The Guild Wars 2 blog has been updated with a most interesting post by Arena.Net founder Mike O'Brien. In it, O'Brien discusses the framework for the microtransaction system and the goals that Arena.Net has in mind.
Much of the post centers around this: Here’s our philosophy on microtransactions: We think players should have the opportunity to spend money on items that provide visual distinction and offer more ways to express themselves. They should also be able to spend money on account services and on time-saving convenience items. But it’s never OK for players to buy a game and not be able to enjoy what they paid for without additional purchases, and
Guild Wars 2 has been built, says O'Brien, for microtransactions from the get-go rather than as an afterthought similar to the original Guild Wars. The game will have three currencies: Gold that can be traded and used for ordinary transactions; Karma which cannot be traded and is used for purchasing unique items in-game; and Gems that players purchase and use for microtransaction purchases.
From a player’s perspective, RMT companies have all the wrong motivations: the more money they make from selling gold, the more they spam ads in the game, run bot networks to farm gold, and hack accounts to loot them for gold. Conversely, under our system, players have all the right motivations. If a player buys gold from another player, he gets the gold he wants, the selling player gets gems she can use for microtransactions, and ArenaNet generates revenue from the sale of gems that we can use to keep supporting and updating the game. Everyone wins.