I'd like to use this post to try to document the instances where Cryptic/PWE has released an apparently overpowered item available via microtransactions, sold and promoted it for many months, and then significantly nerfed the item much later (often coinciding with the introduction of some newer item for sale). Perhaps looking at this track record, players will be able to make better informed decisions before investing much effort/time/money into the newest microtransaction items.
Legion Gear released as upper-tier Lockbox prize
Legacy Devices released for purchase from Drifter Store
Legion Gear indirectly nerfed (by changing to diminishing return curves on dodge%, crit%), after 11 months of sales
Justice Gear introduced
Mark 1 Vehicles Nerfed - Combat Speed, after 19 months of sales
Gravity Pulse weapon nerfed (1 second rechard between taps/# of targets capped), after 16 months
Plasma Beam weapon nerfed (plasma shear), after 16 months
Vehicle mods "fixed"
Railgun weapon nerfed (range), after 16 months
Micromunitions rebalanced (unclear if buff or nerf)
Incendiary Round weapon nerfed (# of Targets/Energy Cost/Taunt), after 16 months
Plasma Beam weapon nerfed (damage effectively decreased by 20%), 6 months after Mark 3 upgrade (which increased damage by 20%) offered
Regenerative Biosteel vehicle mod nerfed (vehicle energy gain)
Plasma Beam weapon nerfed yet again (damage, plasma shear removed)
Some things to think about:
AA Missile weapon nerfed (damage, energy cost)
Heavy Cannon weapon buffed (damage, recharge time)
- Is there a pattern of "pay-to-win" items being offered for sale and then nerfed months later?
- Is there a pattern of "forced obsolesence" of pay-to-win items, i.e. the old version is devalued as a new & improved item is offered for sale?
- If so, who benefits from these patterns? Who is harmed?
- Is it a good business practice to continually "burn" the customers that pay for these things?
- Is it reasonable for microtransaction items to be retroactively and majorly devalued by the development team months after purchase?
- Can these situations be reasonably avoided by industry-standard development/testing practices?
- If not, is it ethical to be offering these via microtransaction/pay-to-win at all?
LTS since 2009. Author of ACT parser module for CO. Founder of Rampagers. Resident curmudgeon.
"Without data, you're just another person with an opinion." -- W. Edwards Deming