Perspective: Guild Wars 2 Players Don’t Have It

Greetings, ladies and gentlemen!

Just a quick post! I’m working on some new content for the blog, but I wanted to get this post out while I still had the idea in my head.

For today’s topic, I want to tackle a discussion that has erupted around Guild Wars 2, and an issue the game’s community is having with the price of its upcoming expansion, Heart of Thorns. The issue the Guild Wars 2 community is having, brought to my attention by a video posted by BogOtter, is partly to do with the price, but, for the most part, the issue seems to stem from the fact that the expansion includes the base game in the total price. Now, I don’t really want to go too into detail about my opinion on this subject because I plan to illustrate how stupid this issue is with a comparison to another MMORPG that has previously released expansions.


In order to illustrate how dumb I perceive the Heart of Thorns pricing issue to be, I have created two examples that show how much money players were required to pay in order to play their chosen MMORPG. The first example illustrates a person who purchased, and has played, World of Warcraft since its initial release. The second example illustrates a person who purchased, and has played, Guild Wars 2 since its initial release. There are a few rules that these examples abide by, and they are as follows:

  • Each example takes the perspective of a person who has been playing, and paying, for the game since the original date the game was released.
  • The examples only include monetary amounts that were required to play the game, and ignore optional payments such as characters slots and cash shop mounts.
  • The totals will be based on how much a person will have paid up to the release date of the latest expansion of the game.

World of Warcraft Example

Vanilla Player

Base Game (Nov 23, 2004): $60.00

5 Expansions ($40 each): $200.00

118 Months of Subscription ($14.99 up to Nov 13, 2014): $1,768.82

Total Cost: $2,028.82

New Player (as of Jun 20, 2015)*

Base Game: $20.00 $10.00

Warlord of Draenor (Standard): $50.00 $30.00

Total Cost: $70.00 $40.00

*World of Warcraft’s base game and Warlords of Draenor expansions were on sale as of Jun 20, 2015. The normal prices were struck through as shown above.

Pros: World of Warcraft includes previous expansions into the base game with the release of a new expansion allowing new players to jump in with a lower barrier to entry. New players can play World of Warcraft for a month before having to worry about the $15 subscription fee.

Cons: World of Warcraft includes previous expansions into the base game with the release of a new expansion, but veteran players already paid for those expansions at full price. The expansions do not include a free month of game time.

Guild Wars 2 Example

Vanilla Player

Base Game (Aug 28, 2012): $60.00

Heart of Thorns (Standard): $50.00

Total Cost: $110.00

New Player

Heart of Thorns (Standard): $50.00

Total Cost: $50.00

Pros: The expansion to Guild Wars 2 includes the core game into the price for the expansion allowing new players to jump in with little barrier to entry. Guild Wars 2 has no subscription fee, which has allowed veteran Guild Wars 2 players to enjoy the whole game plus updates with little cost following the purchase of the box.

Cons: I have to spell this out to you people…


That is everything I have to say about this topic. Perspective – the Guild Wars 2 community doesn’t seem to have it. This isn’t going to affect your experience with the expansion, nor will it make much difference if the core game is included or not. I applaud anyone in the community who isn’t complaining about something so incredibly trivial, and I hope that my illustration puts this issue into perspective for those raging blindly.

For more content on this “issue”, check out the following videos.

Tyria Talk #79: Guild Wars 2 Expansion Pre-Purchase Debacle by Bog Otter

RE: Don’t Pre-Purchase Heart of Thorns by Wooden Potatoes

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About The War Fist

I am an aspiring writer and gamer designer who enjoys the act of creating something from nothing. Typically, my creations are stories, characters, and concepts for game mechanics and/or features. I've been developing my own philosophies of storytelling, game design, and , to an extent, filmmaking, and would eventually like the opportunity to put them into practice.

Posted on June 23, 2015, in Gaming and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. You can’t really compare the two, as the pricing model is entirely different. You can’t go “Oh, if you’ve been playing a game that’s subscription based for several years, you’re getting shafted by new players!” because the game’s model is primarily based on these subscriptions, and of course if you’re playing for several years it is going to cost more than starting fresh. The value of the base content goes down, expansions come out, their value goes down over time, that’s how that works, and of course the longer you play the more it’ll cost.
    But in GW2’s situation, you’re buying a game once. You can buy living story episodes you missed, but I’m unsure about the pricing of that, and other than purchases from the in-game shop, you’re effectively paying once.
    Not saying NCsoft doesn’t deserve the money, but there should be a way for people who already own the base game to avoid paying for the price that includes the full gameAND the expansion, or if you have to pay that price anyways, give current players an incentive to do so other than “We’re selling it like this, get fucked kids,” Something like more character slots, or gems, whatever the currency of the in-game shop is.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey, Sovlfog! Thanks for the comment.

      I am making the comparison specifically because of the pricing model. People are complaining about having to pay $50 for Heart of Thorns, when most expansions that are released cost $40. However, World of Warcraft expansions actually cost $55 because you have to renew your subscription in order to experience the new content at all since WoW XPacs don’t provide a free month of game time (and that is included in the subscription costs above). So, Blizzard can charge $40 and not have to worry about losing money. The $50 makes sense for Guild Wars 2 because they don’t charge a subscription fee, and I doubt the price has anything to do with the base game being included.

      In World of Warcraft’s case, the value of the base content goes down because each expansion makes all previous content irrelevant due to the increase in level cap. For Guild Wars 2, there is no depreciation of content because there is no level cap increase. Additionally, neither the expansion nor any previous or future patch is going to increase the maximum power level that a character can achieve, unlike every single major patch and expansion released for World of Warcraft.

      As mentioned in the post, the values listed exclude any optional payments, including Living Story chapters, and in-game shop purchases like character slots and gems.

      The biggest issue I have with the GW2 community’s argument is that they feel they deserve more for having paid for the base game. The problem is that they have had access to the game FOR FREE for almost 3 years, updates included, without being required to pay for anything except for the box. The “incentive” to pay for the expansion should be “YOU ARE GETTING AN EXPANSION!” Guild Wars 2 wasn’t originally going to have an expansion, and it was going to be supported by regular, free updates only, which isn’t something I agree with since an expansion brings WAY more attention and money to a game.

      The GW2 community does not deserve more from the expansion for having purchased the base game. That idea in itself is idiotic. This part of their argument makes them seem like spoiled brats, which I can see being the case since they haven’t had to pay for a subscription. ArenaNet is in the right to do with their product as they wish to bring in more potential customers, but the choice to set the price for Heart of Thorns to $50 most likely had nothing to do with the inclusion of the base game.

      Again, thanks for the comment. 😀

      Like

      • I guess my biggest worry is that they’re pricing it at 50 for an ‘expansion’ when they usually released full fledged games in their own right for a similar price, Nightfall and Factions. The last and only ‘expansion’ was GWEN, which was priced at a much lower point. Since I haven’t learned a lot about the amount of content in the expansion I really don’t have much a leg to stand on, but it just feels comparatively less for the same, or more price.
        I appreciate you expanding on your thoughts for me, puts the entire argument into better light.

        Liked by 1 person

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