It’s been a long time since I’ve played a game with this much of an RNG factor to it when it comes to rewards… Longer still since I’ve played one where the RNG is so dramatically tilted against us. I think this is actually the most punishing RNG system I’ve ever experienced, and that includes a gaming career that’s spanned well over 10k hours in MMOs back when they weren’t just lowest common denominator skinner boxes. It has me thinking about the ongoing debate as to the legality/morality of loot boxes in general and I’m ultimately shocked to see V2’s loot system existing in the same era where people are realizing that paid lootboxes are basically just gambling.
I don’t go to casinos or buy lottery tickets and the few times I have gambled in my life, I hated the way it made me feel. Grinding out loot in V2 makes me feel exactly the same way, except instead of spending money I spend my time, which is far more valuable. Every run is a scratch ticket and another disappointment. I have no control over the outcome other than to increase the quantity/frequency of attempts, resulting in a constant, uncomfortable compulsion loop that’s totally separate from any enjoyment I derive from actually playing the game. The more I look at other people I play with, the more I see the same “maybe this time will be different” sentiment with all of us slamming our heads against the wall over and over again, gambling with our time that someday we might get the red/cosmetic we’re after, some saddened to open their 5th red charm/trinket, others still without a single red/cosmetic after hundreds of hours and hundreds of full book legend clears. The sad part is, I’d enjoy the game more if I could just play for fun without having to stress about the fact that I’m mostly just hoping for a different gambling outcome right now.
I honestly don’t see the current loot system in V2 as being much different from the paid loot boxes other developers sometimes use. If anything, I actually find it more reprehensible because it masquerades as being acceptable while guaranteeing that countless man hours are flushed down the drain by people who only want to min:max their equipment or even just get a dumb aesthetic they like.
If the crafting system was like V1’s, where we had real control over our equipment and could craft near-perfect gear at will, the RNG wouldn’t be so bad. If it -augmented- a better system, instead of being -the- system, there’d be nothing wrong with it at all. We’d have control and the RNG would just be a friendly bonus. Since we have no control whatsoever right now, the RNG is nothing but a leash that tugs at our compulsions.
Just like with a casino, or lottery tickets, Fatshark has created a “reward” system where you come out on top once you just stop altogether. Our time has value.