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Friday, September 7, 2012

[GW2] Stop counting, start playing

I do not necessarily consider myself a "goblin" in the economic sense, the existence of a market and trade in a game to me is just a nice bonus and not some requirement. I've played and enjoyed games with irreparably broken economies (FFXI, D3), and games with flourishing ones (EVE, WoW arguably). I typically have no problem earning enough gold (or whatever currency we're using) to facilitate my enjoyment of the game. This may come off as a "Here's how you SHOULD be playing..." post but I find that so many people are focusing so intently on the GW2 trading post that they are missing the bigger picture.

There was quite the kerfuffle over GW2's trading post being down for a few days; I suppose it is justifiable to want something promised to function at launch. Course I would much prefer they hold something back temporarily and release it when it works rather than launch a feature in a crippled state. Except some people acted like this missing piece somehow made the game completely unplayable. I find I don't understand this line of thinking; GW2 was not billing itself as the next great fantasy economy simulator. It's a fantasy RPG.

Now I've seen some detail analysis of the cost of doing things in GW2, the cost of each death or craft...essentially, how much gold you lose by doing certain activities as opposed to others. I feel like people doing this are missing the forest for a coin-shaped tree.If all you spend your time doing is calculating the value of each act, are you really playing?

In GW2 I craft, I identify and use my dyes, I salvage what I want, I teleport when I feel lazy (which is 99% of the time)...all of these I do at economic loss in GW2, but for a very specific reason. Because it is a GAME, a place where the money (while it does have real value) is immaterial to me. Spending all my gold in GW2 on gems has no impact on whether I can afford gas for my car. This being true so long as I follow my one rule: NO buying gems with real money. Even in spite of these things, at level 43 I have never been unable to afford something I need with plenty left over, and I have a stash of 1300 gems. What do I need them for again? I have no need for a character slot right now, I have no need for extra dyes or silly town clothes, I think the consumable gem-items are a waste of money, and upgrading to digital deluxe seems pointless.

It's not about the money, it's about being frivolous. This is in part because "legally" there is no way to turn gems into real money; just services. I can buy additional slots, costumes and things but in the end one could argue that these are just as wasteful as having your crafting at 400 in some discipline. At some point, I will have no more need of those services.

To be frank, when I read some blogs I wonder why these people are actually playing these games anymore. I often see certain bloggers go great lengths to "prove" why their method of having fun is right and others are wrong. In cases like these I often finding myself going back to the old political adage:
If you're explaining, you're losing. - Ronald Reagan
I may disagree with Reagan on many things, but I think there is a truth to this in games. If you are having to sit there explaining why your way of having fun is "right" then you've already lost. Fun needs no real justification  What is fun for you probably is not fun for someone else; and as it turns out, that's fine.


  1. Why do you consider the D3 economy as broken rather than the WoW one?

    1. My experience with D3 was that it was a race towards the RMAH which was mostly stocked with "so-so" items for the vendor+1 price (or close) and anything of value was extracted and moved to the RMAH. D3 also had the issue of items never leaving the game so endlessly deflating.

      WoW I would not hold up as an icon of a glowing economy, but the economies being sequestered to servers meant each was different. On my server it was relatively strong with most items actually having some level of value above vendor+1. Of course, I would say that it "depends" on your server...I have heard some pretty dark stories about some servers.