ArenaNet recently announced that their expansion, Heart of Thorns, is now available for pre-purchase. Unfortunately, this has caused quite a controversy among the player base. This reaction is surprising, as players were waiting for the moment to reserve their copy of the expansion. So, what happened? Let’s take a look at what went down.
Soon after the announcement that the expansion, Heart of Thorns, was available for pre-purchase, the Official Forums and Guild Wars 2 Reddit boomed with negative threads and responses from the players and fans. What was the cause of this overnight eruption? To put it simply – the bundled content.
If you purchase Heart of Thorns, it comes with the base game of Guild Wars 2 for free. Now, what’s so bad about that? Nothing. For brand new players, it is the perfect way to play the game, future weekend beta event access for Heart of Thorns content, and the expansion itself.
If nothing is bad about it, then why the controversy? What is so controversial about this packaging stems from players that already own the base game. A majority of the player base feel as though they are paying extra due to the core game being included. I must admit, even I was thrown off by this detail.
This was later clarified by Regina Buenaobra, Content Marketing Team Lead at ArenaNet, that the core game is included as a free bonus to make it easier for new player to get into Guild Wars 2. Even with clarification by an ArenaNet staff, that seemed to only add fuel to the fire.
There are players that still feel that they are paying extra for the base game, and requested an option that does not include the base game for a lower price. Now, what is interesting is that proper wording might have prevented some of outrage. Regardless, Heart of Thorns is $50, however, another oversight on the part of ArenaNet arises that cannot not be ignored.
Edit Gone Wrong
Since the announcement of Heart of Thorns, the base game of Guild Wars 2 was available at hefty discounts, ranging anywhere between $5-20. On top of that, on the official Heart of Thorns website, the FAQ specifically stated that Heart of Thorns requires the base game to play. That was quickly altered after announcing the available pre-purchase of Heart of Thorns and reaction from the community.
Do keep in mind that not all players may have recently purchased the core game of Guild Wars 2 at discounted prices before the pre-purchase was made available. Because of this, some players felt swindled, thinking that if they have only waited a little bit longer, they could have purchased the base game and the expansion for only a little more.
Character Slot Fiasco
Another controversy is that the “Standard” edition of Heart of Thorns does not include a character expansion slot. This may not sound like a huge deal to some, but one of the main attractions of Heart of Thorns is being able to play the exclusive Revenant class.
Guild Wars veterans won’t shy away from telling anyone that previous expansions and stand-alone campaigns of the first Guild Wars came with two character slots when introducing a new profession. One could say that there are existing players that do have available character slots to create a Revenant with, but that becomes rather moot when compared to the ArenaNet’s previous track record, and other MMOs that offer additional character slots with expansions.
We are on the side that purchasing Heart of Thorns should come with an additional character slot for all packages. One solution that appeared to be the best to rectify this issue was for existing players to obtain an additional character slot and new players to receive the default 5 character slots, plus an additional slot since Heart of Thorns and the base game are now packaged together.
Basically, everyone receives 6 character slots, assuming existing players did not purchase any on their account. The solution for this problem is simple enough, and since things are still in the pre-purchase stage, ArenaNet has time to (hopefully) make this adjustment.
High Price, High Risk
The final deciding factor for consumers is the price. A $50 expansion is standard in the industry of video games. Then again, a $15-40 expansion and DLC are also standard in the industry. So, what is the issue surrounding the price of Heart of Thorns? The amount of offered content.
As of this writing, there were many announcements made regarding the new content that would arrive with Heart of Thorns. On the flip side, there are also many things that remain unannounced that we do not know about yet. Is this a valid concern for the consumer? Always.
The main concern on players’ minds is: “How much content are we getting with this expansion?” We think WoodenPotatoes, a YouTuber that releases video content based on Guild Wars, has a good analysis, concerns, and opinion on this topic. Mind you that everyone’s opinions can be both valid and invalid to each other, so don’t take it so hard if we disagree.
That’s it on this wrap up. I and many of the people I play Guild Wars 2 with are holding off on pre-purchasing the expansion for a while until more details are released. For those interesting in pre-purchasing Heart of Thorns, a link will be provided down below, or you can head on over to the Official Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns site for more info. Cheers, everyone!