My eldest daughter sits across from my youngest. They both have ice cream. I’d rather be sitting at the dinner table I crafted and chatting about the day with my wife than bringing out the laser level to make sure each bowl of ice cream is volumetrically equivalent.
The eldest sits with a scowl on her face because the youngest had the highest ice cream peak, or perhaps a spoonful more, or just better presentation of the dessert. Her enjoyment of her own ice cream is ruined. All she cares about is that her younger sister may have more.
Pretend you are the parent. What would you do?
This is pretty much the exact same situation a lot of players are facing since the Guild Wars 2 Heart of Thorns expansion went on pre-order last night after Colin’s E3 presentation.
The expansion is $50. (This is where you should stop and consider buying it or not.)
For new players they only have to buy the expansion, and they get the core game free. This is the same three-year old, updated core game that many of us have had for… three years.
I am seeing all the players who wanted to throw money at ArenaNet for an expansion sitting there with a scowl on their face because the younger players get an extra dollop of “value”. They feel entitled to that “value” in the form of another [mule] account or a cheaper expansion price.
To be fair, I think ArenaNet did blunder. This could be seen a mile away. I don’t know how much these “eldest daughters” are hurting the bottom line, but the perceived good will of ArenaNet is definitely lowering.
My personal opinion of value is that the base expansion should have included a character slot. Perhaps this set a precedent ArenaNet didn’t want since I feel getting another class in the second expansion is unlikely. I am pretty sure the “buy the expansion, get the base game” is a precedent that ArenaNet does want.
It is all about perception.
The Heart of Thorns sale page does not help. The cheapest option at $50 gives “Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns expansion (includes Guild Wars 2 core game)”. That’s it. No bullet points for what’s in the expansion. No goodies. They wanted that cheapest option to look… basic.
Upgrade to the $75 deluxe edition and the goodies start rolling in with a character slot, a glider skin, a mini, etc. Bullet points galore! Yes, ArenaNet really wanted to make that contrast stark to get players to upgrade, but in doing so they lost the excitement of merely buying the basic pack.
I feel for the “eldest daughters” that for that most basic option the only extra bullet point was for a new player. They got something extra that returning players wouldn’t get. Returning players wouldn’t get anything extra in that list (the title a player gets for pre-purchasing and beta access is presented apart from the bullet points).
Even with all the exciting things coming in Heart of Thorns, like a guild hall with a battle arena, that Spartan option is not exciting to look at. ArenaNet took a risk in making it that way. They wanted to push for the $75 option, and I feel that is why there is such a backlash. At the core, I feel if the “eldest daughters” really thought things through, they would view the new players getting the base game as a good thing. However, their own excitement has drained. Like taking the jam out of someone’s donut, Tommy.