Temptation and the Weak Willed

I bought gems and quite a few bucks worth.. I feel dirty and don’t know why.

At the start of my guild wars play and even before that I had high aspirations of being able to fund my accounts necessary components through playtime, what a fool I was. It seemed simple enough at the time to forgo any sort of uber material possessions in exchange for many of the quality of life or oh so cool cash shop costumes. At one month in I could barely afford any sort of upgrade except for a single bank slot (I also spent about 2 gold on dyes back when the exchange rate was terrible.. DON’T JUDGE ME), I also recently contributed to our guilds leader getting a commander book which set me back most of my little nest egg.. I like to give to excess at times which although beautiful is also quite crippling. There was so much extra I needed to make my account feel more useable and closer to complete that I had probably started exhibiting an external tick every time one of these points would irritate me.

I play a large amount and am by no means casual although definitely not hardcore. I was thinking just selling stuff I get and questing (in its informal way) would be enough to amass some sort of nest egg but alas, I need to be farming Orr several hours a day with magic find pants or some other such garbage and that really isn’t me. Most of my play consists of things I enjoy doing, this is rather varied in a sense as I pretty much consume content across the board just not at an equal pace, the issue is that I absolutely hate grinding for anything.. the tolerance level of my add raddled sleep deprived mind is very low for things that involve repetition of content or experience.

Time in PvP nearly always feels unique in it’s own way thus most of my play consists of WvW quite obviously as it is a system I just adore (when it is working well), during the week this is my mainstay and usually the only style of play. On the weekends it gets a lot more varied as playing too much kind of does your head in.. especially when the weekend warriors are out in force. It also feels more appropriate to get more varied gameplay over lengthy play sessions but even then I’m hard pressed to tear myself away from the eternal battlefield.

There is just not much room for other activities, in terms of activities that may actually earn a profit my exploration times are probably  it. These times usually involve randomly running around the world coupled with gathering whatever takes my fancy or may be needed. Time running around Orr for the higher level nodes is a usually occurrence on the weekends but I really don’t follow any particular or optimal path, just floating along killing certain mobs and participating in events I find interesting. I try to keep up at least one magic find food buff since from leveling to 400 left me with a bag full of food, but it is by no means a guiding practice. As such the rewards I gather are usually rather minimal, I am also very unlucky and rarely find a rare or greater. The gold gathered is never expansive and is usually enough to tide me over as a semi competent contributor to the war efforts during the week, things like gear repair and supply upgrades mostly as well as the occasional blueprint or upgraded piece of siege… WvW is an expensive part of GW2 and one which doesn’t really prepare you in terms of material wealth so its gotten elsewhere and what i do get is like living paycheck to paycheck.

Gold was and probably would have been short for some time yet and the path of least resistance was plopping the credit card out of the wallet…There is nothing I inherently want that badly and I could have done without in the end but it was an impulse purchase in a moment of frustrated weakness, it has been said that such things to speed yourself up is equivalent to skipping content and while I agree in some sense  in most cases that is besides the point as if it is content you don’t enjoy then it is meaningless anyway. I hate grinding and getting gold is a grind… painfully and an abomination to my very nature and one which I could very well do with out, unfortunately the paying money in a free game (discounting the box cost of course) just seems so unnaturally wrong and kind of an oxymoron to me but it is the lesser of two evils… still feel dirty

After the purchase I got another bank, character, and a bag slot on my main and then a bit of gold as I wanted to level up artificer but it is so dang expensive. I think the reason I feel so dirty and why the experience irritates me so much is that in a way I am now essentially paying more than a sub for basic quality of life things. I go to TSW and I have repotoire that is more than suitable to the game and never once made me feel like I was being purposefully limited so as to nudge my wallet further to the store. It is noticeable that guild wars 2 has been built from the ground up with micro-transactions in mind and getting a maximum return off each individual and some parts just go way to far, it is not as bad the new Tortanic news and the march towards ftp but still disconcerting.

I am not against FtP/Btp/whatever or the varying models of micro transactions out there and have purchased many little things from lotro, DDO, TSW, and a couple others but I feel a lot better about it and as supporting the company when they are non essentials to enjoyable play. GW2 crosses that line, the border that says everything’s you need is included and frustrating absences.. it skirts around it oh so carefully as it is hardly noticeable in many areas but it is there nonetheless and the game suffers for it. My biggest issue right now is the bag/ bank space issue at it is noticeable in every day play.

It is a marvelously and rather deviously designed micro-transaction system with multiple parts that interplay together to serve no end of frustration. Firstly there are the limited bag and bank slots, then there is the issue of decent sized bags costing a truckload of gold, and then the Pièce de résistance is that there are a literally fuckton of items, tokens and other random crap to carry around or store aaaand mobs drop a plethora of useless vendor crap that does nothing but waste space and peoples times. A collection of ok ideas and usual mmo tropes wrapped up in a big finger dipping purse grab.

I also don’t understand why upgrading an account to be more useable costs more than purchasing an entire new one, at least give us a discount for bulk quality of life items. Then there is the blatant operant conditioning techniques involved in the black lion chests and the chase for halloween skins. I succumbed and I’m not proud, I can justify it by looking at the amount of time I have spent and am going to spend playing but in the end i still feel dirty for supporting a cash shop model that provokes rather than encourages people to purchase… at the moment this is a big hmmmmmm, will wait and see I guess.

Oh and while I’m ranting… make my freekin dyes account bound again, for all that is holy and good in the world.

5 thoughts on “Temptation and the Weak Willed

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  2. My problem with GW2 cash shop is a little bit different : I would love to give more money to Arena Net, but everything is just over what I value them : I do not give a crap for limited time/use items, and bag/bank space is sooo expensive, the same for costume. For these things, 5 to 10€ is the unit !
    And there are the NPC costume : I want them, but they are not available ! Grrrr

    Arena Net, let us, the ones that does not want to buy too much overprices things, able to buy something ! A 1€ hat or pants, a 2€ small space in banks, etc…

    • They really do need to evaluate their pricing structure, it just seems of in some places.
      my biggest issue is bags as I mentioned, I just like carrying heaps of things around with me, they are expensive and are per character..just silly.

      In terms of costumes the range does seem rather limited compared to the plethora of one time use items. Also my problem With costumes and why I probably will never purchase any is that they are town clothes, considering I spend most of my time in WvW they are next to useless.

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