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Shadows of War and micro transactions

Discussion in 'All Other Games' started by sherbz, Oct 10, 2017.

  1. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Although this post has been prompted by the release of shadows of war. I was wondering what people thoughts are on micro transactions in general. And specifically in a single player game like Shadows of war.

    First off, i have not bought and nor do i intend to buy shadows of war at full price. I really liked the first one. But i am immediately put off by any game that has paid for DLC on day 1. Especially if that game is £60 right off the bat, which is very expensive for a game. And i find pretty insulting to be fair. Its like the developers want to have their cake and eat it. I might get it further down the track if it goes on an uber sale. But it does frustrate me it has to be this way. It seems like publishers and developers seem to be fine with alienating gamers like me, and i know that i am certainly not alone in staying away.

    Secondly, I have deep reservations about micro transactions employed in this way in games. Especially when its pay to win. There are loads of regulations in the gambling industry. And pay to win is a bit too much like gambling IMO to be considered a totally fair and legit market practice. Especially when you are dealing with large numbers of kids and teenagers.

    Does it work in any game? I think it can work when it is done creatively and non obtrusively. Largely this boils down to being limited to the cosmetic department. Games where this works? Team Fortress market place and Elite operate a pretty successful market place for cosmetic purchases ("successful" being that it doesnt negatively impact on the game if you dont want to purchase a new hat or a new paint job). I also think it works in free to play games. And is a fair trade off when you are deriving enjoyment from something that you are playing for "free". Games here include most mobile games, but i would also extend that to games like hearthstone.

    But it seems like bad market practice to me to employ micro transaction in games where you are already asking for a whopping initial purchase price. And it is even worse when those transactions are all geared towards pay to win. And teh game is unnecessarily grindy to try and "encourage" you to part ways with you hard earned money.

    Specifically looking at shadows of war. I think this takes the market practice to a new level of awful. For those that dont know, one of the developers died during the course of development. So the developers put a paid for dlc which featured the dead developer, into the game. Which, if purchased, would mean that some of the money would go direct to the dead guys family. A nice gesture perhaps? Wrong! The money would only go to the developers family if you happened to live in a finite number of states in the US. And yet it was marketed that monies would go to the family. It was only after reading the small print that this became apparent. And it caused a huge backlash. And Warner bros and Monolith backtracked on it. I do not know what the current position is. But really, thats beside the point. The mere idea of firstly marketing their death, and then profiting from it is, i think, pretty disgusting. And really betrays what a morally low point parts of the industry are in.

    Whats the solution? I hate to say it, but i think some sort of voluntary code of practice should be signed up to by developers. One that states clearly when they will or will not use micro transactions. So that it is an industry standard. And they will not be present in games played by kids. Personally i would go further and include triple A titles.
     
  2. grandad1982

    grandad1982 Deity

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    As jim sterling says, even cosmetics behind a pay wall and the new worse loot boxes, is stripping game content. Once upon a time you could customise your characters etc as part of the base game, now you need to play or worsezpay and gamble to get the shades.

    Micro transactions have no place in full price "aaa" games. If the game was much much cheaper or free to play then maybe.

    As we see with Bethesda, mods are next on their list. It's a slippery slope and the cooperations with the big money have already won pretty much.
     
  3. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    You say that, but community outrage over paid for mods forced valve to can the idea. I also think there are huge problems with copyright. And there seems to be a fair amount of stink over shadows of war and loot boxes. Surely there has to come a tipping point? I flat out refuse to pay for in app purchases unless its either free to play (Hearthstone, and not that i ever have but i still think its ok - mobile games). And if a game even includes them i am immediately put off and wont buy it.

    In the good old days you used to watch this dude every week and hope he covers your game so that you could cheat your way past a particular level, or embellish a certain feature:



    Now you have to pay for those perks :cry:

    Things improved once the internet came along. And you had game guides, and people could teach you how to manipulate the console. So cheating lost its mystique, but that was ok i thought.

    Then came mods. And they alter the game for free and opened up a huge wealth of opportunity.

    I do worry that developers and publishers seem desperate to monetise everything. I am all up for people getting recognised for their artistic content, dont get me wrong. And i and many other gamers listened to the developers and agreed with them that downloading games for free from torrents and pirating games from your friends is wrong. So we accepted things like DRM, even if there was a bit of aggro to begin with. And yet all this now seems like a slap in the face to a community who have largely recognised that artistic content needs to be recognised.

    But i think purposefully designing your game to be a bit grindy in the hope that people pay to skip bits is a step too far and its also regressive for the market as a whole. As it cheapens the whole experience. And its even worse when it becomes pay to win in competitive multiplayer. What next? Are you going to have unreal tournament have certain guns locked off behind a pay wall?

    The worst thing about all of it though is the cheek to ask for £50 or £60 up front, AND THEN you have to pay more on top for all the extras. I think one of the main reasons DRM has ultimately been successful and got the support of the community is that with it came easy access to thousands of titles and some really excellent sales. So it was carrot and stick. Loot boxes and all this BS is all stick and no carrot.
     
  4. grandad1982

    grandad1982 Deity

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    Loot boxes exploit gambling tendencies and should be regulated IMO.

    The trouble is £60 isn't really the full game either regardless of micro transactions. The full game is the £100+ for the complete experience with all the dlc that has been carved out and would normally be in the base game.

    For me and many others I'm sure it's the rank greed from the big publishers that make the micro transactions really chafe.

    I also used to watch games master!
     
  5. civvver

    civvver Deity

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    I think the problem is that the games get bigger and more expensive to develop, so much so that a single flop can bankrupt a studio. Yet the market won't really bear a $80, $90 or $100 sticker price on a game. So they're forced to find other avenues to monetize or cut game content. I'm not justifying what they do, I think they should reel in budgets, not every game needs million dollar animated cutscenes etc, and if you just make fun games they will sell (look at how cdprojekt red is doing with witcher), but I do understand where they are coming from.
     
  6. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    They're not forced to make such expensive games, and yeah, the big studios really need to take a long hard look at their budgets. Jim Sterling frequently rants about it and this was the topic of this weeks Jimquisition. No gamer forced the producers of the Tomb Raider reboot to give Lara Croft individually animated strands of hair. That was something the studio and/or publisher made so that they can use it in marketing. It makes the game a bit prettier, but doesn't actually add to the experience. And then Square Enix is disappointed with four million sales.
    Sorry, I'm no CEO and don't have a fancy MBA but if you need to sell three million copies of a luxury item (which is what games are) in order to break even, maybe you're bad at business ?

    Also, one thing that needs to be brought is that the market for games is now far larger than in the NES or SNES era. What started as mostly a new kind of children's toy is now a hobby that millions of people never drop. There are three million people more on this planet that during the 80s and rising living standards in Asia means that millions more can afford games.
     
  7. Maniacal

    Maniacal the green Napoleon

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    The only thing "micro" about microtransactions is what you're actually getting for the money. Unless they are cosmetic only, and even then not if the game is full priced, they have zero place in any games. Almost nobody has ever done non-cosmetic ones in a way that doesn't have some negative impact upon the game.

    The fact that they have microtransactions in a SINGLE PLAYER game means they have to balance the game to make them worth getting in some way. The new Battlefront 2 game has them too, and you can't reasonably level up without having to pay real money to gamble away on lootboxes...
     
  8. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    :agree:

    This in itself is part of the problem. Gaming is so pluralistic now. And developers are slightly moronic in thinking that one market practice in "computer games" just as easily translates in another. The trouble with loot boxes is that it only takes a relatively small number of idiots to buy them and that legitimises the practice in developers/publishers eyes. After all, they could sell 500,000 episodes of a new DLC for £5 which cost them £1M to make (making them £2.5M). Or they could stick a loot box system in which costs them about £100,000 to design and implement. If we assume that 2M people bought the game. And lets say 1 in 5 actually buy loot boxes (or 400,000 people). They would only need to spend on average just over £6 each before sales start to outstrip that of the DLC. But the sad reality is that this average will probably be far higher And, perhaps more crucially, there is far less risk involved. If the DLC flops you have lost £1M. If no one buys loot boxes, then you have lost £100K. What they need to realise is that the mere introduction of that system hurts their sales. And the only way to do that is not buy the game, which is what i am going to do :D

    This whole thing does make me feel like an old man though. Now you have generations growing up who have been bred on mobile games that are pay to win. All thats left is these debates is an old man waving their fingers saying "It werent like that in my day"! :old:. Well, i may be old, but dammit i have a point to make [pissed]
     
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  9. PhroX

    PhroX Emperor

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    Why exactly do you think that the DLC would "normally be in the base game"? Chances are, if they weren't being sold separately, they wouldn't exist at all - the budget to develop those parts of the game comes from the assumption that additional profit would be made off them. You're not paying more for the same stuff, you're paying more for more.

    That's not to say I completely support the microtransaction model - the move towards paid for loot boxes really piss me off, I don't mind buying content if I know what I'm getting (and can thus actually judge whether its something I want), but I hate gambling for it.

    And yeah, Games Master was great.
     
  10. ls612

    ls612 Deity Moderator

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    I think the whole idea of MT is dumb, but in SoW I’ve been playing without the online services at all and it has been a blast so far so I wouldn’t hold off on getting it if you liked Shadow of Mordor. Just don’t accept the online license terms and you never have to deal with any of the loot box crap.
     
  11. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    From what i have read i hear it doesnt become an issue to act 4. Where are you in the game?
     
  12. ls612

    ls612 Deity Moderator

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    I think there is some confusion in terms of the endgame. AFAIK the MT only give you a power boost in game, they don’t let you skip the grind of defending 10 fortresses, which is what RPS and others were saying the issue with act 4 is.

    Also I’ve read that Talion becomes stupid OP in the late game even more so than in SoM so I suspect it will be a victory lap more than anything else.
     
  13. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Yea, my one criticism from the first one was that Talion became a bit too OP at the end. And there was no difficulty setting either other than turning off some of the combat cues.

    A lot of people have been saying that defending your fortress can be a pain, and recruiting enough legendary orcs can also be tiresome. Hence the grind, hence the loot boxes to pay to skip.
     
  14. civvver

    civvver Deity

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    That's what I've read too, that the loot boxes are just so you don't have to spend as much time grinding but not necessary at all.

    It reminds me a lot of dead space 3. In that you could craft custom weapons and make med packs, extra ammo, out of loot boxes. You could purchase more loot boxes through EA for real money. I only played on normal and it was absolutely unnecessary. I never once felt like I was running out of ammo or hit an encounter that was too difficult. One was really hard cus I was doing it wrong, but I adjusted my tactics and beat it easily after. And ended up crafting the best weapons in the end from random drops.

    I guess if you play on nightmare level or whatever it might be super hard but then buying the loot packs is like cheating anyway and isn't the point of those difficulties the challenge?
     
  15. ls612

    ls612 Deity Moderator

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    I'm playing on nemesis (hardest) difficulty and it isn't bad at all. It is just Arkham combat, with some super powerful additions like the bow, Elven rage, and Shadow Strike. Arkham combat has a way of being super easy once you understand the system.
     
  16. grandad1982

    grandad1982 Deity

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    So I should have been more clear. I'm not talking about expansion tyoe dlc that you get post release. I was specifically talking of day one dlc and 'gold' editions where the base game is very bare bones yet for another £40 at launch you will get the full game experience i.e. Game modes, character models, maps, weapons etc. Yes these cost money to develop but the big publishers that really go for these things are making money hand over fist so I don't think that extra price for the consumer is justified.
     
  17. PhroX

    PhroX Emperor

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    I was including day 1 DLC is what I was describing. I don't know if this applies to you, but these seems to be a misconception amongst many gamers that day 1 DLC is material that was developed as part of the game and then cut so the publishers can cash in. From what I've read from people in the industry (as opposed to opinionated youtubers...), it's (usually at least, I won't say never) not the case. It's developed along with the base game, but with a separate budget based on the expected revenue from selling it as DLC - again, if it wasn't going to be DLC, it wouldn't have been made at all.. If you don't think the price is justified, don't buy it. And, if you get enough people to do the same, they'll stop making the extra content. Which would suck, because you won't get anything extra in the base game, so you don't actually benefit, whereas those who are prepared to pay extra can't get anything and thus lose out.
     
  18. sherbz

    sherbz Emperor

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    Heres a bit more fallout from the release of the title. Whats funny is that some moderator (i.e. presumably a WB employee), posted this video on the WB forums :lol:

    You know its bad when even the moderators are shaming the game.

     

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