Working As Intended: Guild Wars 2’s new mount licenses are still lockboxes, but they’re not the worst lockboxes

Pretty much everyone assumed that back when Guild Wars 2 planned out mounts, it did so with its cash shop in mind. The game is already not-so-jokingly known as “Fashion Wars,” so it’s got a playerbase primed and ready to splash out for sparkly mounts, especially cosmetic upgrades to what is very likely the best mount system in any MMORPG to date. The first set of mount cosmetics arrived for Halloween, a whole pack of skelly skins that players could buy directly. The second set, however, has now landed with a new sales scheme, and it’s caused significant controversy just as anticipated.

As we explained yesterday, ArenaNet has added 30 new mount skins to the game, but instead of selling them directly, the studio is selling them in a hybrid sort of lockbox: You buy one of the mount licenses, which unlocks one mount skin on your account that you don’t already have. You always get a mount skin, and you never get repeats, potentially all the way up to 30 licenses for 30 skins.

Unless you get the one you want sooner. That’s a big unless.

Our editorial team has been debating lockboxes of this particular nature for a long time. I first learned about the format last year when my husband grudgingly bought a bunch of this type of lockbox through SMITE. He really wanted the Ratatoskr squirrel-in-wolf’s-clothing skin for his main, and so he bought the 10 hybrid lockboxes to ensure that he got it (along with nine other guaranteed unlocks). He was willing to spend that much money for one skin, so he was even happier to spend that much money for 10, particularly in a game that is aggressively generous with unlocks. I ribbed him about it at the time, but since then, he and MOP SMITE fan MJ Guthrie have convinced me that this is really not the worst way of doing business if you’re committed to RNG in your cash shop.

That doesn’t mean it’s a great way of doing business.

A regular lockbox/lootbox of the MMORPG variety treats players – you – like a mark. Like a wallet. Like an idiot with neither self-control nor economic acumen. Most of the time, you will spend your money and walk away with the digital equivalent of scrap paper. Buffs. A minipet everyone already has five copies of. Junk. Not only did you not get what you wanted to buy, you got nothing useful at all. You got the random crap that studios dole out to buffer them from the gambling complaints they very much deserve.

Guild Wars 2 already has gambleboxes like those, and they suck. The only redeeming feature of the system is that (for the most part) you can take your claim tickets, trade them for one of multiple skins of your choosing, and sell it on the open market as you like, meaning that many skins acquired through traditional lockboxes are buyable for in-game gold, even for peeps who refuse to buy lockboxes.

Mount “licenses,” on the other hand, can’t be sold or transferred, and you have no choice in what you get. The key difference is that you do get something better than digital lint. You do get a mount skin. It just may not be the one you want.

Where you side in this argument, I suspect, depends on how entrenched you are in fighting RNG as a whole, whether you have your heart set on any specific skin, whether you hate cash shops on principle, and whether you think value mitigates potentially exploitative systems.

Here’s what I mean: These mounts are freakin’ cheap. Each mount skin unlock is 400 gems, so $5. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of an MMORPG cash shop where you can get a guaranteed mount skin for a fiver. So if you are sick of rapty and bunny et al., you can buy a few unlocks and get something different. If different is all you really wanted, this is a really inexpensive way to get it. It’s much cheaper for you overall than if 30 new mounts suddenly popped up on the cash shop for the traditional sparklepony rate of $25 bucks apiece. Likewise, if you wanted all of them anyway, $120 for 30 mounts is a steal. If you care most about value, this system will appeal to you.

(You could argue here that most of the mounts are filler and lack value in and of themselves. You’ll have to make that call for yourself. Maybe flip through them all first.)

If it’s the RNG of lockboxes that enrages you rather than the booby prizes in traditional lockboxes, you’re still going to be pissed. The stakes and payouts may have changed, but it’s still a form of gambling to you. You didn’t want a cheap random mount from some undisclosed drop-rate table; you wanted to buy a specific thing for a reasonable fee, and ArenaNet is still playing games with your tolerance for bullshit. In your mind, cheap random mounts are no better than booby prizes when you were after the one. And look, you’re not wrong to be annoyed about that. You could look at it the way my husband looked at SMITE – you could figure that you’re just paying $120 for the mount you want, and the other 29 are just along for the ride – but I can’t fault you if you hunker down on principle here. (And if you do, you can pay about $25 to buy the one direct-purchase mount that went live yesterday: the Reforged Warhound. Anet thought of you, here, too.)

If you hate cash shops and think all content should arrive through in-game means, even purely cosmetic content, then you will be angry no matter what and Guild Wars 2 is already probably not your game.

All that said, Guild Wars 2 is still my game, for all my criticisms of it, and while I find plenty to frown at with this new system, I’m also feeling encouraged to see ArenaNet seemingly taking player feedback into account and trying new ways to make money that are less bad – and less about getting away with as much gambling as possible – than the rest of the industry with its lockbox-infatuated debauchery. I’m also really heartened to see a fast way of injecting the game with a ton of new mount looks all at once that doesn’t culminate in everybody moving from the same free look to the same paid look. Whether I’ll pay five bucks for what’ll likely just be a fresh set of horns on Rapty? That’s another story.

The MMORPG genre might be “working as intended,” but it can be so much more. Join Massively Overpowered Editor-in-Chief Bree Royce in her Working As Intended column for editorials about and meanderings through MMO design, ancient history, and wishful thinking. Armchair not included.
SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Code of Conduct | Edit Your Profile | Commenting FAQ | Badge Reclamation | Badge Key

LEAVE A COMMENT

87 Comments on "Working As Intended: Guild Wars 2’s new mount licenses are still lockboxes, but they’re not the worst lockboxes"

Subscribe to:
Sort by:   newest | oldest | most liked
Reader
Fenryr Grey

What a disappointment. One game more on the black list. I’ll still play it but there won’t be any gem store purchases until this is removed. Cheers

Reader
Reginald Atkins

the only good side to this new type of lootbox is that you can never draw a dupe item, but it’s still FAR worse than just putting the things in the store and letting people get exactly what they want.

Reader
life_isnt_just_dank_memes

I wanted a griffon and got 3 jackal skins-2 of which I don’t like-and it doesnt matter because I didn’t want a jackal at all. I also got a skimmer skin and didn’t want that either. ArenaNet has done crappy stuff like this time and again.

Remember when they didn’t offer specific gem amounts for gold conversion? They reversed that after much ballyhoo so maybe they’ll do the same thing here. They should.

I tweeted about what Rubi and Liz and Toli would have said about this if they were still writing Flameseeker. I tweeted it so that they’d think about what they’d write. Instead I was told I should care about what TIna thinks about it and I do. But I want those that work at ArenaNet to think about it.

How do you release garbage like this when game podcasts and publications and fans of gaming in general are all pretty much in agreement that this type of thing SUCKS.

It shouldn’t be hard to understand that when I give a company money I should get the thing I want in return.

Suffice to say, I haven’t booted up GW2 since. Releasing one-armed bandit style skins is hot garbage. Just let me buy the one I want like you do with weapons, armor, outfits and gliders. What’s so fricking hard to understand about me desiring that?

Reader
TomTurtle

It was probably a decision made by an economist and higher-ups, not the developers or community managers. I don’t blame most of the developers because chances are, they had no choice in the matter and probably agree it’s bad but can’t really say anything about it.

And unfortunately, it’s not that ArenaNet doesn’t understand it’d be better to allow us the choice, they simply want to make more money and are testing the waters to see if they can pull it off or not. Companies are always pulling this kind of thing, pushing boundaries if possible.

Reader
Mithrán S. Arkanere

$5 is NOT cheap for a skin. There’s people in the world who can eat for a week for that.

$0.20 is cheap for a skin. $1 average. $2 acceptable. $5? That’s the price of a skin pack. A bonus mission. A full armor set. An outfit that looks different for each race. But not a single skin.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Greaterdivinity

Do you know how much time and work goes into a lot of these skins? $5 for a skin is absolutely acceptable, and very much on the cheaper end of things as many MMO’s generally charge far more ($10-20).

If you’re in a part of the world where $5 feeds you for a week, somehow I doubt you’re playing a modern MMORPG online, you’ve got more pressing concerns like day-to-day survival. These are luxuries (online games), and skins are added luxuries on top of that.

Skoryy
Reader
Skoryy

“I want items below cost.” And yet there are those who still wonder why publishers are turning more and more to the whales.

Line
Reader
Line

It’s not the worst, but it might be the worst time to put in those lockboxes, right after everyone else gets shit on because of those mechanics.
That’s ton of negative press for absolutely no reason.

And of course, the easiest way out of that was to put a direct buy option (for more money certainly, the budget $5 for a random guaranteed mount is an acceptable price, I think).
The other way would be to let them be a consumable to be sold on the auction house. Wouldn’t be too different from the rest of their lockboxes, but damn if that isn’t helping the lack of rewards ingame.

Reader
peor togs

I still play but dang… Cold, anet, cold!

My respect of anet dropped b a factor of 10.

Reader
Ben Stone

I’m far more likely to drop cash on a guaranteed item. In fact I can’t remember ever paying for a lockbox or random chance at an item. That being said, it is a game with no monthly fee, this isn’t an essential power item, and you do get something each time.

Back when I played I complained that there was nothing interesting to actually drop money on in GW2, the cash shop was terrible and dull. This looks like a nice money maker for them, so well done.

miol
Reader
miol

That being said, it is a game with no monthly fee, this isn’t an essential power item, and you do get something each time.

But since this game is being called Fashion Wars, new skins are actually one of the few metas of it!

And asking to farm ~3120 gold in that limited time of its sale, while at the same time asking for another ~1800 gold every few weeks for the next time-limited exclusive skin of the other lockbox system (IF you’re lucky enough), is simply a tall order by ArenaNet! It’s slowly but surely getting out of hand!

Btw, that’s ~$190 total, for people who wants to “play” that meta with their wallets, if someone cares!

Reader
rafael12104

comment image

Reader
rafael12104

comment image

kofteburger
Reader
kofteburger

comment image

Skoryy
Reader
Skoryy

I also agree.

That said, Take Two’s quarterly report came out and they stated that 48%(!) of all revenue came from ‘recurrent consumer spending’. I.e. microtransactions and lootboxes. As a bank robber once famously said, “That’s where the money’s at.”

Reader
Arktouros

I agree.

ON THE OTHER HAND MOTHER F’ing LIGHTNING RAPTOR!
(that Golden Lion Yellow :hearteyes:)

Untitled.png
abyssalstar
Reader
abyssalstar

“My name is Barry Allen and I am… The Fastest Raptor Alive!”

Reader
Jennifer Yaner

Yeah, I’d rather pay $10 for it instead of having to gamble $100 before RNG finally gives me one.

Reader
Ukrutor

At least you KNOW you will eventually get one. With traditional lockboxes other games have, you could drop 10 grand into it and get no single mount at all.

Reader
Jennifer Yaner

No dupes is nice, but it’s still an RNG lootbox no matter which way you slice it.

Reader
Arktouros

I just paid $120 and got them all, no RNG involved.

/shrug

Reader
Jennifer Yaner

@Arktouros
How does it feel to be part of the problem?

Reader
Arktouros

Pretty good.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
BalsBigBrother

@Jenifer Yaner /sigh

@Arktouros cool mount :-)

Reader
Arktouros

Thanks! I knew they were going to do more of them with particle effects after seeing the Halloween ones so I skipped those and waited till I could get the ones with all custom dye channels.

miol
Reader
miol

“Look, look over here!”

Sorry, but I’m not so easily distracted! ;P

Reader
rafael12104

That was great! Lol

Reader
Arktouros

Distraction implies that people can be misled. With their increased focus on loot box exclusive cosmetic items none of this scenario should really be much of a surprise to anyone.

miol
Reader
miol

Distraction implies, people care more about the newest “shinies”, than about the actual concerning topic at hand, as you have proven that so eloquently! ;P

A surprise would only happen to someone, who suddenly would care more the other way around!

Reader
Arktouros

As I said, I completely agree with all the problems presented by Bree.

But since, as you recently pointed out, I’m “cynical” I also don’t believe there’s really anything we can do to influence game developers and their business decisions I might as well enjoy myself :)

Reader
Armsbend

I am never going to play another Free 2 Play MMORPG again as long as I live. I recently realized why I wasn’t enjoying any of the games of the genre I’d played the past decade.

This kind of horseshit is the reason.

Reader
Arktouros

I came off the early 2000’s as a hardcore PK and used to spend a lot of time arguing on beta forums for more PvP centric systems in the era when games were just getting more and more “carebear.” LOTRO broke that drive and I realized that we have little to no say over how games are developed or what goes into them. These aren’t our games and no matter how intelligent, respectful or nicely you present your arguments at the end of the day it’s just out of our hands.

After that I’ve enjoyed gaming a lot more because I just focus on having a good time. That binary viewpoint of “Am I having a good time? Yes, keep doing it. No, do something else.” is just very serene when you get down to it. The whole, “Well this game could be better/perfect if they’d just do….” is the road to madness and frustration.

Reader
Armsbend

I’m playing WoW now for the first time and while it is dated, the combat isn’t the best I find it really enjoyable that I can get 99.999% of the content without opening my wallet except for the 1-2 year expansions.

ESO lockboxes ruined it for me too. I’m done with it!

Reader
MKlwr

I bought one set of lockboxes in ESO after they gave us a free one (with crowns I already had). Really didn’t like the results and decided there are better uses for my money.
Now it’s like the “Crown Crates” don’t exist to me outside of events where you do in-game stuff to get a free one.

A friend posted a picture of one of the GW2 bunny skins and it looks really nice, but I’m not willing to gamble for it, so they are not getting my money for that either.

Reader
haishao

Without opening your wallet.. Except every single months.

Reader
niwaar

Arguably better to know what you are paying for every month then be forced to endure the rng- asshattery of the “Cash Shop”.

Lootboxes are inherently bad. They are solely designed for you to keep diving into the marketplace. This is a sign of 1 of either 2 things for GW2. Either the game is in severely declining profit and they are going after whatever tehy can get. Or 2 the developers have given up and this is what we can expect going forward. Either way its a bad sign for the game’s overall health.

Reader
Armsbend

I hope you know what I meant.

Reader
Arktouros

I got you, and really it’s one of the more sane viewpoints on the matter. The only action of consequence people can take in a B2P/F2P with cash shop model to protest them is basically not partake in them at all. I realize that sounds like “the nuclear” option but that’s just how those systems work. In MMOs other players are the content in many cases so even playing supports the business model.

Reader
Armsbend

I’ve dropped hundreds (cumulatively not at once) on lockboxes in the past so I’m not above anything. I’m just kinda planting my flag in the ground and saying that’s it for me :)

Reader
Arktouros

Yea I got my own limitations as well. ArcheAge’s system was a bridge too far for me personally. RNG upgrade system where the only source of upgrades are from lockboxes was like “Nope.”

At the end of the day the only thing we have control over is our own decisions.

Reader
Darthbawl

Of course good ole Jim Sterling pounced on this after about eleventy billion people emailed him about it LOL.

Reader
blah blazh

There are better videos covering this than Sterling’s but his get the hits I guess.

Reader
Darthbawl

Never implied his was the best by any means, merely pointing out that he did cover it. He has been on quite a tear lately over lockboxes and probably gotten too busy focusing on it.

Reader
Jennifer Yaner

Been playing GW2 for a longgg time, and this is the first time they’ve done something I just CANNOT stand behind and defend. Come on GW2, why the heck did you guys do this? If this works for them it’ll be a trend for future store updates and the game will just be ruined. It’s an experiment and people are going to buy right into it.

Reader
Bryan Turner

They can be what ever they want, I won’t spend money on them; I don’t spend money on RNG.

Reader
Witches

My only objection with this system is that at 25€ spent you should get the skin you want, maybe up the price to 30-35€, but after someone has spent a set amount just let them redeem whatever they got for what they want.

miol
Reader
miol

I’m also feeling encouraged to see ArenaNet seemingly taking player feedback into account and trying new ways to make money that are less bad

While at the same time, ArenaNet doubled down on and replaced the hydra staff for a new exclusive glider in their lockbox exclusive and time-limited skin in the “uncommon” category of its loottable! That is also accountbound and therefore not resellable or purchaseable for gold in the trading post! Someone commented spending up to 76 keys to get it, even if the drop rate research says the chances are 1.5%, (average of 66 tries)! That’s $80!

That’s not how you take player feedback into account, as when Anet introduced accountbound lockbox-exclusive skins for the first time (Privateer weapon skins), the players pretty much said what they were thinking!

Remember?
http://massivelyop.com/2016/06/14/guild-wars-2-players-fume-over-new-lockbox-cosmetics/

And the pushback didn’t stop there, when they revamped lockboxes just last year and started to only add a single accountbound skins at a time, but they were at least also directly available in the Gem Store (Sorry, I doublechecked it, not many of those items were also directly availble, like Grasping Phantom Glider or the Candelabra Staff, but at some point they stopped entirely):
http://massivelyop.com/2016/11/22/guild-wars-2-ama-covers-lockboxes-old-dungeons-and-economy-quirks/

But with all the buzz of the latest expansion, they stopped now with the direct parallel purchase option for those skins, beginning with the mentioned Hydra Staff, and with another distraction of this new lockbox system for mounts, no one noticed even that new exclusive glider!

I hope you see the pattern of “attrition” here, and I won’t be surprised if just next year in November or at the launch of the next expansion, they will also stop selling new mount skins directly, even if it’s already heavily unbalanced with only one skin directly available for only one of the 5 available mounts, compared to those 10 non-filler skins hidden behind another 20 almost placeholders!

cmdr_cotic
Reader
cmdr_cotic

These mounts are freakin’ cheap. Each mount skin unlock is 400 gems, so $5. I don’t know about you, but I can’t think of an MMORPG cash shop where you can get a guaranteed mount skin for a fiver.

Elite sells packs of 6 skins for $4.

I don’t like this RNG mechanic on purchases and I can’t help but wonder what the hell ANet were thinking with all the recent discussion about how immoral all this lootbox crap is.

Reader
Riccardo Tavano

Well, you actually buy decals with 6 different colours…
Sorry, but it’s not the same and it’s not actually that kind of a great deal.

If you go for ship kits you pay 12 bucks, and they’re just added pieces to a model.
Those decals packs are nowhere near any mount given by that.
The mounts have each different patterns and details, some even got particle effect. Plus every effect, dye and so on can be freely dyed with multiple dye channels.

Still, i agree with you. The RNG part is meh.

Reader
TomTurtle

My stance about RNG purchases hasn’t changed. I’d much rather pay for a product and get it than paying for a chance to get it. I’ve always felt the Black Lion chests were icky. That they’ve persisted and ArenaNet has pushed things further in the past is why I’m not surprised to see this latest monetization scheme.

While ArenaNet is actively taking feedback, I wouldn’t be surprised if this practice continues on. It was built upon all those previous methods going through and working so why wouldn’t it work again, you know?

I’ve already seen numerous people buying in and not caring and that’s only coming from those invested enough to participate in online discussions. Nevermind the many more who will as well that we’d never hear from. Only ArenaNet will hear from those ones since they’re the ones who have access to the statistics, and it’s those people that will largely drive the success as they have in the past.

I don’t believe in witch hunting anyone who supports it, but I will say that they are doing active harm, like it or not. Monetization schemes like this are blatantly anti-consumer. They’re designed to get you to spend more than you’d normally find acceptable, and they make it addicting as you do so. That new animation and terminology they made for “Adopting” a mount? That was designed with precise care to make the experience feel good for the buyer.

Reader
Bryan Turner

As long as they keep releasing sets like Spooky Mounts with 4 dye channels then at least they will get paid for that, if that’s a one time thing then that’s a one time purchase from me for mount skins.

Reader
Jon Jones

No

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
thalendor

No thanks. I will rarely buy a costume or mount from a shop in cases where I can buy what I want directly, but I’m not going to touch these gambleboxes. Even if I did want all 30 mounts, I’m not going to buy 30 of these things, just on principle. Yes, I know it’s effectively the same as if they’d just made it a 30 mount bundle for $120, but I’m still not going to support gambleboxes in any form.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

Likewise, if you wanted all of them anyway, $120 for 30 mounts is a steal.

Sorry, but no. Not in the least. $120 is the price of two just-released, full price AAA games. Paying that much for a mere 30 skins is a bad joke.

It’s just that people got so used to being scalped in online-only cash shop-intensive games that they don’t even notice it anymore.

Reader
Ben Stone

Its a relative thing, games like EQ2 and WoW have been selling mounts at the $20-30 mark, if you compare it to that then yes, 30 mounts for $120 is actually very cheap.

Reader
MKlwr

My take on sales, special deals, packages and such things is to only count what I really want from it.
So if I only want 1 mount skin, then that would be 120 for one skin. If I want 6, then that would be 20 per skin. So 30 skins for 120 is only a great deal to me if I wanted to use all skins.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
BalsBigBrother

A question if I may that orange box at the top of the article that says “Get Guild Wars 2 Path of Fire”, would I be wrong in thinking that is an affiliate link? In addition to the Amazon affiliate link for GW2 PoE that you have in the side bar

Reader
Richie K

Car dealers should employ this tactic. But I wanted the red Prius, dealer well buy a few more you might get lucky.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Tobasco da Gama

At least the amount of money they’re trying to extract from any given player is fucking finite, but this is still just blatantly a way to trick players into spending more money than they’d otherwise be comfortable with.

RNG is great for in-game rewards, but combining RNG with real money payments continues to just be gross.

Reader
Bryan Turner

Only if you’re stupid enough to spend it on gambling, as I’ve mentioned I have no problems spending money but I have standards like no RNG.

kalamari_
Reader
kalamari_

then dont use real money.

April-Rain
Reader
Kickstarter Donor
April-Rain

bah another game I enjoy destroyed with a horrible gambling mechanic which it is, as I could buy 1 box and get the skin I wanted or I could get it on the 30th attempt and be minus £100.

I am all for supporting guild wars but not with mechanics like this, I buy costumes when i see one’s i like and i buy glider skins when i see one’s that i like, I also buy gems to turn into gold.

But being a costume poser I don’t want to get dragged into this and blowing a small fortune.

I don’t want to play roulette to get something I like!

I only just bought the new expansion for me and my wife a month ago and now I really regret it, I won’t be logging in again till this changes or goes away.

Reader
blah blazh

And this is what I was talking about in my comment below. One decision like this undoes all of the great things the expansion has done.

kalamari_
Reader
kalamari_

it doesnt.

Reader
Bryan Turner

It does in public perception, it certainly has an effect on new box sales.

Reader
Riccardo Tavano

For whiney people it does.

For how much i don’t like the RNG component…just don’t buy them. Do you think that they stopped selling “account bound” BLC weapons because people nagged a bit on the social medias ? (the privateer ones) No. They did because people didn’t buy that shit.

On the other hand look at the rare skins put in BLCs. People nagged and they’re still there, why ? Because it probably increased the sales and still do.

People really think that stuff like this kills the game and need to vent their opinions/rage in the social medias. When the only thing that a company cares about is often then income.
Instead of venting all that stuff in useless way, let the only thing with actually decisional power talk. The wallet.

Reader
Riccardo Tavano

I can partially agree, but in the end people think with their own mind.
My main reason to call it venting is because I’ve seen a lot of people darailing the topic from the RNG factor to the fact that they want everything obtainable in the game mostly…which is nice and all, but highly unlikely considering the payment model of the game.
Plus you often see people going at ” game is garbage now ! fuck this game, i’m so leaving ! “. While the game didn’t change at all nor is made any worse by this. You don’t like it ? don’t buy it. It’s ok to try to discuss and influence wallet voting, but trying to boycott a game because of a cosmetic item. That’s a bit extreme…lot of people have no middle ground.

Even if I go around yelling at the world how shitty RNG is, nothing is gonna change all the people i’ve seen in LA with 15+ skins or even all of them. They just don’t care and probably many of them don’t even go on social medias.

People that want to matter are already voting with their wallet. There’s no need for anyone telling them what to do. People aren’t that much dumb at least.

Reader
Thomas Zervogiannis

Yup. It really is that simple. If we buy them, we bring this on ourselves :) If not, they notice and put non-RNG offers next time, hoping that at least these will sell.

Reader
Loyal Patron
Patreon Donor
Kickstarter Donor
thickenergy

I suspect it may actually have the reverse effect. In that revenue will continue to decrease, due to poor decision making and natural attrition, resulting in an increase in aggressive monetization. Which in turn will likely see more decreasing revenues and harder monetization, and so on.

Perhaps not, but I’ve seen very few companies and even fewer game development companies take the long view that leads to smart decisions that cultivate a loyal and more or less satisfied customer base.

Reader
Riccardo Tavano

The revenue decreased because there was nothing interesting in the store and HoT was a huge mess…leading on TONS of people leaving.

People want…no, want is too shallow. Demand to sustain the game out of thin air. So when they put interesting stuff in the gemstore, it’s a cashgrab. If they don’t “oh, look. such poor performance. much wow. very ded”.
They just want the goat and the vine.

With this i’m not defending the RNG crap in any possible way, but people way too often tends to mix stuff.
A fair gemstore isn’t an empty gemstore, at least in our payment model. I say this because i’ve encountered TONS of people talking about “everything being in the gemstore”, while the matter is another one right now.

Back on the topic GW2 have always been “aggressive” in the gemstore. I mean…like 80-90% of the new skins addes in the game from launch are from that…and even if they aren’t. They’re behind an xpac “paywall”. So in a way or another you pay for said stuff.
So people feel it more…aggressive now as they’re actually putting stuff that they’re interested in, compared to before.
Plus…Anet have always been pokey with this kind of stuff. They always experiment stuff to monetize as much as they can and then adjust on the backlash.
Remember armors in the gemstore ? They became outfits out of the nagging.
Then they tried loads of super rare BLC stuff like the grinning shield and so on. Hell nope. Totally backed away from BLCs for quite a bit because backlash was HUGE.
Then they put the BLC skins…and people was fine since “hey, i can sell/buy those”.
Then they put account bount BLC skins, backlash + probably none interested = ok, let’s stop.
Then they added uncommon stuff in BLC, bit of backlash, but probably high income. So they kept them.
Now they add mounts…make them random. People rage a lot. Probably we will see a slight price increase…like 500 gems, or maybe they will leave them at 400 for good will, but with the ability to pick them. For the 2000 gems mount…eh. Idk. They might lower the next ones, but this one is like this and price won’t change, i think. Probably they will invest less. Like less dedicated effects/animation, personalized sounds and so on to justify the price drop.
It’s not the first time they push the boundary…and it won’t be the last.

Reader
Michael18

Interesting article! Though I find the assessment a bit too positive.

The main problem of lock boxes that this system still has, imo, is that a game element which would be perfect to provide cool rewards and thus serve as long term motivation in an MMO, namely collecting 30 mounts over time as rewards for all sorts of in-game activities, is removed from the game and put in the cash shop.

Also I find $120 for the mount I want not exactly a steal, even if it comes with 29 mounts I do not want. To be fair, you will get the desired mount for $60, statistically. And you could say $120 is just 10 months of sub in a sub-based game.

Finally, the 30 mounts released now still seem a bit toned down to me, personally. I suspect the truly cool ones will be added to the shop later at special occasions (holidays, etc.).

But all this comes from someone not playing the game atm and looking at it only on an abstract level as some monetization model. I can easily see that if someone truly likes all other aspects of GW2, this system can be quite acceptable.

Reader
blah blazh

Selling the mount skins isn’t really the issue, it is the RNG associated with it that is the terrible point. For all of the good the PoF expansion has done to the perception of the game, they may have undone all of that with the RNG mount lootbox. Whoever made that decision to put that in needs to really to get into better touch with the game’s playerbase.

Reader
Simon F

Didn’t similar stuff already exist? Besides, if others get away with ->cosmetic<- random skins, shouldn't ArenaNet get away with it as well?
You also have to keep in mind that there's no sub fee. As for getting in touch with the playerbase, I know a few people who play the game, and none of them have complained about it even when asked about it. They simply think "whatever, they are cosmetic" and move on with their lives. If they actually sold mount variants for real money, that would've been a big issue, because those actually have mechanics bound to them.

Reader
blah blazh

it’s a bit of a slippery slope here, if you let them get away with putting this in, this kind of stuff will increase. And yes, they have the BLC (black lion chests), and while I don’t like those either, the boxes themselves drop in the game and the keys to open them can also be gotten in game. the mount lootboxes are ones that you have to purchase and they are RNG on top of that

kalamari_
Reader
kalamari_

“the boxes themselves drop in the game and the keys to open them can also be gotten in game.”

why is everyone dismissing the gold to gems exchange? just why??? 100g for 400 gems is absolutely nothing in this game.

“the mount lootboxes are ones that you have to purchase and they are RNG on top of that”

they are guaranteed rng. they are way better than BLC with all its trash items.

Reader
Schmidt.Capela

For me, due to two main reasons:

– The gold exchange is basically a menas for other players to “hire” me to farm gold for them. Time is money, and grinding gold to purchase gems is more thankless and lower paying than actually getting a real world job to get real money to pay for them.

– Paying with gems purchased with gold still means someone paid real money for those gems, so the studio is still making money on that purchase. I would never purchase those blasted abominations with gold-purchased gems because I don’t want the publisher to receive even a red cent for those ungodly things.

Reader
Bryan Turner

Because it’s RNG.

Reader
Thomas Zervogiannis

Whoever made that decision to put that in needs to really to get into better touch with the game’s playerbase.

I am curious to know from a business viewpoint if creating a controversy such as this that could drive existing or potential players away justifies the extra income from the RNG, as opposed to a more fair scheme. I do not think we will ever know.

ANet has a fairly loyal and solid fanbase and does not strike me as particularly egregious, it is sad that they spoil this image with lockboxes (they are scammy, no matter the form).

wpDiscuz