In honour of the fifth anniversary of the game, and with the new Path of Fire expansion being released later this month, and given how it is the only MMO I still play, I decided to make a five part series about Guild Wars 2. This is not sponsored content (nothing on this site is sponsored), it’s just something I made for the sake of doing so.
“How is this NOT an advertisement???”, you demand? Simple, everything in the Gem Store can be purchased with gold that one earned by playing the game! Of course, it’s a lot faster to whip out your wallet and just buy the stuff with real money, but to be honest, a lot of the things in the Gem Store aren’t a good value when compared to what one can purchase in the real world for the same amount of money. Would you rather have a brand new iPod Touch, which you can play hundreds of games on and more, or 16 Shared Inventory Slots, which are only usable in one computer game?
The value of an item is a personal preference, but let’s face it, $40 for a beat up beer cap is probably not a good value no matter how much you love them. With that in mind, here are five things on the Gem Store that I believe are universally valuable.
1. Character Slots!
Far and away, the most valuable thing you can buy is a new character slot. Absolutely nothing else gives you more variety and game play.
With a new character of a race/class that you have not already played, you gain access to a whole new set of abilities, a new personal story, a new personality (mainly voice overs), as well as what is a general virtual dolly to dress up and deck out however you’d like. The permutations of fun are almost endless, so unless you already have more characters than you know what to do with, then you can’t go wrong with picking up another character slot.
If you’re still not convinced, think of it like a wall of switches. When you buy something like a Shared Inventory Slot, that’s like buying a single switch for your wall. Sure, when you flip the switch it fills the room with any number of random colors of light, but lighting the room is its only true function. Now by contrast, when you buy a Character Slot, you’re not just getting a whole wall full of switches to flip, you get a whole damned house full of switches, where most of them do something totally different, so different in fact that it will probably take you weeks to flip’em all just one time.
Of course, characters are fun to play with, but they are also handy to plop in town as a “bank alt” or to leave out in the wild as a static resource node harvester. And probably a whole lot other nifty things too!
2. Account Jump Start (Mostly for the 2 Bank Tabs)
More storage space that is shared between all of your characters is pretty much a requirement once you have a few characters. The bank fills up quickly! This combo is pretty nice even when you’ve played the game for a long time, because it comes with a significant amount of items that are useful for your account as a whole. 2 Bank Tabs, 2 Bag Slots (one character only), 30 random dyes for gear, 15 Transmutation charges (to change the look of one item into another), and 10 gamble-box keys (that may or may not be useful). The cost of the combo is the same as buying the Bank Tabs and Bag Slots on their own, so you may as well get the free stuff too.
3. A Cosmetic Outfit.
There are four ways to change your character’s appearance in Guild Wars 2. Firstly, you can simply equip different gear. Secondly, you can “transmute” the look of your equipped gear so that it looks like a different piece of gear you have discovered. Thirdly, you can use a tonic or potion to temporarily change your appearance into various other things. And finally, you can toggle on a whole new outfit, most of which are exclusive to the Gem Store.
Outfits are able to be dyed, but only allow the player to toggle on or off the display of the included helmet. Shoulders, boots, and so on will always be displayed. Many of the outfits are very high quality and the chances are high that there will be something in there that you will like.
The best part about outfits is that they are shared account wide and they can be toggled on/off anywhere, at any time, without a cost. A close second, if you ask me, is how outfits allow you to side step the usual class related clothing restrictions – want a caster in full plate? You can do that using an outfit!
4. A Glider.
While I hate to reward the asshole tactic that is “giving the players the most ugly version of an item, to entice them to buy something to replace it” (especially in this case, given how expensive the Heart of Thorns expansion was), the reality is that you’ll use the glider all the time and the only way to get a new one is to buy one from the Gem Store. Enjoying the look, feel, and sound of the glider will make you want to use it more often, even when you really don’t need to use it! This will likely remain true even after we’re able to use mounts in Path of Fire.
5. Shared Inventory Slots.
Of all the MMOs I have played, Guild Wars 2 is far and away the one with the most “quality of life” improvements to the general MMO formula. Shared Inventory Slots are one of the more recent QoL additions to the game that are, as they sound, bag slots that are shared between all of your characters. The system is very simple, basically being a bag of X size like any other bag, where X is the amount of slots you have purchased.
Personally, I feel they are too expensive, but when they are on sale they’re not too bad and depending on your play style, they can be worth every copper!
Honourable Mention: Living World Season 2 & 3.
Since the introduction of the LW S2, ArenaNet has allowed the episodic story content to not only be repeatable, but also accessible at one’s own leisure. Everyone who logged in during the time a chapter was released received the chapter for free. Everyone else got the shaft and has to buy the content. If you’re at all interested in the story of the Guild Wars 2 universe and you’d rather play through it than watch it on YouTube, it’s worth it to pick up the chapters.