy gems irregularly.)

    I wouldn't really want them at a discount, for the reason that you mentioned among others. It is more about just creating an automatic budget for the game. I'm not wanting them to give me any specific items, just the gems that you would normally receive for that amount of money. And maybe a shiny low value consumable item or 2 that wouldn't upset those that don't get it (like some transmutation charges) to help entice people to sign up. (I would personally sign up just for the gems alone, but I know a lot of people need something extra to pull the trigger on a subscription)

    In a game like ESO I just look at my account every now and then and watch the premium currency slowly climb up over time without me purchasing anything manually. Where in GW2 I have to manually make the decision to purchase those gems every time. May just be me, but I am far less likely to purchase a pack of gems when I don't have anything that I want to buy than I am to set up a monthly subscription to support a game that I enjoy. Also an automatic payment option would keep running when I am taking a break from the game while manual purchases means I don't buy any gems when I'm spending time playing a different game (I generally jump back and forth between a few games, so I can go a few months where I don't play a specific game at all).

    Just the way that my mind works, it would be a way for them to get me to happily purchase more gems than I currently do.

  • AlexxxDelta.1806AlexxxDelta.1806 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 18, 2019

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:

    @Wildon.7618 said:
    What I would question though, would Ernestine in your example keep purchasing that 2000 gems every month if she did not have anything to spend them on and just kept stockpiling more and more?

    Some people seem to. Some spend on other thing (BL keys seems to popular).

    If she was unable to convert the extra gems to gold,

    And if my grandma had wheels, she'd be a car? I'm teasing because I don't understand the relevance. The game does have a gems-to-gold system. My comment was strictly about how the mechanics work.

    Although one thing I would really get behind would be a monthly subscription option for the game. Make it something you subscribe to for $15 a month and get 1200 gems and a few small extras to spice it up added to your account every month, lets say a black lion key and some transmutation charges for an example off the top of my head.

    I have trouble understanding this. You can already spend US$15/month... or $25/month. Except instead of getting a fixed set of things, you get whatever you like.
    (They aren't likely to offer discounted gems: that turns out to discourage people who buy gems irregularly.)

    @AlexxxDelta.1806 said:
    I would argue that the majority of us HAS spent real world cash for the game and that doesn't include gem purchases which are indeed optional. This was a B2P game, not pure F2P, meaning you have spent cash for the base game + HoT (at full game price) + PoF for the full experience. Or any combination of base + expansion. I see no evidence of pure F2P players coming after HoT being the majority, quite the opposite. Now one could argue that this is not enough to sustain an AAA mmo for long term and they might be right. But if the cash store policies are near identical with f2p games (catering to minority of big spenders), what's the point of B2P?

    The majority have not spent real world cash on the game outside of the expansions. And a surprisingly number of people haven't spent on those. (As we can see from various posts here and on Reddit complaining about expansion-related restrictions.)

    Regardless, my comment was about people spending RL world cash on gems; the majority do not (that goes for any game, not just this one).

    Of course, I agree it is a good idea for the company, they have all the numbers after all. But I believe it is a good idea for NCsoft's lofty, short term goals instead of Anet's long term health. Which is the way the industry works these days, it would be naive to expect something radically different here.

    Near as I can tell from what ANet's posted, gem shop strategies are long term, not short. It took them some time to figure how they wanted to monetize mounts, for example, and that's intended to generate income for years, not just for a few months.

    The reason I mentioned "short term" is because I don't see this monetization model being viable for too long. Microtransactions (or macro in some cases) across all gaming platforms including mobile, have caused explosive growth in the industry over the past decade. But lately we see the community getting increasingly annoyed with the model, even this game made headlines during the mount controversy. With more and more services competing for that "whale's" disposable income it won't be long until the bubble bursts.

    That won't stop investors and shareholders from milking this cash cow dry, while it is on its last legs (thus the short term). Anet's layoffs weren't an isolated incident, you can see the same happening all over the industry in the end of this fiscal year. To me these are signs of a model built on shaky legs.

  • @MoriMoriMori.5349 said:
    I honestly don't understand what can be discussed at such length for such topic. None of the content in gemstore is even remotely mandatory.

    Eh, I think you could make the case that additional bag slots are basically mandatory once you get to some of the more profitable map metas, where items are flooding your inventory and you can't really stop to shuffle stuff around.
    I also think most players find that the cost attached to changing hairstyles leaves a foul taste in their mouth, since most other MMO's do it for free.

    If they are a bit too grabby to make money, then what's the problem?

    I think you kinda answered your own question in the first half of it.
    I mean, in another thread, I just argued that I'd like more avenues to spend money in this game. But I regularly see this talking point come up in any and every discussion about game monetization. Frankly, it isn't really something I think I'll get.
    "If you think a company is trying to fleece you, why are you complaining? Just don't buy from them."
    Consumers can and should speak up about things that bother them. Companies are not our personal friends and they do not care about us. They care about the cash we have.

  • MoriMoriMori.5349MoriMoriMori.5349 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 19, 2019

    @A Big Guy.9702 said:
    Eh, I think you could make the case that additional bag slots are basically mandatory once you get to some of the more profitable map metas, where items are flooding your inventory and you can't really stop to shuffle stuff around.

    Nah. Meta isn't mandatory. Gold-farming isn't mandatory. Those maps aren't mandatory, I personally have never stayed in one map for more than a few days, never joined any meta zergs etc during my 2-3 months of play since I started - and yet I earned enough gold to buy myself 18slots bags and 2 differenet sets of exotic gear (berserk and maradeur). And that's about all you need to access 90% of game's content. Your quest for getting every Legendary in the game, or your decision to only pay for ingame vanity/QoL items with gold, instead of real currency (2 most popular reasons to farm gold ingame) is only your own initiatives never ever have forced on you.

    And to boot, bag/banks expansions are happen to be those few items which are always accessible to you as a separate items, and not as part of any bundles. So your case is falling apart.

    @A Big Guy.9702 said:
    Consumers can and should speak up about things that bother them. Companies are not our personal friends and they do not care about us. They care about the cash we have.

    You can speak about it, if you wish, but it's just starting to sound a bit entitled sometimes. Like you would honestly expect for Anet to start make free giveaways of items they sell exactly to grab some money from you. That sort of defeats the purpose of gemshop.

  • Tanner Blackfeather.6509Tanner Blackfeather.6509 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 19, 2019

    @A Big Guy.9702 said:
    Eh, I think you could make the case that additional bag slots are basically mandatory once you get to some of the more profitable map metas, where items are flooding your inventory and you can't really stop to shuffle stuff around.

    You can make the case, but it's not going to stand up to testing. ;) I used to AB multiloot with no extra bag slots and no infinite salvage kit. (It's what made me buy the copper-fed!)
    I didn't get an extra bag slot until the Olmakhan bag came.

    It's useful, no doubt about it; even to the point I'll recommend it to almost everyone. But not mandatory. The Salvage All function, and the Rune/Sigil rework, along with Deposit All solidly keeps extra bags in the "nice to have" category and out of the "pretty much mandatory" category.

    I think a permanent salvage kit is closer to mandatory - either copper-fed or rune-crafter's.

  • Chasind.3128Chasind.3128 Member ✭✭✭
    edited March 19, 2019

    I haven't purchased from the Gem store in some time because the only cosmetic content we seem to be getting are Chair skins, Harvesting tool skins, Backwings & Mount skins you can't purchase individually. That's not the cosmetic content I want or would be willing to buy.
    Warclaw is an ugly, ugly mount. It's like some 10 year-old, who just got into anime & Can't actually distinguish between asian cultures, drew it up & submitted it to an adult art contest & his piece won. Why? Because his grandmother & aunt were on the voting committee & wanted to be "fair." That's what the Warclaw looks like.
    I would like to see better skins for it that make it look nothing like the Warclaw. Like how the Griffon has a Winged Lion skin.
    I'd want a Sabretooth (NO METAL ARMOR) with bones as armor & a reptile skin saddle. Something that looks like it belongs in a 1980's Thundercat / He-Man saga.

    I'd also like a new & vast selection of hairstyles for all races & new faces. We haven't gotten anything worth mentioning as far as cosmetics go.

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