The thundering footsteps of the game developing titan ArenaNet have been shaking things up more and more as we get closer to the flood of Guild Wars 2 information. With the clock ticking down, it just makes me wonder about the things to come even more. I mean, if Guild Wars 2 is a great game, how can they keep it from losing its luster like so many current MMOs have done in such a short time? What about a year from now; what will we be expecting from the game then?
I agree with everyone that a game’s core content, especially an MMO, should be massive. Guild Wars 2 will have multiple stories for you to experience for the storyline, and your character’s own personal story. Sadly, after you've gone and made multiple characters you will have experienced the storylines that are currently in the game. Sure that will take a lot of time, but when the time comes we will be asking “So what now?” A good MMO should be able to survive for years. Guild Wars 2 apparently does have a ton of content, but it's going to need a boost in time.
ArenaNet had a nice system for Guild Wars where they used micro transactions to sell mission packs. ArenaNet has said that they will be using micro-transactions for Guild Wars 2, but they didn't want players to have an advantage over others just because they spent a few extra dollars. This is a real game, not one of those Facebook click-fests that pulls our money out of us by inconveniencing us. To get back to the mission pack, it takes place in the lore of the game, using a different character with skills the game gave you. You controlled the character to see an event that took place in the games past. What was great about this mission pack was that it really expanded the universe. Sure it didn't help your character, but it opened up more of the world, making it more alive to you, and still entertained you using the game’s combat system.
Some people have been expressing hatred towards the use of micro-transactions, but I think it's a great way to support developers and receive new content without having to wait for a sequel. Just look at console games: they release DLC content with every release these days. Each DLC installment, hopefully, adds more hours of game play. If the first set of DLC does well, more follows and the developer and player community are both happy. How is that a bad thing?
I'm unsure if ArenaNet will be using an online store to sell skill-unlock packs like what we saw in Guild Wars. They unlock all the basic skills from a campaign of your choice, and they are available to your PvP and hero characters. The reason for this is that PvP is a mode that ArenaNet lets you start out at max level. You only have a few items to select from, which makes unlocking them in the RPG mode a way to get exactly what you want. The skill-unlock packs were a cheap and faster way to get what you wanted, but in the end you still had to go and unlock the elite skills on your own. This made it only a slight advantage. I guess we will have to wait and see.
It seems that there are a lot of opportunities for micro-transactions to help keep the game going for years, but let's hope that ArenaNet will not make it the main focus of their game’s content. If Guild Wars 2 is made right, it will have plenty of content to keep us busy for the first year or more before we will need to see some serious new additions added. That is, unless, we all do nothing but play Guild Wars 2 non-stop after its release… which may just happen.
Do you agree with companies using micro-transactions to supplement their income? Is it only okay when there’s no subscription fee? Do you like the use of DLC-style content? Start some discussion by leaving your comments and thoughts below.