[GW2] Lash and Love

TirzahBauerSketch

Picture this. You are watching your boss on stage at E3. He’s about to launch the pre-order button for something you’ve been working on for months. The community has been positive. You feel good about your work. You have a lot of work left to do. Now people will start to speak with their wallets. It’s a scary time, and then the worst possible public reaction occurs.

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This is not a post on the right or wrong of the situation. It’s a post in the hopes that fans who have free voice remain mindful of the power of their words.

It’s hard for everybody to remember that people on both sides are here because of passion. Tirzah is passionate about making amazing maps. Samuel is passionate about making sure all the server tech is playing nice. Lena is passionate about making awesome encounters and music.

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Crazylegsmurphy who will now be infamous for being the person to have the top voted post on the Guild Wars 2 subreddit is pretty passionate about Guild Wars 2. The same goes for a lot of players “refusing” to purchase Heart of Thorns on the grounds of value and perception. How many of them booted up Guild Wars 2 the last few days? I think that speaks volumes. I only write here because of that same passion.

Fans are able to speak their minds. It’s a gift and a curse. Game developers crave feedback, but at the same time they can’t always have a discussion with the fans. Sometimes it can be bad when a developer does speak openly.

I think this puts some fans in a bit of a fervor. They aren’t talking to a human being. They are yelling at a corporate wall. Who knows how much of their emotion and logic is making it through?

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Well this post is to make these fans remember that all of it, good and bad, is getting through. Your words have effect. You might not see it through your computer screen. Be a human being. Don’t be a catpiss man throwing filth around.*

As Vulcan as I wish we were, humans are creatures of emotion and illogic. That doesn’t mean the feedback of stimuli has to be negative, especially if it will affect others. Remember that you are affecting others. What stimuli do you want to be? Constructive, emotional, and forceful can all be had without affecting others with negativity.

–Ravious

*EDIT: I am going to leave this in, but I will also apologize. The “meme” was used to convey the simile of a filthy person, regardless of actual weight, fitness or cleanliness. When all we have is words and all your words are ugly, mental images of filth come to mind. In hindsight “Internet Dickwad” is far more apt, but unfortunately our editor budget has flown to Bermuda.

46 thoughts on “[GW2] Lash and Love”

  1. agreed. feedback should never include vitriol. they have a communication issue now. it started with the gem store update. they aren’t communicating things properly with their playerbase. players shouldn’t hurl hurtful words around like orangutans hurl feces around at the zoo. arenanet needs to be more forthright. whereas the decency issue is on the community. the perception issue on arenanet. people being rude aside, arenanet said the base game would be required and quickly had sales on the base game. i purchased a second copy of the base game so that it would be cheaper when i bought 2 copies of heart of thorns. now it’s costing me more? as a consumer i feel confident in not being thrilled with their decision to do that. it’s going to cost me more money now. that is all because of them changing their mind or not being forthright. either way, that is a mess they created and they should rectify that if they value their playerbase. whether their communication issues have been deliberately misleading or poorly worded doesn’t matter. they have poor communication skills with their customers and players.

    i can’t recommend that my friends buy these games anymore because of it. I have gotten dozens of players to purchase this game over the years because they have always been the best value and they have also been really good at communicating what they are doing in the MMO space. That isn’t the case anymore.

    perception is everything. they offered perceived value to new players. they offered no perceived value to existing players. vets feel slighted by that. i cant say as i blame them. i gave them money for a base game that i purchased in march so that i could hopefully save money for when HoT became available for purchase. i don’t want to buy it at all now because it could change down the road and also, we still don’t know exactly what the game offers in terms of value or replayability.

  2. I agree with most of your points here, but I went ahead and bought the Ultimate Edition, mostly because I’ve been saving up money for the past 3 months, and also because it’s the best value. I understand if the Standard Edition folk feel ripped off, and I hope they compensate the Standard or Deluxe buyers somehow.

  3. The proverbial “shitstorm” currently raging over ANet is not uncommon as customer outrage goes. Just look at the Mass Effect 3 Debacle some years ago. As such it wouldn’t only do to attempt to remind the “insulted” a.k.a the masses of humanity, but also remind the devs that this is nothing personal. The problem lies with a decision made by someone at ANet or NCSoft, the rest of the 300 at ANet has no personal hate against them. In fact this only strengthens the argument that literally every company needs a crisis management team, because “normal” employees, even the marketing department aren’t trained to handle situations such as these.

  4. Btw. you can add Rubi to that list, too. According to her Tweets somebody wrote her an in-game mail on her private account yelling at her for the prepurchase-stuff.

    I can totally understand if people have issues with the price – and its totally OK if they criticize it on Reddit/Twitter/Facebook or the forums. But attacking people like Rubi personally for something she has no say in? Or acting like total douchebags? Nah…… totally not OK.

    1. That sucks. Yeah, I have a theory that people that do that really need a “Crash” level amount of interaction if they’ve built up that much to lash out. I don’t want to judge, but the whole situation is unhealthy for everybody.

    2. I read about that and I’m pretty sure that person is now permanently banned from the game. Now not only can they be upset about the expansion, but they can be upset about their shortsightedness that got them a lost account.

      Maybe that person could spend the time they were playing Guild Wars 2 and instead spend it at some social interaction training class at a local community college?

  5. I’m sorry, but where have the people been angry at the Devs? Angry at the people making the music, the art, the graphics, the maps, the skills, etc?

    No. People are upset at the suits in the marketing department. Any sane person knows it wasn’t any dev that set the prices or decided what is or isn’t in the bundles. Any person who isn’t sane isn’t worth listening to.

    1. It’d be nice if there was a way for an AI to auto-delete anything “not sane” because it’s hard to blindly ignore and not process reading it among the melting pot of feedback.

    2. I find it hard to believe that comments like “its not worth $50” and “not enough content for the price tag” could be taken any other way than telling the devs that their work just isn’t good enough. Sure, the intent may not be to make the devs feel like dirt. The comments may be aimed at the corporate decision makers, but its not really “those people” that are feeling the heat from the feedback.

      A lot of people need to put themselves in the devs’ shoes. Many probably have been in similar situations before but neglect to remember what it feels like to have someone attack something you feel proud of doing. Even if they aren’t attacking you directly, it still pisses you off and hurts your feelings. We aren’t machines, and neither are the anet devs.

  6. Dear Ravious,

    Completely leaving aside that some people obviously go horribly over the top with their negative responses, I believe the negativism isn’t about the developers but rather about the marketing of this expansion.

    There will always be people that will voice negative criticism in a bad manner, but (I’m sorry if this is going to sound harsh) as developer you should be able to get over this. The criticism isn’t even aimed at the developers, but even if it was, you can’t always expect everyone to like everything and welcome it with their arms wide open. We’re not living in a fantasy world, we all find situations like this in our jobs.

    What annoys people isn’t the dev’s work, I’m sure that will be amazing. Arenanet’s marketing made some mistakes:
    – A 50 USD (minimal) price tag is attached to something, while we hardly have a clue about what it actually is…
    – The expansion comes with a ‘free core game’. I’m not into marketing but… really? The core players of this game were looking forward to buying the expansion for months. Their reward for preordering? A FREE CORE GAME. You know, that core game we’ve been playing the past 3 years… It annoys people that new players can now buy the game + expansion, for the same price that we (existing players) will just get the expansion for, as we already own the core game. If you ask me Arenanet should’ve made this expansion pack available as 50 USD for new players, and give the existing players a character slot instead of the core game (game goes on sale for a tenner a lot anyway, a character slot is a tenner, equal pricing and happy people).
    – The packages are quite disappointing. The second most expensive pack contains some cool stuff, but the ultimate version just adds 4000 gems to the other pack and that’s it.

    In short, I definitely will order the game and that actually is because I do love the work the devs do. I have played the game for 3 years and over 8000 hours and I only paid 50 euro for that. Anet offers great value for money, but the communication is just poor from the marketing side. I will await Anet’s response to this situation.

    Devs shouldn’t feel negative, I have not heard anything negative about any content we have seen so far apart that we want more (cause we want to spend even more time in this game)!

    1. You make it too clean of a situation. People don’t parse that easily especially when they take pride in being part of ArenaNet, not just pride in their individual work.

      It’s one thing to provide constructive feedback, which may be negative or positive, like you did. It’s another to make personal attacks, fling shit around, lose perspective, etc. It might be expected (for any job), but I’m not going to lay down in that idiocracy without saying something.

  7. My heart truly broke when I saw that picture by Tirzah she is a brilliant and amazing artist and a beautiful person.

  8. I’m so sorry that arsetards are denigrating the gorgeous beautiful work you guys have done and continue to do. I’m a huge ANet fan and love the game and the series for a host of reasons ranging from well-researched and diverse characterization that doesn’t fall into the ‘white fantasy male’ trope, to amazing soundscapes, to stellar graphics.
    Will I preorder?
    No.
    Because I’m between jobs right now and money’s tight, the pricetag I saw on log in yesterday made me flinch. I can’t afford it at that price right now, which really sucks. Maybe if I’d tossed less tenners at the game for RP related things when I was getting a higher regular paycheck… but that’s life, isn’t it.
    If I get the job I’ve applied for, and defend my PhD this summer as planned, I’ll have both the time and money to return to an escape I cherish and badly miss right now.
    And I know I’ll love it, because you guys do gorgeous work and you do it WELL.
    Kudos and try to shake off the enraged ape-feces <3<3

  9. This is the first time I’ve commented about it but as a veteran player with 9 full character slots I’m pretty annoyed that the base expansion doesn’t include a character slot. It seems an obvious oversight, I don’t see how anyone at Arenanet thought introducing a new class without a new character slot could be a good idea. I’m now at the point that I have to pay more for the expansion + character slot than I did for the original game in order to not delete a character. Regardless of what new players get that doesn’t make a lot of sense.

  10. I may be misunderstanding this, but this is just baffling to me. It’s like those psychological studies where they find someone would rather get $10 and have the person next to them get $5 instead of both people getting $15 (general idea of it, not an actual study). You should be happy people will get the base game for free because it will potentially bring in new players.

    On the other end of things, why should employees of the company be upset if people aren’t preordering a game unless it’s because of something they personally did? If you ask me, no one should be preordering any game unless the company has consistently provided significant value with every game they sold, you know the rough size of the content, AND it’s an established game series that the person preordering already knows they like. You’re gambling with every preorder, at least make sure the odds are in your favor (and with Anet they may be, but I’ve only really played GW2 from them so I don’t know).

    If you just want a character slot since your slots are full, I can understand that since the xpac includes a new class.

  11. And this is the problem I have with the original Reddit post encouraging everyone not to pre-order. This shouldn’t be a movement. ArenaNet is not some conglomerate who uses their monopoly to strongarm the public into paying unreasonable prices.

    ArenaNet is like the opposite of that. They are in a highly competitive sector trying out new and innovative pricing models. You don’t have to agree with their pricing, or their incentives, but whether you pre-order or not, or whether you purchase or not is an individual decision. It’s not a political movement.

    1. Whether you think it is political or not is a subjective opinion. I think it is political because ANet has knowingly (if not knowingly then they really need to hire some marketing management with more intelligence) exploited some people by baiting them into buying the game “in preparation” for the upcoming expansion (under the pretense that you need an account to get the expansion). People who bought it more than a month ago aren’t getting a refund despite their FAQ stating the need to have an existing account to play the HoT expansion existed since somewhere before the second sale. They are also knowingly letting upgrading players absorb the costs of new accounts (new accounts aren’t free no matter how much ANet or anyone else wills it so). This is knowing e

  12. I think the value that people say it is no worth is comparison to the quantity of content. Being this is GW2 forst expansion, community only has other MMO to compare it too. Wow, Everquest and GW1 all of which added what felt as substantially more for the same price therein about. Now there was no reason to personally attack developers. Quality of content is great no one should be sad about that, what should be sad is the straight up lack of communication. When my Wife yells at me right or wrong, I dont walk away and give the silent treatment for the next two days and I thing that is what it feels like is happen fuelling consumers to new heights of rage cause said poop attacks.

    Dev feel sad Post it on the forums tell the people but they should also try and understand the consumer point of view. I hope someone tell Rubi that we are sorry no one employee should be attacked espcially if they would not have had any power to have made the undesired position , if not I would like to apologize I hope someone can pass that to her.

    1. Sometimes though you don’t know how to respond to your wife in a meaningful way. It’s even moreso if say your marriage was on the line and you basically had one chance to respond. I expect ArenaNet to respond, but it takes time.

  13. I do not think people really hate Heart of Thorns nor do they hate anyone at the GW2 development team personally. I think that people hate the following:

    1. Veterans get nothing extra, new players get 5 player-slots, the full game and the EP, if we (veteran players) want one extra slot, we would have to pay 20 euros more for the Deluxe edition (or buy gems) – which is 20 euros for virtual items which (I personally) will maybe use a couple times before I’m done with them.
    Now I do not blame the people for adding the game to the Expansion Pack, GW2 came out a relative long time ago and this is a great way to gain new players. Veterans just feel kinda left behind because of:

    2. The pricing relative to the content. When the game came out, it costed (me) +/- €50. What I got for that was an amazing amount of content, 8 professions, 20-or-so maps, a full campaign and per race (5) a unique area and setting. €50,- well spend if you ask me. But with HoT all we know is that it will contain a revenant, the Maguuma wastes and 2 pvp maps, something I personally do not even play. The size of the Maguuma Waste (how big is this map, are it multiple maps.. etc.) are at the moment still unknown to us, in fact there is very little we know about HoT compared to what we knew about GW2 before it got released. And yet, the same price is being asked.

    3. As stated above, lack of information. At this moment we are buying a mystery box, we know what it can offer but do not have a clear picture of what it is exactly, all we DO know is that it only features 1 new profession (even though a clear picture of what this class exactly is and can do is not yet available). Elite Specializations, what is it – I am sure that it has been explained somewhere but again, hardly any information about this and, as a customer, I’d like to be more informed about what I get when I buy something especially when I could use the money to buy something like Fallout 4, announced only 1.5 week ago and we already know more about it than we know about HoT. (Or maybe it is just me?).

    ~PingWing

    1. It’s how the hate is written and directed. “I hate these options” is much different from “Whoever came up with this is retarded and should die” (as tongue in cheek as it may be).

      1. Trolls are everywhere and not everyone on the Internet wants to take the time to explain their motives and viewpoints – letting people know that you are mad and letting them know why you are mad are two different things of course. The first one however is easier to do and many people prefer to that one instead.

  14. This whole situation is sad. I feel bad for the devs, I feel bad for ANET, and I feel bad for the players who feel jilted by the expac pricing. I also hate to see the community fighting as the disenfranchised argue with those members of the community who are defending ANET. It’s one of those, “Why can’t we all just get along?” moments.

    ANET needs to fix their mess. I’m not sure how they didn’t anticipate a decent (or at least a very vocal minority) portion of the existing player base getting upset about this. This will be a good litmus test for the company and player base. I hope the outcome restores the goodwill of the player base, and I believe ANET will make it right.

    Players need to quit with the vitriol. There’s no excuse for personal attacks, name calling and some of the vapid, wild speculation I’ve read. Maybe it’s good the official forums are down. Gaile Gray getting hundreds of down votes for simply relaying the information she currently has to the community via reddit is simply childish behavior. I hope this situation blows some of the chaff out, the GW2 community doesn’t need them.

    As for the timing of the response, it is probably better that they take a day or two to think it through. A lot of players should probably have taken a day or two to post instead of spewing out their thoughts in an emotional state. You never say things quite right when you’re blinded by rage.

    #theinternet

  15. I fully agree with you, and apart from it being wrong to insult and use harsh words, there is another aspect in this. The whole idea of the community that the expansion aint worth $50.- is based on assumptions that the amount of content is not sufficient, and around the fact that the basic package doesn’t include a character slot.

    On the first that is clearly something Anet could have avoided by communicating about what is included in the content. It could even be done without giving to much detail. They could just state, X new zones, Y hours of story play, if there is dungeon (s) and fractal (s) included and maybe an overal estimated hours of unique gameplay or a simple comparison to the base game: it’s 75% the size of the original game content.

    Still without the whole communication there is no reason to get angry. You are not forced to buy, you can just wait and see if the content justifies the price for you once you have more information.

    The Character slot… well that would have been nice and they did sort of accustom us to one being included if we look back to GW1. But it’s no obligation either.

    In the end it’s all about wether you think it’s worth it or not if you buy or not.

    The whole discussion on the including of the core game is also a bit odd. For the veterans, you have played the game for three years now, so there is no way you can compare it. Instead you should be happy to have played so much for relatively low value. I mean if I go out for diner I have fun for three hours and that costs me $50.- as well. For the ones who paid $20.- or $10.- recently, you can play now, while if you preorder you can play whenever it’s released. Sure it would have been nice for you to know beforehand so you had a choice. But honestly, do you know of any company that gives you information months in advance on what promotions they are going to run? Ever had someone tell you in a store: you might want to think about that purchase because in three months we will have it on discount?

    I haven’t preordered yet, I prefer to wait and see what it is we get. Whenever I feel it’s worth it for me I will purchase and most likely go for the ultimate option as it’s the best value for money because of the gems and slot included.

  16. There’s an “unwritten policy” in place in our business (a mid-scale game developer) that you do not want to get involved with the vocal community, either by reading all the posts or even publicly participating in discussions. There’s something wonderful about reading people’s opinions on a project you have poured your blood, sweat and tears into for several years, but this same platform also attracts minors and your aforementioned “cat piss people” with a loud mouth that just want to make themselves heard at any cost, and sadly those seem to be in the vocal majority who will scream the loudest. Give yourself a little time to pick through the positive responses, but don’t engulf yourself in the drama or it’ll very quickly warp your perception of what people actually think.

    As for the game, a lot of anger seems to be directed at the prepurchase and the uncertainty of not knowing what people are getting for their money. For all it’s worth, there’s so very many loyal fans waiting to hit that “buy” button once it actually releases and actual player reviews begin pouring in.

  17. Anyone who works in a direct customer-facing role will know very well that paying customers (and often non-paying non-customers) will express themselves very forcefully, even abusively when they feel they have been disrespected.

    I’m at home now typing this but less than two hours ago I was talking to a family who had had a single, short intereaction with one of my colleagues, who had give them accurate information but in such a way that they felt undervalued. They had been seething about it for a while and let me know about it. My colleague did absolutely nothing wrong but that is not the point. The point is that they perceived that she had.

    As customer-facing representatives of the company its part of our job to receive blame for things that are not under our control. No-one likes it but it is one of the things for which we accept a paycheck. I’m sure Gaile Gray, in her role, understands this.

    The problem here is that many of the ANet Devs are NOT in customer-facing roles. Artists who are paid to produce art assets have not signed up to deal with this kind of behavior although they may have to accept criticism of their actual work when it appears n the way all artists who make their work public must expect criticism.

    I think that they way games designers in general have been encouraged to interact in a semi-official manner with the customers of the games in which their work appears has always been a dangerous choice, both by the designers as individuals who choose to do it and by the companies who allow it.

    I am not pre-purchasing. The price is high but that isn’t the reason. From what I have so far seen the work is not what I would want to pay for. It may be highly skilled and well-rendered but I don’t find it exciting or attractive, for the most part. That doesn’t require any personal insults but it’s the case that I would cheerfully already have paid my $50 if I’d liked the work I’ve seen more than I do.

  18. Never heard the cat piss man thing before, but while we’re on the topic of words hurting, that makes me sad. We already have the cat lady stereotype and the stereotype perpetuated from infant clothing on that boys and especially men should not have cats. My husband is a cat person. He games. He does not act like “cat piss” man (he also stays on top of the litter.)

    Very bummed about the personal attacks, too. Not only is it obviously hurtful and inappropriate, but it’s not even helpful since it makes it that much easier to dismiss consumers as spoiled brats, and worse. Personally I wouldn’t be disappointed in the price if I didn’t like the work the developers were doing. I just can’t justify spending $50 on it when I have other responsibilities.

    That, and the more I see other adults puff their chests out about their gaming and purchasing habits, the less I want to continue indulging in this particular hobby/vice.

    1. Cat piss man AFAIK has nothing to do with cats and everything to do with entitlement, hygiene, and social skills. Another name possibly for “Internet Dickwad”. I think the core of this stereotype is uncaring of self or others and only caring about “the lore” or “the game”.

      1. The absence of cats on boys clothing has nothing directly to do with telling boys cats aren’t for them either, but contributing to that pervasive message is still a consequence, intended or not. Regardless it seems strange to condemn people for name calling and call for more constructive discourse only to call people names, however deplorable their actions.

        Someone in the previous post got a pat on the back for labeling anyone critiquing the price and value as spoiled brats without regard for how polite or impolite individuals may be in expressing their opinions, and insinuating they were children and/or jobless instead of people who may simply have a different value system regarding personal budgets and consumerism.

        I’m making an effort to focus on specific actions instead of calling names.

  19. Few people in here already made some good points about this topic. In the end it all boils down to a pricetag on something we don’t know enough about yet. The extent of the content (be it playable maps or more featureish things like the traitsystem changes) is barely predictable..
    There are still a lot of topics left for Anet to release information about. It was a “strange decision” to announce a pricetag this soon, especially if the price is “this high” and it’s no surprise that people are upset.

    The fact that we don’t get another characterslot with the basic HoT pack is really questionable. Soon it will be 3 years this game is out, the community is somewhat jumpy (to say the least) about new content and more to explore in a world people have come to love. And over the course of those nearly 3 years people have filled their character slots, already bought some for new characters and are now forced to buy another slot to play the new class. This is the tip of the iceberg. I have no idea how many people have filled their characterslots and can’t delete a charater that is “just sitting there” that’s why I’m just saying “a lot of people” are now forced to pay another:
    +10$ if they would buy only 800 gems via the ingame shop and trade it for a slot for a total of 60$
    or up to +25$ if they choose to buy the “Deluxe Edition” that comes with a characterslot for a total of 75$
    And this is…. hard to swallow? to put it in a friendly way.

    I’m waiting for the next weeks (maybe even months) to see what other content/upgrades/changes we will see in HoT and will base my decision on the these informations. A really good video about this topic was made from TotalBiscuit over 2 years ago: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mf5Uj4XIT1Y

    This is something everyone should do, wait and see what comes with HoT and decide:
    “Is it worth my money? Yes? Okay I’m buying it.”
    or
    “Is it worth my money? No? Okay I’m not going to buy it for this price (maybe I’ll wait for a pricedrop)”

    Last but not least:
    people stay calm about this, voice your concerns in a friendly manner and refrain from insulting people (be it a developer or each other)

    Greetings

  20. Proving once more that a large faction of gamers are still at the maturity level of a child. Cripes. Seriously?! Okay, $50 for an expansion, sure it’s a little much, I don’t pay that amount for a full game, let alone an expansion. But, feeling slighted because a new player gets the base game for free as well as the expansion?! That’s just childish. Do you know what that initial cost of the base game got you? Oh, I don’t know, maybe the ability to *play the freaking game for the past 3 years*! What value is that to them? And then, not only are they immature enough to feel slighted, but then to take it out on ANet by throwing a digital tantrum?! Children. All of them children.

  21. As having developed MMOs in the past, the reactionary vitriol from some in the community has been upsetting and hurtful to witness. I KNOW its effecting the people at ANet who pour their heart and souls into developing the game. Its tremendously demoralizing for all of them, especially on the cusp of the release of a huge massive major awesome patch coming just next week, and their continued development of HoT.

    Geezus, would *you* really want to put everything into working on a product when so many of your customers are being irrationally negative? Probably not so much!

    Personally, *I* want the folks at ANet to be happy and enthusiastic and motivated to work on the game that I really enjoy playing. When the community treats the developers with respect, appreciates their work and is considerate of how they communicate with ANet, we get developers who enjoy what they are doing, and make the effort to connect to the community and more effectively implement what the community wants in their game.

    Bottom line: Be nice. :)

  22. > How many of them booted up Guild Wars 2 the last few days?

    I haven’t. I’ve been playing other games and patiently waiting for the expansion. I’ve been /excited/ about the expansion! Until today.

    Now I feel like I have to pass instead of getting back into the game I used to love. I totally agree with you, there are people at the other end of the business. We should treat them like people.

    But business is also business. In no way will I attack anybody working for the company, but I’m not going to support them anymore, either. Which is a frustrating, emotional turn of events that I was not expecting.

    1. Exactly how I feel oh and if these publishers don’t want to hear people like me they could at least post rebuttal it’s sad really when they can’t carry one a conversation. I was excited until today too now that I know it will be the same old nonsense we’ve seen before in their decisions, no thanks moving on.

  23. Good post. Another sad part about all of this is that real issues and constructive solutions could simply just get buried in a lot of negative noise.I feel bad for the devs and players who feel slighted but Anet corporate? Not really. In my view it was their bungling that created this mess.

    The issue in the end is the rather shady marketing tactics used by Anet to bring in new players prior to the HoT pricing and package announcement and the attempt to saddle existing players with the cost of taking on a new account. All of this on top of the rather questionable act of asking people for money without clearly outlining what they will be paying for.

    What happened? People got angry and went with what they knew so far about the expansion, made a value assessment (not worth 50 bucks) and unloaded. My second paragraph is Anet’s responsibility and they own that mistake 100%. How they did not think this through on the corporate front is baffling. It also did not help that there were one or two sarcastic posts from one community relation person that lit the whole forum on fire. I stopped looking at the forums early on but my first thought at the thousands of posts was that Anet should have quickly put up a post thanking players for their feedback on the pricing options. We will discuss the concerns raised internally and revert with an official response in the next few days. Considering their bungling in the second paragraph, I would be very surprised if they did not see that they needed to do something to rectify the situation.

    Having said the above, this was an opportunity for players to respectfully and constructively let Anet know their disappointment and voice their concerns in a mature manner. Personally attacking individuals within the company and contacting them through personal private channels constitutes harassment and is totally uncalled for. It is good to be passionate but no one receives feedback or criticism constructively when it is full of vitriol and expressed childishly. The point is lost. To be fair though, (at least at the time I was looking at the forums), a lot of the childish banter was between the for and against players. Most comments I read were by and large of the not worth 50 bucks, not buying variety which I would not consider to be offensive.

    Overall the big lesson to me is communication:

    – Anet grab the bull by the horns. Respond with an acknowledgement fast to put a damper on the situation and calm things down. Give a timeframe if possible.

    – Players. It is a game. Yes people are passionate but seriously, express your point constructively, make your purchasing decision or wait things out. There are plenty of other gaming fish in the sea.

  24. For years I’ve been telling anyone who cared to listen that GW2 was providing more content for free than any other game I’d played. That, despite not having a sub, it was dropping more patches than any of the subscription MMOs.

    Unfortunately, I think this is part of the reason that we’re seeing such an expensive expansion which doesn’t really seem to contain an overwhelming amount of content. Gotta recoup the last couple of years of development somehow.

    The “base game included with no alternative for those who already own it” and “new class but no new character slot” issues are separate, and are both definitely marketing fails. The negative reactions to those two should have been easy to predict.

    1. I thought the gem store was at least in part making a lack of sub fees. I know some people spend as much as they otherwise would on a monthly sub in part to show appreciation, and others spend well beyond that, possibly enough for those who make few or any purchases, but certainly enough to make up for any resources used in the production of gem store content and a good chunk of the DLC everyone gets for free.

      If DLC has been keeping them in the negative, assigning a high price to a seemingly slight expansion by industry standards to make up for it retroactively doesn’t seem like a sustainable model.

  25. I completely agree that the vitriol was the wrong way of doing things. I have respect for those that created the world. The maps, the art, the wonderful character design are all things that brought me to the game in the first place.

    Unfortunately, it has been the business and design practices that Anet/NCsoft have seen fit to use over the last 3 years that have pushed me away from the game. I had every intention to come back. I had every intention to purchase a reasonably priced box. I had expected to be paying that ~40$ every 9-12 months for a quality story driven and interesting game. Just like I had during the first game’s lifespan. I was more than willing to give them my money if there was value there. Yet there are 2 things that keep me from jumping back in (well more but these are the two big ones.)

    1) The fact that its a pre-purchase. To put it simply, no game should be asking us to pay them before the game is released. To go even further, no game should be asking us to give them our hard earned money before its released AND it does not have a release date.

    2) The value is not there. An expansion giving us a new profession should come with the character slot. The new profession is a core part of the content the expansion provides. By not including it, it essential raises the price of the expac from 50 to 60$. I’m sorry, but what they have shown me thus far does not raise to this level.

  26. I saw (part of, had to take a phone call) the presentation at E3 and thought things looked beautiful.

    I didn’t see the pricing until after I got back home after the last day and, unfortunately, I find myself more grouchy than enthused. I know it’s a great value– I have it running on a separate monitor right now and, unless I really botched my math, I’ve paid 1.389 cents per hour (Not 1.389 dollars, mind you!) to explore a glorious world. And it is a beautiful place; I definitely appreciate the efforts of the design team (sound withstanding because I can’t judge– I rarely have it on due to other concerns).

    Despite the positive elements, I still can’t help but cross my arms and glare at my screen a bit. I don’t blame the development team at all. (Not entirely true; my second thought was that I should’ve tried harder to catch up with Colin this year to both pay him back a drink I owe him and to sock him in the nose… [I kid, about the latter, but still…]) I know some people say it’s a childish, or entitled, or aimless complaint, but absolutely no concession to the existing playerbase just seems like a disrespectful misstep to me and ANet as a whole, including those not responsible, are to bear the brunt.

    Personally, my auto-buy has dropped to holding pattern while I wait to see what happens.

  27. ArenaNet has a major problem communicating with their players. They act like it’s impossible to have a good relationship with their customers and keep them informed about, well, pretty much anything concerning their product. They forbid their employees to discuss anything about the future of the game, to the point that even their own employees are fed up with it (https://forum-en.guildwars2.com/forum/support/bugs/Bug-Lupicus-Necrid-Bolt-hits-at-melee/page/2#post5055142). They refuse to discuss even the simplest details with us or even mention if undocumented game changes are bugs or intentional.

    And then we don’t trust them when they ask us to purchase their xpac blind, and we blow up at them as if they were some faceless corporate entity.

    Hmm….think there might be some connection?

    That said — I admit I’m one of the most negative people around on the forums, but I’m really saddened to hear that people have been lashing out at the devs, artists, etc personally.

    Rage at the company, rage at the policies, rage at those who set them — but the people working in the trenches are not the ones who are creating this environment of distrust and frustration.

    If they were allowed to, I have a feeling they’d be very excited to talk with us about their work and maybe even be open to constructive criticism and suggestions. Perhaps if they were allowed to talk with us, we wouldn’t feel this giant disconnect between them and us.

    This game had amazing potential and obviously a lot of talented, awesome people working on it. It’s a shame they refuse to embrace their community and treat them as if they valued their support.

  28. Actually I believe in voting with my wallet. I wonder how Anet will read the numbers.
    Me and my friends decided to give GW2 and Anet another chance. I was burned badly by Living Story s1, left and logged only to unlock s2 episodes of now called Living World. Then I sat with my friends to finish all new content with one clean sweap. I must to admit – it was way, waaaay better than s1, but still below my not too high espectations. So I didn’t stuck around.
    Fast forward to yeasterday. We talked with friends and came to conslusion, we are more or less done with our grieve with what happened to the sequel to beloved Guild Wars. So we logged, they bought it, I begun to read. I’ve read, and read more, and then some… I felt like somebody slapped my face. So I really do understand the negative outcry. I do not have that big emotional bound with GW2 anymore and I felt insulted.
    What is funny – friends after reading few lines went back to bank accounts and canceled their pre-orders.
    So yeah. That’s that. That’s how feel guy, who was planning to get back to the game again. Maybe not every guy, but this particular one.

    While personal attacks from community are really beyond my comprehension, I think Anet failed to learn ALL the valuable lessons along the way (oh, and there were many!). White knights on forums use their shiny shields with words “what a shame that happened to Anet” etc. When in reality – it’s not something that happened to them. It’s ehither what they did to themselfs or was done to them (by NCsoft). And if it was done to them, where is their backbone to stand for their cause and why we never heard about that?
    Actually, now when I think about it, I’m disgusted. To think I prompted dozens of people to trust Anet and buy their game…

  29. Of course there is people without a minimal respect, and those should learn to critizise without attacking personally.

    I’m one of these who wrote in “Don’t pre-purchase HoT” in Reddit, who mostly tried to explain the point about many ‘vets’ are against Anet’s decission including the core in every pack, and leaving the Basic Pack as ‘something for new players’, forgetting the veterans totally. And I’m totally against this kind of mean, disguise attitude attacking the wrong people. I said it in official forums and I repeat it here: critizise, discuss, argue… but NEVER insult. Many aren’t agree with it, alright, but show your disagreement with respect.

    Obviously, this goes for the opposite side too. Many people defend Anet and their decissions with ridiculous statements that are totally off the right point: “vets don’t want new players”, “vets don’t want to pay 50$”, “vets are entitled”. To go as a white knight without reason, and to attack aggresively to those who aren’t agree with some decission is mean, and deserves same repulse by part of the community.

    Those who are against Anet’s decission don’t hate new players, don’t hate ArenaNet, don’t hate the game… and of course, don’t hate the people behind the screen who works for giving a great game like Guild Wars 2. This people only defend something they consider unfair, expecting a light at the end of the tunnel that shows some respect to veterans by part of ArenaNet.

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