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Make Gem Store Skins Mean Something


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So a thought popped into my head last night that maybe would be worth posting here:

GW2 is built upon the gem store. It's an important part of the game's business model and the game wouldn't be here without it. However it's been clear for a while that skins in the store are taking precedence over those earned in game and it's a model that's caused a bit of friction over the past few years. But what if I said that you could introduce new skins to the game via the gem store... but also have to earn them in game? 

My idea is that instead of flat out buying a skin from the store, you purchase the ability to unlock it via a collection. You can see the finished product on the gem store page but you only buy the initial book/tome that opens the achievement. This collection could be long or short, easy or hard (maybe difficulty listed on the gem page?) and take you to many different locations/game modes. There may have to be a way to cater for PvP'ers and WvW'ers but as I don't participate in those I cant really comment. It scratches two itches- ANET's need to, you know, make a profit and the players wants for in game earn-able skins and reasons to revisit content that they have otherwise given up on.

Now I understand there is an issue... this isnt going to magically make skins have more prestige. You cant have a gem store item that ends a collection with 'Go kill Dhuum CM' as it really wouldn't sell. BUT you could introduce a way to upgrade that item in some way (or any other item for that matter) by doing that super hard content? Maybe that's a 2nd idea...

Yes this is content that could otherwise be given with free collections but at the end of the day we have to accept that the Gem Store is what keeps the game afloat here. Why not make the best of a 'bad' situation?

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If it is in the gemstore, I want to buy the thing and have access to whatever I bought as soon as it arrive in my mailbox. I already paid gems, I dont want to complete a collection as well, the gems is already enough.

 

If you want to add skins locked behind some content then sure I dont mind but dont force that  into the gemstore or whatever stuff you buy. 

Edited by Alcatraznc.3869
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I see you point, but you can obtain any gemstore item with gold. Why make a ton of unnecessary collections (they will be a ton because there are a buttload of gemstore skins) when anyone can just play the game, save up some gold and buy the item this way?

The average outfit/skin is 700-800 gems and that is roughly 200g. Especially for PVE players that do meta events and things like that it will be way faster to farm up that 200g then to run around and complete a long collection that has multple stages.

To implement something like this would require a lot of work from Anet to resolve an issue that does not exist in the first place.

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If they were going to do this I suspect they'd market the collection as the main thing you're buying - like the GW1 Bonus Mission Pack where yes, at the end of each one you got a unique weapon to use, but the main selling point was being able to do the missions.

GW2 already has numerous collections and scavenger hunts for unique items, including ones which tell a story, so if you like that type of thing you can already do it without having to buy it from the gem store. I suspect people who do buy gem store skins just want the skin and don't want to have to go through a bunch of extra steps to use what they've already paid for.
 

45 minutes ago, kharmin.7683 said:

Make up your own collection events, acquire gold, convert to gems, purchase gemstore item. 

I sort-of did that once. I'd made The Dreamer back before precursor collections existed and wanted to do the collection for it, but didn't need a 2nd copy, so I made it (the finished legendary, not just the precursor) and sold it on the TP, then used the gold to buy a bunch of mount skins.

Of course it meant the collection didn't relate to my final reward, but it was still exciting for me and felt like I'd achieved something when I'd finished.

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3 hours ago, Malice.5867 said:

I see you point, but you can obtain any gemstore item with gold. Why make a ton of unnecessary collections (they will be a ton because there are a buttload of gemstore skins) when anyone can just play the game, save up some gold and buy the item this way?

The average outfit/skin is 700-800 gems and that is roughly 200g. Especially for PVE players that do meta events and things like that it will be way faster to farm up that 200g then to run around and complete a long collection that has multple stages.

To implement something like this would require a lot of work from Anet to resolve an issue that does not exist in the first place.

Not sure how you guys keep thinking that farming 200g is easy.  What kind of easy?  Like "hey I didn't sleep for 5 days, got my weekly furry outfit and I'm heckin excited!" or "hey I got my bi-yearly furry outfit and I'm casually heckin' excited!"

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1 hour ago, Borked.6824 said:

Not sure how you guys keep thinking that farming 200g is easy.  What kind of easy?  Like "hey I didn't sleep for 5 days, got my weekly furry outfit and I'm heckin excited!" or "hey I got my bi-yearly furry outfit and I'm casually heckin' excited!"

For veteran players, it is easy. I have borrowed gold and returned it back within two weeks every time even when it's a few hundred gold. I don't normally farm gold, which is why I keep borrowing gold from people and paying them back, since I rarely have the gold while the gemstore items are in the gem store.

I do not have to not sleep for 5 days to do this. Farming drizzlewood or silverwastes for one or two hours a day is sufficient. If I had the motivation to do this every day regardless of the gemstore's contents, I'd probably be rich. But I prefer to spend my time doing whatever chill stuff until there's that item that I really really want.

Hardcore players, I've heard, can make 200g in a day doing raids, t4 fractals, and other challenging content. You just need to know how to do it.

Also, I agree with the other responses. I don't want to do achievements to unlock gemstore items and I don't think the devs want to spend time making content that will hinder people from buying items. The whole point of the gemstore is that people throw money at it for the promise of shiny items. No work, all wallet. We're fortunate that there's a gold -> gem option at all.

If you want to do hard, pointless collection achievements,  I recommend the one that gives you the Dragonslayer Cape. I did it recently. Took me awhile. I like the cape skin even though I never wear capes. And it cost a fair amount of gold. I don't need to worry about gems on top of that.

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1 hour ago, Borked.6824 said:

Not sure how you guys keep thinking that farming 200g is easy.  What kind of easy?  Like "hey I didn't sleep for 5 days, got my weekly furry outfit and I'm heckin excited!" or "hey I got my bi-yearly furry outfit and I'm casually heckin' excited!"

I said EASIER then completing a long collection. Maps like Grizzlewood reward like 15-20g per hour, the game gives you 2g for the daily, the HOT metas take literally minutes and give you a few gold as well. And that is just the super casual content, I'm not even suggesting Fractals, Raids, etc. (and not even farming the casual stuff)

Assuming that you don't get a lucky drop and you casually do a few meta events here and there you should have absolutely no troubles getting 20-25g a day just from playing the game. This way you can get an outfit per week if you want to.

Of course, this is just a rough example to show that IT IS possible and not that difficult to obtain gem items without the need of implementing thousand new collections. 

 

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5 hours ago, Thereon.3495 said:

However it's been clear for a while that skins in the store are taking precedence over those earned in game and it's a model that's caused a bit of friction over the past few years.

If this is your reasoning to begin with, then I think we need to discuss this, since your foundation is flawed.

 

There have been plenty of threads where people have done the math of how many weapon and armor skins are in the gemstore compared to available in game. There's some that are exclusive to the gemstore, some that are exclusive in-game, and a third category of only weapons that sit somewhere inbetween (ticket weapon skins). If you count them all up fair and square you'll find that skins available in game actually outnumber those exclusive to the gem store.

 

That point out of the way, locking individual pieces of content behind gemstore purchases (and collections are content) is a no-go for me. Right now I know what I have to pay for, an expansion every few years, and whatever living world episodes I'm not here for at the right time. Add to that a convoluted system of different collections for different amounts of gems would only make the system convoluted and possibly lead to people loosing sight of their spendings. Plus the devs that build those collections and the stories behind them wouldn't be available to build general collections and stories for everyone, so everyone would have to pay up or loose out on that content.

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6 hours ago, Thereon.3495 said:

So a thought popped into my head last night that maybe would be worth posting here:

GW2 is built upon the gem store. It's an important part of the game's business model and the game wouldn't be here without it. However it's been clear for a while that skins in the store are taking precedence over those earned in game and it's a model that's caused a bit of friction over the past few years. But what if I said that you could introduce new skins to the game via the gem store... but also have to earn them in game? 

My idea is that instead of flat out buying a skin from the store, you purchase the ability to unlock it via a collection. You can see the finished product on the gem store page but you only buy the initial book/tome that opens the achievement. This collection could be long or short, easy or hard (maybe difficulty listed on the gem page?) and take you to many different locations/game modes. There may have to be a way to cater for PvP'ers and WvW'ers but as I don't participate in those I cant really comment. It scratches two itches- ANET's need to, you know, make a profit and the players wants for in game earn-able skins and reasons to revisit content that they have otherwise given up on.

Now I understand there is an issue... this isnt going to magically make skins have more prestige. You cant have a gem store item that ends a collection with 'Go kill Dhuum CM' as it really wouldn't sell. BUT you could introduce a way to upgrade that item in some way (or any other item for that matter) by doing that super hard content? Maybe that's a 2nd idea...

Yes this is content that could otherwise be given with free collections but at the end of the day we have to accept that the Gem Store is what keeps the game afloat here. Why not make the best of a 'bad' situation?

Just to clarify, I would spend money to not have the item I wish to purchase?

I can currently not have the items I desire without spending any real money.

 

ANet would never see another dollar from me.

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4 hours ago, Danikat.8537 said:

If they were going to do this I suspect they'd market the collection as the main thing you're buying - like the GW1 Bonus Mission Pack where yes, at the end of each one you got a unique weapon to use, but the main selling point was being able to do the missions.

Selling new playable content that has unique skins associated with it seems different, and better, than the OP's suggestion of requiring a collection, completed by playing existing zones/game modes, to access something that you already paid for. 

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53 minutes ago, Malice.5867 said:

I said EASIER then completing a long collection. Maps like Grizzlewood reward like 15-20g per hour, the game gives you 2g for the daily, the HOT metas take literally minutes and give you a few gold as well. And that is just the super casual content, I'm not even suggesting Fractals, Raids, etc. (and not even farming the casual stuff)

Assuming that you don't get a lucky drop and you casually do a few meta events here and there you should have absolutely no troubles getting 20-25g a day just from playing the game. This way you can get an outfit per week if you want to.

Of course, this is just a rough example to show that IT IS possible and not that difficult to obtain gem items without the need of implementing thousand new collections. 

 

Not just that, just logging in and doing dailies, converting laurels to mats and selling mystic coins, means  somewhere in the neighborhood of 200g per month....again just for logging in and playing for 5-15 minutes per day.

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2 hours ago, Ashen.2907 said:

Not just that, just logging in and doing dailies, converting laurels to mats and selling mystic coins, means  somewhere in the neighborhood of 200g per month....again just for logging in and playing for 5-15 minutes per day.

Can you break that down a bit?

20 mystic coins is aproximately 40g.

FastFarming lists about 60s/laurel for crafting bag conversion. So if you choose laurels at the end of the month, thats 50*60s, or 30g, give or take.

60g from daily completionist every day.

That means 70g in mats from other daily achievements along the way? What am I missing?

 

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There are at least two existing gem store items that unlock something to do in game.  They do give you what you bought right away, plus you can get a second item by doing the chain.

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Mini_Angry_Wintersday_Gift

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Mini_Angry_Chest

I don't know that this has been repeated since, so maybe the concept didn't sell, but I've enjoyed my glider (my icly impoverished mesmer uses it) and bonus mini.  And the angry chest is my reaper's constant companion even now so I definitely got my money's worth from it even without the red spark.

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Login rewards will give you:

  • 20 Mystic Coins - 39g 99s if you list them for sale at the current price.
  • 55 Laurels - used to buy light crafting bags and sell the materials averages 35g 37s.
  • 2 bags of crafting materials which average 57s and 89s when sold.
  • You can also get a small amount of materials from salvaging the exotic item you'll get, but unless it has a valuable upgrade which is successfully extracted it's unlikely to be worth much. (You can't sell the exotic itself, they're always account bound.)

 

So that's an average of 76g 82s, maybe as much as 77-78g if you get lucky with the exotic drop.

Add in 60-62g for daily achievements and you've got about 137g for logging in and doing 3 daily achievements for 30 days (and of course it doesn't have to be 30 consecutive days, it doesn't matter if you can't log in every single day).

There's other quick and simple ways to make gold as well, like parking a character by profitable nodes or doing a run around an area, using home instance nodes (your own or finding someone offering invites) or doing quick events, but of course each one adds time so it depends on what you're willing and able to do to get gold. Or you can just play what you want, sell or salvage the items you do get and let it build up over time. Of course you won't be able to get everything that way, but I doubt anyone actually likes every single skin and item.

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1 hour ago, Donari.5237 said:

There are at least two existing gem store items that unlock something to do in game.  They do give you what you bought right away, plus you can get a second item by doing the chain.

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Mini_Angry_Wintersday_Gift

https://wiki.guildwars2.com/wiki/Mini_Angry_Chest

I don't know that this has been repeated since, so maybe the concept didn't sell, but I've enjoyed my glider (my icly impoverished mesmer uses it) and bonus mini.  And the angry chest is my reaper's constant companion even now so I definitely got my money's worth from it even without the red spark.

That's a good point.  You do have some items that have unlocks.  I have the skyscale pet whistle, and I enjoyed doing the little quest for it so it can do tricks.  Something I like playing with when standing around lol.  A lot of the minis are already part of a collection, like the shibas.  But you definitely get the item you pay for, not just unlocking a collection...eewy....I want to flap around annoyingly on a skyscale skin right then lol.

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18 minutes ago, Farohna.6247 said:

That's a good point.  You do have some items that have unlocks.  I have the skyscale pet whistle, and I enjoyed doing the little quest for it so it can do tricks.  Something I like playing with when standing around lol.  A lot of the minis are already part of a collection, like the shibas.  But you definitely get the item you pay for, not just unlocking a collection...eewy....I want to flap around annoyingly on a skyscale skin right then lol.

Oh, I forgot about the Basenji and Skyscale whistles, good catch.  Maybe I should ping the wiki pages to have those added to the "see also" section.  edit:  Or not, looking at them the difference is that the boxes actually get you a separate item via the chain quest whereas the whistles just let you upgrade the purchased item via ingame activities.  Similar, but not totally the same.

Edited by Donari.5237
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Now I value criticism of course however a lot of people here are being very one-track minded. There is a general consensus that the gem store is taking content away from the game and my idea was merely to try and add a way to incorporate gameplay into gem purchases. Saying "I bought the thing so I should get the thing" isn't a valid argument- it would be like saying "I bought the XP booster, might as well just give me the XP up front". 

GW2 also needs more ways to retain it's playerbase other than what it currently has. Adding collections that use content already in the game is an easy way to do this. With regards to earning skins why is it seen as a bad thing to actually play game content? What is it that drives people to just want to earn 'gold>gems>get skin' as quickly as possible? Is that even playing the game if, as you say, gold is easy to earn? It's collecting for collecting sake and I can understand that IRL but on a digital platform?

It's been mentioned multiple times by multiple different popular streamers and brought up many times by players themselves... the gem store is a (necessary) issue. If you have an idea that, essentially, doesn't hurt ANET's bottom line that will improve the situation then I'm honestly all ears.

Edited by Thereon.3495
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In case it's unclear I disagreed because I think you're wrong that the gem store is taking content away from the game. As I said in my first post the kind of collections you're describing already exist, they're part of every release. I don't see any reason to start paying separately for something we currently get for free or part of other purchases.

Unless of course you imagine Anet will start building more content than they currently do, but selling it at the same price they currently charge for just a skin, meaning they do more work for the same money. That's never going to happen.

Edited by Danikat.8537
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