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Some feedback of the Dropped Frames discussion about Battlefront 2

I’m a long time fan of Dropped Frames and most often than not I enjoy the debate and discussions that take place in the show regarding all manner of topics.

It was mentioned beforehand even that Battlefront 2 was going to be a topic so I was interested in seeing how the discussion would turn out. Sadly this was the first time I felt that instead of interesting discussion/debate it was pretty much mostly just your typical anti-EA circlejerk one can find in any gaming forum or reddit post, with things brought up as “fact” and then the next minute recanted because they turned out not to be true. (picking random stuff from reddit/twitter/chat and stating it out might not be the best thing to do)

I know everyone in Dropped Frames is a huge gamer and this topic is a huge shit show and I am not saying everything needs to be vetted, but when a topic is as flammable as this is there really a need to continue pouring the fuel? I have to give big kudos to Jericho for trying to bring the another point of view into the topic as much as possible.

Just my thoughts on the topic.

TB did rather good video on the topic of BF2/Shadow of War and loot box madness. The video is around a month old now. I usually don’t watch his content but in that video he brings up the fact that this has been going on for a long time on EA sports games. “Lol no one plays sports games” might be something that we hear from the background but the truth is that pack opening videos for Fifa games have over million views. This clearly eclipses what Hearthstone pack opening videos have so we might assume that there are a lot of people invested in those games and buying these items.

What comes to the DF episode, i think they had a good point of view at the end that the shitshow basically has no relation to the people who make the decisions of what kind of business model is being used. Also, people should vote with their wallets if they want to have a change and there clearly are millions of people who think this is ok way of doing business.

I guess the reason that things like this are talked on DF is that people want to hear their opinions and be validated in their zeal. DF hosts actually get asked about this a lot so i guess it’s good to have a platform that they can then refer to when asked about a hot topic. It’s also something that can be discussed with next to no preparation and is a low risk topic to talk about.

The point of Dropped Frames is to talk about the games and the news that’s happened in the week; and this was by far the biggest thing to happen… As for the anti-EA circle jerk… there wasn’t much good to say about it. EA did this really shitty thing and it’s natural that everybody was against it.

I do agree that it felt very messy and unstructured with the cast saying one thing and then getting corrected by chat, but it was quite a fresh story and sometimes that’s just how it is.

The thing with ‘pouring the fuel’ is that sometimes that needs to be how it is if you want to see change, if people want to actually impose changes then sometimes you have to make a fuss or it won’t see that change. Unfortunately listening to people make that fuss is rarely fun or interesting.

While I do think that ‘paying with your wallet’ is a good thing to do, I also think that it isn’t the solution to problems like these. Boycotting a game lowers the sale, but EA’s revenue by an amount so small that they don’t even notice; if everybody were to boycott the game then yes, EA would certainly take notice and worry. But the amount of people that care enough to boycott the game doesn’t even compare the the amount of people that don’t care/know and will buy the game in droves. Especially when it’s a Star Wars game.

Boycotts aren’t just about giving EA one less sale, they’re about stirring up a fuss and about giving EA bad publicity. It’s about telling your friends why you’re boycotting the game and what it is that EA are doing wrong, thereby escalating the publicity of the issue until EA can’t help but notice it. Because the people that own the stocks, the people really in charge, they don’t follow games and they don’t care. They don’t understand why microtransactions are bad, they just see X big video game publisher and know that video games make money. It’s the stockholders and the executives that understand bad PR over immoral business practices. That’s why EA has been so defensive about this whole situation.

Joe Parlock wrote a good article about this that I recommend reading: When it comes to loot boxes, “vote with your wallet” just isn’t good enough

p.s. Sorry if I sounded preachy, I didn’t mean to :smiley:

I agree that “voting with wallet” never works in something that is in scale of millions of customers. How the situation is now going (AFAIK) no one can use money but the game still requires high amount of time to unlock popular heroes. I think this is going to be a really hollow “win”.

The reason why i brought up the ‘wallet’ solution is to give light to the fact that no matter how many people rage and whine, it hardly shows any change in profits. To be honest, even with the new solution, there is the possibility that now there will be even more unhappy customers than there would have been before. Now the majority of the people buying the game can’t play it as they might expect EA game to work where you can skip a lot of progress by paying for it. Shouldn’t their expectations and opinions be heard? :itmejpking:

I was going to add an opinion about how games like WoWS work where you can’t reasonably progress or even play at the level that you have reached without constantly paying money. Explaining the opinion ended up being a bit too complicated for what it’s worth. Games that require pay for progress seem to be accepted as long as the game is free to play and not a top dollar title off the shelf.

If we’re talking about what one single person can do then I think that one tweet has more impact than one sale.
Keep letting people know, in a respectful manner, that you don’t like these kind of practices.

EA are saying that they will rebalance the game before putting the microtransactions back in, and that’s where the ‘victory’ is. The win comes from EA losing the millions of microtransaction sales that they would have got on the launch weekend, which is a huge statement and something that is sure to piss Disney off.
EA did what they had to do to negate as much bad PR as possible, it does suck for people that have more money than time, but at the same time it’s on EA to not make it so grindy in the first place. They claim that they will balance the game to make it more reasonable, but it takes time that they didn’t have and they needed to do something.

It is a temporary solution, and I’m sure DICE are working their asses off so they can put microtransactions in as soon as possible. Unfortunately that’s a cost of progression systems, sometimes it’s a barrier to people that don’t/can’t pay to skip.

WoWS is an extreme example of a free-to-play model, and one that I don’t see as acceptable.No game that actively punishes non-payers is unacceptable in my opinion. It’s one of those games where the community somehow doesn’t care.

For the sake of people who like Battlefront 2 let’s hope this happens soon. The problem that i see with this is that people are completely blind and focus only on “no micro transactions” chanting that the shitstorm will raise again no matter what they propose or implement. Gaining any reasonable customer feedback is now pretty much impossible and it will make it hard for EA/DICE to get it right as they clearly have different views on how this should be done.

If anything positive comes out of this for EA is that at least BF2 will stay relevant for longer than BF1 as it was forgotten quite quickly. In the end any press is better than no press. :itmejpgmleft::itmejpgmlol::itmejpgmtpk:

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Speaking on the subject itself beyond Dropped Frames: the reason why people are up in arms about loot boxes and microtransactions is because it just keeps getting worse and publishers have largely ignored the vocal minority of the power users (informed core gamers as opposed to casual mainstream gamers that don’t have the time or inclination to stay informed on the industry). A game like Battlefront is marketed to 1) youngish teens and kids that don’t do product research, 2) parents looking for something to buy their kid for the holidays, 3) mainstream Star Wars fans, and 4) casual gamers looking for a spiffy new distraction away from their workload.

For the informed, buying power in a game means that the developers must actively design the system in order to make the gameplay so unappealing to certain people that they want to buy their way into a level playing field and skip the time-wasting monotony in their busy lives. Why do this at all with an agonizingly slow and randomized progression system unless you’re trying to exploit fans into paying for their favorite characters?

And so, the reason why the subject has become such a raging dumpster fire recently is because that informed minority has decided to get louder than usual in order to affect real change to fight exploitative industry trends that don’t only hurt power users (core gamers). And this is one of a very rare few times in the recent history of the industry that we actually did affect change by spreading the coverage and creating a more informed public consumer base. You have to go very hard on the PR war in order to impact huge companies like that.

The results from “adding fuel to the fire” in the general public arena: EA walked back on their microntransactions temporarily, with the full intent of reintegrating them in predatory industry fashion shortly after launch in order to save shares and preorders. But this isn’t enough, and people know it, so they’re still fighting. Of far more significant note, the huuuuge and continuous PR stink from this actually hurt EA’s stock value despite a the current growth trends in the market.

Long term, the whole point of this is to establish a hard precedent against the industry jumping off the deep end of steadily increasing predatory microtransactions. Voting with your wallet as an individual does next to nothing, but voting with your vocal opposition and your wallet as part of a larger whole shapes the industry by establishing a very hard precedent for market exploitation boundaries. Optimistically, we may get Disney to pull their exclusive Star Wars license from EA, the publisher that won the title for “worst company in America” two years in a row and killed Visceral, Origin Systems, Bullfrog, Westwood, Mythic, Maxis, Pandemic, and Dreamworks Interactive. And EA boardroom decisions have already crippled Bioware’s reputation, which could mean terminating yet another much-loved and successful development studio.

For a game that’s $60 in its’s BASIC version, with actual full game packages being much more expensive, the shitstorm should never stop until there are no microtransactions in this anymore and never will be again.

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How do you then suggest that games should be kept alive? If you have only one time purchase it is not reasonable to think that the game will be patched and updated for years.

I support cosmetics and DLC. There should be a huge market for that in a sandbox Star Wars property as it is a fanservice game first and foremost. Lootboxes tied to power-buying are the sleaziest way to support a game’s long-form production by soft-gating major feature content that was already budgeted and paid for.

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If you need a constant revenue flow, and with full price sales like a SW game will have you don’t actually, not for the lifespan EA will have their servers running, make a F2P title with a decently fair business model.

Nothing about Battlefront’s model is that.

Asking a full price and then selling the appealing features, like heroes, again, is just pure avarice.

Edit: Not to speak of the 100% P2W model this game has anyway.

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Yeah i don’t understand why they won’t just give every god damn hero in current universe for free and milk the cosmetic market. There are so many possibilities with it and they could do it in the way that Dota2 is that you have cosmetic items in different slots so there could be near infinite pieces of them. Also, Young Anakin skin for Yoda :itmejpexcite: !

Don’t charge up frount this just limits your potintual player base.

I would have to pay $60 just to get access to be able to play and have the joy as mricro transaction on top of that… in essents I’m giving them my money for the ability to give them more of my money in the future… Does that not sound insane?