Episode 19

Download Episode 19

In this week’s GuildCast, it’s all about loot and armor.  The new blog post from ArenaNet had lots of cool news on the loot system and armor, but it was the introduction of Transmutation Stones that caused a huge controversy among fans.  We talk about all the other cool stuff that did not involve Transmutation Stones, indulged in a brief rant about things that do involve Transmutation Stones, and then read some listener email.  We want to know what you guys think about this too, so drop a comment below or email us!

Also, we need more intros! Pimp your guild, get your character name out there. We want to hear it!

The GuildCast theme song is “The Dirt” by Goddessmusic.

If you’d like to contact us, shoot an email over to shawn@guildcast.com or rubi@guildcast.com. You can also follow us on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks for listening!



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27 responses to “Episode 19

  1. Atreyo

    The reactions on the stones are disappointing but to be expected.
    And the people ranting about the real money they CAN pay for COSMETIC items, are probably also the same people paying 15 bucks a month for another pay to play MMO.

    I had hoped the GW community was above all of this.

  2. Alinos

    My issue with that is that they go through the post going yup we have customisation and it’s awesome…But you have to pay.

    i don’t care if you offer in game store only stuff, i will probably buy it since i did in GW1

    but the mix and match armor was one of the draw point’s i had for GW1, and then again in lotro

  3. Alinos

    oh and one other thing if i find my nice armor does that mean i get to a point where i need a new transmutation stone every time i get a stat upgrade

    i’d pay for something that was like a wardrobe type thing

    pay 5 bucks for a chest piece wardrobe slot and 3 for gloves so on for the other parts of the armor

  4. Anonymous

    Hello, I’d like to chime in on the issue of the stones. For the record, I’m a huge fan of GW and I’ve been following every tiny update over the years for GW2. It ‘s certainly the game I’ve been looking forward to most for years now. I’ve defended ANet being silent, I’ve defended the initial gameplay video release, energy issues, UI, and all other controversies thus far. But I’m not going to defend ANet on the stones.

    Now, Rubi was quite critical, in my opinion, of those who spoke out against the stones. One comment suggests that she thinks those of us who dislike the stones will thrash out at anything that has to be bought. This simply isn’t the case. I support the cosmetic options put up in the GW1 store, I support character slots, I support bank slots, etc. (I do agree, though, that the skill unlock packs and such came a bit too close to a gameplay advantage for comfort).

    What has me upset is that character creation and having a unique character has been a core gameplay mechanic that ANet’s been stressing for months now. They’ve stated (long before the stones) that we’d be able to have a character the way we want, and even be able to equip NPC armor/clothing for our character. Now they’re coming out and saying “No, you’re going to have to pay for that.” This isn’t simply a cosmetic option. Unique armor designs, clothes, and the ability to change you’re character’s core appearance (height, sex, hair style, etc.) fall under that. I know that armor appearance is just one aspect of character creation (along with dyes, personal story), but it’s a fairly significant one.

    • Jexx

      Your really over-reacting. Your talking about putting stats on an armor set. This IS cosmetic..

      • Anonymous

        No, I’m not talking about putting stats on armor. I’m talking about being able to decide what my character looks like. ArenaNet stated that we would be able to wear the armor appearance that we wanted, while being able to keep the stats of whatever the best piece is. Now they’re saying there’s a price attached to that.

    • Blood Avenger

      I think everyone is missing the point. You can merge stats with cosmetics easily by paying for it at the in-game-store. But that doesn’t mean that this would be the only way to get that armor with that stat. For a GW1 example, you finally get a Bone Dragon Staff or Voltaic Spear. But it’s a req. 13. What do you do? You go get another one. But lets say you had a gold spear dropped with req. 9. Would you pay a couple of bucks to move the req. 9 attribute to your new fancy VS? You just might want to. Or, repeat the dungeon! Me? I wouldn’t pay the money. I would do more runs. But if someone else wants to pay, then fine. It might take me longer, but I very well might end up with the exact same stats and looks on an item that someone else paid to get a shortcut to get. And do you know what? I will find great satisfaction in having earned it myself.

      • Anonymous

        But what if there’s an armor set that you like only available at level 20 (regardless of what the actual stats of it are), and you want to wear it at level 80?

  5. XXX

    honestly i have nothing against item stores as long as they dont milk you for what you are worth. as long as you can buy something not needed to do good in the game then it is all good.

    BUT: when i buy something cosmetic IE the trans stone then i want it to stick around and not be one and done deal
    once i buy it its there forever i dont want to keep buying the exact thing over and over and over again


  6. Inge K

    Rubi, it goes beyond having to just ‘pay money’ within the store. I participated heavily in the GW2G post, and here’s what a lot of us are upset about.

    First of all, I like how they introduced the transmutation stones. It was up-front and honest. I don’t have a problem with that. What I DO have a problem with, is that it’s temporary. I’m an alt-o-holic. I have many character slots as well as plenty of armor sets to go with each character. I don’t want to have to keep paying for these stones.. over and over.. just to keep the appearance I want.

    This is a good marketing opportunity, but it’s not what I consider “fair”. I hate using that word.. but it seems appropriate.

    What I was expecting was an account-wide feature such as an appearance tab. I don’t mind paying for it – whatever. No big deal. This is less complicated, less annoying, and far less frustrating.

    In the podcast, you mentioned you’re not a fan of the skill unlock packs. Reasonable, but just because you see something a specific way doesn’t mean other peoples opinions are wrong. I, personally, think us Guru-teers didn’t blow anything out of portion. It was a low blow from ArenaNet. Not the fact that we have to pay for this cosmetic feature, but because how the feature itself was implemented.

    Appearance is something I’ve always absolutely loved. I’ve spent so much time in the original Guild Wars just dying my armor, playing with armor combinations, looking at pictures of peoples characters on the forums. Of course this is going to be a heated discussion, because a lot of people are the same way – obviously. I see that you’re looking at the forums, so you know what I mean.

    All I’m saying is if that we MUST have the concept of these transmutation stones, at least sell one that’s permanent and I can use it on every character on my account.

    Yeah, maybe some people are upset that we do have to pay money. I was a bit upset but only because I had other expectations, and I think everyone else did as well. This information came out of nowhere.

    That being said – nice podcast guys, I enjoyed it!

    • jolan

      i see your point but the problem i have with it is that you are asuming that they will work one way while there is no confirmation that they will work the way you say.

      so please wait to make such harsh statements before you get the full story.

      greetz jolan

      • Alinos

        Which is why Arenanet should have handled (what in my mind was meant to be a throwaway comment much like the level cap announcement) with a slight bit more detail

        the fact that their described as transmutation stone’s says we are merging item’s, as opposed to saying you buy a wardrobe slot (which would always be active)

        and if i transmute stuff for a cosmetic appearance and it’s one off i’m probably not gonna be able to resell that armor piece because i’d be wanting to re transmute it into my next upgrade

        saying we don’t know how it work’s isn’t a defence for some thing’s you can release part’s of the knowledge and people will accept it.

        But they had to of known that this wouldn’t be received positively

  7. I’m all for it. I would pay more in the cosmetic in-game store than I would a monthly sub because I feel I’m getting more for my money, or that it actually means something to me rather than being obligatory. The cosmetic-only IGS is the way to go because it targets those who are dedicated to the game and their character while going easy on people still testing the waters.

    The fuss is overblown. This is purely cosmetic and doesn’t limit how one’s character’s looks in any way. Anet is taking a big step across the gap between aesthetics and effectiveness to begin with.

    I wonder if this is also a move to tone down farming. If this were applied to GW1, say I got a low-stat Broadsword, I wouldn’t have to farm or spend all my gold in order to have my fav sword at max stats. From anet’s point of view that gets people to stop soloing and get back into the game, which I infer from their design of GW2 is their intent.

  8. Aztex

    I personally don’t mind the transmutation stones but……… I am a bit “sad” because i won’t be able to buy them, if I could i would gladly pay.

  9. jolan

    i have been playing guildwars a longe time and if i put aside 15€ aside every month i woud have boucht the entire ingame store twice by now so i am in favor for this way of payment

    and 1 more thing i am very sorry if i make some spelling mistakes but as my native language is not english its not that easy

    greetz jolan

  10. Anon

    I can’t speak for other people but my problem with the stones is that they are a step back from gw1. In gw1 all armor could get max stats and all you had to do was go to the right vendor. Instead of just applying a similar system anet added these stones at a cost just to make more money. We’re paying more for the same thing we had in gw1. If anet or its investors needs money I’d rather just pay more for the game itself, get a better mechanic and probably yield them more money anyway.

    I really think you two, Rubi and Shawn, are wrong when you say anet shouldn’t do something about the stones. They probably shouldn’t be removed from the store but there can at least be a way to earn them through some in game achievement. This would be a pretty simple change that would quell a lot of the uproar. The in game method could be difficult and/or time consuming to still give people incentive to spend money.

    Things like stones and potions can be improved simply by offering alternatives and would require a lot less work than anet has put into things like the dye system or personal story. And no one would have given anet red marks for not having 400 dye colors that react to material differently or multiple story paths for every race and choice you make. It doesn’t make sense to put all these incredible things in the game that clearly took a lot of work and thought yet do nothing about things your paying customers have a problem with and would be much easier problems to tackle.

    The only defense for stones basically amounts to “They’re fine” or “Not a big deal” which is right they aren’t a deal breaker. However “Fine” is not the standard that anet has set for gw2 and I don’t know about everyone else but I (and hopefully most people) expect a little bit more.

  11. Yoh

    Christ there are fucking morons everywhere.

    No, Rubi and Shawn are exactly right on this topic of transmutation stones.

    People don’t know what the hell they are talking about. I read the blog post, there was little to no detail on how exactly transmutation stones will work with stats, or how often you might WANT to buy them, or cost, or damn near anything to be able to draw any sort of accurate conclusion from.

    You know what this is, it’s mob mentality.
    It’s a bunch of emotionally driven people all getting together, and reacting over every little good or bad thing they perceive, and working themselves into a froth of what amounts to little more then idle speculation.

    These idiots should be dismissed out of hand.

    I completely understand and defend Anet’s desire to MAKE MONEY. Their a business you dumbasses, of coarse they need to make a living.

    Because it turns out that just the box price alone isn’t quite enough to pay their ONGOING bills.
    And as they are not going to go the subscription route (as well they shouldn’t), then what do you expect them to do? Lose money? Go bankrupt, is that what you want?

    Fuck no! I have no problems what-so-ever that they are looking for ways to make more money via their cashshop, and this is a perfectly legitimate way to do that.

    At the end of the day, if you don’t like it, don’t buy it. Assholes.

    • Anon

      The thing is the choice isn’t have transmutation stones only obtainable through the shop or go bankrupt. There are other options that don’t put a price tag on never having to choose style over substance or vice versa which was an issue anet addressed years ago in gw1 for free. Not to mention gw1 was mostly supported through box sales so one less micro-transaction shouldn’t cause bankruptcy. The only reason gw2 shouldn’t be fine with one less thing in the shop is if they sell a lot less copies of gw2 which would be quite a feat considering how good the game supposedly is and the hype it’s generating. Whether you want to call it greed or necessity at the end of the day anet is charging for something that was free in gw1. Only idiots are surprised when any company tries to make more money but how they make money matters.

      Rubi and Shawn equate this to trying to please everyone and pleasing no one which doesn’t make sense. Who would not be pleased if transmutations were free, everlasting or there was an in game method to get them? Who is going to be mad that anet makes an improvement which not only makes their game experience more enjoyable but can also save money? Even people who are happy with the stones would be happier if they were improved. There is no conflict of interest between the different sides of this argument.

      If literally nothing is done to improve transmutations in even the slightest way then instead of making everyone a little bit happier with their game anet would essentially be giving us a big “Fuck you” to make more money. By all means anet should make money but they don’t have to spit on their customers to do it.

    • Anonymous

      I don’t see how mob mentality factors into any of this. I came to my dislike of the system without reading anything other than the blog post. Secondly, making money doesn’t mean charging for every single piece of content. Your argument basically amounts to “ANet should be able to sell everything because they’re a company.” Alright, fine. Let’s run with this. According to you, we should have to buy Dynamic Events as a separate purchase from the core game. Same with the personal storyline. Same with the dye system. Same with everything else. These are all features of the game that could be cut off from the main purchase, but that wouldn’t warrant a very good purchase. Thus, the way to make money is to include those things which causes more people to buy it. As has been stated, box sales themselves made up the vast majority of money ANet made from GW. They made a great amount of money off of the box sales which could last a very long time. Fairly soon, they’ll have another huge spike in box sales.

      Rather than turning to insults as you have, I’ll take a somewhat more educated approach. At the last major announcement, Guild Wars had sold 6 million copies. Let’s say that ArenaNet made on average $20 per copy sold. Obviously, on some they made more and on others they made less (with funds going towards retailers,NCSoft, etc.). This generates $120 mil for them. Let us give an estimated average salary of $60,000 annually. Then they’ve stated that around 200 people work there, so we result in the $120 mil lasting around 10 years. These are educated guesses at best and they don’t account for every expense, but it shows that they can survive on mostly boxed sales alone. Sales from the books and features such as costumes, vault storage, and character slots only add to this. There’s no monetary necessity to remove a feature such as being generally able to change the appearance of an item in Guild Wars 2.

  12. DigitalMystic

    Greetings Shawn and Rubi,

    On the topic of the stones, personally I think this is more along the line of if you already have A armor with Y stats but you want A armor with Z stats. Well, you do have B armor with Z stats. I think TStones mean you can save the time needed to get the components and such to make AZ and just remove Z from B to make AZ.

    So AY + BZ + TStone = AZ + B i guess (sorry for random equations)

    If this is the case TStones are entirely reasonable as they do not remove the option of you getting it in game, but it does help you remove a bunch of wasted time which is perfectly fine as long as you have earned an armor with Z stats.

    Of course I may be entirely off 😛

    DigitalMystic (GW2G Forums)

    • Alinos

      if it was a shortcut system that would be completely understandable to charge for.

      which again seems like that they shouldnt have put it in as a throwaway line

  13. Oh my word! Wa wa wa wa wa wa wa wa, my local car dealership won’t give me a new BMW for free, its just not fair 😦
    This bruhaha seems to be an organised troll-fest, all that is missing is a coherent argument.
    Like it or not, GW2 is Arenanet’s game to do with as they wish; if they wish to sell stones it is their choice. If anyone doesn’t like that fact, don’t buy the game. In any case, stop the whining, it makes you look silly, it also spoils the ethos of Guild Wars.

    If I ruled the world I may well consider removing the stones, along with the ‘benefits’ they confer, problem solved.

    • Inge K

      Comparing transmutation stones to a BMW is a huge flaw in itself.

      It’s funny – when someone has an opinion they’re automatically labeled as a “QQer”. That’s not the case, settle down keyboard warrior.

      • I wasn’t comparing anything to anything else 🙂 Just demonstrating an inconsequential argument. Everyone is perfectly entitled to an opinion, but it would be useful and constructive if arguments were expressed in a meaningful manner. On most forums, this subject of stones isn’t an issue at all, some disagree, some are quiescent, some are quite happy to be given the option.

        On a somewhat separate note, there are lots of fansites and forums out there that unfortunately get no mention. Guru has its uses, but also has its flaws. The stone ‘debate’ demonstrates one of its major weaknesses ie it represents post scribes, not the community as a whole.

        Amazingly, no-one seemed to mind that we are being offered all sorts of ways to keep in touch with GW2 via iphones, ipads etc. Now I assume there is a cost to all this to the user, yet the announcement seems to have been met with nothing but joy. If that sort of thing floats your boat, then fine, it is a choice, another option, paid for by those who wish to use it.

  14. ChrisCo

    Okay forget about the stone thingies we have bigger issues!!! …. These “JOKES” are HOOOORRID!!!!

    Back to the stones, it’s not like we’re going to pay per sword swing or per skill used and I’m sure we’re not going to be wearing potato sacks if we don’t buy them. Just don’t panic …


  15. I should perhaps mention here (in the hope that someone from Arenanet reads it), that I would be ecstatic if we are offered armour that resembles the reworked leftovers from a third-world sack-cloth factory. My Ranger would pay a hefty premium for that option. 😀

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