Guild Wars 2’s build and equipment templates are live – and the extras are not cheap

    
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You know how when a video game studio is about to do something unpopular, like charge a lot of money for a thing, and so the devs float a high number out there, and then, after negative feedback, they float a new, lower number, and the player grumbling subsides well before the actual launch of the thing? It’s an old anchoring trick, and it works pretty well.

This is… not what ArenaNet did with Guild Wars 2’s build template system, which went live earlier this afternoon. The lack of any concrete public pricing information beforehand had led to some wild speculation and protestations over the last few weeks as players have raised concerns over what they perceived as the unnecessarily convoluted system, the annoyance for hardcore players who’ve already invested in piles of inventory storage and legendary gear, the potential expense, and the deprecation of existing (and arguably better) player-made template tools. Adding to the frustration, ArenaNet later posted that it had listened to player feedback on the issue, but the studio didn’t appear to have acted on it.

Now, with the release, we have some hard numbers to play with. We’ve clipped a bunch of screenshots with prices below; here’s the quick run-down:

  • 300 gems ($3.75) per build template expansion (buy 3 per character in addition to 3 freebies)
  • 500 gems ($6.25) per equipment template expansion (buy 4 per character in addition to 2 freebies)
  • 500 gems ($6.25) per build storage expansion in sets of three (buy 6 sets per account in addition to 1 freebie set)
  • 2000 gems ($25) for the bundle pack with 2 build template expansions, 2 equipment template expansions, 1 build storage expansion, 5 heroic boosters, and 1 makeover pack

By our count, that comes out to about $36 per character, plus around $37 for the one-time account-wide unlocks, if you want to max everything out (and skip the bundles; run the math for your specific scenario because the bundles are worth it sometimes and not worth it others). If you’re the kind of person who runs nine characters, one from each class, then your fee could be pushing over $360.

Then again, we’re guessing not a whole lot of people will need to buy anything at all, let alone max out a toon.

Reddit is pretty unimpressed with the prices overall, as players urge each other to vote with their wallets and not buy them, while others point out that buying new character slots is a wiser investment that both sends a clear message and still supports the game. There was also significant criticism for the studio on Twitter last night, when some bright spark at the company had the great idea to brag about how the then-as-yet-unpriced templates would save players extra clicks – clicks that, astute players pointed out, were entirely down to ArenaNet’s own design.

Apparently, dedicated PvP and WvW players are a bit miffed because the update also removed their default templates as well. “This system is great for those who have no need of it and terrible for their most dedicated players,” one Redditor quipped.

Do make sure you log in and hit the cash shop to claim your freebie build storage expansion; ArenaNet has previously noted it’ll be freely available only for a month. (There are a few other freebies in the shop right now too, so click through and grab ’em while you’re in there.)

Wanna weigh in on additional quality-of-life features Guild Wars 2 still needs, above and beyond build templates? MOP’s Flameseeker Chronicles addressed that very topic earlier today.

Further reading:

Source: Patch notes
Update
We followed up this piece with a second piece on Wednesday covering additional bugs and complaints about the update.

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Birkiedoc
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Birkiedoc

This game has slowly been doing worse since the release of their last expansion…then the MAJOR layoffs hit this year d/t putting GW2 essentially on the back burner for 2 unannounced projects that got canned. Nothing like taking a basic QoL feature from the first game, make players wait 7 years for it, make the current/well received community version illegal, and charge people $6.25 for a singular, non account bound build template/Equipment template. ANET you’re marketing team screwed you.

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Matt R

I guess I’m not the target audience for this system. I’ve had about 3 builds for my most played character. Most of my alts don’t get played. I found a lot of the elite specializations to be lackluster so I don’t play them much. I guess I’d want a different build for each elite spec.

rahkeesh
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rahkeesh

My min-maxing brain is pretty unhappy with an “exploit” they introduced.

If you swap build templates out of combat, any new skills you swap into will ignore the cooldown status of the old ones. The skill cooldowns are tracked seperately. Used to be that you could’nt change a skill that was on cooldown, that’s gone now.

Given that you can bind build templates to a touch of the button, this opens up quite a bit of long-recharge abuse in open world, WvW, and even dungeons. So now your template slots really ought to be dedicated to abusing cooldowns on a single build, rather than a convenience feature for storing actual different builds.

Just thinking about how to exploit this system makes me want to log in even less. It also makes buying more slots a true pay-to-win.

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Dankey Kang

The ol’ classic “Here’s that thing you wanted for ages, but we’re not gonna give it to you until you hand over your wallet” scumbaggery.

Alyn
Reader
Alyn

“But men are so full of greed today, they’ll sell anything for a little piece of money.”

Little Richard

This sums it up fairly well.

Reader
Annoyed badger

I learnt all I needed about Arenanet when I experienced a glitch in their purchase system ingame and I lose a shitload of gems….totally their system fault as their CS advisor admitted to me….their response and I’ll quote it “yeah thats our fault, but we cant refund them, you’ll have to buy more”…..I’ve not touched their games since and never will again.

I see that attitude is not an anomaly but rather company policy.

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Bruno Brito

Apparently, dedicated PvP and WvW players are a bit miffed because the update also removed their default templates as well.

I’m shocked.

miol
Reader
miol

Using the templates seems to disconnect you sometimes and Gem Store has an 504 error. :/

It’s Bugs-Tuesday everyone!

Since you can copy templates as texts, you can also use a txt-file to switch/override between less used ones! XD
The free slots are enough for my personal needs!

Reader
Axetwin .

Are you still trying to use ARCDPS? I’ve seen some suggesting the mod is no longer compatible with the game, and trying to use templates with it enabled causes a crash.

miol
Reader
miol

I actually never risked to even try it. I know I know, I’m a scaredy-cat! ^^

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Matthäus Wey

As expected it’s expensive and offers less than the free alternative which is no longer allowed ofc….

micedicetwice
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micedicetwice

It is allowed actually. They made a statement about it. But this official version is crap. 6 builds per character for all game modes is stupid. Why the hell even make this limitation?

Reader
Axetwin .

They said they wouldn’t ban anyone using it. However, the game in its current build seems to have made the addon incompatible.

Reader
Matthäus Wey

Yes it’s allowed but there is some sort of agreement why he won’t develope it any further. Also they seemed to made sure to break the add-on (or at least for me it doesn’t work anymore).

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Loyal Patron
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Makhiel

Why the hell even make this limitation?

Because storing all that player information costs money.

Reader
Barnoc N'Draak

This is not the first time in the last year or so that an update that should have created goodwill and enthusiasm for the game has done the opposite.

Please, stop it with the self-inflicted wounds!