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Is Guild Wars 2 Pay2win?


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(not an answer to the question, a comment on the discussion)

 

Looking at the posts above, folks, I'm assuming the person asked it seriously, I think it's best we stick to more clear answers for the person asking and anyone who sincerely wants to know.  An example of pay to win in another game I play is where literally, most of the meta equipment and buffs for bossing and any high level content requires the real life cash currency or their equivalent of gems.  Like, actually.    That would be their equivalent of gw2 exotic/ascended Zerk equipment (which is all easily craftable as ftp).    If you go on their guide site, they would tell you to get these specific -cash shop items- to do most any high level content.   In some other games, (and before they buffed mesmers, base mesmers really did do worse than the expacs and other classes, but now after the balance changes it truly is -not- pay to win and I think all base ftp classes are on a pretty even footing with the p2p elite specs, with a few particularly strong ftp classes and a few harder to play hint: boons and boonstripping is the answer), ftp classes intentionally deal out less damage and utility comparatively than p2p in pvp and pve and all game modes.  This is no longer the case in gw2 to my knowledge of pvp (which is admittedly from mostly1 year ago, so I would appreciate any active pvpers confirming this- but the mechanics and traitlines and trait aspects that helped me deal out a ton of damage on base mesmer are the same and I don't notice any number difference updates or damage differences).   At least from my perspective, GW2 is not pay to win at all.  I did high level content fine as ftp for at least a year or two, no problem, and that's also pretty normal.

 

  I know it's fun to discuss whether pay for convenience/non game balance perks/fashion 'really' is pay to win, etc etc, and we can totally open another thread for that, but let's try to answer sincerely based on what -normally- is considered pay to win by video gamers? ^^; for this person?

Edited by cloudsareyum.8120
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Some of the things i observed reading this thread:   1. Buying the full game when the game has what basically ammounts to a huge free demo is pay to win. 2. You can win at fashion wars

You can get into the game, cash up and be lvl 80 and fully equipped on your first day. I don't care if people try to stick the literal meaning of "pay to win" down somebodies throat, because in e

If GW2 is P2W, then I'm definitely doing something wrong. I have all the convenience items from the gem shop, but still can't kill another player in WvW.   Do you think it is too late to get

33 minutes ago, cloudsareyum.8120 said:

I know it's fun to discuss whether pay for convenience/non game balance perks/fashion 'really' is pay to win, etc etc, and we can totally open another thread for that, but let's try to answer sincerely based on what -normally- is considered pay to win by video gamers? ^^; for this person?

 

All fine and good to have opinions but if you're going to state your bias, don't attempt to dismiss criticism or disagreement as mere misinformation or quibbling.

 

I've played heavily P2W games as well (to name names, Blade and Soul, while heavily skill based, it also relies on constant farming and/or benefits wins through PvP or cash) then I've played games that are NOT P2W or any iteration of the sort (things like early City of Heroes or Final Fantasy 11).  I'd be far more generous to the prospect of being lenient with the term P2W if players were more generally transparent with what they can achieve with gold, and this is coming from a player who prefers to use gold rather than time.

Edited by Leo G.4501
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Just now, Leo G.4501 said:

 

All fine and good to have opinions but if you're going to state your bias, don't attempt to dismiss criticism or disagreement as mere misinformation or quibbling.

 

I've played heavily P2W games as well (to name names, Blade and Soul, while heavily skill based, it also relies on constant farming and/or benefits won through PvP or cash) then I've played games that are NOT P2W or any iteration of the sort (things like early City of Heroes or Final Fantasy 11).  I'd be far more generous to the prospect of being lenient with the term P2W if players were more generally transparent with what they can achieve with gold, and this is coming from a player who prefers to use gold rather than time.

I do not think I was calling anything misinformation or not 'technically pay to win under technical circumstances'/quibbling, but fine, that's fair.   I don't really understand still how gw2 is pay to win (my experience was pr-etty similar to my experience in city of heroes) but I'll update my original post to include my bias for useful info for the player.

 

  In my personal experience, players asking this as a genuine newb question tend to be asking something on the line of 'do i need to spend  real $$$ as a requirement to have decent gear/do any high level content/will i be constantly pwned in pvp unless I get an expac', not actually a discussion on whether it's P2W for all possible definitions of P2W or whether you spend lots of gold to 'win fast', but I figure your interpretation and everyone else is that it's really just a fun discussion as it says on the tin, not someone new/hasn't done all the content yet genuinely asking that, and it's not like i really clicked their user icon to double check, so there isn't really a responsibility to be helpful in that sense, so /shrug, ignore what I said then, and I figure y'all can just go have fun discussing various definitions of P2W.  

 

I probably overstepped my bounds, assuming it was a newb asking and requesting we be a bit more helpful- if they are a newb tho I do recommend the guild wars 2 discord server or asking more specific questions, since I think everyone here is having a lot of fun discussing xd.

 

I hope this makes sense? Like, I was coming from the perspective of, this is a newb who is asking, pretty much if they need to buy expacs to win in pvp, to do high level content, to enjoy all of the game, to complete the achievements available to them, to be useful in any team fight or boss fights or do decent damage output, that the [META THING] and the decent options on the wiki for boss fighting that is requested in demand by all players on all content available to FTP all requires you spending $$ on it.  So that was the query and interpretation I was answering.  

  Yeah, you can definitely argue that because you can buy gold you can 'pay to win', aka pay by skipping the gameplay and getting convenience, but it's also possible to do all these things without $$$, but that wasn't not my angle or point.


You and a lot of people seem to be coming from the perspective of, 'this is just truly a discussion on whether it's pay to win or not' and having a lot of fun with it. I do apologize, I really did think it was a newb asking and we were just going to confuse them with all of these debates about whether it is pay to win or not based on our own subjective definitions of 'pay to win'.  In that context, I can see how me stating 'let's be clearer to the newb and use a different discussion' comes off as dismissive and rather silly, as the person did actually just start the thread maybe for a plain old discussion, and sorry about that.  My actual two cents if we're only discussing (and there is no confused newb involved)  'is it technically pay to win based on our subjective definitions of such', I do think that in terms of gold account value or gw2efficiency ranking, gw2 is definitely 'pay to win', which is similar for all games that have microtransactions that allow you to buy gold compared to games with 0 microtransactions that allow gold buying, but in terms of the strict definition most new players who haven't really played all the high level content are interested in, it is most certainly not PTW, since you can do all of the game without paying, it just takes you longer, more time, and more arduous (however, being ftp, there really isn't as much demand for having OMG so much gold anyway, given that you have enough funds for doing whatever you want and you can't change gold to gems regardless.  There are still ways to get gold as ftp though if you're -just- competing in regards to gold.)   It's a difficult and interesting question to think about if we're discussing it (and not trying to help a newb, who usually tends to only mean 'doing high level content/fighting in pvp on even level, all the gameplay is open to me, I'm not always a second class citizen in terms of damage and gameplay, etc') because gw2 has so many activities that there are so many different ways to 'win'.   I never felt like a second class citizen as ftp tho gameplay wise, with the exception of not being able to access the trading post or map chat.  

 

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4 hours ago, Leo G.4501 said:

You actually think people are bending reality?  It doesn't even have to go that hard.  The moment you start bending people's wallets, the whole situation changes.  Luckily, GW2 doesn't do that too hard but when you start looking at needing 250 materials for 15 materials + 150 gold to buy items from NPCs for specific goals, the opportunity to get that completely satiated with a swipe of a card certainly could fix a lot of problems. 

 

What.

Do.

You.

Win?

 

... if you swipe your credit card? How are you getting an advantage over other players that they can't get by not paying?

 

Or is your whole argument this:?

 

On 5/23/2021 at 7:23 PM, Veprovina.4876 said:

3. Convenience is winning.

 😛

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3 hours ago, Leo G.4501 said:

 

All fine and good to have opinions but if you're going to state your bias, don't attempt to dismiss criticism or disagreement as mere misinformation or quibbling.

 

I've played heavily P2W games as well (to name names, Blade and Soul, while heavily skill based, it also relies on constant farming and/or benefits wins through PvP or cash) then I've played games that are NOT P2W or any iteration of the sort (things like early City of Heroes or Final Fantasy 11).  I'd be far more generous to the prospect of being lenient with the term P2W if players were more generally transparent with what they can achieve with gold, and this is coming from a player who prefers to use gold rather than time.

And yet I feel you're biased based on your experience with much older games that aren't really in the conversation anymore. The entire landscape has changed and out of all the current MMOs I've seen, I feel like Guild Wars 2 is among the last pay to win if we go by your definition which plenty of people seem to disagree with.


The term having it's negative connotations and everyone having a different definition is definitely a sticking point for me at least.

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I still dont get why people think that buying coniviences ist somehow winning. That just doesnt make sense, you do not gain advantages against other players.    And the claim that expansions is pay to win, eh. Its new content, if you care about the game, you will eventually get it.

 

Pay to win is buying gear or powers that gets you a huge advantage over others, in pve or pvp. No argument about it. 

 

WoW isnt pay to win from blizzard's side, but theyve 'enabled' it due to easy acess to the wowtoken, which have caused the rise of a massive boosting culture for ingame gold. But I think we all know where said gold comes from.  But in a way I can well understand why blizzard added the wowtoken as they just couldnt fight all the illegal gold sellers tempting players.

 

Sure in gw2 you can buy gold too. But outside of crafting ascended gear, you hit the plateau super fast

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6 hours ago, LucianDK.8615 said:

I still dont get why people think that buying coniviences ist somehow winning. That just doesnt make sense, you do not gain advantages against other players.

As far as I've been able to tell, certain convenience items can translate into an economic advantage, a sort of first to market win.  It's a belief that you're winning by being richer through the ingame market and QoL can help you be more efficient at that. Not how I define game competition personally, especially since the advantage is too indirect, just to explain the mindset.

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4 hours ago, Chaba.5410 said:

As far as I've been able to tell, certain convenience items can translate into an economic advantage, a sort of first to market win.  It's a belief that you're winning by being richer through the ingame market and QoL can help you be more efficient at that. Not how I define game competition personally, especially since the advantage is too indirect, just to explain the mindset.

Untrue completely. You are going to take a long time making back the gem value in paying back itself for what you spent on it.

For example the Copperfed salvage device. You could have bought a LOT of salvage kits for it. Not to forget it munches copper on use.

Or any endless gathering kit. You are going to look far into the future before the cost equalizes with the gathering tools you could have bought.

There is absolutely no winning here for two of the main most popular coniviences.

Edited by LucianDK.8615
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17 hours ago, Vayne.8563 said:

And yet I feel you're biased based on your experience with much older games that aren't really in the conversation anymore.

 

I'd say the horrible Korean games are always relevant when speaking about pay to win. Which is, of course, not the case with GW2. Can't be pay to win if you can't pay to get an advantage. Still, to be honest, i couldn't care less about PvP, so who knows, but that's of no interest to me.

Edited by Yggranya.5201
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40 minutes ago, LucianDK.8615 said:

Untrue completely. You are going to take a long time making back the gem value in paying back itself for what you spent on it.

For example the Copperfed salvage device. You could have bought a LOT of salvage kits for it. Not to forget it munches copper on use.

Or any endless gathering kit. You are going to look far into the future before the cost equalizes with the gathering tools you could have bought.

There is absolutely no winning here for two of the main most popular coniviences.

Well exactly. QoL items are priced exactly with that in mind. I wasn't saying it's true. I was referring to player perception or belief in some advantage that makes them conclude the item is p2w. Confirmation bias often blinds them to the actual costs.

Edited by Chaba.5410
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In GW2, gold or $$$ only gives an advantage in crafting time.  Having Ascended or even Legendary gear (same stats as Asc BTW) doesn't make you a winner either.

 

Knowing how to play the game is the ONLY way to win.  If you can't use your abilities, no amount of gold will offset that.

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Depends on what you mean by "winning".

 

If you mean paying so you are able to stomp your opponents in WvW and PvP, or outdps your peers in raids, then no, you cannot pay to win.

 

If you mean paying to get shiny looking armor or mounts which functionally are no different from the f2p options, then yes, you are able to do so.

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On 5/30/2021 at 5:42 AM, Vayne.8563 said:


The term having it's negative connotations and everyone having a different definition is definitely a sticking point for me at least.

Honestly its this thing that annoys me the most about this whole discussion/definition. Everyone has their own definition of the term, and somehow they diminish the different definitions of other people as if they are somehow wrong.  

 

But i'm a stickler for useful definitions so people essentially defining p2w as being able to buy for advantages which the person itself considers problematic triggers me more then most people.

Edited by yann.1946
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On 5/26/2021 at 1:21 PM, Veprovina.4876 said:

Some of the things i observed reading this thread:

 

1. Buying the full game when the game has what basically ammounts to a huge free demo is pay to win.

2. You can win at fashion wars (even though fashion wars is a play on words on Guild Wars and has nothing to do with competition or battle), but only if you buy something from the gem shop with real money. You can't possibly win fashion wars by having your character look the way YOU want and that being the starter armor. You also apparently can't convert gold to gems and get something from the shop that way.

3. Convenience is winning.

4. Pay to win means i'm jelous someone else has more shiny stuff than me so they won and i lost and this game is pay to win because the shinier player paid for their shiny. You still can't convert gold to gems and get that exact shiny.

5. Every business practice in the game shop i don't agree with is pay to win.

6. You win by avoiding gameplay.

7. You win by having the exact same gear strength as everyone else. But only if you bought gold with gems to have that gear sooner.

8. You win by having a full game in PvP where everyone's equipment is standardized and the only difference between 2 people of the same exact build is someone's skill. But you won by having 2 extra build choices.

9. You can't complete the game and play the endgame content if you haven't bought a skin in the cash shop.

10. Winning is everything. Enjoying the game at your pace means you're a loser.

 

This thread is hilarious, please don't let it die! 😅

 

It's hilarious 😄 but at the same time It's a little bit more complex than that. Not every marketing strategy fits for every game, but gamers in general follow the same specific trends... including what's p2w what's not, social media influencers don't give a kitten about it. So far GW2 team held a good track record. I really don't want to see someone calling me a cheater just because I prefer walking around like a christmas tree. 

Edited by artharon.9276
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