02-24-2011, 10:34 PM
And a good example of why micro transactions negatively effect gameplay.
02-25-2011, 03:33 PM
I respectfully disagree. While it definitely is pretty weak compared to Starcraft II, AoE and such, it has some merit.
First, there's the graphics. It's quite simply one of the most technologically advanced games out there, and the fact that it has a free version makes it attractive to PC builders who want to benchmark their system.
Admittedly visuals have nothing to do with gameplay, which I now shall address. This game is obviously a lot simpler than other strategy titles, but that kind of adds to its appeal. I think of it sort of a quick, instant-action option when I'm in the mood for an RTS game as opposed to my usual FPSs. The fast-paced nature of the game changes battle tactics, which give the game a very separate feel from other strategy games.
Finally, I would argue that micro-transactions at least partially work. Considering that players can get the game for free, paying 5 bucks for either some boosters or the ability to buy specific cards seems like a decent, though not great, deal. The free point per day is nice, because it gives an option for committed players who don't want to spend extra money to expand their decks. I personally am diligently saving up for some Twilight units being auctioned without spending a cent of my real money.
03-01-2011, 01:06 PM
The game started out pretty well, but EA's greedyness was poisoning it nearly from the start.
First, the plan of EA to sell the game first only as a boxed version, and later on let people play it for free. Even though you got BFP with the boxed version, many people who bought the boxed version felt cheated on.
The next mistake of EA was that they turned everything into tokens. In the early versions, you had to beat very specific maps to get a chance for specific upgrades. This had the disadvantage of course, there there was never a 100% chance to get an upgrade. The upside however was, that it made people try even hard maps on higher difficulties. It was a challenge for people to beat specific maps, and they used their upgrade units with pride, knowing that only those who were good enough to beat those maps (and lucky enough to get that upgrade) were able to play with those specific upgraded units. It made skill matter.
But EA wanted to give bad players a chance as well (to make them spend money too), and thus introduced the token system, with which you didn't have to beat the hard maps a few times to get your upgrade. Instead, you could just keep on grinding easy maps over and over and over. That had many disadvantages. First, it bored people. Grinding the same maps over and over and over. Yes, you could still play the hard maps, but it was now very difficult to get players for them, since a number of people preferred to keep grinding the same easy maps over and over, where they were guaranteed a tiny reward, rather than trying a hard map with the chance of a huge reward, but the risk of getting nothing. Another disadvantage was, that in the early versions of the games, your upgraded were like units, showing that you were a good player. Someone saw you play with certain upgrade, and they knew that you must have beaten some really hard maps on a high difficulty. And with the token system, every idiot could get any upgrade, if he'd just grind long enough.
Then EA introduced random maps. That made it even MORE boring, because now you didn't even need any storyline or anything, but just had to fight your way through even more mindless maps, that were automatically generated without any interesting design whatsoever. It turned the grind even grindier and more boring.
Quite some people stopped playing then. EA's reaction? Withdrawing developers from the game, since it was generating less money now. Result? Fewer and fewer content updates. Which made it even MORE boring, because there was nothing even to look forward to.
Oh yeah, and then they basically allowed people to buy tokens. Now the grind was only enforced on those who didn't want to spend quite as much as others.
The game was great. It was fun to auction and bid on cards, enjoy the sweet victory when winning over really hard maps, and playing together with people who most often tried really hard, because they also wanted upgrades. The graphics were great, and the voiceovers of the units among the best.
But EAs greediness turned the game into a chore, a mindless horrible grind.
If you never played the game, and like realtime strategy games combined with trading card games, give it a try. It's for free after all. But EA milked the playerbase and strangled the game and now all that remains is some withered husk.
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