Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")

Anything to do with games at all.
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Moggy
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Moggy » Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:29 am

I love how they dress it up as just a helpful thing for players who don't have much time. They could just make it an in-game option for people to level up quickly.

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Parksey
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Parksey » Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:42 am

Yep, without getting in to the argument of what your game design is like if people want to actively circumvent parts of it, even if they are pressed for time, if they were truly catering to different play styles and accessibility, it would be free.

After all, they don't charge for Easy difficulty, and that's just there for players who don't have the ability, don't want to be stringently test or who don't have the time to preservere with a title. They'd get crucified if they charged for that, so why are boosters okay? They are the same sort of thing, except over the years with their weasely ways, they have slowly conditioned consumers into expecting, if not accepting, this kind of thing.

It's like with season passes. They are fine now and part of live service games. Heck, I pay £8 for Destiny's as it gives you stuff and grants access to some in-game events and content.

But it "gives you stuff" on the season pass that you then also have to play 100 hours to get. If you don't play that season, your £8 gets nothing. You don't get the items (that you've technically paid for) at the end of the season, unless you put the hours in. But you bought them...

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by jawa2 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:52 am

And, of course, Ubisoft got slammed for having paid XP boosts in AC Odyssey so this time they launched a game without them, waited for all reviews to be published and launch sales completed... and then added the boosts into the game shop.

Thing is, I guess they're gonna keep doing it because plenty of people buy them. I'm personally kinda okay (or, at least, conditioned to accept) cosmetic stuff in the game stores (as long as there is still plenty of decent in-game cosmetics; and as long as they're not £25 for a jacket or whatever) but game-changing boosts seem a bit much to me. Yeah, it's "optional", but it still sucks and sets us on a path where challenge level is payable (and perhaps we're already there with xp boosters and harder levels being payable extras).

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Balladeer
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Balladeer » Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:15 am

I’m shocked and amazed that UbiSoft did a shitty thing. SHOCKED AND AMAZED.

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KK
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by KK » Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:25 am

jawa2 wrote:Ubisoft has just added payable XP boosts to the in-game store for Assassin's Creed Valhalla.

Ubisoft wrote:Utilities allow players who lack the time to fully explore the world of Assassin's Creed Valhalla to be able to acquire the game’s best gear, as well as other items, by accelerating their progress. For instance, these players can purchase maps that uncover some interesting locations in the world, but would still have to visit and play them to get their rewards.


It seems surprising to think that some folk may purchase maps to access locations and then pay out cash rather than actually playing those areas. To "save time"... so they"re buying a game and then paying out more money not to play it?

Then again, the first responder in PushSquare's report on this responded with:

Who cares? You aren’t obligated to buy it. It’s completely optional. I just spent $10 on it just to spite all the media complaining about it now I can power level away with ease.


Fair enough. But instantly spending ten dollars "just to spite all the media"? :lol: .

Spent $10 to own the libs media.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by OrangeRKN » Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:51 am

What's baffling about Valhalla is that, playing on Normal, I'm currently around level 240 still working through story/areas that are level 160, and the combat is easy enough that I can comfortably tackle areas well above my level too. One of my complaints is that leveling is already too quick as it breaks the balance of the game, so I really can't imagine why anyone would need an XP boost!

The worry with XP boosters is that the game balance is adversely affected to make buying them attractive, but I don't think they even got that right :lol:

Adding it post-launch to avoid reviewer oversight is scummy though

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Fade
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Fade » Sat Dec 19, 2020 2:06 pm

How about games stop it with heavy leveling systems and actually build combat around player progression rather then making numbers get bigger.

There's nothing more immersion breaking than a random enemy taking 50 hits to kill because you're not the right level, or one hitting them because you're too high of a level.

I actually hate it.

I get it, back in the day it was used as a way to prop up games because they couldn't be as mechanically complex, but now it often seems like it's just added to games to pad them out.

Cyberpunk for example, I get the perk points, but how does the leveling or the level gated guns benefit that game at all?

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Trelliz
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Trelliz » Sat Dec 19, 2020 6:36 pm

Fade wrote:How about games stop it with heavy leveling systems and actually build combat around player progression rather then making numbers get bigger.

There's nothing more immersion breaking than a random enemy taking 50 hits to kill because you're not the right level, or one hitting them because you're too high of a level.

I actually hate it.

I get it, back in the day it was used as a way to prop up games because they couldn't be as mechanically complex, but now it often seems like it's just added to games to pad them out.

Cyberpunk for example, I get the perk points, but how does the leveling or the level gated guns benefit that game at all?


The numbers mean they can pad out the grind and sell you the solution, also making numbers get bigger gives you the feel good brain chemicals, keeping you "engaged".

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Fade
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Fade » Sat Dec 19, 2020 7:15 pm

Trelliz wrote:
Fade wrote:How about games stop it with heavy leveling systems and actually build combat around player progression rather then making numbers get bigger.

There's nothing more immersion breaking than a random enemy taking 50 hits to kill because you're not the right level, or one hitting them because you're too high of a level.

I actually hate it.

I get it, back in the day it was used as a way to prop up games because they couldn't be as mechanically complex, but now it often seems like it's just added to games to pad them out.

Cyberpunk for example, I get the perk points, but how does the leveling or the level gated guns benefit that game at all?


The numbers mean they can pad out the grind and sell you the solution, also making numbers get bigger gives you the feel good brain chemicals, keeping you "engaged".

That's my point though.

So many modern games just chuck leveling in as a cheap way to keep people engaged. It makes for a worse experience overall because it allows people to break the game's systems by over leveling, meaning they can just steamroll everything and not engage with the game properly.

It also allows developers to not bother balancing difficulty curves, as they can just pull the "oh you're too low level, grind some more". Bloodborne does this a lot at it's easily the worse part of the game.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by jawa2 » Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:15 pm

There is a possibility that Germany may make all videogames with loot box mechanics get an "18+" certification.

I hope this goes through although I do fear that publishers will use alternative wording and definitions to avoid this potential new law.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Lagamorph » Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:29 pm

jawa2 wrote:There is a possibility that Germany may make all videogames with loot box mechanics get an "18+" certification.

I hope this goes through although I do fear that publishers will use alternative wording and definitions to avoid this potential new law.

EA will be fine, they don't have Loot boxes after all they just have Surprise Mechanics.

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Balladeer
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Balladeer » Tue Mar 09, 2021 1:32 pm

Lagamorph wrote:
jawa2 wrote:There is a possibility that Germany may make all videogames with loot box mechanics get an "18+" certification.

I hope this goes through although I do fear that publishers will use alternative wording and definitions to avoid this potential new law.

EA will be fine, they don't have Loot boxes after all they just have Surprise Mechanics.

In which case they hopefully won’t be given fines, just Surprise Monetary Obligations.

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Knoyleo
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Knoyleo » Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:09 pm

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-56614281

Loot boxes linked to problem gambling in new research

The link between gaming loot boxes and problem gambling has been "robustly verified", according to a new report.

The report, carried out by researchers at the universities of Plymouth and Wolverhampton, found that loot boxes "are structurally and psychologically akin to gambling".

It also found that large numbers of children are opening loot boxes.

The UK government is already considering whether gambling laws should cover such loot boxes.

The upcoming Gambling Act review is set to look at the question, with the UK's House of Lords already having weighed in to say that loot boxes should be firmly regulated as "games of chance".

Loot boxes are a video game feature involving a sealed mystery "box" - sometimes earned through playing the game and sometimes paid for with real money - which can be opened for a random collection of in-game items such as weapons or cosmetic costumes.

The new research, commissioned by the GambleAware charity, compiles existing research to examine the strength of links between the in-game random prizes and gambling behaviour. It found:

    Of the 93% of children who play video games, up to 40% opened loot boxes
    About 5% of gamers generate half the entire revenue from the boxes
    Twelve out of 13 studies on the topic have established "unambiguous" connections to problem gambling behaviour
    Young men are the most likely to use loot boxes - with young age and lower education correlating with increased uses


More at the link.

Hopefully this is the kind of firm evidence of a link that will be needed for this stuff to finally be properly regulated.

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Trelliz
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Trelliz » Fri Apr 02, 2021 1:13 pm

Good.


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Fade
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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Fade » Sat Apr 03, 2021 7:32 am

I wish every country just banned them like Belgium.

The loot boxes are my least favourite part of the levelling in Apex. Thank God you can just buy the skins you want most of the time.

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PostRe: Paid content in videogames (DLC, season passes, micro transactions, loot boxes, "surprise mechanics")
by Saint of Killers » Sat Apr 03, 2021 11:33 am

I'm so annoyed right now. I've been really enjoying Warhammer 40,000: Inquisitor - Martyr for the past few days. It's a decently made Diablo-alike with an enjoyable story. Unfortunately, the ending of the story is abrupt as strawberry float. There's more game to play after, but the main story ends very quickly. That is unless I fork over £15 for the Prophecy DLC. I'm playing the game via PS Now and so I wouldn't have minded spending money to get campaign DLC for a game I've enjoyed (because I haven't paid full price for the main game), but the manner in which the main story ended has put me right off it. So much so that I'm tempted to just go read its wiki to see how the story concludes.

edit: Oh. It gets worse: the DLC is only three chapters, one of which is exclusive to the new class included in the DLC. So they essentially left out 2 chapters to nickel and dime their customers. Sigh.

They're over there, by their theremin.

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