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Bungie Caught With Their Pants Down by Destiny 2 Players?


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#1 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 09:43 PM

Well, well, well, what have we here?

https://arstechnica....h-in-destiny-2/

The only surprise to me is no hint about any role Activision may have in this stuff. I don't know how all of that is structured but I actually hope they are to blame rather than Bungie.

The above issue points out very clearly the biggest problem with micro-transactions in games which is that game design is deliberately and directly impacted by them with the obvious goal of extracting more money from players. The trick is to be subtle enough in this deceit so as to promote some feeling they are optional and therefore grind is okay while still causing a large number of players to part with more money, sometimes lots of it, to spare themselves the grind which is carefully tuned to maximize overall profits. XP tuning in a game like this is not driven by concerns for the player experience beyond being careful not to lose the cheapskate fodder needed to keep the servers busy for the premium customers to enjoy.

Micro-transactions are poison and have no redeeming value, none whatsoever including cosmetics.

This strikes me as being something like art that must first be designed to maximize profit and then whatever art can still survive this process is what winds up being available to the public. If you come to the museum enough times on double XP weekends, you can see Mona Lisa's eyes sooner! Otherwise, if you don't want to wait we have Mona Loot Boxes you can buy for a random chance to get one or maybe even both eyeballs revealed. Check the in-museum store for specials on cosmetics such as a wide array of eye colors, costumes, hair styles, hats, an EPIC bloody dagger complete with the otherwise unavailable big smile mod, a mount for Mona and more! Personally, I think Mona without eyes is fine. I mean, they are optional. Nobody is making me buy them and it isn't like she needs them. I could level up over a ridiculous number of museum visits and get to see them anyway so I am cool with that. I might buy the optional sunglasses though early on where they are cheap. The empty eye sockets are kinda creepy and while I liked it the first time, it gets old after a while. I swear they did this just so I'd buy the eyes but I refuse to do it. Besides, I don't know a damned thing about art anyway so whatever. For all I know, Mona never had eyes to begin with but they stuck some in when they designed her so they could yank them back out and then sell chances to get them back in loot boxes that take forever to get unless you basically move into the museum and never go home again.

I miss the days when you could just buy a nice print of "American Gothic" and not have to shell out extra just to get the damned pitchfork too. Yeah, yeah, I know the stupid thing is optional but I want it.

Oops, could some power mod please fix my title spelling for me. I am too stupid to spell Destiny right the first time.
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#2 ipickert55

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Posted 29 November 2017 - 11:52 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 29 November 2017 - 09:43 PM, said:

Well, well, well, what have we here?

https://arstechnica....h-in-destiny-2/

The only surprise to me is no hint about any role Activision may have in this stuff. I don't know how all of that is structured but I actually hope they are to blame rather than Bungie.

The above issue points out very clearly the biggest problem with micro-transactions in games which is that game design is deliberately and directly impacted by them with the obvious goal of extracting more money from players. The trick is to be subtle enough in this deceit so as to promote some feeling they are optional and therefore grind is okay while still causing a large number of players to part with more money, sometimes lots of it, to spare themselves the grind which is carefully tuned to maximize overall profits. XP tuning in a game like this is not driven by concerns for the player experience beyond being careful not to lose the cheapskate fodder needed to keep the servers busy for the premium customers to enjoy.

Micro-transactions are poison and have no redeeming value, none whatsoever including cosmetics.

This strikes me as being something like art that must first be designed to maximize profit and then whatever art can still survive this process is what winds up being available to the public. If you come to the museum enough times on double XP weekends, you can see Mona Lisa's eyes sooner! Otherwise, if you don't want to wait we have Mona Loot Boxes you can buy for a random chance to get one or maybe even both eyeballs revealed. Check the in-museum store for specials on cosmetics such as a wide array of eye colors, costumes, hair styles, hats, an EPIC bloody dagger complete with the otherwise unavailable big smile mod, a mount for Mona and more! Personally, I think Mona without eyes is fine. I mean, they are optional. Nobody is making me buy them and it isn't like she needs them. I could level up over a ridiculous number of museum visits and get to see them anyway so I am cool with that. I might buy the optional sunglasses though early on where they are cheap. The empty eye sockets are kinda creepy and while I liked it the first time, it gets old after a while. I swear they did this just so I'd buy the eyes but I refuse to do it. Besides, I don't know a damned thing about art anyway so whatever. For all I know, Mona never had eyes to begin with but they stuck some in when they designed her so they could yank them back out and then sell chances to get them back in loot boxes that take forever to get unless you basically move into the museum and never go home again.

I miss the days when you could just buy a nice print of "American Gothic" and not have to shell out extra just to get the damned pitchfork too. Yeah, yeah, I know the stupid thing is optional but I want it.

Oops, could some power mod please fix my title spelling for me. I am too stupid to spell Destiny right the first time.

It just occurred to me that we don't have any thread talking about all the SWBF2 bullpopsnizzle thats been happening. I guess this is a good place to start.

I'm literally disgusted at crap like this. Microtransactions are awful, everyone knows it, and yet instead of dropping it companies are just trying to find ways to deceptively slip it in. Even EA, despite having such a massive backlash over the SWBF2 situation is still just turning off microtransactions temporarily so that this'll blow over and is probably gonna turn them right back on again.

I don't understand this mentality in the world (especially in America honestly) that making a frak ton of money just isn't enough, that you have to make all the fraking money you can get your hands on even if it means doing some shady unethical bullpopsnizzle, or just being a dick.
Maybe it really is all cocks in the end.

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#3 Frost

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 12:46 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 29 November 2017 - 09:43 PM, said:

This strikes me as being something like art that must first be designed to maximize profit and then whatever art can still survive this process is what winds up being available to the public. If you come to the museum enough times on double XP weekends, you can see Mona Lisa's eyes sooner! Otherwise, if you don't want to wait we have Mona Loot Boxes you can buy for a random chance to get one or maybe even both eyeballs revealed. Check the in-museum store for specials on cosmetics such as a wide array of eye colors, costumes, hair styles, hats, an EPIC bloody dagger complete with the otherwise unavailable big smile mod, a mount for Mona and more! Personally, I think Mona without eyes is fine. I mean, they are optional. Nobody is making me buy them and it isn't like she needs them. I could level up over a ridiculous number of museum visits and get to see them anyway so I am cool with that. I might buy the optional sunglasses though early on where they are cheap. The empty eye sockets are kinda creepy and while I liked it the first time, it gets old after a while. I swear they did this just so I'd buy the eyes but I refuse to do it. Besides, I don't know a damned thing about art anyway so whatever. For all I know, Mona never had eyes to begin with but they stuck some in when they designed her so they could yank them back out and then sell chances to get them back in loot boxes that take forever to get unless you basically move into the museum and never go home again.

I miss the days when you could just buy a nice print of "American Gothic" and not have to shell out extra just to get the damned pitchfork too. Yeah, yeah, I know the stupid thing is optional but I want it.

I heart this rant so much.
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#4 macdude22

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 01:27 PM

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#5 Matt Diamond

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 02:49 PM

I don't like micro-transactions. I've seen them done well, but usually not.

But it's worth remembering that all companies aren't necessarily just trying to cash in. Making a game generate continuous, sustainable income is a boon for players. It allows the game to be patched indefinitely, and it allows new content to be added. And it's a boon for companies, who otherwise have only a tiny window to make their game a success.

Think about some of your favorite games that were taken off the market, or stopped working after an OS update. If those games had been generating ongoing income, more of them would still be around.

So in theory it could be a win-win situation. Unfortunately in practice we see decent games mostly ruined by heavy-handed use of these mechanics. I say "mostly" because enough players seem to put up with it that publishers see it working. It's a bit like the way tv commercial breaks have just gotten longer and longer. There's no feedback to tell them where to draw the line.
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#6 Janichsan

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 03:45 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 29 November 2017 - 09:43 PM, said:

Well, well, well, what have we here?

https://arstechnica....h-in-destiny-2/

The only surprise to me is no hint about any role Activision may have in this stuff. I don't know how all of that is structured but I actually hope they are to blame rather than Bungie.
Well, two things have to be remembered when reading anything about Destiny: Bungie is terrible at communicating, and the vocal part of the Destiny community is a cesspool filled to the brim with hate and spite. That blows up controversies regarding that game often pretty much out of proportion.

I agree that microtransactions have no place in a $60+ game (especially one with expansions and season passes in place) and that adaptive XP throttling is shady as hell.

However, if the plan was to make the bright engrams (Destiny's version of lootboxes) more difficult to obtain without microtransactions, that scheme was ineffective: even with the throttling, you could easily get a bright engram every 2 or 3 hours of playing. That's far more generous rate than any other game with lootboxes I know, including Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, and Rainbow Six Siege. The increased amount of XP necessary for leveling currently in place did far more to slow down the rate bright engrams can be obtained.

The far bigger problem with the bright engrams is their content. The vast majority of stuff you get from them is just unappealing and uninteresting popsnizzle. The drop rates for the legendary or even exotic cosmetics you get from them is far too low. That's were the whole scheme gets really predatory.

Quote

Oops, could some power mod please fix my title spelling for me. I am too stupid to spell Destiny right the first time.
Done.

View Postipickert55, on 29 November 2017 - 11:52 PM, said:

It just occurred to me that we don't have any thread talking about all the SWBF2 bullpopsnizzle thats been happening. I guess this is a good place to start.
There is simple way to summarise the Battlefront 2 situation:
Posted Image

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#7 ipickert55

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Posted 30 November 2017 - 06:21 PM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 30 November 2017 - 02:49 PM, said:

I don't like micro-transactions. I've seen them done well, but usually not.

But it's worth remembering that all companies aren't necessarily just trying to cash in. Making a game generate continuous, sustainable income is a boon for players. It allows the game to be patched indefinitely, and it allows new content to be added. And it's a boon for companies, who otherwise have only a tiny window to make their game a success.

Think about some of your favorite games that were taken off the market, or stopped working after an OS update. If those games had been generating ongoing income, more of them would still be around.

So in theory it could be a win-win situation. Unfortunately in practice we see decent games mostly ruined by heavy-handed use of these mechanics. I say "mostly" because enough players seem to put up with it that publishers see it working. It's a bit like the way tv commercial breaks have just gotten longer and longer. There's no feedback to tell them where to draw the line.

The problem is that you don't need micro transactions to have a game supported in the future. CD Projekt updated literally every game on GOG for windows 10 and will probably continue to do so forever. They didn't need micro transactions for that. They also gave free DLC for the witcher 3 and two ridiculously good expansion packs. Aspyr randomly updated KOTOR 2 because they felt like it, Feral keeps certain games updated forver.

Companies are still trying to cash in, but with a nice convincing veil like "future content updates".

View PostJanichsan, on 30 November 2017 - 03:45 PM, said:


There is simple way to summarise the Battlefront 2 situation:
Posted Image

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#8 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 01:56 AM

What I have a problem with is game design being affected by money aside of the obvious need to create a product that will sell on the basis of its quality and appeal. The games suffer for this. Games that could and should be much better than they are, are not because top management dictates money extraction must be a core component of the game's design. I think that is wrong, plain and simple.

You know what is probably the worst thing about all of this? Gamers are paying for the work done to screw them. A lot of people spend a lot of time calculating how to hit management goals for revenue based on known and projected information, etc. What to sell and at what prices has to be figured out. How to make people want to buy the stuff has to be figured out and implemented such as carefully tuned grind as just one example. Systems to measure consumer response to various items, changes, etc. have to be created. A lot of data needs to be analyzed as a part of this process from start to finish. This new way of making money costs money to implement and consumers pay for it.

I'm glad there are lots of really great games that don't do this stuff. I'd rather play those and give my money to the people who make them.
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#9 Atticus

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 01:01 PM

What makes me sad is that I imagine these games don't start with an idea/universe, but with a revenue/MT mode around which the game is built. I suspect this is the case with Destiny. How cynical and evil.

Only makes me root for devs like CDPR harder. I hope they continue to give the finger to EA/Ubisoft/whomever.
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#10 Matt Diamond

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 02:06 PM

> The problem is that you don't need micro transactions to have a game supported in the future.

Your list of examples is well taken, but those are not the norm. And I don't think it is realistic to expect all companies to do that. Whether it's to make more profits or just to keep putting food on the table, the economic incentive for developers and publishers is to move on to products that make more money for the same amount of work. The pressure is always there, even though (as you pointed out) they sometimes resist it.

So it makes sense to me to look for incentives that will encourage companies to support their games.

No question, micro-transactions are not the only way to do it! That's pretty obvious. I personally prefer the old-fashioned model where players simply pay for additional content. But even that can be controversial. I don't like it when the extra content was developed at the same time as the original game, because It feels like the company deliberately withheld part of the game in order to charge more for the whole package. (Yet I don't mind when a movie studio films a trilogy all at once, which is similar..)

In case it wasn't clear, I'm not saying micro-transactions are good, but they do try to solve a real problem.
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#11 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 02:53 PM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 01 December 2017 - 02:06 PM, said:

In case it wasn't clear, I'm not saying micro-transactions are good, but they do try to solve a real problem.

I'm not sure I understand what real problem micro-transactions are needed to solve aside of making more money than would otherwise be the case which is ultimately the fundamental issue here. Any game worth its salt does not need micro-transactions to sustain it financially. A look back at the history of the gaming industry proves that easily enough. I personally feel that games should sink or swim on the merits of their appeal and quality and nothing else. If you have to basically trick people into paying more and more later, I don't think what you are selling is good enough because if it was there would be no need for such shenanigans to begin with.

One could argue but then many games would disappear and many companies go under. I would agree that is true and further I would suggest that to be a good thing not a bad one.
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#12 Spike

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 02:53 PM

Completely agree with Matt Diamond as those very small examples are rare and not the norm. I have Aspyr and Feral games that no longer run on my current computer.

I like micro transactions when its clear what they are for as it gives developers much needed money to support and update games.

#13 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 03:30 PM

View PostSpike, on 01 December 2017 - 02:53 PM, said:

I like micro transactions when its clear what they are for as it gives developers much needed money to support and update games.

Does this mean you like micro-transactions all of the time, because I cannot think of an instance where it is not crystal clear what they are for? Also, do you believe that EA and Activision as the two major culprits brought up here with the examples of SWBF2 and Destiny 2 desperately need more money to support and update AAA games that sell for $60. a pop and generally are followed up with expansions? Do these major companies really need to for example, gate progress to extract more money from players willing to pay to remove that suckage from the game they already paid full AAA price for?

I can think of a multitude of charities more deserving of my support than EA and Activision but to each their own of course.
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#14 DirtyHarry50

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 03:39 PM

I don't mind paying for quality entertainment. I just want to be treated fairly and not have the quality of said entertainment compromised by the insertion of systems into a game or alterations to a game put in purely to extract more money from me. I consider that to be disingenuous to put it mildly.

Does poor, struggling EA for example need loot boxes in SWBF2 to feed the staff's hungry children? Fine then. I am not a bad guy. Tell us how much is needed to make that game profitable, to make it worth publishing. Be honest. Be transparent. Do you want $150. for it? Okay. Put it out there for that then in unadulterated form. See how that flies. And here you have the reason for all the BS being discussed here. That won't fly so deceit becomes the way for those lacking in character. That's just the way it is.

By the way, if you watch the Angry Joe review of SWBF2 he quotes some rather astonishing numbers about how much money it would take someone to buy everything on offer and save themselves astronomical hours of grind. Somebody totaled it all up at over two grand I think it was. I can see why EA probably does not want to offer it for two grand outright. It is much better to suck in people who are mentally vulnerable to stuff like this and will actually spend ridiculous amounts of money because they just have to have the stuff. That is deliberate. That is predatory. That is wrong.
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#15 ipickert55

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 04:39 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 01 December 2017 - 02:53 PM, said:

I'm not sure I understand what real problem micro-transactions are needed to solve aside of making more money than would otherwise be the case which is ultimately the fundamental issue here. Any game worth its salt does not need micro-transactions to sustain it financially. A look back at the history of the gaming industry proves that easily enough. I personally feel that games should sink or swim on the merits of their appeal and quality and nothing else. If you have to basically trick people into paying more and more later, I don't think what you are selling is good enough because if it was there would be no need for such shenanigans to begin with.

One could argue but then many games would disappear and many companies go under. I would agree that is true and further I would suggest that to be a good thing not a bad one.

This is the point I was trying to make, thank you for saying it much more clearly.

Microtransactions are completely unnecessary.
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#16 Spike

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Posted 01 December 2017 - 07:24 PM

View PostDirtyHarry50, on 01 December 2017 - 03:30 PM, said:

Does this mean you like micro-transactions all of the time, because I cannot think of an instance where it is not crystal clear what they are for? Also, do you believe that EA and Activision as the two major culprits brought up here with the examples of SWBF2 and Destiny 2 desperately need more money to support and update AAA games that sell for $60. a pop and generally are followed up with expansions? Do these major companies really need to for example, gate progress to extract more money from players willing to pay to remove that suckage from the game they already paid full AAA price for?

My statement "I like micro transactions when its clear what they are for" means not all of the time but when its clear what they are for. I have played a few games that the micro-transactions are great and like it that way.
I have never played SWBF2 or Destiny 2 since there are no Mac versions and so do not know anything about those two examples. If a $60 game is purchased and a person expected something from it and then found could not get it without micro-transactions, then that would be bad. I have bought many many $60 games that have zero micro-transactions and found they sucked and immediately deleted. Theres always a risk buying something.

Lots of games can be played free or reduced cost thanks to micro-transactions, which then help support the developers.

#17 Matt Diamond

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Posted 02 December 2017 - 08:35 PM

Quote

Any game worth its salt does not need micro-transactions to sustain it financially. A look back at the history of the gaming industry proves that easily enough.

Are you saying that they don't need anything other than sales of the base product to sustain them? Because history shows the opposite.  For example we never got that OS X patch for Oni that the developer worked on in his spare time. I seem to recall MacSoft having to charge us for the OS X patch for Halo.. And all those multiplayer games over the years whose servers eventually got turned off..

Whereas you can still buy the last 3 versions of Civilization, and two or three versions of The Sims. They all still generate revenue, not just through the core game but through selling optional, cheap add-ons. (Transactions, rather than micro-transactions.)

Multiplayer games running on servers are the most likely to need a revenue stream. But I agree it doesn't have to be microtransactions. Could be transactions or subscriptions or expansion packs.
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#18 Janichsan

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 02:33 AM

View PostMatt Diamond, on 02 December 2017 - 08:35 PM, said:

Are you saying that they don't need anything other than sales of the base product to sustain them? Because history shows the opposite.  For example we never got that OS X patch for Oni that the developer worked on in his spare time. I seem to recall MacSoft having to charge us for the OS X patch for Halo.. And all those multiplayer games over the years whose servers eventually got turned off..

Whereas you can still buy the last 3 versions of Civilization, and two or three versions of The Sims. They all still generate revenue, not just through the core game but through selling optional, cheap add-ons. (Transactions, rather than micro-transactions.)

Multiplayer games running on servers are the most likely to need a revenue stream. But I agree it doesn't have to be microtransactions. Could be transactions or subscriptions or expansion packs.
And yet history is also full of examples of games no longer supported or shutdown online despite having microtransactions, DLC packs, or other means to secure a constant revenue stream, like Marvel Heroes, Disney Infinity, or FIFA 14.

And vice versa games that are still supported despite having neither countless expansions and/or microtransactions, like CounterStrike/CS Source, StarCraft 1, and Diablo II.

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#19 Tetsuya

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 03:57 AM

In Destiny 2, at least, the Microtransactions are for purely cosmetic things.  

Ive never been tempted even once to buy any of the “Silver” currency.  

Im literally swimming in the shaders and stuff that comes from the Bright Engrams, to the point ive had to dismantle them because im running out of space.  Ive never felt that the 9 Bright Engrams i get easily each week (just for playing the basic weekly stuff) wasnt enough.  (Like i said, swimming in the cosmetic stuff).  

Considering that Destiny 2 is an online game with servers to maintain, i dont really mind if pointless cosmetic Microtransactions are there for people who care enough to spend.  

Now... Bungie hiding the fact that exp was getting reduced in certain activities, and not being transparent about how the game even works...yeah, not going to even try to defend that.  

Free-to-play games also get a pass on the Microtransaction Hate from me.  A game like League of Legends is fine for Microtransactions. You can play for free indefinitely, and real money will not buy you an advantage.  In fact, if i like the game enough, ill often buy something jist to help support the dev.  (I think, over the years, ive spent ~45$ on League for Skins, and i didnt feel bad or pressured - i did it because id certainly gotten more than 45$ worth of play/fun out of it).  I spent some real money on Path of Exile for the same reason.  

Where I draw the line is at pay-to-win (which is where SWBF2 was heading) and/or Microtransactions in single-player solo games or multiplayer games that are client hosted (and therefore not costing the game dev any money).  The current trend of forcing microtransactions into everything is total bullpopsnizzle.... oh, and pre-order “exclusives” can go die in the fires of hell, too.

#20 Spike

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Posted 03 December 2017 - 10:38 AM

View PostJanichsan, on 03 December 2017 - 02:33 AM, said:

And yet history is also full of examples of games no longer supported or shutdown online despite having microtransactions, DLC packs, or other means to secure a constant revenue stream, like Marvel Heroes, Disney Infinity, or FIFA 14.

And vice versa games that are still supported despite having neither countless expansions and/or microtransactions, like CounterStrike/CS Source, StarCraft 1, and Diablo II.

We werent implying 100% of games are one way or the other, just that its rare for games that have no microtransactions, expansions, dlc, etc, to be updated.

Although the topic is about Destiny 2 which I dont know anything about, I have played a few Mac games that have microtransactions and saw no problem at all with them and like them.