Review aggregator site OpenCritic is fighting back against loot boxes

By midian182 ยท 10 replies
Oct 10, 2017
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  1. The scourge of loot boxes has been a problem in gaming for a while, and these days it feels as if every AAA release features these awful microtransactions. But review aggregator site OpenCritic is fighting back against the practice by testing ways of showing if games contain paid-for content, and to what extent.

    “We’re looking into ways to add business model information to OpenCritic,” tweeted the site. “Let us know your thoughts on how we can categorize and display ‘business model intrusiveness’ on game pages in a fair and scalable way.”

    OpenCritic is is still deciding the best method of implementing this filter. It may simply inform readers if parts of a game’s content must be paid for, or if everything is included in the retail price. Information on whether players must use randomized loot boxes, if they can buy goods straight from a store, and if these items are purely cosmetic could also be present.

    Other suggestions for the system include clarifying how the game advertises the loot boxes to players, and how long it takes to see everything a game has to offer without paying extra money - if possible.

    Shadow of War and Forza 7 are just two recent releases to have incurred gamers' wrath by including loot box systems. But the upcoming Star Wars Battlefront 2 is said to be even worse. Eurogamer called it “pay to win,” while YouTuber AngryJoe said that assuming there are three weapons per class in the shipped game (two more than in the beta), it would take around 3600 hours to unlock every gun.

    Many companies claim these paid-for loot boxes are aimed at people “protective of their spare time,” because plenty of us have 3600 free hours, obviously. OpenCritic should be applauded for trying to do something about a system that was once only found in free-to-play titles. Here's hoping it starts a new consumer backlash that brings an end to this loot box awfulness.

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  2. BSim500

    BSim500 TS Evangelist Posts: 457   +797

    ^ That's the key issue. The oft-heard lame argument "You don't HAVE to pay for anything, micro-transactions are completely OPTIONAL and only for those who want them" is wildly missing the point that the mere presence of micro-transactions that alter level-up times / core mechanics, etc, regularly alters the design of the gameplay right from the start by encouraging the developer to make the "base" game significantly more grindy than it otherwise would have been had the game been not designed around them, solely to promote "pay2win" style mechanics.

    "Fake grind" in games was already tediously artificial even before you were encouraged to pay for the "privilege" of being allowed to "de-grind" games back to normal. I don't even look at such cr*pware anymore. Plenty of other fish in the backlog.
    BlueDrake and Reehahs like this.
  3. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,434   +890

    "Vampire" games... come back in the night and suck more blood...

    I hope that reviewers will limit their ratings to the plain vanilla product. If a game is unwinnable or merely tedious, this is best known before you buy.
  4. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,942   +1,357

    This is why I avoid EA games. Imagine if this crap was in games like CS:GO.
  5. ETF Soldier

    ETF Soldier TS Evangelist Posts: 465   +138

    I've said it before and I'll say it again.
    The ONLY microtransactions I will EVER support are cosmetics like character or weapon skins.
    Any system where you can pay to get ahead in games (which are fundamentally based on skill) are flawed.
    m4a4, Reehahs and GreenNova343 like this.
  6. Daithi

    Daithi TS Booster Posts: 82   +91

    CS:GO is no saint in this regard, it's arguably even more damaging.
  7. madboyv1

    madboyv1 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,508   +402

    Gee 3600 hours... a minor penance of ---150 days--- of gameplay~

    *queue Red Bull, Hot Pockets, Bengay, and 80s/90s montage playlist*
  8. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 4,009   +2,496

    Just another way to screw the players .... might as well as being on line gambling!
  9. Vrmithrax

    Vrmithrax TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,370   +320

    This is why I rather like the loot system in PayDay 2. All of the drops are essentially cosmetic skins in nature, not vital to continuing your progression. Some of the rare elite weapon skins have an advantage of built-in weapons mods and buffs, but you can apply those same mods individually to a weapon and achieve the same performance. They have safes that drop on occasion, which are the random slot machine kind of selection when you open them, giving you uncommon through epic skins randomly (with epics being very rare). And there is a whole marketplace economy behind selling safes & skins.

    But, at the end of the day, I can just play vanilla, enjoy my random drops, and not spend a dime on extra stuff. That's how I think loot drops should work.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2017
    Reehahs likes this.
  10. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,942   +1,357

    I don't really care about what people think of the whole gambling thing. I'm talking about the p2w boxes. Believe it or not, in cs:go you don't do more damage if you have a skin, even though some like to argue otherwise :D
    BlueDrake likes this.
  11. StrikerRocket

    StrikerRocket TS Enthusiast Posts: 33   +8

    I bought Star Wars Battlefront, I'll just skip this one, plain and simple! And every other game that includes these loot boxes. I'm not a milking cow!

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