B2P MMO Goes F2P
We kinda knew from an earlier leak already, but it’s now official: Guild Wars 2 is going F2P.
- Does not receive daily login bonus
- Start with less storage than paid account : 2 character slots, 3 bag slots
- No map wide chat interaction, can use local chat
- Cannot post on ArenaNet forums
- Can only start new whisper conversations once every 30 seconds
- Can trade and buy common items on TP
- Can’t mail items or gold to other players, can still send text-only mail to friends
- Must be level 60 before entering WvW, other unspecified zone/level restrictions
- They must play to level 10 before leaving the starter zones, to level 30 before using LFG
- They can play PvP immediately but must get to rank 20 before using custom and unranked arenas
- Cannot trade gold for gems
- Cannot access guild vaults
The more I think about it, the more bizarre this announcement gets. First, has there ever been a B2P MMO that went to F2P? I know GW2 is highly dependent on its cash shop for additional revenue already, but this still feels like a weird strategy. Especially in terms of those “restrictions,” which are incredibly lenient when compared to similar offerings. I guess the WvW restriction might prevent easier zerg leveling/karma farming, but the scaling was so bad back when I played that you practically had to be 60+ to do anything of particular note anyway.
The second bizarre thing about this announcement is the timing. Remember two months ago when ArenaNet bundled the base game into the expansion box price and the internet lost its shit? Surely they knew they were going to announce a F2P conversion two months later… right? Maybe they wanted to wait until PAX for the press coverage, but that was still a lot of negative coverage right in the summer months that could have been avoided multiple ways. Perhaps them knowing F2P was coming contributed to their laissez faire attitude at that particular information rollout.
I’ll admit that I’ve been feeling a slight itch to maybe perhaps download GW2 again, especially after I stopped playing WoW. My game experience ended on a particularly sour note last time around, but it might of been because I wasn’t completely sold on the Elementalist playstyle. Plus, you know, since I bought the retail box years ago, I could start it up and be back playing with little issue.
On the other hand, ArenaNet’s commitment to “Living Stories” and one-time events means that I’m not even sure what, if anything, would actually be different a second time around. Lion’s Arch was destroyed and rebuilt, I think? Maybe they added a few more entries to the Explicit Schedule of Villainy? Who knows. For now, I’m much more likely to get into FF14 than GW2 again.
Best of luck to ArenaNet just the same.