Pay To Spray: Overwatch And Microtransactions (The Jimquisition)


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Overwatch is one of my favorite games of the year, but I cannot good faith consider awarding it the title of “best” game.

My long-running policy of disqualifying premium games with them is consistently enforced, but it’s pissed off a lot of Blizzard fans.

As an attempt to bring understanding to such furious souls, I offer my full problem with Overwatch’s mechanics and the failure of its loot boxes general.

100 Comments:

  1. Microtransactions and arbitrary progression systems are bollocks.

  2. Guypersonmanthing3

    Time for Jim to justify his distaste of microtransactions again because TB
    made a (well made) video about why he doesn’t care about the MT stuff in
    Overwatch. And in the video, he did mention Jim and Angry Joe.
    If you didn’t know why TB doesn’t care, it’s because it’s only cosmetics
    and that doesn’t affect the gameplay, and I do agree with him.
    Time to watch then…
    Quick Edit: No, I am not trying to shit on Jim either, it’s just that Jim
    has already made it well known about his distaste in microtransactions
    already. This is like, the 5th Billion Jumquisition talking about it. 5
    Billion videos people, that is a lot of videos to be discussing about such
    a topic ya know!
    New Edit: I’ve seen the video now, I respect Jim’s opinion about
    microtransactions, I never tweeted him TB’s video btw (so don’t label me as
    someone who did), and I bear no ill will towards Jim at all.
    I regret this comment.
    Another EDIT!: I sorta see games from TB’s technical side and from Jim’s
    side, but defiantly not as good as either of them.

  3. but its still just cosmetics…
    i don’t play overwatch for the skins or voice lines, i play it because i
    think its fucking fun to play. the cosmetics are to me, just flavor, same
    way that skins are in CS:GO, but there you really cant “play until you earn
    X”
    sure, i like to play roadhog and it would be fun to have a skin for him,
    but it does not matter to me.

    i could easily trow some money at overwatch to “play in the slot machine”
    not to win, just because its exciting and a bit fun. but in the end i
    support a system where blizzard can have some money “over time” that pays
    the server fee. its fine by me.

    just remember, if everyone had all the skins, none have any skins. you are
    not special, the skins make people feel special, and you look at them like
    “woa fuck that pirate roadhog” or “shit you look cool mercy”. it is just a
    part of the game. eventually at lvl 300 people will start having good
    amount of skins and you can boast with that, or your wallet. whatever m8,
    its fine

  4. Yup, I’ll throw my opinion against Jim Sterling on this one. It’s a very
    fine line, mind you, but it’s so nothing that I cannot care either way all
    that much in this case. But making a big deal about cosmetics doesn’t sit
    right with me. It has 0% effect on anyone who does not care about such
    things, and does not get in the way of the person who just wants to play.
    It doesn’t matter if it sucks or not because it has 0 bearing on my
    enjoyment of the game itself. If someone spends tons of money on that
    stuff? Their fault. If you care that much about cosmetics, then so be it.
    But it’s a luxury, not a necessity.

    That’s my take.

  5. I totally agree. This is the same problem as with halo 5. expect Halo 5 Is
    even worse with emblems and pizza skins.

  6. In all honesty…I don’t think this’d be even half the issue it is if it
    weren’t for the duplicates.

  7. I disagree with Jim in this case. TB has it right, if it’s cosmetic then
    wtf is wrong with it? Nothing…

  8. Since launch, I’ve been able to buy 4 legendary skins with in-game gold 4
    times and opened 3 in lot boxes just from levels. It’s not bad, if anything
    if you wanna bitch about a random gambley blizzard micro economy, wouldnt
    hearthstone be worse? or does it get excused as a TCG instead of criticized
    as a video game

  9. Jim, the reward is not the boxes, the reward is the game itself.

  10. Jim, if you hate microtransactions then why do you have a patreon and are
    okay with it? It’s the same system just with other forms of content.

  11. all i hear is “waah! waah! i can’t get what i want when i want it.”

  12. The Token Black

    They should give u coins if you have the item already

  13. I’d like to see you and TotalBiscuit do some kind of debate about this
    thing, and the general nature of microtransactions. Because you two are
    rational, reasonable people with well-thought out opinions that differ a
    bit, and I think the gaming community such as it exists only has to gain by
    such discussions. I miss public intellectualism being a thing even if it’s
    about something like videogames. You two could be a great example of that.

    Also, next to the technical, mechanical stand-point he also did the whole
    time versus money thing. That might be fun to talk about. I was actually
    hoping for a bit about that in this vid.

  14. Drew Sauveterre

    It baffles me how so many people are okay with content they’ve already
    purchased being held hostage by the seller.

  15. I really like TB and I’m crazy about Overwatch, so of course I’ve listened
    to his argument already. As much as I thought he made some good points, I’m
    more on your side here. Probably somewhere in the middle. TB is right that
    having a hard line with no compromise might be too much, but you’re
    ultimately right: It’s too prone to the devs tweaking the system to push
    you into buying shit for a game you already bought.

    And I agree that cosmetics aren’t completely meaningless.If they were,
    people wouldn’t spend hours on character creation screens of games like
    Skyrim, Fallout or even X-COM. Look at how many mods for these games are
    cosmetic and how popular they are.”They don’t matter” in the sense that
    they don’t break the balance of the game, which is good. But they do
    matter. If they didn’t; there wouldn’t be a discussion about this topic at
    all.

    Edit: I thought the leveling system was more insidious than it is, so I
    removed the parts of my comment about leveling. My point otherwise still
    stands.

  16. Correction: Splatoon did have paid dlc for costumes and content.

    Amiibos.

  17. I tried to raise similar points once and got totally shit on. People called
    me a greedy bastard for wanting more content than that in the original game
    for free and brought up the “argument” that blizzard needs to pay their
    designers.
    It is amazing how people bend over backwards for stuff when Blizzard or
    Nintendo does it, while they would shit on if it were Konami, EA or
    Activision doing it.

  18. Master Vidxad 58

    Hey guys, I know this is off-topic but:
    #FucKonami

  19. TF2’s microtransactions are better!
    *proceeds to get booed by Overwatch fans who moved from TF2*

  20. Oh they’ll say “oh its only cosmetic” for Overwatch but not Payday 2’s
    skins for guns? Ok gaming community.

  21. If the loot crates are still random, doesn’t that take away 90% of the
    motivation to buy the fucking things?

  22. I honestly sided with TB on this, particularly since, as far as I’m
    concerned, Overwatch shouldnt have a reward system of any kind. I’m
    personally celebrating the game’s sole reason to play more being.. and this
    might shock some people… to play more. I’m much more concerned with
    getting good at Widowmaker and getting my K/D up than I am with unlocking
    the gold skin for her (which is a gorgeous skin, I might add).

    The difference between you and TB’s perspectives is that you seem to be
    integrating the reward system into your perception of the game while he
    (and again, I’m on his side of the fence if I’m honest) is completely
    detaching it, and seeing the singular 15 minute game of OW as the be-all
    end-all of the experience.

    Not the first time you and him have had different PoVs and both are to be
    respected, and have their merits

  23. orlando gonzalez

    The game is awesone you are a cancer

  24. Eh? Sterling I have to disagree. It’s 40 bucks so it’s not the premium
    usual of 60, and they are only cosmetics. When it’s only cosmetics I will
    have to disagree. Anytime it’s things that make your experience change,
    such as dead space 3, and other games. Any game that is ONLY cosmetics for
    money I disagree, since it’s also able to be obtained In game. I stand by
    you on most cases Jim, but I do have to stay on the “it’s only cosmetics”
    side. Keep up the good work Jim

  25. Actually you can separate different types of unlockables into a different
    category in games. I’ll have to disagree with you Jim, cosmetics and
    gameplay affecting unlockables are very, very different. There is no
    pressure to unlock something that doesn’t make you better at playing the
    game. The only reason the unlockables are even there is to give some sense
    satisfaction and visual enjoyment, along with maybe a sense of uniqueness
    to a game full of the same characters. It does nothing to affect the game
    in any way shape or form. I fail to see how you can lump that into the same
    category as pay to win, such as Hearthstone or games like Heroes and
    Generals. Yes, it is a goal you’re going for, but it’s not the same as
    other games where cosmetic items are seen as a status symbol, or as a rate
    of skill. The likelihood of getting any one skin is pretty much the same as
    anyone else’s. It is a perfectly equal system where you are given the
    option to acquire a new outfit if you pay some cash.This is different from
    other microtransations in other games. Blizzard carefully crafted this
    system so that the people buying them don’t feel like they are obligated
    to, they buy them because they want to, for their own enjoyment. Not
    because they feel like they have to be good at the game, or to fit into
    some group. This comes from someone who really doesn’t even like the game,
    played it in beta, and chose not to purchase it. I guess what it comes down
    to is fun. You can lump microtransactions into two groups: the first is one
    where you pay to have fun. You know, your pay to win games that have
    demonstrably better materials or unlockables that can be purchased to sway
    your ability to play the game, and thus change how much fun you have. Then
    you have cosmetics, in this case a free jackpot system that does not effect
    the amount of fun had by any character that chooses to pay or unlock the
    cosmetic items, as everyone has an equal opportunity regardless of whether
    they pay money or not. It’s not the same Jim. I can understand why you hold
    the opinion you do, I just disagree.

  26. THEY ARE COSMETIC AND DON’T EFFECT THE GAME, SO DON’T BUY THEM YOU
    LOBOTOMIZED SHITLARK

  27. It annoyed me that Overwatch had cosmetics right out the gate, because I
    knew it was gonna suffer the same fate TF2 is going through.

    Basically, in TF2, you are considered by the entire server to be absolutely
    terrible at the game if you don’t have enough hats. Even if you actually
    prove you are amazing at the game, medics will still choose to pocket
    anybody with an unusual.

  28. I agree with Jim completely. I’m investing a lot of work into having
    “cosmetic items” that “have no effect” as I develop my own game. I would
    not waste all that time doing so if it wouldn’t add a lot of fun and value
    to the game. It gives the player a lot of side goals to complete and it can
    feel rewarding walking around with hard to get fashion items.

  29. Hey, you can’t say Overwatch has anything bad. You just can’t. C’mon guys,
    they worked really hard on it.

  30. Honestly, I love your posts on on microtransactions and keep fighting the
    good fight, but I’m only partially on board with this. Hopefully the free
    market will force Blizzard to get into line. I don’t have the game (though
    I am a TF2 fan) and the way you described it, their odds are far worse than
    TF2’s. If that’s the case, enough people saying “screw this” should force
    them to improve things.

    I’m guessing they’re preparing for the long game with their
    microtransactions. Eventually flat prices won’t keep up with server costs
    and they surely want Overwatch lasting the 10+ years that TF2’s pretty much
    guaranteed to reach.

  31. ThatSpasticGamer

    This business practice is disgusting. I was really looking forward to this
    game and I won’t buy it now. I am very concerned as to what people buying
    things like this means for the industry. I would not be suprised if this
    marketplace becomes just like mobile soon. Please, don’t buy this me or
    it’s microtransactions. If you REALLY have to buy this game at least buy it
    used. This stuff really is going to ruin video games.

  32. stupid fat british fuck

  33. I understand your point, Jim. I don’t entirely agree with you, but I
    understand. So allow me to ask this: would you prefer it if instead of
    having these skins and such being purchasable or gained through the in-game
    currency, that they all be given to the player from the start?

  34. buildings and food

    overwatch actually sold for a decent markdown from other triple A titles,
    yeah? For approximately the difference, you can spend to acquire the PURELY
    COSMETIC items you so desire. the value of cosmetics is shot if they’re
    fully available to everyone anyway. it’s… totally harmless. just seems a
    little ideological of you Jim!

  35. Micro transactions suck in every game and most games don’t earn the right
    to having them and the argument that they need to make more money is
    bullshit, but despite that I think Overwatch has earned them. As a game it
    has earned it imo as I believe it to be one of the best games of the year
    and my favorite shooter of all time. As a business model I think it has
    earned it. We get free maps and characters in exchange for shitty
    microtransactions which is a trade I will always make as long as the
    microtransactions are purely cosmetic such as in Overwatch. Let’s be honest
    Jim, the game is an online competitive game, it requires to be updated for
    balancing, as well as new maps and characters to be released at a
    consistent rate which all requires a staff that need pay checks, not to
    mention other expenses which the initial profits of the game being sold
    will only cover for so long. I think the microtransactions could use some
    work, don’t get me wrong. I think it should stay random but reward

  36. Stephen Peterson (StephenMeansMe)

    I guess it’s good that Blizzard is transparently fishing for whales, rather
    than going for outright pay-to-win extortion? I’d probably have to see
    statistics on how long it would take to max out loot. If (as Polygon’s
    analysis suggests: ) it would take between 1000 – 1200 hours, I mean, that
    seems fair for 100%. (Even $600 / $700… that’s a lot but it’s more than
    fair for top-tier Magic: the Gathering play and that’s obviously
    pay-to-win.) Still, it sucks that the psychological hooks can get people
    right in the balls. :/

  37. So you’re saying that TotalBiscuit’s video made you cry like an anime fan
    on prom night?

  38. TotalBiscuit, however, disagrees. Let the egos of the Bains and Sterlings
    duke it out on the YouTube comment sections with their army of fanatics!

  39. Sometimes i feel like TB seems more interested into COD than bf and it feel
    weird for a game critic.

  40. The thing that kills me is that no one has pointed out that Overwatch is
    just the newest flavor of the month. The die hard “Overwatch Fans” are only
    going to be around until the next online FPS is released. Then that FPS
    will be the greatest off all time.

    These FPS’ are only popular until the next arrives. It’s really pathetic
    the way people like to claim that this FPS is so superior to the rest when
    they will just change their minds when the next FPS’ is released.

    Really? Has no one really noticed this pattern yet? Why should we give any
    credence to the “fans” when we know that their opinion just corresponds to
    the newest version of the latest FPS. They are just a bunch of fair weather
    fans that don’t deserve to have anyone pay attention too.

  41. I agree with Jim with this. People right now who are saying that these
    lootboxes are just cosmetics and dont give anyone the upper hand. However
    we all said this before in another game; Black Ops 3, and guess who owns
    Blizzard; Activision. Give it time people and I can probably guess that
    they are going to start to put new characters and items into those boxes
    the same way they did with supply drops in Call of Duty.

  42. “Blizzard hobbled it’s own reward system” – which is pure speculation. If
    the XP progress is as fast or slow as they ever intended or if they made it
    deliberately slower to prey on people who just can’t wait for their
    cosmetics (and chances are it would never be fast enough for those people)
    is nothing we know. And so far it’s a baseless speculation with no hints
    pointing towards it.

  43. I so agree with everything on this video. Been playing overwatch sense
    beta… During beta at level 24 i had 6+ epic skins, coins to buy skins and
    a ton of stuff. Now after release well… i got no epic skins… just a
    bunch of sprays ~sighs~

    I also play FFXIV witch is a subscription buy game… That now is focusing
    and pouting items behind paywalls (mounts, outfits, and now emotes) every
    other patch the list grows and im wondering, why did a buy a game, its
    expansions and a subscription to be forced to look at items im not allowed
    to have without swiping another credit card…

    Greed is a wonderful thing to most people i guess…

  44. 6:22 and so if you want to look unique, cool, or wierd you would have to
    spend more money

  45. I agree with Jim 100%, I work so I should be one of those who like
    shortcuts in games but I don’t. It puts me off if I can “catch up” or skip
    playing the game as much as people who play it religiously or have a lot of
    spare time. They deserve to be ahead because they put in more time, In a
    buy to play game no amount of money should get you anything extra in my
    opinion, it gives me personally motivation and a reason to keep playing, to
    “catch up”.
    If I buy everything I want in game I”m just going to get bored of it
    sooner and they will be down on playerbase numbers.

  46. pewpewplunkett87

    No FucKonami News?

  47. Shame Jim doesn’t play Call Of Duty because the lootbox system there is
    even worse. Similar but they put exclusive unique weapons in them at the
    minimum of $50-80 spent (reddit worked it out at $81, some disagreement).
    The best secondary weapons in the game come from them. No surprise from
    Activision to sell a game that costs $10 more than most, has a season pass
    that splits the player base and then loot box it too before abandoning it
    after a year because they have a sequel.

  48. whats so bad about people wanting to make money for something they make?
    these days its a fucking crime…

  49. Unit Lost - Great British Gaming

    It’s interesting seeing this point of view. Typically I’m more concerned
    with the mechanical aspect of the impact microtransactions could cause. As
    is the case with Overwatch all of the “rewards” gained from loot boxes have
    no impact on gameplay balance at all. Therefore I’m fine with it…

    However, after watching this Jim, I can totally understand this side of the
    argument. I also completely agree with the analysis of the system you gave.
    It is designed to ultimately force players to part with cash to obtain
    cosmetics as the rate of acquiring them drops as you advanced through the
    progression system. That’s a rather dodgy thing to be doing, especially
    when the game isn’t f2p.

  50. Dota 2’s item system went down the same random route (instead of starting
    there) and that’s when I stopped paying and started getting annoyed. But
    the big fish exist and the small fish still come in droves so it’s a thing
    that will continue.

  51. While I understand your arguments and largely agree I must say, Overwatch
    is still, comparatively speaking, really not that bad. I choose to look at
    loot boxes not like a chance to get a specific skin I want, but as a
    pleasant surprise at what I actually get. I remember giggling when I opened
    a box and got the 76 voice line You kids get off my lawn.

    I am gonna compare this to a *somewhat* similar game: Dirty Bomb. I know it
    is free to play, but the equipment card thing really annoyed me. Overwatch
    is that, but with just cosmetic stuff, and some of it actually cool rather
    than just Hey look at me my gun is blue.

    And compared to other online shooters this is also not that bad. Selling
    new maps as DLC is according to me way worse, because then you are not just
    splitting the community in people who pay extra and people who do not, you
    are actually splitting the community in such a way that they can not play
    with each other.

    Over all, I will play Overwatch, I will not pay for loot boxes, and I will
    still enjoy the stuff I get from leveling up. I will not begrudge people
    who pay a lot of money for boxes, since I see no reason to begrudge someone
    being a sad mentally frail person who feels it necessary to show off the
    fact that they can spend a lot of money to complete strangers.

  52. zzzzzzzzzz

  53. I hate TB, he’s a ponse, he’ll cry til he’s blue in the face about FoV in
    games giving him a headache but he’ll defend needless and overpriced random
    package drops in Overwatch? I couldn’t sit through the entire video, while
    he makes good points, he forgets that (like someone else said) not everyone
    has money like him and some people who play the game would like to get some
    of this stuff only they keep getting random drops. I played the Overwatch
    BETA, and I loved it, level 1 I got a Loot Box with a legendary skin for
    Trinity, after that it was just spray paints and voices for characters I
    never played. Hell never even played Trinity.
    If they introduced something like a trading system or barter system I could
    get behind it, allow a market where people can sell their unlocked
    duplicates… you know because they do those so well.
    What annoys me even more is even before Overwatch came out I heard
    prominent YouTubers saying how they were gunna buy “Like 50 Loot Crates” on
    release. Its absurd.

  54. Rodrigo Ugarte (machiavellianFictionist)

    Total Biscuit just got fucking #rekt by Jim Fucking Sterling Son ayyy lmao.

  55. I never really considered it due to never really playing these types of
    games but it is a valid point. Even if it doesn’t make you better it still
    affects gameplay. Imagine playing the next Elder Scrolls game where you can
    choose between being an Orc or a Breton and you can only use the default
    character model unless you want to pay for more races and customisation
    optios.

  56. Jim, stop walking on eggshells. The loud internet crybabies will continue
    to cry whether you are careful with your words or not.

  57. Janky JP Gaming

    I’m glad I haven’t gotten this game yet

  58. Yohan Fitzgerald

    Well said Jim- I just wanted to comment to suggest that you start calling
    micro-transactions such as these petty-transactions- because these kinds of
    transactions arent always ‘micro’ but they are always petty.
    Blizzard will probably fix the loot box / levelling system after they have
    fattened up enough on it if people complain; just like the D3 auction
    house.

  59. stephencbarrett

    praise the Jim (dose the praise the sun gesture to my screen)

  60. I feel ya Jim. the slot machine mechanic and taxing level grind takes it
    toll and I’ve felt heavily temped more the once to drop a few greenbacks
    for a chance at Torbjörn’s biker or Lucio’s hockey skins. I think a small
    fix would be for players to have the ability to sell the cosmetic items we
    didn’t want. I have 10 skins for Pherrah and I never use her because I’m
    garbage. Or at the very least, let us buy currency wholesale without the
    box needed.

    also, you assessment of Torbjörn is way off. Yes, he has a low entry point,
    but any idiot can hammer a turret the whole match. A good Torbjörn player
    strategically place the turret and leaves it alone to enter the fray to
    provide those arcing mile long rivet shots and dump armor on support and
    tank characters.

  61. For me the reward is the fun gameplay. If you are only playing the game for
    the ‘reward’ of loot boxes then you don’t really enjoy the game do you?
    Maybe stop playing then? Find a game that you do enjoy just for the
    gameplay?

  62. It’s funny how people are now aggressively shouting at each other and at
    the company for their evil practices when it is in fact, as TB mentioned,
    the community itself that craved for a progression system. I’m not trying
    to be overly defensive of Blizzard or overwatch but this is what you get
    when you demand a progression system in a game that is desined without
    progression in mind. Of course Blizzard would then be afraid of the game
    not selling enough and design a progression around cosmetics which is the
    only sensible thing they could’ve done if they didn’t want to hide new
    charracters behind a progression wall and just as TB mentioned they
    couldn’t just factor out people who do have more money than time, ergo you
    have your feetopay microtransations. Now I am aware that it could have been
    handled more eloquently with a stable rate of ingame currency income and
    none of that randomising lootbox bullshit but an even better solution would
    be to just not have a stupid pointless progression system in the game in
    the first place. Thats a part of my not wery well texted point of view and
    cingratulations to anyone who actually read it.

  63. Originally i wasn’t really understanding of why Jim was against the
    microtransactions within the game, but after listening to this and
    TotalBiscuit’s points I understand fully now where Jim is coming from.
    Although i am not 100% behind Jim’s views of the microtransactions i
    understand his points and fully agree that while the game is awesome and
    pretty much jizzes money for blizzard, its not perfect to the point of it
    being the absolute best game of the year.

  64. Frederic Fischer

    while i can see where you are coming from here i am still inclined to agree
    with TB

  65. If your rules for your best games of the year prohibit micro transactions,
    then I have no problem with Overwatch not being in it, the rule is there
    for a reason. I am personally on the fence as to weather I am okay with
    micro transactions being in Overwatch, but I do know that I will not spend
    money on loot boxes (I already spent enough on the game itself). I do
    understand both sides of the argument though, and I kinda agree with both
    of you on it strangely. At any rate though it would be nice if Blizzard
    could make the loot box system less random. One thing I dislike in games,
    especially when it comes to rewards, its an unreasonable level of
    randomness (some randomness is okay but seriously).

  66. A giant skinner-box of gambling hooks.

  67. Keep on, Keeping on Jim. :)

  68. God damn you’re right on the Overwatch fans being very touchy.

    Personally not a fan of the game for this reason and a few others that
    aren’t really relevant. When you open your mouth though its quickly met
    with people assuming I *ABSOLUTELY hated* it.

    When, not really the case. I know the games merit and can understand its
    strengths. If it didn’t appeal to me then the argument ends there.

  69. Chungus Among Us

    Supply drops ••

  70. Why do you have to buy sprays? Can’t you just have a spray be completely
    customisable?

  71. I think overwatches loot box system is a bit… cynical for lack of a
    better term. This is a game that they’re intending to bring more content
    to, and i’d bet my bollocks to a barndance they’ve designed characters,
    maps, sprays, voice lines, skins etc in such a way so that they can easily
    be added.

    So why are duplicates so likely? I’m only at level 20 and i’ve had like 4
    duplicate items so far, considering i have barely anything unlocked that’s
    depressing. I remember seeing Galm open a bunch of overwatch boxes, and it
    was again depressing seeing the amount of duplicates and just currency.

    I think that blizz could afford to be a bit more generous with the loot
    boxes, and i’d bet that it’ll be pretty easy to add a new set of sprays or
    whatnot if they wanted new stuff to put in the boxes.

  72. honestly if overwatch made loot boxes more consistently rewarding and
    removed sprays you would have a situation like rocket leagues initial loot
    system where you would unlock 99% of the loot within less than a hundred
    hours and it all becomes meaningless, ive had the game for only a couple
    weeks and i have already gotten several purple/orange skins and im only
    level 40, the required exp to level CAPS at 20 and it takes less than an
    hour of actual play to level up meaning that if you like the game enough to
    considtantly play it you will definatley get what you want eventually even
    if you have to use the in game currency (which i have about 800 if
    already). I can see why some people would want to buy crates but to me its
    not worth it to pay $50 in the hopes of getting reaper in a mariachi hat.
    we can all probably agree thats its definatley better than counter strikes
    system of paying 2.50 for a consistantly worse result or cods system where
    actual weapons are hidden in a much more difficult system where crates are
    genersted much slower.

  73. Robert Thompson

    What are your thoughts on the store for WoW, then? I assume it’s the same?

  74. Stargazeer Nova

    I’m gonna have to agree with Jim Sterling here. Watched TB’s argument as
    well, and it doesn’t make too much sense.

    The only real positive argument for the micro-transactions is for the devs
    to have an income to maintain the game.
    And even then, this is a paid game so we as the consumer shouldn’t have to
    pay more “for the continued development of the game”. Overwatch is
    currently very bare in content for a £30 game, and although future content
    has been promised as free its not the duty of the consumer to keep paying
    for this content due to some kind of gratitude.
    They already have the money they asked for, its not your duty to keep
    giving if the content they offer you is free.

    Other than that. There is no tangible argument for the micro-transactions
    in this format. They are clearly designed to earn money. Should they sell
    the in game currency I would probably have a better view on it. However,
    they only sell the random drop boxes. This means that you could try and get
    a skin for one character and have to go through dozens of boxes before
    finding it, if you find it at all.
    Due to the nature of the boxes you could end up with huge amounts of
    duplicates over and over, for which the pitiful amount of money you are
    given instead is hardly worth. This IS remedied in other games by having a
    trading system, where you can trade cosmetics and weapons that you have
    spare for the ones you want, but Overwatch lacks such a system. The current
    system is obviously designed to make people want to open as many boxes as
    possible.

    Now. For those that would say the loot boxes, and their contents of
    cosmetic items, have no use. Consider what the actual aim in a game of
    Overwatch is.
    In the short term? Well like many other team shooters, the immediate aim is
    to complete the objective. And that can be fun. But after the first few
    times on the same maps doing the same objectives it can become boring and
    tedious. Which is fine for someone who doesn’t play games for very long or
    who has lots of games to jump between. But for those that can only afford
    one full priced game every few months, they need much more meat to their
    game.
    Which is where long term goals usually come in. Now in team FPS games there
    are usually only a few long term goals. I shall be comparing Overwatch to
    Counter-Strike and TF2 for a bit as they are the current leaders in that
    style.

    In the latter two you have a couple of long term goals. One is to improve
    and become better as a player. This is present to some degree in Overwatch.
    However the lack of a solid scoreboard and the rather badly functional
    “play of the game” system means that you rarely get recognition for your
    efforts, apart from experience points.
    Which ties in nicely to the other long term goal. Collection. In TF2 and
    CS:GO you collect cosmetic items or weapons, or both. TF2 weapons aside,
    these collections make little to no impact on the gameplay, but DO MATTER
    as they give the player a goal to shoot for. Making it so that acquiring a
    specific item takes so much time and effort, when there are so few that
    exist anyway, means that players will likely end up grinding for experience
    or just flat out get bored.

    Anyway. My rant on the Overwatch microtransactions that took me waaay too
    long to write and that no-one will ever see because its a comment amongst
    thousands.

  75. Omg why do you hate overwatch if you dont like it dont buy it gawh idiot.

    /s

  76. Knowing Activision’s track record, I don’t think they’ll remove the
    microtransactions entirely, but I think a way to at least improve the
    situation would be to allow you to exchange whatever is in your loot box
    (if you don’t like what you’ve received), in whole or in part, for the
    in-game currency, which would allow you to save up for those Legendary
    Skins without needing to grind over and over again to hope that you’ll get
    one next time you level up.

  77. Jim and TB both make good points. It basically comes down to a personal
    thing, and whether you personally think the rate of unlocks is good or not
    and whether it matters to you.

    If you feel like unlocks are too slow, then you can’t help but be annoyed
    that now Blizzard has an incentive to never speed up unlocks due to loot
    boxes being a buyable item. If it doesn’t mater to you, you can see it as
    just an option that doesn’t matter and could even pay for future content.

    People will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

  78. Cheezy McWiggles

    Imagine if you couldn’t buy loot boxes or there was no in game currency..
    You would actually look at someone with a legendary skin and think
    “cooool”.

  79. The Count of Menea Calais

    I actually can see the reasoning behind it. Back in the day where no DLC
    existed, games were released. If they had bugs, too bad. SoL. Today, you
    have ongoing development. That costs resources. Hence, it costs money.

    I actually think that since WoW has been steadily declining, Blizzard has
    been looking into other streams of revenue to help pay for the fact that
    they are committed to supporting Diablo 3 and Starcraft 2 despite the fact
    that Korea dropped the latter in lieu of LoL and DotA2 and that they
    generate no long term revenue. Blizzard has HotS and now OW. Both of which
    do that as WoW slowly goes into retirement.

    I would be very much appreciative if in the future OW because like Orange
    Box and eventually became free. Of course, this is coming from the guy who
    is satisfied with his Valkerie skin for Mercy waifu and doesn’t want
    anything else. I think the reason people don’t like this as opposed to
    TF2’s system is because Overwatch has an easy-to-find catalogue whereas TF2
    just lets you find whatever you want.

    It is definitely a psychological test to know that you ONLY have 6/55 of
    mercy’s items. How many Medic items do I not have? I don’t know. I don’t
    fucking care. I love my medic’s outfit. If I buy more hats, it’ll be
    because I found an outfit that also looks amazing and not a desire to
    collect.

    But from a mathematical standpoint, this is simply the coupon collector’s
    problem with a refund. That refund makes you get what you want FASTER than
    if you drew without replacement from a depleting deck. Jim, your suggestion
    would actually hurt the people you want to help.

  80. Honestly, I for one wouldnt mind this quite as much if it wasnt for the
    fact that 95% of the rewards in the lootboxes are crap. I mean, really.
    Sprays? SPRAYS? And voice lines that nobody is going to notice in the heat
    of battle? I just… uuugh. Games have used mechanics like this before…
    but I cant think of the last time when one was so utterly disappointing and
    unsatisfying in terms of what exactly you could earn and unlock. I pretty
    much only just started with the game; havent had much time with it yet.
    I’ve already totally stopped caring about the loot stuff. None of the boxes
    are interesting, and I doubt they’ll get interesting considering the deeply
    stupid number of sprays and things VS, you know, stuff that’s actually
    desirable.

    I dont mind supporting a game like PVZ: Garden Warfare with some
    occaisional micro-stuff buying (and no, I dont give a fart that it’s from
    EA). I really love those games, and if I like something enough, I’ll
    typically support it. But that game always has THINGS I WANT. Opening packs
    in that is exciting and they created alot of options for different types of
    packs that can gear things towards exactly what you might be after at the
    time. This though? Just the same spray-filled boxes every time. Ugh. Much
    as I already enjoy and love the game… I cant bring myself to buy any of
    these blasted things for it in a show of support or whatever.

  81. For me I much prefer the paid cosmetics covering the overall development
    costs for all future heroes and maps. If you have paid heroes/maps you
    segregate the community, including among friendship groups, which then peer
    pressures people into buying the latest map/hero packs. I find that far
    more egregious than “if you want you can put money in to the game”.

  82. I love how this comments section is everybody being sarcastic and nobody
    getting anybody else’s sarcasm.

  83. What do you think about the Killing Floor 2 business model? Its just
    cosmetics too.

  84. I was in aggressive disagreement and got myself thinking my respect for Jim
    was going down, but when he brought attention to how important cosmetics
    are to him (something that somehow never occurred to me), I understand.
    Really the lootboxes could be improved, but for me, they don’t matter at
    all. Maybe it’s the effect on me from TF2’s oversaturation, but the only
    thing I care about is getting better at Overwatch, and cosmetics are
    nothing but an every-once-in-a-while bonus for me. I will say, though, that
    it doesn’t always take a “considerable amount of time” to level up. If
    you’re not partying up, it might take 7-9 games to level up depending on
    match length and medals earned, but if you are partying, it takes a flat 5
    games to level up, basically regardless of medals and match length, from
    what I’ve seen. The levels are uncapped, but after level 20, the amount of
    EXP to level up is basically flat and never increases.

  85. Jim you have my support. You make sense. Fuck the butthurt idiots.

  86. James Revels Composer

    lmao at the colonial marine lines

  87. Game mechanics, cosmetics, story, theme, characters; it all feeds into my
    enjoyment of a game, and putting any one of them behind an (additional) pay
    wall — especially a pay wall that doesn’t respect the player’s money at
    all and expects them to pay just for the *slim chance* of getting the item
    they want — makes the game less enjoyable.

    You might think cosmetics are the least bad part of a game to separate out
    for micro-transactions, but the fact that anything is separated out in a
    retail-priced game is disappointing and it’s right to call companies out on
    it.

  88. I’ve been looking through the comments [likely a mistake on my part] and
    I’ve come upon a popular argument: “Everything gets easier at Level 100.”
    “At Level 100 you have all the [insert currency here] to buy what you want.”
    That may be so, but… exactly how long did it take you to no-life your way
    into your top rank? Some people don’t have as much time on their hands as
    you do, bucko.

  89. I think Blizzard should give out loot boxes for more than just leveling up.
    It would be cool if they gave you a loot box for other accomplishments like
    getting 100 gold medals or 1000 eliminations.

  90. Ever since Diablo, Blizzard mastered the art of random loot drops.

    … now they found a way to profit from it.

  91. Great points! I disagreed before but not I see. However, I think you should
    have gone one step further and explicitly mentioned the addictive, Skinner
    box nature of the loot box. I still don’t personally mind as cosmetics are
    something I am fine just having less of but valuing them more individually.
    Now if you could just explain Angry Joe’s opinion to me? Not enough content
    in a multiplayer only game! With all 21 amazing heroes and 12 maps? I
    actually agree with his final score of 7/10 (where 5 is average) but
    because I know I would not enjoy the game at a 10/10 level I do without my
    huge group of extended friends (clan mates). I really do think a
    multiplayer game should be judged on the quality of the multiplayer
    experience, not the “content” when you have 4,000 hours in a game does it
    not have enough content for you? Especially when it is $40 and has industry
    standard multiplayer content of $60.

  92. I thought the long-term goal is to have fun.

    Splatoon? Doesn’t Splatoon has a bunch of content behind the plastic
    pay-wall?

  93. Really, it’s the microtransactions that have put me off buying the game.
    I do really want the game, but I can’t justify buying something for £45 and
    then ending up paying more for extra stuff.
    The thing is, I like completing stuff and if there isn’t an easy way to get
    all the skins then I’ll either pay money, which I do not want to do, or
    stop playing because the very idea of playing the game is daunting.
    So yeah, microtransactions, not good.

  94. Overwatch seems like CS:GO with its microtransactions which I would be OK
    with and it would be a fair comparison if CS:GO was a $60 game :/

  95. Fuck Blizzard go play Team Fortress 2 it’s free and yea don’t give fucking
    Blizzard a dime. Fucking cunts.

  96. Honestly there are quite a few skins that I’d like for a few characters.

    However I have enough self control to not feel the compulsive need to spend
    money for Muh Skinz

  97. I mostly agree with your points Jim. To me personally, if they just also
    allowed you to pay something like £4 for 1000 in game gold i would be OK
    with that system as I could just buy a couple of skins for the few
    characters I main and be done with it. I am normally fine with purchasing
    cosmetics in games, even full price ones (although I totally get why you
    don’t) but what I really disagree with is the only way to get what you want
    is a random loot box. It just plays to that addictive nature of gambling
    and it sucks. I kind of expect more from blizzard.

    Take hearthstone as an example. Its free to play and its pay to win system
    is pretty much standard in TCC games both digital and physical. Its what
    they are and have always been. However it still lets you cash in the cards
    you dont want and build specific ones you do want. This means you can throw
    a set number of cash at the game, sell of the junk and build exactly what
    you like.

    Maybe rather than buying gold allow us to trade in what we get for half its
    value in gold. That way I can trade the 3 epic skins I got for characters I
    don’t use and buy 1 for a character I do. As a parent who works full time I
    dont really get to play that much. Im lvl 17 and could mean I simply never
    unlock the items I would like unless I bought a lot of boxes. I bought the
    bundle of 11 to have 1 little kick of opening boxes and was left feeling
    rather empty so I am not doing that again but the temptation is still there
    (which is the main point you were making and why I agree with many of your
    points here).

    Blizzard… allow us a non random way to get the things we want and the
    very least.

  98. Gabriel Russell

    I can’t object to all the stuff being only cosmetic.
    The microtransactions don’t effect gameplay, only cosmetic shit.
    That’s the way to do it.

  99. I had this same exact shit happen to me when i spoke out about my concerns
    for EverQuest Next. People were casting stones at me left and right because
    my videos went from a more positive HYPE tone, to a more concerned and
    negative tone as time went by. FUCK ME because i’m speaking the truth am i
    right? Fanboys are the ultimate detriment to good game development! Why do
    people not understand… if you don’t offer constructive criticisms and
    suckle on the teets of devs you get garbage!? Do not mistake our passion
    for negativity! SICK OF THIS SHIT!

  100. overwatch stuff aside, you might want to check on digital homicide on
    steam.

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