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Micro-transactions, Xbox Gold 'exclusives' and your money

We are having a big discussion today about the recent release of some content only for Xbox Live members, about the idea of paying for in-game content (Sampy has a lot of opinions on this, based on his experience with Magic and of course with World of Warcraft)... My opinion is that you shouldn't be able to buy anything non-trivial (things that affect gameplay) that you can't get through in-game effort. I've always liked the idea that while there is a certain economic barrier to entry into online gaming, once you get there a person with less real-world money who is an awesome player should never be blocked from getting certain gear or features just because they don't have any budget to buy more stuff online. Chromehounds is an interesting example, you can buy certain weapons online that have become essential in multiplayer games... and you can't get them any other way. Of course, Godfather is the current hot topic around microtransactions and Lumines! Major Nelson was even on TV just recently talking about this very topic...

Your thoughts?

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  • akaBigWurmakaBigWurm

    to me it seems like more was free last gen than this gen. Now all content has a price.

  • akaBigWurmakaBigWurm

    to me it seems like more was free last gen than this gen. Now all content has a price.

  • Barry HawkeyBarry Hawkey

    I find a lot of humor in the idea that all the little rich children can now have battlemechs that are vastly superior to the poor children. 

    Hey!  Now the nation's disenfrachised can be cannon fodder in our video games, too!  Smiley How about a military MMPORPG, where your rank is based on how much you spend?  I'd throw down a grand or so, if I could be the Supreme Commander and order everyone else around.

  • Barry HawkeyBarry Hawkey

    I find a lot of humor in the idea that all the little rich children can now have battlemechs that are vastly superior to the poor children. 

    Hey!  Now the nation's disenfrachised can be cannon fodder in our video games, too!  Smiley How about a military MMPORPG, where your rank is based on how much you spend?  I'd throw down a grand or so, if I could be the Supreme Commander and order everyone else around.

  • Ted BracewellTed Bracewell

    I think it's pretty lame that games on the 360 are more expensive than the PC to begin with, then on top of that the bonus content costs additional money, while being free on the PC. Game developers needs to ship complete games to begin with, not ship games that are 95% with the intent of selling the rest of the game over marketplace. That seems to be where things are headed. $5 horse armor FTW.

  • Ted BracewellTed Bracewell

    I think it's pretty lame that games on the 360 are more expensive than the PC to begin with, then on top of that the bonus content costs additional money, while being free on the PC. Game developers needs to ship complete games to begin with, not ship games that are 95% with the intent of selling the rest of the game over marketplace. That seems to be where things are headed. $5 horse armor FTW.

  • Duncan MackenzieDuncanma "yeah that's awful close, but that's not why I'm so hard done by"

    I'm fine with the Horse Armor honestly and the other Oblivion expansions ... I paid for it and I get it (and it can't be used up like buying money for a Godfather game)... in fact in the case of some of the Oblivion ones, it extends the life of the game (horse armor was overpriced, but they admitted that they were just guessing at what to charge) but it is with multi-player changes that affect the actual competition that I get really upset and of course with bug fixes that only come with expansions.

    I wish they'd just go all Neverwinter Nights with a console game though, allow me to download completely new storylines (they could call them 'modules') ... Oblivion is somewhat close to that, but imagine self-contained story lines... 10 hours of gameplay enjoyment that you can download once you've bought the 'engine'.

    Mmm... neverwinter nights on a console... mmm...

  • DenginDengin

    I never really believed in paying for virtual stuff, but then I never believed in paying for monthly access to an MMORPG either, and I started playing WoW 4 weeks ago (but most likely won't renew after the 3 months is over unless my game experience changes dramatically). It's been around for a long time though. I used to play MUDs, and there were a few of those where you'd had to pay for certain powerful equipment. Needless to say, I stayed away from those.

    It's a balance between whatever the idiot wants to pay for it (witness the Diablo 2 market for uniques and set items), and gameplay balance. Of course, if you can enjoy a game without being the strongest or fastest-leveling, then that's perfect. My beef is those games that forces you to spend additional money to play even the basics. Of course, PC owners have a little bit of an easier time with this, since, for example, all the Oblivion plug-ins can be ehmm tested through the proper channels. But, take the horse armor for example, other than making the horse look prettier (and there are plenty of free mods out there that make everything look prettier), so what if the horse is better-armored? I'd rather use the console to resurrect than pay money for something as simple as that. The more recent mods in Oblivion added a lot of content, but so do the user-created mods, which are free, and often more elaborate than the commercial mods.

    Duncan makes a great point about NWN, that's like the RPG for Communists. Or, to avoid politics, an open-source RPG. It's out there, with the tools for everyone to create their own content, and the quality of these mods is outstanding I can't wait to see what NWN2 will do.

    And Duncan, NWN for the console will be like DOA for the PC. Well, OK, not really...

  • DenginDengin

    I never really believed in paying for virtual stuff, but then I never believed in paying for monthly access to an MMORPG either, and I started playing WoW 4 weeks ago (but most likely won't renew after the 3 months is over unless my game experience changes dramatically). It's been around for a long time though. I used to play MUDs, and there were a few of those where you'd had to pay for certain powerful equipment. Needless to say, I stayed away from those.

    It's a balance between whatever the idiot wants to pay for it (witness the Diablo 2 market for uniques and set items), and gameplay balance. Of course, if you can enjoy a game without being the strongest or fastest-leveling, then that's perfect. My beef is those games that forces you to spend additional money to play even the basics. Of course, PC owners have a little bit of an easier time with this, since, for example, all the Oblivion plug-ins can be ehmm tested through the proper channels. But, take the horse armor for example, other than making the horse look prettier (and there are plenty of free mods out there that make everything look prettier), so what if the horse is better-armored? I'd rather use the console to resurrect than pay money for something as simple as that. The more recent mods in Oblivion added a lot of content, but so do the user-created mods, which are free, and often more elaborate than the commercial mods.

    Duncan makes a great point about NWN, that's like the RPG for Communists. Or, to avoid politics, an open-source RPG. It's out there, with the tools for everyone to create their own content, and the quality of these mods is outstanding I can't wait to see what NWN2 will do.

    And Duncan, NWN for the console will be like DOA for the PC. Well, OK, not really...

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