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Deus Ex Mankind Divided. Forgive and Forget?

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If the microtransactions and single use DLC items ruined the game for Jim Sterling, I honestly feel sorry for him. For me those things have had very little impact on the game...

What Jim Sterling is talking about has nothing to do with microtransactions/DLC impact on the gameplay. He's talking about being against the principle of microtransactions/DLCs being in full priced games itself. He even said that he enjoyed Mankind divided. That the microtransactions were so rushed that the game's pacing wasn't designed to accompany them effectively making them worthless in the first place. But he wants the games industry to stop using microtransactions/DLC as they ultimately serve to undermine the consumer. It's his agenda and it's one that agree with 100%. For every inch they're given publishers will make them the biggest fucking miles you can imagine. It's only a matter of time till the power of the consumer's purchases widdled down to nothing and the soul of video games being split into 100s of tiny, minute slivers of DLC for $2.99 each. That might have been a bit exaggerative but you get my point.

I'm not saying I started the fire. But I most certain poured gasoline on it.

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If the microtransactions and single use DLC items ruined the game for Jim Sterling, I honestly feel sorry for him. For me those things have had very little impact on the game...

What Jim Sterling is talking about has nothing to do with microtransactions/DLC impact on the gameplay. He's talking about being against the principle of microtransactions/DLCs being in full priced games itself. He even said that he enjoyed Mankind divided. That the microtransactions were so rushed that the game's pacing wasn't designed to accompany them effectively making them worthless in the first place. But he wants the games industry to stop using microtransactions/DLC as they ultimately serve to undermine the consumer. It's his agenda and it's one that agree with 100%. For every inch they're given publishers will make them the biggest fucking miles you can imagine. It's only a matter of time till the power of the consumer's purchases widdled down to nothing and the soul of video games being split into 100s of tiny, minute slivers of DLC for $2.99 each. That might have been a bit exaggerative but you get my point.

 

To that end, I find it all the more astounding that Square Enix STILL pulled this crap despite how much flak they caught for "Augment Your Pre-Order". I mean, obviously that just shows how much they fear consumers' reaction, that is to say not at all. When they know they can throw it in in a way that people won't know until after other people have started buying it, what's to stop them?

 

But then, this is why CDProjectRed was rated best developers for last year's awards. They were recognized for doing something basically no other major developers/companies have done in recent memory, providing free DLC where other companies would have squeezed that same stuff for fistfuls of dollars. All the while making a great game and great legitimate expansions.

 

Having said that though, I don't think Jim's doing anyone a service by getting as heated about this as he has been in terms of trying to justify his vindication, because I'm not entirely seeing it other than the fact that he's gotten a rare glimpse behind the curtain as to how this shit is effecting developers, but I'd argue that is more a fault of Square Enix's management and direction styles, not the implementation of Micro transactions. Mankind Divided is not the hill to die on for making a case that micro transactions need to be gone, in fact its not a very good case at all compared to at least a dozen other legitimate cases that have been brought up in the past for other games.

 

If anything, its an argument for how micro transactions can be put into a game that is still balanced regardless of whether you use them or not, especially because its a single player game. If Square Enix just hadn't been complete idiots and dropped the idea into Eidos' lap a month before release, I personally don't think there would be much of an issue to argue beyond abstract principles.

 

Hell, the latest Halo was a better case, because at launch that had such bare bones features yet still had the amazing idea to put micro transactions in first before Forge, or other modes and maps. Because that's a great set of priorities, right?

Long is the way; and hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light-Paradise Lost

By the power of truth, while I live, I have conquered the universe-Faust

The only absolute is that there are no absolutes, except that one

Vae Victus-Brennus

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If the microtransactions and single use DLC items ruined the game for Jim Sterling, I honestly feel sorry for him. For me those things have had very little impact on the game...

What Jim Sterling is talking about has nothing to do with microtransactions/DLC impact on the gameplay. He's talking about being against the principle of microtransactions/DLCs being in full priced games itself. He even said that he enjoyed Mankind divided. That the microtransactions were so rushed that the game's pacing wasn't designed to accompany them effectively making them worthless in the first place. But he wants the games industry to stop using microtransactions/DLC as they ultimately serve to undermine the consumer. It's his agenda and it's one that agree with 100%. For every inch they're given publishers will make them the biggest fucking miles you can imagine. It's only a matter of time till the power of the consumer's purchases widdled down to nothing and the soul of video games being split into 100s of tiny, minute slivers of DLC for $2.99 each. That might have been a bit exaggerative but you get my point.

As long as the microtransactions aren't paywalls and not mandatory in any way I don't really care if they are there.

Game developments at http://nukedprotons.blogspot.com
I also write content at http://www.bagogames.com

Check out my music at http://technomancer.bandcamp.com

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As long as the microtransactions aren't paywalls and not mandatory in any way I don't really care if they are there.

Alright then, just don't be surprised if you won't be buying whole video games 5-10 years from now. They'll be $60 lifeless husks with their original content split between 6 $10-15 DLC.

 

If you really don't care about what you purchase and what your purchases say then I really can't compel you to do so otherwise. But whether you recognize it or not all purchases have grand ramifications and set horrifying precedents for the publishers and developers. If you preordered Mankind Divided that means Square Enix was entirely justified in creating that "Augment your preorder" system. If you bought Mankind Divided that means you endorse microtransactions in full priced games. Your purchase speaks volumes for the future of the AAA games industry and the overall conversation surrounding it.

 

They'll have their way with your wallet in whatever way they please if given the opportunity. Preferably right underneath your nose when your not looking. That $60 entry fee you paid for will eventually mean nothing in 5-10 years from now unless we do something to stop bad practices amongst publishers and developers. We as gamers are bordering on a doomsday scenario here. This very well might mean the end of the AAA games industry as we know it. It will still be around but it will have evolved into something far more dark and sinister than it currently is.

I'm not saying I started the fire. But I most certain poured gasoline on it.

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I preordered the game after the whole "augment your preorder" thing was pretty much cancelled and they instead rolled all of those things into a digital deluxe edition, so I didn't support that. hell, at first I didn't even want to preorder until they got rid of that system. So for your information, that thing actually ended up not happening so don't make any issue about it.

And I was not aware of the microtransactions when I preordered. And like I said, they do not impact the game in any way for me, so is it a bad thing that they're there? I'm not sure.

 

I did NOT buy the game to support any of these practices, I bought the game because it's fucking Deus Ex and I've been fucking hyped for it since HR came out. I am playing it now, I am loving it, not having too many issues with it and like I've said like 10 times already, the microtransactions have ZERO impact on the game for my sake.

 

I don't mind you being against these practices, I'm not super fond of them either when they keep me from fully enjoying a game and they are a far bigger problem in f2p games honestly where it seems the richest assholes are the ones with the best equipment.

 

But please don't ever start blaming the consumers for these practices.

 

To quote Jensen, I never asked for this.

 

I'm generally not as pessimistic about the whole thing as you are, I guess. As long as I have fun and can enjoy the game, the microtransactions are just kinda there for me and I don't really care. And all I want is for games to be fun, and if I play a game where microtransactions get in the way of this, YES, I WILL fucking complain about it, but I personally see NO reason to complain about it in the case of Mankind Divided cause the whole game seems to work fine without them.

 

Another reason I generally don't care is that Mankind Divided is entirely a single player experience for the most part. If someone spends a fuckload of money on praxis kits it has ZERO impact on my enjoyment of the game if I choose not to.

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I'm afraid you've misconstrued the issue here. Whether or not you personally support microtransactions/DLC is irrelevant if you support them monetarily. Opinions are all well and good but they mean nothing if you can't stick by them. At the end of the day your purchase says that you're fine with Square Enix's decisions and don't care.

 

Now by no means am I blaming you for this and do not personally hold this against you. A lot of consumers just want to buy a game and enjoy it for what it is. But that doesn't make up for the fact that their purchases still have lasting repercussions when it comes to AAA games industry and to the conversation at large. In an ideal world consumers would be able to just buy whatever they want and not have to worry. But it's no longer safe for them to do so without some of them getting burned such as myself and many others.

 

I'm also not asking you to join a fight that your heart isn't in. Your more than welcome to continue what your doing and go about your business. You may not be as passionately zealous or personally invested in gaming as I am. That just means you want to go about gaming in a very normal casual way with no strings attached and that's fine. But I must know exactly where I stand because I refuse to tolerate ignorance on my part and many others do as well. We are fighting a war that you don't want to see, that no one wants to see. But we see that war for what it is and must act on our respective moral consciousnesses.

I'm not saying I started the fire. But I most certain poured gasoline on it.

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I just want to play games and enjoy them. That's what games are for. I'm not looking to get into any kind of agenda about the business practices of publishers. As long as the practices don't get in the way of my enjoyment for a game, I generally don't care. So at least you know my stance. It's not about digging my head in the sand and being ignorant to these practices, it's just that for me it's not as black and white as you make it out to be. And when you decide to turn it into an "us and them" kind of thing and labeling people as ignorant sheep for merely wanting to buy a game, play it and have fun with it, then you're kind of coming off as a bigot.

 

And honestly, you're bringing up Mankind Divided as an example of a game where microtransactions are a bad addition? I can think of worse examples than this, such as games like Blacklight Retribution where most of the weapons and even skins and colours are hidden behind paywalls and some stuff you can only have for a limited amount of time unless you pay to own it permanently. I know that's a f2p game but that's a game I gave up on because it ended up being hugely expensive for me. In Mankind Divided they have almost zero impact on the game itself, I don't get what the big deal is...

 

And yeah, I get it's about the big picture, what these practices can end up doing in the long run but I'm not one to count my chickens before they're hatched and until I actually see the industry getting there and getting that bad I remain optimistic and I judge games on a game-to-game basis, I don't generalize them and say "this is bad in every game". It's always about nuances. You don't have to be so damn cynical about everything in my opinion.

 

This is the main reason I'm not a fan of Jim Sterling and similar reviewers who are so caught up in their agenda they lose focus on the games themselves and it stops being about the games and more about how much they dislike business practices and corporate greed. I have NOTHING against mentioning it and pointing it out, if it bothers you I can understand that, but focusing an entire review on it or making such a huge deal out of it is not my cup of tea. I'm just not that cynical.

 

Bottom line, let's agree to disagree.

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My reasoning for thinking this was a bad move comes from a slightly different perspective. Everything that goes into the game goes in on budget. Time and money is spent putting these features into the game that I always viewed as being wasted on it. All of that could have been spent on more meaningful additions to the game. (content, polish, etc) Sure you could argue that the game is good enough as it is but not only is "good enough" something I'm against on principle alone (During my time at college, "good enough" came to mean "I don't want to do more than I have to". Not always the case no doubt but it sure is common), but even the best game could always be better and that little extra bit could help. Given that, an in-game store that's inconsequential and ultimately doesn't affect the overall experience becomes even worse for me because it's makes the time taken away from the core game itself wasted. No matter what angle I look at it from it always just feels like a wasted effort that isn't there for the benefit of the game.

 

In the end I don't care how other people choose to use their money or whether or not in-game stores bother them. I just don't like them and these are my reasons why.

 

If the game's good, cool. I may pick it up during a sale or something because money ran away from home. I'm just talking about the store feature is all.

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Of course, I'm not saying I endorse the addition and agree the game could've used some more polish and optimization rather than adding microtransactions. Just saying they don't have much impact on the game for me and thus I don't really care they are there.

Game developments at http://nukedprotons.blogspot.com
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There have been blatantly far worse examples of Micro transactions in the past with other games that have been far worse themselves, if those didn't elicit a revolt among gamers to vocally want them out of the industry for good, this case certainly won't.

 

The inclusion of them doesn't break the game, nor did Eidos break the game to make them included. Planetside 2 arguably has more "problematic" pay-to-win mechanics than Mankind Divided.

 

In regards to Mankind Divided, I'm more pissed to learn that Square Enix basically cut the game in half in order to make two games and have had two teams working on Deus Ex games since 2015, which explains the abrupt and incomplete conclusion of MD's story.

 

But as we know already, Square Enix is a scummy company like many others, so why we should be surprised that they'll continue to be scummy to make more money, IDK.

 

Besides, we're all arguing despite the fact that we all know that none of us have even partaken, nor intend to partake in the feature we're arguing over making a big deal out of. We're not the audience that needs convincing not to support micro transactions. And even if we go by the argument that "Buying the game alone supports micro transactions", by that argument it implies that it cost Square Enix nothing to put them in (since the price of the game did not increase on account of adding micro transactions). Which if it cost Square Enix nothing to put the feature in (which I personally believe as well), then what good is protesting it anyway? They have only incentives to put it in since it costs them nothing. And we've established they don't give a fuck about what gamers think in terms of these kinds of decisions anyway.

 

I'd also wager Square Enix will not make much money regardless, since they have to make up the enormous fucking budget they spent anyway.

Long is the way; and hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light-Paradise Lost

By the power of truth, while I live, I have conquered the universe-Faust

The only absolute is that there are no absolutes, except that one

Vae Victus-Brennus

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This is the main reason I'm not a fan of Jim Sterling and similar reviewers who are so caught up in their agenda they lose focus on the games themselves and it stops being about the games and more about how much they dislike business practices and corporate greed. I have NOTHING against mentioning it and pointing it out, if it bothers you I can understand that, but focusing an entire review on it or making such a huge deal out of it is not my cup of tea. I'm just not that cynical.

Not entirely on topic, I'd just like to point out that the Jimquisition is not a review series. They are really more video essay's. Actually reviewing the game(and liking it in this case) he does though other outlets.

 

Anyway I'd like to address the notion that "protesting" or getting upset at a publishers decision does nothing. Some of you have even used the augment your pre-order campaign as example of it not working. But I think it is exactly the other way around. This tiered pre-order system did not become a thing because there was a massive backlash. Not being okay with certain business practices and voicing them does have an effect. Of course you might not realize because generally the goal of the backlash is for something not to happen. But other companies haven't tried this system and probably won't because of it's horrible reception.

 

While I agree that boycotting games probably won't work(it isn't realistic and often it would just be a damn shame to miss a good game), I do think strongly disagreeing with these practices and voicing that is important and most certainly has an effect.

¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Yeah, the backlash Square Enix received about the whole "augment your order" thing made them just decide to roll all the preorder bonuses up into the digital deluxe edition which they should've done to begin with. The fact it never became a thing makes complaining about it kind of pointless.

 

And I'm not trying to say what you guys should or should not do, just voicing my opinion.

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Honestly, when it comes to developing games, Square's pretty good (not as great as they used to be) but as publishers, they can be greedy assholes.

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"We don't call them loot boxes", they're 'surprise mechanics'" - EA

 

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Honestly, when it comes to developing games, Square's pretty good (not as great as they used to be) but as publishers, they can be greedy assholes.

 

This.

 

In terms of publishing, they may as well be as bad as EA as far as I'm concerned.

Long is the way; and hard, that out of Hell leads up to Light-Paradise Lost

By the power of truth, while I live, I have conquered the universe-Faust

The only absolute is that there are no absolutes, except that one

Vae Victus-Brennus

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For my two cents on this: I thought it was a great game; Human Revolution, but with the raw edges polished and the core world building much improved. I go into games to enter the world, as immersively as possible, and DX MD achieved this for me.

 

RE micro transactions: the key thing with micro transactions is that if you don't want to support them, don't buy them. The core game of DX MD never alluded to the micro transactions, and you could easily finish the game (with praxis to spare) without them. If you don't like their inclusion on principle, well, the advantage of micro transactions from a publisher perspective is that they get real time metrics on who buys them and in what quantity. Buying the core game but not spending anything on these transactions sends a clearer message to the publisher than not buying the game at all, IMO.

 

As far as game length, I spent 35-ish hours in it, which is what I expected (longer than in HR, to be honest, even when doing both in a ghost play through). It actually felt quite a bit like a DragonAge 2 sort of game to me - an experiment on having a more intimate story within a single location. It also felt like an Empire Strikes Back - setting up a conclusion to the trilogy. Will have to see.

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RE micro transactions: the key thing with micro transactions is that if you don't want to support them, don't buy them. The core game of DX MD never alluded to the micro transactions, and you could easily finish the game (with praxis to spare) without them. If you don't like their inclusion on principle, well, the advantage of micro transactions from a publisher perspective is that they get real time metrics on who buys them and in what quantity. Buying the core game but not spending anything on these transactions sends a clearer message to the publisher than not buying the game at all, IMO.

Fair enough, but that's not enough stop publishers from implementing microtransactions/DLC into the games they publish as it takes no effort on their part to do so. There's no risk involved because the vast majority of modern gamers today have accepted it as the norm.

 

If we're to be rid of microtransactions/DLC in their entirety they need to be portrayed as money burners and be more of a risk then if publishers did nothing. If publishers smell burning money they'll run for the hills. But unfortunately its nigh on impossible to combat something that has become such a norm for modern gamers.

 

To paraphrase Ross here once people have become culturally accustomed to cutting off their fingers they'll fight for their right to keep cutting off their fingers and ultimately lead to further logical extremism. When gamers accept microtransactions/DLC in full priced titles they're essentially admitting that they have to cut off their fingers, they need to cut off their fingers. Whether they recognize it as such or not is irrelevant.

 

Until things start changing gamers are destined to be chided by more awful practices in greater intensity and numbers.

 

Hopefully the AAA games industry will be on its way out and will be eventually taken over by the indies. That's at least my hope for the future as it's pretty bleak and dreadful otherwise.

Edited by Guest (see edit history)

I'm not saying I started the fire. But I most certain poured gasoline on it.

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Damn, I'm kinda glad I don't share that point of view... No offense.

I'll just keep bringing up the fact that microtransactions don't necessarily ruin a game, it all depends on how they are implemented. I agree they're kinda pointless in Mankind Divided, but at the same time, that just makes me ignore them completely.

In CoD: Black Ops 3 there are microtransactions but you can choose not to actually spend real money and instead use CoD points that you earn by playing matches. So far I've bought a ton of loot but never really spent any money. As long as things aren't acting as paywalls and not forcing you to spent money, I honestly don't mind.

I personally don't want to have such a negative outlook on AAA games. Just saying.

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Damn, I'm kinda glad I don't share that point of view... No offense. I personally don't want to have such a negative outlook on AAA games. Just saying.

Are you fine with publishers killing online only games? Can you sleep well at night with developers working an egregious amount of hours with little to no pay? I know I can't. I'm doing what I believe is in the best interest of the entire games industry. Unlike you I refuse to sit idly by and watch this in progress train wreck unfold. With every fiber of my being will try to mitigate whatever kind of damage I can even if that means just me being aware of what's going on. If you can't handle the truth then I'm sorry that I can't save you from the ensuing train wreck. I can still save others who're willing to listen to what I have to say.

I'm not saying I started the fire. But I most certain poured gasoline on it.

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Not buying a game because the publisher decided to add some peripheral DLC / microtransactions to it doesn't help stop 'developers working an egregious amount of hours with little to no pay' - quite the opposite. A developer like Eidos Montreal will go bankrupt and Squeenix will happily move on to the next developer.

 

And moreover, my problem with this is that in such a situation its completely unfair to the developers: THEY made a great game, and its getting blasted for political reasons (giving DX MD a 0 review on metacritic or steam because its its Microtransactions is pretty much unforgivable).

 

I like great games, and I want the developers who make them to keep making them - they need support both monetarily and through public approval. They should not be treated like baby murderers by the vocal minority for something they don't even control, and which, again, has no effect on the game whatsoever.

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