I’m feeling especially angry about a video game this morning, and it feels like when all is said and done its going to be a bit too much ranting for a Facebook status update, so … I’m just gonna rant here, okay?
I play this game on the PS4 called Neverwinter. I’ve been playing a year now. My husband has also been playing it a year on the PS4, but prior to that, he’d played it a little over a year on the PC. It’s a free to play MMO, so yes, they do have manipulative ways to part you with your money, but overall, the game doesn’t entirely suck. I mean, I enjoyed it for an entire year. In fact, even though the grind has recently become totally unreal, and some of the “fun” has been a bit lackluster lately, I was still happily logging in for at least a few minutes a day and would occasionally still lose hours playing it.
But then the Protector’s Jubilee Event happened.
Okay, let me backtrack a bit and explain events. They are special things that last from a week to a month, depending on the event, that have daily quests you complete to earn event currencies with which you can purchase a reward from the event vendor. In all prior events, if one logged in every day and did the daily quests, one would be guaranteed to be able to get at least one of the more “premium” rewards, and with maybe a wee bit more grinding get anything or everything you wanted from the event store.
But then the Protector’s Jubilee Event happened.
I spent a lot of time grinding on day one (last Tuesday). At the end of the day, each of my three characters had more than enough of the one currency to buy what they wanted with it. But they each only had one of the second currency … Protector’s Figurines … which are used to purchase the more “premium” rewards. I thought maybe I’d just had a run of bad luck with the drops, so on the second day, I spent a good deal more time doing the most boring, mind numbing, not-even-a-little-fun task over and over in addition to the daily event quests. End result, each of my characters now had two of the figurines and ten thousand of the other currency (which I have no further use for).
I saw the pattern. If I only do the daily quests, I will get one a day, and no amount of additional grinding was going to change that. For the next three days, that was all I did, and I continued to get one a day. Then on Saturday night, well after I did the quests, I found myself in the game waiting for a timer on a temporary building to tick down at the stronghold (so I could rebuild it right away), and I decided to go do the mindless awful grind, on the off chance I get more of the figurines. Well, success!!! Each of my characters got one! Now that would be some surprising drop luck, so my thought was that they had realized there was no way to get any of the “premium” rewards during the week long event, unless one was willing to open one’s wallet and withdraw one’s credit card to buy the damn things in the cash shop. Or maybe something had been broken and was now fixed. You know, I gave them the benefit of the doubt.
Silly, silly me.
This morning, since I was awake early, I decided to go ahead and do my daily event quests earlier than usual. I mean, it looked like I might actually be able to get the unicorn mount not on one character but all three! I was kind of excited about this stupid event finally. It wasn’t really a cash grab, I thought! Something had been broken! Now it’s fixed! I can still get something cool! Yeah, not so much. I turned in the quests on all three characters, and how many of those freaking figurines did I get? Zero. Zilch. Nada. I bet you’re thinking “Her head must have popped off her shoulders and exploded into tiny little bits of fiery confetti!” Well, you would be right!
Then I went to the official game forums to find out what the hell was going on. Me not getting any figurines wasn’t the only weirdness I noticed. The cash shop was also totally nonfunctional. Maybe something is really REALLY broken at the moment. It didn’t take me long to find many PC players griping about the sorry state of this event. Apparently, it used to work just like all the other events. Put in a little work every day, get a decent reward. Fair and reasonable and no cash grab.
Last year they changed it to make it damn well impossible for any rational adult human being unwilling to wear diapers and sit in their chair 24/7 for seven straight days to get ANY of the better rewards (and even grinding is no guarantee, as my grinding has proven) unless … you pay them cash money for the stupid figurines, which they sell only in packs of three. Interesting coincidence that. You can get 7 from the daily quests (the two I got on Saturday? One was Sunday’s and the Sunday one was Monday’s, as they are on a 20 hour timer independent from the usual reset time for the game), and they just happen to sell them in sets of three. Such an obvious freaking cash grab.
And just like that, a game I still enjoyed but thought was getting a bit too grindy lately (that would be a whole other rant) became a game I don’t even want to play anymore. Will they change the other events eventually too? Instead of being given gifts at the winter event, will we be buying them? I’ve played a lot of free to play games, because I’ll play anything once. Every single one of them eventually becomes unhappy with the truckloads of cash they are making and want to make even bigger truckloads of cash. Then they start grabbing at your wallet every time you turn around. For every little thing. Even in order to “win” rewards for the game’s anniversary event. It’s disgusting.
Unfortunately, I can’t just quit playing. Currently, I’m the leader of a small and quiet but hard working little guild, and there really isn’t anyone to pass leadership over to, so I can’t just uninstall and never look back. So going forward, what time I do spend in the game will be totally all about doing things for the guild and getting the stronghold built. They can have whatever stupid events they want to have and bring out whatever new content they want, I will not give a damn. The events will undoubtedly be rigged to end with you needing to give them real cash money for your reward, and the last two rounds of new content have been literal grindfests requiring months of mindless annoying repetitive daily activities. I’ll be fine without whatever soon to be irrelevant gear and shiny things I’ll be missing out on.
And if you need me, I’ll be spending more time in Elder Scrolls Online, which I started playing a couple months ago. Having a blast with it, and even though I know I will eventually give them some money (want the DLC), I have never once felt like I HAD to give them money in order to do everything in the game I want to do. Like have fun. Also, it’s all around a much better game than Neverwinter. Truly. I wish I started play it a year ago.