I don’t see any issue with rewarding people for playing regardless of achievement, sounds like a good step towards encouraging wider play and player base instead of just letting the “good” players snowball away with content and perks.
I think there are alternate routes to give those who value being compensated for their skill some feeling of satisfaction, but the sooner games realise they need to sustain the bad and new players more than the established and good players of the game is going to have longevity, the better
You need to be careful though, since you still need to reward the new players.
For example, I used to play a lot of World of Tanks, this F2P/P2W (depending on who you ask) tank combat game. I have nearly 10000 battles in it IIRC. Never got higher than a tier 8 tank (highest is tier 10). Due to how MM works, I did find myself in the occasional tier 10 battle.
And there were people there with sub 1000 games played playing top tier tanks.
Turns out, doing your best is no use. Just jumping in game, driving towards the enemy, getting a shot or two in and then dying, having basically screwed your team over is far quicker of a way to get to the higher tier. Literally ‘failing your way to tier 10’. Thus, people like me (who actually like, tried), never got the chance, since we would always be a few tanks down from the get go.
Point I’m trying to make it, yes, bad players need incentive too. However, making it so that skill isn’t really a factor for unlocks anymore is bad game design too. Yes, bad players get content that way, but you lose the good players this way.
A careful balance needs to be found. The current state isn’t good, but EA hasn’t done very well either with this system in BF2
It’s a tough one, in absolute free market competition terms… it’s absolutely not wrong. The idea that customers that are vocal about a problem mimic the sentiments of the silent and that the whole mass would boycott one method in order to support another.
The sympathy I have with the concerns that people have about the methods of generating income (even if I largely don’t agree with those concerns) is that there isn’t this free competition in realistic terms.
You want to play as Luke Skywalker in a multiplayer shooter… what do you do? Idealistically you don’t purchase, but realistically there is no competition to move to. Of course that’s a specific example where brand desires and fandom self-constrain the customer because of their own desires…
But what of other games in general? Evolve. This game was largely unique. We have seen a couple of things kind of coming from the same gameplay after, but if you wanted to play something like Evolve, and indeed to support either the semi-independent nature of the developer, or the game genre, then again… there isn’t that freedom of choice.
The closest you come is perhaps choosing between the big genre shooters like Call of Duty and whatever is chomping at its heels, but that’s a relatively rare situations that a consumer can find themselves in, and business wise they’re largely mimicing each other on monetisation anyway because it’s the publishers that move mountains on that front and no-one else (so all games tend to move in a particular direction at the same time and competitors respond to any successes)
So… yeah, it’s not wrong to rely on market forces. But also if customers did decide enough is enough on modern practices then you’re looking at an almost systemic collapse of the industry for a period of time. If that were to happen I guess publishers only have themselves to blame, but customers aren’t exactly in a good position because of it either, a most Pyrrhic of victories!
However I don’t feel that the vast majority of gamers have an issue with how games are making money these days, I do think it’s a vocal minority pushing the idea of how things should be, clearly people are engaging with how companies monetise their games…
I don’t see how it is. Bad game design is bad game design. Your example above doesn’t make logical sense to me as to how it could ever happen, so that smacks of just bad game design because of silly choices, not because of any weird reward system?
I think we need to spend less time listening to the woes of “good” players. We’ve listened to “good” players and their drama for the best part of a decade now, more even… what’s it led to? It’s led to games like Evolve being put on the backburner, being shelved. It’s led to Motiga employees needing to find new employment. I think the worst thing a developer or publisher can do right now is listen to the “good” players who are complaining about lack of extra goodies. Those people are the minority, they’ll always be the minority, it’s statistically impossible for them to be more than a vocal minority.
It is the casual, “bad”, players leaving that kills games. They’re usually not talking on forums and facebook pages, but they’re the ones that turn in to future good players, they’re the ones that keep new casual players also able to find MMR based games that aren’t going to feel like they’re being put up against a pro team every match. The casual players are the lifeblood of your game, and yet we listen much more intently to those in the top 10% or so that want to feel a bit more special than they already should feel.
I dunno, I feel that that way of thinking is a wrong choice of priorities.
It’s an issue of every game that involves other people in the same game (any game with some form of multiplayer basically). Bad players make up the majority of the player base, and they need to be kept to keep the game alive. One of the reasons why I barely play Overwatch anymore is because I just don’t feel comfortable anymore; I’m not a great player, and I’ve had multiple instances where I was told that as well.
So yes, bad players need some love too.
However, say Overwatch made it so that everyone (no matter their rank) gets the same number of competitive points at the end of the season. That takes away the incentive of being a good player, because why bother being a good player when you can just don’t care anymore, and still get all the points?
Without involving too much real life politics, it’s pretty much an issue that plagued Communism. If doctors and garbagemen earn the same amount of money, why bother studying all that time to become doctor?
Like in Elite: Dangerous (please don’t roll your eyes), why do anything other than the current consensus fast-money scheme? Because other things might be more interesting. However, that’s a line of thinking that works for me, but clearly not for everyone. Some people will doggedly pursue the “money” (points/tokens/ etc. rewards), even if they don’t like it.
Thing is competitive points come from a different area of the game. I have no problem with a competitive mode in a game… a true competitive mode such as overwatch’s ranked mode… rewarding “skill”. Because in that kind of mode the whole notion of being better = more rewards is baked in.
Funny, I was going to say similar but in reverse.
Conservatives revere “trickle down economics” because of this notion that enriching the top (through tax breaks) ensures more people are employed and paid better (evidence is lacking), and that’s really what we talk about here when we talk about rewarding good players. People say “But people won’t get good unless there are good people actively trying to be the best” but the reality is we see games dying because the focus is too hard on those top 10% (arbitrary number used again here, but you get the symbolism I’m sure!)
However, I just want to visit that communism thing again… with parallels in real life politics, not everyone wants to be a doctor, but some people do. Not everyone wants to deal with skill challenges in their games, but some people do. It’s my opinion that if you only try to do good, if you only try to improve, because you get extra credits or loot or special items or whatever… then you’re not really a gamer in my mind. You’re a collector if all you’re doing is trying to gain things. What does one of these people that cares about extra rewards for topping the leaderboard do if they can’t top the leaderboard?
Sure, some of them will try to get better, I understand the incentive aspect that’s there… but some of them will go “Ah this game isn’t profitable for me, I can’t see myself achieving what I need to unlock all the things, I’m going to move on”. I don’t think that there’s an overly positive thing to come from such a reward structure in general MP gameplay.
I think the irony of the whole situation here is that the reason loot boxes and masses of gear exist in games is because of gamers that have to own everything rather than just enjoying the game. If the game was made 10 years ago there wouldn’t be that level of content as standard, but we’ve now hit a point where publishers understand that there are a significant number (though I still believe a minority) of people that simply have to own everything… and they’re using that compulsion to drive their monetisation models. Most other people just want to feel like they have the opportunity to get things fairly. That’s the whole premise of F2P “I want to play this game, but I don’t really care about spending money on it”.
(of course the tragedy of the situation is also that developers have moved to make those items that are locked away desirable rather than simply be additional. More casual gamers start to feel locked out of “content” because of the perceived or actual “better” content that they need to gain access to in order to be on a level playing field, and in particular loot boxes put a significant barrier in the way of achieving that…damn this subject is complex!)
I understand this is complicated by the fact that the game isn’t F2P, but then we open up the whole can of worms that is development budgets and ongoing funding of development and support. But the basic reality is that every gamer that plays the game is as important as each other until they jump to being someone that is providing additional funds to development. I know the average gamer hates to hear it, but someone who pays money to developers of a game with ongoing support is almost certainly worth more than someone who isn’t. We can complain about P2W and all that as much as we want, but it is arguably right that someone who pays extra gets benefits for this.
Everyone else? Good, bad, frequent or irregular… we’re all just gamers… vital gamers keeping the population alive regardless of skill or achievement. Let the reward for skill come with something that can only be achieved by actually going up against people that are likely to be your skill level and winning (like Overwatch ranked, etc), don’t just give people extra rewards because they manage to reach a level of familiarity with the game that they can go around punishing newbies. Also, given the game does have a whole gear level type thing, don’t reward those who are P2W with even more stuff beyond already potentially having a boost to their abilities/stats in game.
It’s complicated, there are aspects of what this game is doing that I really don’t like (I’ve already stated elsewhere that loot box economies are evil in my mind), but then there are aspects like this per game rewards that feel positively progressive. I’m torn on how much I respect the choices made, but I feel that as gamers (especially casual ones) we should actually be applauding anything that equalises rewards outside of paying for them with real money to be related to play time rather than anything else.
I think I made things more meandering than they needed to be!
I think at the end of the day the thing to remember is that the most popular games of all time in history have absolutely zero rewards for people finishing at the top of a K:D in a match. People played them (and still do) with vibrant competitive communities. I feel too much stock is given to the idea that gamers need incentives to play and get better beyond a naturally competitive human nature
Yup. Just like movies as well. Great products (Such as Movies, TV Shows and Games) that are most remembered, but not necessarily the ones that made the most money, are the ones that established that they were wanting to make a good product. Not just a way to spend more money. Starwars did great because it wanted to be good, not because of their toy line. That was a byproduct. Now a days it seems more about what else can we monetize/sell instead of ‘how can we enrich the lore/story’ and make a good product first.