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Microtransactions in games. What's your opinion?

SystemSystem Administrator Posts: 96
This discussion was created from comments split from: Fallout 76 confirmed!?.

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Comments

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 3,787
    A good portion of Fallout 76's problems are our fault - the gaming community, I mean.

    We don't respect our money. We swallowed too many shit that the companies dropped at us. They kept pushing and we kept accepting.

    Microtransactions should NEVER be a thing, unless it is a F2P game. We should NEVER accept those crumbs they throw at us and call DLC. I'm from a time when a game charged us for buying more game (like Tales of Sword Coast) and not to make us build a prettier doll house.

    But we accepted those things. And they pushed, and pushed and one day, oops, we discovered that we've been robbed blind for years.

    Really?!

    It happens even here with this "portrait and voice acting" thing, but that's a whole new discussion.

    My opinion: if a GAMING company wants more money, let them make more GAMES or true EXPANSIONS.

    If that was the market's reality I bet that we would already have an expansion with Soultaker's plot resolved.

    FinneousPJvoidofopinionmlneveseDJKajuru
  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,341
    @Raduziel Well yeah, but what can you do about teenagers being stupid with their money... just make sure you're being smart, and if you can, educate your fellow consumers.

  • RaduzielRaduziel Member Posts: 3,787

    @Raduziel Well yeah, but what can you do about teenagers being stupid with their money... just make sure you're being smart, and if you can, educate your fellow consumers.

    I think that it is about to change. The new teenagers are now the sons and daughters of previous gamers, so I believe a quality control will happen before money is gave away.

  • voidofopinionvoidofopinion Member Posts: 1,242
    The sons and daughters of gamers are already paying $1 for a red dot and eating tide pods.

    I think you are expecting way too much from them...

    KamigoroshimlneveseSkatanThacoBell
  • O_BruceO_Bruce Member Posts: 2,724
    Generation 1: the Generation 2 is so bad and is being stupid with their money.
    Me: who do you think raised the Generation 2?
    Generation 1:

    FinneousPJmlneveseDJKajuru
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,053
    That's why I have all the intention of actually educating my children about these micro transactions when they are old enough. The problem is many parents prefer to pay $1 for a red dot as long as it keeps the children quiet instead of actually spending some time with them...

    RaduzielThacoBell
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,327
    I disagree with the micro transactions.

    It's your money. You can do whatever you want with it.

    Adding in more professionally done voice overs and portraits is adding a cosmetic choice to the game that not only supports the developer, but also the artist. The best thing with it, is you're not missing any content or game play. It doesn't change the game in anyway except for the portrait on the right hand side of the screen and the voice you hear when you click. We're also talking about a $2.20 (Canadian) price tag (for the good and evil portrait pack, expect the new one to be more expensive, I am guessing $7.50 starting price because of the VO work). One also has to remember everything Beamdog has added into the game for free before harping about a small cosmetic add-on.

    DLCs and Expansion packs also lengthen the life of games that you have in your library. I'd rather games work more like a Civilization 6 which was released in October 2016 and is now releasing its second expansion pack in February instead of just releasing a rehashed game every year and year and half. If price is a concern (for either base games or DLC or both) one just has to wait a bit (usually 6 to 8 months) for a sale, or wait a full year after the last installment to get the entire thing at a much cheaper price than buying everything as soon as it is released. IMO, Gathering Storm is too expensive at $55 Canadian to justify buying it at release. Firaxis can charge that because they know some people will pay that price for it. It isn't about being fair, it is about turning as much as a profit as possible. Gaming companies are businesses after all and need to generate revenue. And if a new game takes a couple of years (minimum) to create, the company needs to get its revenue from somewhere.

    But that is the issue with gamers. They want it "now" they don't want to wait 3-6 months because they are either overly hyped about a game (and if a consumer is hyped now, nothing should be stopping them from being hyped 3-6 months from now, except reality), or they are too competitive. They are competitive and want to be the first to beat a game, or in multiplayer games, the first to have the best equipment possible to prove that they are the best at the game or something. The bigger the game, the bigger the chance to be the first person to do or find something. The first person to reach the centre of the universe in No Man's Sky. The first to drop a nuke in Fallout 76. The first person to be level 40 on a Neverwinter Nights PW. The first to do XXXX in Anthem. These are all accomplishments that only one person can do and be known for, but are really ho-hum in the grand scheme of things.

    There is hype. It is the best way a gaming company can sell their product. Get the audience excited for it. For the previously mentioned expansion Gathering Storm for Civ6, Firaxis redid their launcher so that every time a player opens the game, there are youtube videos showcasing what the new expansion will contain. These videos have been coming every 2 weeks or so leading up to the release date in February and are doing a number on me, making me reconsider my initial hesitation at the price tag. They are hitting the audience they know who are most likely to buy the expansion right away, those still playing a game thatis over 2 year old. With No Man Sky and Fallout 76, there was a huge media push prior to the game being released, but in both of those cases, it is determined the game was released before it was ready, but the Hype sold it.

    Hype is probably the biggest factor in how gamers feel they are being misled. Microtransactions in already purchased games may feel like a pay to win but it is quite easy not to buy them. I am a huge EA NHL fan but I don't touch the multiplayer aspect of the game because of the microtransaction aspect. I do not need to play against other players to enjoy the game, because I keep my competitiveness in check. This is a game series that has had microtransactions since 2011. However, especially games with multiplayer aspects to it, a constant flow of cash helps the publishers and developers keep servers up to host these games. So if you play multiplayer games and come across a whale, just know it is his money that allows you to play.

    ~
    tl;dr version:

    Check your Hype

    Check your Competitiveness

    DLCs and expansions give older games longer shelf life

    Cosmetic DLCs supports artists and developers without affecting game play

    Microtransaction allow developers to have a constant revenue stream to pay for online services without actually making everyone pay to play.

    No one is forcing you to purchase anything.

    I am done procrastinating (I hope).

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,341
    Not buying them does not fix a pay-to-win situation lol

    voidofopinionThacoBell
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,327

    Not buying them does not fix a pay-to-win situation lol

    but checking your competitive level, "I must win to enjoy this game" does.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,341
    deltago said:

    Not buying them does not fix a pay-to-win situation lol

    but checking your competitive level, "I must win to enjoy this game" does.
    No, it doesn't. You not minding a problem does not make it go away.

    ThacoBell
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,327
    OK, explain how Pay to Win is a problem then?

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,341
    deltago said:

    OK, explain how Pay to Win is a problem then?

    By definition:

    Pay-to-win mechanics. In some games, players who are willing to pay for special items or downloadable content may be able to gain an advantage over those playing for free who might otherwise need to spend time progressing in order to unlock said items.

    ThacoBell
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,327

    deltago said:

    OK, explain how Pay to Win is a problem then?

    By definition:

    Pay-to-win mechanics. In some games, players who are willing to pay for special items or downloadable content may be able to gain an advantage over those playing for free who might otherwise need to spend time progressing in order to unlock said items.
    And that is a problem because...

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,341
    deltago said:

    deltago said:

    OK, explain how Pay to Win is a problem then?

    By definition:

    Pay-to-win mechanics. In some games, players who are willing to pay for special items or downloadable content may be able to gain an advantage over those playing for free who might otherwise need to spend time progressing in order to unlock said items.
    And that is a problem because...
    Start here

    https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Understanding_Fairness

    Please ask if you have more specific questions.

    voidofopinionRaduzielThacoBell
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,327
    So, you are saying it isn’t a problem as you can’t explain it.

    With Pay to Win (PtW) you have players trading money to prevent the grind that other players have to experience to receive the same reward. “Time is money” is a saying for a reason.

    Perhaps a person who plays a multiplayer game doesn’t have time to grind out as much as their friends, but still wants to be at the same item level as them when he does have time to play so he can experience the game with them instead of being levels behind. Is it fair, or even fun, for that type of player to be asked to commit the same amount of time into a hobby as his peers?

    Everyone has the ability to get that reward, even the definition that you provided highlights that just how they choose to get the reward is a problem for players who feel that the way they play the game should be the only way the game should be experienced. They feel it isn’t fair that another person doesn’t have to go through the same experiences (mostly grinding) to get to that reward.

    If you are playing the game because you are competitive at it you will feel cheated and decry that the game isn’t fun because someone just paid to win.

    But if you play the game because it is fun to play then it really doesn’t matter how anyone else plays the game. It is what I mean when I say check your competitiveness. If you are only playing the game to get to that next level, ask yourself why?

    LadyRhian
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,053
    edited January 9
    I have a problem with games that ask you to wait for 7 real days to build something or that require you to have crystals to obtain a certain power that would require 300+ real days to acquire unless you're willing to pay. The problem is that all games are going that way.

    I don't have all the time in the world to play. It's even worst when the game is not free. I already played the required price why do I have to pay to do anything useful in the game?

    I have no problem at all paying for expansions whatever people wish to call them.

    RaduzielThacoBell
  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,327
    mlnevese said:

    I have a problem with games that ask you to wait for 7 real days to build something or that require you to have crystals to obtain a certain power that would require 300+ real days to acquire unless you're willing to pay. The problem is that all games are going that way.

    I have no problem at all paying for expansions whatever people wish to call them.

    I don’t think all games are going that way. Free to Play/Mobile games certainly did but if you hit that type of mechanic where the game limits the amount of fun you can have with it ask yourself why should you continuing playing it?

    If the answer is “I already sunk a lot of time into it and want to see the next part (whatever that building unlocks)” it is no longer about having fun, but getting that feeling of accomplishment out of it and the more time you actually sink into the game the harder it’ll be to pull away.

    And if a game that you had paid money for has that type of mechanic, you really have to ask yourself why you actually paid money for that game. We’re you misled by hype? Was it added later?

    I honestly think triple A games have hit their breaking point with Mulitplayer micro transactions / grinding experiences. Anthem will tell the tale of it though.

  • KamigoroshiKamigoroshi Member Posts: 4,639
    The value-for-money ratio is for me of utmost importance. Be it at work or in my hobbies.

    If I see that a developer actually has published something which I can call a "quality product", then I am also more likely to support said studio by buying their stuff. Within reason, of course...
    If, on the other hand, a studio puts little to no effort into what they are trying to sell... well, why would I even want to support them? I'd much rather support myself by not buying rubbish. And let's be honest, it's not like there aren't endless alternatives out there to play either.

    Microtransactions is something which sickens me. Mainly because their price tags never reflect their actual value even in the slightest. Period. If a developer or publisher wants to maintain a steady cash flow, then they better damn well work for it and have excellent results to show. Fallout 76's Atomic Shop was an excellent example of how NOT to do it.

    voidofopinionmlneveseThacoBell
  • voidofopinionvoidofopinion Member Posts: 1,242
    edited January 10
    Game companies are not charities.

    Our fear that the hobby will die if we don't buy 3 copies of our favorite game series are long behind us. The video game industry is worth $137.9 billion and very little of that money goes to developers or is reinvested into the product.

    Any money spent of Fallout 76 microtransactions is not providing job security for the developers or the continuation of Fallout as a franchise... It's to buy another Lambo for some rich git who already has three but this one will be in green.

    ThacoBell
  • jjstraka34jjstraka34 Member Posts: 6,374
    edited January 10
    I think all of us are of an age where we grew up with nothing but pure single-player experiences. Moreover, if you were young sometime between 1995-2005, you were being served games that also offered an extraordinary amount of player agency, and 1998 to 2000 in particular created so many stone-cold classics. We grew up with honest to god expansion packs which often offered an entirely new game experience built upon the original one. And that has....changed. Expansions basically no longer exist. Some DLC is quite good ( there are dozens of examples) but they do not carry the same weight. Times have changed. I hate micotransactions too, but this isn't necessarily OUR time. For whatever reason, this generation loves DOTA and Battle Royals, and they are both fueled by the monetization that EA ushered ina few years ago. The wailing and gnashing of teeth about it goes on almost 24/7 on YouTube and internet forums, yet it shows no signs of stopping despite these protests.

  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,327
    edited January 10
    Well we do matter when we do not buy the game in mass like what happened in both Battlefront II (60% down from Battlefront I) and Fallout 76.

    We're no longer a statistic, but a missed opportunity. I've said it in this thread before, we'll see if EA had learnt their lesson with the release of Anthem.

    Battlefront is an interesting case study though. If you go back you'll see a lot of the replies contained the word "accomplish." "Allowing the players to accomplish" "to get the feeling of accomplishment." That IMO is a red flag whenever a company is talking about a game. You should not play a game to accomplish something - that should be its side effect after playing a game to have fun. You should never put the accomplishment before the fun and that is where gamers go wrong and that is where publishers grab them.

    With addictive behaviour, it comes down to understanding the addiction that you have and how to break free from it. It's self reflection on why you are doing that behaviour in the first place and if you can't personally self reflect on something get someone to help you do it.

    It is also good to educate yourself on tactics advertisers and content publishers use to get you to buy anything. If you know the tricks, you are less likely to fall for them.

    But video games are not the only thing that has "gambling like" properties to it. Card games like Magic the Gathering or Pokémon use the same mechanics in their booster packs. If loot boxes are consider gambling because of the rarity of drops wouldn't the rarity of cards in booster packs fit the same mold yet these types of games are rarely called out for what they are.

    Short personal story time which I will spoiler:
    Family took a trip to an amusement park. Hours away from where we lived, only one day there and during that day it pissed rain shutting down a lot of the attractions. Being with my 7 year old nephew who was getting antsy just standing undercover, I decided to take him to the arcade where they had those ticket games to kill the time.

    Loaded up a card for $40 we went around to each of the different arcade games playing them and having fun while collecting the electronic tickets. Some games were skill, some were luck but we made sure we played for fun and not for the prizes, until the kid got lucky and actually scored 1000 tickets on one game.
    Hour and half later, the money card was empty and we went to cash in our tickets. I was looking around at everything he could get pointing out giant Minecraft pickaxes, or cool other toys or treats but he wanted one thing that he spotted. He wanted to blow all of his tickets on Grossery Gang toys.

    These are "collectable" foam toys that you get wrapped in indistinguishable plastic that the real excitement doesn't come from the actual toy, but from the excitement of what you get when you unwrap it. I, not knowing what it was relented and allowed him to get 2 packs of it with his points and for the next day or two he studied them and the others on the little pamphlet that was tucked away with it.

    And it got me thinking, this is a form of addiction being marketed right to kids. LOL Surprise Dolls the same thing. Lego or Beyblade booster packs, are the same thing, but these are targeted towards children.
    I can walk a seven year old into an arcade where a majority of the games are chance, and the toys that in demand use chance "collectable" mechanics marketed towards kids but we don't bat an eye about the gambling aspect of that and exposing kids to gambling behaviors. But put it in a product labeled "Teen and UP" and watch the politicians fall over backwards in an attempt to denounce it until it blows over.

    LadyRhian
  • voidofopinionvoidofopinion Member Posts: 1,242
    edited January 10
    deltago said:

    You should not play a game to accomplish something - that should be its side effect after playing a game to have fun. You should never put the accomplishment before the fun and that is where gamers go wrong and that is where publishers grab them.

    Fun and accomplishment are not mutually exclusive. Often times the fun of a game is its accomplishment.
    • Dark Souls wouldn't be the same with infinite hit points as it's the thrill and satisfaction of overcoming its many obstacles that forms its appeal.
    • Ikaruga requires discipline and a huge time investment to learn its many intricacies. Being able to beat the game on a single quarter without effort would strip away its fun.
    • Losing in Mortal Kombat isn't quite as fun as winning in Mortal Kombat if the players skill level is even.
    • No one goes 0-100 in Counterstrike and says "Gee! What a fantastic time I'm having!"
    • And no one gets past the first level of Ghosts and Goblins without some resolve of "fuck this game... it's not going to beat me. I'm going to beat it."

    That feeling of mastering something difficult.
    Of overcoming odds that are stacked against you.

    To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women...

    These are all valid forms of fun and valid forms of play.

    This is why enemies have hit points. Why boss battles are special. Why standing shoulder to shoulder against someone in the arcade is more fun than beating the AI.

    ...and why no one plays solitaire to lose.

    mlneveseThacoBell
  • scriverscriver Member Posts: 1,744
    deltago said:

    Is it fair, or even fun, for that type of player to be asked to commit the same amount of time into a hobby as his peers?

    Yes.

  • deltagodeltago Member Posts: 6,327
    edited January 10

    Fun and accomplishment are not mutually exclusive. Often times the fun of a game is its accomplishment.

    I never said they weren't. All I said was having fun with a game should come before the feeling of accomplishment.

    Some people have fun grinding to gain XP. But if you're only grinding because you feel it is your only course of action to get a feeling of accomplishment or advancement (which is usually just more grind), then you need to check why you are playing that game and what you are actually getting out of it.
    scriver said:

    deltago said:

    Is it fair, or even fun, for that type of player to be asked to commit the same amount of time into a hobby as his peers?

    Yes.
    how they choose to get the reward is a problem for players who feel that the way they play the game should be the only way the game should be experienced.

  • voidofopinionvoidofopinion Member Posts: 1,242
    deltago said:

    Fun and accomplishment are not mutually exclusive. Often times the fun of a game is its accomplishment.

    I never said they weren't. All I said was having fun with a game should come before the feeling of accomplishment.

    Some people have fun grinding to gain XP. But if you're only grinding because you feel it is your only course of action to get a feeling of accomplishment or advancement (which is usually just more grind), then you need to check why you are playing that game and what you are actually getting out of it.
    And when someone has recognized the are not having immediate fun. Asked themselves if the acomplishment of the task justifies the investment and answers yes?

    Perhaps because they are playing with their guild. Or because toil now means more reward later. Or because they want mastery over something?

    There are plenty of ways in which people are rewarded in single and multiplayer games that is not driven by immediate fun.

    Fun is not always the same thing as reward.

  • FinneousPJFinneousPJ Member Posts: 6,341
    deltago said:

    So, you are saying it isn’t a problem as you can’t explain it.

    With Pay to Win (PtW) you have players trading money to prevent the grind that other players have to experience to receive the same reward. “Time is money” is a saying for a reason.

    Perhaps a person who plays a multiplayer game doesn’t have time to grind out as much as their friends, but still wants to be at the same item level as them when he does have time to play so he can experience the game with them instead of being levels behind. Is it fair, or even fun, for that type of player to be asked to commit the same amount of time into a hobby as his peers?

    Everyone has the ability to get that reward, even the definition that you provided highlights that just how they choose to get the reward is a problem for players who feel that the way they play the game should be the only way the game should be experienced. They feel it isn’t fair that another person doesn’t have to go through the same experiences (mostly grinding) to get to that reward.

    If you are playing the game because you are competitive at it you will feel cheated and decry that the game isn’t fun because someone just paid to win.

    But if you play the game because it is fun to play then it really doesn’t matter how anyone else plays the game. It is what I mean when I say check your competitiveness. If you are only playing the game to get to that next level, ask yourself why?

    I guess I have to make it more obvious: one of the problems is it's unfair.

    Btw, it's fallacious to say it isn't a problem because I can't explain the problem.

    ThacoBell
  • mlnevesemlnevese Member, Moderator Posts: 9,053
    Let's get strategy games as an example. Of course my objective is to defeat my enemy. Mobile platforms are great for strategy games with their current processing powers but unfortunately most mobile strategy games are following the paywall route, with some good exceptions such as the Majesty game series.

    Now you are given a scenario where you have to build a new building if you wish to defeat that scenario. Just this particular building takes 7 days of real time to build but you can pay to build or require some resource that is rare in game and would take 300 real days to gather or that can be bought with real money.

    This happened to me. The game wasn't free and until that particular mission nothing had taken more than 15 minutes to build which is a reasonable amount of time. Anyone playing strategy games know that some units or buildings take some time to build, specially powerful ones. A good example would be Supreme Commander where the most powerful units may take up to 15 minutes to build and literally hours to build the entire technology tree to be able to build it. But it is all expected.

    Online games are even worst making the players who are wishing to pay for equipment literal gods compared to those that don' but still are expected to pay a monthly fee. That's one of the reasons I do not play any modern multiplayer game.

    voidofopinionThacoBell
  • voidofopinionvoidofopinion Member Posts: 1,242
    @mlnevese

    They got even worse after Dungeon Keeper Mobile?

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