Wallet Reaver: Nosgoth’s Pricey Microtransactions

Vampire backhands are the meanest backhands

Against all common sense and reason (though not necessarily potential quality when taken on its own merits), Nosgoth is a free-to-play online shooter. Previous Legacy of Kain games, rather pertinently, were not that or anything resembling it. It’s uncharted territory for the vampire-ridden universe of noses and goths, but not so much for the gaming industry these days. So you know what’s coming next: microtransactions. And, as ever, they’re a smidgen bit(e) questionable.

By and large, Nosgoth’s microtransaction setup is pretty standard stuff, what with an in-game earnable curency (gold), a purchaseable currency (runestones), and secondary weapons you can buy or earn. Runestones come in packs that range from $4.99 to $79.99, so spend wisely. Or not. Here’s Square Enix on how all of that will work:

“Nosgoth is a free-to-play game – but it’s not pay-to-win. We made the decision to go to free-to-play to break down barriers and let as many players into the game as possible. One of the key goals has been to create a fair experience that doesn’t penalise players who don’t spend money in the game – as such Nosgoth doesn’t include items, weapons or abilities that are inherently better (aka supremacy goods).”

“What does this mean? It means that all items in our in-game store – which we will be opening up in Closed Beta – are sidegrades, not upgrades. Each individual item has been balanced by having its own share of positive and negative attributes equally.”

Of course, it’s easy to say that. It’s something else entirely to get the balance just right and then keep it that way as new weapons and items are introduced. Square Enix has a lot or work ahead of them. Here’s hoping they’re in it for the long haul.

You can also buy two other categories of item: boosters and chest keys. Boosters are fairly self-explanatory, boosting the rate at which you earn gold or experience. Many F2P games – even really good ones like Tribes Ascend – have struggled to nail the balance between a natural (read: not agonizingly glacial) leveling curve and one with purchasable flame decals painted on, so let’s hope Square Enix has done its homework.

Chest keys, to me, are the most questionable item, given that they tie into earnable chests, but keys themselves can only be bought with real money. So if you don’t spend money, you just end up with this giant pile of inaccessible loot. Chest contents, meanwhile, don’t make the situation sound much better. “A chest is a locked container which you may randomly receive at the end of a match, along with the usual end-game rewards,” Square wrote. “It will contain a randomised reward that’s different to standard end-game loot, for example a rare weapon or primary ability, and will require a Key to unlock it.”

I don’t really know how to feel about that, but if it doesn’t wreck game balance then I guess I don’t care too much – even if it does strike me as a bit slimy. At this point, however, there’s no telling. But hey, for better or worse, Nosgoth’s closed beta is coming up very soon, so hopefully player feedback will push the game in the right direction. I’m still sad that Legacy of Kain’s narrative is apparently buried in some labyrinthine crypt for the time being, but I do hope Nosgoth will at least offer some solid asymmetrical multiplayer.


  1. Spacewalk says:

    It’s going to suck.

    • Stardreamer says:


      • scottyjx says:

        This game’ll almost certainly be a pale husk compared to what a non-F2P version would be.

        • Cinek says:

          Cause it’s like that with every F2P, right? Isn’t that what you wanted to say buy randomly judging unreleased game?

          • misterT0AST says:

            Please don’t get your seriousness in the pun thread, we know that some people are still eager to sink their teeth into this game.

          • CraftyBanana says:

            I can see you’re annoyed, but I didn’t bat an eyelid.

          • 2Ben says:

            Come on, don’t dismiss him right off the bat ! (been ninja’ed by a crafty banana though)

        • graspee says:

          I don’t care- I have no stake in it.

        • Bishop says:

          I agree, F2P is just a ploy to suck your wallet dry.

      • mr.black says:

        The game seems a good Reflection on the state of F2P in industry.

      • araczynski says:

        One should drive a stake through this before it even comes out of its coffin.

    • Cinek says:

      If you are loyal LoK fan and expected new LoK – it will suck for you. This is just a multiplayer shooter with vampires. But as far as I seen – it seems to use Raziel’s universe in a very nice way to build a game that’s different from all the other random shooters out there. We’ll see how it plays after the release (I’m not keen to judge games by their beta versions) but so far I stay cautiously optimistic even though I do consider myself LoK fan – just not one that expected the great return from this game.

    • Xan says:

      What is Nosgoth? A miserable pile of microtransactions!

    • wu wei says:

      Speak for yourself! I, for one, am fanging for it.

  2. Baboonanza says:

    I don’t quite understand your point about chests. Besides balance issues what is so bad about dropping chests that you can only unlock with bought keys? Is it the lottery aspect? But isn’t that exactly how it works in TF2? (honestly not sure, never played TF2 much)

    • Maxheadroom says:

      yeah TF2 has pretty much the same thing with it’s chests (i too have a mountain of chests I’ll never be able to open without spending real money on keys).

      A couple of years back for Christmas they gave everyone who logged in a free key, so that was nice

    • Jackablade says:

      reply fail =/

    • Kollega says:

      Yes, this is exactly how it works in TF2. And it’s exactly why some people, including me, are dissatisfied with TF2. Gamble-crates that require real money to unlock and lure naive players in with promises of “ultra-rare items” are all kinds of bullshit. But Valve apparently get a free pass on this, at least if you listen to people who find nothing wrong with this model.

      • misterT0AST says:

        Valve games usually have a healthy market of exchange among players that allows people who want items to ignore the random crates system completely. At least that’s how it is in Dota 2. Or you can do like me and play their game without ever paying a dime, and live without hats (with FEWER hats, actually).

        I don’t understand what’s to frown upon.

        The only issues would be if for some reason

        1- you wanted their items

        2- you only wanted to purchase these from Valve directly and exclusively (for some reason)

        3- you didn’t like the way Valve sold them (either in sets, or in random drops).

        • TimorousBeastie says:

          It’s still an increasingly large pile of items taunting you to pay up. A lot of people don’t like that additional layer of fairly obvious psychology in their faces (though using Sciency terms in Game Design in general tends to cause a lot of ire in people, Core Gameplay Loop anyone?).

          Personally I’m not too fussed, but I do feel like only releasing keys through paid products tends to be a little over-zealous. Releasing Keys rarely through gameplay, and even through chests themselves can help matters somewhat (Guild Wars 2 is a good example) and even increase conversion if your ceremony is good enough as you invest players into a system that they should otherwise ignore.

          • FrogPeppins says:

            Much of the issue with such a system is taking advantage of whales. Gambling is extremely addictive no matter what the reward, and people will lose fortunes on it.

      • toxic avenger says:

        This is nothing like how it works in TF2. All items that *do* something, drop freely by playing the game. If you don’t get the items you want, you can freely trade with any other people. Chests, that require payable keys, that promise shiny hats that do NOTHING…NOTHING to the game. They add no abilities. They are only fashion items. It seems like in this game you can only buy items, and the actual items that do something do not drop.

        But, maybe I’m missing the point. Maybe you’re one of the players who gets off on playing Barbie *TM* in their first person shooter games. Then, by all means, if hats are what draws you to the game…what gives the game MEANING to you, you are definitely screwed. Don’t play the game. But don’t act like most players behave as ridiculously as you do.

    • onyhow says:

      “It will contain a randomised reward that’s different to standard end-game loot, for example a rare weapon or primary ability, and will require a Key to unlock it.”

      That’s the thing that’s different from TF2. TF2 crates only drop strange guns (which are normal guns that have kill tracker. Other than that (and the ability to apply strange parts to it), it doesn’t make it any different from normal gun, performance-wise, which you can find it in normal drops), or hats/misc, which are purely decorative, or some other stuff like strange parts or such which still doesn’t modify gameplay. Nosgoth seems to have it, and the quote does say that it’s different from “standard end-game loot”….does this mean that crates contain end-game loot that can’t be obtained normally? All the relevant guns in TF2 can be gotten from drops (except for some, like Fishcake, Three-Rune Blade, and Ap-sap, all of them are just reskins from what you can get from normal drops anyway).

      Hell, most crates are worthless anyway if you don’t plan to open them (except for Salvage crates which are actually valuable), and generally lots of them drop and take up inventory space. Unless you plan to go for some random Unusual hunting, usually it’s just cheaper to trade metals for hats…

      Not to mention that practically all weapons are balanced to be sidegrades to stock, which are always considered to be a jack weapon in its category, especially in comp.

      In conclusion: things that drop from crates in TF2 doesn’t affect the gameplay in any way. Nosgoth seems to be…though it’s best to wait and see.

    • Aaarrrggghhh says:

      I guess it depends if you will be able to sell/trade them ingame as in TF2 or STO

  3. skyturnedred says:

    As long as every weapon/item/class apart from cosmetic stuff is available for purchase with the gold you earn from playing, it seems fine to me.

    • Steven Hutton says:

      If you want your game to be seriously viable as a fair competitive game you can’t lock any gameplay relevant items away behind either time barriers or pay barriers.

      Cosmetic items are, I suppose, fine.

      • Cinek says:

        And then you woke up

        • Steven Hutton says:

          League of Legends is kind of a joke as a serious competitive prospect. Hundreds of hours of grind to unlock basic features like rune pages and masteries or play with a nerfed joke version of your character/characters? No jungling ’til you’ve played 100 hours? Bans in competitive play?

          • Abndn says:

            Yet it’s the most popular competitive game in the entire world by a huge margin, so there’s that. You’re welcome to bitch at its free to play model (even if most of what you’re saying is straight up false), but don’t bring bans into it, they actually contribute a huge amount to strategy (source: I’m Diamond1).

          • Steven Hutton says:

            Argument to numbers. I won’t even respond.

            It does take hundreds of hours to unlock essential gameplay elements necessary for competitive level play. Getting to 30 takes, what 300 games? Plus you’ll need at least ten characters and at least four rune pages plus 30.000 ip worth of runes.

            Argument to (spurious) authority. No need to respond to that either.

          • Cinek says:

            “Yet it’s the most popular competitive game in the entire world by a huge margin” – Nope, sorry. First of all – competitive scene in LoL is tiny comparing to competitors (most notably DOTA2) and it’s not a self-sustaining model, it exists only because Riot pumps money in it. And secondly it’s not most popular game in the world that’s use for competitive gameplay – it’s probably one of: WoT (current Guinness record holder), CoD, FIFA – all of which got their own tournaments.

          • Philomelle says:

            @Cinek: I’m sorry, but you’re wrong on every possible account there.

            First of all, League statistically has higher player numbers than every other game used competitively. It has 32 million players logging in monthly, whereas CoD has about 40-50 across the entire franchise (with actual numbers per game being obviously much smaller, given that they’re scattered across 6 separate games) and DOTA2 has a measly 6.5 million.

            Second, a quick look at professional rosters will tell you that the number of professional DOTA2 teams is smaller than the number of professional League teams in America alone, with multiple ones actually playing both games.

            So no, I’m sorry, but statistics tell us that LoL really does have the biggest competitive scene in the world right now.

            @Steven Hutton: Most games have this thing called a “learning curve” that gradually introduces you to the game’s mechanics before sending you into competitive play. It’s why StarCraft has this thing called “single-player campaign” which gradually introduces you to units and creates situations where you can learn how to use them efficiently so you can be prepared to play multiplayer. It’s also why physical sports like football and basketball have these things called training gyms where you’re expected to spend several months learning the basic aspects of playing the game before you have a chance to play competitively. So with that in mind, are you seriously complaining that League has a coaching period for its players? Because that makes me wonder if you know how competitive sports work.

            Furthermore, accusing the other person of “argument to numbers” is straight-up comical when you’re trying to pull it as well. The core difference there is that you’re lying. While it’s true that competitive scene in League requires you to own a minimum of 16 champions because that’s how many will play into every single pre-match preparations (10 picks, 6 bans), “hundreds of hours” is at best an exaggeration. It takes most people 2 weeks of casual play to reach 30 (at which point they use accumulated IP to buy all the runes they need) and a month to unlock 16 champions. Which is, you know, the standard coaching period in most competitive sports. Funny that.

            Every other statistic you cite is something people might or might not complain about in ranked play after you decide to boast about your inexperience during ranked play and affect your team’s morale. Frankly, why the fuck would you even do that? Do you want to cause your teammates unnecessary worry and ensure that no one wants to be on your team in the future?

            I’m kinda sorta with you on bans in competitive play, but that’s because Season 2 showed off how badly that system can be abused when a pretty bad team managed to reach finals simply by banning the competing teams’ best champions over and over, thus leaving them unable to play properly. At the same time, I would argue that it’s properly used for disrupting enemy strategies via locking them off from specific team synergies. Also, if it takes 2-3 banned champions out of 112 for you to suddenly be unable to perform at maximum capacity, I would argue that you shouldn’t play competitively at all.

            EDIT: Holy wall of text, Batman. It looked smaller in the comment window.

          • Steven Hutton says:

            The learning curve argument is simply not acceptable. Putting aside the fact that it completely ignores the possibility that I may have transferable skills from other, similar games or that I may be the kind of person who does tones of wiki reading and prep / actually plays the tutorials. And putting aside the fact that it is not the designer’s job to tell me when I’m ready to play their game.

            The structure of LoL’s grind is that it actually makes the game HARDER to learn. It forces them to play a game with nerfed, weak versions of their characters with important game elements missing (no jungling, no decent supports, totally different mana, health, regen and damage stats). All of this needs to be relearned at 30. It is a barrier to learning, not a stepping stone.

            You misunderstand what I mean by argument by numbers I think. The appeal to numbers or “argumentum ad populum” is the fallacy that lots of people believing something makes it true. A billion people smoke, that doesn’t mean that smoking is ok. It’s the argument that says “Eat shit! 100,000,000,000,000 flies can’t be wrong!” League of Legends is the most popular competitive game, that doesn’t make its competitive nature valid. My argument used numbers, it wasn’t an appeal to them.

            Also I’m not lying. Ten seconds on google is enough to tell me that it takes up to 350 but AT LEAST 200 games to reach level 30. Which is in line with my experience doing it myself. Assuming 40 minute games that means someone would have to play nine hours a day to get to level 30 in two weeks. That’s hardly casual play. That’s before they unlock any runes, extra pages or characters. More than a hundred hours playing the fake game BEFORE they’re allowed to play for real. Plus additional grinding before they can play the “real” versions of dozens of character that require specific combinations of runes to function in serious play.

          • The Random One says:

            Argument to numbers is not any argument that has numbers in it, it’s the specific logical fallacy of “a high number of people believe X, therefore X is true”. You are the only one doing that and thus I, having never played the game in question, am more inclined to believe Steven over you, as his arguments appear well founded and you have offered no real counter to them.

            l2logic n00b

          • Philomelle says:

            Alright then, I give. Steven is obviously an expert at League of Legends, given that he magically learned the gameplay, intricacies of champion control, the exact layout of the map and how various statistics function within the game proper by reading Wikipedia articles, then complained that the game doesn’t give him special treatment by immediately letting him into competitive play. Obviously, Riot is at fault because they think a player who only reads about gameplay mechanics shouldn’t be playing competitively.

            Theoretical study of a sport obviously makes you an expert who can perform competitively without taking a long time to practice it. Jesus christ, what was I thinking? I should go and sue every sports association in the world for refusing to let people onto professional teams if they can recite rules by memory, regardless of their actual practical skill in the game. After all, these people already know how the game is theoretically played; how dare these associations assume experience trumps theoretical knowledge.

            Of course, let us ignore the part where Steven is still lying about the nature of progression within the game. He’s still pretending that reaching level 30 doesn’t provide you with any resources, whereas the actual game provides you with doubled EXP and Influence during the first week of play. By the time you reach level 30, you should reasonably have the resources to purchase “professional equipment” – the 16 champions you need to play, the runes needed to fill out pages and maybe an extra rune page if you really need it. But he’s still acting like you need to unlock those things after you reach level 30.

            But that is okay. After all, he read some websites about the game before playing it and therefore should be immediately admitted into competitive play the second he launches the game.

          • Steven Hutton says:

            Classic strawman. No longer worth my time to respond.

          • Philomelle says:

            Googling logical fallacies in an attempt to discredit the counter-arguments to your claims hardly makes you look intelligent. Especially since, in your case, all you’re doing is yourself employing the classical “Stacking the Deck” logical fallacy – ignoring counter-arguments to your statements, which are necessary because you’ve been lying about multiple points through this entire conversation.

            I’m sorry you cannot grasp the basic difference between “skill floor” and “skill ceiling”, Steven, or between things like “theory” and “practice”. I’m also sorry you need to resort to deck-stacking and a particulalry pompous form of ad hominem (in your case, attempting to discredit people arguing against you by accusing them of logical fallacies) in order to make your arguments look like they actually hold any merit.

          • chud says:

            Can you pay to speed up / bypass the grind altogether?

          • Steven Hutton says:

            Yes you can pay to speed up the grind and unlock things earlier. I don’t necessarily think that it helps. It’s not a question of degrees.

            If I wanted to look clever I think it’d be a bad idea to do that in comment thread with all of sixty posts on the second page of a videogames news blog.

            I think you’re misusing the term Ad Hominem. Ad Hominem means specifically attacking the opponent directly. What I was doing was literally the exact opposite of that. I never said that anyone was lying or called them a lair or implied that they were pompous. I dealt only with the arguments.
            I would say that I attempted to discredit people’s arguments by pointing out that they contained logical fallacies. I thought that what I was pointing out were fairly clear cut examples or I would’ve explained each example in more detail. It didn’t seem necessary. I didn’t do this out of trying to flaunt my intelligence but out of trying to respect the intelligence of the reader.

            Again, this was the exact opposite of Argumentum ad Hominem.

            As for lying, I don’t think that I did. The specific numbers I gave were between 200 and 350 games to reach level 30 and then more games after that to complete a reasonable champion collection and an acceptable number of rune pages. These numbers are accurate to the best of my knowledge. I genuinely believe them to be correct. I’m not lying, what would I possibly gain by doing so? Here on the second page?

            Jumping back a post. I think that you’re misrepresenting my argument. I wasn’t trying to say that someone who reads a few wiki’s is going to be ready for the pro tour. But it’s clear that different players will begin the game at different skill levels. And it’s not therefore acceptable to force players into a long grind to unlock access to the real game after hours of playing some nerfed fake version. It’s like if you were forced to play chess with no bishops for hundreds of games before you were allowed to enter a tournament. It’s just nonsense. This is why I mentioned transferrable skills, a professional Dota2 player isn’t going to need to grind 30 levels before he’s ready for ranked matches. And it’s not up to the game designer to tell him that he is. All of this is incidental and I said as much. The real point, and I went to lengths to emphasise this is that LoL’s grind makes the game harder to learn. Not easier. Although even if it made the game easier to learn it’d still fly in face of competition and shouldn’t be there.

            Also, giving free experience and points to unlock things that shouldn’t be locked in the first place (like levels and runes) is not something for which anyone should be grateful.

          • Philomelle says:

            There is no misuse of any term here. What you’re doing here is precisely Ad Hominem; over half your post is passive-aggressive drivel where you’re trying, desperately, to insult me via indirect accusations (“oh but I didn’t do all these things SOMEBODY ELSE HERE DID /hint hint”) while painting it over with an intellectual veneer. Problem is, you are terrible at it. What it boils down is that you try to look intellectual by inventing logical fallacies in other people’s words and then passive-aggressively accusing them when they lose their patience with you, which you’ve done for an entire paragraph before claiming “But it’s not Ad Hominem because I said so!”.

            You are lying because, in your own words, level 30 is “before they unlock any runes, extra pages or characters”. You tried to pretend that level 30 is not, in fact, implemented so that people can obtain basic resources needed to purchase “gear” that helps them play professionally, while learning the game’s fundamentals along the way. Level 30 earns you roughly 30K Influence in the cases of very active play (even more if you make proper use of the First Win mechanic), which is enough for three rune pages and a dozen champions that will set you up for competitive play.

            But honestly, you lying about that doesn’t matter because you prove time and time again that you don’t know how League is actually played. You keep making an argument that level 30 gives one access to “true statistical numbers of various champions” when the truth is that Masteries and Runes are purely customization. There are people who will focus on sustain over damage and resistances, people who will run damage masteries on bruisers and who will run tank masteries on Vladimir. Those things are purely preference and plenty people run things specifically tailored to their preference.

            If the game relied on stat numbers in order to play it “properly”, then Yasuo wouldn’t need months to stop having a 30% win rate despite having some of the largest numbers in the game, Jinx wouldn’t drop off to an average win rate of 49% after two weeks of play despite being the same and Lucian wouldn’t be such a desirable pick despite having terrible numbers. League has a large number of twitch skill involved, those 30 levels being there to help you master the ideas of skill execution and timing. While numbers are necessary to tailoring builds toward the player’s specific playstyle, they do not define skill half as much as you pretend they do. They are simply the background to the team’s strategy, synergy of their individual playstyles and execution of characters’ abilities.

            The only place where numbers are considered all-important is Bronze ranks. It’s why everyone above that tier will tell you to master playing Sejuani or Hecarim if you want to become Silver; the sheer amount of utility those provide creates strategies that completely fuck over number-oriented playstyles of low-ranking players.

            And your argument is not misrepresented, it’s simply bollocks. I already explained above why there is no “nerfed fake version” of League, it’s simply your reasoning because you put excessive importance on character statistics despite them holding maybe 30% of importance when it comes to actual skill of playing League. League is an action/strategy game, not a numbers game, and learning numbers early will only distract you from how the game actually functions in real time.

            For that matter, yes, a professional player from one game will play those 30+ matches before moving into competitive play in another game. That is because a professional player knows that small intricacies of game design often play a major role in good performance and would rather build up a foundation of experience so they build up skill. Understanding that transferred skills do not actually make you good at another game of the same genre is what separates a professional player from a casual fan of the genre. Professional playing requires patience and discipline; saying “But I already know how the game is played, I should be able to play competitively.” implies neither of those qualities.

            So no, your argument is bollocks because it relies on the idea that one specific aspect of a game is somehow more important than other aspects. It also still ignores that every single competitive sport on Earth employs “coaching time” in the same vein as League’s road to level 30, just like it ignores that most sports have qualifying matches before you’re let into competitive play. You argue that enforcing a learning curve makes a sport less competitively valid even though every single physical sport in the world does so for a very good reason.

            You don’t actually understand how competitive circuits in sports function, which makes your attempts to argue about them all the more embarrassing.

          • Steven Hutton says:

            Twenty four words out of a four hundred and fifty word post is not “over half”.

            You’re being super mean now so I’m going to stop responding. For the record I really tried to argue in good faith here but you spoiled it by getting angry.

          • Philomelle says:

            This might shock you, but people do tend to get frustrated when their conversation partner behaves like a manipulative, passive-aggressive twat and deploys “Oh you’re so mean and cruel to me I am going to stop responding except the part where I won’t because I really want to get the last word in.” as over half of their counter-arguments.

            So no, nobody will lose much of anything if you suddenly stop responding.

      • MaXimillion says:

        This is the only F2P policy that’s not P2W in any way.

        Games that are P2W:
        Planetside 2

        Games that aren’t:
        DOTA 2
        PoE (Arguably could be due to selling stash tabs, but you have access to unlimited storage through mules)

        • Distec says:

          You’re really gonna have a tough time convincing me that any of those games are require money to “win”.

          How are inventory tabs P2W?

          • Cronstintein says:

            “pay to win” just means you gain an in-game advantage by spending money. Not that it’s impossible to win as a free player. (Though the logical extension is that between two equal players, the one spending money would win).

  4. Cinek says:

    Chest Keys!?


  5. Myrdinn says:

    Why is this a LoK game anyway?

    • Steven Hutton says:

      Recognisable brand names have value (Battleship movie anyone?) if you can get someone to think (I remember that!) you can get their attention which is enough to start your sales pitch.

      Additionally sequenix will have been looking hard at their I.P. trying to figure out which assets aren’t doing work and will have then fished around for an appropriate project. A shame because the LoK series would really benefit from a faithful addition born out of love of the franchise.

      • Cinek says:

        LoK series might benefit from that too – if Nosgoth does well they’ll be much more likely to release new single-player LoK game than they were ever before. Yea, perhaps for some people it’d be better to have LoK put in grave forever like it almost was, but I like seeing something placed in the universe, even if it’s not really what I wanted.

        • Myrdinn says:

          Think if this game is successful; they’ll release another ‘LoK’ game; Nosgoth 2: the MMO

        • waaaaaaaals says:

          Doubtful, besides the last time they attempted a Legacy of Kain game without the core talent we got Blood Omen 2.

          A lot of them are in other companies or dead and there’s really no way to get a substitute voice actor for Tony Jay.

          We’d end up with something along the lines of Twilight-inspired bumf about a just-turned vampire Raziel trying to cope with his existence.

          • Cinek says:

            As I said: Some fans would like to put LoK into grave forever. I don’t. I like this universe way too much to allow it rot in a past. And pretty much every vampire-themed game can be turned into Twilight – yet we had almost none, so I’m not as pessimistic as you are.

        • Darth Gangrel says:

          That’s the most optimistic thing you can say about a game like this, but I doubt it’ll happen. If it’s a success, they’ll keep the F2P model for a sequel/spin-off or even make an MMO out of it. If it fails, they’ll just bury the franchise. There’s no possible happy ending to this, I’m afraid.

          When I heard about Star Wars: The Old Republic (ToR), I thought that if it made enough money they’d be encouraged to make another Knights of the Old Republic or Star Wars RPG or just an actually *good* Star Wars game. So far, I’ve not seen anything to support that theory. EA now has its claws on the whole Star Wars franchise and it might deliver some good Star Wars games eventually, but whether that has anything to do with the performance of ToR is uncertain.

          I’m hoping against better judgement that the vaporware-smelling World of Darkness MMO can breathe new (un)life into the franchise and get us new games from that universe. Preferably Vampire the Masquerade-themed, but as long as they’re good I don’t care what the setting is. I’m not holding my breath for that, though.

        • Abndn says:

          A singleplayer game which may then have to appeal to old and new fans alike.

  6. Steven Hutton says:

    FYI, it’s really worth going through to the blog link to nosgoth.com and looking at the full post. It might even behoove (yeah, I know words) RPS to repost the table posted within that explains which goods are available for which currency.

    P.S. The mere fact that a table is required speaks to the level of obfuscation and duplicity inherent in F2P pricing models. The more complicated you make the stuff the more successfully you’ve hidden the true price of the game.

  7. Kein says:


  8. Zonker says:

    I’m less and less fond of the whole “it’s only sidegrades, guys!” argument. Most developers don’t get the balance right consistently, the mentioned Tribes: Ascend had several cases of newly released, a bit overpowered “flavor of the month” weapons which had to be nerfed afterwards.

    And even IF the balance is perfect statistically, that still means you’re limited to a smaller range of weapons until you spend a good amount of cash (or insane amounts of time). But maybe it’s exactly that one paid weapon you, personally, would be most comfortable and good with. Or weapon A is better suited for map X or weapon B better for situation Y.

    In Bad Company 2 I just used all guns for ~100 kills and then decided which ones I liked best – good luck doing that in most F2P shooters. So I think I’m going to pass titles that lock certain weapons behind a paywall or too much random grinding (which includes quite a few newer full priced games as well). And yes, adding exclusive content to chest lotteries make matters even worse.

    • Steven Hutton says:

      RPS please implement a like system for posts like this.

    • Cinek says:

      Yep. Agreed.

      Here’s original quote:
      Again, it’s probably worth restating that no in-game item is inherently better than any other and that even the rarest in-game item will still have been designed to be a sidegrade rather than an upgrade.

      Honestly – no game I played have done it right. TF2 being probably a major example of how f***** up it can be – theory is identical to the one here, but in practical use there are just few worthwhile weapons and tons of garbage. And it’s not just that – as you suggested – some weapons are better for some maps. Simply – some weapons are universally better. Only matter that decides which one of the “great” guns you should pick is your playstyle and specific combination of features you want (often it’s desired to have a combo of specific items in your team).

    • HadToLogin says:

      And even games not-F2P have problems with that. Just look as CSGO: one of latest patch overpowered AUG. Result: Valve earned money from kiddies rushing to buy AUG skins, rising stattrak skins price from around €1.5 to over €3 for that week when it wasn’t patched.
      One would wonder if this mistake was a mistake, or just clever “scam”…

  9. Jackablade says:

    Is a nosgoth where you’ve had a blood-nose and wind up with congealed combination of snot and blood?

    • The Random One says:

      I think it’s when you break your nose and the fracture is much worse because of your piercing.

  10. Kinch says:

    I’m finding F2P more and more disturbing. Theoretically, it’s a way to play a game for free. In practice though, it’s how developers squeeze more money out of you—why would they want you to pay for a box if they can offer their game “as a service” and keep milking you…

    Could be I’m a little bitter having tried Loadout this weekend. F2P can go F itself.

    • Freud says:

      I’m not sure how it’s more or less objectionable than normal games where you pay up front. As long as they are transparent about what you get and what you can buy with micro transactions, it’s up to the consumer to decide if he wants to play the game or not.

    • TimorousBeastie says:

      For Multiplayer games nowadays unless you’re one of the big three it’s pretty much a requirement though. It’s unlikely you’re going to get the constant stream of new players to keep an active community unless you either minimise the cost of entry to zero (F2P) or spend millions on constant brand awareness (EA, Activision).

      Plenty of games have tried releasing with a paid product for multiplayer and almost all of them (with the possible exception of NS2? How’s that doing nowadays) have either switched to F2P or shut down after a small period. It’s a really awful situation, but it’s generally the truth.

      • HadToLogin says:

        Would say “doesn’t look good for them”, as they are not in Steam 100 most-players games list.
        And games like Portal 2, Settlers 7 or Euro Truck Simulator 2 made it.

  11. TechnicalBen says:

    If you work in our mines you can get that “hit” from the illicit you require. Or you can pay up. Were helping the community by providing a service…

    … Officer.

  12. DrMcCoy says:

    earnable chests, but keys themselves can only be bought with real money

    So it’s exactly like STO and Neverwinter?

  13. araczynski says:

    A) its sqeeze-enix, so it’ll be about as fair as dirt in your eye.
    B) if they wanted to make it available to as many as possible on release, they’d have released the first chapter/act for free to everyone and then asked you to unlock the rest if you liked it.

    this is purely to milk kids. saying anything otherwise is just an outright lie and is insulting. par for course for squirt-enix, i’ve been hoping for their demise for a decade now, sadly, as the saying goes, there’s a sucker born every minute…who will keep them afloat.

  14. Tervez says:

    What game is this, where every publisher makes profit on ostensibly free entertainment?

  15. Cronstintein says:

    If the ONLY way to get keys is with money, then that’s super lame. GuildWars2 does something similar but you get some free keys. Though I am sure you can guess: you get many more chests than keys.

  16. bill says:

    I remember this article about a chinese MMO about 8 years ago (!!) that sounded horrendous and made me thankful that nothing like that existed over here.
    link to danwei.org

    But unfortunately it seems like a lot of western (ish) publishers also read that article and instead of reading it as a cautionary tale, what they took from is was: What a great business model!

    It’s sad that we are now in essentially the same place.

  17. Gvaz says:

    I’ve never played a f2p game with booster elements that didn’t suck in some fashion. It’s just sapping people’s money to make up for intentionally designed timesinks they put in expecting people to pay money. Mobile market doesn’t work well here on the PC unless you’re LoL.