The Daily Grind: Would you pay a sub to play Guild Wars 2?

    
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Minnesota is hard done by here.

Hear me out – not trolling here. I’ve been thinking about this all week, ever since the uproar over the pricing for Guild Wars 2’s build and equipment templates. The MOP writing team had a long discussion about them and whom exactly they are meant to be for. We don’t think they’re for any of us. We don’t think they’re for the whales either. The people who really need a dozen templates are the people who are maddest about the way they’ve been handled, and probably the least likely to buy them. It all seems to be handled so bizarrely that I couldn’t help but wonder whether the patch was a move of desperation rather than poor calculation.

I’m probably wrong, but if it were the case that ArenaNet is hurting for money, I’d sure as heck wish the company would just charge an optional Elder Scrolls Online-style subscription. Give us double experience, double mastery, double gold, some lockbox keys, a cash-shop stipend, full access to off-season cash shoppables, maybe some bonus bank and crafter and inventory storage, for $15 a month? That’d be some nice and steady income. Heck they could even give subbers a day’s head-start on new seasonal content too. I’d rather see this than more whale-milking or the seasonal bundles or whatever the template thing was meant to be. I’d even sub off and on.

How about you? Would you pay a sub to play Guild Wars 2? Are you entirely opposed to the idea? What would you expect to get out of it that you’re not getting now for free?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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seePyou

If GW2 has a $15 sub, and the free content was exactly the same as today, I’d not pay anything, except new expansions. If the sun takes away from what we now have, I’d just stop playing and maybe go to another MMO.

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Stuart Bailey

Maybe if it was a small, $5/month sub for cosmetic and convenience items. Like an account-wide slot with a locked unlimited royal airship pass. Other things like permanent +100% xp gain, all gathering tools become indestuctable, and a free metabolic primer, free utility primer and free black lion ticket at the end of every month. The effect giving you the xp boost will be hidden from other players, and any outward sign of having this subscription would be hidden to prevent any animosity from players who are not subscribed, like we’re seeing right now with fallout 1st.

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Chris Beach

Unless it was 1-3£ or $ whatever. Not paying ~10 per month for any single game. Certainly not as much as Netflix or Spotify.

Now if there was a combined sub for multiple games at that price I would consider it, trouble is publishers would be too restrictive and not allow it across games.

If a live game (mmo or otherwise) had something like 30/40 for a year (non recurring that’s just scummy practise to catch people out) that would also be reasonable.

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Alexandra Worswick

No I wouldn’t pay, however if a VIP option was offered, say for $5 which you can spend whenever you feel like and is valid for 30 days each time , giving you extra perks on the game, rather then demanding a monthly fee, people will be more likely to use that. Like ‘become VIP and gain extra storage for the length of time you are vip’ etc. I never played WOW as I can’t commit to play the game all the time and it would be a waste of money to be stuck with a subscription.

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EmberStar

No, I wouldn’t pay a sub. Not for GW2, not for ESO, not for SWTOR or Star Trek Online. Although the last one isn’t completely fair – I don’t NEED a sub for Star Trek since I’ve had a Lifetime Subscription since before Beta ended. Just in terms of the tiny monthly allowance I broke even on that years ago and now they’re basically paying me a very tiny amount to keep playing at all.

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NeoWolf

I wasn’t that enthused by it free, so no I would unlikely play it for a sub. The character art is nice and I like the races but the stories and combat were bland and its more focused on zone completion than anything else which makes it feel less mmo’ish and more like an open world rpg.

It’s not bad as such I certainly would never say this game is bad never play it, it just didn’t strike the right chords for me unfortunately it just felt generic fantasy in much the same way as I felt RIFTs was.

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Oleg Chebeneev

Would I pay a sub for a game which I dont play for free? Take a guess

Godnaz
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Godnaz

I have 13000 hrs played and there is no way I’d sub for a game that makes poor development and monetization decisions. I barely buy anything to support the game anymore. Yeah, I play but because that’s where I’ve made my social circle. There is no better time to ask this question given with what’s going on in the game. ESO and FF14 have their own issues but have a solid base in game direction that deserves a subscription in which I do sub to.

Godnaz
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Godnaz
Godnaz
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Godnaz

ANet admits build profiles have caused severe issues with the game.

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Castagere Shaikura

No, I wouldn’t but it would not surprise me if they added a sub to the game.

Zola_Rose
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Zola_Rose

I always though GW2’s cash shop was handled better than the majority of other games, and I feel like this trend of players bashing on anything and everything (regardless of merit) is the result of rising toxicity within the gaming culture. GW2 can not do anything right in their eyes, and while I think the build templates were poorly implemented, I don’t think it deserves the extreme backlash.

I don’t mind playing a sub in ESO, while I’m actively playing, but it also provides enough inconvenience without a sub that I really kind of need it. GW2 introduced a wealth of QoL features, and one of its selling points is that the game can be picked up and left off at will without penalizing the player — so any effort at incentivizing a subscription is bound to erode those QoL features for players who purchased the game, and will feel necessary to continue playing. If people are melting down over how build templates were implemented, how do you think a voluntary sub is going to go?

GW2 has so many cosmetics features and additional convenience items in their shop for sale, that I don’t know if they’re really hurting cash wise vs. if they had provided those things for a subscription. Last numbers I saw didn’t indicate the studio was struggling – it seems they cut down on bloated staff and payroll, and are trying to be leaner. Especially after cutting an unknown project. That doesn’t always indicate to me that the studio is broke.