The Big Mistake
About a week ago, Respawn decided to drop a fun little event called the Iron Crown, which would allow players the ability to unlock some of the most unique and exciting looking character and weapon skins in the game. Problem with that is that they put them behind a giant paywall. Along with the new cosmetic items, they also debuted the solo playlist, which allows you to play Apex Legends without a second or third teammate. It definitely adds to the craziness of the game and really relies on your own personal skill to make it to the number one spot. That’s all fine and good, but that is not what I’m here to rant about. I’m here to talk about that damn loot box system they implemented for this event and why it’s absolute trash and how they can fix it for next time, so strap in.
First off, let’s talk about the pay system for this. You have the ability to buy the Apex packs, which are roughly $7 USD for just one pack. I understand that you have a 50/50 chance of getting an Epic or Legendary item, but seven dollars for one pack I feel is just too high. If I bought packs until I got every item, it comes out to roughly $170 total that I would have to spend in order to get the awesome new items. That is ridiculous! I understand the game is free and I know that the developer has to make money on this game, but do not take advantage of your players like that. Why didn’t you just add these items to the battle pass you already have?
God knows that could use a revamp as far as the cosmetic items you offer because they are about as generic as the default skins for each gun. Not to mention, the crowns that you can get for playing the game don’t even go towards those items, they go towards the Iron Crown Event Shop, which has a whole other list of items that. While some of them are cool, they are not the other skins that people actually want. You want to know what would fix this? Charge a bit more for the battle pass, make it $20 or 25$ and put some more effort into the skins and rewards you offer in it. The stuff in there right now doesn’t even come close to interesting me and therefore, makes me absolutely care less about the battle pass.
Another thing they could do is make these items cost a bit less overall. The least amount of money you can spend in the game is $10 and some of the items don’t even cost that much. Give me like a $2 and a $5, in addition to the other coin options. I say this because some of the items just in the store, in general, are 1200 coins. Well, that would be roughly $12, but in order to get that item, I have to drop $20 and get 2150 coin in order to purchase the item. The reason I bring this up and why it pertains to the Iron Crown store is that each pack costs 700 coins, which is $7. In order to get that one pack, I have to drop $10. The other option they give you is to get 10 packs, which is 7000 coins, approximately $70 dollars. Not many people have that kind of cash to drop on this game. Most people want to just hop in, play some games, get some cool stuff and hop back out. Apex is just a nice time-waster like that.
Even if you’re a hardcore gamer and play this game for a number of hours each week, the thought of dropping $70 on this game just to get a few cosmetic items just seems, to me, to be a bit much to ask of your players. What they should have done was put them in the season 2 battle pass to begin with and let players earn them through playing the game. I can tell you personally, I would play the game a hell of a lot more had they done that than tried to get me to spend tons of money on the game.
The Wraith of Both Sides
Apex developers reached out and made posts on Reddit in regards to the backlash they received over all of this. While Respawn has come out saying that they were going to restructure the event for its last week and make it more approachable, that didn’t stop players from voicing their opinions. One dev, who goes by the name “dko5” on Reddit came out calling players “asshats” for coming out and voicing their opinions. He even went as far as calling gamers “free loaders” because we all want stuff for cheap. While I personally disagree with that statement, I also want to add that the developers received a lot of hate over this entire thing. While it was wrong for the community to come out and send death threats to the developers, it wasn’t exactly professional for the devs to come out and start firing remarks back. In the same vein, someone who works tirelessly for years and years on a project, only to have it belittled by players, can be a little frustrating and the devs can only be so nice for so long.
Now, I’m not saying that some people don’t go a little overboard and say some things that are completely unnecessary and downright toxic, but to respond to that by calling players asshats isn’t gonna fix the issue. Dko5 even came out and said “we are humans and we will make mistakes,” which is fine — we get that you’re human and all — but who, in the board meetings, all came to a consensus and said that charging players $170 to get your best loot was a good idea? I’m all for Respawn quickly addressing the issue and coming out saying that a revision of the system was in place. I think that was their best option and they did right by the players in that aspect. What they should do now is not only make it more approachable for players but also extend the event another week so that people who might have been turned off by the initial impact of the event can have some time to come back and earn the loot.
I am totally fine with spending money on a game, I don’t want people reading this to think that is where my stance is on this. My problem is when you make the stuff so expensive and virtually unobtainable. People want to earn loot by playing the game. They want the ability to play the game they love for hours and actually earn their way to a sweet skin for a gun they love using or for a character they main every game. You will find those people that don’t mind dropping money to instantly obtain that skin, but I for one like to earn my stuff. I can guarantee that if they put worthwhile items in their next battle pass, giving an awesome legendary item every 20 levels or so, you will keep your player base coming back for more. You have to trickle those items out to people and not just put it at the end. Putting stuff at the end can be a bit daunting for some players and could cause them to not want to play or at the very least, purchase your battle pass.
Respawn is definitely committed to making Apex Legends as good of a game as they can and adding extra modes and more loot to it is definitely a right way to go. There is also a wrong way to go about doing that and they have caught ridicule because of it. I strongly believe that they will turn things around and in the players’ favor and I’ll definitely be there when they do. I will continue to play this game because it is a ton of fun. I just want an easier way to get cool looking items.
David loves to play the guitar, though not always to other peoples favorite genres. He loves to play video games and has played them for longer than he cares to admit. His Favorite games to date include The Witcher 3, Rocket League, Titanfall 2, Bioshock, Halo and a new favorite, God of War. He has always wanted to do something in the gaming industry. Since he’s no programmer (yet), writing about them and why he likes them will have to do. Feel free to follow him on Twitter for all things gaming and maybe a few things that aren’t. Currently teaching himself programming and learning UE4 to make games that he’s always wanted to play!