Showing posts with label Loot Boxes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Loot Boxes. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Gameplay Overhaul Update

Shadow of War sees a colossal wave of great changes through an update from Monolith Productions.

One of the most controversial issues in gaming industry last year was in-game loot boxes or better known as micro-transaction. This greed-play has made EA Dice pay a dire price when they tried to slide it in a fully priced game and following a huge backlash, were forced to halt back. Another such example of a good game that suffered by this plague is action role-playing game Middle-Earth: Shadow of War from developer Monolith Productions and publisher Warner Bros. Interactive.

middle earth shadow of wars gameplay update
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Gameplay Overhaul Update

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Other than belonging to massive fan-following movie franchises based on the work of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the game had great potential to stand out in crowd of other AAA titles but trying to force the players use real-money for in-game purchases was what caused it to be a shipwreck. As a successor to Shadow of Mordor, expectation were naturally high from Shadow of War until it turned out to be a sort of scam in disguise of a critically praised title.

RELATED: Code Vein Delayed to 2019

However, after deciding to entirely remove micro-transactions from the game, Warner Bros. have finally announced it back in April 2018 and Monolith has released an update today, which officially removes real-money marketplace. They have also added a few gears, skins, significant change in gameplay and a few more stuff to improve in overall. Hopefully, the Shadow of War community will be appreciative of their effort to try and make things right.

middle earth shadow of wars war crates removed
Shadow of War Micro-Transactions Removed

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Since the market is completely removed and the shadow of micro-transactions is no longer there, it's a free reign for all and no more War Chests to enlist high-level Orc followers to empower your army, thus giving you unfair advantages. Players used to recruit Orcs from Online Vendettas or Ranked Conquests previously, which are all stored in Garrison now. They can still be trained via in-game currency Mirian for the sake of customizing and upgrading them as you see fit.

RELATED: Bethesda Director Responds to Skyrim Port Jokes

The end-campaign is renamed as "Epilogue" and it received heavy polish for smooth-running, including newly added narration from Dark Talion and Shelob, the Witch-king. Epilogue victories come along with the masks of the Nazgûl as a reward, which has the power to resurrect the dead and other abilities like cursing enemies or summoning powerful monsters. Also, even after the final credits roll, you can still continue defending your own fortresses or keep upgrading in an endless mode.

middle earth shadow of wars celebrimbor skin
New Celebrimbor Skin

RELATED: Darksiders 3 Collector’s Edition Announced

New available skins allow you to play as Baranor, Celebrimbor or Dark Eltariel. Greater XP rewards helps you reach to a level cap of 80 in no time. Acclaimed "Nemesis System" has gone through some improvements as you are most likely to encounter more Legendary Orcs and some of them may present you with occasional gifts. In case you are feeling bothered by their overly keen approach towards you or they try to steal your kills, just turn off the savior feature from the menu.

RELATED: Middle-Earth: Shadow of War Gameplay Trailer

Middle-Earth: Shadow of War is released on October 2017 from Monolith Productions for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. It was about time that the creators of this fine game eventually saw through their mistake and even though late, took actions to correct it. It was very fortunate for them that they did not missed sales target by a vast number or lose market share over this like Dice did over their misstep with Star Wars Battlefront II last year. Although loot boxes are not going away soon, we are happy that at least some are moving to right directions.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Star Wars Battlefront II Progression System Revamped

The notorious progression system of the infamous first person shooter Star Wars Battlefront II from last year is going to go through some extreme changes. From developer EA Dice and publisher Electronic Arts, the game had the potential to become one of the most successful games ever tying with the release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi film of the new trilogy. An upcoming update dated for March 21 will bring change to heroes, weapons and ship upgrade.

star wars battlefront 2 new progression update
Star Wars Battlefront II Progression System Revamped

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Missed Sales Targets

One of the biggest differences between the progression system that is now running and the one that was intended for the game is Star Cards that you could randomly find in loot crates. To boost your stats, the cards are handy but as soon as the update drops, you won't have to look for these cards to shine. The Skill Points you will earn playing multiplayer for experience can be traded to get Star Cards. Then you can upgrade your character, class, weapon or ship as you wish.

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Micro-Transactions Outrage

When the initial outrage regarding micro-transactions hit the social media before the launch of Battlefront II, EA removed any scope for spending real-world funds for loot boxes. So, this new update is good news for the fans, who thought using real currency for Crates will rob them off the true enjoyment. Now that those loot boxes can only be opened by stat points, the playing field is leveled and players can mount up credits and crystals to use as in-game currencies by only spending time playing the game.

star wars battlefront 2 progression system update loot crate
Star Wars Battlefront II Daily Crates

RELATED: Reddit Bashed EA Over Battlefront II Loot Boxes

According to EA, the loot boxes will not contain any Star Cards and nor they are up for purchase with real-world currencies. So, players can stop worrying about buying those Crates and will get those by other means. This might involve creating in-game milestones, completing timed challenges or daily login bonuses and the crates will offer you credits, emotes and items that are entirely cosmetic. This way, loot boxes are not tied to your gameplay at all.

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Controversy Hurts EA Stock Price

Character customization however, is not above micro-transactions and is returning in April with a new update. You can buy costumes for your selected characters from the in-game store using Credits or Crystals. Now, whether you should earn your Credits through normal gameplay or buy Crystals with real money for that is completely up to you.

star wars battlefront 2 player progression update
Star Wars Battlefront II Player Progression

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Features Darth Vader

Previously, EA was always against the idea of adding cosmetic items to the game as it violates the official Star Wars canon. Because, Darth Vader with a pink or white drape will not make any sense at all and is wrong on so many levels. Nevertheless, both EA Dice and Electronic Arts are adding these concepts to the game because Disney is OK with this, which they never thought, would be the case.

RELATED: Disney to Replace EA for Star Wars Games

EA is taking a huge step in changing what they have started with Battlefront II and opens up a lot of room for improvement. Aside from adding new content to better the experience, they will probably include new modes and they will be unlike anything we ever saw. Hopefully, the studio took their lessons from the pay-to-win backlash and working to salvage their reputation. Star Wars Battlefront II is available worldwide now to play on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

Friday, March 9, 2018

State of Decay 2 Won't Have Micro-Transactions

We live in such an age of loot-boxes and in-game purchases now that a new game from a major publisher that doesn't include the concept of micro-transactions of any sort is hard to believe. If the title happens to be one of the most-anticipated upcoming releases then it is literally unbelievable for the players. Following Sony’s God of War taking such initiative, developer Undead Labs and publisher Microsoft Studios decided to do the same with State of Decay 2.

state of decay 2 no micro transactions
State of Decay 2 Won't Have Micro-Transactions

RELATED: State of Decay 2 Release Date

Whereas micro-transactions and loot boxes are a ploy to pull more money from the consumers aside from the purchase price they already paid and every other studio is pretty fond of this practice, Undead Labs took a bold move by strictly standing on the opposite way of this road. Though we don't have a direct quote but studio head of developer, Jeff Strain assures that there won't be any micro-transactions in their game.

RELATED: Reddit Bashed EA Over Battlefront II Loot Boxes

Despite their initial stand against the industry trend, when it was revealed that the Standard Edition of State of Decay 2 will cost you only $29.99, fans started speculating what could be the reason for this considerably low cost and the studio had to re-assure them that they are sticking to their earlier decision about loot boxes. This theory comes from the fact that the original State of Decay had a loot box "Prepper's Pack" consists of a gun, a melee weapon and an SUV available for $0.99.

RELATED: State of Decay 2 Collector’s Edition Announced

When one of Undead Labs’ live streams was overwhelmed with comments asking for their plan to compensate the low-cost, the developers had to come clean about it. Although micro-transactions and loot boxes are completely off the table for State of Decay 2, there will be some paid DLC contents just like every other games does for the players to enjoy. If you are wondering what about the cosmetic items, then probably that also falls into the same category.

state of decay 2 cross platform pc xbox one
State of Decay 2 Supports Xbox Play Anywhere

RELATED: Assassin's Creed Origins Includes Loot Boxes

The developers do recognize that by making their game available on the market for only $29.99 was a huge risk but sinking into the infamous micro-transaction trend would be even worse for long-run. Apparently, they wanted to create a dedicated community for the game so that they all support the title and buys the upcoming expansions as well. Another reason that probably made them cautious was about the idea was the major loot box controversy of Star Wars Battlefront II from last year.

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Micro-Transactions Outrage

Undead Labs and Microsoft Studios presents, State of Decay 2 will release on May 22, 2018 for PC and Xbox One. For getting your hands on exclusive items, you should place your pre-orders now. Monthly subscription of Xbox Game Pass will let you enjoy the game as well as other titles published by Microsoft from the library. Also, State of Decay 2 will be available for cross-platform play between PC and Xbox One with support from Xbox Play Anywhere program.

Monday, February 12, 2018

Disney to Replace EA for Star Wars Games

Rumor has it that, Electronic Arts might be on the brink of losing their privilege of making Star Wars games from now on as they are most probably losing their licensing agreement of the franchise with Disney. Back in 2012, Disney acquired Lucasfilm and shut down LucasArts division almost immediately because they were not very interested developing Star Wars games by themselves and decided to hand over the task to some established third-party instead.

star wars battlefront 2 ea disney
Disney to Replace EA for Star Wars Games

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Missed Sales Targets

At that time, EA was their top choice for a developer and publisher company to license the Star Wars franchise for making video games. So, an exclusive multi-year licensing agreement was signed by EA on 2013 with Disney and Lucasfilm to create a number of Star Wars games for all popular platforms out there. Since then, EA has released two Star Wars titles; Star Wars Battlefront (2015) and Star Wars Battlefront II (2017).

RELATED: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Update for Star Wars Battlefront II

Electronic Arts then acquired the developer studio of multiplayer first-person shooter games Titanfall and Titanfall 2, Respawn Entertainment all of a sudden for $151 million, while shutting down Visceral Games. Apparently, EA took charge of Respawn to finish working on a Star Wars title that formerly Visceral Games was developing. If the current rumor about Disney and EA splitting over is true, then the fate of that game will be quite uncertain.

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Controversy Hurts EA Stock Price

In accordance to the most current controversy EA has created by subtly forcing micro-transaction concept though in-game loot boxes in the recently released Star Wars Battlefront II has caused a great stir among the fan-base and they were repeatedly bashed at various social media for this insensitive move. Things escalated so bad with this issue that EA even lost market shares and even missed their sales target at the end of the year.

star wars battlefront 2 ea dice
Battlefront II Widespread Backlash

RELATED: Reddit Bashed EA Over Battlefront II Loot Boxes

Despite EA shutting down the pay-to-win progression system for then, the damage has been done and their reputation was ruined. With worldwide fan-outrage against them, Lucasfilm isn't looking very impressed as well and they are already looking for other big-name studios to handle the licensing deal from here. Most prominent candidates among the studios are Activision and Ubisoft by far but there is still no confirmation from any parties just yet.

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Micro-Transactions Outrage

Even though the exact nature of Electronic Arts' licensing agreement with Disney and Lucasfilm isn't exactly very clear but looks like EA was in an exclusive publishing agreement with them and therefore, any other third-party developer studio can develop Star Wars games for EA to publish. However, given the fact that EA do not work with other companies that they do not own or have some sort of control over, it will be difficult for a company to work on that matter.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Star Wars Battlefront II Missed Sales Targets

If things would've been different, Star Wars Battlefront II could have been the successful action shooter video game everyone hoped for it to be. Instead, it becomes such an abomination of the series that the fans held in such high standards previously. All because of Electronic Arts’ (not-so) bright idea of introducing the concept of micro-transactions through in-game loot boxes and thus, causing massive fan outrage.

star wars battlefront 2 underperformed 2017
Star Wars Battlefront II Missed Sales Targets

Recently, Chief Executive Officer Andrew Wilson of Electronic Arts have revealed their most anticipated release of last year, Battlefront II have failed to meet their expected sales target in their quarterly earnings conference call. EA expected to sell at least 10 million copies within the end of December, which is the third quarter of their 2018 fiscal year but so far, they have shipped only 9 million copies of the game and therefore they are one million copies short to meet the estimated sales target.

RELATED: Star Wars: The Last Jedi Update for Star Wars Battlefront II

According to Wall Street Journal, EA’s chief financial officer Blake Jorgensen states that they require to sell 1 million to 3 million units more within the end of March, the conclusion of the fiscal year. Even if they manage to do that somehow, Battlefront II will still remain behind the previous game of the series, Star Wars Battlefront that shipped over 14 million copies within 2016 fiscal year and was more appreciated by the fans than the current installment.

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Controversy Hurts EA Stock Price

When the much-controversial micro-transaction outrage hit EA in the face before the release of the game, they have removed it almost immediately and as a result, players cannot purchase the in-game currency of "Crystals Pack" or any other loot crates anymore. The company also said that they will eventually bring it back and Jorgensen reminded us that they are bringing the in-game purchase system in a few months when they deem fit.

RELATED: Reddit Bashed EA Over Battlefront II Loot Boxes

Needless to say that, the failing to meet sales target was largely because of the greedy attempts of EA to try and slip through the pay-to-win policy in-game. As for an AAA game developer, this move was pretty careless considering people already spending $60 for a full-priced game. At first, many have appreciated them for not including any overpriced season pass DLC but then players found out that Battlefront II has locked weapons and player upgrades after the Beta went public.

star wars battlefront 2 loot boxes returning
Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker Are Locked

Before the release of Star Wars Battlefront II, EA promised to include many fan-favorite and legendary Star Wars characters from all three trilogies of the series but then EA locked out classic characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker behind shady paywalls, which was a major disappointment for the dedicated fan-base of Star Wars franchise. Contents based on The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi movie could have added more attraction for the consumers if they hadn't done what they did.

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Micro-Transactions Outrage

Although CEO Andrew Wilson denies it completely, rumor in the air is that, this move has also cost their previous tidy relationship with Disney. Back then, things escalated so much so after a post on Reddit caused the loot crate controversy that Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger had to step up right away and make EA back out of their of pay-to-win practices at that instant.

RELATED: Emperor Palpatine Joins Star Wars Battlefront II

Currently, Star Wars Battlefront II is available worldwide to play on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Despite considering all the shady moves Electronic Arts tried to pull for a few extra bucks, Battlefront II is pretty enjoyable and even without access of the legendary hero characters upfront, you can still have a good time playing the game and explore the Star Wars universe in your own way.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Star Wars Battlefront II Controversy Hurts EA Stock Price

Following the recent backlash from the dedicated fans over the micro-transaction system in the Star Wars Battlefront II game to unlock prominent characters of the series like Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader, Electronic Arts experiences drop on their stock price. It was EA DICE's attempt to reboot the Star Wars Battlefront franchise with the second title of the series but enraged players worldwide has bashed them over the social media platform of Reddit for their shady practices and progression system.

ea star wars battlefront 2
Battlefront II Controversy Hurts EA Stock Price

RELATED: Reddit Bashed EA Over Battlefront II Loot Boxes

Plus, one of their insensitive response regarding “pride and accomplishment” toward the issue has set the whole fan-base ablaze, leading many people cancelling their pre-orders for Battlefront II and many sending refund requests to EA. Aside from that, where millions of people were eagerly waiting to get their hands on the game are now bashing the game and its publisher for such greedy approach.

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Micro-Transactions Outrage

To bring the increasingly worse situation under control as soon as possible, Walt Disney CEO Bob Iger had to step up and make EA back out of their of pay-to-win practices. Lately, Disney was already having trouble with directors of their upcoming movies based on the Star Wars universe been quitting over creative differences with the studio every now and then, and having a hassle to get everything back on track.

RELATED: Emperor Palpatine Joins Star Wars Battlefront II

Plus, they have the release of Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi right on the horizon and the studio clearly don't want to be involved in any other controversy regarding the franchise before the film comes out. EA had no other option but to comply as Disney owns both Lucasfilm and the rights to Star Wars. So, they announced that they are backing out of the plan of Battlefront II‘s micro-transactions.

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Features Darth Vader

However, Disney's involvement in this issue was not the only thing that shook EA to the core. Recently, the record-setting negativity over Battlefront II also grabbed the attention of Wall Street investors and EA suffers a 2.5 percent drop at their stock price by Friday, November 17. This is also the day when Star Wars Battlefront II saw its release on the market and there is no denying that it affected them.

Star Wars Battlefront II is out now and available to play for all on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Since the game belongs to the Star Wars universe, it can still do well but developers need to make proper and permanent changes to the game before that. The idea of pay-to-win is sickening the video game market as big-time companies are getting more and more interested to it but the protest from the fans have showed that Battlefront II was meant for the Star Wars community, not to become another money making machine for EA.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Reddit Bashed EA Over Battlefront II Loot Boxes

We are only a few days away from Electronic Arts' upcoming action shooter release of Star Wars Battlefront II on this Friday, November 17. However, instead of being awfully hyped for the game, the entire gaming community is raging over EA's sneaky attempt of promoting in-game micro-transactions for unlocking popular characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker of the franchise.

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Micro-Transactions Outrage

These days, anyone would hate to pay extra for gaining access to loot boxes through micro-transactions after purchasing the full game against their money. So, when a player discovers after getting his hands on the game that Luke and Vader are unlockable characters, he urged people to cancel their pre-orders.

star wars battlefront ii microtransactions
Reddit Bashed EA Over Battlefront II Loot Boxes

One of the estimate by another player shows that one should spend 40 hours of playtime on Battlefront II to unlock Luke or Vader, in exchange for credits needed to get the heroes. One of the representatives from Electronic Arts tries reaching out the community by responding as such Reddit:

"The intent is to provide players with a sense of pride and accomplishment for unlocking different heroes.
As for cost, we selected initial values based upon data from the Open Beta and other adjustments made to milestone rewards before launch. Among other things, we're looking at average per-player credit earn rates on a daily basis, and we'll be making constant adjustments to ensure that players have challenges that are compelling, rewarding, and of course attainable via gameplay.
We appreciate the candid feedback, and the passion the community has put forth around the current topics here on Reddit, our forums and across numerous social media outlets.
Our team will continue to make changes and monitor community feedback and update everyone as soon and as often as we can."
Subtly confirming that the 40 hours of playtime estimation was right, the response on the Battlefront subreddit did not go very well as fans took their anger and frustration over EA, making it the most downvoted comment in history of Reddit with a smashing -638,669 downvotes. Basically every other person who was looking forward to the release of Star Wars Battlefront II is taking their dig at EA on Reddit after they responded with a lame excuse.

Now, there are valid reasons for people to get angry over this. First of all, people who do not want to spend anymore dollars on the game's micro-transactions will have to play the game for two days just to unlock one of their favorite characters, which can only be unlocked within two minutes if they drop some cash. So, this is actually getting locked up behind a hidden pay-wall.

Star Wars Battlefront II is expected to release this Friday, November 17 on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Hopefully, EA will take notes from this harsh criticism from gamers and make necessary changes to the final game before the launch for good.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Star Wars Battlefront II Micro-Transactions Outrage

EA's upcoming first person shooter Star Wars Battlefront II is about to release within a few more days but controversies have already started to hit the fan. Battlefront II Beta went public a few weeks back, players discovered there are locked weapons and player upgrades for money in the game’s multiplayer mode, which led them to criticize Battlefront II's progression system.

star wars battlefront ii microtransactions
Star Wars Battlefront II Micro-Transactions Outrage

RELATED: Emperor Palpatine Joins Star Wars Battlefront II

As this wasn't enough, a player who pre-ordered the game has discovered that classic Star Wars characters like Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker aren't unlocked at the beginning. It is no news that among all the characters from the Star Wars saga, Luke and Vader are the most popular and many of the players who pre-ordered Star Wars Battlefront II or was looking forward for this one expected to have them already unlocked as playable characters.

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Single Player Trailer

Those who already played the game during the pre-release trial have calculated some estimated time period for players to unlock their favorite heroes. Since an average of multiplayer match will earn you 250-350 credits for 10-15 minutes of playing, it appears that you need to spend at least 40 hours your playtime to unlock Luke and Vader, because they require 60,000 credits each. Characters like Chewbacca and Princes Leia will cost you 40,000 credits, which is considerably less.

luke skywalker darth vader
Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker Aren't Unlocked

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Features Darth Vader

What else you can do to skip that is to spend your money to buy virtual "Loot Boxes" that contains in-game currency to unlock your favorite hero characters. We all who thought that EA has done a great job by avoiding overpriced season pass DLC model can now see that they will actually make a huge sum by simply putting popular characters of Battlefront II behind paywalls.

Just so that you can compare the price to hour ratio, here is a Tweet that shows the calculation for you.



Naturally, this upsets a lot of people as not many of them thinks that 40 hours of gameplay to unlock a single character is worth it. This move by EA has raised many theories by the fans and some thinks that this absolutely ridiculous grind was meant to encourage the trend of micro-transaction purchases in-game. Battlefront II is currently available to play on EA Access and that means, a handful of gamers who are paying for EA’s monthly gaming service will get an advantage over other players.

RELATED: Star Wars Battlefront II Single Player Story Scene

Sadly, we cannot help but agree with this point. Because, what's the point in spending $60 full-price for one of the eagerly awaited sequel that has its main attraction locked behind walls that unlocks with more money or extensive playtime? We have to wait to see how it all turns out after its scheduled launch for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on this Friday.