Behind the Controversy; ‘Call of Duty: WWII’ and its damn loot boxes
Welcome everyone, to ‘Behind the Controversy’ where I talk about the issues effecting the gaming industry.
With a launch grossing over “$500 million in worldwide sales” (says Kevin Kelly), and a past player all-time peak of “56,060” (says GITHYP). This highlights, not only the love, but the dedication players had towards Call of Duty: WWII
‘Why now?’, you ask, ‘why is this on the controversy?’. Well, it boils down to the business practices present here.
Playing this game, I was pretty happy to see that I couldn’t spend a dime in-game. I’ve played a recorded 34 hours, without playing the campaign for much time. Initially I was scared to think of what Activision would do here. I was like, “let’s see the offer for buying straight up progression.” Thankfully, I was surprised; there was no way to buy loot boxes.
Though…not a big fan about you adding micro-transactions after reviews have been released for your game. Do you think it’s okay to release a $100 (AUD) and then add micro-payments later?
It’s like them saying, “we want to take your money later, when reviews aren’t effected.”
The Loot Box/System Issue
Personally, earning boxes in COD:WWII is in this grey area; you earn credits to buy contracts, which once completed, will give you a single rare supply drop.
The problem here is the Quartermaster; she gives you a challenge. Something along the lines of, “Get 35 kills in Domination, Completion Time: 10m 00s and Contract Cost: 225 credits.”
Ignoring how bad that design is, now let’s contrast this to the more expensive contracts:
“Get 25 kills in Domination, Completion Time: 30m 00s AND Contract Cost: 1175 credits.”
They upped the cost by almost 5 fold, in order to make it easier for those who aren’t good at the game to get the same rewards.
For me this rubs me the wrong way, the best adjective for this would be extortionate…
COD: WWII’s Order/Drop Tiers
Additionally, there are three layers of orders in this game which allow you to progress faster and earn drops.
Daily Order: Currently this first tier offers timed-bonuses for general XP and a single, regular supply drop.
Weekly Order: This second tier offers nothing but a single rare supply drop per achieved order.
Special Order: This last tier, obviously, offers something big and…well special. I’m happy to report it’s a single rare supply drop per achieved order.
Player Progression Controversy
By contrast to previous titles, you’ll find a whole window of unfairness in Call of Duty: WWII.
If you don’t care about drops, and you’re one of the people fighting the war on loot box-tied to progression, then I thank you. We shouldn’t allow game companies to think it’s appropriate to make a gambling simulator.
However, if you don’t crack open those drops, you won’t get the bonus XP, which, is obviously a disadvantage. That’s just a fact. It’ll take you way more time grinding to get what someone else got in half the time via drops.
There’s also the underlying stigma in all this…
With loot boxes it’s a simple one, either pay to get an upper hand or don’t pay and let other have the upper hand. Whether it’s progression or just miscellaneous items we’re talking about, this is not pro-gamer, this is pro-money.
Personally, I love playing the Grease Gun, but this system hinders me from getting a really cool skin for it.
Oh wait speaking of skins! Did I tell you how those ‘epic’ guns also give you EX bonuses on that particular weapon? Yeah, if you open enough drops, and you get lucky you too can get a cool skin WITH a progression advantage over other players.
The choice is now out of your hands. In order to ‘fairly’ play the game, you almost have to open up some loot. Where as if you just, I don’t know, PLAY THE GAME, then you’re shit out of luck. It pains me to see good games hindered by big business.
Overall, Activision is setting itself up for billions in both initial and continued profit. It’s been said by the the Activision Support team, on Twitter, that those delicious COD points will be coming in “November 21.” So I guess we’ll have to wait and see until then.