[Editorial] Gem Store Update Poorly Introduced, Response Even Worse

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The latest gem store update to Guild Wars 2 has had players up in arms, and it’s hard not to sympathize with their position. Previously, buying and selling gems was a process that involved deciding how much you wanted to buy/sell, setting an asking price, and waiting until your order was filled. If you wanted enough gems for a Black Lion chest key, you could get it. If you had 124 gems and wanted an item that cost 125 gems, you could buy that extra gem.

If you can figure out what is wrong with the new gem shop interface in the screenshot above, you probably don’t work for Arenanet. Given that the trade shop was built to be flexible and user-friendly, the change to a system that is entirely based on fixed, inflexible increments seems counterproductive and quite baffling in its logic, but so far Arenanet doesn’t seem to understand why players would be angry about being forced to buy 400 gems minimum.

As seems to be the popular excuse, Arenanet blamed the update on new players not understanding the system, a problem that apparently only exists in Arenanet’s customer support tickets. Communications team lead Gaile Gray has not helped the situation by going on the offensive against players in the forums. In her first response, Gray explained that “very few people bought gems at smaller denominations.” Following pages of complaints and suggestions, Gray made another post making no acknowledgement of the previous suggestions and instead decrying “most” of the posters as nonconstructive ranters.

Ok, guys. Some of you are unhappy about this change, I can see that. BUT… quite honestly, most of you are sort of (I hate to use the word) ranting (sorry!) instead of offering suggestions.

The comment on this update being geared towards new players is suspicious at best, considering that the lowest increment of gems now costs 75 gold. How many new players are going to have 75 gold to spend on the gem store? None. The only impact that this could conceivably have on new players is to remove their ability to purchase smaller amounts of gems and funnel them toward buying the gems with real money.

Guild Wars 2 has a habit of introducing updates which beg the question “who asked for this?” The answer is usually a lot of unseen people who submit support tickets and then apparently never feel the need to discuss the matter anywhere else, because if you searched the forums you wouldn’t come up with many, if any, results.

Arenanet has already confirmed that an update will allow player to use either system to their choosing, begging the question on why it wasn’t just included in the first place.

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