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The Casual Life by Wintyre Fraust

An older, casual player's perspective on MMOG's in general and GW2 in particular.

Author: Meleagar

Why Fluff Is Imporant, Especially In A B2P Model, & Suggestions

Posted by Meleagar Wednesday August 1 2012 at 9:49AM
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As of BWE #3, there's not enough "fluff" in GW2. Well, there's enough for now, but not enough for the long-term.

Let's be honest here; about 1 month after release, all the hardcore players are going to be level 80 and will either only sporadically visit GW2 after that, or they will turn their attention to PvP. I don't know that hardcore PvP'ers are that interested in"fluff" content, but I do know who is generally very interested in it:

Casual players and RPers.

Arenanet isn't going to make a living off of cash shop sales to hardcore PvPers or min-max speed levelers; the bread and butter of of cash shop sales is going to come from casuals and Role-Players.  Therefore, in order to maximize profitability (and live-team size), ANET needs to make sure they retain casuals and Role-Players (and draw more in) by continuing to add "fluff" to the game that is either directly sold from the cash shop, or indirectly drives cash shop sales. And remember, of course, all cash shop items should be purchasable via in-game gold one way or another.

I'd like to propose a whole new perspective on what can be monetized in GW2 and other games: how about emotes? What if you could buy RPing and casual sets of emotes and accessories, like a chaplain/priest set, a dancing set, a screenshot-friendly pose set (dramatic poses, sexy poses (nothing lewd), fun poses, couples poses such as holding hands, kissing, hugging, loving glances, etc.), attitude sets, etc.

When there is player housing, how about furnishing sets? You could have different styles that reflect different races and proffessions, or just fun sets.

How about cash-shop hairstyles? Tattoos? Emblem sets?  Gear decoration sets? 

How about cash shop variant battle animations (not applicable in PvP)?  Variant spellcasting animations? Variant walking, running, and jumping animations?  Variant finishing animations?

How about custom player "booth" applications for guilds, where your guild can set up "booths" at events they organize to provide mini-games for prizes the guild puts up, or just to have fun, like a dunking booth, a fortune-teller's booth, an arcade, fishing from a barrel, coin toss, etc.

Or, there could be guild-hall "event" packages, such as a masquerade ball, or a harvest or summer faire, etc.

MUSIC!  Musical instruments, musical scores, ampitheater events (theater dress & emote packages), etc.

The deeper the fluff system, the more casuals and RPers (and perhaps some hardcore players, as well) will spend. The more attached to their avatar these players become via these kinds of choices, the better for the long-term health of the game.

ANET need to quickly start expanding their "fluff" content after release, if they aren't doing so now for release.