I'm not sure I can support this game in good faith anymore. I've been an avid opponent of microtransactions in buy2play games for the past 5 years, yet I'm being defeated at every point by people blindly accepting these practices as if the companies utilizing them are doing them a favor...
I got slightly worried when I found out NWI was working with a publisher to deliver Sandstorm. Seems now those fears have been confirmed. Microtransactions in a $30 game.
"You can still get them by playing the game"
Take that excuse and stuff it. No sane company puts microtransactions in a game and expects people not to buy them. Now I'm thinking the severe shortage of credits high level players suffer from is completely intentional. Put the screws to somebody after they've already become invested and the freebies dry up.
"It's only cosmetic"
If I hear this excuse one more time, I think I'll go feral. If this was actually a valid excuse, then why does a company like Activision Blizzard earn billions off of microtransactions alone? People care about making their avatar look how they want. Look at the thousands of armor mods for Fallout and Elder Scrolls and tell me looks don't matter. Look at the money Warframe pulls in from workshop skins made by contracted artists and tell me looks don't matter.
They bloody do. Having this feature pulled out and sold back to me, then also have the company doing it grin and pretend they're doing me a favor by offering a paid shortcut, is so utterly ridiculous. Good lord, if this happened back in the late 90s or early 2000s, everyone would think you're off your bloody rocker for charging money for this stuff in a game that already costs money to play.
If paid items are an absolute necessity, then please do it like Killing Floor 1, where they're offered in packs for $5 a pop. At least then, the transaction feels honest.
Just... for the love of god, do not sell credits for money, please. It feels so much more seedy and manipulative when everything is done through an in-game economy that the producer operates and controls. Oh hey look, they added a bunch of new headgear items to the game- oh... they each cost 10,000 credits a pop. Never mind.
I just want a game that I can play and enjoy without any caveats, without feeling guilty for feeding into a system designed to manipulate and prey upon customers, without the game constantly waving shinies in my face and trying to get me to buy stuff. But it seems more and more like I'll just have to abandon modern gaming altogether to get that.