The open world system in D4 is not due to gameplay reasons or immersion reasons. It’s primary reason for existence is to sell cosmetics.
You see, how else will the base game cheapskates with no intention of buying battle passes be sold on the cosmetics if they never have to see them?
I would bet money the system will strongly favor blending the base game cheapskates and the pay piggies together. And when it happens, the pay piggies will be higher level and better geared so they’ll always appear “better” than your base game cheapskate character who looks like a loser.
You likely won’t see fellow cheapskates in your game except maybe some for the world bosses.
That’s my theory anyways (alien emoji because there is no tinfoil hat emoji)
It’s a factor not the “real” reason. Games with a stout system of multiplayer engagement sell more. More copies, more subscriptions, more DLC, more expansions, more merchandising, and yes more cosmetics. Mostly because if they can keep players engaged longer they will spend more money overall. It’s what has been driving the gaming industry for years. The goal is to make their game a major part of your life for as long as possible. It’s not a theory it’s a business plan. It’s also why everything contains at least some of the main elements of a MMO.
Maybe game companies should try to design their games around “fun” and not “engagement” and up-charges. Trying to manipulate players into playing more than they otherwise would is not exactly good for players. Or honestly the gaming industry as a whole in the long run. Once players are hooked on enough games that make themselves a chore or a job to play, they won’t play as many total games. This is my problem with battle passes. You can’t keep up with the demands of all these games unless you want to gimp yourself… Or just don’t bother at all.
This push for “engagement” has made a mess of competitive pvp games with their rigged “engagement based matchmaking”. Do we really have to have this insidious garbage in every genre of game turning them all into phone games?
Corporations don’t do things good for customers unless it’s good for the bottom line. That’s the nature of the beast, or at least it used to be. Now some have lost their way and abandoned profit for social engineering.
You’re not supposed to. They want you to play one game to the exclusion of all others.
I played a lot of DI (f2p). Everyone was mixed together there too.
However, seeing others’ cosmetics didn’t have any effect on me. I never felt like my character was a “loser” so I didn’t feel any pressure to buy anything just for the purpose of appearing better.
It’s interesting that people are only now getting upset about the mTX phenomenon, when it has existed in some form or another for decades. WoW, Overwatch and even Diablo 3 have had purchasable content (worded as “upgrades”) beyond the base games. SC2 is loaded with them. Hearthstone and Heroes are 100% dependent on them. From one point of view, all the remastered games are mTX’s.
I agree that such tactics don’t work on everybody, but I would say it works on most. Especially given enough time. Many of the people that do succumb would never admit to themselves either (not saying you, just in general)
I just wish we can go back to making games whose goal is to be fun again.
There has been lots of complaints about the MTX cosmetics in WoW, including the ones you can get by having a 12 month sub, etc.
As well as plenty of criticism of the extreme MTX in Heroes of the Storm.
Plus all the P2W MTX in Hearthstone.
I havent followed Overwatch 1 much, but I do recall some complaints about their loot boxes for sure.
Their other games dont have much MTX, so less complaints around those of course. But for the majority of Blizzard titles, the MTX hate has been around for many years.
Agreed. There’s been pushback in the more mTX heavy games for some time.
To me at least, it seems that despite it being in every modern Bliz game from essentially the beginning, the mTX criticisms weren’t such the universal ‘go to’ bash every time someone doesn’t like something. I say all this because when it comes to D4’s mTXs, it’s not really all that different from most of the Bliz games to date.
It also seems like a lot of people conflate the different forms of mTX when it comes to the greed argument. I totally agree that there are people who will fall for it, but cosmetic mTXs are no where… no where… near the corporate “greed” as p2w mTXs (for me at least). So when I see people getting waaaay overly fired up about the D4 mTXs, I just want to scream that it’s no different than any other game Bliz has made.
when the main drive for a game producer is profit margin, the game design will revolve around producing motives to make purchases at the detriment of gameplay and fun. this is why game creation must be finished before any selling of cosmetics is even considered. cosmetic sales should be an afterthought for a successful game and then implemented appropriately. doing so beforehand just turns your game into a virtual shopping mall with npc car salesmen.
I recall walking around Ironforge as a low level pleb and seeing someone riding a Raptor with some awesome looking gear.
This lead me to get interested in reaching end game and getting into raiding.
At the same time, I recall seeing games with purchasable skins and cosmetics and thinking to myself “But why?” even as a dumb kid.
Nowadays I still don’t get the fascination some people have with paid cosmetics, especially when most of the time paid cosmetics look like complete
I think the big factor is how far they’ve gone in recent times.
Back in the day, MTX was almost exclusively in the form of Expansions that were basically an entire additional game for a discounted price. Which was fine, people had no real objections to that kind of additional content and it being sold at less than standard full game RRP was gravy.
There was the occasional game that had some rather dubious MTX, notably the Sims games (If you actually look at the full price of all the additional content for a single Sims game it’s somewhere in the region of $2000-3000 due to all the “Expansion packs” that add a handful of items and maybe a new feature)
It eventually started picking up complaints when we started seeing stuff like Day 1 DLC and having games be cut up to sell parts of it as early DLC for a premium (On top of the full price base game). Since this was not providing people with value or even something extra. It was taking a complete game and removing parts of it to sell separately for extra profit…
Nowadays we see tons of egregious MTX because acceptance let it get so far. Things like making games grindy as heck in order to sell “Timesaver” MTX, shoving cosmetics into “Lootboxes” so that people have to pay extortionate amounts of money for a simple skin, various P2W MTX where actual power is gated behind money.
As a result of this turn, we now see people pushing back against ALL forms of MTX (Besides Expansions which people seem to still have no problems with) because of how much has been normalized and what gets easily accepted (Heck, D:I still has people playing it and spending money on it even though it has hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of P2W MTX in it…)
It’s not necessarily about seeing others. It’s also exploiting the desire to show off. Same reason some people are buying sports cars or large suvs and using them commuting 2 hours everyday to their $50k/year sh!ty jobs.