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Star Wars Battlefront 2

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Ironically, one of the games I’m playing most right now is a F2P mobile game with blind buy card packs. Thankfully I’ve resisted the urge to spend the ridiculous amount they are asking me to spend. 

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I play a lot of games. I’ve never paid real-world money for a “loot box,” and while I won’t say that I never would, I’ve never felt that my gaming experience was being ruined by having them there. If it truly affects gameplay — as it was designed into Battlefront II before Disney put the kibosh on it — that’s just poor game design. But it’s not the government’s place, nor should it be, to regulate poor game design. The free market can’t always police itself efficiently, but I’d wager that this is a case where it can — and the sales to date of Battlefront II compared to its predeccessor would seem to be an early indication that it is.

 

As an aside, I will be shocked at this point of loot boxes ever make their way back into the game. There’s no way Disney will allow it, and EA doesn’t want to extend this PR nightmare either.

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Prepare to be shocked. Loot boxes will make their way in in some form or capacity at the first sign that players have lapped up enough EA “goodwill”.

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12 hours ago, Graeme said:

In a nutshell I suppose my feeling is that a pay to win scheme, especially one with no ceiling whatsoever has no place in video games. I don’t think people need, or particularly want, to have that choice in video games.

...

The main point of the previous post is that the loot box system is predatory and manipulative and doesn’t need to be in video games. If it were banned, or regulated in some way, those changes would be enforceable and could have a positive affect. 

 

I see what you're saying. I think we have a philosophical difference. I don't like the "permission" culture that such regulation brings, especially because I believe that whoever is doing the regulating is subject to regulatory capture in short order. It quickly becomes about pulling up the ladder behind you, picking winners, and stifling competition and innovation.

 

I see too much flabbiness in phrases like "predatory and manipulative" and "I don't think people need". But I see where you're coming from.

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20 hours ago, AlbertA said:

For me that would be too dangerously close to thought police. Taking that to the absurds for example, would mean we should close all fast food joints, liquor stores, etc...

We now what happened during the Prohibition era... and how the War on Drugs is a failure.

 

Well, I think the most realistic argument here is not that loot crates should be banned, merely that they should be recognised for what they are in order to give the consumer a more informed awareness about what they're getting. Loot crates ask players to risk money on a game of chance for the want of a desired outcome. Gambling. It's absolutely our own choice whether to hand over money to gamble, but the fast food analogy does not really work as my argument with regards to my central concern here is how devs and publishers seek to sinisterly disguise these "features" in applying them to a medium where the consumer is already pre-disposed to the temptation for just one more go and/or the nagging desire to rank up. 

 

Graeme wrote very eloquently in sharing very similar feelings to myself on this matter. I too would sooner this shit had no place in gaming whatsoever, especially when applied to tempting people with the potential of giving them competitive advantages over others in multi-player scenarios (that in itself, when faced with competing players who have clearly benefited from paying, is merely a lure to frustrate others to the point of risking money themselves simply so they can feel like they have levelled the playing field. That domino effect of triggering people who might otherwise not have considered paying for loot boxes is arguably what devs and publishers are banking on). But, this stuff is here, is only likely to morph and take on another guise in future. To that end, I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call for a ban because consumers will act accordingly if they outright object, but nevertheless these schemes should be declared by publishers for what they are.  

 

 

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It's absolutely gambling, for the reasons described. Gambling is not illegal in most jurisdictions, but it is generally something kept away from children. Legislation that treats it as other forms of gambling are treated seems perfectly fine to me, and I can certainly understand if family-friendly brands like Star Wars shy away from it.

 

Personally, I want it nowhere near my games, but given it's present in Forza it's just something I get grumpy about and certainly don't put any real money in, rather than boycott games with it outright. F2P titles have long been aware that the vast, vast majority of players won't pay anything, and if you want to make the game continue to exist that majority better not be having an awful time.

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3 hours ago, Robot Monkey said:

I see what you're saying. I think we have a philosophical difference.

 

But are you disagreeing with me on everything? I can see someone saying that they shouldn't be banned because they think people should be responsible for their own actions. That's a reasonable viewpoint. But it seems like an outright ban is what is being focused on by those opposed, when there is much more to this.

 

Are you (and others) also against making sure the "game" (and by game, I mean the lootbox game) you are being asked to play is fair? Is it OK that you're being asked to pay to play a game where you don't actually know what the rules are and they will never be explained to you? Where the rules could change at anytime and are different for other people? And where they use the data they have on you to tilt the table in their favor to keep you playing? Or is that simply buyer beware?

 

That to me, is one of the more insidious aspects of this, and is probably where actual regulation could probably take place.

 

And as I said before, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised that, faced with the threat of possible regulation, that the ESRB comes up with a voluntary guidelines of their own to simply make it go away.

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37 minutes ago, Graeme said:

Are you (and others) also against making sure the "game" (and by game, I mean the lootbox game) you are being asked to play is fair? Is it OK that you're being asked to pay to play a game where you don't actually know what the rules are and they will never be explained to you? Where the rules could change at anytime and are different for other people? And where they use the data they have on you to tilt the table in their favor to keep you playing? Or is that simply buyer beware?

 

I think even folks who are anti-regulation have to admit that the most troubling aspect of even cosmetic-only loot boxes is that a company can change the odds of 'winning' (receiving something perceived as having value) at any time with zero disclosure.  I play quite a bit of Overwatch, and it was interesting to me how much more rarely the 'legendary' skins dropped for me in the Halloween event vs the previous summer event.

 

As an adult for me it's simple - tell me what I'm getting at what cost and I'll decide whether or not it is worth it for me to purchase.   But I've never enjoyed gambling or had any friends or family members with a gambling problem, so I also recognize it's dang easy for me to discount the potential harm here.

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37 minutes ago, Graeme said:

 

But are you disagreeing with me on everything?

 

Nope! I agree that a pay-to-win system seems crappy. And I agree that some sort of transparency would go a long way.

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3 hours ago, Robot Monkey said:

 

Nope! I agree that a pay-to-win system seems crappy. And I agree that some sort of transparency would go a long way.

 

Fair enough. I can conceed that my desire to see it go away is due to my personal opinion on it, and how it affects me personally, and the hobby that I love.

 

I totally understand the desire for the government to leave us well enough alone, as the babysitting does go too far quite often and does lead to people not taking responsibility for their own actions. But I also don’t like to see people being exploited. 

 

It will be interesting to see what happens here. Not just in North America, but worldwide. 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Graeme said:

 

Fair enough. I can conceed that my desire to see it go away is due to my personal opinion on it, and how it affects me personally, and the hobby that I love.

 

You and me both!  It seems we disagree on the means (maybe), but we both have the same goal in mind.

 

I'll be sappy here on our Thanksgiving Day and say that that this -- this willingness to disagree but try to understand -- is something I'm very thankful for indeed. We don't need echo chambers, we need more of Graeme's attitude, even if his name is profligate with vowels. As if there's no vowel shortage going on. Thanks sincerely.

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10 hours ago, Robot Monkey said:

 

You and me both!  It seems we disagree on the means (maybe), but we both have the same goal in mind.

 

I'll be sappy here on our Thanksgiving Day and say that that this -- this willingness to disagree but try to understand -- is something I'm very thankful for indeed. We don't need echo chambers, we need more of Graeme's attitude, even if his name is profligate with vowels. As if there's no vowel shortage going on. Thanks sincerely.

 

Beautifully and hilariously stated there whiskey breath!

 

Gobble, gobble. 🦃

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15 hours ago, Robot Monkey said:

I'll be sappy here on our Thanksgiving Day and say that that this -- this willingness to disagree but try to understand -- is something I'm very thankful for indeed.

 

I too am thankful for a place like this where we can have a civil discussion without fear of attack. It does help that we’re discussing video games.

 

Thanks for listening. 

 

1422341090448

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https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/28/eas-day-of-reckoning-is-here-after-star-wars-game-uproar.html

 



EA's stock is down 8.5 percent month to date through Tuesday compared with the S&P 500's 2 percent gain, wiping out $3.1 billion of shareholder value. Its competitors Take-Two and Activision Blizzardshares are up 5 percent and 0.7 percent respectively during the same time period.

 

The article also quotes Jim Sterling and Angry Joe....as "leading gaming YouTube personalities";  Am I really out-of-the-loop? They actually are? 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, AlbertA said:

https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/28/eas-day-of-reckoning-is-here-after-star-wars-game-uproar.html

 

 

 

 

The article also quotes Jim Sterling and Angry Joe....as "leading gaming YouTube personalities";  Am I really out-of-the-loop? They actually are? 

 

 

 

With PewDiePie leading the pack of "gaming personalities" on Youtube it's not exactly a high bar. I will defend Sterling though as he's been excellent for a very, very long time tearing this kind of shite apart in detail and with an amusing degree of venom. I've no time for Angry Joe.

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I had a free Redbox rental so I picked this up to finish the campaign (I had done the first three missions in the EA Access trial).   I liked the campaign (though it is quite short and ends in a surprising way), and I thought they did a nice job of integrating the hero concept that is in MP with the story so it felt like more than just an extended tutorial.  I then played a little MP just to see what it looks like and overall, I just feel kind of bad for the people that worked on this game that weren't involved with the loot box decision.  Other than that it feels like they addressed a lot of the complaints people had with the first game, and the game itself is gorgeous.

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