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Game of the Week: April 1-7 (Conversation Avenue)


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The State of Gaming in 2017.

 

Given the delivery of games over the past few years, the CET thought it would make for an interesting conversation topic to discuss with our members. Gamers are often labelled as 'entitled', but how do you feel about that? Are we as consumers of a product, getting a fair deal most of the time when purchasing a new game or are we continually let down by these products?

 

 

We'd be interested to hear your opinions on any, all or other related topics:

 

  • Purchasing: Pre-Order Incentives, Season Passes, Day One Paid Content, etc

  • Performance on release: Online, Frame Rate, Bugs, etc. Should more QA testing be done?

  • Looking to the future: Will things change for the better? What would you like to see change?

 

 

Please keep discussion friendly and on topic. All genuine participants of this conversation will be included in the monthly gift card draw. Feel free to participate in this conversation as much as you like, but only 1 entry per member will be allowed.

 

Entrants throughout the month of April who participate in CG events will go into a single draw to win a $50 US Microsoft Gift Card (or nearest equivalent for your region). The maximum amount of chances to win for an entrant in the monthly draw is 2. The lucky Winner will be announced during the first 7-10 days of each following month. For more details, see the [Changes to Community Gaming Announcement thread]

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I think a lot of the people that throw out the "gamer entitlement" use that label too quickly some of the time. There are definitely times where the gaming community attack developers a little too quickly but most of the time gamers are expressing legitimate concerns.

 

One recent example I'd love for people to discuss is the Fallout 4 season pass situation. For those that don't know the situation, originally it was priced at $30 (US) and many gamers bought it at this price. Then, before any of the DLC released they raised the price to $50.

 

Now, at first glance this is worth jumping on Bethesda. But they gave fair warning and as such a lot of people had a chance to get the pass at the $30 price. Their stated reason was that they were going to be providing more content than originally expected. At this point, everything seems fair to me. The only people that are getting screwed are people that like to wait until DLC is released and reviewed before considering a season pass. Though there was some speculation that the real reason for the price hike was that sales for the Season Pass were lower than expected and Bethesda tried to sort of trick people into buying it by "forcing" them to buy it before the increase.

 

But the situation doesn't end there.

 

Let's examine the quality of the DLC. I think most Fallout fans will agree that only the Far Harbor release and the NukaWorld release even came close to the DLC standards of previous games. The other DLC was glorified crafting additions. And for most players at that point I think crafting had lost its novelty.

 

This is where I think gamers had a legitimate reason to attack Bethesda. I know that many, including myself, felt like we were scammed by Bethesda with the DLC for Fallout 4. So in hindsight, those that jumped on Bethesda immediately at the time of the price attack were justified in their concerns.

 

So my feelings on the entire situation are that many gamers were too quick to attack Bethesda. Despite the fact that in the end their concerns were proved justified. I do feel that anyone that attacked Bethesda after we saw the quality of the DLC were justified in their sentiments.

 

Which is exactly why the gamer entitlement discussion is so complicated. When is it okay to attack a publisher? I feel like if you are jumping on a publisher because you anticipate that something is going to go wrong, that might be entitlement. But it is okay when gamers attack titles and developers with legitimate concerns grown from first hand experience with the product.

 

Unfortunately too many of the gamers that voice their concern ignore a simple fact of any retail industry. As a group you can complain all you want but until you "vote with your wallet" as a group your voice really won't be heard.

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I am definitely not a fan of the direction dlc/season passes have been going the past few years. At first a game would get an add on here and there and it would be reasonably priced for the most part. Now it seems every game has a $30-$50 season pass, in which all the content is released within 6 months, which means that shit was rushed and lesser quality and/or quantity. They know you're going to buy it, and once they have all your money up front with the SP purchase, they can just put out any crap they want.

This is why I almost never purchase SPs or dlcs until they go on sale cheap. Like Bear said, vote with your wallet.

Unfortunately this trend isn't going to go anywhere and will probably only get worse. They are making far too much money with "super ultimate deluxe" editions of games these days for them to stop. And why wouldn't they, you have to preorder the game as soon as it's announced (so you can get that dlc) and why not go for the $100 edition that includes the SP, it's 6 months out and what's another $40? That's plenty of time to save the money or pay it off.

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Can I add games with gold here?

Well I am, I think we should have a choice of games because a lot of people have the games they give us or should get a small refund if you have at least purchased the game a month or two before they give it to us free.

 

I don't think that would work only because you're never gonna satisfy everyone, and unless they allow you to vote for every game in the digital library, you're gonna have some people who are gonna be left disappointed regardless of what the offerings are. For example, I've completed every single game that is released as GoG this month (both for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One sides) but I'm still happy we get to see others experience these games maybe for the first time as they're all pretty enjoyable :o

 

I'm on the same page with Ruffus when it comes to DLC (and SP's especially). I can't remember the last time I paid for a SP full price as I tend to wait for the SP's to go on sale or if there's a "Ultimate Edition" of a game with all the DLC content before checking out the add-ons. It's a trend that I thought was going to die by the end of the last gen life spans, but you really only see the big games getting away with those shenanigans.

 

Games like Halo 5: Guardians and Overwatch are giving me hope that developers realise that it's better to offer the DLC content for free to extend a games life-span without diving the playerbase, and I hope other developers take note!

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I'm with Ruffus. I've always dislike the concept of paid dlcs/ season passes because of the price. They're expensive and they're not often on sales. Even if they're on sale i avoid it because the price can still be eh. I wouldn't mind so much if they made the the price cheaper permanently or have a big discount price during sale every few months. And, yeah, i don't see this practice going away anytime soon sadly. Also, I agree with Rapture on free dlc; i hope more devs go through this route.

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I'll just touch on some of the things listed.

 

As far as the entitlement label, it's not fair to label the whole group when it's usually only a small group that speaks out. Most of the time the uproar is for legitimate reasons, like the broken mess MCC or Battlefield 4 were at launch. I think it's the small group that expects compensation for absolutely any problems that get considered the majority of gamers.

 

Season passes are controversial, but they can present a good deal. As long as it isn't padded with a bunch cosmetic items then it's fine by me. Sales are rare for DLC this generation so it's nice to know there's a chance to get everything at once for cheap instead of waiting for multiple sales to get everything for possibly more. As long as you can wait for a deal it's worth it. Of course free content is always welcome as a replacement.

 

It's not listed, but I'd also like to bring up micro transactions. There's multiple cases where it's done right and completely wrong. Any time you can use real money to gain an advantage over another player it's a broken system. The most recent example I can think of is Halo Wars 2 with blitz. Players could buy packs the first day to max out veterancy that would make it nearly impossible for any other player to win. Speeding up progression is one thing, but buffing your gameplay is unacceptable.

 

Rocket League does it right. Everything is purely cosmetic and entirely optional. I don't like seeing the only animated items behind a paywall, but at least I know someone with flashing tires won't be getting an advantage.

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I don't think that would work only because you're never gonna satisfy everyone, and unless they allow you to vote for every game in the digital library, you're gonna have some people who are gonna be left disappointed regardless of what the offerings are. For example, I've completed every single game that is released as GoG this month (both for the Xbox 360 and Xbox One sides) but I'm still happy we get to see others experience these games maybe for the first time as they're all pretty enjoyable :o

 

I'm on the same page with Ruffus when it comes to DLC (and SP's especially). I can't remember the last time I paid for a SP full price as I tend to wait for the SP's to go on sale or if there's a "Ultimate Edition" of a game with all the DLC content before checking out the add-ons. It's a trend that I thought was going to die by the end of the last gen life spans, but you really only see the big games getting away with those shenanigans.

 

Games like Halo 5: Guardians and Overwatch are giving me hope that developers realise that it's better to offer the DLC content for free to extend a games life-span without diving the playerbase, and I hope other developers take note!

No it probably would not work but it would be good in my eyes.

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Ill hit on each question in the order they are presented.

 

Despite what some many claim, i haven't seen a truly horrific use of day one content/season passes/pre-order bonuses. Given how many "good" games are released in a given fiscal quarter, companies have to find ways to sway the consumer to buy there game instead of there competitors. Every game i have personally bought and played on day one that had also come with a pre-order bonus, the pre-order bonus was usually pretty mild and was outclassed after a few hours of playing. The day one DLC has usually been cosmetic, or short missions that really dident add anything significant to the game. Though Mass Effect 3 is a bit of an exception, namely it offered a new squad mate on day one. Even then i felt (i came to this conclusion after playing through the campaign fully once, and 90% of it twice both with javvik as one of my main two squad mates i used and as someone i rarely used.) that Javvik was not a horrible use of day one DLC, he gave some insight into the back story of the universe, but offered nothing truly ground breaking in terms of new stuff, he only really directly states what had been subtly hinted at over the course of the 3 games. Season passes are good, it shows that the game will be supported after it has launched, even if it is only for a 2-3 pieces of dlc.

 

the issue of games coming out with performance issues in 2017 can be directly linked to internet speeds. Back in the 90's the internet was pretty new for the average consumer, so things like download speeds were pretty slow, and most things dident even have an internet connection outside of a desktop. If you launched a game and it was broken, unless you were on PC it was pretty much impossible to fix without issueing a mass recall of the product. That itself was probably more costly to do, then to hold off on release until everything was deemed working. Now in 2017 with everything being connected to the internet it seems, and that speeds have increased a ton, any issue you have can be fixed in a day or two of release with a patch. So it has lead to lazy QA in order to get the game to ship. I'm not saying that we as gamers should be ok with this though.

 

I'm not sure, if we decide to stop purchasing a game from a dev because of poor performance issues, or many people dont like how they are doing pre-order bonuses, and day one dlc and it affects the game sales to a point where not many actually sell. Game publishers seem to not be afraid of shuttering studios because of poor sales. Now indy devs have been on the rise so in theory that shouldent hurt shuttered devs who want to still make games, but with things like kickstarter being the place for a lot of failed ventures (for a myriad of reasons) it makes people wary of investing, let alone private capital from investing in studios because the risk of nothing coming from it has been realized to many times.

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Gamers are often labelled as 'entitled', but how do you feel about that? Are we as consumers of a product, getting a fair deal most of the time when purchasing a new game or are we continually let down by these products?

 

I think that now, more than ever, it hurts to be an early adopter. We're seeing more and more games released with serious issues that detract from the game's playability and quality. These are sometimes, but not always, patched down the road. Instead of releasing a polished game, games seem to be rushed out and fixed later. Some games such as Rainbow Six: Siege are much reportedly much better months after release. Other games, such as Mass Effect: Andromeda, have such serious issues core to the gameplay (i.e. the facial animations) I doubt they will ever get completely fixed. Despite being in development for five years, it has animations on par or even below that of the original game that came out ten years ago. Games such as The Witcher III have shown us what the current generation is capable of. Are we entitled to expect such quality from all Triple A developers? Maybe, maybe not. But I will certainly let developers know that I think they could do better.

 

 

The gamers who pick up games early, especially pre-orders, are often unaware of the issues. Publishers love the idea of pre-orders. They hide behind the idea that they want to know how many copies to ship, but really they want gamers to pick up copies before reviews come out. I'm finding it easier than ever to just wait. I haven't bought a single game this year despite wanting to. Resident Evil VII, For Honor, ME: Andromeda, and more really appealed to me. But with so many games out and such a backlog of games waiting for me, it's easy to wait for prices to come down, bugs to be patched, additional content to be added, and final verdicts to ring out before I decide when and where to spend my money. Services such as EA Access and Games with Gold have given me "free" access to so many games that I'm often content to just wait and see if that one game I like goes free. I'm an educated and patient consumer willing to let companies fight for my attention rather than running out and buying everything out of naïve excitement.

 

 

So, yes, I do feel continually let down by new products. But I recognize that they are often better a month or two later, and there are always a few games that are amazing on launch. I'm just a little more cautious with my money that I used to be. That said, I'm very surprised games are still going for $60. I'm the kind of guy that likes to wait for things to go on sale for half off but even I would be willing to play more for some of these high-quality games with hundreds of hours of content. Games still seem to be capped at $60 while smaller indie games continue to creep up in price. I wonder how long before that changes. I guess there are a lot of games that try to get around this by releasing Super-Deluxe-Ultra-Mega editions and season passes for future content, but I usually ignore all of that bullcrap.

 

 

TL;DR: Don't pre-order, be cautious with your money, and know what you're buying before you do. Show companies that you demand quality content buy hitting them where it hurts: their wallet. This isn't being entitled, it's being an educated consumer.

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Pre-orders can be a big problem. Just look at the new South Park game being delayed twice. People were upset about the bonus of the first South Park game included in the pre-order of the new one. We now have Destiny 2 with pre-orders as high as 250 bucks. Destiny alone cost many people a lot of money and Destiny 2 might be the same.

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