Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Slot Machine Controversy

In the recent cartel pack, SWTOR introduced playable slot machines (Contraband Slot Machines) as decorations for Strongholds.  Using tokens bought with credits, players could play them and win some prizes.  These ranged from reputation items to Jawa Junk ( crafting material tokens ).  These housing items proved to be very popular.

There was a problem, according to some including BioWare.  The payout on some of the rewards, especially crafting tokens, was much too common.  This led to slot machines being the ideal way get crafting materials instead of Crew Skill Missions.  It also results in a small subset of players macro'ing them and just playing the slots all day.  Of course, some players ended up making quite a bit of money and subsequently affecting the economy.

BioWare then adjusted the payout rates, quite a bit in some cases.  This led to a predictable backlash from some players.  They claimed the slots were now useless, bait and switch, contacted their lawyers, and brought it up before their judge friends in the Supreme Court.  Typical player threats.  I don't really have any sympathy for them though.

Did BioWare over-nerf them?  Maybe.  I don't really care though.  Slot Machines are toys.  They were never meant to be a major gameplay element.  If you want to blame someone for their uselessness now, try the players who abused them.  Just because something can be abused, doesn't mean it should.  Also, BioWare should have never released them in the state they did.  I'm not sure how the math got approval.

That being said, I still plan on obtaining one of these slot machines for my Nar Shaddaa base.  I'm just waiting for the price on the GTN to come down a little bit.  I doubt I'll play it much though, as I am pretty stingy when it comes to credits.