Haven't Heard A Good Argument Against MTX Spartan Points

I feel like the title carries a lot of the weight here. I honestly haven’t heard a convincing argument as to why I should be upset about the prospect of purchasable Spartan Points coming to the game.

I think the current system for earning SPs is perfectly acceptable, especially with the upcoming changes to earning SPs post level 100. A purchasable option being tacked on top of that perfectly acceptable system for earning SPs is fine by me.

I don’t feel like it cheapens the experience of unlocking armor either. I have never once thought about what someone went through to unlock a helmet in MCC. If anything this does the opposite of cheapening armor by tying a real dollar value to it. As of now armor has no real world market value.

I don’t think it’s morally wrong to trade cosmetics for real world money as long as it’s not being done through an extremely manipulative system which emulates gambling, like loot boxes or slot machines. In the real world we are totally fine with superfluous purchases and conspicuous consumption. No one needs tec-wear or makeup. It’s purely just a fashion statement. I say the same goes for helmets.

I feel like I’ve pre-empted a lot of the more poorly constructed arguments, but if you feel like you can convince me that the inclusions of MTX for Spartan Points is actively bad, then be my guest. Please keep it clean.

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Bruh

You’re placing the burden of proof on the opposition. Why not instead, advocate for why you think purchasable Spartan Points are a good thing? (If you do, that is). Because, from where I am standing I cannot see a single argument in favour of them from a player perspective.

Anything that does have a knock-on positive effect for a certain segment of the playerbase is completely contrived and those issues could be solved through adjustments to how progression works in MCC.

There’s really no need for Microtransactions in MCC

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343 has created these problems - an easy example is limiting the amount of points you can earn per week via challenges. Combine this limiting with the actual price of the various items you can purchase.

Reducing the costs of these items (3 to 2, or 2 to 1) would make these unlockables more attainable.

Similarly, increasing the rewards each week (and not necessarily adjusting the costs of the pieces) could have the same end result.

Instead, 343 fails to acknowledge two options. The “solution” they offered is that you’ll need to spend money to pay for these points when they could easily change a few values and resolve the issue.

Why do cosmetics in a game need to have a real world value tied to them? This illuminates a depressing trend in the gaming space, a need to monetize every aspect of the game. Cool additions can be added without the need to monetize them.

If 343 had implemented the ability to purchase spartan points in this update, and then continues to keep all of the new unlockables in the exchange in order to drive FOMO, does this start to move towards what you’re describing here? Because one half of this was done.

Put all of this aside:

Why do you think 343 SHOULD implement this system?

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Sure. They are good because some people, sometimes want to just skip the grind, no matter how minor, and like I said I think the current grind is already acceptable, and just buy the piece they want. I do this sometimes with games I like.

Sure there is. 343 is a business. Their duty is to make money for the shareholders. That’s what businesses exist to do.

I don’t have an issue with the current grind for points. I think it’s perfectly acceptable, plus improvements are already on the way to make them even better.

I don’t know what anyone could mean by cheapen, other than making some sort of value assessment. Everything with value has a real dollar amount tied to that value.

Good question, no. FOMO in a video game store is not dissimilar from any practice I could find in a grocery store.

Sometimes I feel like I’m the most capitalist person on these forums.

Since you’re the most capitalist person here, I’d like to see your analysis of how much capital you believe will be generated by 343 implementing microtransactions in MCC.

To make it more simple, we can make some assumptions.

Assuming there are ~10,000 players of MCC daily (an aggressive exaggeration) and "whales’ would not be targeted by this implementation since someone who completes their challenges every week wouldn’t need to buy Spartan points.

If you have any background in software development / project management you’ll have the insight to know this microtransaction discussion will never generate any profits. Some small revenue, sure, but never profit.

So, since we can’t make profits with microtransactions with the current system, 343 will have to introduce things to MAKE it generate profits. Let players buy Spartan points, and since now they are so easy to get (you can simply buy them!) they’ll need to increase the amount of points each item costs for example.

This is why this system is nonsensical on its face. I dont think you can justify it with the information any of us (not 343) have.

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Here is my two cents on this:

Adding pay to skip microtransactions in Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a terrible idea and it shouldn’t even be a thing, and everyone should be more than aware as to why adding MTX to MCC is bad; but if some people still don’t know why adding MTX to MCC is bad (looking at you Freaking_Trans), then here are the reasons:

  1. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is NOT a Free to Play game, it’s a $30-40 dollar premium priced AAA remaster collection (with $5-10 dollar DLC add-ons put on sale for the Halo Reach and Halo 3: ODST parts of MCC). No fully priced AAA game should have any type of microtransactions to begin with, they are literally added onto full priced AAA games purely for greed because game sales and DLC sales ain’t enough for these multi million dollar corporations.

  2. Halo: The Master Chief Collection is a REMASTER of games from many years ago, games that never had this crap in their multiplayers to begin with. A remaster of an old game must adhere to the design and essence of the original game in order to stay true to what made the original game special, and if that old game did not have microtransactions at all, then the remaster should keep the same mindset and NOT have them, because having them ruins the original game’s design and essence (perfect example of this happening to a remaster is Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered which got microtransactions added to it post launch, and they completely ruined the multiplayer by unbalancing the progression system and matchmaking balance thanks to Loot Boxes that had plenty of its cosmetics and overpowered weapons).

  3. 343 promised before that Halo MCC’s progression system would be free of monetization elements, which means that its content should only be earned entirely through gameplay and not by paying real money; and yes, this should be final.
    “First, we’re happy to say that Halo: Reach in MCC will in fact have the same level of “mix and match” customization found in the original games (all the individual armor pieces, etc…). As to how it’s earned, we are exploring a new and deeper progression system that retains the feel of the old systems and blends them with newer models for game progression (all based on in-game play, no type of monetization or anything of that nature )” - Quote from Ske7ch on a Reddit AMA prior to Halo Reach flighting on PC (https://www.reddit.com/r/gaming/comments/b2yhk8/mcc_pc_halo_reach_and_halo_insider_ama/).

  4. There is a reason why these older Halo games made their entire unlockable cosmetics earnable through pure gameplay, and it was to keep people hooked into the games and to have them grind for these cosmetics and show them off to their friends, making them willing to play the games for hours to get those cosmetics. If Halo fans are now forced to endure the whales spending real money on skipping the progression systems of these games, it renders the value of the unlockable cosmetics as meaningless, and the progression system becomes unworthy to even grind for.

  5. The online multiplayers of Halos 3, Reach and 4 have been shut down a short while ago (Halo 2’s was deactivated in 2010), so nowadays it’s impossible to play these Halo games online on their own, we have to rely on Halo: MCC to play these past Halo experiences online. This means that Halo fans frustrated at seeing the remasters of these older Halo games getting their progression systems screwed by Pay to Skip microtransactions (or maybe in the future MCC getting more microtransactions of other types) have no choice whatsoever but to play MCC if they want to play these older Halo games online.

  6. If the implementation of MTX on MCC goes well, this will set a terrible precedent of AAA publishers starting to add microtransactions to their remasters of old games that never had them in the first place, becoming a domino effect, ruining Gaming even more than it already is.

  7. The fact that 343 is even considering adding microtransactions to Halo: The Master Chief Collection is sacriledge, and it shouldn’t even be a thing.

I strongly hope they never add them to MCC, ever; and if this means no longer getting new content for MCC, then so be it, I’d rather keep the original games preserved and maintained as how they were instead of having their integrity and design screwed by greed.

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Thank you for directly addressing me. I think you raise some good points, but they don’t convince me of anything, hopefully I can break down my reasoning below.

I can understand not liking MTX in a fully priced premium game, but I don’t see how from a logistical standpoint why that means it should not be done. If it makes a profit, something that businesses are known for doing, then they should do it. It’s their fiduciary duty to shareholders. I don’t distinguish between greedy and non-greedy businesses. To me they are all greedy. Profit is essential to the existence of a corporation.

There are plenty of things in MCC that weren’t there to begin with that aren’t MTX. I’m not sure how we can consistently distinguish between good and bad additions. Is a 60hz tick rate a good addition? Is a higher native resolution a good addition? Are new maps a good addition? Are new weapons a bad addition? Are new armor pieces a bad addition?

So from what I understand, if you want to have a legacy experience then all that stuff is there already. We even have a toggle to disable new additions to the games. What the MTX introduce is purely additive. It doesn’t take any pre-existing asset away from us.

I think loot boxes are uniquely immoral. MCC seemingly won’t introduce loot boxes. The discussion is centered around spending real money on SPs, a definite value that works as a real market with single time purchases. I don’t think the addition of new weapons in CoD4 to supplement the native progression system, which revolves around those weapons, is equivalent to the addition of new cosmetics to supplement a post-hoc progression system.

To be clear, I don’t like how CoD4 Remastered handled it. I find the loot box aspect essentially immoral, and the addition of weapons to be unfun from a gameplay standpoint. There was no toggle in CoD4 Remastered to disable these new elements.

Good point. I don’t think going back on your word is good. If you want to hold them to that then I really can’t argue with you there.

I don’t think enforcing behavior which gets people to sink a large number of hours into the game is necessarily a good thing. What if my preferred way of engaging with Halo is in shorter bursts? Should I be tacitly punished for wanting that? I don’t think so.

I don’t know how casual players who don’t sink money into SPs are “enduring,” people who do sink money into SPs.

No it doesn’t. They still have the same aesthetic value as before. If anything this is valuing the cosmetics by attaching a real dollar amount to the armor market. You could just as easily say, “Yeah, you see that valuable set of armor? I earned that by playing.”

The progression systems were screwed with at launch. All of Halo 3’s original armor pieces are unlocked at the outset. If you want that original progression to be preserved it would require 343 to retroactively retract armor pieces that everyone already has and create a progression system which is somehow universal between all the games in the collection while being at parity with the originals. An impossible ask. I’m fine with how it stands now.

Whether this goes well or not, developers will always find ways to maximize profit for shareholders. I think the proposed implementation of MTX in MCC is fairly unoffensive. No industry can stagnate. They will always innovate in ways you both do and do not like.

This just reads like dogmatism. It’s bad because it’s bad. Well, why is it bad? You had some good points. I just think they’re all very arbitrary and inconsistent. No hate from me. I’m so happy that you took your time to engage with me here, but I’m not convinced.

The games have already diverged from how they were originally. Preserving a legacy experience via MCC was impossible the moment the game launched in 2014.

Here’s why from a logistical standpoint it shouldn’t be done, because there is legitimately no reason for the game to add microtransactions in a game that we already paid money to even have the right to play. We paid for the desire to play the complete experience Day 1 and everything it has to offer, not to continue paying more money to the dev just to unlock parts of the game because they can’t just leave that alone for players to simply earn by just playing. Microtransactions only work for Free to Play games because the developers need to make their money back somehow, and in those it’s through MTX since the game is free, but in fully priced AAA games it’s through game sales (and DLC if they do it).

It also doesn’t help that Halo MCC is a game that was botched at launch, so really 343 improving and adding to the game is more of an apology and them making it up for us due to the messed up state MCC was at launch; so them charging us more money for them to simply fix their mess is inexcusable.

Additions like 60fps, 60hz, and higher resolutions were added because they are the standard for Modern Gaming when it comes to technology and accessibility. Those are added by default if you plan on making a remaster of any old game in the current day and age where most gamers play on high definition screens with powerful Gaming hardware, so these should be expected necessary additions. You won’t see anybody complain about these additions being added because nobody nowadays is going to want to play Halo: The Master Chief Collection on a CRT TV at 480p/30fps, they will want to play it on HDTVs at 1080p/60fps or at 2160p/60fps.
And as for new weapons and new armor pieces being added, that is not a bad addition, it’s a good one. Remasters need to find ways to sell themselves to people who already own the old Halo games, find excuses and reasons to convince these people to get the remaster and spend time with it over the old games.
All of these additions add to the value of the package of MCC, making the proposition of spending $60 dollars (now $40 dollars) on MCC attractive and a worthwhile purchase. Microtransactions add NOTHING to the package for customers, the customers gain nothing by having MTX added to the game.

Alright, then please tell me where is the toggle to disable the new addition of microtransactions in the game. Please tell me where it is so I can officially say I am fine with adding MTX if it means that I can literally disable them from the game entirely and have them not be a part of the game’s progression system so I don’t see players online wearing the Recon armor because they paid real money to get it faster than others that simply played the game.

Don’t get me wrong, CoD 4’s remaster was handled horribly with the Loot Box Microtransactions, and yes Loot Boxes are worse than what 343 is proposing here with MCC. My point was that we already got an example of a remaster getting microtransactions post launch and those ending up ruining the game’s core progression system and balancing, so having this remaster do something similar to it (even if it’s on a less egregious way) is not gonna be good at all.

Simple, here’s an example: You get the Recon armor and you show it online, then you see someone online sporting the same armor as you, you ask him how he got it, and the player says he acquired it by spending real money, which means that he paid to skip the progression, while you actually grinded the game’s progression just to get it, making you look like a fool for not taking the easy path to get it, and in the process discouraging you from trying to grind any more to get any other armors, therefore making the player less encouraged to even spend time with the game.

To those two I got one single response, look at what Monster Hunter’s Series Producer and Director said when discussing if Monster Hunter World would have Loot Box and Progression affecting microtransactions:
“Our focus,” says Tsujimoto, “is on wanting to get people to play our action game and feel the kind of satisfaction that comes with the achievement you get with completing a hunt and getting rewards. We want people to have the experience that we’ve made for them rather than the option to skip the experience.”

Yuuya Tokuda, director of Monster Hunter: World, had a pretty similar response, saying that learning new skills as a player through hunting is what the game is really all about. “And then of course you get rewards of better items; but by skipping out on the part where you get better and hunt – if you’re simply getting more items – I don’t think that’ll be a very satisfying experience for players because it wouldn’t even necessarily make it that much more of a time saver if you haven’t got the skill to use the items you’ve gotten.”

https://www.pcgamesn.com/monster-hunter-world/monster-hunter-world-loot-boxes

Bottom line, gamers should play the game and unlock stuff normally through gameplay in order to feel more rewarded and more satisfaction by doing so and to keep them engaged in playing the game; by adding a Pay to Skip with real money function, you actively discourage gamers from playing your game, because you are telling them that it isn’t worth it to play the game if you consider it meaningless to play your game and would rather just get upfront money for it than let your customers enjoy your product.

Honestly most of Halo MCC was screwed at launch, so I won’t deny the progression system being screwed at launch or the game’s offerings being busted. I will agree that yeah, it is a monumental task now to bring those games to a state where they mega resemble the old Halo games; however, considering how they’ve pretty much addressed a lot of the big issues of MCC and is now in a much better state than it was before, they should at least take great strides in making the remaster as good as it can be; so adding MTX to the game is not the way to go in making it better. It’s also a slap in the face to the customers who were there at launch hoping MCC would be in a good state, and right as they see it get massively improved and now be a very good way to play these older Halo games, we suddenly get news that Pay to Skip Microtransactions will be added to the Progression System to devalue grinding through the Progression System to get the old and new armors included in MCC.

It’s only truly inoffensive if it is not tied to the game’s Progression System or any other system focused on gameplay balancing or gameplay unlocks. If they want to add MTX to MCC, the least offensive way to do so is adding a few specially designed new emblems or skins that can’t be unlocked through gameplay and only through a shop of sorts (and they also don’t cost too much).

Tell me a single time where microtransactions in a AAA video game proved to be beneficial for customers and ended up making the game better for them, compared to if the game never had them at all. Tell me one single time that MTX improved the game and made it better for everybody and not just better for the developer and publisher of the game. I dare you to find me a good example of a AAA game that truly got better (or became good) by adding microtransactions to it.

I already said there is. It’s money. 343 exists to make money. That is what corporations do.

Currently we have MORE than the day 1 experience available to us. From what I understand, nothing about how they plan to implement MTX changes the day 1 experience. Everything that was available for no extra charge on day 1 will still be available for no extra charge. This is purely additive.

It’s not about making their money back. They made their money back in 2014 durring the launch of the game. It’s about making MORE money. I don’t have an issue with a company doing what they can to fulfill their fiduciary responsibility.

They aren’t going to be charging for future patches and updates though. They’re charging for tokens which will allow you to access assets that they created post-hoc.

And the fiduciary duty to increase profits also ressembles that of the modern games industry. The distinction your making between good changes and bad changes is arbitrary. I’m not saying these distinctions are meaningless, it’s just that you’re not giving me anything that I don’t already know. Make the argument, don’t just gesture to two things and go, “See?”

This is what I mean by arbitrary. It’s a good addition because you like it and it’s a bad addition if you don’t like it. What about the people who disagree with you so much that they lobbied for 343 to include a legacy toggle after the update? Again, I’m not arguing with you about your subjective opinion. It’s just not giving me anything that I didn’t already know.

And the proposition of paying money to buy SPs is attractive and worthwhile to those who want to skip the grind. The same grind which I think is perfectly acceptable by the way.

Sure they do. They get the option to progress through the cosmetics at their own pace. Maybe you don’t like that, but some people do.

It’s simple, just don’t purchase MTX. That’s the toggle.

Everyone has recon already. It unlocks when you start the game. No one has recon through MTX. This is such a bad example. Furthermore, how would you even KNOW of someone got something through MTX unless you specifically added a toggle to the game? This is such weird argumenation.

And my point is that the two are disanalogous. Tokens which allow for unlocking cosmetics which can be earned through gameplay is not the same as changing the core progression and balancing. The progression and balancing exist exclusively from cosmetics. Progression has an indirect link to cosmetics. This isn’t enough for me to care.

No one on planet earth has ever once done this, but I’ll entertain the hypothical.

No one is free from peer stigma. If this made up scenario makes you feel bad, then I’m sorry, but I’ve grinded for things and paid for things and neither has ever made me feel bad about the other. Your reaction to what someone else chooses to spend their money on isn’t you, “enduring” them. That’s ridiculous.

You might as well say that by spending money on tokens to unlock armor that I am dealing psychic damage to you. No, I do not accept this one bit.

They’re entitled to their opinions, but for me when it comes to essentially virtual dress-up, we’re not bestowing anyone with the ability to suddenly outperform anyone else, I have no issues with paying real money for cosmetics. Like how I have no issue with paying money for my nail polish or my makeup. It’s just a vanity item.

I disagree. People should play the game and unlock stuff in the way that they feel rewards them personally.

You say that as if it’s just accepted fact. This is a vibes argument. I have no idea if premium cosmetics makes people feel like playing their game of choice is meaningless or not, but I know for sure that it doesn’t make me feel that way. Please, give me some data and a prescriptive statement. All you are doing is appealing to how the shapeless ethereal gamer feels about this, which conveniently aligns with your wants.

Let me be clear. I do not care what you want. I don’t care what, “gamers,” want. I care what I want. What I want is for harm to be minimized and to play an enjoyable video game experience. I have a personal threshold for how much money I’m willing to spend on that game and it changes with the level of quality/exploitation coming out of that experience.

Now you can’t get me to change my preferences on what I’m willing to spend for something I want unless you can demonstrate real harm first. Everything else is just static to my ears.

Sure Titanfall 2 with its premium camo bundles was beneficialto me because I liked them and wanted to support a studio that got shafted by EA. This is such a dumb gotcha. All I have to do is find a time where someone liked what they purchased. Compared to if they didn’t spend money? Okay, tell me one time where you spent $60 dollars for a great game that you really enjoyed that was benifitial to you compared to if you didn’t spend any money on it at all.

That’s such a goofy standard to approach this from. The tokens are the product. Of course I would like it more if I could get a bunch of tokens for free without having to do anything for them, just like how I would like a full $60 dollar game for free without having to do anything for them.

Your whole response presupposes that MTX are some sort of entirely unique form of commodification that couldn’t exist anywhere else.

This is what I have to say on the topic:

Halo: The Master Chief Collection does NOT deserve microtransactions, especially the pay-to-skip kind. No exceptions. MCC is a $30~$40 premium-priced AAA remaster collection (with $5~$10 DLC add-ons to grant access to ODST and Reach), NOT a FREE-2-PLAY game like Halo Infinite is. Anyone who supports MCC getting MTXs is basically asking for MCC to become Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Remastered 2.0. Please just no.

None of the Halo games in the collection had MTXs in their multiplayers to begin with (other than H3, Reach, and H4 having paid map packs, such as the Castle Map Pack in the latter) that ruined the experience. Remasters of old games must adhere to the design and essence of the original to stay true to what made it special, and if the original did NOT have any MTXs at all, then the remasters should NOT have them either. On this topic, COD MWR added MTXs and loot box-locked overpowered weapons, completely destroying the multiplayer experience. By contrast, Serious Sam HD: The Second Encounter featured various player models usable in multiplayer that were paid DLC (e.g. scaled down Ugh-Zan III), but thankfully they were ALL optional and did not dilute the multiplayer experience as they all played exactly the same.

The Halo franchise (at least going all the way to H4) has always been designed around grinding and playing a lot to get the cosmetics you want. Why anyone would want this gone in favor of a pay-2-skip MTX option like what 343 is apparently proposing sickens and baffles me at the same time.

MCC should NOT end up the same fate as Infinite - a microtransaction-filled failure. I still remember that MCC had a terrible launch in 2014 that took 4 years to recover from. I do NOT want MCC to come back to that. Period. The day MCC gets MTXs is the day it leaves my Xbox for good.

This sounds quite contradictory. Both are manipulative ways to extort additional funds from players.

At least a lootbox tells you its random. Buying spartan points is effectively selling you a solution to a problem 343 created. They may have made it easier to earn spartan points this season, but they also coincidentally threw everything new in the exchange, effectively increasing their cost, and introducing the same rotating store fomo elements that plague infinite.

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Allow me to explain. Loot boxes emulate gambling and slot machine which prey on people with specially weak impulse control and mental disorders. Gambling addiction is classified as a disease by the DSM. One time purchases that relate to a cosmetic item are not the same thing. I buy makeup and nail polish all the time. While I think capitalism is coercive by nature, I certainly think pretty video game dress up via ome time purchases is much less exploitative than emulated gambling.

Same. I’m prepared to uninstall MCC the second MTX go live, I have plenty of other games I can play, I’m prepared to bury MCC if need be. I’ll throw Infinite in there too, two corpses, one grave.

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I feel like that’ll also be the final straw for me too which is sad because with the PC launch of MCC at the end of 2019 there was a massive revival. And there’s still good things to come, like with the restored modding cut content as well as the remainders of the mod tools (Reach mod tools might be next week). Everyone has their limits in what they can tolerate, though.

If you look at MCC, it’s pretty clear that everything they’re doing is framed around Microtransactions from a design standpoint. So, to me, I feel like it’s almost inevitable at this point

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This means nothing to me. There are many things in MCC that were not in the original titles.

So MCC isn’t adding loot boxes or special weapons that exist to give you the edge over opponents. The idea is specifically to add the ability to purchase spartan points, the unlock tokens, with real currency. This is by far much closer to your Serious Sam example than the Modern Warfare one. The purchasing of SPs will be optional, they won’t override the pre-existing means of obtaining anything.

Nice, I work 40+ hours every week. I don’t want to always grind for everything. Sometimes I just want a thing, and if I like the thing enough, I’ll purchase the thing.

The problem is…how long till content becomes blocked and locked to MT only? Halo Infinite is a good example of how bad things can get since items are locked behind 2nd paywalls and that has made the game mostly unenjoyable. MCC doesn’t need MT. Once tokens become ‘rare’ and prices go up…it seems more likely it’ll become a predatory live service.

This is just a slippery slope. I have no reason to believe this will be the case. What if the moon falls to earth and lands in Lake Tahoe? Jeez dude, what if?

I’m talking singularly about what has been proposed. The idea of improving the current system for gaining SPs, which I believe is perfectly acceptable, and tacking onto that the option to purchase those SPs.

I don’t see how making SPs artifically rare, which I don’t think will be the case, is any more predatory than any practice I could find at a grocery store.

What do you mean? There were plenty of good arguments. 343 tried to exploit spartan points instead of adding more chances to earn more like everyone wanted.

Leave MCC alone.

Umm except the points I made is the sort of things game designers are expected to think about…aka the good and the bad.

Lately 343i have been focusing on the opposite of ‘Player 1st mentality’.
The shopping thing isn’t really relevant. It be like if tomorrow only 1 shop existed with 1 set of products then supercharged everything and people wouldn’t be able to do anything about it even if the shop went bust due to overcharging.

The thing is since the promises were made with Infinite and not kept…it’s hard for me to not expect the worst when it comes to MCC since currently 343i don’t seem to understand how to manage the IP or respect the fanbase.

The thing is just because a company may do something predatory doesn’t really make it ok for another company to do the same even if a few random people try to rationalize predatory behavior.