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Gem store problems? (Belgian players not able to buy/redeem gems?)


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@Gaile Gray.6029 said:Update on the Purchase Status for Belgium

In order to conform to changes in Belgian law, purchases of gems, the Ultimate Edition, and the Ultimate Edition upgrade have been disabled for residents of Belgium. We are continuing to investigate more flexible solutions. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our players.

meanwhile in Belgium, i can just buy gem cards 4 houses down the road, nicely on display next to google play and others....more than happy to take our money and then say we can't use them?

btw, the law did not change, the industry you represent did.

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I admit that I don't understand this decision. Even though I haven't bought any gems yet (I've been back since July after a six-year pause in mmo), GW 2 has nothing to do with hazard games. There is no Lootbox. The commission in Belgium banned lootboxes in football games to not mention names etc.

It's the decision of Arena or Belgium has come to Arena and give them the interdiction? Because here we buy gems for a precise purchase without hazard.I hope it will be settled quickly enough.

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  • ArenaNet Staff

We recently disabled Gem purchases for players located in Belgium. This action was in response to the Belgian Gaming Commission's declaration that paid loot boxes violate Belgium's gambling restrictions. We have now implemented a more refined system, which only restricts the purchase of loot boxes and related items, such as chest keys, dye kits, and certain packs by players located in Belgium. For players located in Belgium, you will see the following message when viewing these items "This item is not available for purchase in your region." All other items and purchases are now available. Please read our FAQ on the subject here.

We appreciate your patience as we worked to comply with the Belgian Gaming Commission's restrictions.

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@Crashdown.7419, Princess here. Yes i did send a mail to them not constant mail them liked you said. It likely is a response from my mail since the time between i got a reaction and these actions are very close to each other. You are giving away wrong information. It was not bragging far from that it was even a hard step to take and even though i hope it will bring a good impact towards the gaming industry i had to also hit my fav game with it even though Real money gambling shouldn't be a video game. We have casino's for that with decent laws for it and video games did not have decent laws for it and childeren could be getting in touch with it and there is nothing we can do and the company will do because the company can't age check and it also can be abused for example when you had bad luck gambling.

The fact is it was a loophole and more and more games are abusing the loophole. I also gave Black lion chest as a example because it is the main thing that people gamble real money with and have a big chance to not even get the things they want. It is filled with trash ress orb/1 time summon merchant etc and yes they now have put in some skins. But It stays gambling and the chance you will get the skin you want is a gamble so it still is gambling. The thing that really is a issue are the special skins and there is no other way to get them beside gambling or opening a large amount of chests for tokens but you are still gambling and you wont get enough key's in a normal way like using ingame gold unless you are super rich but even then there is a limit.

The game also has a lot of younger players and they should be protected from gambling also specially since parents dont have a view what they spend their REAL money on in a game and gambling is addicting specially towards childeren.
This is what companies aimed for and we have proof enough of that.Companies know they do not need to charge back because it is gambling and it is pretty clear why they will reject a refund even if it is a underaged player empting a credit card.

About the mounts i hope Anet will find a better solution and a cheaper one then the one that exists now.Personally with the mount licenses i just bought all the skins.But there were also a massive amount of people ranting about it and making posts ranting about it and making youtube video's about it. But nothing further then that. No one took a step or just couldn't do something so the company felt pretty safe about it and even made it a habit now and now it all seems normal and a company will just try the next step now to see how far it will get now.To make it sure this is not a personal attack towards Anet this is just how companies work and how they already got this far.By seeing how much the player will keep taking.

I still believe skins should be archieved with for example a clear buy like we have on the gemstore right now or unlocked through gameplay. Not throwing a credit card towards the screen and hoping you will get it but you probably wont unless you have thrown a few 100€ for a skin that lets be honest not even close to worth of it. And thats what also makes it addicting and specially for kids. Companies just can't keep getting away with it and seems they have forgot what gaming should be and it is now all about lootboxes and milking the players like cows which is normal for a company but yet here again there is a limit and it should stay player friendly.I also might be completely wrong here and gaming now should be all about lootboxes and milking us like cows as much a company wants.

I remember when Anet started with skins through gambling on Black lion chests. People were extreemly mad and a lot of rants including large Youtubers but nothing happend beside some chances but it still is gambling. But now it just became a habit and now we see it as normal. Companies will keep pushing further and further of the players dont let a company feel there is a limit.

I know people will say this is a game without a monthly fee. This does not mean we need a gambling system in the game with real money.It wasn't a easy step to do this. Specially because i love this game.The black lion chest we know and Anet knows it isn't a good system. Thats why they changed it already multiple times. But it brings in good money from people gambling and thats why they try to keep the system Yes you can get items now with tokens. But you need alot of tokens to unlock a item and the RNG special skins go away fast from both the chest and the merchant were you can buy it with tokens from. There is no way you can get it without spending a good amount of money to get it sure ingame gold but i doubt much people will be able to do that and that way they will go spending real money anyway and then we are again at the point gambling with real money .

More and more countries will implent the rules against gambling Belgium just was first (i wish that was also the cases with other things).Anet knew very well it was a matter of time until even they would be touched by the rule.The rule that was made in Belgium just was not finished very well and i told them the loop so they could look into it and they did.Yes i gave Guild Wars 2 as a example but gw2 isn't the only game that was using the loop.

I hope this clears it out. I'm sorry it had to this far but there is a limit towards it all and people already ignored the limit and just rant about it without actions just talk including some big youtubers but it all stayed at ranting. As long someone didn't stepped up the limit will keep getting crossed. Gambling system already had brought much trouble in the past even in Guild Wars 2 but no one took the step or couldn't take the step and it was very clear all the complaining towards the company did nothing beside some minor changes that did not 100% solved the issue.

I do hope Anet wont send mercenaries to me now. :PI know this made me hated by many people but i'm sure a good amount of people would understand we couldn't let this continu and sometimes just ranting wont fix the issue and actions need to be taken to show there is a line els they will keep pushing and pushing the line without a stop and were will it end? Sometimes you need to take a step further to show the limit even if it's against something/someone you love.

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Wauw. I dont think they did enough research.

First of all its about lootboxes that give an advantage over other players.

Second, gambling is legal above 21years.

Final point, there isnt a new "law" everyone is talking about. They are just looking into it. (And to be honest, everyones busy with the upcoming elections)

I dont mind if they ban lootboxes for the younger population. But anet wauw. I cant buy keys even tho im legal age to gamble but a 12y old can buy gold and ectogamble it. Whut. Think please.

Just get an age restriction on it or something.

@Gaile Gray.6029 I doubt that you guys had contact with the gaming commision cause Im reading something totally different in my mails. I can send and translate those if you want.

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@Turk.5460 said:

@GunnarwishFreeAccEU.8935 said:I know people will say this is a game without a monthly fee. This does not mean we need to gamble in the game with real money.

That's just it. You don't
need
to. You
want
to.

I like the current system and how it supports GW2.

Sorry i should have wrote it like. That does not mean we need such a system.

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@Sariel.2143 said:First of all its about lootboxes that give an advantage over other players.

Blizzard was hit last month and had to stop selling their cosmetic loot boxes in Belgium. Considering how ArenaNet rushed to disable them before implementing a proper fix, they were likely also targeted and may need to further disable the gem to gold exchange, otherwise all gambling linked to gold can be real money gambling.

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@Turk.5460 said:

I like the current system and how it supports GW2.

If you want GW2 supported, the you surely won't mind it to be without gambling.

@Sariel.2143 said:Wauw. I dont think they did enough research.

First of all its about lootboxes that give an advantage over other players.

No. It's about the game of chance. It's about paying for a cahnce to receive the items you want. It's about absuing psychological tenedncies of gambling addiction.

@ GunnarwishDon't worry, there are enough people who support you.There will always be contrarian people. People, who would lose nothing by eradicating lootboxes, but gain the ability to buy stuff directly. People who simply want to opppose something.You did the right thing. And I hope many countries follow Belgium.

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I didn't even understand why all the people where so upset with the random mount licenses a while back. I found the ok and didn't need to change for me. I get that some people got upset about and that is their right. You got so upset about that part that you wanted to ruin the gemstore for just the Belgian people. Not even the entire player base. I don't think you could call that a win. And no I honestly didn't care what you had to say anymore so I'm not reading your post. In my opinion they are full of BS anyway.

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There might be a solution to Belgium players not being able to buy gems. They have to resort to sneaky tactics using a VPN. By changing the location of their network, maybe just MAYBE, they may be able to buy the gems.

Also ANET should be able to counter sue the Belgium government (or whoever is putting these restrictions in place) for "Restraint of trade" because lets face it the player is essentially trading for a product.

Also if they eventually do have to take down the BL Chests, may I suggest an alternative? Keys given as a daily chest reward.

I also know Anet relies a lot on the sale of BL chests, Keys and gems. and profits may drop. But if it keeps us able to play this great game and keep the legal watch dogs at bay, I see no other legal alternative as to removing the keys from the gem store and making them available as a daily reward.

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@GunnarwishFreeAccEU.8935 said:

@GunnarwishFreeAccEU.8935 said:I know people will say this is a game without a monthly fee. This does not mean we need to gamble in the game with real money.

That's just it. You don't
need
to. You
want
to.

I like the current system and how it supports GW2.

Sorry i should have wrote it like. That does not mean we need such a system.

Loot boxes only exist because most people would complain if you could buy them directly at a high price. It's easier to trick people into spending more than to get people to tolerate a standard high price.

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@Madara.7435 said:A question for them belgian players: which items specifically are not purchasable anymore? If I understand correctly this concerns dye kits, BLC keys and some packages where one of those is included. Is there anything else? Like.. Mount licenses?

Anything where (a) money changes hands and (b) the outcome isn't certain.

  • Dye kits
  • BL Keys
  • MountFit RNG licenses (the 'select' ones are fine)
  • Any bundle or package that contains any of the above.
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To Anet for your consideration on this issue. Belgium is one country and the player base coming from that country might not be so very large, but this "item not available in your region" approach is only going to make Anet look bad and cause you to lose players (regardless if the same applies to other games or not). So while the issue is limited to one country, you might find time to consider and prepare alternate approaches, since the EU will quite likely follow suit. If you have "item not available in your region" for all EU players, you will lose a lot of EU players from your player base, and this will be a significant portion of your player base. Short summary: your business model is under threat and needs to adapt to changing regulations.

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@"Adzekul.3104" said:To Anet for your consideration on this issue. Belgium is one country and the player base coming from that country might not be so very large, but this "item not available in your region" approach is only going to make Anet look bad and cause you to lose players (regardless if the same applies to other games or not). So while the issue is limited to one country, you might find time to consider and prepare alternate approaches, since the EU will quite likely follow suit. If you have "item not available in your region" for all EU players, you will lose a lot of EU players from your player base, and this will be a significant portion of your player base. Short summary: your business model is under threat and needs to adapt to changing regulations.

I think ArenaNet is aware of this as are most other game publishers. It will not take many years before more countries in EU (and maybe outside the EU too) will follow Belgium and forbid elements of gambling in games. But that moment isn't yet. I expect ArenaNet will just add countries to the list of "item not available in your region" when necessary so they can get as much money as possible from gambling in games for as long as possible. Most European countries have a relative small population, it will take countries as Germany, France, Spain and the UK to really impact gem sales.

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@"Gaile Gray.6029" said:We recently disabled Gem purchases for players located in Belgium. This action was in response to the Belgian Gaming Commission's declaration that paid loot boxes violate Belgium's gambling restrictions. We have now implemented a more refined system, which only restricts the purchase of loot boxes and related items, such as chest keys, dye kits, and certain packs by players located in Belgium. For players located in Belgium, you will see the following message when viewing these items "This item is not available for purchase in your region." All other items and purchases are now available. Please read our FAQ on the subject here.

We appreciate your patience as we worked to comply with the Belgian Gaming Commission's restrictions.

Hello Gaile,

I have some follow-up questions I haven't seen answered yet, nor in the FAQ. Since it affects me already as a Belgian and since other countries are looking into this as well, I was hoping you could help clarify a few things.

  • Your first post in this thread also mentioned the purchase of the Ultimate Edition versions had been disabled as well. I assume because the Instant Level 80 Boost contains some Dye Packs. Is this still disabled and if so, will Ultimate Editions of potential future expansion packs also not be offered to Belgian Players (and any region that may be excluded as a result of future laws)? Or would the offer change and drop/modify the Instant Level 80 Boost container?
  • Current Gem Store package offers often have additional items to make them more expensive than buying the individual weapon/outfit skins (ex. Dye Packs in the current Zafirah's Package). These are now unavailable under the new restrictions, despite being overall cheaper than buying all the items seperately. Will future offers take the restrictions into account and offer non-RNG Gem Store items?
  • As a direct result, the RNG Mount Adoption licences are now no longer available. Instead, only the guaranteed Mount Adoption licences are available. What this means for collectors in affected regions is that the price to get all Mount skins has been multiplied by 3, as the "bulk" purchase was through the RNG version. Has this been taken into account already?

Thanks in advance for your reply.

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@"Sariel.2143" said:

First of all its about lootboxes that give an advantage over other players.

Second, gambling is legal above 21years.

Final point, there isnt a new "law" everyone is talking about. They are just looking into it. (And to be honest, everyones busy with the upcoming elections)

Just get an age restriction on it or something.

You say it only concerns lootboxes that give an advantage over other players. Last time I read about the law, it was ANY form of gambling (i.e. any type of lootboxes). Counter-Strike weapon crates do not give you an advantage because it's just a skin. However, you can't buy any keys for the crates anymore either.

Anet is taking the 'better safe than sorry' approach and wants GW2 to comply with the new law before it gets approved. And yes, it WILL get approved, only a matter of time.

Age restriction is a bad idea and would just be another loophole to a shady practice. Gaming companies should be aware that lootboxes is a toxic in the current gaming industry and I really hope the rest of the EU and hopefully US will follow, so game developers will think twice before implementing such maleficent and 'cheap' ways to generate income.

@"Sariel.2143" said:It isnt considered gambling when there is no advantage to gain. It needs to meet this criteria:"a bet that can lead to a loss or profit".

What would you call, for example the mount adoption license, if it isn't considered gambling in your book?

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@Imba.9451 said:

@"Turk.5460" said:

So then surely you'd like a subscription like World of Warcraft.

No.

Why not just...hear me out here...not buy the "gambling" items such as keys then? I don't understand how that concept is so hard. None of the items obtained influence gameplay, so there is not a necessity. If I want an item that's exclusive to the Black Lion Chests, I buy keys. I like getting things like Metabolic Primers and wardrobe unlocks along the way. I got a couple Fused skins a while back from wardrobe unlocks, things that would have been super expensive in gold. I was very happy I bought keys.

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@Turk.5460 said:

So then surely you'd like a subscription like World of Warcraft.

No.

Why not just...hear me out here...
not
buy the "gambling" items such as keys then? I don't understand how that concept is so hard. None of the items obtained influence gameplay, so there is not a necessity. If I want an item that's exclusive to the Black Lion Chests, I buy keys. I like getting things like Metabolic Primers and wardrobe unlocks along the way. I got a couple Fused skins a while back from wardrobe unlocks, things that would have been super expensive in gold. I was very happy I bought keys.

Good for you.But why not... hear me out here... actually offer a way of getting these items without a game of chance involved?I don't understand how that concept is so hard.

"Don't buy it then!" is not a valid argument in favor of predatory buisness practices. Quite the contrary, ignoring it will let developers test their limits more and more.Also, "don't buy it then!" also isn't a valid argument, when the games way of balancing out things is to grind down your patience in order to stringarm you into buying stuff.

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@Imba.9451 said:But why not... hear me out here... actually offer a way of getting these items without a game of chance involved?I've obtained the stuff I want without playing games of chance. 90% of my strategy involves waiting until it's available in the form I want at a price I'm willing to pay.


Moreover I like the RNG items in the gem shop because they are fun. By far & away the best gifts I've gotten (in terms of sheer joy) have been the RNG MountFit licenses. I like the anticipation just before opening and sharing the results with the person who gifted it. 400 gems is far too much for me to pay for myself, but I'm absolutely willing to spend for some friends (or various commanders/leaders who go above and beyond week after week after week).

To be clear: I'm not trying to convince you to change your views. I am trying to demonstrate that reasonable people can reasonably see things differently.

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@Imba.9451 said:

So then surely you'd like a subscription like World of Warcraft.

No.

Why not just...hear me out here...
not
buy the "gambling" items such as keys then? I don't understand how that concept is so hard. None of the items obtained influence gameplay, so there is not a necessity. If I want an item that's exclusive to the Black Lion Chests, I buy keys. I like getting things like Metabolic Primers and wardrobe unlocks along the way. I got a couple Fused skins a while back from wardrobe unlocks, things that would have been super expensive in gold. I was very happy I bought keys.

Good for you.But why not... hear me out here... actually
offer
a way of getting these items without a game of chance involved?I don't understand how that concept is so hard.

"Don't buy it then!" is not a valid argument in favor of predatory buisness practices. Quite the contrary, ignoring it will let developers test their limits more and more.Also, "don't buy it then!" also isn't a valid argument, when the games way of balancing out things is to grind down your patience in order to stringarm you into buying stuff.

"Don't buy it then!" is absolutely a valid argument. It may not be a valid argument to you, but it certainly is to most everyone else. I'm sad you find black lion chests to be "predatory." Maybe it's time you play games that don't involve practices that you personally do not agree with. I support the Gem Store and all it has to offer, I see nothing in there come across as predatory, since none of the items influence gameplay what-so-ever.

Nobody is "strong-arming" you into buying anything, get a grip, reevaluate your willpower. You can continue to play the game the exact same way you always have without any of the cosmetic items. This is how we've supported the game without subscriptions for 6 years, and this is how we're going to continue to support the game without subscriptions. You think expansion packs alone bring in enough revenue to continue paying the employees, servers and maintenance, ongoing player support and new content?

Oh, and finally - NOT A SINGLE DIME NEEDS TO BE SPENT TO GET ANY OF THE ITEMS AS GEMS CAN BE PURCHASED WITH IN-GAME GOLD.drops mic

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