The Elephants in the Room: Microtransactions and Mindshare

poeadvert

Four days ago, Path of Exile hypes up the coming 3.0 expansion (due earliest in June/July) and a day later, they post information about the next Legacy League coming in a fortnight that promises nostalgia revisiting old leagues and the faint dangling hope that maybe, just maybe, one will strike it lottery rich and pop a valuable legacy item that cannot ever be obtained by normal means.

They also post on their website Legacy Supporter Pack bundles of $30 and $60 USD to complement the usual $5, $10, $20 for points offerings, and if you were -really- happy, the Atlas of Worlds supporter packs in the $50, $110, $220 and $440 USD ranges have always been available.

Oh, and you can combine microtransaction point purchases within a certain period towards these packs, so if you bought stuff at $20 and$20¬†before, you just need to top up $10 and qualify for the first tier…

And if you were like me and bought a $50 pack previously, the “Upgrade for $60” button stares at you in the face until you can’t resist clicking it, raking in a bunch of cosmetics for $5 and the 550 points that you wanted in the first place for storage and additional cosmetics and lockboxes.

Oh, and if you don’t believe in transatlantic or transpacific shipping of free advertisement T-shirts, you can have additional points to bling out your digital avatar.

Did I mention that all stash tabs are now on sale for this weekend?

ffadvert

Three days ago, I sit and stare at the Steam store page where they advertise in large colorful banner headlines that Square Enix is having a 75% off sale and that Final Fantasy is celebrating its 30th anniversary with most games at 50% off.

And as much as I really like buying games at only 75% off, for the Final Fantasy series, 50% off is pretty much as low as it’s going to go, barring really aged games and the odd one or two day rock bottom sale offer.

I hem and I haw.

I look up reviews and try to decide between the better of one odd number or another. I’ve lost track of the franchise since playing through three quarters of 7 and a third of 8.

I have the sudden ambitious surge of an urge to attempt a marathon of Final Fantasy all the way from the original and up…

…except Steam doesn’t offer anything lower than 7 in my region, and it may make more sense to buy 6 and under for Android or IOS, since I’m always carrying phone and iPad around these days. Those aren’t on sale yet though.

I also kind of want to see improvements in what’s changed in the newer versions. Maybe I should attempt the marathon in reverse order!

There are THREE Final Fantasy 13s – the hell, that’s expensive, even at 50% off. Reviews for volume 2 are not great, claiming a bad port. Reviews for volume 3 are -very- good, but add that one should actually experience 1 and 2 for the story before playing 3. Reviews for 1 are mixed, some liking it, some disliking the linearity.

Ohh, this is confusing.

Reviews for Final Fantasy 10 are -very- very good. That seems like a good place to start.

Ha, maybe we should do it in descending order starting from 10 then.

But but if I don’t buy 13 now, it will probably be Christmas before it hits 50 or 75% off again…

Oh, what the heck, I haven’t spent anything on games lately. I can afford the equivalent of a collector’s box edition. Final Fantasy games are classics, after all, and offer tons of gameplay.

Long story short, I end up buying everything from FF8 to FF13, without 12 and the MMO in between (11). Local price $71, or $50 USD.

Given how little free time I actually have, this marathon will take me the better part of forever.

pokedex2

Two days ago, a family member interrupts my morning ritual with excited shrieks over unrecognized Pokemon appearing all over the place.

Oh. Looks like Pokemon Go has finally released the anticipated Gen 2 Pokemon.

I grab my own phone, braving the risk of cubital tunnel syndrome (“keep my arm straight” is a thing I chant to myself now) and have an immense amount of fun watching new silhouettes resolve into cute critters I’ve never seen before.

You know me, novelty is a big deal for me.

Overnight, the phenomenon of locals starting to carry their phones in their palms, stop and make odd flicking motions is visible once more. Less than at launch, but still more than previously.

Oh, and Pokemon trainers? Niantic would like you to know that Pokemon storage upgrades are 50% off, so you have enough space to hold all the extra Gen 2 Pokemon, for a mere 100 coins!

*twitches*

I’d bought storage upgrades some time before, in anticipation of the Gen 2 launch, but that was a very long time ago – a month or two – and I’d been taking full advantage of the extra space, packing in Gen 1 Pokemon to the tune of 550 of them until the last Valentine’s festival, which offered double candy to clean out the Pokemon.

Suspecting that this was my last chance to do so and get extra candy to boot before Gen 2, I forced myself one night to sit down and do inventory management, tidying everything up.

(Glad I did, because sure enough, it happened.)

But I did have firsthand experience in just how HANDY these pokemon storage upgrades were…

*twitches again at the temptation*

100 coins!

I grabbed one from the free coins I had from fighting and sitting in gyms, but but surely one cannot go wrong with MORE storage?

7 local dollars (or $5 USD) gets you 550 coins. That’s a LOT of pokemons that can be stored – 5 x 50 = 250 – at the current discounted offer.

*twitches*

I have until Feb 26 to think about it.

Less than a Starbucks coffee, y’know. *twitch*

gw2advert

Over in Guild Wars 2, ArenaNet would like you to know that Episode 4 of Living World Season 3 is called the Head of the Snake; that there’s a new raid called Bastion of the Penitent, and that And More includes one legendary rifle in the shape of a ship with a giant cannon on it….

…and here, have some screenshots and a wallpaper.

Our watchword: The less said the better!

Oh, and Evon Gnashblade would like to sell you a $5 USD mini of Demmi Beetlestone (who will never make it back to his office to collect), a $5 USD set of recolored white and pink wings and a $6.56 USD outfit of Gwen’s clothing.

The less said the better, indeed.