Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)

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Tafdolphin
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Tafdolphin » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:01 pm

jawafour wrote:

Jim has moved into overdrive :o :lol: .


Good video. He's absolutely right about Overwatch too.

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Hime
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Hime » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:47 pm

Trelliz wrote:
Hime wrote:Is there any actual evidence that in game progress has been deliberately slowed or lengethend? Shadow of War definitely sounds like one such case (although it sounds like the major problem is that the game is average) but are there any multiplayer games that take longer to reach the end weapons than CoD:MW? Like that game, do they have any best in class weapons that are available from the very beginning?

Just clarify, I completely understand why you have such a problem with loot boxes in general. I'm just not convinced they are making games any worse or more importantly to me, any less enjoyable.


There is no 'smoking gun' evidence per se as unlike China of all places, companies aren't required to disclose the odds of their lootboxes. Ultimately this comes down to trust, and given Activision's patent and all the other gooseberry fool EA have been doing, all the games which have added lootboxes to their normal £40+ price tag, the news stories that microtransaction revenue is eclipsing actual game revenue and that Bioware dev talking about how someone spent $15k on Mass Effect; how games like Destiny 2 and Shadow of Mordor only let you open your free lootboxes in the same place as you buy the premium ones - given all of that, do you trust any of these companies to NOT rig games in their favour and do all the things f2p mobile games did to offer paid shortcuts past the frustrations they also created?

Which is ultimately why for now at least I believe the so called artficial padding to be a load of nonsense, games have had grinding and filler content for a long, long time. The $15k on Mass Effect is an outlier, there will be news stories about people spending thousands on babybells out there. There still needs to be a compelling game to go with the loot boxes or people wouldn't be bothered.

I completely agree with you about the odds thing, people should know what chance they have of getting the things they want. However, something you have to remember is that not everyone who buys loot boxes is brainwashed into do so and they actually quite enjoy it. It's silly and can be destructive but people waste lots of money on things that aren't good for them because they get enjoyment. In the context of gaming I will once again reiterate that as long as this stuff is entirely optional I can't get too worked up.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Trelliz » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:10 pm

Hime wrote:However, something you have to remember is that not everyone who buys loot boxes is brainwashed into do so and they actually quite enjoy it.


Of course they enjoy it - that's why Las Vegas, christmas presents and scratchcards exist; playing games of chance or opening mystery boxes makes your brain feel good, and it is that positive feedback loop which is being exploited and promoting gambling-like behaviour with no age regulation or external control. Even "optional" or "just cosmetic" boxes effect players by grouping them into haves and have-nots; those with the cool skins and those without. Its this weaponising of jealousy which makes the Activision patent so insidious - bending the matchmaking away from concepts like competition and fair play to try and subtly prod you to open your wallet more in a full-price game.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Hime » Mon Nov 13, 2017 10:30 pm

Trelliz wrote:
Hime wrote:However, something you have to remember is that not everyone who buys loot boxes is brainwashed into do so and they actually quite enjoy it.


Of course they enjoy it - that's why Las Vegas, christmas presents and scratchcards exist; playing games of chance or opening mystery boxes makes your brain feel good, and it is that positive feedback loop which is being exploited and promoting gambling-like behaviour with no age regulation or external control. Even "optional" or "just cosmetic" boxes effect players by grouping them into haves and have-nots; those with the cool skins and those without. Its this weaponising of jealousy which makes the Activision patent so insidious - bending the matchmaking away from concepts like competition and fair play to try and subtly prod you to open your wallet more in a full-price game.

None of that suggests loot boxes are actually affecting games though, just that they promote capitalist urges that can be associated with just about anything.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by lex-man » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:42 pm

The stuff that is affecting me at the moment is Steam sales. I've ended up with nearly 700 games on my account around 70% of which I have never played. A large chunk I probably never will play. I've kind of got to the point where I know I was conned. There is no real point in owning stuff that I'm never going to play.

I'm the same with a lot of other crap. I keep buying books, films and training stuff that I never really use.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by lex-man » Mon Nov 13, 2017 11:49 pm

Also when was the last time that EA had a good reputation. Didn't they get voted the worst company in the world twice?

Their problem seems to be they've taken things way too far and caused a massive backlash.

It's strange that the most hated companies seem to be the most profitable.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by LewisD » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:43 am

jawafour wrote:

Jim has moved into overdrive :o :lol: .


Hah, it's bad when you recognise the lady in the dogging photograph. (Rachel Reveals if you're wondering..)

Honestly this whole trend of loot boxes and multiplayer focused gaming is really wearing me down.

As a dad, I'll be avoiding getting anything with even a hint of pay to win, or masses of grinding in order to achieve things.
Having to explain why my boys can't play as Like Skywalker, just because daddy can't afford it would be heartbreaking, especially after spending £45/50 on the game in the first place.. a bit like buying a car and having to pay another £2500 for headlights!

The other problem is that I don't have the time to "invest" in multiplayer games anymore. I don't want my games to have a limited shelf life, where I can't play them anymore because a server got turned off somewhere.

Gaming hasn't been about the stories, or the adventures, or the experiences for what feels like such a long time now. It is now truly a way to milk every penny from us, and it's depressing.

I dread to think what gaming will be like in ten years time.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Peter Crisp » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:56 am

LewisD wrote:Hah, it's bad when you recognise the lady in the dogging photograph. (Rachel Reveals if you're wondering..)

Honestly this whole trend of loot boxes and multiplayer focused gaming is really wearing me down.

As a dad, I'll be avoiding getting anything with even a hint of pay to win, or masses of grinding in order to achieve things.
Having to explain why my boys can't play as Like Skywalker, just because daddy can't afford it would be heartbreaking, especially after spending £45/50 on the game in the first place.. a bit like buying a car and having to pay another £2500 for headlights!

The other problem is that I don't have the time to "invest" in multiplayer games anymore. I don't want my games to have a limited shelf life, where I can't play them anymore because a server got turned off somewhere.

Gaming hasn't been about the stories, or the adventures, or the experiences for what feels like such a long time now. It is now truly a way to milk every penny from us, and it's depressing.

I dread to think what gaming will be like in ten years time.


I fully understand why you feel annoyed by so many games going multiplayer and becoming time sinks.
Destiny while good does require a decent amount of time to even do the initial leveling and just getting to the point where you can join most of us will require a fair investment in time that's pretty limited to you with young children in the house.
I also agree about the extra pay to win aspect of gaming being highly depressing and not something I'm going to indulge in.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Skarjo » Tue Nov 14, 2017 2:31 am

lex-man wrote:The stuff that is affecting me at the moment is Steam sales. I've ended up with nearly 700 games on my account around 70% of which I have never played. A large chunk I probably never will play. I've kind of got to the point where I know I was conned. There is no real point in owning stuff that I'm never going to play.

I'm the same with a lot of other crap. I keep buying books, films and training stuff that I never really use.


Not really a con if you've bought stuff you didn't end up playing though.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Hime » Tue Nov 14, 2017 7:57 am

Skarjo wrote:
lex-man wrote:The stuff that is affecting me at the moment is Steam sales. I've ended up with nearly 700 games on my account around 70% of which I have never played. A large chunk I probably never will play. I've kind of got to the point where I know I was conned. There is no real point in owning stuff that I'm never going to play.

I'm the same with a lot of other crap. I keep buying books, films and training stuff that I never really use.


Not really a con if you've bought stuff you didn't end up playing though.

Still using manipulative techniques to get people to spend money though isn't it?

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by lex-man » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:31 am

Hime wrote:
Skarjo wrote:
lex-man wrote:The stuff that is affecting me at the moment is Steam sales. I've ended up with nearly 700 games on my account around 70% of which I have never played. A large chunk I probably never will play. I've kind of got to the point where I know I was conned. There is no real point in owning stuff that I'm never going to play.

I'm the same with a lot of other crap. I keep buying books, films and training stuff that I never really use.


Not really a con if you've bought stuff you didn't end up playing though.

Still using manipulative techniques to get people to spend money though isn't it?


Yeah, that's my issue, Steam seem to be very good at marketing games at huge price reductions to get people to buy way more games than they'll ever play. It's not as bad as loot boxes but it still adds up.

I partially feel it's my fault for falling for the marketing tactic. I'm trying to be lot more careful about what I buy at the moment. But every time I go on steam I end up looking through the store.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Winckle » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:33 am

The difference with a steam sale is that it's not random (AFAIK).

Steam will pop up an advert "Cool Game 4 is 50% off", and if you want to buy Cool Game 4 you do.

It doesn't offer you to buy a random game that could be Cool Game 4, or Bland Game 7.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Trelliz » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:38 am

Winckle wrote:The difference with a steam sale is that it's not random (AFAIK).

Steam will pop up an advert "Cool Game 4 is 50% off", and if you want to buy Cool Game 4 you do.

It doesn't offer you to buy a random game that could be Cool Game 4, or Bland Game 7.


Sites like g2a also have game lootboxes, complete with the rolling animation to show you what you could have got instead of Bland Game 7. Thats not to say that steam sales have always been great, i'm now glad the flash sales have gone as they are one of the worst forms of artificial scarcity, as are all sales really.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Winckle » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:40 am

Trelliz wrote:
Winckle wrote:The difference with a steam sale is that it's not random (AFAIK).

Steam will pop up an advert "Cool Game 4 is 50% off", and if you want to buy Cool Game 4 you do.

It doesn't offer you to buy a random game that could be Cool Game 4, or Bland Game 7.


Sites like g2a also have game lootboxes, complete with the rolling animation to show you what you could have got instead of Bland Game 7. Thats not to say that steam sales have always been great, i'm now glad the flash sales have gone as they are one of the worst forms of artificial scarcity, as are all sales really.

Yeah and sales in that model are bad and are essentially gambling.

The industry is tripping over itself to ram lootboxes into absolutely everything because they know that this gravy train will be outlawed at some point.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Hime » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:44 am

Winckle wrote:The difference with a steam sale is that it's not random (AFAIK).

Steam will pop up an advert "Cool Game 4 is 50% off", and if you want to buy Cool Game 4 you do.

It doesn't offer you to buy a random game that could be Cool Game 4, or Bland Game 7.

That's completely reasonable if you're issue is with the random nature of loot box rewards but we've had people talk about how they're affecting gameplay, the addictive nature of random rewards and the lack of regulation, the additional expenditure on top of the £40 purchase, etc If people ate worried about the last two points I would imagine that more people on this forum have gotten wrapped up or addicted to spending on Steam sales in general than they have loot boxes.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by OrangeRakoon » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:07 am

I think I'm just straight up against all unlocking of content in competitive online multiplayer, lootboxes or not. I want to lose because the other player/team is better than me, not because they've got an in-game advantage. Sure there are things like differing pings, but in an ideal world there wouldn't be and games do try their best to minimise the effect of these things. I wasn't a fan of the xp system in the original MW - the problem with lootboxes I think is that this gets even worse. The time to unlock stuff appears even longer to encourage spending real money, rewards change from fixed to randomised so you can't reliably work towards what you want, and there is this completely backwards argument that paying for more immediate access to content is friendly towards those who don't have the time or inclination to grind that content out - if I am investing less time in playing your game, why would I pay more money?

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Moggy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 10:49 am

I am happy for lootboxes to be used for cosmetic items. I couldn’t care less if somebody has a fancy costume or if their gun looks a little bit different.

I have no problem with lootboxes in free to play games. They have to make money and that’s the literal business model for those sorts of games.

It’s when you pay money for a game and then get faced with a demand to pay more money (or having grinding for 40 hours+!) to gain an advantage over others that pisses me off. That could be a criticism of normal DLC as well, but with lootboxes it is so much worse as you are not buying something you want, you are buying something in the hope that maybe it might possibly have an item/character that you want.

Games need to stop mixing the F2P and AAA titles together like this.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Hime » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:00 am

OrangeRakoon wrote:I think I'm just straight up against all unlocking of content in competitive online multiplayer, lootboxes or not. I want to lose because the other player/team is better than me, not because they've got an in-game advantage. Sure there are things like differing pings, but in an ideal world there wouldn't be and games do try their best to minimise the effect of these things. I wasn't a fan of the xp system in the original MW - the problem with lootboxes I think is that this gets even worse. The time to unlock stuff appears even longer to encourage spending real money, rewards change from fixed to randomised so you can't reliably work towards what you want, and there is this completely backwards argument that paying for more immediate access to content is friendly towards those who don't have the time or inclination to grind that content out - if I am investing less time in playing your game, why would I pay more money?

I get what you're saying but is it any more fun to be killed by someone who has run to the rocket launcher than being killed by someone who has unlocked it over time? Does it make any real difference?

MW is an example of a game that most of the best weapons are open from the beginning, unlockable weapons just offer a bit of choice and carrot on a stick gameplay.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by Moggy » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:10 am

Hime wrote:
OrangeRakoon wrote:I think I'm just straight up against all unlocking of content in competitive online multiplayer, lootboxes or not. I want to lose because the other player/team is better than me, not because they've got an in-game advantage. Sure there are things like differing pings, but in an ideal world there wouldn't be and games do try their best to minimise the effect of these things. I wasn't a fan of the xp system in the original MW - the problem with lootboxes I think is that this gets even worse. The time to unlock stuff appears even longer to encourage spending real money, rewards change from fixed to randomised so you can't reliably work towards what you want, and there is this completely backwards argument that paying for more immediate access to content is friendly towards those who don't have the time or inclination to grind that content out - if I am investing less time in playing your game, why would I pay more money?

I get what you're saying but is it any more fun to be killed by someone who has run to the rocket launcher than being killed by someone who has unlocked it over time? Does it make any real difference?


Are you saying that only rich people should be allowed to kill OrangeRakoon with a rocket launcher, but the rest of us should be allowed to kill him with rocks and sticks?

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions and loot boxes)
by OrangeRakoon » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:29 am

Hime wrote:I get what you're saying but is it any more fun to be killed by someone who has run to the rocket launcher than being killed by someone who has unlocked it over time? Does it make any real difference?


I think so. Seeing that someone can run and get the rocket launcher that quickly is something you can learn from and adapt to. You can try it yourself in the next game, or learn a way to counter it because you know it could happen in any game. In contrast, if it's an unlockable I can't learn from it and do it myself because it's impossible without having unlocked it, and there is less adaptation to it as a tactic that may be used against me because rather than being possible every game, it's only possible in games with a player who has unlocked it. That last point might seem like a strange distinction, but I think it increases the feeling of luck having an affect in the game, which in turn makes it feel more unfair. It feels less unfair to get killed with a rocket launcher if you know you can do it back.


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