The curse of free to play/pay strikes again

Whilst waiting for the makers of satisfactory to add more things i went looking for something new.
Last week i found Viking Rise and after only 40 hours on it and at chapter 22 i am now at a point where , to quote the punk band the clash .... i have to decide .... should i stay or should i go.
I need more troops but to get them i need more resources ... to get the recourses i need more grunts ( collectors ) its a vicious circle.

The people who make these so called free to play games are not stupid because they construct the mechanics of the games in such a way that you will always get to a point where you have to decide if you want to quit or spend money and the problem is that you will always come up against somebody who has spent a lot more money than you so even making a few micro payments wont guarantee you will get very far before you are faced with the same old .... get your wallet out again or dump it.

I prefer the good old days when you bought a game outright and the plus side was you won or progressed according to your skill and tactics instead of relying or a bank card to let you win.
 
Whilst waiting for the makers of satisfactory to add more things i went looking for something new.
Last week i found Viking Rise and after only 40 hours on it and at chapter 22 i am now at a point where , to quote the punk band the clash .... i have to decide .... should i stay or should i go.
I need more troops but to get them i need more resources ... to get the recourses i need more grunts ( collectors ) its a vicious circle.

The people who make these so called free to play games are not stupid because they construct the mechanics of the games in such a way that you will always get to a point where you have to decide if you want to quit or spend money and the problem is that you will always come up against somebody who has spent a lot more money than you so even making a few micro payments wont guarantee you will get very far before you are faced with the same old .... get your wallet out again or dump it.

I prefer the good old days when you bought a game outright and the plus side was you won or progressed according to your skill and tactics instead of relying or a bank card to let you win.

I would recommend avoiding all games with microtransactions. There's still plenty of games that don't have any microtransactions at all.

You could make an exception for games that only have microtransactions for cosmetics, if you don't care about cosmetics too much.

I occasionally make an exception for a mobile game, but only because I've gotten pretty good at recognising which games gate progress behind microtransactions and which ones you can enjoy without paying.
 
I don't play mobile games as I can't see screen without glasses and I don't carry those around... thats one reason, I also don't want to have to pay to progress. I worked that out years ago and have avoided most pay to win games.

I bought Diablo 4 knowing it had MTX but I didn't buy anything on store... Diablo immoral had pointed towards direction D4 bound to follow as it loses audience. Its already sort of there now with some battle pass rewards.

Last Epoch only has cosmetics or pets on the shop. No power gains.

The last game I started with any advantages in was Age of Conan. And thats from having collectors edition and having items that are always in same place at start of a game... that was 10+ years ago now. Amazing game still exists.,.. but only free to pay now. I only ever bought mounts in it.
 
I prefer the good old days when you bought a game outright and the plus side was you won or progressed according to your skill and tactics instead of relying or a bank card to let you win.
I agree, but I'm confused: did you not realise this was that sort of game before you picked it up? Personally, my approach, as others have suggested, is simply not to pick up those games.
 
May 27, 2024
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The devs have to recoup their money somehow, and that's through microtransactions. The nature of the beast is the more you put in, the more you get out. It comes with the territory. :) They're aiming for a specific auidence, and this auidence doesn't care about how much money they pour into it, I would argue. :D
 

Zloth

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Old-timers who started out in the arcades with Asteroid and Defender etc—those games knew how to swallow your money!
Defender knew how to make me quit and go play some other game! Gauntlet did a better job. (Wizard needs food - badly!)

Another microtransaction exception: games where the microtransactions seem to be put there to satisfy corporate execs, or maybe stockholders but don't really do much. Dragons' Dogma 2 pulled that off recently. Middle Earth: Shadow of War ended up doing that after people complained enough. Some others include all the cosmetics you would normally buy if you buy the 'complete' bundle which, by the time I get around to the thing, tends to only be a few dollars more.
 
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I would recommend avoiding all games with microtransactions. There's still plenty of games that don't have any microtransactions at all.
I generally agree quite heavily with this, but there are some games where I don't mind them. I'm a card game player, and my favorite online CCG by far is Shadowverse. It's essentially a Hearthstone clone, but it actually has a fairly robust set of solo-play options, rewards you even if you don't grind competitive ladder, and the rewards you get, rather than starting off "really good" and dwindling to "practically nonexistent" (something that I've heard is an issue with HS, and something I personally know is an issue with MTG: Arena), begin at "absolutely ridiculously good" to "very generous."

The microtransactions in SV don't feel as disgusting because you absolutely do not, under any circumstance, have to purchase them. They're a completely optional avenue to speed up the solo play rewards and casual ladder rewards, which don't even take all that long anyway, as the games tend to be very fast at high levels, which is where this comes up. Completing several solo queues in story mode takes about the same time as winning several games at a beginner level. This combined with the exceptionally free-to-play friendly design of the cards themselves leaves you able to hold on to your old cards to play them again in the Unlimited format, or liquefy them to craft new cards you need (the breaking down of cards being something HS pioneered, as far as I know, and something MTG:A doesn't even let you do) with each Standard rotation, as well as the generous amounts of free currency to buy packs, promotions for some set releases to give 15 packs for absolutely free. The list goes on for a bit.

To circle back briefly to the point about the game itself being designed around being affordable: The general makeup of a SV deck is 40 cards (mandatory), 3-card play-set, and cards divided into one of four rarities: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Legendary. Rarity has no impact on deckbuilding, but different rarity cards cost different amounts of "vials" (the game's form of card currency) to craft. These rarities are distributed in such a way as to lower the number of higher-rarity cards (Gold and Legendary) you need to play a given deck. A typical Standard deck will contain maybe four to seven Legendary cards (that is four to seven out of the 30 individual cards in your deck are Legendary), maybe 10 to 20-ish will be Gold (top, top tier will be way higher, but still affordable f2p), and the rest will be Bronze and Silver, which are very affordable to craft.

All this to say that I think the real problem with microtransactions is when they're used to essentially gatekeep high-level play from those who would otherwise excel if they had more disposable income. This is also one of the reasons I'm not so worried about cosmetics that you can buy, but don't offer any actual in-game purpose outside of "look how cool I am." (In games whose multiplayer component is critical, that is.)

Thank you for reading my silly essay about anime Hearthstone clone's microtransaction system.
 
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They want whales who have so much disposable income that throwing money into a mobile phone or any online game means nothing to them.

Old-timers who started out in the arcades with Asteroid and Defender etc—those games knew how to swallow your money!
most of those also remember the time in between where games weren't constantly charging you to play.

They want the new audience who don't remember the good old days. Get them used to paying for everything and eventually it will be "normal"
 
I generally agree quite heavily with this, but there are some games where I don't mind them. I'm a card game player, and my favorite online CCG by far is Shadowverse. It's essentially a Hearthstone clone, but it actually has a fairly robust set of solo-play options, rewards you even if you don't grind competitive ladder, and the rewards you get, rather than starting off "really good" and dwindling to "practically nonexistent" (something that I've heard is an issue with HS, and something I personally know is an issue with MTG: Arena), begin at "absolutely ridiculously good" to "very generous."

The microtransactions in SV don't feel as disgusting because you absolutely do not, under any circumstance, have to purchase them. They're a completely optional avenue to speed up the solo play rewards and casual ladder rewards, which don't even take all that long anyway, as the games tend to be very fast at high levels, which is where this comes up. Completing several solo queues in story mode takes about the same time as winning several games at a beginner level. This combined with the exceptionally free-to-play friendly design of the cards themselves leaves you able to hold on to your old cards to play them again in the Unlimited format, or liquefy them to craft new cards you need (the breaking down of cards being something HS pioneered, as far as I know, and something MTG:A doesn't even let you do) with each Standard rotation, as well as the generous amounts of free currency to buy packs, promotions for some set releases to give 15 packs for absolutely free. The list goes on for a bit.

To circle back briefly to the point about the game itself being designed around being affordable: The general makeup of a SV deck is 40 cards (mandatory), 3-card play-set, and cards divided into one of four rarities: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Legendary. Rarity has no impact on deckbuilding, but different rarity cards cost different amounts of "vials" (the game's form of card currency) to craft. These rarities are distributed in such a way as to lower the number of higher-rarity cards (Gold and Legendary) you need to play a given deck. A typical Standard deck will contain maybe four to seven Legendary cards (that is four to seven out of the 30 individual cards in your deck are Legendary), maybe 10 to 20-ish will be Gold (top, top tier will be way higher, but still affordable f2p), and the rest will be Bronze and Silver, which are very affordable to craft.

All this to say that I think the real problem with microtransactions is when they're used to essentially gatekeep high-level play from those who would otherwise excel if they had more disposable income. This is also one of the reasons I'm not so worried about cosmetics that you can buy, but don't offer any actual in-game purpose outside of "look how cool I am." (In games whose multiplayer component is critical, that is.)

Thank you for reading my silly essay about anime Hearthstone clone's microtransaction system.

Hearthstone used to be pretty generous with their rewards as well, but over time they have decreased the rewards you can get per day while increasing the time it takes to get it.

Luckily I prefer to play their solo game modes that don't require you to buy any cards.
 
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They want whales who have so much disposable income that throwing money into a mobile phone or any online game means nothing to them.


most of those also remember the time in between where games weren't constantly charging you to play.

They want the new audience who don't remember the good old days. Get them used to paying for everything and eventually it will be "normal"
This is exactly it. Get them young, get them addicted, normalize it, and you've made yourself a self-sustaining system. It sounds very evil and manipulative, and I would argue it is, but it works.
 
people will try to make money off anything... an 18 year old dog dies... profit...


All we can do is not indulge in it ourselves. We can't save others, they need to learn themselves... some might learn from the bad examples of others but most people think they smart enough to not fall for the same thing everyone else is... everyone thinks that... and yet.
 
If i see a good f2p game i dont mind spending money on it like i would have done if it was an outright purchase , what i object to is micro payment " blackmail " , by that i mean dump it or get your wallet out to carry on and then of course you have to decide when to paying.
 
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