Payday 2 – Cops Shut Down the Drill

Paid lootboxes are, once again, being removed. This time, though, it’s from the Steam marketplace. They’re removing the drills entirely and adding the paid-only safes to the loot table. All safes will be openable for free and they can no longer be sold to other players.

No more drills, no more unavailable safes and no more safes in the marketplace. We are making some changes to our safes to ensure that the popo wont raid us (again). – https://steamcommunity.com/games/218620/announcements/detail/1714120357135163561

These changes are made because of certain legal aspects connected to sales of digital items with a random outcome. – https://steamcommunity.com/games/218620/announcements/detail/1714120990500109385

My overall impression is that they’ve run afoul of some gambling laws somewhere. I should check the investor relations page and see if they’ve been fined and if so, for how much. It’s nice to see some movement related to the lootbox issue. While this is hardly a high profile game these days, it has to start somewhere. At least for European developers it’s probably a sign of things to come.

Realistically, I’m not expecting much. I would like to point out that this only happenedĀ after some manner of law enforcement intervention. If it continues to happen, maybe things will change, but I don’t think this by itself will be enough.

I’m also curious if this had an impact on their monetization plans for Payday 3. I can’t imagine they were planning to change the formula all that much. Why uproot something that’s proven profitable up to this point?

I usually consider myself fairly neutral in the lootbox debate. I’m not exactly opposed to thier existence, I just believe contents and odds should be posted and easily available. Consumers should be able to make educated decisions about their virtual toys.

If we’re not going to do that, though, I agree that this is the next best option.

Y’all take care. I’ll try to follow up on this at some point.

Winter Sale Weirdness and Steam Awards

Right, Steam Sale. They have a lot of new things I don’t recall seeing last year. Either that or I totally forgot they existed.

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One of them is the Extremely Cozy Cottage, which is like a Steam Sale Advent Calendar. Quite honestly, it’s only because my wife is from a catholic family that I even know what and advent calendar is. I totally wouldn’t have noticed otherwise. So far it’s given me a steam emoji, a profile background, and an odd consumable sort of thing?

chocolate orange

Is weird. I like chocolate oranges though, real ones anyway.

They also have the Steam Awards up for voting. The results aren’t going to be announced until early February though. I’m guessing first week or so since that’s when the items expire? I’m sure I’ll go over the winners then, if I notice.

  • Game of the Year
    • I voted for Monster Hunter: World. Honestly it was the only thing on the list that I’ve played, so yeah.
  • VR Game of the Year
    • I just voted for Skyrim VR. I really don’t have an opinion here, but of the things on the list that’s the one I’d most want to play. VR’s to expensive, yo.
  • Labor of Love
    • I stuck with No Man’s Sky on this one. They’re really invested a lot of time turning this one around. Path of Exile would also be a decent choice. I like Stardew Valley and all, and it’s certainly a labor of love for Eric Barone, but it other than multiplayer we haven’t had much movement on it this year. I don’t even know why GTA 5 or DotA 2 are on the list.
  • Best Developer
    • This category was unique in that it has 10 options instead of five. I voted for Digital Extremes, the developer of Warframe. CD Project Red would have been my alternate choice.
  • Best Environment
    • I remember not liking the description of this particular category, and I believe I nominated Alien: Isolation. I ended up voting for Subnautica, though I’ve only played it for maybe 5 minutes.
  • Better With Friends
    • Still Payday 2. It’s the title I nominated too.
  • Best Alternate History
    • I haven’t played any of these titles, so I just voted for Civ 6 and moved on.
  • Most Fun With a Machine
    • I’ve only played two of these, Euro Truck Sim, which was meh, and Space Engineers, like a year or so ago. I voted for Factorio, because why not?

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Speaking of Payday 2, I finally managed to get that rare vault spawn I’ve been after the last couple of days. Had to up the difficulty to increase the spawn chance, which means we pretty much had to stealth it. I tend to die quickly at the higher difficulty levels, especially when I’m using my stealth gear.

Either way, I’m off to bed. I’ve got a lot of things I want to get done tomorrow, and I’d like to be able to sleep plenty before I do them. Despite having some time off, Tuesday is pretty much spoken for in it’s entirety. Y’all stay safe.

Payday 2 – Blood Diamond

So we’re now a little over halfway towards finishing up our 20 achievements each. My brother has 7 left and I have 9 left. We’ve pretty much just been working on whatever popped up until we got sick of fooling with it then tried something else for a while.

That wasn’t the case tonight though. We spent a little time trying to open 40 boxes on the White Xmas mission and got that done within a few tries. Tough but doable.

Then we spent two to three hours doing the same mission over and over. Not because it’s difficult though. At this point we’ve got a pretty good handle on the flow of the mission and actual failures are rare. The thing is, the vault that contains the thing we need for the achievement only has a 10% spawn rate, and it typically takes 6-10 minutes to figure out if it’s there. We haven’t seen it yet, not once.

It’s odd and mildly frustrating to be held up by rng rather than our ability to execute the mission.

We eventually gave up and finished it to replace the cash we were spending on consumables every run. I’m assuming I have pretty much the same thing to look forward to tomorrow, or some other time. Depends on if it pops up again I guess.

That another layer of rng, but not one that bothers me as much. The missions that are available at any given moment are limited. They’re only on a 15-20 second timer, but there are a lot of them. It’s possible to purchase them, but at the difficulty we’re doing some of these, that can get a bit expensive. I’m generally to cheap to buy them, even with fake money.

At least it’s not frustratingly difficult to do. Even a run where the vault doesn’t spawn feels like a successful run, just not one that yielded something I needed.

Sooner or later we’re going to have to open our missions up. Some of these things are just not suited to two players, and one of mine literally isn’t possible unless you have four humans.

Anyway, I need to get off here and go to bed. Y’all take care, make sure you get some sleep.

Payday 2: The “Secret”

We spent the better part of this afternoon working on sorting out all the details of the “secret” in Payday 2. We had a decent start due to having finished the “storyline.” We just had to go back and do one mission on a higher difficulty to get a specific trophy.

Of course after that I eventually discovered I was missing a specific safehouse upgrade that I needed. This means I’ll have to spend some time gathering more continental coins before I continue.

My brother, on the other hand, had everything he needed, so we loaded his safehouse up and activated the… thing.

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Then we had to decode these plates. There’s about 20 of them, so it took a little while. They decode into text that tells you which achievements you need to have before you can continue. Some are easier than others, and if you already have them, they still count. He had around 4 out of 20 already.

It also pulls from a list 57ish items, so there’s a decent chance helping him get his will complete some of my own, once I can figure them out. I’m not exactly sure what comes after that. A painting in the white house or something.

It’s time for me to head to bed though, so I’ll leave it at that. At least it’s game related for a change, heh.

Y’all take care.

Opinion and News Roundup

I’ve got several things I’ve been sort of loosely following and keeping tabs on. I could probably write an entire post about each one, but that would be a slog and some of it is already old news and/or unsurprising news.

Starbreeze

This one is a moving target. It originally got my attention when they filed for reconstruction and their former CEO, well, “resigned.” I actually couldn’t remember why I knew the studio name till I looked it up and saw Payday 2, which is the only title of theirs I’ve played, though I recognize many others.

This was done due to a “shortage of liquidity.” Certainly not a good sign.

As of now authorities in Sweden have raided their headquarters and someone has been arrested, just two days after the other news dropped. I’m curious to see how this develops, but my guess is someone inside the company probably had a suspiciously timed stock transaction.

Since the Payday developer Overkill is a direct subsidiary of Starbreeze I have pretty much assumed that Payday 3 is unlikely to happen. In fact, my expectations for continuing support of Payday 2 are pretty much zero as well.

Bless Online

Bless is still continuing to struggle for relevance. I’m not surprised that there was a consolidation announcement a week ago that goes live in a couple of weeks. Population is fairly low and, at least on Steam, in a steady decline.

It’s a shame, this is a game that I really want to like. I log in once every month or so and poke around, but it doesn’t take long to remember why it isn’t popular. It’s poorly optimized, the controls are weird, the localization is likewise strange, skill binding has a strange interface and is poorly explained, etc.

I think they could have been overcome, if some had been addressed maybe a month ago, but I suspect the damage is done.

Epic Games Store

Epic, the creator of the Unreal Engine and Fortnite are opening their own digital distribution platform. You know, I was just complaining about this the other day. Their main feature is their 12/88 revenue split vs the standard 30/70. This is actually a huge move and one that I welcome. They stand a decent chance of luring new and current developers with this type of program, provided it’s cost effective for them to operate.

Like Steam or GoG it’s an open platform and non publisher-specific, which is good. That’s the area we need actual competition in. Unfortunately it’s yet another launcher to keep around.

I look forward to poking around once they get it up and running.

Fallout 76

So, Bethesda is walking back their crazy nylon bag shenanigans and giving everyone the chance to submit a ticket in the next two months to receive a replacement canvas bag. I realize it’s all damage control at this point, but I think this is a good move on their part.

On the other hand, they left a bunch of changes out of their patch notes after promising better communication, so the dumpster fire continues to burn unabated.

If it goes on sale again this month I’ll at least entertain the idea of trying it myself so I can form my own opinion.

Payday 2

So this is one of those mission based team shooters, not a lot unlike Warframe in some ways, that I’ve played off an on for years. It’s ultimate flaw is how repetitive it gets after a while, but aside from that there’s a ton of stuff to do. The game has some 1130 achievements for the avid completionist. I only h ave around 20% of them myself. I make an attempt at one here or there, but that’s it. Some of them are extremely absurd.

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The game has the ability to set up different loadouts for different situations, even allowing for different skill sets once you’ve unlocked them. All the gear is purchased using spending money once you’ve met whatever unlock requirement it has, be it level, achievement, or card drop.

The basic premise of any given mission is to avoid being detected by civilians, cameras, and various forms of law enforcement.

While opening things designed to keep you out, mostly by babysitting the most finicky jam-prone drills ever invented.

To get bags of loot that you have to take and drop off in a designated location that may or may not already be there or periodically leave.

All the while keeping an eye out for random collectibles. Some of which are for achievements and some of which unlock a mod or item after you collect a certain number of them.

police assault

And trying not to get “arrested.” In fact, if you try to leave during an assault without the proper perks/assets it has a chance of triggering an additional “escape mission” that you must do before you get your reward.

Which is generally experience, cash, and a card drop. Experience is actually received after every day of a mission. Cash is only at the end and is split between offshore account, usually used for account upgrades and mission contracts, and spending cash, which is used for gear and gear upgrades. The card drop is also once per mission at the end and basically gives you a random reward that’s typically not the thing you wanted. Most of the gear mods, masks, mask patterns, mask colors, and the rare “safes” that used to be a paid lockboxes, come from these drops. There are so many things that can possibly drop that getting any one specific drop is really unlikely, which is where a lot of the grind can be towards late-game.

Not shown here is that while the level cap is 100 they have an “Infamy” rank up system that gives you a small bonus and resets your level, allowing you to do it again, if you so choose. There are some good reasons to do this, aside from exclusive masks and such there are also xp bonuses and such.

Either way, that’s Payday 2 in a nutshell, so to speak. It’s not new, in fact I half expect we’ll hear about Payday 3 in the next year or so. It’s fun once in a while and actually on sale if for some reason it looks interesting to you.

Y’all take care, watch out for those cloakers and bulldozers, they mean business.