On March 19th PGI is planning to introduce “consumables” to Mechwarrior Online. They appear to be balanced and the cost of these consumables are cheap enough that even a losing player can pay to restock it. The one consumable everyone (including myself) are up in arms about is the coolant flush.
So what’s my problem with it? It’s not because the developers did a 180 on their decision to not include coolant flush in the first place, it’s because it is the first “play to win” decision they have made. I have no problems charging for aesthetic items or even for special configuration of mechs. Paying to be different is fine but paying for abilities that affect the game’s balance is not.
The third tier “coolant flush” takes only one module slot and achieves the same thing as the first and second tier coolant flushes which occupies two module slots. I would not have a problem with this arrangement except for the fact that the third tier module can only be obtained with real money. Why not allow people to purchase the third tier option as well? It can be costly but at least people who choose not to pay have the opportunity to be on the same playing field.
Allow me explain this using a more popular game. Imagine if Treyarch brought back the “Stopping Power” perk in Call of Duty: Black Ops II and allowed people to equip it if it occupied two perk slots. But in the same breath they offered a paid version of that perk that only occupied one perk slot.
I understand that MechWarrior Online is available for free and PGI wants to make money but this is the wrong way to go about it because it affects game balance. I would rather have them charge $40 and not go through this nonsense. It’s drama like this that makes free to play games an unattractive proposition for me.
Unless they allow all three tiers of consumables to be purchased at a reasonable in-game currency rate, March 18th could be the last day I play Mechwarrior: Online. I was waiting for a bundle offer of some kind to spend money on but with this “pay to win” nonsense, I will keep my money.