24

In Through The Back Door

November 3, 2017 by Tim

But no, I’m just being cynical. I’m sure EA would never do anything like that, right?

RIGHT?!

They have changed a bunch of stuff regarding the Battlefront 2 loot chests. Here are the bullet points if you don’t want to click (in even more bullet-pointy form than the article I just linked to).

  • You can’t get the best stuff from crates anymore. You have to craft it.
  • In order to craft it, you need to level up to a certain rank.
  • You can unlock stuff for a class by playing as that class

The loot chests are still there, though, and I understand there are a lot of people that will settle for nothing short of their complete and utter removal from gaming as we know it. But, barring that, these changes do, on the surface, seem to remove some of the most grievous and immediate pay-to-win concerns.

They’ve made it so the best stuff is achieved by playing the game, and nobody can drop a boat load of cash on Day 1 and own all of the most epic Star Cards. I’m not going to try and defend the continued existence of the loot crates right now, but at least these changes are something.

Of course, I am not naive enough to believe that it will last, or that EA has had any sort of change of heart regarding microtransactions.


Update: We have a new limited poster up for grabs. Orders end next week.


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Jakk Frost
Jakk Frost
3 years ago

Seems to me that these are getting to the point that the term “microtransactions” is a misnomer. They’re just “transactions”, in the in-game store.

Tue
Tue
3 years ago
Reply to  Jakk Frost

True, when you use it in reg. to a crate system it definately isn´t in the lower department.

Darth Credence
Darth Credence
3 years ago
Reply to  Jakk Frost

Isn’t the “micro” part of it originally in regards to the dollar amount of most transactions? If you are paying a few dollars for any individual thing, even if you end up spending hundreds, that would still qualify as microtransactions under the definition I’m familiar with.

Trapsin
Trapsin
3 years ago
Reply to  Darth Credence

This was my understanding, but tbf, we still call them microtransactions even when they are $10-$15 dollars.

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
3 years ago
Reply to  Trapsin

Trapsin, we call them MICROtransactions when they are 49.99 dollars.

This Guy
This Guy
3 years ago
Reply to  Jakk Frost

I thought they were microtransactions because they are purchases within a purchase, or at least that’s what it has become.

dan
dan
3 years ago

An XP boost is what I’d call an “acceptable” microtransaction; as long as I don’t feel obligated to play long after it’s fun, with the promise of it becoming “more fun” down the road. I remember when the first beta was released to the public, going up against these “pro players” who had much better gear than I had the time & patience to get. It SUCKED. As long as players are teamed up with those of a similar level, it won’t be a problem. But I’m afraid if they start sticking in one or two high level players, in… Read more »

Dan
Dan
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Just about anything is acceptable to someone. EA games is just trying to figure out how to make the most money, consistantly, for the longest period of time. That means milking the customers for every dollar they can get WITHOUT screwing themselves in the future. They’re trying to find that perfect balance. There’s going to be some “acceptable loss”. Star Wars has enough content to come up with some pretty sick cosmetic microtransactions. And those who complain they didn’t get them for free, probably aren’t going to swear off EA. And the XP boost, while seeming awesome enough to buy,… Read more »

Camaron
Camaron
3 years ago
Reply to  Dan

I wish more people would swear off EA. I did about seven years ago, and don’t regret it for a second. Long before this pay-to-win shit got so serious, because EA repeatedly produced horrible glitchy shit-heap games and destroyed many great established names. Remember SimCity? Remember the wreckage they made out of NFS? Remember when Burnout was about crashing and didn’t punish you for crashing? When were you supposed to get a clue? John replied to Dan and mentioned the bit about other companies following suit when one comes up with a killer strategy. He is right – Now the… Read more »

John S
John S
3 years ago
Reply to  dan

dan – without wanting to be melodramatic: you, people like you and your collective opinions are why everyone else gets lumbered with bullshit like pay to win. With regard to teaming up with people of a similar level, well Activision has you covered there! You’re soon going to be a shining example of what other players could have… as they use your in game character as well as your purchases to demonstrate to other players what they should be getting. You’re going to be pimped out by the game in a very direct manner in the future, the patents have… Read more »

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
3 years ago
Reply to  dan

Cosmetic transactions in non-FPS style games (including PUBG and Fortnite in the “FPS style”) would be really nice. Not because they are understandable but because they give people the aiblity to actually *play* the game without any form of ailment other than “HEY! That guy looks cool!”.
A rank based system with an XP boost costing money is comparatively understandable, but just like how giving someone a punch in the gut is comparatively understandable when before they were being given whippings.

Urazz
Urazz
3 years ago
Reply to  Hamstermer

I have to disagree to an extent on the cosmetic transactions on a game like PUBG and Fortnite. It’s really dependent on the types of cosmetics in a game like that. PUBG did it wrong by putting in things like camouflage clothing and stuff which does give an advantage and makes you harder to see.

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
3 years ago
Reply to  Urazz

I’m referring to PUBG specifically. Fortnite seemed like the best alternative example for the specific subgenre. Some people might argue that since PUBG is not First Person it isn’t a FPS.
And I’m also saying that PUBG’s handling of cosmetics is quite a problem. It is better than the worst case scenario but it still is an issue.

Wumbo
Wumbo
1 year ago
Reply to  Urazz

Just add obnoxiously large name tags that are obscured by walls. should fix the problem amirite.

Lord Marvel
Lord Marvel
3 years ago

I just wish everyone would go the way of selling cosmetics in chests. I mean Overwatch is selling hundreds of thousands of them and they give you nothing in way of in game advantage, just make you look kinda cooler. That is something I am ok with, even if stuff in chests is random.

Seth
Seth
3 years ago
Reply to  Lord Marvel

You have to be wary here too, though. This only works if you don’t have an in-game marketplace. Think about the knife skins in CS:GO or even the rare cosmetics in PUBG. Once a cosmetic gets a real world value attached to them the “oh well it’s only cosmetic” argument gets a good bit weaker. People will buy chest keys out the butt if they think they could earn big cash off of them. Then it’s pretty much a lottery ticket, and all the issues that come with gambling surface.

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
3 years ago
Reply to  Seth

Or when you have games like PUBG where different cosmetic skins can mean success or defeat. Having an all green skin will help you much more than a rainbow tie-dye skin will. Having a dull boring gray shirt will actually help in urban maps but when you have a map made largely of forests and meadows wearing a green skin can actually turn the tide of the game.

Dan2
Dan2
3 years ago

You know, there is a second option…allow players to set up games that exclude those using “pay to win” items.

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
3 years ago

I was thinking about this trend yesterday, actually. The fear for microtransactions being EXP boosts is, of course, that a game company might pad the game with useless, boring grinding to encourage a person to spend extra money to get through it faster. First point: This is *already* what some publishers have been doing since long before microtransactions were a thing. In the 90s, game length was king, and far more people would buy your game if you could say that it was over 50 or 80 hours of gameplay, as opposed to 20 hours or under. Games *were* padded… Read more »

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
3 years ago
Reply to  Tim

Technically, it was the day after. Housekeeping comes on Tuesday.

Phlucious
Phlucious
3 years ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

If you ask me, EA comes close to nailing the microtransaction model with SWGOH. They’ve got a regular, predictable release cadence with the new characters in which whales can get the new characters if they’re OMG OMG OMG MUST BE FIRST TO 7 STARS, but then F2P players gain access to the characters 6-8 weeks later for a long grind. A few weeks after F2P players can get a little faster grind. Sure, that means whales are a little overpowered for a couple months because of power creep, but that doesn’t really affect me all that much. They SHOULD feel… Read more »

Lunos
Lunos
3 years ago

As others have stated, cosmetics I feel are a best-case scenario. I understand the benefits of having your entire player base being able to access all of the maps and characters instead of locking them behind paid DLC and I also understand that current AAA titles especially need constant cash inflow. However, I don’t understand why LoL, Overwatch, and even Destiny 2 are having so much success with purely cosmetic micro-transactions and yet companies are still trying to push a pay-to-progress style. Without getting truly political, I think the gaming industry is suffering from the effects of “trickle down economics”.… Read more »

Alex
Alex
3 years ago
Reply to  Lunos

You are completely correct on the way the money works in game development. On average,a developer gets about 40% of the ‘profit’. (notice, not the sales amount. the profit amount.) This is because publishing houses charge so much. Mostly because advertising is expensive.

Heldarion
Heldarion
3 years ago
Reply to  Lunos

LoL’s microtransactions aren’t purely cosmetic (you can buy champions with Riot points, for which you otherwise needs to invest dozens of hours just to unlock a single one). It’s a massive grind for people who aren’t willing to shell out.

Seth
Seth
3 years ago

Oh Peterson, you got them good! They almost fired you on the spot, but now you’re on the track to be Vice President.

Morquea
Morquea
3 years ago

Tim’s (“I work long hours, can’t play as much, it helps me stay competitive”, etc). Remind of the card game Chez Geek. To win the game, you must accumulate slacking points to reach your winnig goal. You wining goal depends of you job card. Job’s give you a Free time and money. To gain slacking points, you have to do activities that’s like Nookie’s, RPG, Party’s, watch TV that require diverse amount of free time or go shopping for 1 free time to buy any amount of Goods with this turns money. The highest amount of slacking point are on… Read more »

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
3 years ago

Holy crap, that poster is beautiful. If my wife didn’t have a thing against decorating our walls with life-sucking parasites (and in general not know what a Metroid is), I’d order one right now.

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
3 years ago
Reply to  Eldest Gruff

If she doesn’t know what a Metroid is, then how does she know it is a life sucking parasite?

Eldest Gruff
Eldest Gruff
3 years ago
Reply to  Hamstermer

‘Cause I had to open my fat mouth.

Eilibex
Eilibex
3 years ago

There was a comment on reddit concerning more or less the same idea, to an extent. They were telling people EA probably made the crates so stupidly pay to win so that when they nerfed the crates just a little bit they seemed like they were listening, but in truth they were simply working out a way to be celebrated for fucking over the players in a slightly less blatant manner.

Hamstermer
Hamstermer
3 years ago
Reply to  Eilibex

“When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.” -“God-like Entity”, Futurama. “Hard times make Strong Men. Strong men make Good times. Good times make Weak men. Weak men make Hard times” -Dance Knight When you do things seamlessly for years, people will praise you. When you do things less than standard, people will complain. When you bring things to a level that benefits you but isn’t COMPLETELY screwing people over, people will praise you again. Whether one uses this to rouse popularity after stagnation, fix a serious issue and make a comeback, or to… Read more »

Camaron
Camaron
3 years ago
Reply to  Eilibex

What is the allure of these titles with these loot crate/pay-to-win/etc nonsense? These games are almost always ultra stressful, toxic, and incredibly punishing. Games of this breed are flat out PAINFUL. Why the fuck does anyone play this trash? For the 3% of the time you end up on top and actually succeed in getting a killstreak or something? How much venom will you drink to get an orgasm?

Bsherder
Bsherder
2 years ago

This is hilarious and relevant again. Ubisoft banning player-created Assassins Creed Odyssey XP farming quests. They can’t have that. Then people won’t buy the XP Boost they offer as a microtransaction.