I'm not sure why the New York Post chose to highlight the quote "it's gonna be awesome" from this Guild Wars 2 interview they've conducted with design Matt Wuerffel, since pretty much every single developer on the face of the planet says that about his or her game, but that doesn't mean the interview isn't interesting in its own right. Here's an excerpt:
William: And Guild Wars 2, like Guild Wars 1, is a subscription-free. there's no month-to-month payment. That's awesome for the gamer, since nobody's trying to dig into my pocket every thirty days for fifteen dollars. But how is it exactly that Guild Wars 2 is going to make money, aside from the initial purchase?
Matt: Well, so we got the initial purchase, and then one of the nice things about being subscription free, just a side note real quick, it frees us up to do a lot of things differently in terms of how we structure our content.
We don't have to make things into grinds or really time consuming because we don't have to rely on people all the time in coming back to pay that subscription, which has been really freeing. To get a little bit closer to the question that you asked: There are going to be microtransactions. There were microtransactions in Guild Wars 1 and that is a part of our plan going forward, but I think the cool thing for me as a gamer and a lot of people ... Almost all of the people here at ArenaNet play a lot of games. There's been a very strong movement internally that the things that you can purchase for Gems would not be a pay to win. There are things that are cosmetic or they're fun or they offer you little more convenience. But we don't want there to be items on there where you feel like, (Man, I have to pay money to play this game fully.)
We want to give you a fully functional game and then have optional things that you can buy or experience. It's also key to point out that you can get any of those things using in-game currency, because you can exchange gold for gems at any given time.
That market is controlled by players. So there's not gonna be anything that you can only get in game if you pay additional money. If you want to put in time and get gold, you can exchange it for gems and you can get exactly what somebody else wanted to pay a little bit of money for the convenience.
William: No pay-to-win is very good to hear. And you said that the players determine the economy to a certain extent. Does that mean that there's a player-based economy? Does that mean the gem conversion shop prices are gonna be determined by the players? Do you have an initial set price at the gem conversion shop?
Matt: I know, basically, that players can purchase gems and they can place them up for sale and the gold price will fluctuate and a different amount of players buy those gems. So that's what I meant in terms of a player-controlled market. I don't know the specifics of the implementation on that so I can't really comment.
(NOTE: Full answer provided in follow-up email sent after the interview: ArenaNet will set the initial exchange rate for gems to gold when the servers first open for headstart, but after that the rate will fluctuate based on supply and demand of the players using the Currency Exchange. The gems and gold players get from the Currency Exchange are supplied by other players, not ArenaNet. As supply of gems goes up, the price will go down and vice versa. While we do not expect prices to fluctuate wildly, smart traders will be able to get good deals by watching the exchange rate closely and waiting for it to favor gems or gold, whichever they are looking to purchase.)