Ever since the initial announcement of Guild Wars 2’s first expansion, Heart of Thorns, I’ve been very much on the fence about it all. Little of the subsequent reveals interested me — elite specializations, masteries, the new class, and especially Super Platformy Jungle Zones. I have a history with the game and an appreciation for its casual playstyle and gorgeous art, but the longer I’m away, the less enticing it’s becoming to go back.
Last night ArenaNet revealed the pricing for the expansion and invited players to pay now for content they’re not going to get for… months, probably. Pre-ordering is one thing, but pre-purchasing, well, I’ve got to want that so bad I can taste it.
Lots of hubbabaloo over the pricing for the expansion, which begins at full-game-cost $50 and jumps up to $100 if you want some extras and a half-off deal on gems. $40 is my usual acceptance limit for expansions, although it fluctuates with my interest level. Right now the price for Heart of Thorns is about $20-$30 more than I’m willing to pay.
However, that’s not to say that this is scandalous pricing. Fifty bucks is fair for a game that hasn’t charged a sub and operates under a pay-once-play-forever policy. I agree with those who say that even the standard edition should come with an extra character slot to accomodate the new class, but apart from that? Fine. It’s less than four months’ subscription to WoW or WildStar or FFXIV.
There’s also the issue of bungled communication over this announcement, particularly in how the expansion comes bundled with the core game — a week or two after Anet had been pushing oh-so-hard to sell the core game at a discount. Refunds or discounts need to happen here. And calling it a “prepurchase launch”? Oh come ON. That’s intentionally confusing and PR speak to the highest degree. It’s all created a bit of a mess when this announcement should be nothing but excitement among fans.
Ultimately, I feel like it’s time to get off the fence part ways with Guild Wars 2, at least for now. There’s lots of other games that I’m far more interested in, and I haven’t really played GW2 for months and months now. I don’t want to pay a big chunk of money for an expansion that has little for me and will probably send me into a terminal case of the grumpies. So I’m bowing out and letting everyone who’s excited have their time of joy without my additional commentary.