The Weekend Chat: Should Developers Be More Transparent with Game Design?

 
 

Over the last week, Destiny 2’s community discovered that Bungie were throttling end-game XP, which some believed was being used to steer them towards buying microtransactions.

The developer responded with a clumsy fix, removing the controversial system but then doubling the required XP to level. They then followed with a formal post detailing the future of the game, adding that they had “betrayed” the trust of their community.

Should developers be more open about their game’s design?

Should we know how the gears are turning under our games? Does it just apply to those that are more mechanically dense, and require a large time-investment from players? Let us know in the comments below!



 

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Comments Comments (12)

 
Posted by kniteowl
On Friday 1 Dec 2017 3:52 PM
3
I think the issue wouldn't be as big if micro transactions were not part of Destiny 2. Sure the end game content was mainly cosmetic but if you were being cynical, one could say they were misrepresenting XP gain/progress in the endgame to try and increase the appeal of micro transaction items. If there was no "alternative" way of obtaining the fated engrams, the strange XP throttling affected everyone anyway so it would be a pretty meh reaction.

Thats how I saw it anyway.
 
 
 
Posted by guido
On Friday 1 Dec 2017 3:56 PM
3
They should when the very system they're fiddling with is tied to potential monetary transactions! They effectively sell for real cash money increased XP gains in the form of Fireteam medallions which last 4 hours but then you get XP throttled if you do too many public events?!

So isn't that some form of theft or fraud? Shouldn't people that bought medallions that didn't work to their full potential get a refund? Oh wait they can't because they obfuscate the spending via what I will now term the dust buffer. Thanks to the dust buffer (perhaps more correctly the bright engram buffer?) there's no direct relationship between the real dollars you spend on silver and the items in game you purchase using dust because it can also be earned in game!!? /rant
 
 
 
Posted by AdamC
On Friday 1 Dec 2017 4:24 PM
1
I think that if the game tells you that you’re getting something then that should be what you are getting. Especially when they are selling xp bonuses with pop tarts and selling the xp rewards separately
 
 
 
Posted by drunk_monk
On Friday 1 Dec 2017 5:50 PM
1
Ha this is what people used to get criticised for hypothesising.

It literally sounds like a worst case scenario.

Oh snap, people caught us limiting their XP. Stop that from happening and double the amount of XP required to level up. They will think we are respecting them as paying customers, but we will be secretly screwing them.

Oh we got caught doing that too. Weeeeere soooorry.

They should be more fine at and open, but they will do what they can to make money for their shareholders including pulling the wool over people's eyes. It will only stop if they lose sales.
 
 
 
Posted by ThatUndeadLegacy
On Saturday 2 Dec 2017 10:10 AM
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its hard to hide stuff from gamers, especially when the games on pc.
 
 
 
Posted by jmduknz
On Saturday 2 Dec 2017 12:39 PM
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Agree, whilst I'm very much black box when it comes to games - I don't need to know how they play so long as its fun - if there is a grind and progression tied to XP then they need to be clear about what its happening. I'm less worried about the throttling back of repeating the same thing than I am about the fibbing.
That being said I know nothing about Destiny although the free trial has me tempted to dip my toe, if only I had the time to actually play.
 
 
 
Posted by Ron
On Sunday 3 Dec 2017 11:44 AM
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I find it interesting that Sony seems to not have entered this microtransactions world and seems to focus on quality single player experiences.
 
 
 
Posted by AdamC
On Sunday 3 Dec 2017 4:38 PM
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3 December 2017, 11:44 AM Reply to Ron
I find it interesting that Sony seems to not have entered this microtransactions world and seems to focus on quality single player experiences.
I like the fact that it seems to coincide with sales for them too. Sony and Nintendo, Strong console sales, and then theres microsoft and there lootboxes.
 
 
 
Posted by ReaperCrew
On Sunday 3 Dec 2017 6:19 PM
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I don't think game makers, including Bungie, need to be transparent, especially with the level of toxicity that seems to unfortunately exist. A good game design will be popular regardless of how transparent they are and it is nice to be surprised every now and then.
The mistake Bungie and some other game makers have been making, in my opinion, is that they keep underestimating how bright and intelligent their player base is. Many players these days are quickly able to see through designs that exist solely for increasing profits and other self serving intentions.
 
 
 
Posted by AdamC
On Sunday 3 Dec 2017 7:05 PM
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3 December 2017, 06:19 PM Reply to ReaperCrew
I don't think game makers, including Bungie, need to be transparent, especially with the level of toxicity that seems to unfortunately exist. A good game design will be popular regardless of how transparent they are and it is nice to be surprised every now and then.
The mistake Bungie and some other game makers have been making, in my opinion, is that they keep underestimating how bright and intelligent their player base is. Many players these days are quickly able to see through designs that exist solely for increasing profits and other self serving intentions.
So you dont think its wrong that they are selling XP Bonuses for Real Money, and pretending to give them a big reward? You think they should just hide it better?
 
 
 
Posted by ReaperCrew
On Sunday 3 Dec 2017 8:37 PM
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3 December 2017, 07:05 PM Reply to AdamC
So you dont think its wrong that they are selling XP Bonuses for Real Money, and pretending to give them a big reward? You think they should just hide it better?
Sorry, I think my point was missed a little. Good design doesn't need to be transparent. If they try and hide progression with real money, lootboxes, or whatever new technique they use, they should expect to be crucified. The gaming community is far more able to identify these methods, regardless of how they are presented and the fact that developers are getting caught out so quickly is a sign of how little they know their own players and how little they think of them.
 
 
 
Posted by Deanology
On Wednesday 6 Dec 2017 2:04 PM
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If they had have been straight up with the information to begin with, it would've been fine.
Seeing as after you reach max-level, 20 - the light-lvl grind is more important than being gifted bright engrams.

I don't really care if the XP requirement is doubled. Bright Engrams, for the most part are flashy-junk, anyway.