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Goboard

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Edited By Goboard • 

I'm so happy to see someone bring up KRZ in their list. I was hopeful that the last act would come out this year, but Un Pueblo de Nada, in both the game and video forms, are an exceptional treat to have all the same. I first played KRZ two years ago on new years eve at one of my lowest points. I was completely subsumed by it. Eight hours later I had finished the first four acts, and though I wasn't aware of it at the time, I had come out it changed in ways I'm still working through.

I'm looking forward to when the final act drops and the TV edition is released so more people will get to experience KRZ. It's a truly singular experience.

@hassun: The TV Edition was announced at E3 by Annapurna Interactive and will come out when the 5th act is finished with the inclusion of all the supplemental games and hopefully all the video stuff they've done here and there.

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Goboard

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@jerbear:That you, as someone who has played the game, can say that many of the cards are underwhelming, uninspiring and that even the ones you use aren't worth investing in is a tacit endorsement of how worthless the density and scale of the progression in the game. If this is truly the case then there is no need for many of the star cards to serve as junk in a loot table for a random drop instead of the more apparently valuable crafting materials and occasional unlock via challenges.

The randomness of loot boxes and their centrality towards acquiring crafting materials at all, even at an average of 50 per box, suggests that the better choice on the part of the developers for the progression system is to award crafting parts at the end of a match as well, remove the seemingly useless cards and drop the upgrade system/card level if it provides no meaningful and apparent benefit. Doing this would allow the player further choice in how they spend the main currency, whether for loot boxes or characters, and allows them the choice of engaging with the randomness and all that it entails.

Even if Dan doesn't understand how to increase his card level, he does know that he can unlock other cards with crafting material and still doesn't find that investment at the moment to be worthwhile. If he has to open loot boxes anyways just to get more crafting material then he might as well keep saving them to the point that he gives up on the loot boxes supplying what he wants. At that point he'd very likely have a high enough card level and then be able to make a few upgrades with his accumulated crafting material. If Dan does understand how his card level is increased, as I believe he does, he just doesn't find investing his accumulated crafting material in cards he wont use to matter at that moment even if he increases his card level in the process. Until he has enough cards and crafting material to upgrade the cards he uses he might as well hold off on spending any crafting material.

However, as you've said, if it's better to spend the crafting material to unlock tier 1 cards instead of relying on the loot boxes to drop them then that further obviates their necessity within the progression system. Supply the crafting material as an end of match reward, remove the tiered upgrades and card level. It removes the negative feeling from bad drops from the loot box and means that a player doesn't feel the need to horde their crafting material. They will spend what they get from playing until they no longer have anything that they want to buy at which point the currency loses meaning altogether. At which point if the act of playing the game isn't sufficiently enjoyable you stop playing. That last sentence is the most important part, if Dan had found the act of playing the game to be sufficiently enjoyable before engaging with the progression system as is his opinion of it wouldn't as negative as it's role wouldn't be necessary to his enjoyment.

Dan's closing paragraph reads as someone who may have had a few good moments online, he points out the space battles as the most enjoyable part earlier on in the review, but that no amount of love for the license overcomes how little he wanted to continue playing it if it meant enduring the loot boxes and progression. Had the game not included the progression system in the way it exists or only made the changes I've mentioned I doubt that Dan's feelings on the game would have changed much. No amount of free DLC paid for by cash bought loot boxes would have changed anything at that point. Games like Overwatch have managed to succeed (although I personally dislike that it's through random chance as opposed to a direct purchase) in doing this, it all comes down to how you design the game.

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@jerbear: It may be an instance of analysis paralysis. Dan brings up in his review that every time he opened a loot box he hoped for the card he wanted, possibly so he could spend the larger amount of crafting parts he had saved up to get that card to a higher tier and make it useful as opposed to unlocking a lot of cards that are tier one but he doesn't feel provide any tangible or observable gameplay benefit. Dan also brings up his view that higher tier star cards have an impact on play by the number of people he saw who had them when they killed him. This might further his impression that he needs to have those asap requiring him to save up crafting materials for that instead of unlocking every card. Part of this is speculation on my part as to his motivation for stockpiling that many crafting materials.

I've watched a few videos, including the Gamespot stream, where they opened $100 worth of crates and the range of crafting materials earned was 30-60 with the most common amounts being 30 & 45. Dan hasn't stated it, but the amount of crafting materials he has stockpiled might be the total he's been able to accumulate during the entire time he played prior to the review and quicklook. If that's the case then analysis paralysis and fear of wasting resources is a fairly reasonable outcome.

Progression doesn't have to be about unlocking everything, it is also unlocking and upgrading what you think will help you. This leads into what I brought up to another user in these comments about the system involved making it hard to know what is beneficial to the player in the immediate or the long term. The sheer number of things to unlock for each character and class, even if we just look at star cards and weapons, can easily make deciding on an effective path an unclear series of decisions thus leading to analysis paralysis. It's a common outcome for games that have slow paced unlock systems and a vast volume of unlocks. Any mistake leads to feeling like you wasted a lot of time. This is only really alleviated if playing the game is enjoyable, which for Dan doesn't seem to be the case.

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@xbob42: Yup, they managed to really screw this thing up.

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Edited By Goboard • 

@andyrazzer: Dan repeatedly references the emotes and victory poses to illustrate that in a progression system where you can get cards that imply a gameplay advantage, insignificant or big, that those cards feel increasingly pointless when they are delivered via a random drop system that comes at the expense of those cards or crafting gear which are implied to matter more to the gameplay and progression. Same goes for the crafting gear and currency which can drop, one of which is only attainable by interacting with the random system to begin with further adding randomness to when you can choose to upgrade or unlock a star card.

Your comment about this being an exam is completely unnecessary and does nothing for you, especially when Dan mentioned the use of crafting gear to both unlock and upgrade star cards within his review.

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@andyrazzer: Dan talked about the use of crafting gear for specific star cards and the level requirements in the Quicklook. Also everything you said suggests that the progression system provides no tangible benefit to the player furthering the argument that it makes the playing of the game a worse experience by obscuring what the impact any of the unlocks have in a match. Couple that with the idea that allowing people to pay to unlock star cards faster as a means to give them an option to reduce the time need to play isn't true if someone still needs to play enough to reach a certain level to gain the use of higher tier unlocks. I may find Dan to have some pretty bad takes on games, but he's demonstrated time and time again that he is very good at remembering, understanding and internalizing the systems within them when he talks about games he's played.

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@jambowned: The switch to the loot box system was done so they can provide all post-release content for free. I've seen this question asked more than a dozen times now since last week and it speaks volumes to how ineffective EA's messaging has been surrounding the game. This same discussion lead to the talk about the increase in budgets and a large part of that being the marketing cost. Seems like that marketing spend isn't doing much for them in an important point about why the game is the way it is.