It’s finally the news all Guild Wars 2 veterans/fans/potential players have been waiting for! The Heart of Thorns expansion prices have finally been released! Check out the official Guild Wars 2 site for the full details!
No doubt there are people who are genuinely excited about this, meanwhile on the forums and social sites like Reddit there is a HUGE backlash on the prices of the expansion and its different packages! O_O!!!
The official Guild Wars 2 forum and Facebook page aren’t looking any better either, many players are very angry about the prices and the contents of the expansion packages. Already, there is one post of the forum which has now over 3000+ posts (and counting!) regarding this announcement. There are multiple posts on Reddit like this one which has almost 3000 upvotes! Ouch!
So why has all this backlash happening? Well, I have to say that this is not the first time but for now let’s look at this particular situation.
Let’s first look at the current prices (as of 19th June 2015) for the Heart of Thorns expansion:
$49.99 USD (Standard) = Guild Wars 2 game + Heart of Thorns
$74.99 USD (Deluxe) = Guild Wars 2 game + Heart of Thorns + extra character slot + some in-game goodies
$99.99 USD (Ultimate) = Guild Wars 2 game + Heart of Thorns + extra character slot + some in-game goodies + 4000 gems ($50 USD value)
However, this post is more than me promoting the game…
It’s about the uproar going around social network by current, veteran players like myself that has attracted *some* attention, like this article… or this one on the MMORPG Reddit. I’m sure over the coming days there will be more articles that we will see pop up.
Let’s get a few things clear why this storm is happening:
– GW2 veteran players are NOT complaining about the price of the game. It is about getting the VALUE for the price of the game.
- A new player would need to pay $49.99 USD to get the base game plus the expansion. A new player would be getting 5 character slots + the expansion. For a current player, he/she would need to pay the same price just for the expansion (he/she would not need a new account because they would be using their existing account to play). A character slot currently costs almost $10 USD. Many veterans feel ripped off because they feel that newbies are getting more value for their money. Veterans feel Arenanet cater to new/potential players to getting “more box copies sold” than catering to current players who may have spent hundreds of dollars in supporting the game (Gem Store), and find out that they don’t get some discount/benefits for their “loyalty”. Also adding to the fact that players would be trying out the new Revenant class, so unless players are purchasing the more expensive packages, players would still need to fork out $10 USD to get a new character slot for their Revenant (or convert gold > gems).
– Some players who have recently bought GW2 felt that they have been “tricked” into buying the game before this whole pre-purchasing prices debacle happened. Heart of Thorns was promoted to be an expansion, and it was required to purchase the base game first in order to play the content of Heart of Thorns. Not only is the HoT standard package ($49.99 USD) slightly more expensive than buying the base game itself ($45 USD), but the fact that the HoT standard package is a bundle of the base game and Heart of Thorns; recent purchasers would now have to fork out another $49.99 USD just to get their expansion (Costing total $45 + $49.99 USD), when they could have waited a bit later if they knew that they could get “two for one” for $49.99 USD.
– Many players also feel that there is no incentive to pre-purchase Heart of Thorns. We don’t know when Heart of Thorns will be released. We don’t know a lot on what content will be in Heart of Thorns. There are still many things that the developers have yet to show what will be anticipated.
Now onto my opinion on this…
Honestly speaking, $50 USD is the price I was expecting for an expansion. It’s a bit more expensive for me (Approx. $67 AUD after conversion rates). That’s slightly cheaper than a regular computer I would buy on a console game for Playstation or Xbox. Not to mention, GW2 has ZERO SUBSCRIPTION FEES, UPDATES/CONTENT AT NO EXTRA COST, and THE OPTION TO CONVERT IN-GAME GOLD > GEMS WITHOUT HAVING TO USE YOUR CREDIT CARD. For the $80 AUD that I spent to buy my copy of the game, the game is definitely worth it! You can play this game WITHOUT having to use your credit card to buy gems, because it is OPTIONAL. Not buying goodies from the gem store does NOT disadvantage players because the gem store items are mainly convenience/cosmetic items. The only few things that I would personally buy from the store are character and bank slots (because I’m an Altaholic and I need them).
I definitely agree that we have yet to see what will be in Heart of Thorns. We have only seen teasers/blog posts (which really don’t tell much). Points of Interest and Ready Up are mainly the two contents that really shine and convince us to buy the expansion because it actually shows us how these features look/work in-game. As a consumer I want to know what my $49.99 USD is worth paying for. If the expansion does not have a lot of new content, or if the content is not appealing to me then I would not purchase it. There are quite a bit of features that has been revealed, but there are many more that we have yet to see.
And the bit about newbies getting better value than veteran players? I don’t mind. In fact, if this “base game + HoT” bundle package helps to generate more players aka income I do encourage it. That’s how businesses do anyway and I’m all for promoting new players to the game. However, I would not mind if there was a free character slot as part of purchasing Heart of Thorns. After all, almost every player getting the game cannot wait to try out the new Revenant class 🙂
Overall, I understand the reason of the whole rage but it is unfair to blame the whole Arenanet company for the marketing/PR blunder. The developers (including designers, scriptwriters, QA etc.) have worked really hard and for this whole thing to happen will only make them feel demotivated and rejected that their hard work (I’m sure they’re still working on it and slowly will reveal that to the players soon) does not feel appreciated. Furthermore, it is extremely unfair to be hurling abuse at the developers who spend A LOT of effort/time to create this wonderful game. I personally feel that it was a mistake to have the option of pre-purchasing even when there is no official release date.
Will I buy Heart of Thorns? Eventually, I will! Would I pre-purchase Heart of Thorns? No.
If you’re a new player interested in buying the game, I highly recommend it! 😀 It’s a very good deal and a good time to get started in the game.