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Is Guild Wars 2 Pay2win?


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@Ashen.2907 said:

@"Raknar.4735" said:

Someone that lvls with an exp boost technically has an advantage over someone that doesn't lvl with an exp boost.

You would have to establish that leveling faster is advantageous for this to be true. I could very readily argue that leveling faster puts a player at a disadvantage.

Otherwise I tend to agree with your points.You would also have to argue that higher levels mean you compete better for resources in order for it to be an advantage over others. Unless one want to claim that farming open world level 80 mobs is viable and anyone that dont farm them is at a disadvantage, thats not how GW2 works. And even then, we dont have kill stealing.

Regarding the whole expansion argument - intent matters alot. Many games today release "expansions" every week/month. We know them as DLCs. And we know the intent of releasing a $10 DLC every other week with minimal if any content or something that keep making your character better.

An full expansion released every 3 year for $30+ does not have the same intent. I would argue that given the timespan, it replace the whole original game with a "new" game. People with the expansion arent p2w - its people without it that have "stopped" playing the game.

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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

@Maikimaik.1974 said:

@Cynz.9437 said:You ask this question in wrong section of the forums. Most people who read this section are PvE'ers - they don't "win" much really beside getting new content. Problem of p2w is in wvw and pvp - especs are straight upgrade to core in most cases which leads to even more imbalance since usually especs offer even more what class didn't have before which leads to never ending power creep.Then there is thing like food and buffs/gear that cannot be made or are hard to get without xpac.

????So buying the game you play is now pay to win???????

Did you even read what you quote or just spam question marks? Yes, the game is pay to win. Without espec you are going to lose most of your matches in pvp and encounters in wvw vs players with espec. This is fact. You can't get expansion thus especs with in game currency so you have to spend real money on it.

If you're playing without expansions, you're playing a trial version of the game (unless you bought the game before HoT was released).The paid version of a game having advantages over a trial version is obviously not Pay2Win.

I have 2 accounts. One has all expansions. Other i got before HoT came out and it doesn't have expansions - so yes, i have an account that is not f2p but also doesn't allow me to play especs (yes, it was my choice). I think i am very much qualified to judge whether this game is p2w or not given i get to experience "both worlds" on daily basis. Expansions which can be only bought with real money specifically give huge advantage in competitive environment and it is definition of pay to win. You don't buy content in pvp/wvw when you get expansion - new maps, LS, raids etc. don't matter there; but you get straight upgrade of the classes you play.

Many don't remember (or don't want to remember or don't know) but Anet also nerfed core classes pre-HoT just to make especs and new class (rev) much more desirable. It was really cheap from them and still has bitter taste given how they keep nerfing core builds just so people are forced to play especs.

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@WindBlade.8749 said:No but yes, they should put living worlds with the dlc associated to it, even if it's make it a little bit more expensive, paying two time the same price later feel way more expensive than paying one time.

I understand your POV (I bought an alt account during the last 50% off sale and I'm not looking forward to those purchases), but I really like the current system. Active Veteran players are rewarded for their consistency/loyalty to the game while new or returning players are still paying less money than they would be with other MMORPGs (at least the ones I've tried). With WoW, you're paying 15 dollars per month on top of purchasing expansions. With BDO, you could theoretically play forever with nothing more than the $10 box price, but it would be laughable to think of that as the reality for the average player. The game gets you to buy convenience that American games would offer for free, on top of the not-so-optional 15 dollar sub fee that enables you to sell items without an exorbitant marketplace tax along with other convenience perks. GW2 feels like charity by comparison.

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The pay to win part of GW2 is hard capped at $30.

Saying GW2 is pay to win really waters down the meaning and the offenses committed in the market.

The only inconvenience is that to get the most enjoyment out of the game is getting a character slot per class. God forbid you have to support the game and purchase an expansion every few years.

What we have is better than literally everything else out there.

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Here's my answer to the whole P2W argument regarding GW2. The game is not directly P2W, but as with any modern MMORPG, it does allow you to pay to save time. This is a huge issue in a game like BDO that has a very long-term gear treadmill and is built around open world PvP. In GW2, even a semi-casual player could go from a fresh account to stat maxed in a couple weeks. Paying to increase the speed at which you acquire max stat gear is of little to no consequence. If player A spends a month practicing with his class and only ends up with a full set of exotic gear, he will probably still win the 1v1 in WvW against player B who bought his account and converted a bunch of money into gold to get full ascended gear the second his new account trading post restriction ended. If anything, GW2 is P2W-f2W-BSL (Pay to win for 2 weeks but still lose).

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@"Leo G.4501" said:But all games don't fall under that so-called "broad definition". You're just salty that some of that definition applies to your game. For example, FFXIV fails to fit.

FFXIV fails to fit what exactly? That you can exchange wealth for in-game convenience? I think it more than fits the definition

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@Fueki.4753 said:

@"DirtyDan.4759" said:The f2p base game is a giant demo/trial. F2p accounts shouln't be allowed to play in ranked and tournaments because of botting/hackers but whatever.

Yet most hackers and botters use elite specializations, not core professions.Thus, most hackers are not f2p accounts.

OK, but what does that do for the "demo/trial" version of the game argument? F2P was exactly that for me, an extended demo, where I was allowed, perhaps even encouraged to try the game out, and decide whether or not I wanted to buy in for the rest of it. Why should a demo provide all aspects of the game?

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Going strictly by my definition of P2W, no. My paying for conveniences does not give me an edge over my fellow players. I am not stronger or better because I can teleport to my home instance. Should my friends or guildmates want to farm my instance, it is free for them to do so. Again, it is my definition, one's my mileage may vary.

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P2W?No.

Long answer: Hell no.

Maybe you can stretch to call it pay4convenience, but if Anet got something right, it's making a purely optional gem store where you never feel the need to spend money.Which was nice, and I have bought gems, for armors/outfits, etc. but never for anything to be considered advantageous, simply because gem store doesn't contain such items.

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@Cyninja.2954 said:You don't even notice how selective you are. The video YOU linked defines pay to win as nearly anything which can be purchased with real money, which in any way can be used to speed up or gain an advantage.

Final Fantasy 14 allows:

  • character level boost to sub max level
  • Shadowbringers adds a mount which surpasses original mount speed availability temporarily
  • skip scenarios via store purchase

and that's just with a 5 minutes rudimentary inspection of the cash shop.

Final Fantasy is ABSOLUTELY pay to win according to the video YOU posted by the mere fact you can advance your character level by paying alone (that alone already fits Josh's definition). Remember, Josh Strife Haze uses a VERY broad definition. He explicitly mentions some of these options. According to his video, FF14 is pay to win. He makes a specific mention of paying to advance at 2:05.

I love how the video YOU linked suddenly encompasses a game you were sure was not pay to win, or believed not to be. That's what happens when the definition is made to broad. Perfect example. Thank you, I could not have come up with how to better demonstrate this.

Sweet. So you've established that FFXIV has P2W elements too. Now how about FFXI?

@Cyninja.2954 said:Yes, in case of pay to win and its negative connotation, I personally do. That's what the term is being used as most often as in the western market.

If I wanted to draw attention to other things, I would name them like: this game has micro transactions or this game has pay for convenience.

Micro-transactions and pay-for-convenience are not mutually exclusive just like P2W and negative connotations can be mutually exclusive.

@Cyninja.2954 said:I'm not hiding anything, nor do I believe most others players who have voted here do. I call into question how calling nearly everything pay to win fits the purpose of the phrase. (Josh even mentions himself that his definition will fit most games at 3:28 after specifically mentioning that he is considering all nuances of pay to win, pay for convenience and pay to advance quicker as PAY TO WIN at 2:42. He is strait up and honest about how broad and all encompassing his personal definition is and will likely fit near any game with a cash shop.)

You were the one who brought up the video of Josh, without ANY context mind you.

I know what I was doing. Look at the title of the video: "How 'Pay To Win' ruins the gameplay in MMO's". The entire point of the video is HOW P2W ruins GAMEPLAY. The aspects that he outlines in what counts as P2W have their negatives that can harm gameplay....but it doesn't always have to if handled properly. It's like you've completely missed the point of why I posted the video...

@Cyninja.2954 said:I did not disagree with your post. I disagreed with the definition put forth in the video you linked. You did not even make an effort to formulate your own opinion.

In fact, last I checked, the only things I have been responding to were the initial video you linked and the subsequent argument over the position and definition put forth in that video. Who knows, maybe your personal definition differs from Josh's given you seem to disagree with him on how to classify FF14. I wouldn't know, you never made an effort to differentiate yourself from Josh's definition.

The thing about the definition being broad means no one's perspective is being overlooked. The question you then have to ask is: does it harm the game? You've apparently decided to dictate other definitions, going on an endless loop trying to make others' definitions wrong and cover up why anyone would ever ask the question in the first place.

As for FFXIV, I don't believe it was ever brought up in the video. I brought it up mainly because I never even knew about tokens to advance through the story....granted, I stopped playing the game around 6 years ago so maybe that feature was added on. Still doesn't mean that every game falls under that broad definition, and even if it does, the point is to critically consider if said aspect has a negative effect on the game and how damaging that effect is.

@Cyninja.2954 said:No, I do not consider pay to win to be positive or neutral. Not in the way it is being used in gamer circles and the very negative connotation it has. Which is why I am giving this phrase and how it is used such careful consideration. For everything else, there are better phrases to use which can mean the same thing, but with a positive spin.

I'm the one being defensive? Last I checked, I was not the one to start using personal attacks to discredit someone else's arguments. I'm sure your intentional mention of Karen, accidentally assuming my intent and discrediting what I said based on stereotypes was all by accident.

So you're gatekeeping. Useless. About as annoyingly cringy as gamers who bicker over what the definition of "gamer" is (does it include mobile games, etc etc).

I'm sure P2W isn't the only term hotly mutated and morphed into what fits the current narrative. Yeah, yeah, language and definitions change over time and what not but less not mince words: most of these MMOs aren't challenging or tough, just time consuming. Paying your way to progress or reduce grind (read: pay-for-convenience) went hand-in-hand with the P2W definition literally half a decade ago and the push to change the meaning of the term likely comes from the influx of such a monetization scheme in the industry.

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@Astyrah.4015 said:assuming this is actually a serious question,

if fashion wars is your endgame, then yes GW2 is pay-to-win. you buy the best skins and cosmetics on the cash shop rather than farming then ingame.

if it's pve (raids, fractals, strikes, dungeons) or wvw, then throwing more money at arenanet wont exactly win you anything for your character or progression other than actually helping the game stay online for years to come -- which in return wins you a game to play and enjoy for as long as the servers are live.

I have to disagree.

I am sure that you know cash shop money, gems, can be bought with gold? And of course, vice versa.

So, you CAN farm gems indirectly ingame. On the contrary, many flashy legn weapons, armours trinkets and even ascended stuff are account bound.

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@"DexterousGecko.6328" said:Maybe i use a weird definition of Pay2Win but for me, if you can skip progression in a game by just paying cash instead of strictly in-game, then I say it's Pay2Win. Is that always bad? No. When games are designed/balanced around that system, that's when it gets frustrating imo.

What do you win though? You're not at any advantage over others, PvP is standardised, WvW you can go in at 60 if you want...There will never be a level higher than 80, so even if you buy the thing to skip progression to 80, at best you're at where everyone else is.

Are Tomes of Knowledge also a problem? Cause people who do WvW/PvP have stacks of them and can level characters to 80 for free in a few minutes (seconds if we'd had consume all option instead of clicking "yes" every time). Are WvW/PvP players at an unfair advantage over anyone else?

Cause you can't say something's pay to win in this game because some other game took it to an extreme with a completely different system. Since levels (progression) in this game are different than in other games, is it fair to then throw apples and oranges into the same basket and call it a day?

I think it's not fair to look at it that way, and that one should look at it on a case to case basis. How a system works, what it awards you if you "skip" it, and if that actual skip is exclusively monetised.

Just my 2 cents.

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@Caldori.7251 said:I think it might be pay to win a little bit due to in game gold buying with gems... not super major tho. The bigger question is: Can it be pay to win if arena net can't process you gem transaction ;)

But what can you buy with $ that gives you a distinct advantage? The only thing that comes to mind that costs more than a small amount of gold are Gen 1 Legendary Weapons....anything else either can't be purely bought from the TP or is cheap enough for you to not really need to use real money to obtain gold. Even then, that legendary weapon has the same stats as Ascended so it's more a convenience item.


I see nearly all of the Yes/Maybe's mentioning elite specs/expansions. I honestly don't understand the thought process behind that.....viewing GW2 as a purely F2P game would be a bit silly to do at this stage of the game (and as an aside, you get much more than elite specs when you purchase the expansions).

I wonder if comments like that would even be a thing if they had never stopped charging for the base game.

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Its one of the only games I know that has the ability for the player to trade in-game currency for premium currency.

some games charge you for the silliest stuff.

I don't think a lot of people are very clear on what 'pay to win' means. thumbing gw2 as pay to win is very laughable. most game companies would laugh you out of their office if you suggested allowing game currency to be traded for premium currency.

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@Leo G.4501 said:

@Cyninja.2954 said:You don't even notice how selective you are. The video YOU linked defines pay to win as nearly anything which can be purchased with real money, which in any way can be used to speed up or gain an advantage.

Final Fantasy 14 allows:
  • character level boost to sub max level
  • Shadowbringers adds a mount which surpasses original mount speed availability temporarily
  • skip scenarios via store purchase

and that's just with a 5 minutes rudimentary inspection of the cash shop.

Final Fantasy is ABSOLUTELY pay to win according to the video YOU posted by the mere fact you can advance your character level by paying alone (that alone already fits Josh's definition). Remember, Josh Strife Haze uses a VERY broad definition. He explicitly mentions some of these options. According to his video, FF14 is pay to win. He makes a specific mention of paying to advance at 2:05.

I love how the video YOU linked suddenly encompasses a game you were sure was not pay to win, or believed not to be. That's what happens when the definition is made to broad. Perfect example. Thank you, I could not have come up with how to better demonstrate this.

Sweet. So you've established that FFXIV has P2W elements too. Now how about FFXI?

You did not mention FF11, you mentioned FF14. That's what I replied to and that is where you were selective. Again, you clearly did not notice how FF14 HAS pay to win elements according to the video you linked.

@Leo G.4501 said:

@Cyninja.2954 said:Yes, in case of pay to win and its negative connotation, I personally do. That's what the term is being used as most often as in the western market.

If I wanted to draw attention to other things, I would name them like: this game has micro transactions or this game has pay for convenience.

Micro-transactions and pay-for-convenience are not mutually exclusive just like P2W and negative connotations can be mutually exclusive.

I never said they were mutually exclusive. Not once. On the contrary, by using different terms instead of lumping all of it together under 1 term I, unlike the opinion of the video which claims they are all the same, can make distinctions of how much of any of these monetizations are present in a game.

@Leo G.4501 said:

@Cyninja.2954 said:I'm not hiding anything, nor do I believe most others players who have voted here do. I call into question how calling nearly everything pay to win fits the purpose of the phrase. (Josh even mentions himself that his definition will fit most games at 3:28 after specifically mentioning that he is considering all nuances of pay to win, pay for convenience and pay to advance quicker as PAY TO WIN at 2:42. He is strait up and honest about how broad and all encompassing his personal definition is and will likely fit near any game with a cash shop.)

You were the one who brought up the video of Josh, without ANY context mind you.

I know what I was doing. Look at the title of the video: "How 'Pay To Win' ruins the gameplay in MMO's". The entire point of the video is HOW P2W ruins GAMEPLAY. The aspects that he outlines in what counts as P2W have their negatives that can harm gameplay....but it doesn't always have to if handled properly. It's like you've completely missed the point of why I posted the video...

and this threads title is:Is Guild Wars 2 Pay2win?

Which is what is being discussed and which I am responding to and in fact under which premise I have given my opinion on the video. Given the by now overwhelming majority of votes on this pole (relative to the total sample size), it seems most voters present seem to disagree with the opinion put forth in the video (which would obviously be skewed in favor of the game, given it is its official message board yet the vote is very overwhelmingly one sided), which would label GW2 as pay to win. Otherwise we would see a more congruent result.

@Leo G.4501 said:

@Cyninja.2954 said:I did not disagree with your post. I disagreed with the definition put forth in the video you linked. You did not even make an effort to formulate your own opinion.

In fact, last I checked, the only things I have been responding to were the initial video you linked and the subsequent argument over the position and definition put forth in that video. Who knows, maybe your personal definition differs from Josh's given you seem to disagree with him on how to classify FF14. I wouldn't know, you never made an effort to differentiate yourself from Josh's definition.

The thing about the definition being broad means no one's perspective is being overlooked. The question you then have to ask is: does it harm the game? You've apparently decided to dictate other definitions, going on an endless loop trying to make others' definitions wrong and cover up why anyone would ever ask the question in the first place.

That's not how classifications work. The most broad classification is the most meaningless for establishing differences.

You keep claiming I am covering things up which is the exact opposite of what using multiple terms to quantify and define things is. You either don't understand how classification works and/or of what use it is, or you are being intentionally obtuse because your opinion does not make sense.

@Leo G.4501 said:As for FFXIV, I don't believe it was ever brought up in the video. I brought it up mainly because I never even knew about tokens to advance through the story....granted, I stopped playing the game around 6 years ago so maybe that feature was added on. Still doesn't mean that every game falls under that broad definition, and even if it does, the point is to critically consider if said aspect has a negative effect on the game and how damaging that effect is.

I'm sure there are cases where games do not apply. I'm also sure those cases are so niche by now in the MMORPG genre, as mentioned by the videos creator himself proactively, that expanding the pay to win definition to nearly all games makes it lose its purpose if the purpose is to use the term as reference to specific types of monetization schemes.

@Leo G.4501 said:

@Cyninja.2954 said:No, I do not consider pay to win to be positive or neutral. Not in the way it is being used in gamer circles and the very negative connotation it has. Which is why I am giving this phrase and how it is used such careful consideration. For everything else, there are better phrases to use which can mean the same thing, but with a positive spin.

I'm the one being defensive? Last I checked, I was not the one to start using personal attacks to discredit someone else's arguments. I'm sure your intentional mention of Karen, accidentally assuming my intent and discrediting what I said based on stereotypes was all by accident.

So you're gatekeeping. Useless. About as annoyingly cringy as gamers who bicker over what the definition of "gamer" is (does it include mobile games, etc etc).

I'm sure P2W isn't the only term hotly mutated and morphed into what fits the current narrative. Yeah, yeah, language and definitions change over time and what not but less not mince words: most of these MMOs aren't challenging or tough, just time consuming. Paying your way to progress or reduce grind (read: pay-for-convenience) went hand-in-hand with the P2W definition literally half a decade ago and the push to change the meaning of the term likely comes from the influx of such a monetization scheme in the industry.

Great, we are on the same page. I will continue to use the term pay to win to warn and label the most harmful and grievous elements in games for others to know about, while using other terms like pay for convenience to label other similar but less grievous elements in games so each and every player can decide for themselves how much of additional micro-transactions (which is literally the term we have to label all of these transactions) they can handle instead of lumping all of it together as being the same.

Meanwhile you can do you.

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Ah yes, the video, that I didn't watch. I'll tell you why though, the same creator has a video about level scaling being bad, is playing GW 2, sort of, in the background, and complaining about getting stomped by a mob at level one, and then getting stomped again by the same mob at level 50. Not really a content creator that I'd want to cite as knowing what they're talking about.

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@"robertthebard.8150" said:Ah yes, the video, that I didn't watch. I'll tell you why though, the same creator has a video about level scaling being bad, is playing GW 2, sort of, in the background, and complaining about getting stomped by a mob at level one, and then getting stomped again by the same mob at level 50. Not really a content creator that I'd want to cite as knowing what they're talking about.

I think i watched that video. His whole argument was that he wants to feel powerful and roflstomp/dominate all the lower level maps as his reward for leveling right? Something like that?

In which case... Ugh............................................................ :tired_face:Not the "trusted source" people should be looking for when citing for an argument.I mean, sure, that's his opinion and he's entitled to it, but opinion is not an argument on something.

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@Cyninja.2954 said:You did not mention FF11, you mentioned FF14. That's what I replied to and that is where you were selective. Again, you clearly did not notice how FF14 HAS pay to win elements according to the video you linked.

No, you said every game can fall under P2W so I mentioned FFXIV, then you described its P2W features so then I point to FFXI. My point was there are games that are still on the market that are not P2W which is all I have to prove with that line of discussion.

To give you an example you can easily compare it to: it's like your argument saying my definition of P2W is too broad, you only have to prove that it is broad.

@Cyninja.2954 said:I never said they were mutually exclusive. Not once. On the contrary, by using different terms instead of lumping all of it together under 1 term I, unlike the opinion of the video which claims they are all the same, can make distinctions of how much of any of these monetizations are present in a game.

Oh, maybe I'm reaching you then. You're starting to get it.

@Cyninja.2954 said:and this threads title is:Is Guild Wars 2 Pay2win?

Which is what is being discussed and which I am responding to and in fact under which premise I have given my opinion on the video. Given the by now overwhelming majority of votes on this pole (relative to the total sample size), it seems most voters present seem to disagree with the opinion put forth in the video (which would obviously be skewed in favor of the game, given it is its official message board yet the vote is very overwhelmingly one sided), which would label GW2 as pay to win. Otherwise we would see a more congruent result.

Notice I didn't even vote.

Polls aren't quantifiable evidence, merely prediction tools to map perception. Considering the first couple of pages were dedicated to arguing what P2W even is, me posting the video (which you still seem to not understand the purpose of) was to critique what P2W DOES, not define it. Just because you haven't ascended to that debate yet doesn't mean I can't present it to the discussion because I feel it's even more important considering the direction games are taking with regards to the amount of funds poured into them and the expectations they are held to.

@Cyninja.2954 said:That's not how classifications work. The most broad classification is the most meaningless for establishing differences.

You keep claiming I am covering things up which is the exact opposite of what using multiple terms to quantify and define things is. You either don't understand how classification works and/or of what use it is, or you are being intentionally obtuse because your opinion does not make sense.

You can classify all you want but for broad terms like this, merely only using the audience of GW2 to define it should seem more suspect to you if all you truly want to do is make distinctions. It'd be like having only oil companies make regulations regarding global environmental impact. It's not transparent and easily prone to corruption.

You can still classify and categorize but it appears you and those that agree with you feel so emboldened that you are now dividing out your group from the category purely so your game looks better among the rest further demonstrated by the repeat rebuttals of "anyone who votes GW2 P2W, go look at this really heinous example of xyz". Seriously, get some perspective...

@Cyninja.2954 said:I'm sure there are cases where games do not apply. I'm also sure those cases are so niche by now in the MMORPG genre, as mentioned by the videos creator himself proactively, that expanding the pay to win definition to nearly all games makes it lose its purpose if the purpose is to use the term as reference to specific types of monetization schemes.

And what monetization scheme is that? What purpose are you referencing?

@Cyninja.2954 said:Great, we are on the same page. I will continue to use the term pay to win to warn and label the most harmful and grievous elements in games for others to know about, while using other terms like pay for convenience to label other similar but less grievous elements in games so each and every player can decide for themselves how much of additional micro-transactions (which is literally the term we have to label all of these transactions) they can handle instead of lumping all of it together as being the same.

Meanwhile you can do you.

You're claiming the win-factor and the intent. One of the primary vices of many MMOs now IS they are pushing for more and more convenience which can be damaging to the game overall. It's almost like P2W can ruin a game in different ways.....which was outlined in a youtube video for your convenience.

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