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Lootboxes, Microtransactions, and [Gambling in Gaming]

145791042

Posts

  • V1mV1m Registered User regular
    Burnage wrote: »
    An out-of-pocket maximum would be exactly what the game companies *don't* want because they make their money off "whales" (addicts.)

    It'd absolutely fuck some business models, although one way to look at things is that if a game can't survive without taking advantage of addicts then maybe it shouldn't survive.

    Then don't buy them. I don't.

    I don't think you get addiction.

    DacNyysjanShadowhopePolaritiedanxKipling217BurnageNobodyTaranisHefflingCouscousThawmusMvrckLord_AsmodeusFeralIncenjucarMatevKristmas KthulhuJragghenElvenshaeHeatwaveAistanshrykeElldrenshoeboxjeddy
  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    Looks like Mike and Jerry are getting some heat for the new Pin Blind Boxes, which honestly I agree with.
    I get that trading is an element to this stuff but trading isn't an option to everyone. I seriously don't get why we can't just buy what we want to buy.

    Shadowhope
  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    I miss the days when extra skins and shit were locked behind in-game achievements.

    Like Resident Evil 3's costume shop or Hunk's story.

    Madpoetspool32DacHefflingDaedalusLord_AsmodeusCaedwyrKristmas KthulhuAridholdispatch.oElvenshaeTicaldfjamshrykeshoeboxjeddy
  • DelmainDelmain Registered User regular
    I think the Pin Boxes thing is kind of tangential to this discussion for reasons posted before (physical things, secondary market, etc), but with those specifically, the whole trading thing is like, part of the point. It's not actually even possible to get all (or even most!) of the pins without interacting with other people. A ton are PAX exclusives, and once you're at PAX, there are pin trading meetups.

    I don't know that it fits into the same discussion as like, opening a box and being stuck with what you got, whether they are duplicates or not, unable to trade, etc.

    syndalis wrote: »
    Apple is a terrible company.
    Enc
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    While the venn diagrams do overlap, I agree that the Pin Trading is a bit different in nature. Like with baseball cards, it can be toxic but it depends on the community. Inherently it isn't toxic.

    Delmaindestroyah87spool32FeralshrykeElldren
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    V1m wrote: »
    Burnage wrote: »
    An out-of-pocket maximum would be exactly what the game companies *don't* want because they make their money off "whales" (addicts.)

    It'd absolutely fuck some business models, although one way to look at things is that if a game can't survive without taking advantage of addicts then maybe it shouldn't survive.

    Then don't buy them. I don't.

    I don't think you get addiction.

    I wasn't saying what people think I was saying. Everyone is dumping on me like I said "Fuck addicts, it's their responsibility."

    I think it's OUR responsibility not to encourage companies to prey on addicts. They can't run a game on whales only. I don't play these games. I don't like gambling. I'm saying pretty much the OPPOSITE of what people are dumping on me for.

    CelestialBadger on
    spool32JuliusMegaMek
  • GaddezGaddez Registered User regular
    My hot take on loot boxes: the AAA's got greedy with them and need to readjust their contents in order to bring things back under control.

    Like, for my money Loot boxes as done by Blizz in overwatch are a pretty good approach since the actual contents of the boxes are extremely random (owing to the fact that their are several hundred different possible skins, sprays, emotes and audibles) but with some extremely rare exceptions (most of which owe to minor exploits that are patched out in short order) these offer no actual in game advantages to players that would alter the in game experience.

    Conversely, battlefront's approach is attrocious, with actual in game advantages (abilities, weapon mods, vehicles, heroes) being aquirable via the loot crates and this process is only encouraged by EA by making it take a ridiculous amount of time to unlock those same advantages via gameplay in what is a premium title.

    Richy wrote: »
    But I think the resistance I’m getting more has to do with “rawr! Loklar said it! Rage!” than anything else.

    No, it has to do with the fact that you're done nothing but throw lies, blatant flasehoods, and downright dumb statements at us so far.
    DelmainDacHefflingEmerlmaster999Elvenshae
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    I honestly think they just make a new category for certain types of exploitative microtransactions. Call them smurfberries(I dont know what to really call them)

    A smurfberry is defined as any repeatably purchasable, nontradable transaction or ingame item purchased with real money or a real money-convertible analog. This would cover lootboxes, speed up items like in Galactic Heroes above, etc. It would not cover digital trading cards, nonrandom cosmetic items, or nonrandom “unlocker/cheat code” type dlc.

    Smurfberries should be purchasable by adults (18+)only requring in-person age verification, like cigarettes, alcohol, and lottery tickets are currently.

    If this makes certain business models infeasible so be it.

    Jealous Deva on
    CelestialBadger
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    Looks like Mike and Jerry are getting some heat for the new Pin Blind Boxes, which honestly I agree with.
    I get that trading is an element to this stuff but trading isn't an option to everyone. I seriously don't get why we can't just buy what we want to buy.

    Trading is an option for everyone. The community is great, there's a site for tracking your stuff, and a subforum for arranging trades.

    You can trade for the price of a stamp.

  • RozRoz Boss of InternetRegistered User regular
    Roz wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    I like the idea of "vegas legal" being a starting point.

    I think it would be great to show the following things somewhere:

    - standard distribution rate in a loot box of rares, uncommons and common drops posted publically
    - chances of getting an extra rare card (1:30,000 or 1:25, which is it?)
    - the actual value of winnings you just gambled for - make it clear you spent 4.99 to get 37 cents of stuff.
    - the ability to "cash in" your winnings back into the game for credit. screw the open market and steam trades. Obi Wan Kenobi is a 100 dollar chip? Just give me 100, thanks.

    That would much more closely match gambling, expose just how bad the current system is, and skew towards lower prices on loot boxes or better distributions.

    I'm not sure "make this more like real gambling to show how it's actually real gambling" is a great argument though.

    I remain unconvinced at most of the claims from people who say that this is predatory or encourages addictive behavior. We've had kinder eggs and Magic the gather for 25 years now, and I've not seen any studies that conclusively show those items cause addictive or personally destructive behavior. If they exist, please share. I'm open to shifting on this position.

    I think posting the odds is a great idea and is an area of common ground, but I'm on the fence regarding secondary markets. On one hand they'll help curve some of the more excessive behaviors since you can outright buy what you want, on the other it's a movement towards being real gambling since the items have now material value.

    They wouldn’t necessarily even have to be real money secondary markets. Just the ability to trade will create an economy. Or you could alternatively make unopened packs tradable or game currency tradable, so you could offer 25 boosters/funbux for a phrexian ubermencsh or whatever, that the seller could then open or trade.

    To some extent there will always be a secondary market once trading is acceptable. People will find ways to remove friction from the market. Diablo 2 trading being one of the most obvious ones.

    Which brings up an interesting thought. Was the D3 marketplace basically a precursor to this, implemented in the worst way possible? You had both aesthetic and functional upgrades tied to a random generator that could be traded and bought with real money. It was basically loot boxes before loot boxes, and yeah, I'll say that if we're headed in that direction, that's a hard no from me. That system is incredibly dangerous to the health of the game and encourages awful behaviors.

  • RozRoz Boss of InternetRegistered User regular
    Enc wrote: »
    Roz wrote: »
    I remain unconvinced at most of the claims from people who say that this is predatory or encourages addictive behavior. We've had kinder eggs and Magic the gather for 25 years now, and I've not seen any studies that conclusively show those items cause addictive or personally destructive behavior. If they exist, please share. I'm open to shifting on this position.

    I'm not going to claim to be an expert here, because psychology isn't my field (much less children's psychology). It is the field of several of my co-workers here at the university. I ran a library search over the last 15 minutes or so and found over 1,600 articles since 1922 on relations between trading cards (from baseball to pokemon cards) and impacts of children's psychological behavior. I found 127 peer reviewed studies published between now and 2016 alone, most of which seem to have the same issues of finding statistically significant correlations between gambling behaviors in games and negative psychological findings (from the handful of abstracts).

    I don't know what sort of research you have done, but this has been a pretty well discussed topic. I know I've had discussions with our Psych faculty about it going back to 2007 when I was still deep into MtG's clutches. It was part of what helped me get out of it. It looks to be as well published as I have been led to believe by my coworkers.

    Unfortunately, I don't have access to a lot of peer reviewed published journals. But I'm interested in some of the articles if you wouldn't mind sharing them.

  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    Roz wrote: »
    Roz wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    I like the idea of "vegas legal" being a starting point.

    I think it would be great to show the following things somewhere:

    - standard distribution rate in a loot box of rares, uncommons and common drops posted publically
    - chances of getting an extra rare card (1:30,000 or 1:25, which is it?)
    - the actual value of winnings you just gambled for - make it clear you spent 4.99 to get 37 cents of stuff.
    - the ability to "cash in" your winnings back into the game for credit. screw the open market and steam trades. Obi Wan Kenobi is a 100 dollar chip? Just give me 100, thanks.

    That would much more closely match gambling, expose just how bad the current system is, and skew towards lower prices on loot boxes or better distributions.

    I'm not sure "make this more like real gambling to show how it's actually real gambling" is a great argument though.

    I remain unconvinced at most of the claims from people who say that this is predatory or encourages addictive behavior. We've had kinder eggs and Magic the gather for 25 years now, and I've not seen any studies that conclusively show those items cause addictive or personally destructive behavior. If they exist, please share. I'm open to shifting on this position.

    I think posting the odds is a great idea and is an area of common ground, but I'm on the fence regarding secondary markets. On one hand they'll help curve some of the more excessive behaviors since you can outright buy what you want, on the other it's a movement towards being real gambling since the items have now material value.

    They wouldn’t necessarily even have to be real money secondary markets. Just the ability to trade will create an economy. Or you could alternatively make unopened packs tradable or game currency tradable, so you could offer 25 boosters/funbux for a phrexian ubermencsh or whatever, that the seller could then open or trade.

    To some extent there will always be a secondary market once trading is acceptable. People will find ways to remove friction from the market. Diablo 2 trading being one of the most obvious ones.

    Which brings up an interesting thought. Was the D3 marketplace basically a precursor to this, implemented in the worst way possible? You had both aesthetic and functional upgrades tied to a random generator that could be traded and bought with real money. It was basically loot boxes before loot boxes, and yeah, I'll say that if we're headed in that direction, that's a hard no from me. That system is incredibly dangerous to the health of the game and encourages awful behaviors.

    For sure in the way that they built the game around forcing you to use the Auction House past a certain point, you could play the game normally for a ton of time and see terrible drops that your character wouldnt need or were trash. I got my Monk to 60 and was just dipping into Inferno difficulty, then I decided well lets look at the gold auction house... and for a pittance of gold I could pickup better gear for my monk, never looked into the cash auction house side but I have a friend who sold a named for 200 bucks. They planted that seed and while it failed I am sure it gave over companies ideas. Blizzard/Activision is apart of the problem.

  • danxdanx Registered User regular
    Gaddez wrote: »
    My hot take on loot boxes: the AAA's got greedy with them and need to readjust their contents in order to bring things back under control.

    Like, for my money Loot boxes as done by Blizz in overwatch are a pretty good approach since the actual contents of the boxes are extremely random (owing to the fact that their are several hundred different possible skins, sprays, emotes and audibles) but with some extremely rare exceptions (most of which owe to minor exploits that are patched out in short order) these offer no actual in game advantages to players that would alter the in game experience.

    Conversely, battlefront's approach is attrocious, with actual in game advantages (abilities, weapon mods, vehicles, heroes) being aquirable via the loot crates and this process is only encouraged by EA by making it take a ridiculous amount of time to unlock those same advantages via gameplay in what is a premium title.

    Does cosmetic versus in game items really matter if we're talking about curbing existing addiction and preventing the creation of more addicts? If you can condition someone's behaviour in your favour and get them to buy a ton of boxes does it matter what the reward is?

    Games have a basic loop which stimulates people. They exploit psychology to provide enjoyable experiences. If you can slowly subvert that by building a feedback loop with loot boxes in the hopes people become addicts that's wrong and shouldn't be allowed cosmetic or no. I have stopped opening those boxes in some games which feature them because I felt their draw and now I'm thinking it's time I avoid games featuring the system period. Right now I'm still slogging my way through shadow of war without opening those damn boxes and it's quite evident it's tedium is by design. They clearly they want you to open them and buy them.

    When my mood dips in depression I spend. Usually on pens. It's rare these days and not usually a problem but recently I spent more than I should. Enough to make me worry about my finances for a bit. Finances which are usually well managed. Thankfully after next week things will be back to normal. My mood dipping is harder to notice because of the anti depressants keep me stable I don't really experience negative mood in the same way (it's quite hard to describe. Some of the extreme symptoms are gone but others persist) but the tell tale sign is I spend money on something impulsively and my concentration goes from mediocre to complete arse. When my mood dips, anti depressents or not, I could very easily become addicted to something. It's why I don't drink or gamble or watch 'adult' entertainment at all. Now the games I might want to play are scheming to turn me into an addict when I'm at my most vulnerable while exploiting other vulnerable people already caught in their net. That's disgusting.

    Depression has sadly became common these days but it's just one possible group they are exploiting.

    destroyah87Ketar
  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    Looks like Mike and Jerry are getting some heat for the new Pin Blind Boxes, which honestly I agree with.
    I get that trading is an element to this stuff but trading isn't an option to everyone. I seriously don't get why we can't just buy what we want to buy.

    Trading is an option for everyone. The community is great, there's a site for tracking your stuff, and a subforum for arranging trades.

    You can trade for the price of a stamp.

    I don't disagree with you. That said, there's an argument that requiring a secondary market alone is enough to put against something like this. Which I also don't really disagree with.

    Probably outside of the scope of this discussion however.

  • HefflingHeffling No Pic EverRegistered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    Burnage wrote: »
    An out-of-pocket maximum would be exactly what the game companies *don't* want because they make their money off "whales" (addicts.)

    It'd absolutely fuck some business models, although one way to look at things is that if a game can't survive without taking advantage of addicts then maybe it shouldn't survive.

    Then don't buy them. I don't.

    I don't think you get addiction.

    I wasn't saying what people think I was saying. Everyone is dumping on me like I said "Fuck addicts, it's their responsibility."

    I think it's OUR responsibility not to encourage companies to prey on addicts. They can't run a game on whales only. I don't play these games. I don't like gambling. I'm saying pretty much the OPPOSITE of what people are dumping on me for.

    Ok, how do you encourage companies that specifically target whales for 90%+ of their revenue generation to not target whales? Because I don't think you're understanding that their entire business model is around exploiting a very small percent of their players to make money from. They want a broad appeal only because it brings in more whales.

    You don't like these games, and you don't play them. That's fine. You're not the whale that the company is hunting. You're crying out that because you don't do heroin, opioids aren't an epidemic.

    And right now you're thinking to yourself that comparing spending lots of money to heroin usage isn't a fair comparison. But I'm here to tell you that it is. Both are due to addictive behaviour in certain individuals who chase that dopamine release. Both lead to highly self destructive behaviour and failure to contribute to society. Because it's an addiction, which you don't seem to understand.

    If a movement doesn't have someone that can sit down opposite those in a position of power and strike a deal, how can that movement achieve success?
    Taranisdestroyah87
  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    darkmayo wrote: »
    Roz wrote: »
    Roz wrote: »
    syndalis wrote: »
    I like the idea of "vegas legal" being a starting point.

    I think it would be great to show the following things somewhere:

    - standard distribution rate in a loot box of rares, uncommons and common drops posted publically
    - chances of getting an extra rare card (1:30,000 or 1:25, which is it?)
    - the actual value of winnings you just gambled for - make it clear you spent 4.99 to get 37 cents of stuff.
    - the ability to "cash in" your winnings back into the game for credit. screw the open market and steam trades. Obi Wan Kenobi is a 100 dollar chip? Just give me 100, thanks.

    That would much more closely match gambling, expose just how bad the current system is, and skew towards lower prices on loot boxes or better distributions.

    I'm not sure "make this more like real gambling to show how it's actually real gambling" is a great argument though.

    I remain unconvinced at most of the claims from people who say that this is predatory or encourages addictive behavior. We've had kinder eggs and Magic the gather for 25 years now, and I've not seen any studies that conclusively show those items cause addictive or personally destructive behavior. If they exist, please share. I'm open to shifting on this position.

    I think posting the odds is a great idea and is an area of common ground, but I'm on the fence regarding secondary markets. On one hand they'll help curve some of the more excessive behaviors since you can outright buy what you want, on the other it's a movement towards being real gambling since the items have now material value.

    They wouldn’t necessarily even have to be real money secondary markets. Just the ability to trade will create an economy. Or you could alternatively make unopened packs tradable or game currency tradable, so you could offer 25 boosters/funbux for a phrexian ubermencsh or whatever, that the seller could then open or trade.

    To some extent there will always be a secondary market once trading is acceptable. People will find ways to remove friction from the market. Diablo 2 trading being one of the most obvious ones.

    Which brings up an interesting thought. Was the D3 marketplace basically a precursor to this, implemented in the worst way possible? You had both aesthetic and functional upgrades tied to a random generator that could be traded and bought with real money. It was basically loot boxes before loot boxes, and yeah, I'll say that if we're headed in that direction, that's a hard no from me. That system is incredibly dangerous to the health of the game and encourages awful behaviors.

    For sure in the way that they built the game around forcing you to use the Auction House past a certain point, you could play the game normally for a ton of time and see terrible drops that your character wouldnt need or were trash. I got my Monk to 60 and was just dipping into Inferno difficulty, then I decided well lets look at the gold auction house... and for a pittance of gold I could pickup better gear for my monk, never looked into the cash auction house side but I have a friend who sold a named for 200 bucks. They planted that seed and while it failed I am sure it gave over companies ideas. Blizzard/Activision is apart of the problem.

    It was all by popular demand, too... World of Warcraft launched on a strict subscription model. You couldn't buy anything else beyond that. And people didn't like it. A huge alternative economy emerged with gold farmers and selling items and characters. So Blizzard no doubt feel they are just giving the players what they would buy anyway, and reaping the profits themselves rather than leaving them to Chinese organized crime.

    JuliusOpty
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    I think you could make a more reasonable argument for blind boxes if you were guaranteed to not get duplicates, or get the full value of the duplicate in whatever currency exists.

    If I get a "random" reward available for direct purchase at 20,000 game coins and it's something I already have... Don't then "reward" me with 3,000 points. Disable duplicates or give fair value.

    destroyah87FeralIncenjucarKristmas KthulhuElvenshaeElldrenshoeboxjeddy
  • tbloxhamtbloxham Registered User regular
    Dac wrote: »
    It's easy to say "don't buy something" when you're not personally affected by a compulsive behavior. It's similar to telling a heroin addict to not buy heroin; it's not really that simple.

    And when these games are free to download, what's stopping an existing addict from trying it out just this one time?

    Yeah, I was going to say. The answer of 'just don't buy them' on loot boxes, for the vulnerable, is like constantly sliding drinks in front of an alcoholic and saying they don't have to buy them.

    Also, the alcoholics are in our bar, in front of one bartender tipping thousands of dollars worth of drinks down their necks. Literally happily handing over millions of dollars for swill, providing it comes in an unmarked bottle and has a 0.0001% chance of being a 1950 chatenuef le pape. There are only a limited number of bartenders and we're trying to get some service by offering $15 for a nicely mixed cocktail.

    The existence of these games, which are gambling games pretending to be games, are bad for us, and bad for kids starting out in games. There are less good games, and playing video games is not a safe thing for you to let your kid do. This gambling is hidden in more and more games. And its real money being lost.

    "That is cool" - Abraham Lincoln
    CelestialBadgerHefflingLord_AsmodeusMatevshoeboxjeddy
  • RT800RT800 Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Personally, I hate the way games keep integrating "storefronts" right into the menu.

    I just find it really tacky and immersion-breaking. If they wanna sell extra shit, fine. Use a storefront outside the main game.

    But don't flash a fucking pop-up ad in front of me every time I start the game.

    RT800 on
    Nyysjandispatch.oVeagle
  • DelmainDelmain Registered User regular
    RT800 wrote: »
    Personally, I hate the way games keep integrating "storefronts" right into the menu.

    I just find it really tacky and immersion-breaking. If they wanna sell extra shit, fine. Use a storefront outside the main game.

    But don't flash a fucking pop-up ad in front of me every time I start the game.

    Yeah, Shadow of War is starting to annoy me with how much it wants me to go to the market to get boxes

    syndalis wrote: »
    Apple is a terrible company.
    danx
  • WotanAnubisWotanAnubis Registered User regular
    Looks like Mike and Jerry are getting some heat for the new Pin Blind Boxes, which honestly I agree with.
    I get that trading is an element to this stuff but trading isn't an option to everyone. I seriously don't get why we can't just buy what we want to buy.

    If you could just buy what you want to buy, the company will get less of your money.

    And companies aren't about getting less of your money if they could be getting more of your money instead.

    DelmainMatevJuliusshryke
  • RozRoz Boss of InternetRegistered User regular
    One thing I would be cautious of, because I think it's not entirely true and weakens the argument a bit - not all whales are addicts. There are people who will choose to spend large amounts of money on hobbies simply because they can, but show no signs of addictive behavior. A person who spends $100 a month, where that's every spare penny they have, is in a far more precarious position than someone who spends $1000 a month where they barely even notice.

    In other words, I think it's possible that loot boxes or random rewards can encourage negative behaviors even if you aren't a whale. The total dollar sum spent seems less indicative than just the actual behavior the player is engaged in. Nor do I think it's really "exploitative" to selectively market to whales. This is just market differentiation and we see it in everything from Golf Clubs to Luxury Vehicles.

    What's more damning and vastly more concerning imo - is anything directly targeted at children encouraging gambling like behaviors. I'm 100% fine with self-regulation from the industry requiring a new grade for games with these types of micro transactions, and would support actual government regulation for posting odds. I think I would go so far as make it a requirement that any gambling items must also be available for direct purchase.

    @enc I did find some articles that have some strong correlation between active gambling behaviors as children and addictive gambling as adults. I wasn't able to find anything that showed the same kind of pattern for trading card games. I'll keep looking but would love anything you could post as well.

    Julius
  • ObiFettObiFett Use the Force As You WishRegistered User regular
    RT800 wrote: »
    Personally, I hate the way games keep integrating "storefronts" right into the menu.

    I just find it really tacky and immersion-breaking. If they wanna sell extra shit, fine. Use a storefront outside the main game.

    But don't flash a fucking pop-up ad in front of me every time I start the game.

    But how else would you know the store exists and that one thing is on sale?!

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    ObiFett wrote: »
    RT800 wrote: »
    Personally, I hate the way games keep integrating "storefronts" right into the menu.

    I just find it really tacky and immersion-breaking. If they wanna sell extra shit, fine. Use a storefront outside the main game.

    But don't flash a fucking pop-up ad in front of me every time I start the game.

    But how else would you know the store exists and that one thing is on sale?!

    do like clash royale and have it on a tab at the bottom that you can click on if you want?

  • danxdanx Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    RT800 wrote: »
    Personally, I hate the way games keep integrating "storefronts" right into the menu.

    I just find it really tacky and immersion-breaking. If they wanna sell extra shit, fine. Use a storefront outside the main game.

    But don't flash a fucking pop-up ad in front of me every time I start the game.

    They get more sales by putting it in the game rather than making people go elsewhere. If people have to go through additional steps to purchase something they are more likely to reconsider their purchase. It's why online stores prefer to have credit card info on their system so they get impulse buys and why the advice to compulsive spenders IRL often says leave the credit card at home to make spending a conscious deliberate act.

    danx on
    destroyah87ElvenshaeshrykeElldrenshoeboxjeddy
  • TaranisTaranis Registered User regular
    The weakest defense I hear for these systems is “it’s only for cosmetic items”. Customizing your character’s appearance is just as much a part of any multiplayer game as anything else. Appearance is a pretty important part of social interaction, so why would it be any different in multiplayer games? In MMOs it’s escpecially important. Most endgame content in those games revolves around getting better looking items as rewards.

    / steam / [blizzard] taranis#1834 /
    EH28YFo.jpg
    destroyah87Kristmas KthulhuOatsMegaMekKnight_shrykeshoeboxjeddy
  • Jealous DevaJealous Deva Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    danx wrote: »
    RT800 wrote: »
    Personally, I hate the way games keep integrating "storefronts" right into the menu.

    I just find it really tacky and immersion-breaking. If they wanna sell extra shit, fine. Use a storefront outside the main game.

    But don't flash a fucking pop-up ad in front of me every time I start the game.

    They get more people buying by putting it in the game rather than making them go elsewhere. If people have to go through additional steps to purchase something they are more likely to reconsider their purchase. It's why online stores prefer to have credit card info on their system so they get impulse buys and why the advice to compulsive spenders IRL often says leave the credit card at home to make spending a conscious deliberate act.

    This is why I think for abusable/exploitative items an in person sales requirement is a good idea(other than the fact that it is the only reliable way to do age verification).If someone has to walk to gamespot to buy their 100 lootbox iSmack card for 500 dollars, they are a lot more likely to realize it is a stupid idea than if all they have to do is click on their on-file credit card.

    Jealous Deva on
  • NyysjanNyysjan FinlandRegistered User regular
    V1m wrote: »
    Burnage wrote: »
    An out-of-pocket maximum would be exactly what the game companies *don't* want because they make their money off "whales" (addicts.)

    It'd absolutely fuck some business models, although one way to look at things is that if a game can't survive without taking advantage of addicts then maybe it shouldn't survive.

    Then don't buy them. I don't.

    I don't think you get addiction.

    I wasn't saying what people think I was saying. Everyone is dumping on me like I said "Fuck addicts, it's their responsibility."

    I think it's OUR responsibility not to encourage companies to prey on addicts. They can't run a game on whales only. I don't play these games. I don't like gambling. I'm saying pretty much the OPPOSITE of what people are dumping on me for.
    Well, i read your comments saying the we should stop buying games with loot boxes, instead of regulating the industry.
    Was i wrong?
    Because if that was your idea, it won't work.

  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    Roz wrote: »
    One thing I would be cautious of, because I think it's not entirely true and weakens the argument a bit - not all whales are addicts. There are people who will choose to spend large amounts of money on hobbies simply because they can, but show no signs of addictive behavior. A person who spends $100 a month, where that's every spare penny they have, is in a far more precarious position than someone who spends $1000 a month where they barely even notice.

    There are a few rich people who splash money around, but I doubt they are the majority, simply because rich people have more interesting things to do with their time. If you can spend $1000 on a whim, you get more entertainment from going to see "Hamilton" than buying extra pixie wings in some iPhone game. These games are preying on people with dull lives.

    Julius
  • RozRoz Boss of InternetRegistered User regular
    danx wrote: »
    RT800 wrote: »
    Personally, I hate the way games keep integrating "storefronts" right into the menu.

    I just find it really tacky and immersion-breaking. If they wanna sell extra shit, fine. Use a storefront outside the main game.

    But don't flash a fucking pop-up ad in front of me every time I start the game.

    They get more sales by putting it in the game rather than making people go elsewhere. If people have to go through additional steps to purchase something they are more likely to reconsider their purchase. It's why online stores prefer to have credit card info on their system so they get impulse buys and why the advice to compulsive spenders IRL often says leave the credit card at home to make spending a conscious deliberate act.

    Well, impulse purchases are part of it, but another part is that consumers HATE having to put in credit card info more than once. It's cumbersome and a pain point. If you have to put in your credit card over and over card, consumers will look for other services, because they abhor having to enter in data repetitively.

    So here's something else that highlights a problem - one man's convenience is another man's enablement. Sometimes we implement solutions to problems that seem innocuous at first, but have residual unintended consequences. I look at the loot box system in Overwatch, for example, and at first blush I'd say it's them just adding additional value for customers with the ability to purchase additional content from them if you want it. But obviously, to people who have gambling issues, this encourages strong negative behavior.

    Captain Inertia
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    I seriously don't get why we can't just buy what we want to buy.

    Capitalism and the markets.

    Letting people buy the items outright was last year's revenue stream. You need a revenue stream now of last year's plus analyst expectations. Otherwise you're a failure, will lose investors and will be bought.

    Now that investors see the multiples-higher revenue from letting people pay DLC prices for just the chance of the pixels they want, and that a small subset of people will pay thousands and thousands of dollars at these chances, they expect everyone to earn this level of revenue. Nobody can unilaterally give it up now- it has to be regulated.

    Hefflingdestroyah87MegaMekshrykeElldren
  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    Sorry, my "I don't get why" was rhetorical. I totally get why. It's just awful and not at all scalable for anybody - consumer or business alike.

  • ForarForar #432 Toronto, Ontario, CanadaRegistered User regular
    Taranis wrote: »
    The weakest defense I hear for these systems is “it’s only for cosmetic items”. Customizing your character’s appearance is just as much a part of any multiplayer game as anything else. Appearance is a pretty important part of social interaction, so why would it be any different in multiplayer games? In MMOs it’s escpecially important. Most endgame content in those games revolves around getting better looking items as rewards.

    I don't think many people are 'defending' cosmetic items, or at least I'm certainly not striving to, so much as expressing that these things exist on a spectrum. In my eyes, loot boxes and micotransactions might be a +1 to -3 on the scale of shittiness, but literally being able to buy power or access to characters/abilities/mechanics (or shortening the grind for those things by dozens or hundreds or thousands of hours) might be a -5 to a -500, depending on the egregiousness of said mechanics/lootboxes.

    Warframe offers up fashionable scarves/cloaks for real money currency. They cannot be traded (boo), but the real money currency can be traded to and from other players for other things, allowing me to theoretically trade off random crap I found on other missions to acquire said RMC (called Platinum, in this case), and thus buy the scarf without paying a dime. Though, as an asterisk, the items that drop in a mission are themselves random, and of course not all are valued the same, but there are things that don't require an RNG that are valuable to players and can be sold/traded, etc. This is a fairly tame version, the base game is F2P (so nobody is paying for the right to pay or grind to pay some more), and the cosmetics grant zero in game benefit.

    I mean, aside from looking snazzy. Sure, 'endgame is fashionframe' or some variation thereof is commonly said in the G&T thread on the game.

    While there is a PVP mode, it's entirely optional, and lootboxes for cosmetics or even power to a degree (Mass Effect 3's Multiplayer comes to mind) are reduced in awfulness based on having a primarily co-op gameplay experience.

    Conversely, the game that started this shitstorm, aside from a fairly cursory (4-6'ish hour?) single player campaign, is almost entirely multiplayer, similar to CoD or BF or CS:GO, etc. Pay to win, and pay to win random shit, all become (in my eyes) much more obnoxious mechanics when competitive play is the real meat of the game. Having awesome cards (by luck and/or payments) gives a player (and thus their team) an advantage, and in BFII's case, a substantial one for the higher level cards. Conversely, lack of good cards (or cards of any sort) put an individual player (and thus their team) at a disadvantage. Skill or coordination can make up for these differences, it's not like one side paid $100 for a card that says 'Get Rekt, You Lose, Lawl', but even with just a few days of gameplay under my belt (yes, I'm part of the problem here) I can already occasionally look at someone's loadout after they kill me and see "yeah, they had a pretty substantial fucking advantage in that gunfight".

    So, like many things in life, sure, we can agree that for some people any form of microtransaction or lootbox setup will be a negative or detriment, but there is a spectrum or scale of obnoxiousness. We can quibble where certain things fall on said scale, and yes perhaps 'it's okay if it's cosmetic' is just internalizing/accepting minor obnoxiousness on a slippery slope to worse elements, but I do think such mechanics are of lesser evil than some others.

    Yeah, if I want a cloak and it's a rare drop only, that might be annoying, but it's not as annoying as having XxX420SePiRoTh420XxX one-shot me because his shotgun hits twice as hard as mine did, all else being equal.

    First they came for the Muslims, and we said NOT TODAY, MOTHERFUCKER!
    destroyah87Elvenshae
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    ObiFett wrote: »
    RT800 wrote: »
    Personally, I hate the way games keep integrating "storefronts" right into the menu.

    I just find it really tacky and immersion-breaking. If they wanna sell extra shit, fine. Use a storefront outside the main game.

    But don't flash a fucking pop-up ad in front of me every time I start the game.

    But how else would you know the store exists and that one thing is on sale?!

    Limited time only! Who knows if this item will ever be available again??? You don't want to miss out!

    Elvenshae
  • Captain InertiaCaptain Inertia Registered User regular
    Roz wrote: »
    One thing I would be cautious of, because I think it's not entirely true and weakens the argument a bit - not all whales are addicts. There are people who will choose to spend large amounts of money on hobbies simply because they can, but show no signs of addictive behavior. A person who spends $100 a month, where that's every spare penny they have, is in a far more precarious position than someone who spends $1000 a month where they barely even notice.

    There are a few rich people who splash money around, but I doubt they are the majority, simply because rich people have more interesting things to do with their time. If you can spend $1000 on a whim, you get more entertainment from going to see "Hamilton" than buying extra pixie wings in some iPhone game. These games are preying on people with dull lives.

    A lot of your response is wrong and incredibly insulting.

    milskidanxKipling217ChiselphaneMatevcaligynefobJuliusFANTOMASKnight_TorgaironEvermournElldrenAlbino Bunny
  • darkmayodarkmayo Registered User regular
    edited November 2017
    Here's a good video about the history and how it goes back to EA UEFA football and there player card packs for there Ultimate game mode.

    and it was current EA CEO who greenlight that back in the day. Good jorb Mr Wilson

    darkmayo on
    Bethryn
  • RozRoz Boss of InternetRegistered User regular
    Roz wrote: »
    One thing I would be cautious of, because I think it's not entirely true and weakens the argument a bit - not all whales are addicts. There are people who will choose to spend large amounts of money on hobbies simply because they can, but show no signs of addictive behavior. A person who spends $100 a month, where that's every spare penny they have, is in a far more precarious position than someone who spends $1000 a month where they barely even notice.

    There are a few rich people who splash money around, but I doubt they are the majority, simply because rich people have more interesting things to do with their time. If you can spend $1000 on a whim, you get more entertainment from going to see "Hamilton" than buying extra pixie wings in some iPhone game. These games are preying on people with dull lives.

    I think this is speculative though. Unless we have hard data I don't think we can say either way. And rich people spend money on all kinds of things. My boss spends 20K a year on watches. They are far less exciting than some pixels on a screen and yet he owns over 50 watches.

    You see articles about this all the time with regards to whales. Journalists have actually tried to track down the people spending exorbitant amounts of money on these games and doing profiles of them. It seems to be that most (though again, this is HIGHLY speculative) are just normal top 10%ers who like throwing money at things they enjoy. Here's one such article: http://www.pcgamer.com/meet-the-guy-who-spent-3200-on-hearthstone-packs-in-one-night/

    That does not excuse encouraging or preying upon addictive behaviors, but it's a reach to say that all high spenders are addicts.

    Julius
  • spool32spool32 Contrary Library Registered User regular
    spool32 wrote: »
    Looks like Mike and Jerry are getting some heat for the new Pin Blind Boxes, which honestly I agree with.
    I get that trading is an element to this stuff but trading isn't an option to everyone. I seriously don't get why we can't just buy what we want to buy.

    Trading is an option for everyone. The community is great, there's a site for tracking your stuff, and a subforum for arranging trades.

    You can trade for the price of a stamp.

    I don't disagree with you. That said, there's an argument that requiring a secondary market alone is enough to put against something like this. Which I also don't really disagree with.

    Probably outside of the scope of this discussion however.

    In this case, the secondary market is the stated goal! I feel like that's a big distinction.

  • TaranisTaranis Registered User regular
    Forar wrote: »
    Taranis wrote: »
    The weakest defense I hear for these systems is “it’s only for cosmetic items”. Customizing your character’s appearance is just as much a part of any multiplayer game as anything else. Appearance is a pretty important part of social interaction, so why would it be any different in multiplayer games? In MMOs it’s escpecially important. Most endgame content in those games revolves around getting better looking items as rewards.

    I don't think many people are 'defending' cosmetic items, or at least I'm certainly not striving to, so much as expressing that these things exist on a spectrum. In my eyes, loot boxes and micotransactions might be a +1 to -3 on the scale of shittiness, but literally being able to buy power or access to characters/abilities/mechanics (or shortening the grind for those things by dozens or hundreds or thousands of hours) might be a -5 to a -500, depending on the egregiousness of said mechanics/lootboxes.

    Warframe offers up fashionable scarves/cloaks for real money currency. They cannot be traded (boo), but the real money currency can be traded to and from other players for other things, allowing me to theoretically trade off random crap I found on other missions to acquire said RMC (called Platinum, in this case), and thus buy the scarf without paying a dime. Though, as an asterisk, the items that drop in a mission are themselves random, and of course not all are valued the same, but there are things that don't require an RNG that are valuable to players and can be sold/traded, etc. This is a fairly tame version, the base game is F2P (so nobody is paying for the right to pay or grind to pay some more), and the cosmetics grant zero in game benefit.

    I mean, aside from looking snazzy. Sure, 'endgame is fashionframe' or some variation thereof is commonly said in the G&T thread on the game.

    While there is a PVP mode, it's entirely optional, and lootboxes for cosmetics or even power to a degree (Mass Effect 3's Multiplayer comes to mind) are reduced in awfulness based on having a primarily co-op gameplay experience.

    Conversely, the game that started this shitstorm, aside from a fairly cursory (4-6'ish hour?) single player campaign, is almost entirely multiplayer, similar to CoD or BF or CS:GO, etc. Pay to win, and pay to win random shit, all become (in my eyes) much more obnoxious mechanics when competitive play is the real meat of the game. Having awesome cards (by luck and/or payments) gives a player (and thus their team) an advantage, and in BFII's case, a substantial one for the higher level cards. Conversely, lack of good cards (or cards of any sort) put an individual player (and thus their team) at a disadvantage. Skill or coordination can make up for these differences, it's not like one side paid $100 for a card that says 'Get Rekt, You Lose, Lawl', but even with just a few days of gameplay under my belt (yes, I'm part of the problem here) I can already occasionally look at someone's loadout after they kill me and see "yeah, they had a pretty substantial fucking advantage in that gunfight".

    So, like many things in life, sure, we can agree that for some people any form of microtransaction or lootbox setup will be a negative or detriment, but there is a spectrum or scale of obnoxiousness. We can quibble where certain things fall on said scale, and yes perhaps 'it's okay if it's cosmetic' is just internalizing/accepting minor obnoxiousness on a slippery slope to worse elements, but I do think such mechanics are of lesser evil than some others.

    Yeah, if I want a cloak and it's a rare drop only, that might be annoying, but it's not as annoying as having XxX420SePiRoTh420XxX one-shot me because his shotgun hits twice as hard as mine did, all else being equal.

    I wasn’t referring to or Warframe specifically. In fact, I didn’t even know about the current state of Warframe and I had only skimmed the thread before posting. Sorry if I gave you the impression that was directed at you.

    The game I had in mind was Guild Wars 2 and their new mount licenses. In that game you can either buy a mount skin directly (for the price of the latest expansion) or buy an item for a 1/30 chance at the mount skin you want. You might even get a skin for a mount you don’t own (pretty likely given than one of the mounts is ‘secret’ and very expensive). People rushed to Arena Net’s defense by saying the skins were only cosmetic, but they’re overlooking the fact that “fashion wars” is half of GW2.

    Purely cosmetic cash shop items might be better than if they conferred in game benefits (aside from cosmetic ones), but it’s still predatory and anti consumer. In GW2 especially, because you can easily see that cash shop cosmetic items are made to look much better than other cosmetic rewards. These games still target kids and addicts. They’re not rated by the ESRB to exclude them because of loot boxes or microtransactions. The lack of pay to win is better, but that still doesn’t make it okay. Gambling is still gambling.

    / steam / [blizzard] taranis#1834 /
    EH28YFo.jpg
  • RozRoz Boss of InternetRegistered User regular
    For people proposing regulation, what is your ideal outcome? What's the regulatory framework you'd like to see. I think there's a wage range of solutions (and wide range of current implementations) which is why I find it difficult to get a baseline on this subject.

    I think - bare minimum - posting odds has to happen. Second, I think some limitation of randomized micro transactions for anyone under 18 should be done. I'm not sure what that limitation is quite yet, but I'm up for suggestions. Third, I think all randomized items should be purchasable.

    Would that be enough to allow developers to use this revenue stream while curbing the worst excesses? or do you feel that more would have to be done, and if so what?

    destroyah87JuliusTaranis
145791042
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