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Reader Comments (31)

Posted: Feb 15th 2012 3:20PM Daemodand said

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People complain about Super Packs/Lock Boxes. And then they buy them, even though there is absolutely nothing in them you can't live without or need to play the game.

Posted: Feb 15th 2012 3:21PM Shirogetsune said

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This isn't a big deal. I bought 24 of them last night with the bulk pack. Within the first 10, I had the costume pieces. So, yes, that's $10 for a costume pack compared to the $5 bundles.

Until you factor in all the XP boosters, reward merits, inspirations, Archetype Invention Origin sets, etc... that I also received. If anything, the Super Pack is the biggest bang for your buck. The only way it's gambling is if you're out to get the Black Wolf Pet (.3% chance of dropping) or a very specific AT IO set.

If anything, this is the best way to continuously pump money into Paragon Studios while also getting a very hefty benefit. I would never buy inspirations outright. But for a single buck, I have the chance to get them (and with a five minute duration AND now lasting through death, they are VERY useful) and rewards merits that I will use in a heart beat, as well as AT IO's I can use or sell to other players.

For a dollar. Other game's lottery boxes give you a single item with the low chance of getting the big thing that is actually useful. The only very, very rare thing here is a vanity pet.

tl, dr: I don't get the complaining here or on the forums. Buy them or don't buy them. I will be.

Posted: Feb 15th 2012 4:19PM Space Cobra said

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@Shirogetsune

I've asked the same question, without bias, over at the Guru forum and so far, one person seems sorta against it and others do not mind.

This seems like a "deal" in that while $10 bucks is more than $5, you can eventually get all the major elements of the Super Pack, plus extras, for a good value.

There are two things I am wondering/worried about.

1) People are different and have different values. Vanity is pretty high up on CoH's in-game "mechanics"; people love to "dress up" and some may have character concepts. Also, the chance to walk around as "unique/special" can be a powerful allure. What if someone tries the odds to get the Black Wolf? Maybe that is "their problem", but isn't CoH contributing to that problem? Maybe the player is a recovering from a gambling addiction? Maybe this is more like a box of "Cracker Jack" in that you still get caramel popcorn even if your prize can be lame...or those bubble machines in that you hope for that advertised Spy Camera but you never get it, even though .25 cents is cheap.

2) What about the future? Many times, if you do not draw a line in the sand and give in just a little, the other side will think that is a sign of acceptance and will keep pushing even stronger for "their side". There used to be states in the US that did not allow any sort of gambling in their state, but certain lobbyists started small: A dog racing track...then as years passed, figured, to open up more dog tracks...then horse racing...now state lotteries.

Maybe such packs are "fine" now, but I just have to wonder about the future, even if they stay "vanity" in ultimate rewards.
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Posted: Feb 15th 2012 4:40PM Shirogetsune said

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@Space Cobra

Very good points, many I agree with. I don't want to be "that guy" but if someone does have a gambling problem and is recovering/in need of help, that technically is their problem. The completionists that NEED that wolf pet to keep their collection up to date? Again, their problem. Neither of these issues are vital to the game or gameplay, it's something that the user has created on their own. Can't expect the devs to have a backup problem to every player generated issue, or at least, I don't. However, should Paragon decide to lock Powersets behind these packs at very rare rates, then that is my line in the sand and I'll join the protestors. But you don't see a very rare starship or incredibly powerful bonuses here. Just a vanity pet.

Also, it should be noted that due to player feedback, the devs have increased the chance of the Elemental Order costume dropping in these packs greatly, to the point I can't imagine people buying more than 10 and not having the complete set. The costume seemed to be the thing that irritated most people, as the AT IO's can be earned in game through reward merits. Now, the only thing that can't be outright purchased or earned is the costume (and wolf pet, obviously)... which you can get along with a horde helpful bonus items for around $10.

Plus, as I stated here (or on the forums? I can't remember), it's a bargain. I get to hand over a handful of bucks here or there to Paragon, they give me nice, but not game breaking, rewards. Maybe I get a Black Wolf Pet and can show it off to people and show how lucky I am. Maybe I wait and buy Beast Mastery so I can use wolves to maul people with Black Wolf Pets :D
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Posted: Feb 15th 2012 5:47PM El Furioso said

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@Shirogetsune

Agreed. Lots of snarling and wringing of hands, but I don't see a huge deal. I don't think I'd go buy extra Paragon Points for these, but I'm more than happy to drop a part of my monthly allotment on a few. The costume set is gorgeous, but I can wait a month or so until I gather up all the pieces.
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Posted: Feb 15th 2012 3:22PM Plastic said

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Sadly, I only see this trend stopping when the government finally steps in to regulate it. Until then, all you can do is stop playing those games that implement it, as I've done with LotRO.

Posted: Feb 15th 2012 3:35PM (Unverified) said

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@Plastic Wow I'm pretty sure government regulation of virtual game items is exactly what we DON'T need.

Actually, the trend will stop when enough players refuse to buy them.
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Posted: Feb 15th 2012 4:05PM Brianna Royce said

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@Aelspar I couldn't have said it better myself.
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Posted: Feb 15th 2012 4:11PM smartstep said

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@(Unverified)

When people will start losing big money and get in debt cause of overspending on cash shops lotteries and similar things , you will see goverments regulating this market.

It is inevitable.

Just question when that will happen.
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Posted: Feb 15th 2012 4:19PM Plastic said

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@(Unverified)

Didn't say I wanted it, and I'm making no argument as to whether regulation is good for the industry, just pointing out that since people aren't going to stop buying it, the only way they are going away is through government regulation.
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Posted: Feb 15th 2012 3:40PM StClair said

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I'm not so upset about this because, from the start, I've planned to completely ignore it. Completely. Not part of my game.

(Where STO earned my ire is making their latest grab-bag lottery *impossible* to ignore.)

Posted: Feb 15th 2012 7:38PM JuliusSeizure said

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@StClair

I get where you're coming from, though I find myself torn. The implementation is actually surprisingly really good. Even if you get no costume parts, the other stuff the packs are crammed with are reasonably attractive rewards for the price. On the other hand, how do I convincingly say 'this far and no further' other than by abstaining completely?

Makes me want to just pretend it's not there too.
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Posted: Feb 15th 2012 3:42PM starka1 said

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Sorry, I bought 2 just for the heck of it. That's probably it though. I would like to get ATOs but I am having a difficult time buying much in microtranactions when I compare what I could buy now versus what has been offered in the past via an expansion. I'm waiting for slots and storage items to go half off and hopefully someday a $2/month license to pay base rent. That's about it.

I really don't even 'need' those to still enjoy the game and agree with Daemodand. There is really nothing for sale that is stopping me from enjoying the game for free and I'm more than willing to let others buy as much as they want to keep the servers running and in hopes those dollars will result in future development of something I actually want to buy.

Posted: Feb 15th 2012 4:14PM (Unverified) said

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@starka1
You can buy ATOs from Wentworth's or the Black Market now or trade with friends for them. If you're a VIP (I'm not sure based on your comments) then you can buy them for a boatload of merits or astrals and inf though they're time gated to one every four days.

So for the one part of the pack you wanted you actually don't need to ever purchase a single pack and you can still get it.
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Posted: Feb 15th 2012 3:46PM Ergonomic Cat said

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Put me in the "I don't see the problem" camp too. Despite the widespread factual knowledge that every player hates it, I'm fine with it. If it we're new power sets or the like I'd rage a bit. New costumes I can live with. It's just like buying a CCG booster....

Posted: Feb 15th 2012 4:43PM Warsyde said

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But money.

For all the screaming on the forums, Cryptic has made a LOT of money on the lockboxes. All you have to do is log in to STO and you'll realize that in moments. The Galor has a rumored 0.5% drop chance, yet people are unlocking them at least once a minute (there's in-game spam). At 200 lockboxes per ship, that's 200 per minute. Or 12,000 per hour. Or 288,000 per day (estimate undoubtedly too high, but still). Those things cost over $1 each. For all the screaming, Cryptic is making BANK. Why wouldn't Paragon follow this example?

The sad truth is that the people screaming on the forums represent a tiny minority of the playerbase. Even if EVERY forum goer was screaming, they'd represent a minority, but plenty of players post about it being fine, too. The vast majority of players simply don't care much one way or another. They're playing for free, so why not toss $5 or $10 at lockboxes.

I dislike the lockboxes, and am very sad to see Paragon following in Cryptic's footsteps here, but it's hardly shocking, and it's hardly surprising that Paragon is following the money instead of the disapproval of a very vocal minority.

Posted: Feb 15th 2012 6:24PM (Unverified) said

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@Warsyde Well, that's presuming the Galor spam is legit, when there's indications that not all of it is. Granted, the majority of the problem *is* that spam...otherwise, people wouldn't be complaining that much.

Also, as I comment elsewhere, there's a significant difference--Cryptic's boxes are regular item drops, akin to the Valve system they're ripping off (Which reminds me--where's our Captain's Hats, Cryptic? Copy the *whole* system, you lazy bums...) while CoH's stuff is...Booster Packs, which you don't even deal with at all unless you *want* to in the store.
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Posted: Feb 15th 2012 4:54PM (Unverified) said

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A big reason why i quit Runes of Magic were the Gashas from the cash shop. Sounds like the same thing. Random chance of getting something good. Costs lots of money. Almost always get crap.

Posted: Feb 15th 2012 5:25PM (Unverified) said

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@(Unverified)
Whatever other problems the packs may have, they're actually pretty nicely weighted to giving you one of the 'good' items (costume pieces, and special enhancements). The exception being the super-rare vanity pet ... but that's just a vanity pet that does nothing. Random is still random though, so there's going to be people who spend far more than others getting those good things but generally you get them fairly readily.

Now it's fairly rare you'll get the enhancement you want, but they're tradeable and available through other means in-game so ....
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Posted: Feb 15th 2012 5:54PM Gryphmon said

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I've played the game for about 7 years now (VIP) and i really don't care about the packs. Either they will work out or they won't.

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