Death to Bioware (Points)

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Spalls Hurgenson

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Jul 14, 2022, 10:55:27 AMJul 14
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Oh thank God!

Most people never heard of Bioware Points. It was one of EA's stupider
ideas; create a pseudo-currency needed to buy any DLC for Bioware
products, such as Anthem or Mass Effect. It was a player-hostile idea
(because of course the number of points you could buy would never
exactly match the cost of any DLC, meaning you'd always have leftover
points) and nobody liked it except the accountants.

Well, after a decade of annoying people with this scheme, EA is
finally retiring it. It's not big news in any way - especially since
there are at least still two other faux-currencies (Crystals and
Platinum) used on Origin for Bioware products.

But its good news to me, since I absolutely /hated/ Bioware points.
It's why I primarily played "Mass Effect 3" on console, because /that/
version didn't require you to buy its DLC with points; you could pay
for the stuff with cold-hard cash (and "Mass Effect 3" really,
/really/ needs its DLC to become a fun and complete game). That's
right, I endured playing a worse-looking and worse-controlling version
of a game just to avoid those stupid points.

Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.



PW

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Jul 14, 2022, 11:22:46 PMJul 14
to
*--

Never heard of them!

-pw

Mike S.

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Jul 15, 2022, 9:31:09 AMJul 15
to
On Thu, 14 Jul 2022 21:22:44 -0600, PW
<iamnotusing...@notinuse.com> wrote:

>Never heard of them!
>
>-pw

You and me both. But Spalls did mention that.

Spalls Hurgenson

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Jul 15, 2022, 1:08:09 PMJul 15
to
On Fri, 15 Jul 2022 09:31:06 -0400, Mike S. <Mik...@nowhere.com>
wrote:
Well, it would require you to
a) use EA Origin's client, b) play Bioware games, c) did not own the
DLC (because you didn't buy a GOTY version), and d) wanted the DLC.
Unless all four conditions are met, there would be almost no need for
you to mess around with Bioware points.

Their creation wasn't the worst thing the computer game industry has
done, but they were a feature only wanted by the publishers (there's
never once been an outcry by players for faux-currencies to buy their
games) because you a) have to overspend on points to buy the games,
and b) the excess points are ultimately wasted, so free money for the
publisher. I refuse to engage with such nonsense, and since this kept
me from enjoying some Bioware games to their fullest, I'm thrilled to
see their end.

But if it never affected you, well, consider yourself lucky.





JAB

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Jul 16, 2022, 6:11:10 AMJul 16
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Am I allowed to be enraged by them even though I never knew they existed!

Spalls Hurgenson

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Jul 16, 2022, 11:18:44 AMJul 16
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Well, do not consider this any sort of permission (who am I to
restrict or permit your rage?) but I have no problem with such emotion
focused on this sort of a money-grubbing scheme.

EA tends to go through cycles of excessive greed occassionally
tempered by periods when the quaility of product being sold gains
import. They never quite cross into the realm of angels, but they do
seem to back away from their devils at times. So for three or five
years they'll be pushing lootboxes and faux-currencies and pumping out
bland sequels, and then for a year or three they'll slow down on that
and introduce new IPs and games that aren't solely about
microtransactions.

Whether this is a purposeful attempt to regain the trust of their
customers or an indicator of some internal disfunction (possibly
caused by changing leadership) isn't entirely clear. But at the
moment, EA seems to be in its "less evil" phase.

But change is in the air...



JAB

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Jul 17, 2022, 6:33:44 AMJul 17
to
On 16/07/2022 16:18, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>> Am I allowed to be enraged by them even though I never knew they existed!
>
> Well, do not consider this any sort of permission (who am I to
> restrict or permit your rage?) but I have no problem with such emotion
> focused on this sort of a money-grubbing scheme.
>

My hope is that at some point enough people will start not engaging with
their products (due to not just the games themselves but how these
companies can act) that it will make a practically drop in their
profits. My fear though is though that people have slowly become
conditioned to accept that this is just what games are like and at best
you get a roll of the eyes. It feels similar to what seems to have
happened to politics in the UK over the last several years. Twenty years
ago even doing some fairly minor meant the politician had the choice to
resign or be fired. Now we've got into a position where our PM could not
only break the law but also lie that he had to parliament. The worse
thing was the number of people who defended him.

Spalls Hurgenson

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Jul 17, 2022, 11:45:30 AMJul 17
to
On Sun, 17 Jul 2022 11:33:40 +0100, JAB <no...@nochance.com> wrote:

>On 16/07/2022 16:18, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>>> Am I allowed to be enraged by them even though I never knew they existed!
>>
>> Well, do not consider this any sort of permission (who am I to
>> restrict or permit your rage?) but I have no problem with such emotion
>> focused on this sort of a money-grubbing scheme.
>>
>
>My hope is that at some point enough people will start not engaging with
>their products (due to not just the games themselves but how these
>companies can act) that it will make a practically drop in their
>profits.

It's my hope too, but it's an increasingly dwindling hope. Recent
events - as a variety of my rages in this newsgroup attest too - have
shown that gamers aren't particularly good at holding gaming companies
accountable or doing anything that might change the behavior of the
publishers. They'll just flock to the next game as soon as its
announced, even if it incorporates all sorts of customer-hostile
features, just because its new and shiny.

Gamers aren't the only sort who do this, of course, and I can't
entirely blame then when billions of dollars of psychology-driven
marketing is manipulating them into that sort of behavior (it's one of
the reasons I'm a firm believer in user reviews, since their the only
real way to address this power imbalance between seller and
purchaser), but it does make one worry about the future.

>My fear though is though that people have slowly become
>conditioned to accept that this is just what games are like and at best
>you get a roll of the eyes.

Or worse, there's a whole generation of gamers who aren't even aware
there's an alternative to always-online, microtransaction-laden
video-games. If you can't even imagine a game that lets you play
anywhere and comes with all the quests and hats in the original
package, then you can't object to a game not having it. It also sets a
new baseline; sure, /this/ game might be a bit greedy, but it's not
too bad compared to any /other/ game lootbox-game... it only starts
looking /really/ bad when you compare it to games of yesteryear, that
weren't designed to sneak every penny out of your wallet with
excessive MTX and grind that makes the MTX look reasonable.

It has often been said that the late 90s and early 2000s were a
'golden age' for PC gaming, largely in response to the release of so
many classic games (Half Life, Diablo, Max Payne, Age of Empires,
Civilization 2, etc., etc.). But the lack of MTX and DRM seems in
those games seems almost as brilliant.

> It feels similar to what seems to have
>happened to politics in the UK over the last several years. Twenty years
>ago even doing some fairly minor meant the politician had the choice to
>resign or be fired. Now we've got into a position where our PM could not
>only break the law but also lie that he had to parliament. The worse
>thing was the number of people who defended him.

Don't forget that - when his crimes came to light - he then had the
gall to change the code that demanded anyone so caught should
immediately resign.

But what can we expect? None of us really hold any of the people in
power accountable anymore; at most we make a bit of noise and then
fade back into the woodwork until the next big outrage.

But I guess it could be worse; it could be America.


Dimensional Traveler

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Jul 17, 2022, 12:14:23 PMJul 17
to
On 7/17/2022 8:45 AM, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>
> But what can we expect? None of us really hold any of the people in
> power accountable anymore; at most we make a bit of noise and then
> fade back into the woodwork until the next big outrage.
>
> But I guess it could be worse; it could be America.
>
HEY! At least we have the excuse that a political party has been
working for 50+ years to destroy our government and convince people to
support them as they turn our country into a dictatorship!

Wait a minute....


--
I've done good in this world. Now I'm tired and just want to be a cranky
dirty old man.

JAB

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Jul 18, 2022, 4:43:45 AMJul 18
to
On 17/07/2022 16:45, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
> On Sun, 17 Jul 2022 11:33:40 +0100, JAB <no...@nochance.com> wrote:
>
>> On 16/07/2022 16:18, Spalls Hurgenson wrote:
>>>> Am I allowed to be enraged by them even though I never knew they existed!
>>>
>>> Well, do not consider this any sort of permission (who am I to
>>> restrict or permit your rage?) but I have no problem with such emotion
>>> focused on this sort of a money-grubbing scheme.
>>>
>>
>> My hope is that at some point enough people will start not engaging with
>> their products (due to not just the games themselves but how these
>> companies can act) that it will make a practically drop in their
>> profits.
>
> It's my hope too, but it's an increasingly dwindling hope. Recent
> events - as a variety of my rages in this newsgroup attest too - have
> shown that gamers aren't particularly good at holding gaming companies
> accountable or doing anything that might change the behavior of the
> publishers. They'll just flock to the next game as soon as its
> announced, even if it incorporates all sorts of customer-hostile
> features, just because its new and shiny.
>
> Gamers aren't the only sort who do this, of course, and I can't
> entirely blame then when billions of dollars of psychology-driven
> marketing is manipulating them into that sort of behavior (it's one of
> the reasons I'm a firm believer in user reviews, since their the only
> real way to address this power imbalance between seller and
> purchaser), but it does make one worry about the future.
>

It's the bit I never quite understand there are tons of games out there
so why go to one that you know is set-up to try and 'encourage' people
to pay yet more money. Saying that I can understand how people can fall
for the tricks companies play but why put yourself in that position in
the first place then.

>> My fear though is though that people have slowly become
>> conditioned to accept that this is just what games are like and at best
>> you get a roll of the eyes.
>
> Or worse, there's a whole generation of gamers who aren't even aware
> there's an alternative to always-online, microtransaction-laden
> video-games. If you can't even imagine a game that lets you play
> anywhere and comes with all the quests and hats in the original
> package, then you can't object to a game not having it. It also sets a
> new baseline; sure, /this/ game might be a bit greedy, but it's not
> too bad compared to any /other/ game lootbox-game... it only starts
> looking /really/ bad when you compare it to games of yesteryear, that
> weren't designed to sneak every penny out of your wallet with
> excessive MTX and grind that makes the MTX look reasonable.
>
> It has often been said that the late 90s and early 2000s were a
> 'golden age' for PC gaming, largely in response to the release of so
> many classic games (Half Life, Diablo, Max Payne, Age of Empires,
> Civilization 2, etc., etc.). But the lack of MTX and DRM seems in
> those games seems almost as brilliant.
>

Ahhh, the lovely feeling of we provide you a game you're like an in
exchange you give us a one off payment. How quaint.

Fortunately for me I've managed to stick to my promise of I just won't
get into any game that has MTX with one exception, the iPad. There I
find it ok as I really use the games just to pass the time so they're
the equivalent of looking out the window on a train journey.

>> It feels similar to what seems to have
>> happened to politics in the UK over the last several years. Twenty years
>> ago even doing some fairly minor meant the politician had the choice to
>> resign or be fired. Now we've got into a position where our PM could not
>> only break the law but also lie that he had to parliament. The worse
>> thing was the number of people who defended him.
>
> Don't forget that - when his crimes came to light - he then had the
> gall to change the code that demanded anyone so caught should
> immediately resign.
>
> But what can we expect? None of us really hold any of the people in
> power accountable anymore; at most we make a bit of noise and then
> fade back into the woodwork until the next big outrage.
>

They've tried similar tricks before with Pritti Patel (so she bullies
her staff, is that really a problem) and Owen Patterson (yeh he did try
and influence parliament for the benefit of a company he worked for and
the standards committee said he should be temporarily be suspended but
can we just get a second opinion on that and make sure it balanced to
get the answer we want). At least with the latter the government did a
quick reverse ferret when they realised that you can push public opinion
only so far.

I'm just hoping that whoever is in charge next can at least reverse some
of the changes in behaviour but I very much doubt it as the candidates
are I think all Brexiteers and dishonesty goes hand-in-had with that
view. The UK, when it was a member of the EU, had no veto on Turkey
joining. A couple of problems there, there was no plan to let Turkey
join because of multiple non-minor issues and yes the UK did have veto
as did all other member states.

> But I guess it could be worse; it could be America.
>

I honestly just don't understand American politics and what goes on.
Saying that my view is formed mainly by the worse excesses as that's
what I get to see. How on earth do some of these people get elected.

Mike S.

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Jul 18, 2022, 8:49:47 AMJul 18
to
On Mon, 18 Jul 2022 09:43:42 +0100, JAB <no...@nochance.com> wrote:

>It's the bit I never quite understand there are tons of games out there
>so why go to one that you know is set-up to try and 'encourage' people
>to pay yet more money. Saying that I can understand how people can fall
>for the tricks companies play but why put yourself in that position in
>the first place then.

This is exactly the point I was trying to make in the other thread
about microtransactions.

Companies like EA and Activision are just doing what companies always
do. Going where the money is. And the money is in microtransactions.
Where are they getting the money? From *us* of course.

Whenever I see people complaining about these companies, how many of
these people even consider turning some of their ire towards their
fellow gamers? And what if the gamers we turn our anger on don't care
about microtransactions or even prefer them?

Zaghadka

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Jul 18, 2022, 9:17:01 AMJul 18
to
On Sun, 17 Jul 2022 11:45:22 -0400, in comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,
Spalls Hurgenson wrote:

>Gamers aren't the only sort who do this, of course, and I can't
>entirely blame then when billions of dollars of psychology-driven
>marketing is manipulating them into that sort of behavior (it's one of
>the reasons I'm a firm believer in user reviews, since their the only
>real way to address this power imbalance between seller and
>purchaser), but it does make one worry about the future.

A lot of gamers have shied away from AAA games entirely. The landscape
changes.

I know plenty of gamers that are on the Switch, play stuff like Hollow
Knight, and most AAA games have DLC, but no microtransactions. Nintendo's
own stuff usually fits within 10 GB of space too.

Basically, it's AAA *PC* gaming that's become a cesspool. Phone gaming
has always been one. There is still respite in consoles.

My catalog of non-BS PC gaming is so large I could play for the rest of
my life so long as MS maintains backwards compatibility.

So maybe the "big players" just don't matter any more. Maybe AAA is crap
now. I suggest you never buy EA, Ubi, or Activision again and see how
your gaming ecosystem fairs. To me, they really do not matter.

--
Zag

No one ever said on their deathbed, 'Gee, I wish I had
spent more time alone with my computer.' ~Dan(i) Bunten

Zaghadka

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Jul 18, 2022, 9:20:54 AMJul 18
to
On Thu, 14 Jul 2022 10:55:11 -0400, in comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.action,
Spalls Hurgenson wrote:

>Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say.

I just want to chime in that I have heard of Bioware points, had a
special Bioware login for Dragon Age: Origins DLC, and am glad to see the
independent Bioware stuff gradually go bye-bye.

I suspect it was some contractual agreement with Bioware, not an EA play.
I think Bioware wanted their cut and some limited independence from EA
and Origin, and the contract either expired or became pointless.

Some pointy haired boss at Bioware was probably responsible.

Dimensional Traveler

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Jul 18, 2022, 12:01:08 PMJul 18
to
That last is a question many Americans ask. Personally I think it has
something to do with the strong desire for a theocratic state that runs
thru too much of the voting population.

JAB

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Jul 21, 2022, 4:06:03 AMJul 21
to
Oh I agree, to paraphrase someone else - when will we get good security
baked into products, the answer when people stop buying products that
don't have security baked into them.

Ire towards fellow gamers, I reserve that for the ones who rant about
evil gaming corporations exploiting people but carry on playing anyway.
I assume that companies well understand that the same people who one
week where out with their torches and pitchforks will next week be out
with their wallets. It pretty much enforces the idea that companies can
just dismiss complaints out of hand as not an issue.

JAB

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Jul 21, 2022, 4:10:03 AMJul 21
to
On 18/07/2022 17:01, Dimensional Traveler wrote:
>> I honestly just don't understand American politics and what goes on.
>> Saying that my view is formed mainly by the worse excesses as that's
>> what I get to see. How on earth do some of these people get elected.
>>
> That last is a question many Americans ask.  Personally I think it has
> something to do with the strong desire for a theocratic state that runs
> thru too much of the voting population.

The part I find ironic is that here in the UK we have an official state
religion yet religion really doesn't play any particular part in
day-to-day life or politics. The senior aide to Tony Blair was once
asked by a reporter about Blair's religious views. The answer given, We
don't do God, I am sorry.

Dimensional Traveler

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Jul 21, 2022, 10:41:52 AMJul 21
to
I suspect it has a lot to do with the fact that the UK shipped a lot of
its religious extremists to North America some time ago. :p

JAB

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Jul 22, 2022, 4:10:48 AMJul 22
to
We do still have a few but they've really been relegated to Northern
Ireland. The DUP, who were once the largest party in NI, once had a
young earth creationist as their leader.

Spalls Hurgenson

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Jul 22, 2022, 3:16:32 PMJul 22
to
On Fri, 22 Jul 2022 09:10:44 +0100, JAB <no...@nochance.com> wrote:

>We do still have a few but they've really been relegated to Northern
>Ireland. The DUP, who were once the largest party in NI, once had a
>young earth creationist as their leader.

I see no problem with that. Most scientists believe the Earth was
created when it was young. It's those who think the Earth was created
in its current mature form that you gotta worry about ;-)

On a more relevant topic... there's not many video games that take
place on a young Earth; it's an almost entirely untapped market.
SimEarth, SimLife and Spore (all developed by the same company, isn't
that a coincidence!) are the only ones I can think of.

Of course, that might be because the early stages of Earth's
developments lacked much of anything to do except watch lava cool and
dodge the errant asteroid. Sorta hard to build a compelling narrative
from that.



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