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Op Ed

Loot boxes have reached a new low with Forza 7’s “pay to earn” option - Ars Technica.
"Much like other in-game loot boxes, those in Forza 7 unlock random in-game cars and cosmetic items (and I'll get to those). But Forza 7 adds a peculiar and arguably non-essential twist to the loot boxes' random contents through a new item called a "mod." That might sound like an item that will modify a car to enhance its performance, but it actually modifies the circumstances of the next race—and, consequently, the amount of CR you can earn in that race.

Apply a "night race" mod to your car before a race, for example, and you'll turn your next race from day to night—and earn 30 percent more CR on that race. An "instability" mod turns off one of the game's "driver assist" perks in exchange for a 30-percent CR boost. Some mods don't count unless you complete an objective, like pulling off two "perfect turns" in a race. Other mods simply grant a flat CR reward boost in your next race without additional requirements.

Changing the difficulty or terms of a single race in exchange for a higher CR payout will sound familiar to Forza fans, because this used to simply be a standard thing you could do whenever you wanted. Players could manually add or remove certain assists—like "driving line" marks of where you should accelerate and brake—and get more CR per race for having fewer assists. That's no longer the case. You can still adjust the assists as you see fit, but you won't be rewarded for doing so... unless you have the right mod in your inventory."

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31. Re: Op Ed Oct 5, 2017, 10:34 Verno
 
Yeah but they're turning $60 paid games into glorified F2P games...where you still have to pay $60. That's the point of this discussion.

Even in F2P games loot crates are getting out of hand. Asking your audience for money to get cosmetic thing is fine. Asking your audience to pay money for a chance to get something is gambling to me and should be regulated. I feel the same way about mobile games. They can make their money in other ways, they just want to make it this way and that's fine except it should be regulated like other forms of gambling. Why? It targets people with addiction problems, that's why these companies go after "the whales".
 
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30. Re: Op Ed Oct 4, 2017, 18:14 Tipsy McStagger
 
Verno wrote on Oct 3, 2017, 14:05:
It's called BUSINESS. You don't survive without making a positive cash flow.

Bumping in here but what a strange argument. I'm the customer, I don't care about their cashflow. If you want me to care about their business, you can buy me some shares in it. They can always justify increased monetization with cashflow nonsense. There will never be enough for these companies. They all managed to exist before the microtransaction era by dealing with these things by properly costing their products. Something tells me they can still survive just fine without this sort of crap. They simply don't want to. They want as much money as possible. Ok fine, I'm never one to argue against fair profits but this type of thing should be regulated like gambling because that's what it is, glorified gambling.

It's now impossible to argue these things aren't affecting design negatively and I would also argue they are going to have some societal impact much like gambling if it isn't curtailed.

How does a free 2 play game get cash flow then? I know the point you're trying to make about them just charging a box price but seriously, it's free. You can enjoy it free.. You can not pay a cent. Free.. Completely Free. FREE.. it's a little slower to grind but FREE.

  • FREE

  • FREE
    FREE

    Can't make it any more clear, not a sustainable business model unless some sort of micro transaction.

     
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    29. Re: Op Ed Oct 3, 2017, 14:05 Verno
     
    It's called BUSINESS. You don't survive without making a positive cash flow.

    Bumping in here but what a strange argument. I'm the customer, I don't care about their cashflow. If you want me to care about their business, you can buy me some shares in it. They can always justify increased monetization with cashflow nonsense. There will never be enough for these companies. They all managed to exist before the microtransaction era by dealing with these things by properly costing their products. Something tells me they can still survive just fine without this sort of crap. They simply don't want to. They want as much money as possible. Ok fine, I'm never one to argue against fair profits but this type of thing should be regulated like gambling because that's what it is, glorified gambling.

    It's now impossible to argue these things aren't affecting design negatively and I would also argue they are going to have some societal impact much like gambling if it isn't curtailed.
     
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    28. Re: Into the Black Oct 2, 2017, 14:43 Tipsy McStagger
     
    Redmask wrote on Oct 2, 2017, 09:02:
    Tipsy McStagger wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 15:34:
    I'm the target audience for these things. I have enough disposable income, enough to say take up any hobby I want minus things like Horse Polo or Rally car driving as examples of mega rich hobbies but I don't have enough time to play more than maybe 2-3 hours every second day.

    I'll say this, If I love a game and it gives me the ability to progress faster than a slug grind fest (Like for example planetside 2 with double exp and boosters) I'd have no problem dumping in a few hundred a year to progress, plus I'm loving the game. These are usually reserved to F2P games though and rely on the Employed Dad life to keep them going while the unemployed 12+ hours a day gamer can not pay anything and get free entertainment to grind away.

    Or they could design the game to not be a fucking job. Making the hamster wheel spin faster is your solution? Fuck man, have some standards. I have plenty of disposable income but that doesn't mean I'm going to spend it all on an ever-increasing "progression wheel" in a video game. They will just keep slowing down that wheel, there is no endgame there.

    I purposely left this part of the argument out because there's lots of variables to it. Yes, I do think they shouldn't have slog fests of grind games on the endless "Content" hamster wheel. In this example,, I found planetside 2 actually fun, didn't feel like a grind when you aren't playing it to unlock weapon x or whatever.

    I absolutely hate daily quest type games, I like progression, I hate daily grinds.. Destiny was horrible for this and a reason I don't play those games.

    The industry purposely puts in persistent online games with huge content grinds because theres always those people who grind out everything very quickly and complain about content. They also make money mills like planetside 2 which have incentives but you don't need to buy into it (It's free to play.. free to play... As in they have to make money somehow because those server bandwidths aren't cheap!) Even if Planetside 2 was not free to play, it would cost 60$ to buy the game then they still need to pay for bandwidth and server maintenance, which means they need a subscription.. It's called BUSINESS. You don't survive without making a positive cash flow.
     
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    27. Re: Into the Black Oct 2, 2017, 09:02 Redmask
     
    Tipsy McStagger wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 15:34:
    I'm the target audience for these things. I have enough disposable income, enough to say take up any hobby I want minus things like Horse Polo or Rally car driving as examples of mega rich hobbies but I don't have enough time to play more than maybe 2-3 hours every second day.

    I'll say this, If I love a game and it gives me the ability to progress faster than a slug grind fest (Like for example planetside 2 with double exp and boosters) I'd have no problem dumping in a few hundred a year to progress, plus I'm loving the game. These are usually reserved to F2P games though and rely on the Employed Dad life to keep them going while the unemployed 12+ hours a day gamer can not pay anything and get free entertainment to grind away.

    Or they could design the game to not be a fucking job. Making the hamster wheel spin faster is your solution? Fuck man, have some standards. I have plenty of disposable income but that doesn't mean I'm going to spend it all on an ever-increasing "progression wheel" in a video game. They will just keep slowing down that wheel, there is no endgame there.
     
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    26. Re: Op Ed Sep 29, 2017, 20:50 Rilcon
     
    I always find these discussions a bit odd, on how passionate people can get over "paying to avoid the grind" or "financially punished for being bad", when that's one of the things that the industry was kind of founded on. Arcades may be a dying thing now, but back in the day they drove innovation in tech and gameplay, and their core mechanic of them was "pay more, have an easier game, be able to progress more, play for longer".

    I mean, yeah, here you're paying for the game and then given the "option" to either grind / pray to the RNG God or pay some more, and that can suck depending on how it's balanced and what's being gated. A $60 game will average out to being $70-80, maybe. But those quarter munchers of old, even if it just cost $.25 to start playing, the game time per money ratio was way worse for the player. Myeh. If anything, at least they're upfront about it; there were plenty of arcade games designed to be nearly impossible to beat on a single life.


    Anyway... the target audience for these things isn't kids with their parents' credit card, it's people with jobs that want to get high-level content quickly without spending the time getting to it. That is, people that used to grind for 3h a day after class or on the weekends but now have a job and more involved social responsibilities that takes more time and energy.

    Now, whether this sort of thing is good for them because they now have the option to complete (or "fully experience" games they wouldn't be able to otherwise, or bad because the increase in grind is notable enough to make that objective even harder, is something to be seen. It'll depend a lot on the studio and publisher, and will likely be called out heavily in reviews ("professional" and not); I remember the last Deus Ex had A LOT of negative reactions over this before release, but then everyone that played the game came back with "it's nothing".
     
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    25. Re: Op Ed Sep 29, 2017, 20:40 Suppa7
     
    Creston wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 18:46:
    In a free to play game? I totally get it. It has to make money somehow. Loot box the shit out of that.

    You guys don't seem to get it, the game industry has never kept anything seperate. Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 went from being software you entirely controlled to online /w microtransaction ridden crap. There is no such thing as a game that a game company won't try to put microtransactions in, as soon as mmo's, horse armor and buying mounts in wow was a thing loot boxes were the inevitable next step.

    Everyone who supported mmo's, steam and drm - this is the end result - games with less content sold back to you at a higher price.
     
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    24. Re: Op Ed Sep 29, 2017, 18:46 Creston
     
    Tipsy McStagger wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 15:34:
    I'll say this, If I love a game and it gives me the ability to progress faster than a slug grind fest (Like for example planetside 2 with double exp and boosters) I'd have no problem dumping in a few hundred a year to progress, plus I'm loving the game.

    Right, which is fine, I mean, it's your money and all.

    The problem is: Devs/Publishers DELIBERATELY make the game a grind so that you feel practically OBLIGATED to buy these fucking loot boxes. They know there are plenty of people with enough disposable income but not enough time to play for 50-60 hours (because those two often go together) to get to the "good stuff", and so they put in a few loot boxes, because hey, it's just 10 bucks and you skip 50 hours and you're having FUN BABY!

    But people who want to play and enjoy the game normally, or who struggle to buy one or two games a year, and don't have the money for loot boxes, they get told "Fuck you, grind for 50 hours before you start having fun."

    In a free to play game? I totally get it. It has to make money somehow. Loot box the shit out of that.

    In a full price title? FUCK that dev and that publisher with a goddamn rusty 60" drill bit. Shadows of Mordor can suck my dick with its fucking loot boxes in a single player game AAA $60 title bullshit.


    ...

    as you can tell, I do not feel strongly about this whatsoever.

     
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    23. Re: Op Ed Sep 29, 2017, 18:38 jdreyer
     
    Cyanotetyphas wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 17:38:
    I remember reading a reddit thread where someone off handedly mentioned dumping thousands of dollars into Path of Exile.

    I sort of had the impression it must be some Middle eastern oil baron's kid. It seems completely unreasonable to me, but hey, your money.
    I have no trouble with whales that want to fund Path of Exile.
     
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    22. Re: Op Ed Sep 29, 2017, 18:35 Eirikrautha
     
    jdreyer wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 12:25:
    A while ago we had a similar discussion, and came to the conclusion that eventually you'd pay full price for an essentially empty game: all the necessary components would be available via microtransaction/DLC.

    DCS is pretty much this already, though the base "game" is free (source: am flight sim fan)...
     
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    21. Re: Op Ed Sep 29, 2017, 18:21 NKD
     
    ForgedReality wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 17:47:
    jdreyer wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 12:25:
    RedEye9 wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 11:03:
    The gamification of gaming.

    A keen observation.

    A while ago we had a similar discussion, and came to the conclusion that eventually you'd pay full price for an essentially empty game: all the necessary components would be available via microtransaction/DLC.

    No. Profit drives trends, and bobody'd buy that shit.

    Yeah... there's a push back eventually. It's just never where some of us would like...

    People gripe about DLCs and other secondary monetization, but the only reason we have it is because no one could tolerate the base price of a game going up. New PC games, and even console games, used to vary wildly in price as I'm sure many of us remember. I remember paying $80 for some major PC titles. And that's the equivalent of like $150 in today's money. Then it sort of leveled out, but after doing so never really kept up with the increase in price of every other entertainment product.

    Development costs for games continue to rise, but the bubble for "simply sell more copies at the same price to make the numbers match up" burst a long time ago. Most of the growth is in mobile games AFAIK.
     
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    20. Re: Op Ed Sep 29, 2017, 17:47 ForgedReality
     
    jdreyer wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 12:25:
    RedEye9 wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 11:03:
    The gamification of gaming.

    A keen observation.

    A while ago we had a similar discussion, and came to the conclusion that eventually you'd pay full price for an essentially empty game: all the necessary components would be available via microtransaction/DLC.

    No. Profit drives trends, and bobody'd buy that shit.
     
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    19. Re: Op Ed Sep 29, 2017, 17:38 Cyanotetyphas
     
    I remember reading a reddit thread where someone off handedly mentioned dumping thousands of dollars into Path of Exile.

    I sort of had the impression it must be some Middle eastern oil baron's kid. It seems completely unreasonable to me, but hey, your money.
     
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    18. Re: Op Ed Sep 29, 2017, 17:36 Prez
     
    HoSpanky wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 11:45:
    Creston wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 11:36:
    Everyone who keeps buying loot boxes is contributing to this BS. And there's a ton of these mouthbreathers, so it's not going to go away.

    Do adults actually buy this crap, or is it kids who are far more concerned by what a non-gameplay-affecting avatar looks like?

    A ton of people care about what they look like in game. It seems people who are focused on mechanics scratch their heads in confusion about how this sort of thing catches on. But as someone who is normally indifferent to such things I came to realize how insidious and almost predatory these types of "quasi-gambling" boxes are in Overwatch.

    "OMFG that Lucio skin is so cool! Wait it's only around until the timed event ends tomorrow? But I probably won't level up again before then. And even if I do, the chance of me getting that particular skin is tiny! DAMN YOU BLIZZARD!!!"

    The whole mechanic of loot crates is based on people's predilection to winning in a game of chance. It's why casinos are so popular, and why youtubers have gotten rich off of streaming gambling for CSGO skins. And why gambling addiction is a thing. Publishers know that loot boxes make them way more money than just selling skins outright because of this. Worse, because the legal definition of gambling does not extend to this sort of thing there is zero regulation. And of course, since it's not regulated - because it's not gambling (even though colloquially it obviously is) - there is nothing to say that publishers don't rig it so it takes far more tries to get the rare and desireable items they know that people really want instead of all the drek the boxes are mostly full of.

    It's a disgusting and abhorrent practice; probably the worst practice yet in gaming to date, and that's saying something.
     
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    17. Re: Origin Access Free This Week Sep 29, 2017, 17:17 {PH}88fingers
     
    jacobvandy wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 16:15:
    NKD wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 12:32:
    People like to tell themselves its just kids with their parents credit cards, but it's an adult, more often than not. The percentage of parents that just let their kids buy whatever the fuck they want on their credit cards is not really high enough to sustain a business model...

    There's no telling what the numbers are, children vs. adults, of who decides to buy stuff like this, but I agree that the majority of dollars spent has to be adults. Maybe little Johnny asks his mom to load up his account with $10-20 now and then, and there are a lot of others like him, but grown-up gamer Jeff will throw around hundreds or even thousands of dollars into it because for better or worse, he's in charge of all of his own finances. Video games as an industry are bigger than ever not because the world population is rising and there are more kids around than 20 years ago, it's because the generation of people who grew up with the hobby are now adults with careers and LOADS of money to spend on it.

    qft
     
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    16. Re: Op Ed Sep 29, 2017, 16:15 jacobvandy
     
    NKD wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 12:32:
    People like to tell themselves its just kids with their parents credit cards, but it's an adult, more often than not. The percentage of parents that just let their kids buy whatever the fuck they want on their credit cards is not really high enough to sustain a business model...

    There's no telling what the numbers are, children vs. adults, of who decides to buy stuff like this, but I agree that the majority of dollars spent has to be adults. Maybe little Johnny asks his mom to load up his account with $10-20 now and then, and there are a lot of others like him, but grown-up gamer Jeff will throw around hundreds or even thousands of dollars into it because for better or worse, he's in charge of all of his own finances. Video games as an industry are bigger than ever not because the world population is rising and there are more kids around than 20 years ago, it's because the generation of people who grew up with the hobby are now adults with careers and LOADS of money to spend on it.
     
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    15. Re: Op Ed Sep 29, 2017, 15:34 Tipsy McStagger
     
    I'm the target audience for these things. I have enough disposable income, enough to say take up any hobby I want minus things like Horse Polo or Rally car driving as examples of mega rich hobbies but I don't have enough time to play more than maybe 2-3 hours every second day.

    I'll say this, If I love a game and it gives me the ability to progress faster than a slug grind fest (Like for example planetside 2 with double exp and boosters) I'd have no problem dumping in a few hundred a year to progress, plus I'm loving the game. These are usually reserved to F2P games though and rely on the Employed Dad life to keep them going while the unemployed 12+ hours a day gamer can not pay anything and get free entertainment to grind away.

    The other side, which is charging full price for a game then having money in the game to pay2win stuff kind of bugs me, same with DLCs being announced on release (Destiny). I do like DLC's as long as the content is deserving like a new game. But mostly, when they release a shitty broken game and the DLCs are what the game should have been (Evolve comes to mind?)

    The biggest fix to the industry would be that if idiots stopped buying these shit titles on pre-order, it would weed out whats wrong with the gaming industry.
     
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    14. Re: Op Ed Sep 29, 2017, 15:31 jdreyer
     
    MajorD wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 15:05:
    jdreyer wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 12:26:
    HoSpanky wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 11:45:
    Creston wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 11:36:
    Everyone who keeps buying loot boxes is contributing to this BS. And there's a ton of these mouthbreathers, so it's not going to go away.

    Do adults actually buy this crap, or is it kids who are far more concerned by what a non-gameplay-affecting avatar looks like?

    Kids buy this crap by begging their disconnected parents for $$$.

    Edit: Ninja'd by MajorD
    That being said, I am sure there are some adults, especially those with more money and less time that do buy these.

    Sorry jdreyer.
    No worries. Brilliant minds and all that.
     
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    13. Re: Op Ed Sep 29, 2017, 15:05 MajorD
     
    jdreyer wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 12:26:
    HoSpanky wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 11:45:
    Creston wrote on Sep 29, 2017, 11:36:
    Everyone who keeps buying loot boxes is contributing to this BS. And there's a ton of these mouthbreathers, so it's not going to go away.

    Do adults actually buy this crap, or is it kids who are far more concerned by what a non-gameplay-affecting avatar looks like?

    Kids buy this crap by begging their disconnected parents for $$$.

    Edit: Ninja'd by MajorD
    That being said, I am sure there are some adults, especially those with more money and less time that do buy these.

    Sorry jdreyer.
     
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    12. Re: Op Ed Sep 29, 2017, 13:14 The Half Elf
     
    So it appears that Turn 10/Microsoft removed more credits for turning assists/damage/whatever on or off to increase the difficulty, and instead have mods that can be good or bad but give a bonus to credits.

    As someone who's played all but Forza Horizon 2, credits have never been an issue for 2 reasons. 1) The game may have 700 cars, but it doesn't mean I'm going to buy them. 2)All the games give you a ton of credits, so much in fact I have MILLIONS of credits in each game that I will never spend because of the Auction House (which lets me buy the unicorns pretty cheap), wheel spins (which gives me the Forza Edition of cars I want, or The Forza Hub app on Windows 10 that gives me a shitload of free credits every week for the majority of the Forza games.

    But what I'm surprised no one is bitching about is the fucking REWIND feature.

    But again nothing in Forza 7 can be purchased with RL money beyond DLC cars/tracks, so I don't see this as an issue.
     
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