CliffyB: Microtransaction is Not a Dirty Word, EA is Not The Bad Guy

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Whew! That was one long rant reading :D

I don't really have anything to add that haven't been mentioned.
Now excuse me while I go enjoy myself on Steam ^^

CliffyB: Is Wrong In Article On The Internet.

Now sports.

Lovely Mixture:

AzrealMaximillion:
I never said that "Free Players" get no drops. I said that the drops for Free Players happen an extreeeeeeemly lower frequency of those who have bought items or bought the game previous to the F2P Update. Free players get next to no drops until they pay.

1. You're going to need to back that up with evidence, because I can't find anything to suggest that other than the usual people who have had trouble with the drop system (F2P and Premium).

2. You're extending the goal post if you think it's a problem that they only get free stuff instead of "more free stuff."

AzrealMaximillion:

You could play for hours as a free player and only get one drop in a day of playing TF2, while the "Premium" player has received 3-4 crates and a weapon. And getting weapons is a much more rare occurence even for "Premium" players. So the chances of getting a weapon are extremely low for free players. This I think we all know from playing the game ourselves and just seeing people talking about drops or the lack there of in the chat section.

And this is just untrue. F2P players actually have a higher chance of getting weapons because their drops do not include rarer items such as hats. Simply put, the system is randomized except for the variable on what items they can receive.

And you're going to have to give me proof of that. With every friend of mine that I introduced to TF2 when it went free, they all took an extensively long time to get drops compared to me, one who bought the game. Fact is, free players get less drops. After they bought a key, the amount of drops they received was more frequent. Hell, you could just go on the game's chat and ask around. They also can't trade at all. And trading is a pretty big portion of what you do in TF2.

Star wars went F2P, now it's free up to level 10, then they bombbard you with "subcriber access only" until you wish to quit because you can't stand the restrictions anymore.

ViciousTide:
Star wars went F2P, now it's free up to level 10, then they bombbard you with "subcriber access only" until you wish to quit because you can't stand the restrictions anymore.

So basically, they want it to be a demo, instead of actual F2P?

EA: "Here, Player X, play our game for free!"
Player X: "Thanks. Wow, this is fun! I'm enjoying this!"
EA: "Good. Now that you're level ten, give us money!"
Player X: "But you said this game was free!"

Oh, EA.

Just writing out that scenario made me want to shake my head in disappointment that I, too, thought it was actually free. They've conned people into thinking it's free, when in truth, you pay, either by harassment or with money.

AzrealMaximillion:
And you're going to have to give me proof of that. With every friend of mine that I introduced to TF2 when it went free, they all took an extensively long time to get drops compared to me, one who bought the game. Fact is, free players get less drops. After they bought a key, the amount of drops they received was more frequent. Hell, you could just go on the game's chat and ask around. They also can't trade at all. And trading is a pretty big portion of what you do in TF2.

There is no mention of such a restriction here, although they do give a vague mention of:

"free players receive only limited item drops (with no rare or cosmetic items) until they upgrade to Premium status, upon which they gain access to the full item drop system."

But if you look at the FAQ that quote uses for a source here you will yet again find no mention of an altered drop rate. They merely mention that free players do not get rare or cosmetic drops.

The first link even has graphs depicting the drop rate, and someone in the community has spent an extensive amount of time compiling data to make them. For them to then go on to make no mention about any change of the drop rate for free players is a little far-fetched.

I wanna know, what happened to "the costumer is always right"?

Also.. EA.. Electronic Arts.. Hmm.. Exactly what kind of art is this?

At least they got the "challenge everything" slogan right.

I feel like the difference can be seen with the help of the very outdated 360 version of TF2. It's not as complete and there are not as many things, but everything that is still there is still fun as a standalone game, which I don't feel is true of most micro-transaction systems, EA related or otherwise.

Except maybe spying, which is very difficult when dropped ammo doesn't refill the cloak meter, but you didn't need to pay for that feature on the PC version anyway.

Jopoho:
I feel like the difference can be seen with the help of the very outdated 360 version of TF2. It's not as complete and there are not as many things, but everything that is still there is still fun as a standalone game, which I don't feel is true of most micro-transaction systems, EA related or otherwise.

Except maybe spying, which is very difficult when dropped ammo doesn't refill the cloak meter, but you didn't need to pay for that feature on the PC version anyway.

I've never actually spoken to anyone who owns the 360 version before!

Is it hard to get matches? Do you wish you bought the PC version?

Rattja:
I wanna know, what happened to "the costumer is always right"?

Also.. EA.. Electronic Arts.. Hmm.. Exactly what kind of art is this?

At least they got the "challenge everything" slogan right.

It's the kind of art you make with massive piles of money when you're a sociopath. That kind of art.

EA's "challenge everything" slogan actually means "challenge consumer tolerance for money-grubbing" and also "challenge consumer patience".

In fact, there are a lot of things I find challenging about EA... so I guess they're pretty successful at that.

I can smell an "industry spokesman".

AzrealMaximillion:
And you're going to have to give me proof of that. With every friend of mine that I introduced to TF2 when it went free, they all took an extensively long time to get drops compared to me, one who bought the game. Fact is, free players get less drops. After they bought a key, the amount of drops they received was more frequent.

There's no proof for or against your claim (or mine), but it's not fact.

You even have people from just last year and even a few months ago claiming that F2P players have higher drop rates than premium players.

Way I figure, it's random and chance.

AzrealMaximillion:

Hell, you could just go on the game's chat and ask around.

I did so. No one had definite evidence other than one guy trying an F2P account, and he said it got normal drops.

So differing experiences all around.

AzrealMaximillion:

They also can't trade at all. And trading is a pretty big portion of what you do in TF2.

Highly debatable. That really depends on how much time you're investing in the game.

Rachmaninov:

Jopoho:
I feel like the difference can be seen with the help of the very outdated 360 version of TF2. It's not as complete and there are not as many things, but everything that is still there is still fun as a standalone game, which I don't feel is true of most micro-transaction systems, EA related or otherwise.

Except maybe spying, which is very difficult when dropped ammo doesn't refill the cloak meter, but you didn't need to pay for that feature on the PC version anyway.

I've never actually spoken to anyone who owns the 360 version before!

Is it hard to get matches? Do you wish you bought the PC version?

The problem is that it hasn't been patched since 2009, it has many glitches that griefers can exploit.

Lovely Mixture:

AzrealMaximillion:
And you're going to have to give me proof of that. With every friend of mine that I introduced to TF2 when it went free, they all took an extensively long time to get drops compared to me, one who bought the game. Fact is, free players get less drops. After they bought a key, the amount of drops they received was more frequent.

There's no proof for or against your claim (or mine), but it's not fact.

You even have people from just last year and even a few months ago claiming that F2P players have higher drop rates than premium players.

Way I figure, it's random and chance.

AzrealMaximillion:

Hell, you could just go on the game's chat and ask around.

I did so. No one had definite evidence other than one guy trying an F2P account, and he said it got normal drops.

So differing experiences all around.

You get six weapon drops a week, regardless of whether or not you're F2P or premium. One might get drops more often than the other, but if you play it fairly regularly you'll exhaust all of your drops before the week is out, premium player or not.

If you're premium you're also eligible for hat and accessory drops, but getting one doesn't take away from one of your six weapon drops.

That's my understanding of the drop system anyway.

I love how he says that games cost an upwards of 100 million dollars to budget yet most games on kick starter seem to be progressing just fine with a 3 million dollar donation.
Game industry does not even come close to the movie industry when it comes to money. And anyone saying that they couldn;t make a Mass Effect clone game with 3 million dollars is lying or horrible at managing money.

So, no one has noticed how much of a rip-off AAA micro-transactions are? I'm actually quite surprised that people think that what EA is doing is acceptable. Also, HUGE difference between an AAA micro-transaction and DLC. They maybe be similar in some terms, but they are far from equal.

Cliffy B Demonstrating his familiarity with the concept of false equivalence.

Rachmaninov:

I've never actually spoken to anyone who owns the 360 version before!

Is it hard to get matches? Do you wish you bought the PC version?

Oh, I got the PC version later, before it went free to play but long after release. It's certainly a step-up.

That being said, finding matches was difficult, but not as hard as you might think, and I do miss the ability to store partial ubercharges, but that's neither here nor there.

He lost me at the "I'm mad at Reddit/ memes". Grow up?

Steven Bogos:
CliffyB: Microtransaction is Not a Dirty Word, EA is Not The Bad Guy

image

"Those talented artists, programmers, designers, and producers that spent their time building the game you love? They need to eat and feed their families. (Something that the hipster/boomerang kid generation seems to forget all too often.)"

It also seems petty game producers with seven-figure incomes forget that their "hipster" customers aren't endless fountains of disposable income, some unfortunately being smart enough to call out a major publisher for not handling DLC correctly (EA has proven to be a clueless, repeat offender in this regard).

The problem with microtransactions is that they usually don't make games better. Let's go through the individual types of microtransactions and what is wrong with each one:

Microtransactions make single-player games easier: These are the microtransactions that let you skip stages, give you overpowered items, or whatnot. The problem is obvious; if you did the difficulty right, I shouldn't want to make the game easier. If I do, I should have a difficulty setting that doesn't cost anything to adjust. If I don't or it doesn't get the difficulty right, that's the developers screwing up the difficulty - bad game design. Another problem is that buying advantages using out-of-game money is well, cheating - I usually don't want to cheat in a single-player game and if I do, I better be able to do it for free. 90% of the time I cheat in single-player I'm using a console command to fix the consequences of a bug.

Microtransactions that add items or characters: The problem with these is that they never integrate into the game properly. Typically you are just given them, even if they're totally inappropriate for your stage in the game. They're usually overpowered, so it boils down to paying to cheat again. Finally, often, they're there to fill gaping omissions in the original game - a game might give you two rings slots for each of five characters, and then only put 3 decent rings in the entire game with the rest as DLC. That's deliberately broken game design, and everyone hates that.

Microtransactions that add visual only items: Who cares? First, if the game allow character appearance customization, I shouldn't have to pay for it, Second, it's pointless money wasting. See Oblivion horse armor. I guess it worked for TF2, but you know what? The game looked better without the stupid hats.

Microtransactions for small DLC: Not terrible in concept, but never seems to work right. First of all, sticking more levels in the middle of a game overpowers the character for the rest of it and wrecks the difficulty curve. Secondly, they're just so often garbage. Third, there's always the issue of them never really fitting into the game. Honestly I think the games are usually better off without them, even if you have them. It's like throwing more chapters into the middle of a book, that were written by a second, worse author on a deadline.

Microtransactions to cut down on the grind: Similar to reducing the difficulty, if I want to cut down the grind in a game, the developer either made too much grind or made the grind not fun. Either way, it's bad game design. Character development is supposed to be an element that makes games better, but so often, this makes the developer corrupt the process, making it deliberately tedious in order sell ways around it.

And so forth.

I don't object to the concept of microtransactions and DLC, but the concept has literally never improved a game that I know of, except for indy games in which it took the form of large expansion packs (which were cheap because the games themselves were cheap). The thing is, for microtransactions to be a good thing, the game has to be truly complete and fun without them, and they have to integrate well into the game to improve it. This never happens. The game is always released stripped of key elements, or padded out with tons of grind to make the player buy grind-away, or the game is good but the microtransation stuff is poorly-integrated trash. Developers have to do better if they want them to be accepted.

Rachmaninov:

ViciousTide:
Star wars went F2P, now it's free up to level 10, then they bombbard you with "subcriber access only" until you wish to quit because you can't stand the restrictions anymore.

So basically, they want it to be a demo, instead of actual F2P?

EA: "Here, Player X, play our game for free!"
Player X: "Thanks. Wow, this is fun! I'm enjoying this!"
EA: "Good. Now that you're level ten, give us money!"
Player X: "But you said this game was free!"

Oh, EA.

Just writing out that scenario made me want to shake my head in disappointment that I, too, thought it was actually free. They've conned people into thinking it's free, when in truth, you pay, either by harassment or with money.

No it's actually Free 2 Play. We are talking about SW:TOR here right? Because you can play the entire leveling experience for free in that game. You have to pay to use multiplayer content for the most part, but you are allowed a certain number of dungeons per week, as well as warzones and space missions.

Rattja:
I wanna know, what happened to "the costumer is always right"?

Also.. EA.. Electronic Arts.. Hmm.. Exactly what kind of art is this?

At least they got the "challenge everything" slogan right.

You've never worked in retail, have you?

daibakuha:

Rattja:
I wanna know, what happened to "the costumer is always right"?

Also.. EA.. Electronic Arts.. Hmm.. Exactly what kind of art is this?

At least they got the "challenge everything" slogan right.

You've never worked in retail, have you?

Nope, but I still deal with customers, and if I did not do what they wanted they would go somewhere else.

Rattja:

daibakuha:

Rattja:
I wanna know, what happened to "the costumer is always right"?

Also.. EA.. Electronic Arts.. Hmm.. Exactly what kind of art is this?

At least they got the "challenge everything" slogan right.

You've never worked in retail, have you?

Nope, but I still deal with customers, and if I did not do what they wanted they would go somewhere else.

My point is, the customer ISN'T always right, they are often times completely wrong.

daibakuha:

Rattja:

daibakuha:

You've never worked in retail, have you?

Nope, but I still deal with customers, and if I did not do what they wanted they would go somewhere else.

My point is, the customer ISN'T always right, they are often times completely wrong.

It's not litteral, and I got your point, here is mine.
If a customer comes to me and says "I want the wiers in the cabinet to have these colours" It does not matter how wrong I think that is, that is what he wants, so that is what he gets.
As long as it does not conflict with the law, and is possible, it is my job to do what they think is right.

I never did care for this guy or his style, and his picture there along with the points he's trying to make really don't help. It's two parts condescension and one part smirk, muddled with misinformation and poured into a filthy glass, and he expects me to take him seriously?

I had a better time imagining it was Borderland 2's 'Handsome Jack' reading me that over the radio. He seems like that kind of a guy.

I think he's right in some aspects. There are things that EA has pulled off that are for more shady than just microtransaction stuff. Disk locked content, killing old studios like Westwood... but their DLC practices and stuff like online passes aren't nearly the evil shady business practices they're made out to be. Sure they're business practices that people have to pay money for but there's nothing immoral or shady about them.

Valve is held above EA for actual reasons of course, their community interaction is one of the best of all developers out there.

He's right though how many people who would rip on EA, flame and bash their games would also play TF2 and just ignore the microtransaction stuff not seeing it as a big deal. The DLC for EA games functions in the same way as Valve games.

Awexsome:
I think he's right in some aspects. There are things that EA has pulled off that are for more shady than just microtransaction stuff. Disk locked content, killing old studios like Westwood... but their DLC practices and stuff like online passes aren't nearly the evil shady business practices they're made out to be. Sure they're business practices that people have to pay money for but there's nothing immoral or shady about them.

Valve is held above EA for actual reasons of course, their community interaction is one of the best of all developers out there.

He's right though how many people who would rip on EA, flame and bash their games would also play TF2 and just ignore the microtransaction stuff not seeing it as a big deal. The DLC for EA games functions in the same way as Valve games.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Functions may be similar, but they are not the same thing. People like Cliffy B love to spin the information around to make it seem like it's no big deal, when in fact it is. Though Valve does do micro-transactions, they have a history now of actions that have made their customers happy. EA has no such long history to even try the same thing. It's like comparing your Priest to a homeless man on the street. They are both asking for donations, but you know the history of the Priest so your happy to donate. You have very little to no history with the homeless man, so your skeptical about him.

Just because one company can do it doesn't mean that just any company can do the same. Now if EA made a f2p game with micro-transactions in them, that would make sense to buy them since the game survival is solely based on it. But putting them in an AAA game is like they are now charging you for what Cheat Codes used to do...and that is just sleazy.

Negatempest:
It's like comparing your Priest to a homeless man on the street. They are both asking for donations, but you know the history of the Priest so your happy to donate. You have very little to no history with the homeless man, so your skeptical about him.

Good example, although I'd liken EA more to a homeless ex-convict. I think even the people who don't know EA, will know that in general, people have a strong disliking for them for their previous behaviour.

But my version of your example would be maybe too polarizing, since it would be coloured by my own disgust with EA.

How is Cliffy B. wrong on this one? I don't find EA to be the CAUSE, they're the SYMPTOM. The most important part, the part gamers as a whole seem to conveniently forget, is the last part; our money IS our voice, not a blog or a petition. You can't bring a bought EA game across the counter with one hand and flip them off with the other.

I think the video game industry (as a WHOLE) is falling prey to so many bad habits that we all need to buy fewer games, or have a real justification for the games we DO buy for a long, long time to come. I'm thinking of buying Journey because it's acclaimed, it's cheap and people I might actually respect are singing the praises of it. If it was also an EA product, I would choose to go without due to my principles. Are we all on the same page here? How many of us are doing this already? I hope it's a lot.

PrototypeC:
How is Cliffy B. wrong on this one? I don't find EA to be the CAUSE, they're the SYMPTOM. The most important part, the part gamers as a whole seem to conveniently forget, is the last part; our money IS our voice, not a blog or a petition. You can't bring a bought EA game across the counter with one hand and flip them off with the other.

This is a subject I've been discussing with people a lot recently.

Our money isn't our voice. Let me explain why;

Firstly, the "gaming community" - or, more specifically, the people who care enough about games to discuss them with other people, usually online - are the minority of video game purchases. The majority are people who buy games, but do not join the community. This creates a big problem, if you're trying to persuade people of the "gaming community" to boycott products they don't like, because even if the whole community unites, the impact is pretty insignificant. And that is if you could get the whole community to agree on anything, which is as impossible as herding cats.

Secondly, boycotting products doesn't send the right message. The publisher would never be able to glean the underlying message behind the boycott. The sole product of boycotting is fewer sales, and we have plenty of examples of how the large publishers like EA and Activision react to low sales, for example;

Activision gets incredible sales for Prototype 2, but less than they wanted. So what do they do? Well, they sack the majority of the developing studio, absorb the rest to work on their other projects, and then they cite Prototype 2's "failure to find a broad commercial audience" as the reason.

And this is not helpful to us, or the future of the industry. But this is the only reaction they've ever had, when a game sold less than they expected.

We could never uproot EA, through boycotts, because the only titles we'd be able to damage would be the "risky", unique, niche titles - the ones we least want to hurt - and cause EA to close the development studio, repurposing whatever staff they don't fire to work on their major titles. So EA would just go back to EA Sports, where our boycotts wouldn't make the slightest tickle of a difference, and they'd still be making enough money to buy more studios.

But how we can effect the industry is through complaining, whining and moaning in places like this. In this, the size of the community isn't such a drawback, because despite our small size, we can grab headlines, when we don't like something about a game.

And when gamers manage to complain so obnoxiously that they get headlines on Forbes, EA sit up and take notice. When we complain loud enough that we give EA bad press, we begin to have an effect on that otherwise unreachable majority, by damaging EA's PR.

This effect caused EA/BioWare to change Mass Effect 3's ending, it got Capcom to say it was done with Day One DLC, and it got EA to stop using SecuROM in all of its games. It has EA doing press release after press release about microtransactions, trying to justify them and half-apologizing, because they're worried that the complaints about microtransactions are going to hurt them. And apparently, judging by the article in the original post, CliffyB's worried about EA, too. This is by no means the full list of things the "gaming community" has changed by just complaining, but it's much longer than the list of "good things accomplished in video games by boycotting" because that list is empty.

The best thing we can do, is buy the games we want to buy, and then complain if someone like EA has messed them up. Complaints from someone who owns the game will be taken infinitely more seriously. If so many people hadn't bought Aliens: Colonial Marines then we'd have nowhere near the righteous furor we have now, and that rage extends beyond the gaming community, damaging Gearbox's PR even for people who have never been anywhere near a gaming forum in their lives.

I'll say right off the bat: I'm not reading many other posts. I might just be repeating what's already said, but this EA crap is really pissing me off, so I'd like to just let this out of my system this once. Honest. I swear.

Origin is crap. It has been and will be. No, dispite what a person working for EA will say, origin will not become more popular, even though Steam did. That's because when Steam came out it was innovative, and when Origin came out it was a money grab because Steam became popular and EA wanted a hand in the pie.

Valve made a 100 dollar engagement ring as a joke, and offered a cute feature with it: everyone playing would immediately get a message about it. It's neat. More importantly, it's unnecessary. IT'S NOT CONTENT, AND IT'S BARELY EVEN A COSMETIC ITEM. They can get away with it, because it's really just a donate-to-TF2 device. Pure and simple. If you have a hundred dollars, and don't mind spending it on a videogame, Valve wouldn't mind spare funding. THEY'RE NOT HOLDING GODDAMNED GAME CONTENT BACK FOR THIS RETARDED SUM. What's even better is that they hold sales on it and all of their games! EA puts games on sale when they're becoming unpopular so they can get more revenue. Valve puts games on sale out the door, and on Wednesdays, and summers, winters, falls, and whenever Gabe sees a bluebird out his window, because they know more people buy cheaper games and they don't mind risking lower profits in exchange for more people buying the game.

Rachmaninov:

That's the benefit of the second option, not a third.

As long as you are bemoaning the second, it is a third for all viable intents and purposes.

Rachmaninov:

So, like I already said, if you're working on your magnus opus, you simply could not afford to have it taken from you. Imagine your favourite art form, your favourite artist... say perhaps a musician... suddenly being legally unable to play whatever their main, signature instrument is. It's not as simple as just shrugging and saying "Welp, onto the next instrument." like you seem to think it is. So if that musician, through no fault of their own, became the apparently disposable slave of EA (through whatever witchcraft you might like to imagine, play along) and EA could take their instrument away if the musician didn't do as they say... you damn well better believe that most, even those with this fabled "backbone" you talk about, would do as EA say. At least for a little while.

Your analogy is flawed. Many musicians have run into issues with their catalogues of work, the analogous element here. Prince, John Fogerty and Aerosmith all immediately jump to mind for various reasons. Nobody in this analogy is actually stopping them from playing their instrument(s) of choice. However, their music, their actual work, may well be.

Someone's magnum opus is not their instrument, but their art. Their art can be taken, it frequently is, and it's quite possible to move on. It is, by your own analogy (or, rather, the real-world version of it), quite possible to move on.

Although John Fogerty was once sued for sounding too much like John Fogerty. Even then, that didn't fly in the long run (reference: Fogerty v Fantasy).

CliffyB is in denial. Very, very big denial.

I hate people who are in denial that corporations can't be evil.

Can I Just say what is their to hate EA for at least the microtrasnsactions actually do something Valve make hats for Tf2 which are purely cosmetic and cost around 10 which is stupid OK its from a first persons perspective so why buy hats for your chacter and whats with the whole 100 engagement ring bolox yea thanks Valve just what I wanted

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