If the packs were 10cents or around that then I'd be fine with it. As things are right now, I just look at micro transactions as an extra option in games that I never tamper with. They're there to catch idiots trying to get an edge beyond individual performance. it's crude but it isn't forced so I can't chuck acid.
@Seppli: So this is much less of a jab at EA directly, and more a jab at a very specific F2P model. I suppose that's fair enough.
I played a fair bit of Mass Effect 3's multiplayer, had a great time, and jumped back in more recently to enjoy some of the new content. I didn't spend a dime, and never felt the need to. I guess my perspective on this, as someone who was un-phased by this inclusion, is skewed.
I, personally, take much more offense to SWTOR's nickel-and-dime-ing away features that should be part of the core gameplay experience. It is a significantly more offensive and anti-consumer model than Mass Effect 3--regardless of the $60 upfront pricing. I can't wait for this ridiculous territory to even out: for developers to find the right sweet spot and stop experimenting with these awful cash-grabs. On one hand, games like SWTOR make me incredibly anxious and nauseous when thinking about the future of video game monetization; on the other hand, games like TERA, Team Fortress 2 and DOTA2 are exactly the opposite. These are dark, muddy times that we live in. Lets hope that the dust settles soon.
Dark and scary times indeed. You are wrong however. I do not believe that F2P is inherently incapable of being a force for good, it's just that Mass Effect 3's F2P-designs are unspeakably evil.
It's all about EA/Bioware and how they handled monetization of Mass Effect 3's multiplayer. Sure - it's a great thing to get a whole lot of new content and unlock prospects for free - if you only played a little of it. However - if you've played coop for hundreds of hours, like I did, the whole *Mystery Box* unlock scheme rears an extremely offensive and extremely ugly head. Again, the more time and/or money you spend on ME3's online portion, the less value you are given in return. In other words, the more avid a customer/player you are, the less value EA/Bioware gives you in return for your investment - to the point of giving you virtually nothing at all. I don't understand how that's okay in anybody's book.
I figuratively want to kill somebody over this injustice. It's literally blowing my mind because of how fucked up it is, and how unnoticed it goes.
@Seppli: But you knew what the mystery box was, didn't you? You knew that it was a mystery box, a gamble. It's no different than what Valve does with their stupid crate things in Team Fortress 2. At this point, it's an established microtransaction model that is deeply rooted in anti-consumer scumbaggery.
My point was more that the ends justified the means. Sure, at the time of launch it was a $60 release that came with microtransactions--that's scumbaggy. But as time went on and we saw this continuous stream of free DLC packs released, the whole thing started to make some justifiable sense. The biggest question with monetization systems for me is always: where is this money going? Is it going on top of a giant pile of publisher cash so that they can gloat during their fiscals? Or is it going right back into the game for all to enjoy?
I look at games like Killing Floor as a prime example: it's a small team-lead, but pretty popular wave-based hoard mode game that has been around for ages. You see the base price of $20, and then you see $50 worth of DLC on that store. For the longest time, that DLC was exclusively meaningless character skins, and community's view was simple: if you enjoy the game and want to continue supporting it, use the DLC as a way to donate some cash for continued development. In return, Tripwire has updated the game continuously over the past 4 years with new maps, modes, tons of great holiday stuff, and so many extras. (Recently, they've started delving into weapon DLC packs, which is slightly more offensive, but at least they continue to keep their userbase intact).
That sort of view on DLC may only be reserved for finance-stressed small teams, but if you divorce this from EA as a publisher, the result is very much the same: you have a completely ignorable microtransaction model that is set in place to justify continued content updates. So long as you aren't suckered into their money-grubbing web, you end up walking away with quite a deal. I know that you've spent a great deal of time in Guild Wars 2, and I have to ask: how is that any different? In an MMO where the core experience is an attempt to socialize, compete and cooperate for prestige, how aren't prestige/show-off items like gambled mini-pets and costume skins any different? It's a $60 product with a microtransaction store that justifies a game's maintenance.
Except that you are attributing benevolence to a company that has demonstrated over and over again that they have no interest in being nice. I don't believe that EA intends for microtransactions to support further game development. The ends do NOT justify the means in my opinion. You are treating EA like a big mob boss who extorts people, but since he gives some of the money to charity its ok. I would much rather have them charge for well developed content as DLC then put in stupid microtransactions.