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PurpleGaga27

Just how bad can loot boxes and other microtransactions go?

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FYI about loot boxes: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Loot_box

Well I haven't tried opening this discussion thread ever since the Battlefront II fiasco involving loot boxes as microtransactions. Some countries and now including Hawaii USA are claiming that loot boxes is a form of gambling and are considering a ban (or limit) of sales from that game and possibly future games using that method. The only microtransactions I would accept are cosmetics and optional content used in free-to-play games.

When developers are getting tired of making bigger and better single-player games (unlike what CD Projekt is doing to Cyberpunk 2077), developers decided to make free-to-play games that gives you the option to pay-to-win to unlock special content and progress further. BUT NOT EA!!! They decided to make a retail game that still require a pay-to-win format involving loot boxes. Battlefront II isn't the only game using that piece of crap but the upcoming EA Sports UFC 3 is getting more scrutiny of using the same thing: http://metro.co.uk/2017/12/01/ea-sports-ufc-3-under-fire-for-microtransactions-and-loot-boxes-7125274/

Even PC Gamer ran another article on how the future of gaming could be regulated: http://www.pcgamer.com/loot-boxes-are-bad-but-new-legislation-could-be-worse/

Just how bad can loot boxes and other microtransactions go? While PC gaming is declining, this idea of loot boxes as a form of monetization just absolutely sucked big time.

And this documentary video pretty much sums more up:

 

Edited by PurpleGaga27

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9 minutes ago, PurpleGaga27 said:

I just even wonder if EA decided to use this form of microtransaction to replace DRM

Better title for the thread: Just how bad can Zocom's sentences go?

 

11 minutes ago, PurpleGaga27 said:

While PC gaming is declining

According to...?

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Loot boxes, and any microtransactions in general, are stupid. I do not support them, and think anyone who spends money on them is wasting their money.

However, they are not gambling, and they should not be classified as such. Changing gambling laws to include this type of random reward system in games would be a extremely dangerous precedent that could negatively affect games in unforeseen ways in the future.

People need to stop being whiners who will gladly destroy the whole world in a vain attempt to make it better.

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7 minutes ago, Nmenth said:

However, they are not gambling, and they should not be classified as such.

It can be seen as such...

 

7 minutes ago, Nmenth said:

Changing gambling laws to include this type of random reward system in games would be a extremely dangerous precedent that could negatively affect games in unforeseen ways in the future.

Maybe only dangerous for the publishers.

 

7 minutes ago, Nmenth said:

People need to stop being whiners who will gladly destroy the whole world in a vain attempt to make it better.

Quite frankly, I'd rather have no games developed than have games lame products that are a result of stupid corporate practices.

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48 minutes ago, Plokite_Wolf said:

It can be seen as such...

I meant by legal definition, not personal or dictionary definition.
 

49 minutes ago, Plokite_Wolf said:

Maybe only dangerous for the publishers.

That's a very narrow-sighted way of looking at it. It only seems safe to make such overreaching laws now because the game currently on the chopping block is widely condemned. Broadening gambling laws to fit this game in may include many other games you would not find objectionable, but someone else does. Laws, especially ones cropping up as the result of unharnessed knee-jerking, are often ambiguous and easy to abuse by the ill-meaning.
 

50 minutes ago, Plokite_Wolf said:

Quite frankly, I'd rather have no games developed than have games lame products that are a result of stupid corporate practices.

In a different context, the exact words of a Westwood Whiner.


Changing gambling laws instead of just not buying the product is utterly authoritarian.

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Gambling usually involves the client spending money to win money. Are you (player) able to get money with Battlefront II with loot boxes?

Of course, that doesn't make loot boxes good in anyway. I've never spent cash with pay to win games and I still plan to keep not spending a single penny for them. That's the best thing users can do... and of course, a big noise in the web to scare the hell out of these companies who insist to do this kind of crap. I agree with Nmenth here when he says:

 

Changing gambling laws to include this type of random reward system in games would be a extremely dangerous precedent that could negatively affect games in unforeseen ways in the future.

 

 

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Loot boxes are like quarter machines.  You can see what you could get, but you don't know what you will get until you put a quarter into the machine and turn the knob.

These are just more expensive versions of the same thing.  Loot boxes (and quarter machines) would be gambling if there was a chance you couldn't get anything at all.

(Not sure if quarter machine is a universal term, but if you're curious, I'm talking about something like this)

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5 hours ago, Nmenth said:

In a different context, the exact words of a Westwood Whiner.

No. Westwood whiners irrationally hate but one company. What I said applies to almost all AAA companies as a willing trade of any and all future games just so we don't have to deal with this shit.

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Loot boxes are like quarter machines.  You can see what you could get, but you don't know what you will get until you put a quarter into the machine and turn the knob.

These are just more expensive versions of the same thing.  Loot boxes (and quarter machines) would be gambling if there was a chance you couldn't get anything at all.

My point is that, it becomes gambling if there is a chance that the player will get money with that. I.e.: if you buy loot boxes and use it to your advantage in ranked competitions with monetary prizes, then it is gambling. If there is no chance that the person will get money with that, then it differs from gambling, in my point of view. Of course, it still motivates lame players to pay to win and it is a very lame and stupid thing, but  it is just a worse version of collection of figurines, because, at least with figurines, you could exchange the ones you didn't need with your friends.

Edited by Banshee

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1 hour ago, Banshee said:

at least with figurines, you could exchange the ones you didn't need with your friends.

At least with figurines you get something tangible and objectively valuable (trading, collecting, etc.).

With this, you just get something that you'll lose the second the server goes down in a couple of years. Hence, the money is 100% squandered.

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2 hours ago, Plokite_Wolf said:

With this, you just get something that you'll lose the second the server goes down in a couple of years. Hence, the money is 100% squandered.

That is true for everything in the game. Therefore, while a statement of fact, it is not an argument against microtransactions.

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Just now, Nmenth said:

That is true for everything in the game.

That quite tells you a few things about the game, doesn't it?

 

1 minute ago, Nmenth said:

Therefore, while a statement of fact, it is not an argument against microtransactions.

There are games that you can play offline, on your own, and which officially have microtransactions. Now, the legality of the offline play methods is usually dubitable, but it's still possible.

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Now you're just moving the goalposts.

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Quote
Quote

With this, you just get something that you'll lose the second the server goes down in a couple of years. Hence, the money is 100% squandered.

That is true for everything in the game. Therefore, while a statement of fact, it is not an argument against microtransactions.

I disagree with you here. I think it is a valid argument against almost every microtransaction, unless the microtransaction is just a mean to buy story related content that is playable offline.

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48 minutes ago, Banshee said:

I think it is a valid argument against almost every microtransaction

It is an argument against any and all content that one pays for which is not guaranteed to remain available after servers go down.

It is an argument against microtransaction in the same way that blowing up a barn is a valid way to kill an intrusive rat. Maybe you want to take down the barn anyway, but that doesn't make the "because of rat" argument valid.

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While you guys are discussing, I found a new article of a new proposal: http://www.pcgamer.com/us-lawmaker-who-called-out-star-wars-battlefront-2-lays-out-plans-for-anti-loot-box-law/

21 years old and over to legally purchase loot boxes? Better make Battlefront II an adult-only game for gambling. :mellow:

Edited by PurpleGaga27

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I will not consider any new legislation acceptable. It is an authoritarian overreaction when not buying the product is a far easier and more sensible approach.

Have people been enjoying too much freedom in the modern world that any minor grievance must now be met with legal subjugation?

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It worries me to see legislators that try to legislate into things that they don't know about. Let's get started with this:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambling

Quote

Gambling is the wagering of money or something of value (referred to as "the stakes") on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning money or material goods.

The person who buys loot boxes wages for digital goodies on an event with an uncertain outcome with the primary intent of winning better performance conditions in a game (Star Wars Battlefront II, for instance). If the person knows they won't get any money or material goods, then it is not gambling.

Let me make something clear here: the loot box system is something extremely unethical and must be boycotted by players. But it is no gambling. What is done there is seen in certain free games like Fire Emblem Heroes, but the execution is worse, since the person buys the game and must pay for the loot boxes (at least originally). For comparison purposes, on FEH, you get heroes form an event with an uncertain outcome, however, you are not forced to pay for it. Of course that those who doesn't pay for it will have a much harder time to find the heroes they are looking for... and in that game, 5 stars heroes are tremendously better than anything else... and getting non-5 stars heroes to become 5 stars for free required an absurdly annoying amount of effort to say the least.

In any case, this kind of game is abominable. But I think that constant bad reviews and strong internet noise works much better than laws created by legislators who doesn't know what they are dealing with and that will only create means to get more censorship, make games and their localization more expensive (due to increasing legal costs) and break other games due to misuse and misinterpretation of badly written laws.

Edited by Banshee

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Once again PC Gamer ran another article on the evolution of loot boxes (and they forgot to mention YugiOh! :mad:)  http://www.pcgamer.com/the-evolution-of-loot-boxes/

Also it appears that EA will not bring back those crappy microtransactions in Battlefront II: http://www.pcgamer.com/star-wars-battlefront-2s-premium-currency-might-not-return/

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> complains about losing loot box content if servers die
> doesn't complain about servers that die for games that don't have this

Money is still lost no matter what it's spent on. As soon as servers for a game go down, you lost your money. Loot boxes are no different in this regard.

Personally, I'm not a fan of loot boxes. I don't mind microtransactions or micro-DLC as a principle, but it's being applied so hap-hazardly that it's infuriating. For example, I play a lot of Call of Duty. I spend $60 to buy the game. However, that's not enough. I have to spend $50 on the Season Pass to get the maps. Then I get content walled off by RNG-based loot crates. If I pay $60 for a game, pick paid DLC or loot boxes. Not both. Not everything needs to get monetized. This is the model I actually have a problem with. F2P games with paid loot boxes? No big deal. They gotta make money somehow.

Something interesting to note about loot boxes. Companies don't make much off the guys who buy a couple here and there. These things are designed for people who are willing to drop thousands on them. Those guys and the little Timmy who gets into mommy's purse and racks up a gigantic credit card bill.

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