Guild Wars 2 defends new mount price, Zadorojny stays on as Game Director, S4 plans brisk cadence

There’s a bit of a kerfuffle over Guild Wars 2’s new mount, which is a gorgeous peacock reskin of the raptor. ArenaNet has put it up for 2000 gems ($25) – a direct-buy, mind you, instead of repeating its lockbox mount fiasco from earlier this month. That hasn’t stopped some players from arguing it’s too expensive, however, compared to the expansion itself, which cost only $30.

ArenaNet’s Mike O’Brien actually answered one player’s Reddit thread on the topic, arguing that even if you don’t want to buy a thing or it’s not aesthetically pleasing, metrics point the way for the studio, and we should be happy if cosmetics like the peacock can manage to support development.

“What our data [show] is that higher-priced flashy individual items can work, and lower-average-price-per-item bundles can work, but lower-priced individual items generally don’t generate meaningful revenue to support the game. And the whole point of these items is to support the game. GW2 is a content-rich online world with no monthly fee, so it’s a great overall value, with microtransactions doing the heavy lifting of funding continued development of the game. It shouldn’t also be our goal to have the lowest-priced microtransactions. In that case, the only logical outcome would be that we could afford to make less content than other developers, and I think that’s not what any of us are looking for.”

O’Brien doesn’t reply to comments pointing out Guild Wars 2’s falling revenues in NCsoft’s quarterly reports, however. But the devs are all over the game’s latest AMA, which ran last night following the launch of Daybreak, the inaugural episode of the fourth living story arc. It’s almost impossible to avoid spoilers as even the subreddit is titled to tease the new zone, but we’ll try!

Notably, Mike Zadorojny is taking over as GW2’s Game Director in full (not just for Path of Fire as originally announced), season four is expected to cleave to the two-to-three-month cadence as season three did, the game’s infrastructure is being migrated to Amazon hosting (to improve latency and so forth), more regular raids are on the way this season, dungeons are still dead, a small balance patch is on the way, the devs are monitoring the balance of “visual epicness” vs. “visual chaos,” and the team has heard our griping about this episode’s weak trailers. The narrative team also discusses continuity and flow in response to player concerns that some season three “episodes [felt] jarring or out of place.”

“One of the main things we’re doing is making sure that senior design people are present in all the story-breaking meetings, and that the writers for previous and subsequent episodes are present for episode outlining meetings to ensure that they fully understand the episodes coming before and after theirs,” explains Living World Story Editor Jessica Price. “I’m also in all those meetings, so that there’s at least one person who’s present for every story meeting. There are now at least two people who see all of the dialogue that goes into the season, which should help with consistency. I believe strongly that A) everything in a game tells a story, and B) if you’re not telling a story intentionally, you’re telling one unintentionally. We’re looking at all the things in the content that might be telling stories unintentionally, or in ways that aren’t integrated with the rest of the content, and weaving them together. Right now the primary focus is on ensuring that dialogue and gameplay support and enhance each other, but we’re always working on drawing in other elements of the game to do that as well.”

Source: Reddit, AMA, Dulfy
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75 Comments on "Guild Wars 2 defends new mount price, Zadorojny stays on as Game Director, S4 plans brisk cadence"

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Kichwas Selassie

Well it’s this or lockboxes folks. So take your pick.

Goettel
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Goettel

Big-free-quality-content-update-comes-with-entirely-optional-$25-cosmetic-option-shocker.

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Greaterdivinity

For a direct buy in a B2P game? That’s a super fair price, look at Mount prices in P2P games even.

If anything, it speaks to the value of the expansion at it’s low price point. People will really complain about everything, and after the recent few outrages it seems lots of folks are primed to go nuts at even pretty normal shit.

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Annoyed badger

seems steep, but at least its a fixed price, choose to pay or not, up to you.

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Castagere Shaikura

For me its really funny. I’M not a big mounts guy but the two mmo’s i play Rift and EQ2 have given me every single mount i own. My rift characters have up four different ones and my EQ2 characters have between 4 and 6 mounts each. Never payed for a single one. I guess i’ll stick to those old mmo’s.

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Dušan Frolkovič

Soooo, i guess Porsche! The 911 has to cost something i can afford!!! There are cars for 500 bucks, so i want a Porsche for 500, because i guess that is how it works now?
*sarcasm off*

People, you don’t want to pay that much for that skin? Then do not buy it…
Just because yachts exist does not entitle me to one.

Line
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Line

It really is too much for me.
I’d be okay-ish with that price for a 5 pack bundle, and I expect to see more sales like this later on, but $25 for a single mount… nope.
I’ll sure take “man I like it but will wait for a sale” over the “man I like it but it’s 1/30 chance to get it” however!

And ultimately, expensive mounts are not too much of a big deal.
More worried about the impact on ingame rewards, which are just so bad in GW2.

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McGuffn

People are insane. They literally launched a mount at the same price as this one a few weeks ago and there were no complaints. people didn’t care because of the lockbox mounts that were 400 gems. Now that they got that scalp, they’re moving on to the next one.

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imayb1

Not exactly true. Plenty of folks complained about the price of the first $25 mount, too, but the complaints were subsumed by and sometimes conflated with the lockbox issue.

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A Dad Supreme

How we got here (2010):

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/USD25-wow-horse-makes-millions

Blizzard has had unprecedented success with virtual item sales on the release of the Celestial Steed – a special in-game mount for World of Warcraft that costs the princely sum of $25, €20 or £17.

According to WOW.com (via GamesIndustry.biz), a seven-hour queue of 140,000 people had formed within three hours of the mount’s release last week.

That already represented revenue of $3.5 million – or more than a million dollars an hour – on sales of what is, essentially, just an art asset for the subscription game. The translucent flying horse leaves trails of stardust behind it as it gallops across the sky.

It’s the first time Blizzard has sold an exclusive mount for the game, although it had previously tested the micro-transaction waters with cosmetic pet characters, costing £9 or €10, in its Pet Store.

There’s no limit to the amount of money Blizzard can make from the item, either; its numbers won’t be restricted.

You people were warned almost a decade ago. Keep buying funny hats and pets because they are harmless.

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oldvegeta

The difference being that World of Warcraft adds a low amount of mounts per expansion and that there is A LOT of cool mounts to get in game while playing and Guild Wars 2 there is almost none to get playing, just paying.

Siphaed
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Siphaed

1) They’re skins.

2) The game is B2P without subscription.

Take the $15 per month, x2 in the months since GW2’s PoF expansion, and then you the exact same amount of money to convert gems to get cool skins as you would have paid for WoW’s subscription. Except, the major difference, GW2’s option is OPTIONAL…WoW is that if you fail to pay that $15 a month, your access to the game in entirety is interrupted.

Logic!

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kgptzac

and it’s still harmless

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A Dad Supreme

and it’s still harmless

But the slope is slippery and the rage is real

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Aywren

They can do what they want with their cash shop, but they aren’t getting any sales off of me with that kind of logic. It’s funny he says data supports that high priced individual items and low price “bundles” (RNG) make sales. In both cases, they’ve lost sales to players like myself (several times now). I guess I don’t really count because what he’s really saying is something like: “we’re targeting the whales to keep development afloat.”

I wonder if part of the issue people are having with a $25 cost is that these items are being advertised as “skins.” In general, when something is a skin, it’s a recolor or redecorated version of something that already exists. Like an outfit. And we compare the price of these skins to what we already know in game.

So, when they sell mount skins, at the same price we’re used to seeing a new full, different mount in other games, it’s not jiving. In our brains: These aren’t mounts. These are skins. I see a number of folks saying, “Hey, you sell outfits for 800 gems! That’s a price I expect to pay for a skin.”

I, myself, compare mount skins to glider skins. That’s the price I have paid and expected to pay for a skin. So, when it jumps way, way higher than that, I’m noping out.

This whole thing isn’t making me angry, but it sure is putting a bad taste in my mouth for GW2. Especially after having put down the game for years for disagreeing with where the game’s “vision” went, and going out on a limb to give it a second chance with PoF.