Dote Night: How Did I Spend £215 On A ‘Free’ Game!?

Part of a miscellany of serious thoughts, animal gifs, and anecdotage from the realm of MOBAs/hero brawlers/lane-pushers/ARTS/tactical wizard-em-ups. One day Pip might even tell you the story of how she bumped into Na’Vi’s Dendi at a dessert buffet cart.

Confession: I have spent approximately $357.38 on a free videogame. Three hundred and fifty seven dollars and thirty eight cents.

Second confession: Actually it’s a little more than that.

The figure Valve gives you is related to the badges you earn by collecting sets of trading cards in the game. To find out how much you’ve spent in Dota 2 just go to the badges section of your profile, look at Dota 2 and then click on “How do I earn card drops?” The card drops in free-to-play games are linked to the money you spend in-game and so Steam will tell you how close you are to earning your next card drop. It also tells you how much you’ve spent but only in the period since they introduced card drops.

For me that’s just north of £215 and I’m going to try to answer the question “Why?”

When you look at the amount of time I have spent in the game it becomes less of a shocking amount – the money then works out at about 14 pence her hour. I’d definitely pay 14 pence for a game of Dota. Hell, in the late nineties my little brother used to charge me 20 pence an hour to play on his N64 and I completed Ocarina of Time twice and collected all the gold skulltulas. Perhaps this points to me making terrible financial decisions from a young age. Wait – where was I going with all of this?

Ah yes. In terms of the amount of time I’ve devoted to the game, the amount of money spent doesn’t seem disproportionate, but that’s not how Dota 2 monetisation works. I’m not paying for game time. What I’m paying for is digital clothes, loading screens, item effects, stat recording plug-ins for items, creature couriers, battle point boosters, compendia and tournament tickets.

Tournament tickets are perhaps easiest to understand. You pay some money, you get access to an event. Stat tracking gems which can be added to items are also pretty straightforward. They let you keep an eye on things like how many kills you get or how many wards you buy. You just pick a stat you’re interested in tracking for a hero and add it to an item equipped by that hero.

Battle point boosters are more interesting. They let you level up slightly faster which helps you stick a bigger number next to your Dota profile and slightly increases the speed with which you earn item drops. But the reason a lot of my friends and I buy them is because they generate good will amongst strangers. The boosters also confer a battle point bonus on the rest of your team and in a public match where you’re trying to get a bunch of strangers to work together the text which flashes up at the start of a match saying that you’ve done something which automatically benefits everyone can help get things off on a positive note.

The clothing is far more of a drain on my purse, though. I’m not alone in this by any means. It’s why you’ll hear Valve’s workshop and microtransaction system jokingly referred to as its “hat economy”. As per a Steam blog entry from June 2013, “Since the Steam Workshop launched in October of 2011, over 1,200 items created by members of the community have been made available for sale in Team Fortress 2 and Dota 2, producing over $10 million in royalties paid to item creators.” In May 2014, Valve added that, for the 12 million players using content from the Steam Workshop, the average number of items they download is 57 (although it doesn’t specify paid or free). During a talk at the University of Texas Valve’s Gabe Newell revealed that the interest in digital hats had actually broken PayPal when the concept was first introduced. He mentions inflation and deflation in the hat economy as well as talking about liquidity problems which resulted in strange mini financial crises at various points of the day.

I’ve written about Dota hats before in relation to fashion. Dota workshop artist Anuxi explained that she thought their popularity was to do with how social the medium of gaming had become. They’re a way of standing out, of sharing something of your own identity. It’s a similar mindset to the one which underpins the real-world fashion industry. Clothes can act as status symbols, they can signify mood or intention and they can be used to give the world an idea of our personalities.

In his talk Newell refers to a lot of the workshop items created by the community as relating to “status” and “hierarchy”. Given some of the items in Dota stretch the “micro” part of microtransactions to breaking point it’s not hard to see what he means. If you’re buying direct from Steam, Lina has a flaming haircut which comes in at £20.99. Further afield prices can go far higher – before alterations to how item qualities work an ethereal flame pink war dog courier sold for $38,000. There’s an attraction in showing that you own something pricey or rare – perhaps even seeing it as an investment.

My approach tends to be that I like to “reward” the heroes I enjoy playing. I spend a lot of time with them – hundreds of hours each – and so, even if other heroes are more aesthetically pleasing or have more interesting items I’ll opt to spend money on my favourites. Objectively Venomancer’s character model is probably best described as ‘derpy poisonous banana with a wiggle’ but I have instabought the items released for him so far because he is MY derpy poisonous banana with a wiggle. Witch Doctor and Shadow Shaman items get subjected to a little more scrutiny. I won’t buy anything I dislike, but I seek out fun new additions to their wardrobes and spend time working out whether the new pieces will work with existing cosmetics.

This isn’t really about expressing my own personality, it’s to do with decking out my favourite toys. If you want to see where I’m expressing something more of myself you’d be better off looking at my ridiculous selection of couriers. I often play support and so I buy the courier which ferries items around the map at the beginning of the game. There are currently 20 couriers at my disposal, nearly all bought or gifted for a particular and personal reason. My current favourite is the astronomer octopus. I’ve been fascinated by octopuses for years and I obsessively follow Nasa’s photography accounts and outlets. The idea that a courier would somehow merge those two things led to much rejoicing.

There’s another aspect to spending, too. I occasionally use items to change my game behaviour. Mostly this comes in the form of buying items for heroes outside my comfort zone so that I feel pressured to start playing them. A friend of mine is thinking along similar lines. He’s considering buying items for particular heroes which he will send as gifts to his girlfriend. It’s to encourage her to try those characters as she gets to grips with the game. Another Dota buddy (Alice O’Connor of this parish) has a slightly different take on the concept but is still using cosmetics to (hopefully) alter her gaming: “To inspire me to break a losing streak, Windrunner has a new look that’s less whimsy, more ‘kill that fucking wizard’.”

Lastly, I love the creativity and variety you find in the store. Regardless of whether you play a hero or not, some items are just cool. As a result I’ll sometimes just pick up cosmetics because I think the person involved worked hard and deserves some cash, whether it’s an official Valve creation or the work of a self-taught enthusiast on the Workshop.

I spent that £215 over two years and I did so because I’ve developed a deep affection for the game, its characters and the people with whom I play and to whom I send occasional gifts. My PayPal history represents an engagement with a whole community. I used to spend over £3 most weekdays on a Boots meal deal for lunch. Across one year that’s almost £800 – four times as much as two years of Dota – and a Boots meal deal has never brought me even one hundredth the amount of pleasure as a well-crafted digital cape.


  1. Heliocentric says:


    I get that whales are great for both the developers and the common gamer. But… Gosh, all in a game with no meaningful* advantages. Do you consider yourself to be of an addictive personality?

    *I’ve spoke at length at my paranoia about visual markers.

    • DrollRemark says:

      £200 over two years is hardly a “whale”.

      • Heliocentric says:

        No, I’ve read those stories, whales are tens of thousands some times yes, £200 over 2 years doesn’t sit Phillipa in the top 0.15% (A statistic from mobile games link to ) but I would have assumed the top 5% (perhaps?).

        • Jexiah8bit says:

          I am sure there are many, many people who spend considerably more than him over the course of 2 whole years.

      • BobbyFizz says:

        My mother makes over $200 every two years simply by killing whales. See how to do it at link to

        • Caelinus says:

          I was honestly hoping that link would actually link to something whale related.

        • bstard says:

          Now you mention it, tbh I kinda miss that spammer. Somehow a thread doesnt feel right without a request to prostitute yourself.

  2. Metalhead9806 says:

    That’s cool. imo if the game is awesome developers deserve support. I’ve given over $150 to GGG for Path of Exile.

  3. Koozer says:

    And here I am deliberating whether I should spend £7 on Hearthstone for the last two weeks.

    • JFS says:

      And here I am, moping about getting hooked on vintage Fenders.

      • Geebs says:

        Could be worse. It could be Gibsons.

        (Unfashionable old guitars are great. Fortunately I happen to like Ibanez)

    • Gothnak says:

      Are you my alter ego? I have been having the same internal dialogue. I’ve managed to unlock all but the last 2 wings of Naxramus with currency, but i only get 30-45 mins of play a day at most, so grinding for the last 1400 is rather slow.

      Also, the best way to grind is quickly lose a load of matches to drop your rating and then play some bottom feeders around rank 20. Which, tbh, makes the whole game a bit pointless. Then i can go back to playing Arena again.

  4. rockman29 says:

    “Confession: I have spent approximately $357.38 on a free videogame. Three hundred and fifty seven dollars and thirty eight cents.”

    That’s… not good… lol. I personally don’t think the items are worth their asking price, even through user sales. As a player since the War3 days I can’t recommend anyone else spend this kind of money on this game. It’s not worth it. We played the game because it was fun. Not because it was free, or because it had DLC costumes.

    There’s a game component that is great, but don’t get caught up in this “hat” business. Spending over $300 is hard to describe as anything but financially irresponsible.*

    *unless you are that wealthy and then some, but even still

    I realize there is a component to this post about discussing the quality of the items being sold on this store, and developing a relationship with the characters as the author is saying, but I find it hard, if not impossible, to appreciate that train of thought when the bill is that high.

    I just strongly advocate against this kind of spending. I’m sure Valve would disagree, but I’m pretty confident calling this irresponsible spending. I’m sure there is some pleasure component, but we’re also talking cosmetic and virtual goods to a game that is otherwise wholly freely accessible.

    In the end it’s everyone’s personal choice. I just strong advise against this kind of behaviour and hope no one else is inspired to do the same.

    • Koozer says:

      What’s the difference between buying $300 of hats for a game one spends hundreds of hours in and, say, buying a console you may spend hundreds of hours on (plus purchasing the games and stuff, This comparison is getting worse all the time)?

      • rockman29 says:

        And why did you not mention buying a PC or any digital PC game? Because consoles are just worse…. because reasons?

        Or that your argument can extend that to any digitally based product that has been sold for any amount ever. Or Netflix. Or Google and Skype services.

        Yes, that comparison gets worse the more you think about it.

        The difference is spending on a game that is freely accessible for purpose of virtual cosmetics.

        I don’t argue it can’t give it pleasure to anyone. I just don’t appreciate the value and don’t recommend anyone else do the same.

        It’s possible to spend an irresponsible amount of money on anything. Alcohol, cigarettes, food, videogames of the disc-based order, videogames of the digitally-based order, any products in the world. Does that make any irresponsible spending any less reprehensible, because the same amount of money could have been irresponsibly used on something else? Not really.

        I’m not saying anything here is absolutely wrong and this person’s license to the internet should be revoked.

        I’m saying I can’t recommend anyone else do the same, and I hope no one else is inspired to do the same.

        In opposition to the author’s view, I do not find any value in the cosmetic items in Dota and I think such spending is irresponsible. Simple point of disagreement.

        • Eight Rooks says:

          So given

          I used to spend over £3 most weekdays on a Boots meal deal for lunch. Across one year that’s almost £800 – four times as much as two years of Dota

          then her eating lunch is irresponsible? :P

        • Koozer says:

          And why did you not mention buying a PC or any digital PC game? Because consoles are just worse…. because reasons?
          Or that your argument can extend that to any digitally based product that has been sold for any amount ever. Or Netflix. Or Google and Skype services.
          Yes, that comparison gets worse the more you think about it.

          I picked it because it’s the first entertainment source I could think of that would cost about $300. I’m not even sure consoles cost $300 these days. I’m tired leave me alone *scuttles under the furniture*

          • rockman29 says:

            $400 to $500 for the new consoles, $250 or less for the older ones :)

        • Caelinus says:

          Responsible spending is completely relative to the amount of money one has to spend. That much over two years is really not a lot, and I assume that there were no skipped meals or late bills because of it.

          Money is a resource, and once you are financially stable there is no reason not to spend some of it on useless stuff that makes you happy. Capitalistic economies rely on that kind of spending anyway.

          • rockman29 says:

            I agree with that, it’s nice to at least see a couple of responses not so hostile :)

            I just thought for most people, even over a long period, $300 is quite a bit of disposable money. Enough to say “hey people, watch what you spend, it might be quite a bit, I’d advise avoiding joining that club if you can, you might save a buck or a few.” My view as another Dota player is simply… it’s not worth it, and I simply didn’t want only one view presented which encourages that spending.

            And if someone views these digital goods as I might, they might appreciate someone on a slightly different narrative who has experience with the same game and doesn’t appreciate the same value in those items.

            Even to the point of advising against purchasing them. Apparently that was too harsh for some to appreciate. I just thought for the general person, a $300+ amount of money is not terribly small, even if not terribly large. Obviously the author gives an argument showing she has derived value from these purchases, but I also thought maybe some (one?) might be interested in seeing a less than rosy view of Dota 2 purchaseables.

            I would still advise against participating in the Dota 2 item buying, just like I would tell people I don’t think Street Fighter IV costume packs are worth their full price either and if they asked me I’d say… I don’t recommend buying that.

            Such words apparently too harsh and vivid for these waters though.

          • nullable says:

            once you are financially stable there is no reason not to spend some of it on useless stuff that makes you happy.

            Thing is, this stuff doesn’t make you happy (or shouldn’t, at least), the game itself does. If you do it as a donation in order to encourage more such games to be made, that’s fine by me. However, if you do it as a purchase of the item itself (which the writer of the article seemingly does), then I’m starting to wonder how much you’ve thrown away on makeup lately.

        • Ousted says:

          im sorry but if you think spending 300 currency on your hobby is a bad decision i feel bad for you. You havent learned how to live

          • rockman29 says:

            That’s…. umm… I don’t even… lol.

            Well I guess you’ve got life all figured out then :)

          • Zeewolf says:

            I normally won’t post responses to people starting their posts with “I’m sorry but”, but here goes:

            Her hobby is collecting virtual gear for a few DOTA-figures? Because that’s what she’s been spending money on. Not playing the game.

            That’s also why the comparisons others are listing are invalid. She hasn’t been spending money on entertainment. The entertainment is free.

            So compare it with, say, a faceplate for an Xbox 360. Not an Xbox 360.

          • stupid_mcgee says:

            @ rockman29: Of course he does. Life is all about spending money to accumulate things. He who dies with the most toys, wins. You don’t want to be a loser, do you?

          • Chee42 says:

            I think the comparisons to other entertainment products are generally accurate. It’s like going to a free movie and buying popcorn and a soda, that may add to the entertainment for some people. Some people don’t like popcorn and soda and that’s totally fine, don’t buy it. The cosmetics add to some people’s enjoyment of Dota2. I play Dota2 and don’t personally buy cosmetics but just because I won’t buy them doesn’t mean I think they shouldn’t exist or that other people shouldn’t buy them. If it makes you happy go on ahead and do it.

        • frightlever says:

          “Does that make any irresponsible spending any less reprehensible,”

          And ban fun while you’re at it. Apparently you have no concept of what “reprehensible” and “irresponsible” mean, let alone how an economy works.

          By definition spare cash isn’t ear-marked for anything else, so go nuts. In fact I probably spent more than two hundred quid on nuts over the last two years, and my cheese budget would be around twice that.

          Yes, I have a cheese budget.

          • zentropy says:

            Crap this is actually pretty clever. Cheese is incredibly expensive where I live. :/

    • chiablo says:

      I think it’s wrong for you to play a game for as long as you have and not give any money to the creators and developers of it. Quit being a mooch and buy some hats!

      • toxic avenger says:

        Exactly. Look, most games I buy at launch new (because, really this is the most efficient way to reward developers/publishers for making great games you enjoy) I get on average anywhere between 25-35 hours of enjoyment. Now, over the course of several years, I have accrued over 1,400 hours on Team Fortress 2 (years, mind you). I’ve met many, many friends playing competitively and casually through this game and saved a lot of money by substituting TF2 for, say a night here or there drinking and eating out with friends, seeing a movie, etc. Now, I will never pirate a game, because when you think about it, people who think they deserve the fruits of other people’s time and effort for nothing are the biggest assholes of us all, but do some simple math: the dollar per hour of enjoyment is so rediculously low (for myself) from Valve, it’s almost a crime to pretend that the original 20 or so dollars I spent on TF2 years ago was worth it to Valve–after all the updates and balances and etc–that I feel they deserve more money than I originally spent.

        I’m not trying to sound holier than thou or posit myself as a more moral person than anyone else here. This is just what I consider “fair:” people being adequately compensated, to the best of my ability, for the work that they do.

        Colour me weird.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      You do realise this is $350 over two years? I have no interest in playing DOTA 2, or most MOBAs, but Christ, it really doesn’t seem that excessive to fund a game Philippa appears to enjoy this much. I’m honestly a little surprised at anyone who has trouble rationalising this – if you’re not being charged for the game itself, why not throw the developers something you feel is adequate recompense for the time you’ve got out of it? If it’s hundreds, even thousands of hours, why not hundreds of dollars/pounds/whatever? If it’s spread out in dribs and drabs so you can happily afford it, so much the better.

      (I really need to buy something cosmetic in Path of Exile at some point. >_> Uh, probably not $350 worth of things, though, admittedly.)

      • rockman29 says:

        RPS: the land of technicalities in comments, hurray.

        I’m not attacking her person. I am not saying she did not derive any pleasure from X Y Z digital goods she has purchased.

        “I’m not saying anything here is absolutely wrong and this person’s license to the internet should be revoked.

        I’m saying I can’t recommend anyone else do the same, and I hope no one else is inspired to do the same.

        In opposition to the author’s view, I do not find any value in the cosmetic items in Dota and I think such spending is irresponsible. Simple point of disagreement.”

        Keep in mind, I am not telling her what to do with her money. I am simply saying “this is my point of view on the subject, and it happens to be discordant with the author’s view.”

        Hopefully a disagreement on the internet is not such a shocking event that one should feel motivated to simply rationalize the original author’s actions simply because a commenter did not agree with the financial prudence of that spending.

        If possible, just point out how you feel about the Dota items like I did, rather than in such a reactionary fashion.

        In the most simple terms I can describe my feelings:

        I feel this is irresponsible spending and don’t recommend anyone else to do the same, and at the same time I cannot tell others how to spend their money.

        Oh wait, I already said that.

        • Bradamantium says:

          I don’t think anyone’s taking this quite as personally as you are. They’re simply challenging your perspective on the matter. And paragraphs are not your enemy, feel free to use a few less line breaks.

          • rockman29 says:

            Well… I mean… that’s what happens when you post something and it’s taken in every worst possible context and taken piece meal instead of as a whole.

            I think the word of the day is frustration though :P

            Oh and of course, the extra added bit you gave there, super helpful. All the sarcasm and apparently my use of lol’ing… good so long as you use it yourself :P

        • Jim9137 says:

          When you directly advise people against something, I believe it stops being your “point of view on the subject, and it happens to be discordant with the author’s view.” That kind of backtracking makes me think you should be more careful about your rhetoric in the future.

        • Lichtbringer says:

          The problem is, that you say its irresponsible spending. You are not saying its not your cup of Tea.

          Irresponsible spending sounds like, because of that 300$ over 2 years, you can’t buy food for your kids. (To read it in the worst possible way). I am sure you didn’t mean it that way, but then please don’t use the term irresponsible spending.

          Just say that you don’t see the value in it, and would rather go to the movies 30 times over 2 years, or buy beer with it, or whatever you do with 300$ over 2 years, that you don’t need for anything else, but your enjoyment^^
          Then no one will missunderstand / attack you :D

          Also irresponsible is more a objective thing, and you are implying with it that its objectivley wrong. But the only reason you give for it being objectively wrong, is totally subjective: “I personally don’t think its a good Idea”.
          If we were kinda objective, we would compare it to other things you could spend money for, how much income someone has, how much work goes into these things, and so on.

    • Skull says:

      It works out that she spent £8.95 a month on the game on average. That is about the same as a WoW subscription. Not that I am trying to say a WoW sub is money well spent.

      • rockman29 says:

        I agree there are many ways to look at this spending.

        Similarly there may be many opinions on whether or not it is financially prudent.

        I simply don’t think it is worth the money, and disagree with the author.

        While she makes a case for it being valuable to her, I am in a different boat on that subject and think for most people they might also want to hear a differing view on the subject of costume items in Dota 2.

        In my own personal view, I just feel these are digital goods not worth spending on, and of course this is in essentially complete opposition to the views of the author of this article.

        Full disclosure: I should be advocating for others to continue to use Steam marketplace since I make (small amounts of) money off of people buying my Dota items. I’m closing in on about $20 USD now for selling items. Could be another $35 if I sell another single item as well.

        But I do not, I still think it’s a waste of money and I can’t recommend anyone does it.

        • WildcardUK says:

          The difference is she explained why she did it and enjoyed the experience. You then explained why you wouldn’t do it, which is fair enough. You then implied she was irresponsible and directly said you hope no one else copies her example, which is condescending and judgemental.

          I would argue that people can spend their disposable income as they see fit and if they’re having fun doing so then good for them. It’s not for me, you or anyone else to dictate to them what they should find fun or worthwhile.

          • rockman29 says:

            When did I say any differently? I’ve stated in maybe… 3 or 4 posts now… I cannot tell people how to spend their money. But I can express that I don’t feel the same way about such spending.

            For your part, it seems odd to only rationalize one point of view. I guess the assumption is a commenter cannot be reasonable.

            First comment I made on this article by the way: “In the end it’s everyone’s personal choice. I just strong advise against this kind of behaviour and hope no one else is inspired to do the same.”

            The author may even recommend, for her own reasons, spending money on these items.

            Similarly, for my own reasons, I recommend against it.

            Somehow, only one of us is being controversial. I guess I can attribute this to the incumbent RPS author against a lowly commenter such as myself, who cannot reason or think nearly as well possibly.

            It would be much easier to simply recognize this as a basic disagreement: to think it is good or bad to spend money on cosmetic items in Dota. It really is that simple.

          • WildcardUK says:

            She said, “I like spending money on DOTA 2 cosmetics and these are the reasons why”. You said, “I don’t spend money on cosmetics because of these reasons”. That’s a difference of opinion and totally fine.

            You then said to do so was “irresponsible”. That’s negatively passing judgement on someone else’s actions. Pip didn’t do that.

            Then, to borrow your own quote, “In the end it’s everyone’s personal choice. I just strong advise against this kind of behaviour and hope no one else is inspired to do the same.” You’ve advised everyone else on what to do. Pip didn’t so that either.

            The difference between her approach and yours is why you got the responses. It is nothing to do with the fact that you have different opinions.

          • rockman29 says:

            I do think it is irresponsible. And it was a simple recommendation, not a call to arms to burn all persons who buy Dota items.. lol. In either case, I don’t think that’s a very accurate measure of the responses.

            Please take it from me…. disagreements don’t come well through text. It is not easy to communicate, and have to answer to 10 people passing judgment on the technicalities of my wording.

            If this is a forum or comment thread, or whatever it is, it is meant to be the reverberating of ideas. One aspect was disagreeing, another was stating why, another was calling it irresponsible “in my opinion.”

            That is why I responded, to offer thoughts, not for the technicalities of each post to be judged and discredited piecemeal by 10 anonymous people. Must be an old English definition of fairness I am not familiar with….

            Given what this topic was, I don’t see why my comment should be absolutely and unequivocally limited to “only” specifically what the original author has discussed. Tangents can happen. Sometimes, they might even be relevant to another person’s opinion. And yet it is still just that alone…. an opinion. A topic was given…. I gave my opinion, not just on Philippa’s article, but on the broader topic it is consulting.

            It commented to a degree more than what you might have liked. But that alone does not make it controversial or politically incorrect.

            And on that note… I’m going to play some Dota 2. Lol. Is saying lol OK now? I should get a secretary for this stuff. So much controversy over something so benign and for such a lowly RPS commenter.

    • Polifemo says:

      Some sport fans spend thousands over the years collecting sport baubles, regalia, memorabilia and even football videogames. They do it because they are passionate about their hobby. With Dota you have most of the merchadise on a single accesible store. Both sports and Dota are free to play provided you have the right equipment.

      Its not wrong to send money on your hobby.

      • rockman29 says:

        I didn’t say it was wrong. I said I don’t recommend people to do the same on Dota 2. I also said I can’t tell people how to spend their money.

        Just presenting a differing opinion to the author. Again, I hope a disagreement on the internet is not so shocking.

        As well as disclosing that persons could easily describe my spending habits on videogames in general as excessive. And I could agree with that or disagree with that, depending on the day :)

        As another person part of the same universe in which the article’s author occupies, and who also happens to play Dota 2, just presenting an opinion about the same topic that others, who might be looking for another view on the same subject, may be interested in.

        This is the beauty of opinions: there’s probably more than one.

        And just as the author has a right to express that opinion through penning this article, I am simply making mine own comment on the same subject.

        • Polifemo says:

          Your “That’s… not good… lol.” and “Spending over $300 is hard to describe as anything but financially irresponsible.” implied you find it wrong or incredulous. Maybe its the attitude or tone in which you wrote it but the overall impression is one of you shaking your head at someone else with a mocking grin. It must be the “lol” part.

          You are welcome to disagree on the internet. The problem is the way in which you disagree.

          • rockman29 says:

            You know those times where “all the emotions in the world” cannot be interpreted through text alone? This could be one of those times.

            Oh well, so much judgment upon a lowly commenter such as myself… keep in mind you’ve taken about 1% fraction of the words in my post… and then judged it to be politically incorrect.

            In any case, I do find it incredulous though. I do feel $300 is a lot of money, and in this instance, excessive. I happen to disagree with the author (hopefully we’ve established that disagreements are not uncommon on the internet).

            And yet I still also said… I can’t tell anyone how to spend their money at the end of the day.

            Though I find it kind of incredulous as well that you are passing judgment so strongly upon some simple wording of my post. It is a little too easy to play the “politically correct card” and maybe you’ll agree, unfair as well.

            A little less technical, a little more effort in understanding one another perhaps?

            But I am just the lowly RPS commenter, and not the incumbent RPS author, so I don’t expect much, it’s alright :)

        • Ginger Yellow says:

          I didn’t say it was wrong. I said I don’t recommend people to do the same on Dota 2. I also said I can’t tell people how to spend their money.

          But that’s literally what you’re doing – telling other people how to spend their money. Specifically saying they shouldn’t spend it on DotA cosmetics.

      • kwyjibo says:

        At what point does it stop being passionate and start being mental illness?

        (It’s OK, I think it’s way north of a few hundred pounds)

        I’ve not spent any money on free to play but I appreciate the suckers that do.

        • Sleepy Will says:

          At the point where it starts to have negative effects on your life, and/or the lives of others. I don’t mean, “Oh, I spent £10 on digital hats, now I can’t go to the chippy on Friday like normal”, I mean “now I can’t afford adequate nutrition for myself this week”, and even then, it would have to be sustained week after week to be referred to a doctor and then there are strict guidelines that define whether someone has a mental illness or not, for example, you do not have PTSD by definition if you do not have intrusive thoughts about the traumatising event. So if you fit one of the pathologies, say, you are a manic depressive or you have an obsessive compulsion that leads you to buying this stuff, then the treatment is there and you have a mental heath issue. If you don’t meet the guidelines for any disorder, then it could be that you were simply brought up and taught (by not only your parents, but your environment also) not to prioritise your spending, which frankly is not a mental health disorder, it requires a bit of therapy, CBT or ACT principally to support you getting your life into order at worst.

          There is the slimmest of chances that you have a previously unknown mental health disorder that slips through the cracks, but that’s a one in a billion chance, give or take.

    • Leb says:

      Who are you to decide what is worth it for someone else? If you derive no value from changing your in game cosmetics – don’t!

      Live and let live.

    • Jexiah8bit says:

      It is only irresponsible if you cannot afford it – whether in the short term or the long.

    • GirlzRKool says:

      I gotcha bruv.

      These sub-comments are odd. You expressed your opinion, didn’t read nothing attacking in yr reasoning. Read as a “to each his own” thing to me; good!

      This aggression will not stand, man.

      • drewski says:

        I think it’s the tone that’s irking people rather than the content of his message. OP comes across quite judgementally.

        I mean, I don’t play DOTA and have spent the total sum of zero dollars and zero cents on cosmetic items for games (I do occasionally buy trading cards on Steam, but only with money made from selling them) and I still found the post unnecessarily judgemental.

        When you say “I don’t recommend doing this” and “this is irresponsible” you’re a) assuming you have a right to advise people on their decisions and b) assuming you have the right to make judgements about how appropriate someone else’s actions are.

        Maybe it’s lost in translation, but if you did that at a dinner party, for example, you would be considered exceptionally rude.

        “I’m sorry, I don’t see the value in purchasing this brand of cheese over other brands which are available. You are just paying for marketing. This is irresponsible. I don’t recommend doing this.”

        Your host will not be impressed by your fine grasp of intrinsic value.

    • ishmokin says:

      IMO, it’s all about luxury. Some people would like to spend money on expensive restaurants, expensive designer clothes, and other luxuries. To those with disposable income, spending money on a game like Dota 2 is nothing. It’s not an investment, its really just a luxury.

      It’s so easy to blow money on a night out clubbing and drinking for entertainment, why not on hobby like dota 2 or hearthstone?

      so its really not that bad. for hours of entertainment and involvement in a hobby which can even save you money had you used it on some other luxurious activity which could cost way more.

      And if you even ‘invest’ on the right stuff online, you sometimes make some money back. This applies to dota 2 because items are tradeable and have rarity which can create value due to supply and demand.

    • says:

      I’ve seen others like the author, but I could not spend that much money on a game and feel good about it.

      I have spent a total of about $20 on Dota 2, and that is only because I bought both TI Compendiums. I have purchased a few items from the market (cheaply), but it’s all been with steam wallet money I made from selling cards and items anyway. (making and spending fake money)

      So, yeah… some people might not understand how I could pour hundreds of hours into Dota 2. At the same time, I can’t understand why people pour hundreds of dollars into it. It makes zero sense to me. Then again, I have never been the completionist / get-all-the-things kind of player.

    • lexies says:

      150$ / year is not a lot. A meal at a decent restaurant is ~45-50$ …same goes if you want to go to a movie (25-30$) and oftenly you get more enjoyment from a game of dota than you get from watching a movie

      But then again it depends on your financial status. If you’re an angry polish dude who works for ~3£ a day you might find 150$/year a lot…

  5. Hydraulic Meerkat says:

    Bought all my DOTA 2 items from other users on the Steam marketplace for a fraction of the price, instead of buying them full price from the store, and make no apologies.

    • Gnoupi says:

      About same, yes. No need for apologies, though, as Steam still get money on the way.

  6. Polifemo says:

    To all those shaking their heads in disbelief that someone would spend that much money on cosmetics for a free game:
    Some people have disposable income they can spend it on whatever they want.
    Yes all that money could have gone into a new game with hours and hours of playtime. But if you are playing Dota as a hobby then its perfectly ok to spend money on that hobby (epecially since you are gonna be playing more Dota than you will some other game or as time filler in-between playing other games).
    Not to mention the money spent is on small amounts sometimes even less than a dollar (and even less thanks to the market feature which also lets you sell the hats you dont want anymore or the free hats that drop when you level up so you can buy the hats you want or other games with them) its just that it adds up over time (which can be years at this point). Just think of how much money WoW players have spent on that game through subscriptions.

    This all gets amplified when you add the social factor since you got friends to gift cosmetics or to brag about your cosmetics or whatever. In toher words having friends to play with is an incentive to spend more money.
    Its far more complex than “Im gonna spend a shitload of money on wizard hats” and presuming to form an educated opinion on it without understanding the whole situation is silly. You are welcome to still find it silly afterwards of course, as I am welcome to find the amount of money people spend on WoW silly.

    • rockman29 says:

      I agree there are many angles to look at the issue of purchasing digital goods, whether in Dota 2 or any other game or service.

      More disclosure: I’m absolutely certain someone could tell me I waste inordinate amounts of money on games in general.

      I can both disagree and even agree with that, depending on the day :)

    • Banyan says:

      I’m a notorious cheapskate, but Dota 2 finally broke me with this year’s Compendium, then a few player cards and points to upgrade my compendium, and then I went and outright bought the cape for Windrunner for 50 cents,and then I decided I might as well grab a neat ward, and I just grabbed the Bastion announcer for 60 cents. So that’s less than $20 on a game I played for 250 matches spread out over more than a year. If I was one of those players that average two or more games a day, I shudder to think of how much cash I would drop to further individualize my gaming experience.

      In contrast, I’ve spent $150-200 on games through GOG, Humble Bundle and Steam sales that I haven’t even installed, nevertheless played. I feel a lot sillier about that than my awesome Windrunner cape.

      • Polifemo says:

        The items with autographs of famous scene personalities probably broke many other wallets. Then you get announcers with the likes of the Bastion narrator, Glados, Dr. Kleiner, an affable pirate, etc. Then theres the hwole wards and courier thing.
        It ends up being things far more meaningful than just hats (Even if that hat happens to make your hero from the devil into a Gundam) even if functionally they are the same as “hats”.

        • Gnoupi says:

          The Stanley Parable announcer. Buy it and never need another one.

  7. Wulfram says:


    I spent £3 getting preferred status for SW:tOR. It still felt kind of silly, and I still haven’t spent the points because nothing available seems like it’s worth something that cost actual money..

    • johnDooe says:

      Your first mistake was playing swtor and caving in to get prefer status. They got your ass now.

  8. meepmeep says:

    For comparison, I have been playing the “living card game” Android: Netrunner since its launch ~20 months ago, and to keep up with it you have to buy a new pack of cards approximately every month – to date this is about £230 at RRP.

    Totally worth it for the amount of sociable fun I’ve got out of it.

    I do get to hold the physical cards, though.

  9. U-99 says:

    This whole “hat economy” sounds crazy to me, spending money on things you can’t actually hold or use in any reasonable way. But it works. Very clever psychological trick from Gabe Newell.

    • Bury The Hammer says:

      You could say the same about the Steam games themselves. You can’t really hold them in any reasonable way. But people derive pleasure from having bought them. And if the developer has helped foster a fun community where people don’t mind paying a bit to show off, then power to them.

      Live and let live. Sometimes people like a few shiny baubles. $300 over two years is not really that much money when you compare to how some people treat new gadgets or clothes or whatever, which also are basically just there to show off.

    • bill says:

      You could say the same about the real fashion industry. People spending huge amounts on items that they don’t need and that tend to be just for display / self-image.

      Not sure that virtual fashions are really much different.

      • Lichtbringer says:

        Totally agree, I see no diffrence between real Fashion and Digital.

  10. WildcardUK says:

    My Steam profile tells me I’ve spent about £120 on DOTA 2 but I know I’ve inflated that figure by selling free drops I didn’t like on the market and then buying things in game with the credit. I’d guess I’ve actually spent £40-£50.

    It is by far my most played game ever and, if nothing else, the best example of a Free to Play business model I’ve come across. For those two reasons I’ll show some wallet support in the hope that their success causes others to learn from the example. If it gets me a ticket to a couple of big tournaments and some pretty capes to parade in game too, then so much the better.

    • Lichtbringer says:

      I think thats also a very valid point. The Monetization Model of Dota2 is so fucking fair, its unbelievable.

      All Heroes for free, all day every day. No runes/artifacts or bullshit like that. You get even the cosmetics by PLAYING and you can TRADE them for what you WANT! Plus the actuall prices to buy something are really fair if you go to the market. And absolutly nothing you can buy (or even unlock ingame) that would change the gameplay in anyway, I think I don’t even have to mention.

      WTF. I want this for every single game out there. (And I think LoL is also fair, but this Dota2 is just crazy fair!) I almost got a heartattack when I saw a technicwebsite reporting about the International, and made Dota2 look like P2W.)

      So I totally thinks its fine to spend any crazy amount you want on this game, just to support the businessmodel and bring it to other games. (btw, steam says i’ve spend 16,92$, does it take into account market purchases? When I hear you could look it up, I first feared I spent 60$+ now I think I should maybe buy me some nice things :D)

  11. tomek says:

    I also spend money on games that i enjoy, its only fair.

  12. Carbonated Dan says:

    I bought a fezzle feez during ti3 last year
    watching him waddle about with his little hat and carpet brings me pleasure
    I’m pretty sure the young czech man i bought him off enjoyed the $120
    and I’m certain valve value their cut

    I’m not suggesting anyone be compelled to spend as much as myself or pippa but please be aware that how consumers spend money affects how an industry grows (or doesn’t). Consumers rewarding valve’s (relatively) open marketplace and community over Riot’s monopoly or EA’s regurgitated franchises are shaping an industry they benefit from. (or, if you disagree, spend elsewhere or not at all, however you see fit)

    So while people may choose to be reckless with their personal finances (and I’m sure noone needs telling how important those monies are) please don’t anyone be discouraged from spending on products which have purely personal value, expenditure expresses that value very well.

  13. Ejia says:

    Ragnarok Online has killed my appreciation for running around to get hats for personalization a long time ago. No more tiger feet for me.

  14. TormDK says:

    350 USD over two years is chump change.

  15. Arglebargle says:

    If I play a free game alot, I try to find something to buy. Folks who do a good job should get rewarded. I’ve got a load of friends who work in the games industry, so that probably effects my opinion some. They’re not going to get much from me, not that well off here, but those developers deserve it. Funny hat, color palette, pet, etc, whatever strikes your fancy; it’s just a nod to their hard work.

  16. thefinalclue says:

    Everyone is spazzing over his 370$ but in only 972 game hours Ive managed to rack up a total of $496.19 USD in the game. its a fun game, and if you have the money and take it seriously enough why not contribute to the hard work developers put in and the people who design the items?

  17. Sonny Bonds - Lytton PD says:

    I just watched someone give $500+ to WATCH someone play doto on twitch so…

    Dont know what my point is exactly other than my mind is blown. I need to get some folks to pay me hundreds of dollars to play a game.

    • fish99 says:

      I don’t get people who throw money at already successful twitch streamers. It’s pretty obvious if you watch a successful streamer (someone who regularly gets 2000+ viewers) that they’re doing better financially that 99% of their viewers.

      If you really feel the need to give them money, just subscribe and leave it at that. Sending hundreds of dollars to someone who is obviously already making a mint from the combination of ads, the sub program and their own sponsors, it doesn’t make sense.

      Donating to small channels who are struggling to make ends meet, to keep them on air making that content you enjoy, that at least I can understand.

  18. Hmm-Hmm. says:

    You know what, I think I’ll stick with League. Seems like they do have a better monetisation scheme as far as I’m concerned.

    • thefinalclue says:

      League, you pay up to 20$ for a whole new look, while Dota if you use the shop you can mismatch items to Create a whole new look you like for half that cost. I’ve spent over 100$ on both games, but i prefer how Dota’s items/appearance works. given you can always zoom in by pressing “y” to go next to your character too. Its your opinion but i still believe Dota is a lot more versatile.

    • Distec says:

      What, because Valve allows you to buy too many hats lolwtf

    • Leb says:

      Dota 2 – every champion free off the bat. Loads of optional customization that you can get for a few bucks a piece
      League – either grind to get champions, or pay out the ass for them. Pay 5-20 dollars to customize them.

      Yeah… better monetization scheme….

    • Gnoupi says:

      A skin for a champion in LoL : around 5 euros if on sale or not popular. Then 10 for most others. And 20 for legendary ones.

      A Skin for a champion in Dota2 : about 3 euros for most, bought from the market, and it actually drops randomly (meaning you can sell the ones you don’t want for the ones you do).

      No need to unlock champions, no “runes” to buy in Dota, as well.
      More nice stuff to buy in Dota2 (announcers, hud, etc)

      Don’t get me wrong, I spent countless hours on LoL, and enjoyed it. But I really prefer the way Dota2 monetizes.

    • milton says:

      Pros and Cons.

      I like League’s monetization scheme because basically I spend $15 of RP, and I’ll get skins that can change effects and it’s a whole package thing. Cool particles, cool textures but you don’t get much more customization than: pick skin, play skin but thematically you get more per skin than you’d usually get for a set in Dota 2, particularly ones without custom effects. Skins and wards are basically the only thing you can change, so it’s limited in that regard to. Also RP sucks balls. Also you can’t resell skins unless you go through dodgyville but then you’re selling your whole account.

      Dota 2 gives much more customization generally for cheaper if you’re not looking for the swanky gear. The problem is that there’s items that basically don’t give you any noticeable difference and the exclusivity of the system means that if there’s a really cool item you like, you either fork up or you give up. I wish we could all have a dragonclaw hook but unfortunately unless you’re willing to sink in the $250 approx. then you’re basically never gonna have one. The customization goes far though. Announcers, loading screens, wards, weather, special particle effects, everything is up for change and that’s pretty cool. The market makes things easy and accessible too, and although it’s a drawback that items will become more expensive then they originally were a lot of items end up in the bargain bin level of affordable. Also using something that basically functions exactly like real currency is cool and none of this made up pretend dollars (even if steam wallet money is ‘pretend’ money).

    • says:

      League’s system is pretty much why I never want to play it.

      Just give me everything anytime I want like Dota 2 allows.

  19. Emeraude says:

    Stat tracking gems which can be added to items are also pretty straightforward. They let you keep an eye on things like how many kills you get or how many wards you buy. You just pick a stat you’re interested in tracking for a hero and add it to an item equipped by that hero.

    I’m feeling old. The fact that its supplemental and you have to pay for it, and not part of the game – even knowing the base is free – just boggles my mind really.

    I guess I’ll never be a part of that market. Doesn’t make sense to me. Or well, it does, but I don’t like what I understand.

    • Banyan says:

      It’s worth pointing out that a lot of F2P games try to get you hooked by getting you invested in your account numbers going up – higher level, more powerful weapon, faster vehicle, etc. Since every match is reset to zero in Dota, that system doesn’t work. The only ‘account level’ metrics that matter are your MMR, which you can improve only by playing well, and your ‘account level’ which is just a reward for putting time into the game. You get a guaranteed cosmetic every time you level up.

      For example, If I get a random drop of a gem to socket and track the times I’ve “walrus punched”, that is useless to me unless I’m playing the character Tusk, who has that ability. However, if I specialize in Tusk, I’m much more likely to be invested in showing off the hundred of time I’ve walrus punched an opponent. (You can open a window showing other players’ cosmetics in game, so the socketed gem basically allows Tusk imagine other players checking him out and being like “that dude plays a lot of Tusk.”) So for 95% of regular players, any given gem counter is totally pointless. But for 5%, it’s worth the 45 cents to buy it on the marketplace and socket it into a wearable cosmetic item, which you’ll probably end up buying as well. I don’t even consider that exploitative; making the players who care the most pay a few dozen cents to get bragging rights for their favorite characters is an unbelievably low key F2P business model.

  20. Borsook says:

    On one hand it is a fair amount of money spent considering the time played… one the other it saddens me, at it shows that this F2P works and I find it to be one of the worst things that happened to gaming (mostly due to the how it seduces devs and temps them to try and abuse it). Personally I can imagine myself sending 200 on a game I love, but I would never spend 0.2 on a F2P game. To this day no F2P or subscription based game got a cent from me.

    • Leb says:

      I mean the redeeming factor in D2 is.. it’s a market. You can buy, sell, etc pretty much anything.

      If you are not OP, you can just stack up items for free by playing and make a few dollars here and there. (between CS and Dota 2 I always have spare change in my steam wallet)

    • Eight Rooks says:

      Conversely, thoughts like yours make me sad (angry, too, but mostly just a bit sad) – you explicitly say you’d pay $200 or whatever for a game, but the mere presence of those three little letters instantly makes it the work of the devil. Oh, you paid a fat stack of bills for a game you’ve played for thousands of hours and enjoyed as much as, or more than anything else you do for entertainment? Awesome! Wait a minute… you didn’t have to pay? There was no formal contract specifically laying out a set sum of money you had to exchange? You just paid what you thought it was worth, for as long as you kept having fun with it? What wickedness is this???

      I’ll be judgemental with this one: this is dumb, end of story. Again, I’ve got no real interest in playing DOTA 2, but knowing that I can have the game for free and then spend whatever I like on it to show my appreciation for what Valve have done seems like a perfectly valid way of doing business to me. So, what, it should be $200 or $300 or $1000 or whatever with all the cosmetics included or something? Because that suddenly seems far less sensible.

    • Bishop says:

      I’ve always never spent any money on a F2P game until Dota 2 came along. While I’m no where near Pippa’s spend I did purchase tournament tickets because I wanted to support the idea of e-sports being a real serious thing. That and they had a cool bird voodoo outfit for Witch Doctor at only 40p and I made £8 off those weird card drops you get for every game now. None of it changes the game play so it could hardly be called exploitive and it’s not really Valve making these costumes it’s other members of the community.

  21. Talon says:

    I have a courier worth over $1000 USD. I’m getting active trade offers for it every day. Such is life?

    • SAM-site says:

      I own a Coca Cola can that I retrieved from a vending machine in 1991 that was sealed but completely empty. “Spooky”, thought I at the time and decided to keep it as some kind of cola-related talisman.

      A few years later a sagely acquaintance asked me about it, and I regaled him with my tale ending it by saying “It’s probably worth a fair chunk of cash to a collector.” He turned to me and asked whether I would ever sell it, to which, after contemplation, I replied “Probably not.”

      “Then,” he observed, “It has no monetary value.”

      The moral of my story, such as it is, is to sell your courier my friend and embrace that it has potential value now. Or keep it. Like some kind of beast-of-burden-related talisman.

    • derbefrier says:

      sell it, SELL It NOW before people wake up and realize this stuff really isnt worth 1000 bucks :)

  22. plsgodontvisitheforums_ says:

    Hah, you’re craaaazy that’s so much money it’s just for digital content!!! And why the hell are there Hearthstone banners on all the sites I visit!?



  23. Hypnotron says:

    I think one of the interesting takeaways from this article is that ANYONE is susceptible to spending “too much” money on a game. And I think this idea is something we all kinda feel and know subconsciously and this incredible economic POTENTIAL is what fuels F2P design.

    • Emeraude says:

      One issue I think is that we’re coming so dangerously close from a cognitive standpoint to what could amount to predatory practices – maybe undeniably would if just changing some element of the context – and addiction that it makes a lot of people NOT involved uncomfortable.

    • lexies says:

      150$ / year is not a lot. A meal at a decent restaurant is ~45-50$ …same goes if you want to go to a movie (25-30$) and oftenly you get more enjoyment from a game of dota than you get from watching a movie

      But then again it depends on your financial status. If you’re an angry polish dude who works for ~3£ a day you might find 150$/year a lot…

  24. Juan Carlo says:

    This article reads like an advertisement for Valve. It’s one long self-justification, which ends up just justifying F2P economies in general. Kind of disappointed RPS wouldn’t opt for something a bit more self-critical.

    • Eight Rooks says:

      Yeah, because they’ve got an obligation to beat themselves up for us, right? Because F2P is rotten to the core, and they should be doing everything possible to kill it with fire, right? Oh, no, wait, no they don’t, it isn’t, and they shouldn’t. I’d have liked to read someone talk about playing DOTA 2 and not spending anything, I admit, but not because DOING ANYTHING ELSE WOULD BE SHAMEFUL or any of that crap, I’m just curious to see how many or what kind(s) of people ignore the cosmetic stuff altogether. But that’s not what this piece was about, it was just one person’s thoughts on her own spending habits, so no big deal.

  25. Eight Rooks says:

    I am honestly curious how many people reading this article – lurking or commenting – are now considering playing DOTA 2 for the first time and spending some money on cosmetic items, just to drive up the blood pressure of all the “lol does baby want some dresses 4 his silly dolls” and “my goodness I don’t approve of that” types a little bit further.

    (I can’t be the only one.)

  26. HadToLogin says:

    Thank you for proving PC Gaming I want to play (rich single player games) is doomed to (hopefully not rubbish) console ports.

    If only I could learn how to use pad in shooters I wouldn’t even run my PC to play new games again. Guess it’s time to start training and buying PS3…

    • Distec says:

      You’re a ridiculous person.

      • HadToLogin says:


        But name 5 not-ported not-Kickstarted PC games from 2013 worth playing.

        Console players (especially PS3 players) would do that in sleep.

    • Thants says:

      Sure, the existence of multiplayer game ruins single player games for you. Also the existence of a console version. And Kickstarter, somehow.

      • HadToLogin says:

        Like I asked higher, name 5 big made-with-PC-in-mind, not-ported games that weren’t made thanks to kickstarter in 2013.

        It will be piece of cake for console players. But on PC? Big-names either make F2P multiplayer games or ports. Is that bad? If we’ll get good ports, it’s ok. But if they will try to sell them using lines such as “you can set keys” then no.

        There are so many games I would love to pay-and-play – unfortunately they are MMOs, so I’ll never check TOR or new TES or many others.

  27. Hunchback says:

    I have over 1k hours on DOTA2 now, and have spent exactly 0 $ on it. I’ve actually made about 8 euros and bought a game with that money.

    Thanks to everyone out there, who spends their cash on a free game, that way i can buy other (not-free) games with your money while still fulyl enjoying DOTA!

    • ishmokin says:

      good for you!

      And guess what, Dota 2 alone is like one big advertisement to lure gamers to the Steam store to buy games. And guess what , Valve still made money off of you . :D

      The house always wins ;-D

      think about it :D

  28. sleepisthebrotherofdeath says:

    What?? This is awful! I can’t believe someone would do this … buy a Boots meal deal !! Have you no sense of taste

  29. Bishop says:

    I didn’t know a journalist could even earn £215 over two years.

  30. deadlyRemorse says:

    Yayyyy, found someone like me who spends money to electronic shit cool stuff.

  31. derbefrier says:

    yeah i have spent just over 300 bucks on star Citizen..a game thats not even fully released yet so dont feel bad.
    I didn’t spend that 300 bucks all at once either. I started with just 40 the minimum pledge for the game and alpha access. I then slowly upgraded over the next few months to one of the expensive packages and then later bought another ship. I have also spent over 200 bucks in HOTAS and rudder pedals for this video game that isnt released yet. This has all been an ongoing process since the game was announced. Now i am thinking of getting some TrackIR as there are rumors it will be in he game soon.

    I have spent money in LoL when i played it, I purchased a supporter pack in Path of Exile when i was playing it alot, hell i have even spent some money in KOTOR’s shop when i played it for a bit a few months ago. Its not irresponsible if you can afford it, its not bad, it just is what it is i guess. I manage my money pretty well I got moeny in the bank in case of emergencies I work a lot of overtime to support my spending habits because i wouldnt ba able to afford all of this stuff otherwise. Its worth it to me and that really all that matters. Its not like my friends dont look at me like I am crazy when i tell them how much i have spent on Star Citizen but i dont give a shit. I enjoy it and thats all that matters.

  32. MellowKrogoth says:

    Games take an insane amount of money to develop, they gobble up millions like no tomorrow. So I think we can all be thankful that some people spend some money on them (if we want free to play games to exists), though this amount doesn’t even amount to a WoW subscription over two years, does it?

    What I don’t like in the free to play ecosystem is the people who have the means to spend something and don’t do it, and are all smug about it, or maybe even insult people who do spend. They think they’re smarter than the spenders and that they good a super good deal out of the whole thing, and are seemingly unable to understand that they compromise the existence of the game they enjoy. Those people are likely to behave like assholes in-game anyways, so I’m not even sure they add any kind of value by their presence other than player count.

    I was gonna say how in the end free-to-play seems to bring out the worst in people, from gambling-like addictions to entitlement, and that maybe we should move back to paying up front for the game… but then I remembered how Call of Duty players behave. So… yeah.

  33. gu3st says:

    I have spent over $1500 on DOTA 2 items.

  34. Senex says:

    I’m not going to get into the arguments or different points of view. Who are you to tell someone what to spend, or not spend their money on. I simply want to say this: To each his own.

  35. RawBlare says:

    With regards to this topic I always think of it as ‘I’m paying for art’. I’m an artist n I love most art-related stuff. Possibly my favourite type of artwork is character design, it’s one of the main things that drew me to DotA – seeing my roommates playing with their fancy Windrunner sets for hours n hours – before that, even as an avid gamer, I always thought “RTS and MOBA (or whatever DotA is) are the last things I’ll play.”

    Let me tell you, in my community, especially in the past, paying for games when you could get it for free/pirated is/was absurd and if not, don’t get it at all, the arrival of torrents were a godsend to us but now I actually know a handful of people (including myself) that buy things on Steam and in DotA and that’s one of the main reasons I wanna support Steam as well. Customization is very important to me in certain types of games and when I buy an in-game item (say for DotA) I don’t think of Valve or whatever, my heartfelt appreciation goes straight to the designer(s) or artist(s) and I see it as buying their artwork (which is one of the only things I’m happy to spend money on, along with food), I could say the same about games as a whole. I think this artist’s perspective is the main difference between those who appreciate things and those who see everything as a way for businesses to take their holy money.

    Someone mentioned something about expenditure that doesn’t ‘give you any advantages’ being a bad thing, this reminds me of my friend who just started DotA (as their first moba, like me) and was asking me why you can’t buy gold and items and whatnot during a match with real money, it made me laugh out loud but I was also really dissapointed that someone actually WANTS a game to be pay-2-win and I hope that’s not what the other person meant either, for free-2-play games I only like to spend on customization otherwise I probably won’t play the game (especially if PVP is involved) :/

    I tend to spend but I don’t spend a lot at all, I do like it when revenue for such a project as an F2P game is acquired through well-made merchandise n such (garnering genuine interest) rather than tricking you into playing and then cutting your game off to ‘ask for an extravagant tip’ or something.