Blizzard’s unlock system in Overwatch has its first victim: me. Why? Let me tell you a story.
I started playing Overwatch during the open beta. Wasn’t really hyped about it or anything, just thought I give it a go. I loved it. The basic gameplay was just great, I didn’t give a fuck about the unlock system, because it would be wiped by the end anyway and the characters were varied and fun (for the most part. Some do have issues, especially if you are on their receiving end, but that’s a story for another time.)
I was happy to preorder the game, after all, I just played what would be the final version and I deemed it worthy.
Then the game came out and to no one’s surprise, it was still fun. I didn’t give a fuck about the unlock system, because we are only talking about skins and I would surely get those that I wanted sooner rather than later.
About 15 levels later, which means 15 unlock boxes later, I still didn’t have a single skin or highlight intro I cared about. Now the game was still fun, but for me, it became less about playing a quick round of shooting bad’uns and more about unlocking another box of loot so I could finally get those sweet, sweet skins.
With every box and every shitty spray tag that was in it, my enjoyment faded. Around level 23, I only played until my first win of the day, because bonus XP and now that I’m close to level 25, I basically stopped.
I know that in theory I would still enjoy the act of shooting bad’uns. I know that in theory I would still engage in the act of shooting bad’uns, if there were never any unlocks to begin with. But I stopped playing for the sake of play and started playing for the sake of a fancy Symmetra, which never came.
There is this really interesting talk about intrinsic and extrinsic motivations from Chris Hecker, go listen to it. It explains in detail why Blizzard fucked up and why I now have to unlearn what the game teached me. The cynic in me is sure that Blizzard is completely aware of this and banks on people with addictive personalities to start spending money on loot boxes.
(And no, buying loot boxes is not a fix, neither would be any other option that includes spending extra money, you despicable, capitalism defending liberals)
Anyway, what’s everyone playing over the weekend.
Billy: I'll be playing Overwatch and Grim Dawn with my wife over the weekend, and I'm also going to be playing some Saints Row: Gat Out Of Hell
Greywolfe: king's quest 6 is gone! replacing it with quest for glory 3. simon the sorcerer is gone! replacing that with loom [which is part of the game club - if you haven't gotten on board, you should totally join us!] - chronicle is gone! i'm currently trying "a blind legend" in it's stead and...whoo boy. overwhelming game is overwhelming :)
Cody: Gonna be continuing Loom with the Game club! Also some more Overwatch, Dota, and Rocksmith.
Scroolose: I'm also going to continue with Loom for Gameclub. And I started Stick of Truth. Aside from that I'll be installing a fuel pump in my Mom's car. And as is the way my luck goes, on the way home today my truck's harmonic balancer blew apart, so I'll be ordering and hopefully installing a new one asap. No driving until then.
Loom, which is awesome.
Doom, The World Ends With You and
now, Pokemon Go!
Thomas: work, so I can afford those fucking loot boxes. And maybe take a look at how they did the F2P model in Evolve (not that I ever enjoyed the game in the first place)
Andrew: Loom, if I can swing it. My honey-do list is growing exponentially.