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Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by CRTGAMER Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:03 pm

Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?
I never liked DRM/DLC with add on costs for features that a game company can remove support at any time. I have been reading a lot of negative reviews concerning this game, the way so many features of the game come at an additional cost. Reading this article, a point of relating the Star Wars game loot crates as a form of online gambling restrictions to prevent the sneaky DLC charges.

DLC hidden charges keeps coming back in new forms, sadly many gamers will never learn.

Brad Jackson on November 17, 2017 wrote:Paid Loot Crates Are Bad For Gamers, And EA Knows It
http://thefederalist.com/2017/11/17/paid-loot-crates-bad-gamers-ea-knows/


Most every Star Wars fan would love to play “Battlefront” as Darth Vader. Why not? He’s one of the best bad guys in all of cinema, and to slaughter digital Rebels with your lightsaber and force chokes is great fun. Unfortunately, you can’t do that out of the box. You have to earn him. When the beta of the game came out recently, players picked up on this and complained. Loudly! EA’s plan was to have people pay real money for an in-game currency that allows players to purchase “Loot Crates” that provide random rewards for the game, which may or may not include something a player wants.

:arrow: Sounds similar to loading coins in a slot machine, pulling the lever and hoping to hit it big, doesn’t it? There’s the problem. Many think that this system is akin to gambling, and they might be right. The Dutch think so, and their authorities are now investigating the matter to determine if loot crates can be classified as online gambling. If they are, it’s likely the end of the loot crate money grab that is becoming all the rage in gaming these days. Cross your fingers!

The Game Price Should Buy the Game
The reaction to “Battlefront’s” real-money loot crates has been vociferous, and inescapable. EA has been pounded by the gaming community for this, and last night they finally relented. In a statement issued on Twitter, the company said, “We hear you loud and clear, so we’re turning off all in-game purchases.” With the change, “all progression will be earned through gameplay.” That means that instead of purchasing Darth Vader, your opportunity to play as him will only come through playing “Battlefront” until your thumbs bleed.

That’s a step in the right direction, but still not good enough. If you’re going to advertise that you can play as the iconic Star Wars characters we all know and love, then actually provide that ability upfront. For $60, that’s the least you can do for gamers.

Why are gamers so upset by loot crates? It’s pretty simple. When you buy a triple A title like “Battlefront,” it will set you back about $60. That ain’t cheap. Then gaming companies want you to spend additional money just to play the game you deserve from the start. That’s not fair, and although it may seem like a good way to boost the bottom line of a game, it’s bad for gamers, and EA knows it, that’s why they bent to public pressure and temporarily pulled the payment feature.

The Gameplay ‘Earning’ Is Absurd
This isn’t over yet, because whether you can pay for it or not, the ability to play the game you were promised is still light years away. An analysis done by Star Wars Gaming found that it will take more than 4,500 hours of gameplay just to “earn” all the base-game content. If EA’s loot crate payment system had stayed in place you could shortcut that time by spending a whopping $2,100 to secure game elements that were advertised. This isn’t the first problem EA had with gamers this year. The first came from the epic disaster that was “Mass Effect: Andromeda” in March. Neither of these games shipped in the condition they should have. “Mass Effect” had a disappointing story, bad animations, and an unacceptable amount of bugs. The fan reaction was so bad that EA reassigned the developers of “Mass Effect” (some of them to this game) and put one of their best franchises “on ice.” Now they screw up Star Wars.

It’s time to ask the question, “Does EA really know what gamers want, or are they just out to bleed them dry?”
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by marurun Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:18 pm

The problem with deciding that Loot Crates are online gambling is that that would make almost every freemium game on mobile also on-line gambling, as well as any number of other luck-based aspects of gaming. That said, it doesn't mean that determination would be entirely inappropriate.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by CRTGAMER Fri Nov 17, 2017 8:55 pm

marurun wrote:The problem with deciding that Loot Crates are online gambling is that that would make almost every freemium game on mobile also on-line gambling, as well as any number of other luck-based aspects of gaming. That said, it doesn't mean that determination would be entirely inappropriate.

Agree, opens up the issue for any game that teases unlocks thru purchases. The ruling might set a precedence, a question of how much DLC added fees would push the bounds as a form of online gambling. I suspect the Denmark ruling would not go far; even if it does would apply to just that country. However, would be the start of solid correction to the abuse of DLC additional charges.

Gamers do need to self control how much DLC should be allowed as added fees to send the message back to include the game content up front at the initial purchase. At least temporarily, EA has stopped the Loot Crate due to all the complaints. No doubt EA will re enable the greedy Loot Crates back into the game at a later date after an established base of online users.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by Reprise Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:50 pm

I think the main problem with Battlefront II's loot crates, besides it being tied to the progression system - which makes it inherently unbalanced and ridiculously nonsensical - is the fact that 'grinding' for virtual credits to purchase loot crates takes fooooorever, which is obviously done to force people to buy them with real cash, which in turn makes it a 'pay to win' game.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by chuckster Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:26 pm

I don't think it can be held up as gambling in this digital age where non-physical items are bought and sold by the millions. I do think any game that relies on loot crates or similar systems with a real-cash option to make the game something other than an unrealistic grind are inherently bad games.

I stress rely because I have no problem with purely cosmetic loot box options. That, to me, is separate from the real game, and is only there for players to express themselves. Overwatch for example is fine to me(though I would rather it reward skilled play rather than have a cash option). I have plenty of friends who play OW and they are not any better or worse off in the game compared to a brand new player because they have bought loot boxes. I have never bought loot boxes, and it has not impacted my experience. This system still preys on people with low willpower and tendencies to indulge in that sort of thing, but so does McDonald's and even Steam sales. In the end, it's not something that impacts the actual gameplay at all.

However, if you have a game like BF2, which is specifically designed to be less enjoyable without buying crates, it becomes inexcusable game design. With microtransactions removed, the real grind is revealed, and the game is harmed by it. That is a sure sign that this was designed more as a piece of bait than the best game it could be.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by Xeogred Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:36 pm

Hawaii and Belguim are not happy. I can't imagine Disney are very happy right now either with "Star Wars" and "gambling" being the talk of the town in the same sentence lately. EA is in hot lava.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by noiseredux Tue Nov 21, 2017 11:53 pm

Agree w Chuckster. Overwatch has mastered loot boxes. They're there. But you never feel the need to spend any money to keep up.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by Jmustang1968 Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:00 am

Some of that article is really misleading... you actually dont buy loot crates to unlock the heroes that are locked such as vader or Luke. Vader as of now costs 15000 creds same as Luke, other heroes are cheaper. And these heroes you use in multiplayer modes if you play well enough to get enough battlepoints to spawn as them. There are other heroes such as kylo ren and Han Solo who are available and arguably as powerful. Many games have required the unlocking of characters and classes, so that part doesnt bother me. I dont particularly care for being able to pay to do it though.

I really dont feel any gambling asoect to it. The other base character power ups are in loot crates, but it isnt like you are unlocking characters with them.
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by CRTGAMER Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:11 am

Great discussuion, thank you to all that post.

Xeogred wrote:Hawaii and Belguim are not happy. I can't imagine Disney are very happy right now either with "Star Wars" and "gambling" being the talk of the town in the same sentence lately. EA is in hot lava.

Wow, good to see more countries jump on the Gambling charge. The real fault is all who support how far DLC add on payments have been allowed. It is the greed of the publishers supported by consumers who do not care or ignorant on the temporary game product.

Perhaps Disney just as greedy, look at all the add on figurines needed for Disney Infinity copying the Activision Skylanders Portal system to complete a game. Both I believe were inspired by UB Funkeys, a much earlier concept on Windows 95. At least one gets real DLC figurines sitting on the display shelf instead of virtua Loot Crates on a game that will lose support when the next rendition takes over.

chuckster wrote:However, if you have a game like BF2, which is specifically designed to be less enjoyable without buying crates, it becomes inexcusable game design. With microtransactions removed, the real grind is revealed, and the game is harmed by it. That is a sure sign that this was designed more as a piece of bait than the best game it could be.

A good point, the game could be great, if one could afford to pay for all the unlocks. I find the pay extra to win an online game absolute crap, especially when it gives one a shortcut advantage over other players. It is akin to the rich guy paying to drive solo in the car pool lane while car poolers sacrifice time to car pool and everyone else not paying slugging in the other clogged lanes!
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Re: Star Wars Battlefront II - Loot crates online gambling?

by Reprise Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:16 am

To be fair, whilst I do have an issue with the game's balancing and the terrible progression system, I do wonder if the issue is being overblown?

I say this as someone who owns the game and has enjoyed the multiplayer. I can still kick ass at the game and I have only bought a couple of loot crates since the game launched. I've got enough credits to buy more, but I'm mostly grinding at the moment to earn more. I was getting multiple killing streaks the other day in a match and I'm still using the default gun and a couple of redundant power ups.
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