Hey, kids, you like random cosmetic rewards, right? The latest patch currently in testing for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds adds two new crates that can drop when you spend BP on a crate drop, and one of them requires a (paid) key to open. The other can be opened for free. Within both crates are a number of new cosmetic items, some of which have an astonishing 0.01% drop rate in the free crate. That means that on average, you would need to open 10,000 crates to see one of these things drop.
A helpful examination of other games with cosmetic crates reveals that those games tend to top out at one best-possible drop closer to once every 10 loot boxes opened. It’s also far easier or cheaper to get those boxes. Granted, we don’t yet know how much the keys for the paid crate are going to cost, and the drop rates are slightly better in the paid box (the rarest paid item has a 0.16% drop rate), but it’s still the sort of gouging for single items that is unlikely to sit well with anyone once the numbers are made clear.
At least the drop rates are right in the patch notes. That’s helpful.
Have you found yourself playing Master x Master
and thinking that the game was just too darn generous with currency? Probably not, but then, you aren’t NCsoft
and thus trying to derive a profit from the game. A new post on the official site
explains that the studio believes the game was giving out too much SOL (the currency earned just from play) and not offering enough advantage to players using X-Coins (the currency bought for real money). So the economy is changing.
Nightmare mode will no longer cost SOL, X-Coin prices on unlocking Masters will go down, and SOL costs for most Master items will go up. The stated reason is that players were earning too much progress for free and there was a severe imbalance, but the Reddit thread in response is full of players who feel unlocking Masters is already expensive and making their items more expensive just limits the game for no player benefits.
However you feel about the changes, you’ll want to spend your SOL before September 13th, when the changes are set to roll out to everyone regardless of opinion.
Shock! Dismay! The prices for Brazilian and Russian players have risen for Final Fantasy XIV
! But to confuse the issue a little further, they’ve risen to… just about the same level as everyone else pays worldwide. According to the official statement on the forums
, this was simply a result of adjusting the pricing exchanges for different currencies, making sure that everyone worldwide is paying about the same amount.
Player outrage over the issue is unsurprisingly at peak volume, with the two main points of contention being that the adjustments were not announced ahead of time in any format (and indeed, even Square-Enix’s own staff seems to have been somewhat surprised) and that the price adjustment fails to take into account different incomes in different regions. It’s not the first time in recent days that we’ve seen some dispute over localized pricing for different regions, which if nothing else goes to show the difficulty in operating a global game with servers open to all regions.
How cheap does a VR headset and motion controller have to be before you’ll consider purchasing it? Facebook is hoping the answer to that question is right around $400, it seems, as the company is dropping the price of the Oculus Rift and its associated motion controller to $400 for the moment. That makes this the cheapest VR headset on the market, at least for as long as the price cut lasts.
The price drop in question is officially just a temporary drop to see how the headset performs, but it may well become permanent if this is what finally motivates people to buy headsets in large numbers. The Oculus Rift previously cut prices back in March, so this is a rather quick turnaround on further drops; feel free to add your own doom-and-gloom explanation in the comments, if you like. Let’s not forget that Oculus lost a founder and has been embroiled in legal troubles for most of the year.
Players are making more in-game money in Black Desert
than they were a year ago. Part of that is just, you know, a year to refine processes; the other part is that new mechanics have been added making it easier to make money. As a result, the supply and demand for cash shop items has gotten a little bit skewed compared to where it started. The developers are addressing this imbalance by increasing the silver prices on cash shop items by 50% across the board
The change won’t be rolled out until July 19th, so you’ve got a little time to plan any upcoming purchase that might otherwise be affected. Of course, this announcement is in the form of a forum post, so you can see player responses unfolding in real time, and to the surprise of probably no one they’re overwhelmingly negative and filled with accusations about pay-to-win. We leave that determination up to time and our readers.
Whether you love or loathe the early access survival sandbox genre, you’ve got Dean Hall’s DayZ to thank for it, although he’s had far less luck with recent titles. Still, history affords him a bit of extra credibility when he talks about the nascent genre, and he took to the online spaces to decry the recent price hike for ARK: Survival Evolved ahead of the game’s launch. The price increase was cited specifically as being “****ing outrageous” and he claimed that the only possible motive for increasing the price was greed.
Hall went on a further tear stating that the game is nowhere near ready for a release and that the obligation of the developers is to remain in early access until the game reaches a higher standard of quality, which Twitter followers have pointed out is something Hall himself did not do with DayZ. We leave it as an exercise to the reader to decide whether Hall is raising legitimate complaints or kvetching about nothing.
Your pounds won’t carry you quite as far in League of Legends
at this point. The game’s prices for Riot Points (i.e., the currency you use to purchase everything else in the game) will be increasing on July 25th by roughly 20%
. Developer Riot Games
has stated that this is in direct response to the falling value of the pound and its consistently lower value following the unexpected Brexit vote a year ago; while altering prices was hardly an original goal, after a year went by and the pound remained low, it was time to make the change.
The silver lining (of sorts) is that players should still receive the same points from a single purchase as they would if they converted from dollars to pounds and then purchased a point bundle, so it’s more about parity than just hurting gamers in the UK. Any points bought before July 25th will be unaffected, so if you want to stock up, now may be the time to do so.
A couple of years ago, The Force Awakens introduced us to (among other things) a lightsaber that looks poorly made, like a little kid made it
. So Star Wars: The Old Republic
added a version of it to a lockbox, and everyone got pissy. Then it got added to direct sales
, and everyone got pissy.
Including me! Except, in my case, not because I feel like one side or the other is being hard done by. No, it’s that rare situation wherein I consider pretty much everyone involved to be whining about something that really requires not the slightest bit of whining. Yes, everyone here is being dumb and I am on absolutely no one’s side here. Except for the side of tegu.
As such, I’ve compiled my thoughts briefly below, with sections dedicated to both “sides” of the debate and all of the people who are mad. I’ve also included a few pictures of big old lizards because I was told that I couldn’t write an entire column about liking lizards and I can be petulant, too. So if you don’t care about this debate, check out some lizard pictures. That’d be fun.
When Star Wars: The Old Republic
first introduced the Unstable Arbiter’s Lightsaber with one of its random item packs, players were unhappy about it. It was a highly desirable item locked behind an uncomfortable amount of random chance, which is bad enough in and of itself, but it was also
being advertised as if it were common. Bit unfair, that. So now you can, in fact, buy the lightsaber directly
, the first time that a high-rarity reward from an item pack has been available for purchase directly from the game’s store.
The down side, of course, is that it’s pricey. Sixty bucks for a lightsaber pricey.
The rationale is that this will, hopefully, preserve the rarity of the item (and the sense of it being either very expensive or a very lucky drop) while also making it directly available to fans who want it. Naturally, no one is happy about this, either. Expect a similar reaction in a few weeks when everyone just gets a half-dozen unstable lightsabers for logging in and the people who had already acquired one are unhappy about having their work ruined.
Do you know people who would love to hook themselves up with VR headsets but balk a bit at the price? Oculus is making it a little cheaper to get in with its latest price drop. The Oculus Rift headset is dropping to $499 and the Touch controllers are going down to $99, placing a bundle of both at $598 and saving you $200 over the launch price. The official statement from the company is that the lowered price is still “sustainable” for the company, implying that the hardware is not being sold at a loss at this point.
Whether or not the lowered price will lead to more sales is likely to remain an open question for some time, but that’s clearly the intent. There are no announcements about a new generation of VR hardware, so it’s clear that the company is doubling down on having cheaper hardware to bring in more users. If the $200 drop makes it just rich enough for your blood, then you’ve got some purchase planning to do.
Are you confused by the Paladins Founder’s Packs for sale right now? “No,” you answer, “they’re quite straightforward; you’ve got the entry-level tier available, then the middle tier, and the most expensive one with the largest amount of gewgaws. It’s quite simple.” However, in this hypothetical scenario you never get to finish that explanation, because midway through your “no” the person who asked you cuts you off by revealing that the people at Hi-Rez Studios are simplifying the packs down to just one option instead of three confusing options.
At this point, you would likely begin protesting that “three tiers” isn’t confusing, but you’ve also probably sussed out that your participation in this conversation is optional.
The new Founder’s Pack will have a $19.99 price tag and is within spitting distance of the current $20 Founder’s Pack in terms of contents, so you can also look at this change as being more about removing the higher tiers. The other packs are still available until January 12th, however, with all three types on sale until January 9th (which would be today). So if you want to get more of the goodies available through a higher-tier pack, act now.
The writers over at Blizzard Watch have unearthed information that may point to plans for Diablo III to go free-to-play on PC. Earlier this week, the normal option to buy the game for $19.99 on the Blizzard store was temporarily replaced by a broken link with a price of “Free to level 70.” Blizzard’s official response on twitter claimed that the price change was “just a display bug,” and that it was accidentally pointing to the Chinese beta version of the game, which currently has a free-to-play level cap of 70.
Fans have continued to speculate on how this business model could could apply to the western market. Diablo III already has a free trial that limits players to Act 1 zones and a maximum level of 12, and that could easily be increased to level 70. The interesting thing is that level 70 is the current level cap for the Reaper of Souls expansion, not the base game. Some believe this hints that at some point in the future, Blizzard may make the base game and RoS free-to-play in the west too if a new expansion raises the level cap. Other supporting information for this hypothesis includes the fact that Blizzard has been hiring new art staff for an undisclosed Diablo-based product that could be an expansion.
There’s been a huge degree of fascination with indie game No Man’s Sky since it stole the show at E3 2014. The game promises seamless exploration of a massive procedurally generated galaxy filled with unique planets, weird and wonderful plants and animals, and space-faring civilisations. Players will explore the universe, harvest resources, upgrade their space ships, and head toward the center of the galaxy where a mystery reportedly awaits discovery. The game is officially launching in June in PS4 and PC.
Fans have hotly debated what price point the game should be released at, and a mistake on the PlayStation blog has now thrown gasoline on that fire. No Man’s Sky appeared in the pre-order list for a short time with a price of $59.99 and the annotation “Out 3/3,” prompting speculation that pre-orders may open tomorrow and $59.99 may be the actual release price. This rumour has put many fans on edge, as they expected a game from a small independent studio to have indie pricing. Others are arguing that No Man’s Sky is a huge game that is worth a AAA price tag, while some are now asking for some more convincing before they’ll agree that it’s worth $60.