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Would you play a game that has a 'lootbox' system?
Yes, it doesn't bother me at all
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Yes, as long as it purely cosmetic items with no gameplay impact
26%
 26%  [ 7 ]
Yes, as long as the rest of the game is good
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
No, unless its free-to-play
19%
 19%  [ 5 ]
No, not at all
46%
 46%  [ 12 ]
Cheese on undecided toast
3%
 3%  [ 1 ]
Total Votes : 26

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Stars_InTheirEyes





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PostPosted: Tue, 10. Oct 17, 22:44    Post subject: Gaming Gambling Reply with quote Print

I'm talking about paying real money for randomised in-game items.
Usually called 'Lootboxes'. Also known as the latest plague on the gaming industry.

Shadow of War, Battlefront 2, NBA 2017, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and I believe also Fifa 18 has it (not sure). All popular games. All are priced games. All have this new form of gaming gambling.

It started as a mobile game system. On mobile, people were drawn in by free-to-play titles that contained "in-app purchases". Now, its in AAA full priced games on PC and console.

I remember when games started having microtransactions in them, I even made a thread here complaining at how cars in Need for Speed Most Wanted (2012) were placed in game but locked behind a paywall. Now, you don't even know what you're getting!

Some videos on the topic:
- "I will now talk about Lootboxes and Gambling for just over 40 minutes" - TotalBiscuit
- "Angry Rant - WTF?! at the Loot Crates in Battlefront 2!" - AngryJoe

As TotalBiscuit explains, quoting a director from a gambling research centre, it most definitely IS gambling although it isn't legally defined as gambling (yet) leading to minors being exposed to this due to low ESRB ratings.

I've been playing the Battlefront 2 beta recently and its a fun game. But I will not be buying a full price game which shamelessly tries to milk its players further. Same goes for Shadow of War. Both interesting games ruined for me by their gambling aspects.

I don't have children, but if I did, I would be very concerned that they might get hooked on a lootbox system.

Are lines being crossed here? Or is it fine as long as there's a percentage of people who are content with spending hundreds on these systems?


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PostPosted: Tue, 10. Oct 17, 23:41    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Lootboxes are sort of OK in a free-to-play game. The developers have to make their money in those *somehow*, and while lootboxes are possibly one of the worst methods they could choose to do that, at least there's a smidgeon of justification for it. Randomised lootboxes in full-price AAA games? Then the publishers are just *taking the piss*, there's no other way to put it. I certainly won't support any game using this mechanism, and I can only hope that there are enough people out there who will do the same that they'll realise what a bad idea it is.

It's a fool's hope, of course. Even if enough gamers boycotted these games to make a measurable difference to the predicted profits, the suits would blame this on some sort of unspecified market forces and then lay off the poor developers who got stiffed into adding this garbage.

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felter





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PostPosted: Wed, 11. Oct 17, 05:16    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Jim Sterling (warning a lot of naughty words) did a good rant on this just the other week there, and it also ties in with the other post, where RegisterMe is asking about destiny 2.


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PostPosted: Wed, 11. Oct 17, 06:31    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I bet 5 bucks everyone will vote the first option.


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Antilogic





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PostPosted: Wed, 11. Oct 17, 10:15    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Assuming it is implemented well (current Overwatch iteration is an example I am very happy with), sure.

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mrbadger





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PostPosted: Wed, 11. Oct 17, 10:26    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

If a game had lootboxes I wouldn't even buy it, let alone play it.

If it was free I just wouldn't touch it.


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Jericho





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PostPosted: Wed, 11. Oct 17, 10:48    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Mass Effect 3 had loot boxes, that you could buy with Bioware points. The number of points you'd buy didn't quite equate to the number of points needed for boxes, so you always had spare points/needed more points. Just like the Battlefront 2 system.

For some reason, this game seems to get a free pass, and people seem to think that EA invented it for Battlefront (I assume EA invented it for MA3, but it's probably in earlier games too).

I've spent real money on the loot boxes in MA3, I've also spent hundreds of hours on the multiplayer of MA3 because it's fudging awesome.

I know there is the argument that "It's a AAA game!!! They are charging $60!!!! They have no right to include microtransactions!!!!"

To which my response is "They spent $400Million making the game, if they want to keep those staff employed, they need to make money. Mass Effect Andromeda cut corners on animation and look what happened."

Either you want a beautiful looking game which needs lot of time and money to be spent on it, or you want a game that doesn't look as good (but might still be amazing to play) with no transactions.

I don't give a crap how good/bad the game looks as long as I enjoy it. Likewise if I don't enjoy it, I don't care how good it looks. I also accept that when I was 12, I might have been swayed more by the graphics and be tempted to buy lootboxes for a crap game... But then when I was 12, I didn't have access to credit cards.

Personally, I don't have an issue with the loot-box gamble because I just don't do it (erm, anymore). BUT I do understand the complaints about the gamble aspect... Because you are going to get 99 pieces of crap for every good item. Either that is 'fixed', or it is indeed random and people refuse to understand that 'random' does not mean that you are 'owed' a Platinum after you rolled 5 grey items.


I'd prefer the gamble aspect to be removed, and the description of what you are buying be clearly defined... But then there would be the complaints of Horse Armor and Dwemer Mudcrabs.

There is also the argument "This is just the start!!!! You know that if we all accept this then soon they will FORCE you to buy stuff just to play the game!!!!!!!!!!11!!!!1!!1!!!!11!!!!222"

Yes, maybe some company will, and that will be the end of that company (Cue someone quoting this with a link to the company that has already tried this, probably EA-> )


Everyone keeps quoting greed as the reason, I think that they are just trying to break even after the development expense and keeping the lights on after the game is released.

After the shatstorm of Star Wars Battlefront (The 'new' one from a couple of years ago), I think EA have got a bloody nerve to have loot boxes (and crappy ones at that, from what I've read) in the sequel.

Actually, I'm going back on what I've just said, it looks like the Battlefront 2 system of advancement hinges on lootboxes (either bought with real currency or in-game currency), as without them you just can't progress. So... yeah, I guess that told me, it looks like they really are screwing the customer over this time... But that would in no way stop me from playing Mass Effect 3 for example, that also has (unnecessary) loot boxes to buy.


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pjknibbs



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PostPosted: Wed, 11. Oct 17, 12:45    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Jericho wrote:

I know there is the argument that "It's a AAA game!!! They are charging $60!!!! They have no right to include microtransactions!!!!"

To which my response is "They spent $400Million making the game, if they want to keep those staff employed, they need to make money.


Two things there:

a) It's the game publishers that have made this rod for their own backs by pushing graphics, graphics, graphics over gameplay. I'm currently more than 80 hours into Dvinity: Original Sin 2 and enjoying it immensely, yet that game didn't cost $60 to buy and didn't cost $400 million to make.

b) They're not really charging $60, are they? We already passed the point where major game content is being held back from the main game and included in DLC (e.g. the Prothean character from Mass Effect 3), so if you want the full experience you have to buy the game *and* the DLC/season pass.

Basically, if you've made a game which has to get into the top 100 best-selling games of all time list in order to turn a profit, like Square Enix did with Tomb Raider, then that's your fault, not the fault of the game-buying public.

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matthewfarmery





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PostPosted: Wed, 11. Oct 17, 14:06    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I am going to pick up shadow of war when it's in the bargain bin, I think it just not on that a publisher adds loot boxes to a single player game. and the problem with shadow of war is, if you want to rush through the content with using loo tboxes, why bother playing the game to start with? But sadly, I see this just getting worse. Sad times we live in now.

Especially when we can't enjoy a full priced game, for what it is, but instead your told, you need to pay to enjoy the game, because publishers held back on content, or you need top drop X amount of real cash to progress or make the game better.

So yeah, not touching this game until it is on sale, then will not spend anymore money on it.


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Jericho





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PostPosted: Wed, 11. Oct 17, 17:56    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

pjknibbs wrote:


a) It's the game publishers that have made this rod for their own backs by pushing graphics, graphics, graphics over gameplay. I'm currently more than 80 hours into Dvinity: Original Sin 2 and enjoying it immensely, yet that game didn't cost $60 to buy and didn't cost $400 million to make.


That's a bit unfair... Metacritic reviews are seriously screwed up, and those (general public) reviewers can be harsh and drag that score down. I would argue that you and I are a way past the 'target audience' for the AAA titles that go after streamers on Twitch etc. But yes, it's the graphics that drives the hype at E3... No one would by Call of Honor: Advance Battlefront if the graphics looked like Duke Nukem 3D put played like a dream (i.e. Duke Nukem 3D). "Oooooh Shiny Shiny" sells...

Was it Fallout: New Vegas that needed a 85% on Metacritic for Obsidian to get their full bonus? But it only for 84%... In a crowded market, they've got to have the shiny-shiny advertising to sell the game. Word of mouth doesn't cut it anymore, they need the YouTube videos and shills.

If Original Sin does get a console release, that advertising budget is going to have to be huge.

Quote:
In 1996 a typical PlayStation game cost less than $1 million to make and sold for $49
and here we are 20 years later, the game has gone up by only $10, but the development cost is stupidly huge (graphics, animation, engine-license, manufacturing, distribution, retailers all need paying).

The developer still gets a minuscule % of the retail cost. Steam takes between 30-50% (depending on your deal and clout), and that is before all the stolen credit-card gamekeys with charge-backs that are bankrupting smaller studios.

As for the From Ashes DLC (Mass effect 3 DLC you mentioned)... I never saw any evidence that it was pulled from the main game... It had a distinct "B-Team" feel to it, disconnected from the main game, a somewhat dull map, and Javik didn't really do much, he just recorded his lines in a booth for a weekend and mumbled at Shepard when she walked in. He was never a full character like Mordin. (Poor, poor Mordin). It felt very much like DLC, and is one of the reasons I don't bother with DLC (disconnected and cheap). Apparently it cost $10 to buy, which is too much. Worth $5 maybe. It was bundled with the deal that I got for some edition or other. If I'd have paid the full $10 for it, I'd maybe be a bit peeved.

I just see micro-transactions to be like plain white £200 designer T-shirts... buy it if you want to, but every sane person knows that you're a fool. (Not aiming that at anyone, I've wasted money in my contractor days Smile )


It's micro-transactions & DLC, or it's a rise in the cost of the game. I'd rather have the microtransactions because I don't need to buy them. Everyone should give microtransactions a break, and instead focus their collective rage on review embargos... They are hell for people like me with no willpower...


DAMN YOU MASS EFFECT ANDROMEDA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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PostPosted: Wed, 11. Oct 17, 20:05    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

philip_hughes wrote:
I bet 5 bucks everyone will vote the first option.


Pay up! Razz


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Morkonan





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PostPosted: Wed, 11. Oct 17, 21:35    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

In a "free-to-play game, I might consider it justified. But, if it's tied to some sort of "progression" scheme that locks the majority of content behind what is effectively multiple paywalls, then absolutely "no."

I was first violated by a "free-to-play" game several years ago. It was actually sort of fun, but then the "paywall" hit. Despite having only played the game so that I could have something to do with one of my friends, who lived quite a distance away, I had to quit. My capacity for abuse only goes so far.

So, in typical "me'ish" fashion, I analyzed the game, it's mechanics, the methods it uses to get players addicted, etc... Yes, it was a biased analysis from the start, but it was in response to the game, itself. In short - There wasn't one aspect of gameplay that did not contribute towards enticing the player to eventually "break the barrier" and spend money. And, the amount of money one could spend was outrageous. "Lootboxes" have nothing on the mechanics that game used. The sad thing was that the game was "fun", but it was constructed to be fun only to convince players, once they hit the perfect amount of playtime, that the fun was over unless they started spending obscene amounts of money.

Lootboxes for vanity items, an occasional weapon or armor one may not have, a bit of exp to get one's character another "level" or some low-impact reward that's fun, but not gamechanging, are just fine. I don't mind something like that.

But, the latest lootbox craze is just too much. Selling "I WIN" buttons in competitive games, hiding the game's content behind a random Lootbox, forcing players to pay twice the original cost of the title just to see the game's content...

Fraud.

Fraud is bad. Fraud should be prosecuted against.

Edit-add: The newer games are coming close to being in the same league as "Zynga." Zynga preys on "whales", usually lonely or addiction-prone people that end up spending thousands of dollars in its games. Thousands. Relevant article: Zynga's quest for big spending whales

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InFlamesForEver





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PostPosted: Thu, 12. Oct 17, 12:38    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

For me it depends. I don't like loot boxes in conventional games, I can just about deal with cosmetics. But for some reason games like Hearthstone don't bother me because its a CCG and I'm so used to that being how they work so I kind of turn a blind eye in that case. But normally I'm not OK with loot boxes.

I wouldn't go so far as to avoid a game if the game is good enough without having to buy loot boxes. Another reason to always wait for reviews before buying games.


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Redvers Ganderpoke





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PostPosted: Thu, 12. Oct 17, 15:26    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

I've never heard of this before but is like a "lucky dip" - you pay, say £1 and you get a random game item? I wouldn't call that gambling unless that item could be resold for a price greater than a £1. Not that I like it - it's a bit like the football stickers and a few that are very rare but everyone's got 94 Kevin Keegans.


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PostPosted: Thu, 12. Oct 17, 17:04    Post subject: Reply with quote Print

Redvers Ganderpoke wrote:
I've never heard of this before but is like a "lucky dip" - you pay, say £1 and you get a random game item? I wouldn't call that gambling unless that item could be resold for a price greater than a £1.


The problem is that a person with an addictive personality wouldn't see the distinction--they got a nice shiny new item for their money, and they might get an even better one if they spent another quid! A few hours down the line they're a thousand quid in the red and still looking for that elusive perfect item to finish their getup.

Mind you, apparently EA is going even worse with Star Wars Battlefront 2--they're not going to let anyone else take the crown of shittiest game publisher in the world, darn it! In Battlefront 2 *all* character advancement is done via randomised lootboxes. You do get these through playing the game normally, but it takes a lot of grinding to get them. If you get a duplicate item you can turn this into "scrap"--get enough scrap and you can get another entirely randomised lootbox, but apparently it takes a lot of it to do that.

It's all so insidious--the publishers push a bit to see what the public will let them get away with, there's a bit of an outcry from those in the know but mostly people just buy the damned games anyway, so the publishers push further, etc.

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