When Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 dropped, the people seemed to really be into it. It garnered much more of a positive response, from fans and critics, than I expected it to. While the previous game, Call of Duty: WWII, was generally well-received thanks to its return to “boots on the ground” play, this new game seemed like another Infinite Warfare-style departure from the “norm.” But it plays well and has plenty to make up for to make up for its lack of a campaign. But now, a while after launch, the fans who loved the up until now are pissed. Why? Well, you probably guessed: microtransactions.
Call of Duty isn’t exactly dropping microtransactions on its playerbase out of nowhere. Indeed, last year’s game garnered attention from its goofy presentation of loot boxes. This was during the great loot box wars of 2017 even, and Call of Duty: WWII got out of that mess relatively unscathed. Sure, there were loot boxes dropping down into World War II, but they didn’t seem as obtrusive as say, Shadow of War’s, no the conversation died pretty quickly. But this time around, people are capital-M-Mad.
Microtransactions were not a factor in Black Ops 4 until now, as they were added to the game after it launched. Once they did launch, the fanbase immediately noticed some differences compared to previous games, and one in particular broke in all down in a super-detailed Reddit post. And after going through the post, well, it don’t look great. Things that were in place in previous titles to alleviate things for non-paying players seem to have all but vanished, and in their place is more grinding.
In fact, for something like a “Tier 200 Weapon Variant,” Reddit user “ienjoymen” (sigh) figures that, within a time limit, players will have to either shell out upwards of $200 or somehow dedicate 250 or more hours of gameplay. In a system designed to resemble the Fortnite Battle Pass concept, it seems like Black Ops 4 expects players to dump hours and hours of time into getting a tiny drip-feed of items, which isn’t at all how things go in Fortnite.
In Call of Duty: WWII, as pointed out in the Reddit post, players would have access to a continuous stream of daily and weekly challenges, which would spit out all kinds of goodies upon completion. These challenges would only require so much effort, and could be completed in normal, human hours. This time, however, well let’s let ienjoymen break it down for us:
- In this new Black Ops 4 System you are now having to put in almost 2 in-game hours to Receive 1 Single Item which consists of: Stickers, Emotes, Sprays, Face Paints and Outfits which you cannot equip or view without owning the full set and you cannot mix outfits and face paints with others.
- Reserves (Supply Drops) are back and worse than ever before with having zero control of which 1 item you receive, Supply Drop Exclusive items basically with duplicates, It will be even worse as more items are inevitably brought into the Black Market.
- They have made the Tier Progression Rate so painfully slow that you are almost penalized for not paying to reach the top tier and then not offering any alternatives to progress other than to pay up or dedicate hundreds upon thousands of hours.
There’s a lot more, but I don’t want to steal too many words. Read the post yourself to get all the details, which break down various features that have been removed from the series, why that compares in a way that reflects poorly on Black Ops 4, and how bad things can get if the current structure continues as planned with updates and events. We’re talking four figures here, in time and/or money.
It’s easy to understand why people are upset, and hopefully Activision will see this response, take a look back at things like EA’s Star Wars troubles, and allow Treyarch to make some changes. If not, well, this could seriously backfire on everybody involved. Chasing Fortnite is a great idea, but chasing Fortnite and missing the point seems to be the reality.