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Shin GenX

Hey guys what do you think about game design and gambling?? This is a hot topic with lootboxes right now ^^

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There is a very interesting video on gamespot about how Destiny, although a great game, basically uses gambling technics to have people hooked and spending money.  What do you guys think?  Also any thoughts on the whole lootbox as gambling talk?

 

https://www.gamespot.com/videos/the-point-destiny-the-hardcore-gamers-slot-machine/2300-6425852/

 

I for one am not a fan of lootboxes at all.  People say that the Overwatch one is not harmful because it is all cosmetics but I actually disagree.  The way they make some skins time specific basically requires you to spend money if you want them.  Yes you can fault the gamer for wanting a simple skin, but for a game I paid full price for, I still think I shouldn't need to spend more money to play it.

 

The best counter argument for this though is that Overwatch constantly updates with new content for free... this I can see as a good thing.  But still something doesn't feel right with lootboxes ^^  Share your thoughts!!!

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To be fair all the games allow you the F2P experience. They always try to hook on the small population of whales and dolphins (the ones who spend massive amount of money on the game) to keep them alive while trying to convert F2P into P2P slowly. But every game model is that now. Look at mobile gacha game. Look at FFBE on mobile which made me spend money. Not made me but I decided to eventually spend money. I can afford it and YOLO. It all comes down to playing on the gambler mentality. Will my next pull in gacha be that rainbow (best unit) that will make the game so much easier for me. Will that next loot box drop me that awesome skin I been wanting. That is the high of gambling. Will the next time I sit down at the table is the time when I rake in lots of money. The question for them isn't when to stop, but when will that next pull give me the winnings. I don't think it is bad. These are business out to make money. They aren't charity. At the end of the day, people play these games because they like the grind or the gambling of it. Instead of being in a casino they can put money into the game to gamble for the next pull. Just people got to know their spending habits and go accordingly. Do I make enough money to spend crazy amount every week? Or if I don't, spend less or nothing at all? Yes, easier said then down but gamblers will gamble because of that itch and business will always take advantage of that.

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For me at least, I never mind it when it's games like Overwatch that just use it as a cosmetic thing, even if it's preying on the whole aspect of gamers wanting to buy things. For a game like Overwatch where the loot boxes are all cosmetic or non-competitive related items, I wouldn't fault them for adding something like that. Sure, I wish there was a system in play, specifically for things like seasonal events where you could just either pay in game credits or even currency at any time to get exactly what you want, but very rarely have I ever felt cheated by the system. Not to mention they've actually reworked how the drops work relatively recently, so I felt better about, that and the whole thing about free updates, heroes, maps, modes, and so on, but I digress. 

 

In terms of games in general, I'm fine with the cosmetic approach that Overwatch puts into play, but not for things like Battlefront where it is literally pay to win. Sadly, there's a lot of games that work like that, and even less that get the kind of flack EA and related parties have received. Look at Hearthstone, a game that is quite literally having players pay for the best cards either out of pocket or with absurd amounts of play time, but not nearly as many people complaining. The other reason why it sucks especially, for a game specifically like Battlefront 2 is because of how lackluster and disappointing the first one was. So much so that EA came out and made a promise of free add-on content and the like, but then turned around and did something like this.

 

Funny enough though, I'm pretty neutral on the whole thing, despite making a convincing case against EA. Sure, I hate what they did with the Battlefront franchise when looking back at Battlefront 2 from the mid 2000's, but that doesn't make me hate Loot Boxes / Crates in general, just the situation. When implemented in a way that provides next to no interference or extra incentive to purchase, I think Loot Boxes are completely acceptable, honestly, but that's probably just me in this regard. I actually broke up a small verbal argument with some friends over this the other day, sheesh. Things are certainly getting heated either way!

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I think @Royzoga nailed it as far as my thoughts are concerned.

 

If it's purely cosmetic, that's the way to go since it's optional (but people love to get different skins). Pay-to-win stuff like what BF2 is doing is the worst, and EA learned a hard lesson this Fall that's going to make them think twice about the way they choose to implement MTX going forward.

 

I'm actually more interested to know where the whole story about the government investigating loot boxes will go. I've heard they'll likely introduce legislation that limits it to a degree, but how much? If it hampers profits for publisher too much, I wonder what sort of MTX they'll try and pivot to next.

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Bottom line for me:

Free to Play - Charge for all the garbage you want to give players an edge

Games I Spend Even A Dollar on - GTFO

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I honestly don't have a strong opinion either way. If it's some F2P game where anything remotely fun is locked behind a paywall, you can just play one of the other 1000 F2P games just like it instead. Pay2win in already paid games is pretty scummy, but I honestly don't play enough multiplayer games to really get upset over it any more than just thinking "man, that's crap." Even if I did start playing something and realized everyone was better than me because they paid more, I'd probably just stop playing since I wouldn't have bought the game just to play multiplayer anyway. (i.e. if I buy the hottest of hot topics Battlefront 2, it'll be to play the campaign mainly, and it'll have to be really cheap in the first place.)

 

The only multiplayer game with lootboxes I do play is Overwatch, which of course is all cosmetic so it doesn't matter. I only get annoyed with those when I don't get stuff I wanted from the timed events, but even that isn't enough to get me to spend more money on it.

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I might just be old school, but I remember the good old days when you bought a game everything came with it and everything was unlocked through simply playing the game.  And not even a crazy amount.  You just play the game and you unlock weapons, skins, maps all that stuff.

 

With F2P I understand the need to make money so ads and some pay stuff is understandable.  But with a full price game I don't want to pay more money to be able to unlock more things.

 

For me even Overwatch is a problem because there are things that you cannot unlock unless you pay.  I know the idea is just don't play it.  But I don't like having content locked behind pay wall.  Here is what I mean.  When an Overwatch timed event happens  during those two to four weeks I have to play the game in order to unlock things.  And let's all be honest guys, if you want to unlock everything as a free player (remember I did already by the initial game price, if Overwatch was F2P I wouldn't be complaining ^^) it is pretty much impossible.  I consider myself lucky if I get one or two timed skins during that period.  So I would much prefer if all that stuff just went away.

 

Here is another interesting interview from Kotaku about a 19 year old guy who basically spent over 10000 dollars over the past 5 years in microtransactions.  But for him maybe the term macrotransaction is more appropriate ^^

 

https://kotaku.com/meet-the-19-year-old-who-spent-over-10-000-on-microtra-1820854953


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12 hours ago, Shin GenX said:

I might just be old school, but I remember the good old days when you bought a game everything came with it and everything was unlocked through simply playing the game.  And not even a crazy amount.  You just play the game and you unlock weapons, skins, maps all that stuff.


1

 

The thing that sucks is those days are mostly over now since most of the big publishers have gotten a taste of how profitable things can be if they decide to section them off and charge for it. There will always be smaller and mid-tier games that include everything, and even some larger games that give you everything w/o charging (like Splatoon 2), but yeah, gone are the good ol' days in that regard. :/

 

13 hours ago, Shin GenX said:

Here is another interesting interview from Kotaku about a 19 year old guy who basically spent over 10000 dollars over the past 5 years in microtransactions.  But for him maybe the term macrotransaction is more appropriate ^^

2

 

Man, that's pretty insane. When you're that young, that kind of money is either your entire paycheck for a year, or at least a majority of it. Crazy!

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17 hours ago, Shin GenX said:

For me even Overwatch is a problem because there are things that you cannot unlock unless you pay.  I know the idea is just don't play it.  But I don't like having content locked behind pay wall.  Here is what I mean.  When an Overwatch timed event happens  during those two to four weeks I have to play the game in order to unlock things.  And let's all be honest guys, if you want to unlock everything as a free player (remember I did already by the initial game price, if Overwatch was F2P I wouldn't be complaining ^^) it is pretty much impossible.  I consider myself lucky if I get one or two timed skins during that period.  So I would much prefer if all that stuff just went away.


It's not necessarily an old school mentality, but it's definitely not fair to say the game is hidden behind paywalls for things like. Sure, timed events suck when you only get one out of like, the four or five skins, but did you have to pay for that event? No, you didn't. You paid the initial $60 or whatever it is you paid for the game and nothing prevents you from playing the game during events or even playing as new characters. Not even the new maps or game modes are hidden behind paywalls. Overwatch is the prime example that everyone keeps talking about, but they're literally giving you tons of more free stuff that I think matter more than a cosmetic change. If you compare it to, let's say a fighting game, like Street Fighter III: Third Strike from back in the day it's actually a lot better. Third Strike being primarily a multiplayer game had a roster of whatever amount of characters with whatever number of stages and colors, but that was it. The game aged and nothing else was added to it, stages, characters, colors, costumes, NOTHING. I think it's wrong to complain about something like Overwatch's paid loot boxes and ignore the fact that you're getting much more important free content in everything else. That's just my two cents on this though, but I do agree that skins being timed at all sucks. I wish they'd either just be like, on sale during events and always available, or make it so you can earn something else from loot boxes to exchange for them, but that's neither here nor there. 

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On 12/1/2017 at 2:24 PM, Jason Clement said:

Man, that's pretty insane. When you're that young, that kind of money is either your entire paycheck for a year, or at least a majority of it. Crazy!

 

That is nothing. he would be a whale. But there are whales, for example even if FFBE, even if they have jobs have spent over 20k in a year. Some have spent way more than that, enough to buy a super nice cars. Just saying, these companies are smart in how they do business and know how to prey on the addicted mentality. It is always about that one more drop that could get you want you want. That is the high for gamers. You open that loot box and you get that amazing skin everyone been wanting. You get that amazing rainbow pull with that top tier unit you been chasing. Yea, that is a big high. Like winning at the casino. It is a high that you want to keep on feeling.

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On 12/6/2017 at 0:11 AM, DarkCobra86 said:

 

That is nothing. he would be a whale. But there are whales, for example even if FFBE, even if they have jobs have spent over 20k in a year. Some have spent way more than that, enough to buy a super nice cars. Just saying, these companies are smart in how they do business and know how to prey on the addicted mentality. It is always about that one more drop that could get you want you want. That is the high for gamers. You open that loot box and you get that amazing skin everyone been wanting. You get that amazing rainbow pull with that top tier unit you been chasing. Yea, that is a big high. Like winning at the casino. It is a high that you want to keep on feeling.

 

This.  I think we do need to address the actual effect is has on people and how it could lead to people spending more than they "want" or can afford ^^

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12 hours ago, Shin GenX said:

 

This.  I think we do need to address the actual effect is has on people and how it could lead to people spending more than they "want" or can afford ^^

 

Yea, and these business know how to prey on that. They know exactly how addicts work and they use that to their advantage. People can't control themselves and they keep on spending and next thing you know they have spent way to much. Some can laugh it off and be okay but some will be set back big time.

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Another interesting video on this ^^  By the always entertaining but also somewhat annoying ^^ Matpat

 

 

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