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.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.
— Guild Wars 2 (@GuildWars2) October 28, 2019
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.