Micro transactions have killed my online gaming

Discussion in 'PC Gaming & Rigs' started by MartinH32, Nov 12, 2017.


    1. MartinH32

      MartinH32
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      I used to love on line gaming. Apart from my reactions not being the same as a 16 year old kid I have until recently found it fun. Sadly now I'm seeing more of the greedy publishers (EA seems the worst) to really push the micro transaction and loot boxes. It also seems that many of these are play to win type micro transactions.

      I was planning to purchase Battlefront 2 but after reading the latest on the loot boxes it seems like unless I'm putting in hours and hours of play I'm going to be at a huge disadvantage to those who purchase these to give them an advantage.

      Is this sadly where things are going? Those who pay the most are most likely to win?
       
    2. CraigofScotland

      CraigofScotland
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      tbh most of the microtransactions ive came across . .r6 / pubg / bf1 . . have all been cosmetic items.

      I dont mind cosmetic transactions one bit. Like, why would you hate them earning money?
       
    3. RandomLee

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      Buying cosmetics or vanity items is fine, it's a nice way to show support for the developers and personalize your experience... I dread to think how much I've spent on ship skins and such for Elite Dangerous.

      However, when items that aid in progression or give you a competitive edge are locked behind a paywall or tied to RNG based loot boxes then we have a problem, especially in a AAA title that can cost from £40-£90 depending in what version you buy. Even worse in MP games as then you'll always be at a disadvantage to those who are willing to spend real money. It becomes less about skill and more about who has the deeper pockets.

      The likes of AA basically want to take the mobile P2W model and apply it to all their new games, and if we let them then others will follow.
       
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    4. Sebastalona

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      Can anyone give me an example of an item which can be purchased in game which gives players a distinct advantage over those who haven't?

      Genuine question.
       
    5. RandomLee

      RandomLee
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      Baited question, but see BFII, NFS: Pay Cheque and Forza 7... to name but a few.

      You know how the system works and how it's being exploited, Seb ;)
       
    6. Greg Hook

      Greg Hook
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      Like Seb, I'm genuinely interested in examples too. I'm not trying to catch you, I'm just interested in what they are trying on in these latest games.

      Such as in Battlefront 2, you can only get the best gun by buying it etc. That sort of thing.

      I know how the system works with these damn micro transactions but still interested if they have moved on past solely cosmetic items.
       
    7. Sebastalona

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      I genuinely don’t mate. Of course I’m aware of DLC/Microtransactions, but I genuinely don’t think I’ve played a game where I have felt at a disadvantage whilst playing because I haven’t purchased some particular content, thus the question.

      Sure you can buy cars/guns etc, but do they really give you an advantage?
       
    8. mozza54

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      I cant recall seeing stuff from crates or cards that give you a leg up but I have seen examples of pre order bonuses that can give players a short term advantage. Thinking things like the Coldheart Rifle in Destiny and you got some nifty weapons with the division season pass.. however, there's a bit of a caveat as continued play in either example will easily allow you to surpass the ability of the pre order/season pass items as they seem to be more for a leg up.
       
    9. Cha1ky

      Cha1ky
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      Quick google brought this up regarding Battlefront

      Star Wars Battlefront II Pay-to-Win Approach Shows The Dark Side Of Microtransactions

      HOW IT WORKS:

      The ability to progress throughout the progression system is done through the use of cards that provide certain bonuses in the multiplayer environment. This includes health buffs, faster cooldowns, tactical jammers, and more. The cards themselves are identified by different rarity levels. A rare "blue" star card will be infinitely more beneficial to a lower "green" one, and so forth. After the initial backlash about the "pay-to-win" mentality hit, EA decided to remove their highest tier of cards from their loot crate system - but was it enough?


      The three types of loot crates to earn cards fall under these categories:

      • Soldier abilities
      • Ship abilities
      • Hero abilities
      For the most part, players can earn credits by playing the game. Cards can also be crafted in the game with parts earned, making several options available when seeking to obtain these desired loot crates. However, the way it is set up - it's really encouraged to "skip all that" and simply buy the advantage needed out right. Skip the grind, go right in and boom - high level advantages are available from the get go with real-life money.

      THE FULL PROCESS:

      The more cards a player has, the higher level that player is. This makes the temptation of "buying your level" just there right at a player's fingertips. A player, if they wanted to spend the cash, could simply buy their way to the desired level versus playing their way up to it in the more standard way. If a player finds a higher rarity scaled card in a loot box, instead of crafting, they can equip it without ever having played a match. Ranking up organically helps with crafting cards only, but it does nothing to stop those from equipping rare drops found through the crate system.


      Effectively, this makes it where players can quite literally pay their way through the game. It is not out of the realm of reason that if a player should spend X amount of money on crystals to purchase crates, that they could equip incredibly rare advantages with only a few sessions of multiplayer under their belt versus other players that earn organically with lower stats. For those players that don't have infinite amount of time to grind, and do not wish to spend any more money on top of the Battlefront II purchase, this makes the online play arena incredibly unbalanced and poses the question: How far is too far for Microtransactions?

      Luckily for interested players, the multiplayer in the latest title is incredibly fun - well-paced, graphically stunning, and with tons of beloved characters. The loot crates provide another means of making money - which, to be fair, is the aim of businesses. But when does the bottom line overshadow the play experience?
       
    10. RandomLee

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      Good explanation of BF2.

      Here's how it works in NFS...

      Need for Speed: Payback review: Pouring loot boxes on a tire fire

      I'll give a good example of blatant P2W gambling from from a game I play later, currently at work posting on the sly ;)

      EDIT:

      Ok, found a few minutes to spare…

      I generally don’t play new releases on PC or console anymore as I’m not into MP and would rather save some cash and wait for a cheap copy of GOTY etc (plus I’m still angry with EA for buying BioWare and ruining Mass Effect)… so the best example I can give from a game I personally play is Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes, which is a “free” to play mobile game…. however, mobile games is where all this is coming from so it’s relevant.

      Quick overview – you collect characters from the SW universe, level them up, gear them up, mod them, and engage in 5v5 battles. Everything is time or money gated, all with a heavy sprinkling of RNG on the top… at every stage of progression. I won’t review the game, others have already.

      Basically, characters are unlocked from level 1 to level 7, with each level requiring a certain amount of shards to unlock (it takes 330 in total from level 1 to 7).

      Now, when a new character is released they will generally only be available through a 1 time event*, which in turn require a specific number of 7 star characters to beat – so if you haven’t farmed the required characters, you’re not getting the new one… unless you pay for booster packs. These packs usually cost £9.99 - £19.99… however, they don’t give you a guaranteed 7 star, rather a CHANCE to win between 3 and 330 shards…, that’s right…drop a 20 for a CHANCE. So the internet being the internet, people have done the maths, charted the results and worked out the drop rates and determined that it’s only a tiny fraction of players who ever receive more than 10 shards per pack… so some people are spending hundreds to unlock the new characters. Now, some characters can be farmed through regular play, however the more popular ones are often time-gated… so unless you pay you’ll be 2-6 months behind the people who do pay… then by the time you catch up the meta will have changed anyway.

      Then there’s the Energy, which is basically what you use to do the battles (oh, and sim-tickets too… because 1 restriction wouldn’t be enough!) You earn around 100 a day, but that only lets you do a certain amount of battles… but guess what, pay real money and you can buy more!

      That’s fine right? If they have the money let them spend. Well no, as these people also end up at the top of the leaderboards, where your rank is tied to reward and the rewards are various different currencies and items to spend and use in game, thus further increasing their competitive edge and increasing the gap between those who are willing to pay and those who aren’t.

      No prizes for guessing who the publisher is for this game… that’s EA.

      Anyway, that’s just an explanation from someone who’s crap at writing explanations, but hopefully you’ll get the gist of it and see how the same logic and tactics are now creeping into PC and console games.

      There’s a (un?)surprising amount of psychology behind it all too, and companies such as EA are exploiting this. Google “Skinner Box” or “Variable Ratio Reinforcement” with gaming in the search and have a read.... and then go uninstall all the games on your kids' iPads so at least the next generation can be saved :p

      I need my dopamine hit… off to play SWGoH on the loo ;)
       
      Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
    11. MartinH32

      MartinH32
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      You beat me too it - it was Battlefront 2 that sparked my main comment! If this works for them (which it probably will), will it stop you from playing on line multiplayer games knowing that unless you do pay extra you are at a disadvantage?
       
    12. Cha1ky

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      I read a comment from an Ex Mass Effect developer recently. He worked on Mass Effect 3 and said without getting into exact figures 1 person had spent over $15,000 on packs. So yeah, it works!!

      "I've seen people literally spend $15,000 on Mass Effect multiplayer cards"
       
    13. MartinH32

      MartinH32
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    14. Cha1ky

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      Imagine being the parent footing that bill. If it is the parent then they should be placed in custody and only let out when their brain is actually working.
       
    15. MartinH32

      MartinH32
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      My wife play hell if I spend £40 on a game. Saying that you do get some incredible value out of some of them
       
    16. jjgreenwood

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      I guess something has to be done - games were sold for £50 25 years ago, and yes I know it was on a cartridge and that increased the cost but just shows prices haven't changed that much. It does seem that expectations are now through the roof and if people can't get 50hrs+ out of a game then £50 seems to be too expensive, also the price of games seems to drop extremely quickly with titles under a year sold frequently less than half the retail price.

      As for Battlefront 2 and the P2W bit, it seems to me most of this kind of game means you need to chuck in serious hours to be competitive anywhere near the top of the leaderboards. I rarely worry about that part of it and only play the objective and have a bit of fun with it. I have no intention of spending half my life on the game anyway so if some want to get a leg up by paying some cash to get slightly further ahead I can't really see why that is a bad thing - or indeed any worse than ending up on one of those servers with an entire clan of the types with too many ZZZ,XXX,!X! motifs in their usernames.
       
    17. Cha1ky

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    18. Cha1ky

      Cha1ky
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      We've found the EA plant guys!!

      Really, you don't think its a bad thing?
       
    19. jjgreenwood

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      I'll reserve judgement until I actually play it lol. From what I've read you do need to be at a decently high level to use the items anyway so I presume the items you pay for will just be slightly better than whatever you've managed to get anyway by that point to be that level.

      As the DLC is free on this title then presumably those buying the boxes will be paying for the future development of the game. I think I prefer that to the split player base the original had.
       
    20. Cha1ky

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      The items level you up!

      HAve a read of the posts above. Explains it.
       
    21. jjgreenwood

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      nah they changed it, and have made further changes today after people got excited about how much it costs to unlock heroes

      Here it is. EA has announced how it will change the loot crate and progression system in Star Wars Battlefront 2, following the storm of controversy from the Battlefront 2 open beta multiplayer test.

      This is not a fundamental overhaul, but more rewards are now earned through play and fewer simply gifted by getting lucky in a loot crate.

      The highest tier of Star Card, epic (the variations are bronze, silver, gold, epic), has been removed from loot crates entirely. It is now only available by crafting. And crafting will be level restricted. "You won't be able to buy a bunch of crates, grind everything up into crafting materials and immediately use them to get super powerful Star Cards," said EA.

      EA announces Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot crate and progression changes
      EA slashes Star Wars Battlefront 2 hero costs after fan furore
      The price and state of Star Wars Battlefront 2 loot crates at launch

      So whilst you can buy an advantage you do actually have to play the game to use it.
       
    22. Cha1ky

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      Yeah I just posted that they changed after today about 5 posts up.....

      What they've done there is just remove the top tier from the cards, the rest is still there to give you an advantage.

      What they've done today is remove some of the grind for unlocking heroes.

      They're not daft, the loot system is still in place and still giving an advantage.
       
    23. jjgreenwood

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      I think this guy sums it up well. I'm looking forward to playing it, loved the first one.

      A CRYING SHAME - Star Wars Battlefront II...
       
    24. Sebastalona

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      Brilliant summary, and I share his views. I think the indignation about all of this is a bit over the top.

      I agree about the main characters requiring unlocking, that’s a bit naughty.

      But his views tie in with what I alluded to earlier in this thread, in that do these loot crates and the marginal perceived advantage they give REALLY impact on your own enjoyment? Do you dwell on each death thinking if was down to an unfair advantage?
       
    25. Sebastalona

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      Besides, I think we can conclude from the above video and @RandomLee post it’s only Star Wars nerds that are being targeted!:laugh:
       
    26. Cha1ky

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    27. Rog69

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      I hate this microtransaction / pay to win crap as much as anybody. I think that Battlefront 2 and Shadow of war were both a step too far and this trend is starting to sour me on the whole gaming hobby.

      For me the worst aspect of the loot crate system is that it employs gambling mechanics, you are not buying a specific piece of content, you are paying for a spin on the wheel to see if you can win it. I don't want this toxic sh*t in my games or any that my kids might come into contact with.
       
    28. eiren

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      Vote with your wallets chaps. Don't buy the games and support it.

      Here's why Loot Boxes are ruining every...
       
    29. Theydon Bois

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    30. aslird

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      In SWBF2 it is not marginal - higher tiered cards have a big advantage - eg you can slot a star card that makes the impact radius of your grenade 25, 50, 75, or 100% larger. If you get killed by someone with that card slotted (since you can see what cards they have on the death recap screen) you can feel a bit miffed, as you may not have died if they did not have that card. That card can be gained from crates (random quality) or you can grind and craft it.
       

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