So, looking at games which still have not gone the way of the Free, like Warhammer Online, makes me feel remorse for their losses (down to one server? WTF people....go FREE and be ready to turn back on those lost servers and get more players....and revenue again).
So, how is GW2 approaching this? I have not looked into it too much, but I always appreciated the "Buy once, free forever" style of game. Let me pay for expansions, addons, etc....but, one price for the box is awesome.
Lets review the Microtransaction system for GW2...
A great post here with some straight forward data. We see...
"In Guild Wars 2 we have three currencies: gold, karma, and gems. Gold is the common in-game currency. Karma, which players earn in-game but cannot trade, is used for unique rewards. And gems are the currency that’s bought and used to purchase microtransactions."
Interesting that just three variations of "money" will exist. One thing that started to get difficult in Rift was the currency system. It got out of control actually...with each event having a new currency item. Each raid tier started using new forms of payment...it was insane. GW2 seems nice and simple.
"MMO veterans will note the similarities of our system to EVE Online’s PLEX system. As in that case, our system takes gold trading out of the hands of real-money trading (RMT) companies and puts it directly in the hands of players."
Though I am personally not a fan of EVE, something always touted as a singular system of both discussion and derision has been the PLEX system. How do you feel about it?
This though is the best quote...
"If you want something, whether it’s an in-game item or a microtransaction, you ultimately have two ways to get it: you can play to earn gold or you can use money to buy gems. We think that’s important, because it lets more players participate on a level playing field, whether they use their free time or their disposable income to do it."
A sore point all along has been players attitudes towards those who have all the time in the world, or all the cash in the world to do with as they wish. Well, now each type of player has the ability to purchase as they want. This will be important down the road towards leveling the playing field.
Of course, Massively has an article on the many pitfalls of such a system. Check that here...
Bots, RMT stealing, the infamous "Pay 2 win" terminology all play key roles in this system falling down.
Until we see it in action, we will not know how this will play out. The entry price and then no monthly fee though will attract a much larger audience than most MMO's, and I predict a large sell out of this game off the bat...all because of the single player game pricing scheme.
As to being free, to do what I want, any ole time...in GW2, I couldn't be happier.