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Five New Industry Standards That Shouldn't Be

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Lately IÂ’ve been playing Mass Effect 3. This week we got ourselves a nifty new content patch that enabled a bunch of classes, weapons, and levels in multiplayer, and much to my amazementÂ…. It was all free. Then recently they announced that theyÂ’re giving us a new enhanced ending experienceÂ… also free.

Did I miss something? Did we secretly return to the world of developers handing us full-fledged patches that don’t require us to drop five bucks every time they add an orange Mohawk to the game? Because this is what I miss more than anything from this generation of console and PC games alike—paying for a game and getting a complete game. That thought made me realize that this generation of game creators, with a few exceptions, has turned the market on its head with all kinds of silly practices.

Time for a rant, and no game type--from single to MOBAs to social--is spared.

Day 1 DLC is bullshit

I really don’t understand how this practice came to be acceptable. Having content that is clearly done and ready for release and then asking for another ten bucks is an insult to preorders and especially in a gaming market where games drop to half price before the six month mark. Laughable. It’s a swift kick to consumers that is undeserved—especially if it’s on the disc/initial install to begin with.

Cash Shops are not a Beta Fundraising Tool

IÂ’ve seen some downright ridiculous pricing in F2P cash shops lately. Even games in beta are charging big dollars for colored pixels, games that may not even make it out the door in a completed state. And apparently some people buy into this crap, because IÂ’ll see players sporting character skins with 80% finished animation sets running around and IÂ’ll weep softly.

Please go appeal to some investors, not to your beta fans.

Gameplay-critical Content should NEVER be Paid Content

In any competitive class-based game, or hero/champion/whatever MOBA-game, available heroes contribute to the meta-game more than anything else, and when everyone isnÂ’t on the same playing field, it just isnÂ’t fair. You can cash shop the shit out of anything cosmetic or even minor/tiny gameplay changers, but things that hard-counter others and are critical for say, flag defense, base construction, or whatever fundamental the game has NEED to be free.

The only time you have to hear about this...is when people flood your Facebook wall with a thousand requests for bricks to build a pyramid in whatever city-builder is all the rage that month.

League of Legends is not the only MOBA cash shop model, guys

Pretty much every F2P of the MOBA/class-based genres has done nothing new except try and imitate the success of Riot GamesÂ’ runaway hit. ItÂ’s annoying to me because there is content I would pay for, like bulk hero purchases as one time charges rather than multiple $8 transactionsÂ… yet none of the current games are trying to break the model.

Social gaming is stupid

Maybe IÂ’m missing something, but I get absolutely nothing out of these turn-based browser games. ThereÂ’s no competition, thereÂ’s no rivalry, thereÂ’s no commentary, and the only time you have to hear about this shit is when people flood your Facebook wall with a thousand requests for bricks to build a pyramid in whatever city-builder is all the rage that month. Major studios everywhere are devoting resources to building inane apps that reward you for clicking slot machines of characters or other silly stuff.

Â…

Or maybe IÂ’m just an old man with a shotgun yelling at the kids to get off my lawn. Except the shotgun is a NES Zapper, and the kids are the developers messing with the retail and service model in ways that maximize profit, but completely destroy loyalty and balance of their games in the process.

But who cares, theyÂ’re free to play probably, so just throw it away and pick out another one from the rapidly growing bin.

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