SWTOR Former SWTOR Dev Damion Schubert Talks About Loot Boxes

With all the buzz recently on Battlefront 2 and EA, former SWTOR developer Damion Schubert offer some insights on the hated lootboxes.

The whole conversion can be found on twitter but I copy/pasted here them as well.

Damion Schubert was the Senior Designer/Lead Designer/Director of Microtransactions Design at SWTOR (May 2006 – October 2014). He was responsible for initial conception and design of key new F2P, monetization features, including random pack design, dye mods, minipets, player vehicles and animal mounts, and player housing (according to his Linkedin profile)

  • Let’s talk lootboxes, and how annoying it is to watch AAA publishers fuck them up from the perspective of someone who has to design to them. (1)
  • I’ve been working in Free-to-Play games for 4 years, and loot boxes are pretty crucial to that business model working. But it *is* possible to do them ethically, and they are super easy to fuck up. (2)
  • The number one mistake that I’ve seen in F2P games is devs who don’t understand that NOT SPENDING IS NORMAL PLAY. Most of your customers will NEVER give you a dime. (3)
  • The Zynga Facebook games that used to spam your feed were a success if they had a conversion rate of 2%. That’s right – a successful business model if 98% of your population never drops a dime. (4)
  • What this means, though is that the non-spendy version of the game is the NORM. The game that you see as a non-spender is what 90%+ of your customers will see. (6)
  • Dungeon Boss on mobile failed because what those people saw was a game where spending was absolutely mandatory. That view of the game killed the game. (7)
  • Because that 90%+ of the population is your game’s virality (also known as “word of mouth”). If your free players (or in the case of Battlefront, box spenders) have a negative reax it can kill word of mouth, tank reviews, etc. (8)
  • Some ppl think that game devs don’t care about keeping that 90%+, but that’s not true. Most of these games NEED those non-spendy players because they’re multiplayer games. (9)
  • In MMOs, you need ppl so that dungeon queues will fire. In PvP games, you need enough people to make a match – and matchmake them with appropriate enemies. (10)
  • This is much more true in AAA games where the PvP is synchronous than in mobile games where the PvP is against offline opponents frequently (see the core Clash of Clans game) (11)
  • So what Battlefront got wrong was to put content that people consider core behind a hugely long grind path. They missed that this would be seen as the ‘normal’ game. (12)
  • And one more thing: once you go into microtransactions, players start suspecting they are your motives for everything. (13)
  • So even in the scenario was a game designer that (for example) accidentally put an unlock behind an 80 hour grind because he fat fingered it, or because he just likes grinds or hard games, players will assume the company is making a money grab. (14)
  • That’s because in a lot of cases, the players are correct. Bringing microtransactions into things erases the benefit of the doubt. (15)
  • I still am a huge proponent of Free to Play because I’m a big hippy. I *like* the idea that 98% of my population can play for free. (16)
  • And a lot of research has been done to find that most heavy spenders (‘whales’) are people who like spending and don’t feel manipulated into it. Think high-powered lawyers with too much spare cash lying around. (17)
  • I’m pretty fine with those guys paying a lot of money so that a whole bunch of kids w/o money or credit cards can play my games for free. (18)
  • In talks in the past, I’ve compared it to the old Patron system in Renaissance times, where kings and rich dudes would subsidize art so everyone could enjoy it. (19)
  • But still, good MTX design is an art. It requires designers to be equal partners with Product Managers to come up with something that is perceived as fair and is celebrated. (20)
  • People like would disagree, but the difference between Overwatch & Battlefront is stark. People CELEBRATE new skins being added to the former. (21)
  • When a new Magic or Hearthstone set comes out, people CELEBRATE the opportunity to spend more. Same for a new FIFA season. (22)
  • This is important. MTX will fail if it *doesn’t feel good to spend*. It will fail if it creates a poisonous environment around the game instead of excitement. (23)
  • Anyway, I need to hit the road to a convention, but these thoughts have been rattling around my brain for a few days now. (fin)
  • Fuck, I said “Dungeon Boss failed” above. I meant Dungeon Keeper. Dungeon Boss is my game, and we did pretty good actually.

This was an amazingly clear-headed perspective. You were still working on when it went free-to-play, weren’t you? I feel like that model has been largely responsible for allowing the game to succeed long term, but out of curiosity, were there any lessons learned from that? – 

  • I was lead designer of that conversion, and it was my first F2P/micro transaction experience. Yes, this was a pants-shitting-in-terror level of responsibility.
  • We made a lot of mistakes but overall I’m proud of the results. We got a net GAIN in paying subscribers when we went free.
  • MKDAWUSS

    The lootboxes and the RNG aren’t even Battlefront II’s biggest letdowns. That was the campaign’s bait-and-switch storyline.

    • Shawn Hargrave

      yeah that was pretty shitty to

  • Nachi-Wan

    me liking the game by trying it for free convinced me to subscribe. but it should be more than a mere “try” for those that dont wish to spend so much into a game, if you wish to keep the game alive with a healthy playerbase

  • Alex Veis-Horn

    So he proud what they’ve done and wine here about BF2. Funny. After useless ‘houses’ and grindy and dumb guild ships and conquest he sound like he and his team did a good job. I’m not surprised that SWTOR became worse and worse last years. With such ‘clever’ devs it is predictable future.

    • Snarf

      well if he was only at SWTOR until 2014 he didnt do very much of it.

      • Alex Veis-Horn

        It all mentiond and his profile Linkedin. ALso all of these were launched exactly before or at 2014.

    • HMH

      Honestly, the Guild ship grind was a completely rewarding experience compared to the CXP bs.

      • Alex Veis-Horn

        For whom it was? ‘Rewarding experience’ – grind old content that you’ve done hundred times for several years before. People waited something new and interesting when BW delayed patch with strongholds and guild ships. And devs just gave people new grind system.

        • HMH

          My guild killed commanders for our encrypts and frameworks, it was new content to grind at the time.

          • Alex Veis-Horn

            Lol a few commanders – really new content ofc. As well as CM packs. I read this enough at of. forum.

  • I hope these people all die of Zika and AIDS and Ebola and Bird Flu and SARS and Polio all at the same time.

    • Darth Ji’inx

      I guess Smedley got his account back…

      • Drivan

        I dislike the fact that I have to be VERY specific to be able to flag an inappropriate comment (this one by Smedley) because this one doesn’t fit any of the available categories, but is still completely inappropriate.

        • TheCulprit

          I thought he made a really good point.

          • gua543

            It’s just a videogame, bro. Yeah, you can tell them “You are shitting on your own game, mate”, but wishing for their death? That’s kinda extreme.

            • TheCulprit

              well, the Ebola thing was a little over the top, but it’s the Internet, it’s ok to exaggerate a little

        • Darth Ji’inx

          I feel like he’s used this one before…

          • Snarf

            Eh, next week they will launch some new cartel pack and he’ll be all “ZoMG I bought 5 hypercrates and scored the platinum neener neener”
            /eyeroll

          • Drivan

            He has, many times…

            • Darth Ji’inx

              Is he off his medication again?

              • Drivan

                Likely.

              • Darth Ji’inx

                His poor mother must be pretty concerned…

              • Drivan

                He’s an alien, hatched from a larval Newt in the upside down version of Saturn, He doesn’t have a mother…

  • Whitedragon
    • Darth Ji’inx

      Stop exposing yourself, Memedragon…

      • Don Loco

        He bloody wishes lol

    • LordTsurugi

      Oh Lord Have Mercy. O.O

      • Whitedragon

        KAMEHAMEHA! 🙂

      • Deewe

        Choke to death…

    • Drivan

      I’m not into plastic…

      • Snarf

        Pretty sure thats his inflatable he hides under the bed hoping mommy doesnt find it.

        • Rompe Himself

          I guess Sex dolls have come a long way.

          • Risqu’e

            Google “Real doll”….

  • Shawn Hargrave

    its idiots like this that destroy games. Loot boxes arent necessary loot boxes are the result of stupidity and poor development choices. Loot boxes are put in out of greed. The other issue is we have a lot of stupid fucks who buy 150 cartel packs and encourage EA to do this stupid shit and then were left wondering why everyones going loot box crazy its b/c of stupid fucks who blow their paycheck on pay to win shit b/c their scrubs. EA will never get a dime out of me i cancelled my bf2 pre order after that horrific beta get fucked with your microtransactions and loot crate progression shit. Such a shame to b/c other wise bf2 isnt a bad game but as usual EA ruins everything they touch. Lol at damion schubert howd that free to try and cartel pack work for you eh? The games down to 5 servers. If you really wanted free to play you should have gone the lord of the rings online route tor never really have free to play they only had free to try theres a difference.

  • Sarigar

    As a high-powered lawyer with too much spare cash lying around, I am pretty happy with the Cartel packs overall, though I think the Platinum rarity is BS. If you want something that exclusive, put it up for direct sale one week of the year.

    • Fred Garvin

      lol…your comment sounds like an infomercial. I can hear it as you look into the camera, tie loosened and sleeves rolled up, talking while pouring yourself a glass of hard liquor after a long day at the courthouse making cash for cartel coins.

    • Deewe

      Having a lot of money at your disposal does not mean you should accept to pay the price of full games for one SWTOR weapon, mount or even gear dye… you can’t even reuse on alts.

      In fact most people I know, with millions $ in their bank accounts, are even way more exigent when spending money than the average Joe.

  • Jonathan Parker

    Am I really the only one in the world who thinks we just shouldn’t have microtransactions at all? Fuck free-to-play, fuck $60 AAA games, I want complete, totally finished games with everything available in the game itself with no real-world payments whatsoever. I don’t care if I have to pay $90 for AAA games and subscriptions (preferably single-payment lifetime subs like STO and games like that) for MMOs like SWTOR, I just want EVERYTHING to be in the game, contained within the game with no link to real-world payments other than the purchase of the game or subscriptions. Publishers and developers keep talking about how it’s necessary to put in microtransactions because games are getting more expensive to make, but here’s the dirty little secret. Instead of asking for more money for said complete games, they’ve devised a way to get ten times that amount in other payment methods. They’ve convinced the gaming industry that it’s okay, that it helps them to complete their games more effectively, but it doesn’t! We’ve been seeing a HUGE rise in unfinished, rushed AAA games from hugely popular franchises, and they all also include some form of microtransactions to pick up the slack from lack of sales. The gaming industry is slowing dying, but enough people are hanging on and paying for microtransactions that it will keep going in this dying state for a long time.

    • Isla

      It’s just not realistic, cost wise. Especially if you want the game to be updated and maintained.

      • Jonathan Parker

        That’s the thing though. If they actually make complete, quality-assured games and release them without rushing towards an arbitrary release date pushed by their publisher, and then they put a higher price tag on them, let’s say $80 or $90, they would end up selling so many more copies. Imagine Metal Gear Solid V, one of the best games released in recent years. Rife with hard microtransactions that turned people off to one of the potentially great parts of the whole experience, and a whole third of the game was completely cut out before release. Hell, they had tons of development shakeups. Imagine if they actually made the game they wanted, the complete experience with a higher price tag to avoid the inclusion of microtransactions. Not only would it probably be the best Metal Gear game to date, not only would it be one of the best stealth games in the history of gaming, it’d be one of the best action games in the history of gaming! Imagine how many people would buy it!

      • Deewe

        The premium $15 monthly fee is way more than enough to maintain the game.

        Then for new content $50 Xpack allow the studio to keep a publishing team and still make good profit. That is if you publish quality content and do listen to your player base.

    • Deewe

      As having worked in the video game industry, rest assured many game producers would love to be able to publish finished and well polished games. Thing is it’s the marketing and top execs who decide when you have to go live, not the readiness of the game.

      Blizzard is one of the few studio that always put quality over delivery date.
      Just for that they have my uttermost respect.

      Back to economics ; today RMT are making managers having wet dreams awake.
      Some players are spending thousands of USD monthly in their games, even in mobile games.

      • Jonathan Parker

        I do understand that it’s very rarely the direct fault of the developers in terms of release date, overall quality, and polish, I definitely hate the publishers like EA and Activision more than anything. And yeah, all hail Blizzard. I just wish that players, like you say, didn’t spend such absurd amounts of money to support these processes. People like me don’t spend a penny on them, but the “whales,” as it were, allow them to continue putting microtransactions in everything. It’s the concept of manipulation of people like this that make me hate the process even more. Like doing something that that requires sight to fully comprehend and selling it to the blind. It’s just dishonest, or downright insulting in the worst cases.

        • Deewe

          With SWTOR the issue is when a player buy CM items on the GTN with in game currency he’s just indirectly paying the studio for them as those items always comes from direct CC purchases.

          • HMH

            You are forgetting about peoples monthly CCs from subs and security keys and the trickle of CCs from accomplishments. I’ve bought plenty of items from the GTN and have never purchased CCs directly.

            • Deewe

              Indeed though, while I don’t have hard data in SWTOR, the revenue I’m aware of in others games makes me think the monthly CC and the security key purchases are the minority.
              That’s confirmed by my purchase record in this game too.

    • Drivan

      “You are not alone, I am here with you…”
      Seriously though, I’d rather pay for a fully finished game and have to pay another $30 for every expansion (like we did in the 90’s) and then pay a $5-$10 subscription if it meant that we got frequent, small, content additions like individual raids, dungeons and short stories. but got a polished and smooth gaming experience. I’d even be ok with a Micro-transactions market that sells cosmetic shit, toy’s and mounts as long as playable content was the obvious focus.

      • Jonathan Parker

        I even draw a line at cosmetic microtransactions. Personally, I’m a player that likes to make my characters look as badass as possible, especially in games like SWTOR and Destiny that have long periods of time after endgame content is completed. I love finding that perfect armor set, that perfect weapon, the perfect color combination. Games like SWTOR, and now Destiny, have monetized that completely. 90% of the best gear in SWTOR is in the Cartel Market or packs. 90% of all of Destiny’s cosmetic customization is in the Eververse store. It’s so frustrating, since that’s part of the reason I play games like this. I remember running around in rainbow armor as a Trooper in the first months of SWTOR, and I was so happy when they started to release updates and features to make that part of the game better, but then they introduced the Market, and I saw it coming a mile away. Gone were the days of good crafted armor, new and unique rewards, it would all go to the damn microtransactions.

        • Drivan

          I agree and disagree. There can be a good balance between crafting, earned/found gear and money market. ESO isn’t perfect in their approach, but I honestly believe that all of their best gear is crafted and I strongly dislike most of the Market gear and reward/earned gear. The problem is that SOME Reward/Earned gear has the best stats, but is BUTT UGLY. The only way to change your apperance is with market gear, but you don’t have teh freedom to customize your look.
          Since I no longer raid I don’t have to wear BiS gear I can wear the 2nd best/Starter sets of crafted gear and create the look I like. Occasionally something in the Crown Market peaks my interest, but unlike is SWTOR I don’t feel as though I NEED to buy items from the cash shop. SWTOR makes the cash shop feel like the focus of the game and if you aren’t buying from it then you aren’t playing the game properly. At least that is how I felt and one of many reasons I left.

          • Jonathan Parker

            SWTOR specifically is quite a shitstorm of gear and cosmetic items. The teams that make these things don’t know what the others are doing, or so it seems. Cartel Market or crafting? Legacy bound or bind on pickup? It’s the most arbitrary selection of things I’ve ever seen in an MMO. You just can’t predict what the next armor set will be, aside from a 90% chance it’ll come from the Market. The dye system is just as arbitrary, and I MUCH prefer ESO’s color system that actually has you earning things rather than paying out the ass for them, not to mention way more customization overall. I didn’t play it for very long at all, but the one thing I remember wanting from the store was that armor the mage woman wore in the trailers. It’s not as bad as SWTOR. I just think it’d be such a better feature to have an extensive crafting system instead of a microtransaction market. Imagine actually being able to craft specific pieces with specific design variants and colors, like the old days of SWG.

            • Drivan

              That ability to craft great armor and customize dyes is exactly what ESO has and one of many reasons that game rocks! Some of the best armor in the game is crafted, not just best looking, but best stats as well. For some classes the Best in Slot Raid Gear is a combo of Crafted and earned (overland questing, dungeons and trials) gear and I think that is part of what makes ESO a better game than SWTOR at the moment. Although they have microtransactions non of the stuff in that market has any affect on the game, except maybe the XP boosts.
              SWOTR went full stupid with their Cartel Market though and it really does look like it is their singular focus right now.

    • Ben Gimson

      I’m desperate to go back to the days of sub games. If someone can’t afford about £8.00 a month for their hobby they need to get a fucking job. F2P is just there to milk players for extra money, and has to be sporting the most ironic name ever given how expensive it is to properly enjoy a ‘free to play’ game.

    • If you ask me, another game that does fairly good in what you’re longing for is FFXIV. I’ve been playing it for 2.5 years now after I got tired of SWTOR despite being quite an Old Republic and SW fan. They just didn’t keep updating it well enough for my taste to stay interested in paying a sub. FFXIV uses a more traditional pay for game + sub and you can really tell from the amount of content they release about every 4 months. The released content has a high quality finish to it consisting of story, dungeon, raid additions as well as them trying their hand on new kinds of stuff every once in a while.

      Sure it also has a cash shop, but mostly for cosmetic items. Mostly though, as recently they added jump potions to said shop. And while people generally feared it would make the game filled with unskilled players, I’ve yet to see them 5 month after it’s introduction. More than one would normally see in any case.

      Seeing how the game’s currently at an all time high on subscribers, it seems to be paying off for them, to approach the game in old-school fashion with focus on quality. Sure the game’s got some minor issues (like which game doesn’t, right?), but the devs of the game generally respond well to the worries of the community, even if it takes them a long time on occasion (read: finally getting something like a properly usable transmog system in the update coming in January to replace the skin per gearpiece system it has now).

      • Brian Paone

        Oh, okay, someone already pitched FF14 then. I second this recommendation. SWTOR is a baby game. FF14 is something to which its better, older players can graduate.

    • Dave

      $90 is too much. Most people would scoff and tell them it’s not worth it.
      Your other problem is marketing. Delaying a game is like saying “Yes, we suck at our jobs but I promise it’ll be fine.” So not something you really wanna do so you prioritize content. You also have a budget. If your budget goes over, what are you gonna do? Let’s say you have enough money to finish one map or another but not both. What then? And yes, you can sell for more, but you get less people buying it, more people pirating it (so you gotta put in online only crap which pisses people off), and it doesn’t guarantee you’ll get the money you spent back anyway.

      Also: MMOs.
      Any MMO that’s “finished” is dead. Seriously, I’ve seen people plow through 4 years worth of content development in a month. How in god’s name do you fix that? Because if it takes 6 months to make 1 zone and a week for some players to finish it, it’s hard to have enough retention of subscribers. So you MUST add more. More more more. Dungeons/raids are quick and easy. Entire zones, less so. Then you have bug testing, which is never perfect. Then balance issues which can only be found when you have a lot of players…

      The list goes on.

      Also, when the economy had it’s recession, alot of subscriptions dropped. Or when players finish the content then stop playing waiting for new content (but then forget) and thus aren’t paying.

      Your goal is to get people to play and not stop playing. Micro-transactions help. It gives your players less of an excuse to stop playing (ie. I won’t pay for the game anymore cause it’s boring) vs (Eh… I’ll play once in a while cause it’s free) and it can give you a bigger revenue stream. The downside is that the revenue stream is less fixed. you have no idea how much money your next lock box will make or how much you’ll get each month. So it’s a mixed bag. But add both and you get the people who don’t have much to spend, can spend something sometimes.

      I like what Secret World Legends did. They setup an exchange. Buy special currency for real money and either buy clothes or keys for lock boxes, or exchange them for in-game currency which is used for the AH and like… most other things. Normal players can then sell their currency for this special one and use it as though they bought it with real money. You just need to make the exchange decent. Which is player driven mostly, so that you don’t need 80 hours of grinding to get one lockbox key. In SWL they set it so that you can get 10k currency per day. (as non-subscriber) Right now the general exchange is about 175 currency /special currency. So you need about 26,250 of the special currency per lockbox key. Which is about 3 days of doing all challenges. (or have 3 characters) Challenges don’t change and it’s “kill x monsters. Do X main quests. Do X side quests. Upgrade an item X times (or upgrade X items)” And all that takes a few hours unless you’re max level and go to the newbie area to do them, then it’ll take about an hour.

      So an hour a day for 3 days to get 1 lockbox is not a bad grind.

    • Brian Paone

      Try Final Fantasy 14. There IS a microtrans shop, but the only reason you’d use it is for Fantasias (changing your character’s appearance – mostly used by ERPers). All the good stuff is ground up in-game, and absolutely NONE of the microtrans stuff gets into the in-game economy to poison it.

      Plus it has a pile of content. Like, I haven’t even come close to doing/unlocking everything in four months, with more content on the way regularly. It’s a helluva system. More games should have it.

      • Thundertrain

        Nothing against the FF series (which I love dearly), but this approach leads to a totally different complaint: the players that don’t have the time to spend grinding away for hours upon hours to get the things they want don’t have another options. They start saying, “I’d HAPPILY spend $10 in the shop to cut down on the time it takes to finally get (insert item name here)!”

        You just can’t please everyone. lol

        • Brian Paone

          I would totally shell out $10 for chocobo dye. XD

  • Deewe

    Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. SWTOR F2P model main issue is you don’t pay for content.

    They should have followed LoTrO model instead.

    • Havik79

      Swtor is the only MMO I have played, can you elaborate for those of us who do know know what you mean.

      • Drivan

        For example, SWTOR charges you $15 a month, for your subscription you get “perks” like the use of all your ability bars, the privileged of displaying your name and title socially, the ability to res in the field after you die in combat, unlimited PvP and PvE ques, just to name a few.
        The majority of the available content in SWTOR (everything before KotFE and KotET) was released in 2014 or earlier everything before Shadows of Revan was actually done or nearly done when the game launched in 2011 and parts of SoR were already works in progress went F2P.
        KotET and KotFE are pure single player content released in 2015 and 2016 respectively. These mini expansions are not just lack luster, but have very little replay quality to them and are very short. In 2017 your subscription ran you $180 for the year and in return you received 2 bosses, a lack-luster planet with a lame story, some boring Uprisings and the privilege of playing old content, up-scaled to current level cap.

        In 2017 ESO produced a new playable class with all new abilities and , 2 new story lines with multiple side quests, 2 new raids/trials (operations), 2 new dungeons (flashpoints), a new PvP mode, 2 new large exploreable zones and 40+ houses. Not to mention multiple different gear sets EARNED through achievement, not purchased with real world money from a gambling market. I get the use of all of my abilities, and am allowed to que for PvE and PvP a billion times a week, WITHOUT paying a subscription. Nothing that is seen as part of the base game is locked behind a pay wall. You don’t pay for “perks” that are just part of the game…

        In SWTOR you pay for the privilege of playing the game without restrictions, In ESO you don’t have restrictions and pay a sub to receive and have access to new, playable, content on a regular basis.

        This whole article is about how game developers are screwing up the system if they leave a large percentage of the player base with the impression that micro transactions is more of a focus than playable content. That great big server merge SWTOR just had is a tell tale sign. Couple that with the near constant updates to the Cartel Market and the picture is pretty clear.

        • Havik79

          I see.

        • Jaime spenser

          I wonder if they will make KOTFE KOET free sooner or later.

        • guest

          The difference is that ES:O is PAY TO PLAY not FREE TO PLAY. the only was SWTOR can make money is by subs and an in game store; I had way more fun playing SW:TOR for the first time than ES:O, saying that I played ES:O when it was a subscription game and I have heard it is much better now.

          “everything before Shadows of Revan was actually done or nearly done when the game launched in 2011 and parts of SoR were already works in progress went F2P.” Source?

          I will say I don’t play SW:TOR much these days and the reason was KoTFE, KoTET? (not sure which cam first) However, the initial 1-55 was amazing and really fun -I don’t know of any other fully voice acted MMOG’s- and the raids you get are well designed and unique. Shame that the game couldn’t keep offering the same standard of content as RoTHC and SoR but for a new player who doesn’t need to pay a penny I can really say it is worth playing.

          • Drivan

            ESO isn’t pay to play, you are not required to pay a subscription, It is Buy to play with a subscription option. Currently a 1 time purchase gets you un restricted access to the game and subscription gives you access to the expansions. I played ESO at launch and went back to SWTOR quickly. I went back to ESO when they went Buy to play and converted to full time ESO player in April. ESO has made unbelievable improvements since it launched and is a a much better game at this point. It’s no space odyssey (which is what I truely prefer, but it has been a wonderful experience, unlike Wildstar…

            I just stopped playing SWTOR in April because the game no longer had anything to offer and although I REALLY, REALLY enjoyed hanging out with my guild mates, the game was stale, disappointing and a waste of money in my opinion.
            SWTOR is stagnate, only a full expansion Bigger and better than SoR or RotHC will help it, but I’m afraid that even that would just be a drop in the bucket ultimately.

      • Deewe

        Short version in Lord of the Ring online you pay for the content: unlock the quests and new areas.

        The good thing is if the content is good, players pay for it and doing so they encourage the studio to add more content over the years. Then players don’t feel milked because they get true new content, not barely reskinned assets or slightly tweaked meshes for the price of a Steam game.

        Then, unless it changed, you don’t have lottery boxes in LoTrO either.

        • Havik79

          So what like in the old days where we had to pay for Makeb and SoR, but without a sub?.

    • Tal Rasha

      No definetly no:D

  • Naq

    If you want free to play with microtransactions, go free to play. If you want to charge AAA prices for the game, don’t add microtransactions. Seems pretty simple. No, you can’t have both you greedy muppets.

    • Фролов Денис

      TBH, I’d take cosmetic lootboxes over need to constantly buy new maps and characters like in previous generation. Because cosmetic lootboxes are more or less voluntary to buy (for me at least), while “content packs” often felt mandatory, and served to separate playerbase.

      Pay2win lootboxes, or lootboxes COMBINED with payed DLCs can go and fuck themselves though.

    • John Kosto

      You said it perfectly, and that’s what people fail to see, when they complain about how other people complain about the Cartel Market (!)

      It is at the end of the day, a completely messed up allocation of resources. As you said, the Cartel Market DOESN’T MISS A BEAT. But everything else in this game is either bugged, or not finished, or low quality, or even never happening.

      I was watching The Phantom Menace last night, and I still couldn’t put my mind around the fact that this freaking game that has existed for almost 6 years now, still has not implemented Pod Racing. It’s beyond me. How do they not see that if this game had proper content, including raids, pvp, new game modes, and even new storyline that is not the Valkorion Blues, the amount of subscribers would increase?

  • ZestyM8

    Man what a cancer EA, swtor, Battlefront are. Nothing but drama all around, for just a video game. It’s pretty insane if you realise how pointless this all is.

    • Whitedragon
      • Fred Garvin

        It’s about time you posted a pic of yourself instead of just memes of other ppl.

      • ZestyM8
        • Drivan

          1ST rule of the modern internet, never let a troll know what you look like, where you live or what your social media accounts are…

          • ZestyM8
          • Brian Paone

            My name is Brian Paone. I live at 309 N Bellemeade Avenue, Knoxville TN. This is what I look like on my social media page:

            https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BrianPaone

            Do your worst, you little pussy. XD

            • John Kosto

              You would rather have internet security than healthcare. You are so easy to troll that it’s not even a challenge. In fact, you troll yourself by saying that. At least your porn stash will be safe and sound if you die because you can’t afford to pay a doctor.

              • TheCulprit

                i love when the Left eats their own. Someone pass me the popcorn.

              • John Kosto

                First of all, I am not Left nor Right. Second, no popcorn here, I am not eating anyone, I am merely joking. Third, you are boring, as always.

              • TheCulprit

                the walking cliche continues. Every Loony Lefty nutjob claims they are neither left/right – they just go where the data goes. (stop laughing in the back.)

                You weren’t joking, you were virtue signaling, as all leftists do, all the time. And to a fellow traveler – he isn’t sufficiently Left for you, so he must be attacked. Don’t back pedal, own that “not left enough” racist, not-caring-about-the-poor-enough, bigot.

              • John Kosto

                I don’t know where you get these drugs, but give me some, cause they appear to be causing some dead strong hallucinating….

                You’re funny man. I don’t require for anyone to be left, cause I am not “Left” either, whatever that means in your mind. Seriously, you have issues…

              • TheCulprit

                The drug is called “Clear Thinking” – to achieve this clear thinking you must leave the indoctrination of university life, meet real people, take a real job that produces wealth instead of sucking it out of the shrinking productive economy, and read a lot of books. Old books, 17th 18th century books. After a few years you can have clarity.

              • John Kosto

                I am just blissful that I don’t have the level of ignorance and stupidity of people like you. My life is as real as it gets. Yours on the other hand, pretty sad if you believe these things. But you are just a sad troll most probably, so good luck somewhere else, cause I don’t bite.

              • TheCulprit

                “I don’t bite” he says, after responding to every single post.

                Blissful is a good description for you, ignorance is bliss.

              • John Kosto

                Replying to you, doesn’t mean I bite, but feel free to feel like that if it makes you happy. I already know who you are in game by the way

              • TheCulprit

                ooo – mysterious. Feels like I have a stalker. Post it. I’ll be 100% honest either way.

              • TheCulprit

                come on, don’t leave me hanging… that’s just mean.

                I think it’s funny that you get trolled wherever you go though, so you just assume they are the same people. Maybe you just have that virtue-signaling, SJW personality that forces people to hate on you. That pretentious “I’m holier than thou” brings out the trolls big time.

                Unless you’re just tracking me down. That’d be more exciting!

                Don’t DOX me bro!

            • Drivan

              I was talking about Zesty not feeding Whitedragon (the troll) you fucking asshat, so thanks for making an ignorant ass assumption about me.

              • Brian Paone

                I don’t care. Do your worst.

              • Drivan

                I WAS NOT ADDRESSING YOU.
                I was giving Zesty a warning not to open himself up to attacks of a very personal nature.
                Now here you are ASKING to be attacked. You are a fucking idiot.

              • Brian Paone

                Still don’t care.

              • Drivan

                I have no desire to do anything. Unlike your generation, I don’t consider rude, disrespectful and ignorant behavior “fun” but you are being a fucking idiot. I’m done interacting with you.

              • Brian Paone

                Bye Felicia.

        • gua543
    • Jaime spenser

      Predictable boring story line also for battlefront nothing original anymore these days.

  • Ben Gimson

    “We made a lot of mistakes but overall I’m proud of the results.”

    How?

    • Фролов Денис

      Well, it was a succesfull F2P transaction, that pretty much saved the game back in the day. What’s not to be proud about, especially when it’s your first time?

      • Ben Gimson

        Everything? Swtor has a horrible F2P model. Other games encourage you to pay a sub fee, while swtor places so many restrictions that a sub is required to play properly.

        And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

        • Elrandil

          Guild Wars 1 was pretty decent in my opinion. No subscription fees, all micro transactions were completely unnecessary to enjoy the game and get rare items, costumes, weapon models etc. They were releasing large expansions with new skills, specialisations, stories, areas, etc. These expansions weren’t mandatory, but if you wanted to be competitive in PVP or utilise most effective builds, you needed them.

          • Ben Gimson

            I’m happy to pay for xpacs tbh, whether the game is a sub game or a F2P game. Ever since swtor started doing ‘free’ expansions, the quality has plummeted.

            • Elrandil

              Me on the hand, I would prefer if you could get all of the rare armor/outfit /weapon models by playing the game, exploring and killing mobs/bosses or by crafting it. Otherwise what’s your incentive to explore areas and revisit them? Paying for this stuff should be 100% optional and addressed to players who want to start the game and look awesome from level 1 onward.

              Asking people to pay for an expansion on top of normal subscription fees would be completely disrespectful.

              • Ben Gimson

                I’d also prefer to get stuff by playing the game; I just don’t mind paying for a large dose of new content that typically comes with an expansion. Expansions (in swtor, at least) were never expensive, and a one off payment once a year for hours and hours of enjoyment to chew through really isn’t ‘disrespectful’. We’ve seen what free ‘expansions’ mean in swtor, and it ain’t pretty.

                What’s disrespectful, though, is what we’ve got now. A fatal content drought and every new piece of armour/weapon/mount/other items that make MMO’s worth playing are sold exclusively through gambling boxes, so even when we do get new content we’re done 20 minutes later having gained nothing beyond the weak droplet of story.

                I’d take paid expansions over that any day. It works out far cheaper, too.

              • Mark Saunders

                Long rant… lol Hard not to agree, Ben. Ive not played in a few months. Not subbed. What they seem to forget is firstly that after 4-5 years of buying gear gamers are becoming immune/bored of the need for loot in the same game. If that means they wont get money and have to close thats on them but i cant see long term players itching for a new mount or robe. Secondly, they seem to have forgotten the 98% rule as above. If this game has 98% of players not spending a penny it’ll be gone by december. I’d argue those playing are paying. There are too few players hence the server merge, (btw lost my main alts name after 5years and am in no rush to play due to frustration). All the restrictions as pointed out earlier force people to sub but those as rhe article said who have no cash will quit. No 98% gets kept playing. From the millions that started 1.0 i’d argue that we now only have the 2% who pay, playing. Everyone else has gone elsewhere.

                Is there a solution? Is it too late now? It’d take a whopper of an expansion and marketting campaign. Sadly, EA seem uninterested in expanding. We will carry on getting same old duff until next year when tgey pull the plug. They will argue it was a financially successful venture and the FTP worked. They will be right. Did it save the game for players? No. It became frankestein’s monster, alive, barely and at times ugly. The brutal truth is the game lived on but hasnt been worth sticking with since 4.0. We’ve been loyal to a fault and been repayes with greed and TBH contempt. EA is having a rough patch with reviews and i hope they get a CEO who comes in with Brand name love for Star Wars. Its EA’s star resource and ToR could do great with 2 years proper expansions and a fairer FTP model as this one is an off-putter not a taster for subs. People will quit. I keep hoping we get a road map of note but just silence. A good road map is worth its weight in “Virality” and saves millions spent on ads. ToR has the opposite. It has bad publicity and word of mouth. It won’t change with silence.

              • Ben Gimson

                Agreed. Rip-off lootboxes would be far more tolerable with a decent amount of content, but the lootboxes are almost all BW produce on a yearly basis, and this year we’ve had no expansion at all.

                I expect swtor to last another year, maybe two. I wish they’d try and turn it around, but EA only ever gets worse rather than better, so I’m not holding my breath.

              • Mark Saunders

                Thats why i expect EA to have a massive change at the top. Its ok to get bad reviews if you sell but i’m not sure EA’s selling that well. Need for speed surely will flop? Rumors of a subscription model for next years fifa game stinks of a mmo style money model and loot boxes. Surely people will snap, especially after the mass effect andromeda being naff but selling well. The new animation system they use, that got blamed for andromeda, and the EA wide game engine stinks of mass production. Just wish we’d all agree to stop giving hard earned cash away for poor products like we’re all idiots. We give EA etc no desire to improve. They get lazy and us ripped off and ranty. Its our fault, we buy it all.

        • Фролов Денис

          Yet here the game is to the day. It worked. Period.

          • Ben Gimson

            And like I said, how is that something to be proud of? He kept one of the biggest failures in MMO history from sinking completely. That’s like shitting yourself but being proud that you cleaned up the mess.

            If he’s proud of the casino legacy he left behind, then he shouldn’t be working in the industry. It’s not something to be proud of.

      • Elrandil

        It was a success back then, cause otherwise you had to first purchase the game, which was pretty expensive at that time and then continuously pay a subscription fee in order to play it. Lots of players were moving to private pirate servers because of that. That was, however, a long time ago, and although it was a success from a failing product perspective, it certainly doesn’t count as a product and model nowadays.

      • Rompe Himself

        Considering the state of SWTOR after being “saved” as you pointed out, perhaps it should have died after all. The game has become a zombie to what the game first came out as.

        • Фролов Денис

          And what was so horrible about that state before 4.0? It was a good game. Content was being delivered. Would they not focus on SP content and not created abominable loot system in 4.0, game would have been alive and well to the day.

          • Rompe Himself

            Nah you misunderstood my point. My fault, having seen how I worded it. Yup, Pre 4.0, SWTOR was great, no doubt. The fall began after SOR. Yes, they turned the focus to SP post 4.0, but even now, with the focus returning to MP, what they are delivering since SOR has been god awful and quite frankly, embarrassing when compared to what this game USED to push out. And that is my point. It is tragic to see what this game has become that perhaps in hindsight, had we all known that this would be the end result, would we all want the game to have been “saved” when it is dying the way it is atm?

            • JoeCool

              Doesn’t that remind you of another Star Wars game that died just pre-SWTOR release? Star Wars Galaxies maybe? After a major update/expansion, the game was abandoned by the players because Sony completely screwed the game up. The question I ask, didn’t EA/Bioware even read up on what went wrong with SWG, so not to make same freaking mistake? I guess not, because practically the same thing is happening with SWTOR. They should have kept the game was like when it first started.

              • Drivan

                It’s the same thing with all failed MMO’s. When they start to listen to all of those really loud voices screaming “make it more single player/solo friendly” that is when they should start ramping up the group content. When the Solo play voices are loudest is when the game is at the turning point of JUST ENOUGH players to keep group play going, but not enough to keep the solo crowed from getting antsy. SWG, SWTOR, Wildstar, hell even EQ, EQ2 and several others shifted focus to the loners and there games went to shit.

        • Drivan

          I will say that RotHC and SoR were good additions to the game, after they fixed Yavin 4 and the (solo) Revan fight. I’m glad that F2P saved it long enough for that content to come out. But SWTOR should have been put to rest before Keeping up with the Valkorians was released…
          KotET and KotFE were garbage and it’s a joke that each of those “expansions” took a year to create. 2017 has seen a HUGE lack in everything except Cartel Market updates and 2018 doesn’t look promising to be honest.

    • Kubrickian

      When he got his paycheck.

  • SWTOR has (since it converted) and always will be FREE-TO-TRY. If you like the game and want to do more than casually play your story missions, you need to sub. To hit max level and do end game content, you need to sub. The end.

    • Jaime spenser

      I rather they just make it so you can buy the expansions like Shadow of revan but I guess they lost money on that deal. Many people aren’t going to sub because they just don’t want to and rather just buy the content then sub for it.

      • Rompe Himself

        Nah they didn’t lose money. SOR did great for them. But after that, the exodus began at BW Austin. They had the good devs quit or got moved to EAWare’s pet project (Anthem). And EA decided SWTOR could now just kind of “float” it’s way to oblivion, making miniscule content while focusing on the CM with the clowns left at BW Austin. It is why SWTOR has nothing left but ineffectual monkeys in charge now with the king of bullshit Keith leading the calvalcade of fuck ups called BW Austin. It is also why Andromeda turned out so shit, because they got a Z grade dev team that used to do DLC’s to make a full game while losing their best devs to Anthem also.

        • Jaime spenser

          I mean f2ps that just bought the expansion and never subbed some did that. But I get what you are saying.

      • Drivan

        Honestly SWTOR ended at Shadows of Revan. Everything that came afterwards is shit.

  • Stella

    I don’t mind the concept of loot(gamble) boxes, it’s just when they fill them with crap to greatly off-set the RNG that pisses me off. I’d like to be able to monetarily support the game with a bit more than my sub sometimes, but I don’t think I will buy CC’s to do so because of the awful RNG of the boxes 🙁

    • Rompe Himself

      The biggest problem with loot boxes in SWTOR (besides your rightfully pointed out issue of RNG crap) is how it is given priority over everything within the game, to the point that all the best looking gear in SWTOR is purely from the Cartel Market. Nothing in game anymore comes close to what is released in the CM.

      • Drivan

        Cartel Market updates almost every Tuesday, yet they can’t be bothered to released a finished Op before the end of the year…
        Yep, teh focus is obvious.

      • Shawn Hargrave

        dont forget the fucktards who buy 150 packs and refi their mortgages on cartel packs b/c of them ea is going overtime with packs cranking out thats the main reason lootboxes and this garbage is pushed

  • Brian Paone

    I stopped buying lootboxes because it stopped being fun. I stopped playing SWTOR because content development took a backseat to lootboxes and it showed. Now I play Final Fantasy 14, where I can grind up almost everything in-game instead of having to fish for the vast majority of cosmetic gear out of a (very fickle) lootbox system.

    Might work for CoD-loving dumbasses, but not me. Now, if you’ll excuse me, crafting isn’t timegated on FF so I’m gonna get to crafting all this expensive stuff I learned and put it all on a player-driven market that’s not walloped by hyperinflation so hard it makes Zimbabwe go “damn, that’s a lot of inflation”.

    • Drivan

      That is a very Republican and capitalistic mind set, congrats!

      • Brian Paone

        I’m a rule utilitarian. Politics are the domain of the feeble-minded.

        • Drivan

          Oh, I see. You are a nut job…
          Got it, thanks for clarifying.

          • Brian Paone

            No, I’m Brian Paone. You should get your vision checked – whoever you are.

            • Vanguard

              This is the greatest response I’ve ever seen

  • Louis Brogan

    I just shop for the items I want on gtn.

    • Deewe

      The CM items you buy with in game credits are bought by others players with real money.

      BioWare always wins.

  • randy191993

    Not a single word about games that employ lootboxes and STILL expect you to pay to play in the first place though. People would be more forgiving of Battlefront 2’s fuckups if it was actually a free game, and didn’t have that free to play model tagged onto a already 100+$ game. Decide, either or, don’t use both, THAT’S what pisses people off. When you put Free-2-Play stuff into games that you still charge full price for.

  • Rompe Himself
    • Drivan

      Nailed it!

  • Disqus this

    This guy is so full of shit.

    He talks a big talk but was one of the main people who created the F2P experience in swtor and it’s one of the worst in history. Actually screwing gamers over on the game play experience with limited hot bars, keeping all end game gear away from them making sure to drive them to the cash shop to buy the authorization.

    • HMH

      It worked great for me. I played for 3 years as preferred, I bought RotHC, a security key, and VIP access but used credits, and sometimes the help of guild members because of the cap, to buy all the unlocks from the gtn and ops passes. I’ve never purchased CCs.

      • Xcelle

        yes you are lucky and just one of the few who get that privilege of guild mates helping you out, it also doesn’t mean there isn’t a problem with the system I laugh at answers like yours because your talking like there isn’t a problem because you have others helping you out, if you didn’t where and how would you do this?

        • HMH

          Strange, guilds are a big part of MMOs, I laugh at responses like yours because you’re talking like playing the game like it’s a single player adventure title should somehow be considered and worked out by the devs. If networking, joining guilds, and making friends are not things you are comfortable with here’s a clue- go play a single player game, the devs concentrated on a single player experience in swtor for 3 years and it ruined the game and killed the population.

          Also, I never said it didn’t have any problems or that other MMOs don’t have a better system, all I said is it worked for me.

  • Tal Rasha

    oh realy? hahaha XD this guy is full of shit, free to play means you can play the game free, and putting into restriction, because you requer subb to use further game featuers, wich means the game is not free to play at all, so that beaing said. this a lie, and fals advertising. It is clear that free to play in swtor is a shitfest. why not made the game a buy to play model? withouth any restrictions? there are tons of good mmo’s outthere. oh wait i know cos you are partnered with EA. no more questions. Swtor is also a lackey of EA games, and they dont give a fuck about community feedbacks. even Eric your game director is shiting on that tabel where he recievs food.

    • Jaime spenser

      If it is Content (story mostly, leving to 70) restrictions there should be someone calling them out on their bs. If you going to have a f2p system you should mine as well give them all the story line and let them level to 70. I ain’t going to sub for a crappy story line that I can watch free on youtube.

    • Nick Bell

      It’s a free game. For a lot of people the original class stories are their favorite part because that to them is where the most effort was put in anyway. That was incredibly expensive to develop, and it is fun to play, though perhaps not that fun to replay. But yeah, if you want to play this as an MMO with endgame PVP and PVE it’s not a free game.

  • DerpDude

    Wow….not even a weekend at Taco Bell can make someone produce this much shit o.O

  • Shawn Hargrave

    the main issue is tor was never truly free to play it was free to try and they dont seem to understand that you look at lotros (lord of the rings online) free to play setup now thats how free to play should be. I always find it interesting how clueless these people are like how the other devs/management didnt count on people leveling so fast before makeb launched and how the original founders of bioware who left and EA are obsessed with wow they just dont get it if people want to play “wow” they wil go play wow not a poorly done star wars imatation of wow swg had this issue at the end as well. We are so screwed on star wars games for the next decade or so = (

    • Udesi

      Fuck EA seriously

  • MrKhristov

    I’m with Brain Paone, I’m Retired, independent, LOVED the game. I spent stupid money on the CM. It stopped being fun so stopped buying crates and CM items, also left the game for other reasons. I do check in just in case they get their &%^$ together. SWG did server mergers and where is it? (still the best)

    • Udesi

      sad part is SWTOR had potential I played it for over 3 years. It was getting really good during Shadow of Revan. Went to the cantina event with a few friends in LA super hype. Product arrives and it was. Total. Empty. Garbage. I waited a year and then 2 years and nothing. They only invested CM heavily, moderately in story and nothing on end game. like wtf. All my friends stopped playing it including myself. u_u

  • Meelis S

    Loot boxes are cancer for any multiplayer game and its getting worse. Counterstrike is one of them who introduced HUGE business around them even its just pure cosmetics.
    Others are now following same route. I didnt preorder BF2 as i knew EA wants EVERY NEW multiplayer game to have heavy microtransaction in it and loot boxes is their way in future.
    Only way to stop this if people stop preordering EA published multiplayer games.
    Otherwise it gets worse.
    There is no hope for SWTOR and former dev knows this but future games where EA has their hairy hands on can be affected if presales are dropping.

    • Udesi

      yeah learned this the hard way on swtor sadly. Im totally not buying their games anymore. I love star wars but sadly my hatred towards EA is stronger.

  • Dude

    I started playing SWTOR because it was F2P and Star Wars, two of my favorite things. However it seems the F2P model that bw and ea have created here is not what it could have been. I hate pay to win games with a passion, and it is looking like devs have leaned that direction more and more…..its a shame to see what they did to BattleFront 2. I dont buy games often, as I am not wealthy as it seems bw and ea thinks. (last game I bought was 3 years ago and it was on sale for $19) I was planning on buying BattleFront at full price, but not anymore….

    • Nick Bell

      Don’t see how SWtor could be called pay to win. You can’t do ops or pvp (much) without paying. How is that a pay to win system? You have to pay even to compete. And then once you do subscribe, you can’t pay more to have an advantage.This is not pay to win at all. No one in 3-4 years of me playing this game has been a pvp match calling the other team whales, or claiming money as the reason they are getting trounced. And no one sees the latest NiM clear or server firsts of new bosses and says I wonder how much money they spent.

      • This^

        Exactly.

  • Vinak

    The first time I saw SWTOR’s F2P model I just laughed because I knew it was complete garbage. It was going to deter players from playing the game more than the standard monthly fee ever did. (server populations stabilized for a while but never recovered)

    SWTOR doubled down on it’s failure to understand the F2P model with 5.0…and EA went full (retard) P2W in SWBF2.

    • Soul

      Because it is not a “Free-2-Play”. it is “Free-to-try”. In fact, you can play this game story content up to a certain point as a free player. You get your class story, Makeb and SoR for free. This is actually quite a lot (8 base storylines, 2 sides Makeb and SoR line). Yes, you WILL be limited on a number of things, but all those concern multiplayer interactions mostly (FP, ops, WZ). But that is kinda the whole point of free-to-try, isn’t it? You give people a glimpse of what they could unlock for a Big Mac price a month, and give them smth to do for free as well.

      Sure, this is not like Korean f2p games, where you are actually forced to pay up huge amounts of money (look ArcheAge) to even be competitive, but they are “free”. This is more like WoW (free up 2 lvl 20 or something, then u gotta pay up) with only difference being that u could buy a sub by in-game currency.

      And u cannot actually P2W in SWTOR either. The highest gear u could just go and buy is 246 (with no set bonus), anything else requires farming. And the mentioned 246 gear costs like 30mil creds for full set, which is not THAT much of credits with all the heroics around.

  • R315r4z0r

    This guy didn’t mention the scenario where you earn crates via in-game currency.

    That changes the whole ballgame because now that you aren’t “required” to spend money, you still need to unlock lootboxes to progress.

    This is why I’m pissed off at people crying “pay-to-win.” It’s completely inaccurate and is only giving EA/Disney ammunition to use against the players.

    Since you aren’t required to actually pay any money on MTX, you can’t really say it’s pay-to-win. People only say that because its an option and they don’t like to lose. (I’ve seen many players in game complaining about other players who “supposedly” beat them because they bought crates.)

    Everyone seems to be missing the bigger picture. It has little to do with MTX. EA/Disney see this, but the players don’t seem to. EA/Disney is “pretending” that the players where right all along and are “apologizing” by temporarily removing the pay model. But the bottom line is that RNG still exists and that RNG is still CORE to the game’s progression.

    Nothing has changed.

    This is why it’s important to know what the hell you’re talking about when you start throwing hissy fits and pointing fingers. Because not only do those people drum up a large buzz and cause other ignorant opinions to spread, but it allows EA/Disney to exploit that ignorance in an attempt to appease and persuade you that they’ve heard your concerns and that you’ve “won” the fight.

  • Ben Fuller

    The problems I have with lootboxes and f2p mmo’s is 2 fold.

    Firstly l, swtor is a perfect example of how devs focus more effort on gear and mounts for lootcrates than making the somewhat better looking armour sets earned from actual gameplay. And most of the effort in my OPINION is spent on bringing new stuff to the store. Making you feel like if you want this specific armour set or mount you have to spend real money and hope you get lucky with it dropping or be prepared to spend millions upon millions of credits buying it from the gtn. The problem I have heard is for f2p players you can never afford it coz the credit cap. And have to buy other item to get more credits accessed.

    The second issue I have with lootboxes is best explained with star trek online. Most the lootboxes there are filled with crap and the main desirable item has a 0.000001% chance of dropping and you have to by keys to unlock the box. You can use in game currency to trade for the store currency but the trade rates are bad. The really cool space ships they release are always hid in the boxes and never added to the main store. You could literally open 200 lootboxes in a row and get shit out of them all
    200 keys is like 200$+

    That’s the problem, hiding every single one of the best items behind a gambling system worse than a casino odds. If the at least offered players the occasional chance to by said item direct from store like swtor seems to be doing lately it wouldn’t a really be so bad but still system favours those who have lots of money and get lucky on the drop of the item/s they want

    • Nick Bell

      What about things like the Tyth pike dropping from the operation, or the Gamorrean Companion coming from an event rather than the cash shop? They easily could have put him in a pack, but they didn’t. Granted, it still takes a lot of time to get these items, but you don’t have to pay a dime. Yes, a there’s plenty of things in packs that took more time to design than some of the free stuff, but honestly, there’s also just reskins in the packs and things that aren’t as cool looking as the armor sets from the alliance crates (formerly high tier gear vendors), and now some of the free sets coming out of command crates. So some pack items definitely took less effort than some of those free items.
      I do feel for the free to play players with their credit cap. Inflation has been *insane* ever since they made heroics give tons of credits. But I think that was a bad change for everyone, not just free players. And isn’t it about to be raised?

      Overall I think they do a good job. There’s probably a little more focus on cartel items than free items, which I think is fair, but there are also some really nice looking free items. And all the things I really, really want are locked behind NiM ops and PVP ranked rewards (which sadly in that later case I won’t ever get another shot at).

  • Shawn Hargrave
  • Terry G Roberts

    Free to play in Swtor could have been better imo. Locking almost everything behind a paywall wasn’t necessary. I get some stuff, but hide head slot, seriously?

    P.S Does the new flashpoint/pvp system work with f2p/pref players? I don’t have a sub and don’t really intend to until an expansion is announced. Also, for that companion do all we need to do is just 3 flashpoints or pvp matches through group finder. I mean just the flashpoints itself not the dailies/weeklies right?

  • Saratje

    Like I often say to people who scream that microtransactions are too pricey, they’re aimed at the target audience of people with a successful daytime job who have disposable income. They’ll most likely still have a job next year and the years after, making them a reliable source of income at that particular price for microtransaction content, unlike say students or teenagers who may buy something once and then not again who are currently excluded because they do not wish to afford the going price for that content. And as the writer of the article says, that method works, but only if the content is optional and not a meta-asset (means: need to have to win the game).

    However, the moment that such content becomes pay-to-win, a game starts to fail. Instead of being a flair or cosmetic item, the content of the loot box becomes a necessity to win and at that moment a game is singling out an elite playerbase of 2% who can steadily acquire that content and 98% who will never beat them because they can’t afford to keep up with that content. If you have a thousand dollar of disposable income, it doesn’t hurt so much when a new box outperforms the previous one. If you’re a student or have an average blue collar job and a family to maintain with no excess income to spend on games, then pay-to-win ruins your game indeed.

    The only statement I don’t agree with is when the author writes “The number one mistake that I’ve seen in F2P games is devs who don’t understand that NOT SPENDING IS NORMAL PLAY.”. 99% of the time it’s not the devs who make this call, but the publishers at the top (you know, guys wearing pretty three-piece suits, who never played a videogame in their life).

  • Konoha the Wiper

    “Fuck, I said “Dungeon Boss failed” above. I meant Dungeon Keeper. Dungeon Boss is my game, and we did pretty good actually.” HAHA

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