Last Friday, an interesting blog posted was published on Gamasutra that discussed the downfalls of Guild Wars 2′s economy. In particular, the pre-endgame economy of the game was looked at rather critically. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Experience is flooded, and thus of minimal value in the marketplace. I would anticipate that experience boosts sell poorly here relative to other games since your level is not so critical in the game and leveling up is very easy. Since there is a maximum amount of experience the demand drops to zero as you approach the cap.
Craft xp is scarce, which is good, lending itself to monetization in the form of selling craft boosts. It also makes anything in the item economy that can give Craft xp more valuable.
Coin is scarce, which is good as it makes the primary currency economy tight. This is essential because the game hosts charge about $1.25 per 100 gems, and players can trade gems for coins with each other. The hosts take a cut of all such transactions, which is about 15%. This acts as a money sink on the economy. Since Experience is almost valueless, but coin is extremely valuable, wealth is the primary achievement metric in the game. Being able to purchase this metric makes the game somewhat “pay to win” as the primary game objects are for sale.
With the exception of craft materials, the pre-endgame item economy is broken.
Interesting observations. For the most part the reviewer’s arguments make a lot of sense, although I personally tend to place more value on a game’s endgame economy than the one that’s present while leveling up, especially in a game where it’s fairly easy to level in like Guild Wars 2. What are your thoughts? For the full article, check it out here.