I’m blaming Syl for this. She made a perfectly sensible response to a ridiculous click-bait opinion piece over on MassivelyOP, which got Tobold opining on the subject which wasn’t too bad, except he then went on to expand the discussion to the concept of fairness and real life which is bound to be a red rag to certain bull(shitter)s and so as I speak we’re up to Defcon 2* over on Tobold’s comnments thread.
So – first of all, never respond to clickbait, especially cheap controversy as clickbait. I wish the Massively folks all the best, but I do also wish they’d stick to reporting news. Or if they have to have op-ed pieces to fill the time between press releases from the Crowfall hype train, can they at least be genuinely thought-provoking instead of cheap outrage-provoking?
Secondly, I’m not getting involved in the fairness thing. Let’s just take it that my politics are to the left of Gevlon, to the right of a lot of other bloggers and leave it at that. I kind of touched on this with one of my Liebster answers about “justice” and I’m not hankering to revisit the subject just yet.
Thirdly, I dislike the idea of people being able to win by opening their cheque books because they haven’t won a straight and honestly fought contest of skill, which is what most of these games purport to be. However, I also dislike the idea of people gaining an advantage through grind2win, where somebody gets uber-powerful PvP gear as a “reward” for having been a crappy player who lost in ten thousand battleground matches. One favours the guy with cash, the other favours the guy with no life (or who is willing to AFK or bot to their rewards) and you know what? At least the whale is paying some money to the devs who build and support the game. So I have no problem whatsoever with cash being able to get you on an even footing with grind, and then may the best man win.
Fourthly, pay2win isn’t exactly new. I’m pretty sure the medieval peasant levy with his sharpened rake who got ridden down by a fully armoured knight would have muttered something about the unfair advantage of somebody who could afford a horse, armour, a sword and the leisure to train in proper use of these things. If he hadn’t been dead of course, because medieval warfare was play4keeps as well as pay2win.
* Contrary to what some people seem to bandy around, the LOWER the DEFCON number the worse things are, the ratings going from DEFCON 5 (nothing to see here, move along) to DEFCON 1 (bend over and kiss your ass goodbye, the President is reading out those launch codes right about now). Nowhere on this scale could I find “Defcon fucked” which is how an anonymous Scottish Labour Party Member of Parliament described his party’s chances shortly before they were indeed electorally annihilated.