$70 Canadian is too much for an expansion pack to an MMO Game

It really is.

In the past I have spent many hours on the forums of Star Wars Galaxies, Planetside, and other games that I have played, but for some reason I never really felt compelled to take part in the Guild Wars 2 forum. Today, that changed. At least for one post.

I thought long and hard about this issue over the last few weeks and I came to the conclusion that I really do have reasonable expectations for the value of an expansion and the content I expect it to provide. I’m not crazy. I’m not unreasonable. In fact, I think it’s pretty level headed to feel that an expansion pack shouldn’t cost as much as one paid for the original game and that it should, at the very least, offer content that is similar to what is already in the game. But that’s not what Arenanet is offering with their Heart of Thorns expansion to Guild Wars 2.

From what I have read, most of the content in Heart of Thorns is aimed squarely at “Raiders” and “PvPers”, of which I am neither. And honestly, that would be totally fine had Arenanet not chopped out, gutted, and devalued parts of the original game in the process of making the new expansion on top of making the open world area of HoT geared to the top 1% of players. What they have done to the “base game” comes across as little more than an underhanded way to “encourage” people to purchase their new, far too expensive, expansion – even if most of the content in that expansion doesn’t interest the player.

Finally, I felt compelled to post something on their forums:

I’ve had GW2 since (I asked my wife to buy it for me for) the Christmas after its launch and I’ve played it off and on. I’ve always said it’s a beautiful game, but hard to “get into”. Not that it’s a hard game, just that there is something inherently boring about it, such that despite really quite enjoying its mechanics and design, my GW2 game sessions seem to always be considerably shorter than other games I have played (EQ/EQ2, SWG, WoW, PS2, Aion, etc…). Coming back after several months to find entire systems changed or removed certainly didn’t help that any btw – some of the things that compelled me to purchase the game no longer exist and that’s… annoying.

Anyhow, i finally leveled a character to 80 earlier in 2015 and I’ve considered purchasing the new expansion. I appreciate that it’s an actual expansion of the game rather than a wholesale replacement of the game, unlike so many other MMOs. However, there are some factors about Heart of Thorns that are keeping me from purchasing it:

1. I am Canadian. The retail box is $70 on store shelves here. The CAD to USD exchange rate makes the $50USD online purchase roughly $68.

Look, Canada is not some third world nation with a GDP worth a box of donuts. Despite the ridiculous geo-political garbage that has driven our dollar to historic lows in the last year, the reality is that Canadians earn roughly the same wages as Americans and our time is every bit as valuable as anyone else’s. Time IS money; Asking us to pay $20 more for your expansion is inappropriate.

2. $50 USD is about $10 USD more than I am willing to pay for an EXPANSION PACK. $39.99 is the top end of what I feel is reasonable. Honestly, as a person who never played the original Guild Wars, I would get more new content and thus, “value for the dollar”, by spending $20 on the original game.

3. I don’t like what I am reading about how the open world makes soloing a bunch of boring drudgery and frustrating tedium. Jumping puzzles? Yeah, fine, if they are optional and I happen to feel in the mood to do one. Mobs so tightly packed and on such a fast respawn that getting places is tedious? Tedium is the opposite of fun folks – Opposite of fun. Dungeons, raids, and PvP? Don’t care, do what you want with them. However, the open world should be there for everyone to enjoy.

4. I’m actually quite pissed off about the changes to the Skill Point system, which magically means that I get exactly NOTHING for leveling up beyond 80 now, unless I buy your expansion! What the actual… really? That was, point blank, a deceptive and shitty thing to do people like me who bought the original game (collector’s ed no less…). I couldn’t care less that you “went free to play” – I bought the damned game – stop taking away parts of what I paid for!

In fact, that last point there is such a stinger that as a matter of principle, I’m really not inclined to spend any money with NCSoft again. If that’s the kind of treatment I get for my money, well… I’d rather give my “disposable income” to someone else, tbh. Certainly no shortage of places to spend money…

As it stands, GW2 is a very nice game with much to like about it, but I doubt I will purchase the Heart of Thorns expansion. Sadly, from what I have already seen, I can’t help but worry that even more of the “base game” will be knee-capped, removed, or left broken, in the interest of pushing the sale of the expansion. An expansion that, from what I can tell, was made for a niche market rather than whole player base no less. Hopefully I will have time to finish the “base game” before it’s entirely paywalled, despite the fact that I did indeed pay for it already.

/first post

(After 3 years I finally felt strongly enough to come here and post something. Take that into consideration.)

Will I continue to post on the Guild Wars 2 forum? Meh, probably not. It’s a fun game and I genuinely like parts of it, but… I’m still just “not feeling it”. This lack of emotional investment could be related to the game’s the lack of mounts (they are so fun in WoW and EQ2!), the generally snobish/hoity-toity feel of the characters/stories/clothing that “rubs me the wrong way”, and my general dislike of the whole “Steampunk” thing, but it just as easily could be the unfortunate reality that I simply went and “got old”. Probably a little of this, a little of that, but it’s not like I am really “into” playing anything else these days, so… yeah. /shrug … Lot’s of other things to do!