A review. Or how micro-transactions can kill a great game. OK, we don’t review the latest games. In fact, we don’t review games at all in a traditional sense. But having almost got through a game, let’s talk about how poor monetization can severely hurt gameplay, the player and the developer.
What is it?
Knights of Pen and Paper 2 (KoPaP2) is a DnD simulator in the purest sense. I stumbled across it thanks to an albeit old, gameplay video with Griffin McElroy on Polygon’s YouTube channel. Avatars have the classic classes and races of any high fantasy fare, along with a real-life player clique: Hipster, Jock, Goth etc.
Literally (digitally) sitting the other side of the table is an actual (digital) dungeon master who leads you through an adventure. Combat is played out RPG style. And the quest is pretty funny: Taking us through a DnD party’s journey from first edition to second. Despite never really playing, I’ve got quite the soft spot for narrative adventures, so this seemed right up my alley.
This is how they get you
To be fair, KoPaP2 recently changed developers. As far as I can tell they are the one’s who’ve ushered in a new monetization structure. Gold is required to do anything. Which was part of the original along with the freemium version which I was playing. However, whilst it’s clearly a smart way to gate based on player experience. The raised prices and triple currencies (real-life, diamond and gold) completely kills it.
Free-to-play can be done right. It is these cash grabs which are completely worthless. Even worse, they undermine the great work developers do. But my solution, would be consumer based. I think we need to start paying for games again. Otherwise, this is the only alternative. KoPaP2 uses inflated gold prices for everything. Run out of gold, you better grind or pay. But with 2,000+ costs for resurrections: your team can be left dead in the water. Not to mention the 150+ travel cost.
We need to be better
The game was a $4.99 purchase on Google Store. When I got to it, only free-to-play was available. Do you know what – I would recommend it. For millionaires.
It very solid and funny. The fact is though, it has to make money. The developers have gone on to make a Power Rangers simulator which went onto to be acquired by Bandai Namco – again its great. But not free-to-play.
I have to put up with gold blockers, because other don’t by games. And I think before we moan about monetization – we all need to start paying for games. KoPaP2, does even mock its own paywalls: And whilst I appreciate self-referential humour, it tries may patience when it is the heart of the game’s own problems.
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