Micro-transactions Are Lame
How game designers can move past them.
With the sweeping infamy of Battlefront II by EA in mainstream and gaming journalism, I feel that I should sit down and share my honest opinions about Micro-transactions. Now I am in no way defending the actions of EA on how their greed got the better of them with the whole Loot Box Controversy, here I will be sharing how I think Micro-transactions can mess up a game, how they can be done right, as well as my opinions as to what micro-transactions SHOULD be for.
Let's face it, Loot boxes are gambling; well, not all loot boxes. What I mean is where they provide loot boxes that make advancement in the game randomized. For the sake of those who do not know what I am talking about, let's say you go into a trading card game store and buy a booster pack of cards and open it up. Let's say the cards themselves would be good to other players but you have no use for them, however someone on the other end of the store who just bought a booster box of that pack of cards you just bought notices you didn't get anything good, so he offers to let you see what he pulled so you can get a better situation out of what would have been a real crappy one. When it comes to Loot Boxes basically picture the scenario I just described minus the trading option; you are stuck with that one pack that had stuff that you can't use or is technically not worth playing. You are stuck with your crap while the other player who shoveled out hundreds or even thousands of dollars into loot boxes get all the awesome stuff, yeah... this is what Battlefront II is, essentially one big pack opening spree with no chance for trades.
Now let's get out of this downer mood and share how I think Micro-transactions can be made better! Now, I haven't played Battlefront II, nor am I a game designer but I feel that if you come upon a star card or cosmetic item etc. that you do not want, you could have the option to trade that in for X amount of credits or X amount of crystals that you could then use to get better stuff in game. You can keep farming these crates this way without having to pay a dime if you play your cards right. All this is merely speculative design on my part, I am no game designer so I do not know what would go into doing a system like that but again these are my thoughts on the matter.
Micro-transactions I see at this time is a system made to give people who don't have enough time to play a chance to be on an even playing field with those who do have enough time to play to get good, but with the way developers are looking at game design, why not every time a player gets killed in a multiplayer match or something similar, you get a buff to your progression for when you get back in so you can reach their level faster? That is just one idea, let me know what you think of this debacle and any other ways game design can move beyond micro-transactions?