Sunday 17 December 2017

Diablo was planning loot boxes back in 1994?

In the original design doc by Condor Games they talk about selling randomized loot on disks sold at game stores. Would there have been the same controversy back then as there is now?


Hate behind (the Star Wars game specifically) was based on products that were advertised as part of the core game when in reality they were sold separately. People of course tend to get angry when they are lied to like this so that's it. Also the approach to play the game dosens of hours in order to unlock a character people expected to play the dosens of hours to begin with, of course, fuelled the fire further. It's okay to unlock things on the go thorough story progression and future DLCs, but vanilla content marketed the way they did, behind a paywall beyond initial cost, is cheating to say the least. Iconic and overpowered items won't help.

Lesson is: Never offer vanilla content behind a paywall beyond initial fee unless either the products are not overwhelming beyond competitive edge of skill or they don't have any symbolical value enough to draw contrary expectations in comparison to what you actually offer; in an environment that does not need the offered items for the players to progress in a game.

Go free-to-play if you want to play it safe. It's okay to offer items with some advantages, but the balance of skill must be kept at least at such moments where players compete against each other. When it comes to iconic characters like Luke Skywalker and other franchise mascots, make sure to clearly mention what your customers have to do in order to play as them in case they are actually sold separately and also separate them from the vanilla game marketing side. Plus, in case I need some in-game currency to pay for anything within a game I play, the products such currency can be used on are considered to be behind a paywall even though the same currency or yet another can be gained by playing the related game or games if the pace is beyond reasonable effort.

 Reasonable effort means to keep the gameplay experience fruitful and fresh to players every single moment as best as you can. One map and one character with a ten hour pace can only go as far as an early grave. Ten maps and ten characters with one hour pace may perform better, but ends in the same grave.