I enjoy Battle Royale Games, I’m not great by any means but I feel the jubilee when I’m the last one standing in a battle royale or the pride when my teams execute the game strategies to perfection to dismantle our opponents. Or sometimes I prefer to go alone and explore a games immersive world and be captive to the story and progression of my character. Even the ageless chess and checkers find a way onto my screen once or twice a month.
Battle Royale Games are great, but with a dynamic landscape evolving so rapidly with so many seeking capital gains, I can’t help but feel that as a gamer — I’m being taken advantage of. And when I do a game, it is only as a to relax and unwind. Never seen as constructive towards career building, learning or insightful. I don’t think I’m alone, many of my friends have stopped playing because they fail to see the upside in gaming. In this, I found some of the largest flaws in the gaming landscape and how future technologies (and companies) seek to shift the balance.
Gaming microtransactions for chance-based items — aka the dreaded loot boxes
Something well covered, so I don’t wish to dive too deep into this pool. It, however, is still an issue that deserves a few strokes of attention. When I go to Ikea wanting to purchase a bedside table, I spend my money and get a bedside table. They don’t have employees spin a giant wheel and encourage me optimistically to try again when it lands on a toilet scrub brush. Telling me it’s better ‘chances’(odds) if I buy 10 spins.
Paying money to have to rely on chance in order to acquire the object I desire, that’s gambling 101. Which is why it’s the result of an ongoing government inquiry.
Some games execute it more lightly than others. Overwatch loot boxes are purely cosmetics, so competitive advantage cannot be gained through RNG (Randomly Generated Numbers) and Blizzard offers players ample opportunities to score them.
Other games, like the ambitious project that was Star Wars: Battlefront II. Blatantly storing useful abilities and strong characters in an RNG safe where gamers could either grind for hours or empty their wallets and pray that RNGeesus looks down on them favorably.
What yours, isn’t really yours.
Say you do get lucky and that legendary skin or grind for max gold or finally max out your account.
Do you own what you were just rewarded? In the game, sure. The account is yours and you might even pay for it. You’ve put in the grinding hours or splashed out the cash. But beyond that? I’ll offer a recent example from my personal experience.
I’m a big fan of Overwatch and have played on and off since its launch. I started on PS4 and wanted to switch over to PC to play with other friends who were playing. Could I transfer the account across? Nope. What about transfer just my skins? Nup. Ok, well can trade these skins to other players on PS4? No sirree.
Fine, I’ll just sell the account to another player. Absolutely not, selling accounts is illegal and will result in a permanent ban.
In the end, I paid for a PC version of Overwatch, and my ps4 account sits, unused and worthless. I put a lot of time and effort into that account and the extent to which the time I put in doesn’t feel equally represented. At the end of the day, I own that account, but Blizzard owns the complex and in the real world, my account is worthless, bound by their regulations and restrictions
What’s on top, must come down
So what? That’s ok. I don’t need to sell anything or trade because I’m enjoying the game and doing well. Ground the best warrior hearthstone deck, my paladin is stacked with the best gear and decked out a 2H sword, I scored a fabled party hat (hopefully one of these examples strikes a chord). All the hard work has paid off. You load in and a notification pops up.
n Patch Notes 1.2: Warrior cards nerfed 80%, Paladin unusable in the new expansion, Party Hats being handed for free in Varrock
Ok, so there may be a little dramatic. But change does occur frequently. In a self-regulated complex, buffs, nerfs, new rules and new content is continual, and it comes at the expense of gamers existing efforts. There is no compensation for this. A repeating disappointment, once again the gamers efforts are seemingly amassed to naught. I’ve felt this more than once and felt that if I stop grinding now, everything I’ve done will be for nothing. So, I continue to grind, just for this to happen again and again and again.
Solutions are around the Block-Chain