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The Dragon’s Dogma 2 Microtransaction Rundown

The Dragon’s Dogma 2 Microtransaction Rundown

If you keep up to date with the latest gaming news and info, you may have noticed that the long-awaited Dragon’s Dogma 2 was released, garnering a respectable 87 on Metacritic at the time of writing! However, even with this favourable reception from critics, the game’s launch has been anything but smooth as troves of prospective gamers noticed the most cruel of modern trends, microtransactions. Yes, even though it is mainly a single-player experience with some asynchronistic co-op via the renting of Pawns, Dragon’s Dogma 2 features a number of extras you can buy for real money. But what are these items, and how big of an edge will a buyer be getting? In this short article, we’ll dive into what is available, how much they cost, and how useful they actually are.

Can Dragon's Dogma 2 steal our hearts after such a blow?

First off, the term microtransaction may be a bit of a misnomer as the items are not available in a separate in-game store. Instead, the DLC must be bought via your digital marketplace of choice, be it Steam, the PlayStation Store, or other. While there are indeed other games with a similar setup that are considered microtransactions, where at least the Steam store differs, however, is the maximum amount of purchases one can make. Yes, you read that right: you cannot simply buy fifty packs of in-game currency and be done with it. Instead, each item has a set amount of iterations — such as 500 Rift Crystals Pack (A) and (B) — that you can buy. This isn’t meant to excuse the strategy, as it is still an odd addition to a single-player title, but it does also mean the edge gained by using real money is limited. Now, onto the items themselves, which I will categorise as follows: Rift Crystal packs, items, extras, and the bundle.

The most numerous DLC on sale at the time of writing are the three differently sized Rift Crystal packs, offering 500, 1500, and 2500 crystals at similarly increasing prices (£0.89, £2,67, and £4.45 respectively). For the uninitiated, Rift Crystal, or RC, is a form of in-game currency used to recruit Pawns higher than your level and purchase certain items, such as the different Rift Incenses, cosmetic items such as glasses, and the Art of Metamorphosis book used to customise your character.

These crystals can be earned in-game by finding and repairing Rift Stones in the world (netting you about 30 per), found in chests, and by having your Pawn be rented out by other Arisen. Having played about 12 hours — and spending RC quite freely — I’ve still amassed about 2000, so gathering the currency is by no means difficult. At the time of writing, the following purchase restrictions are used: a pack of 500 can be bought three times, a pack of 1500 can be bought four times, and the biggest pack of 2500 can be bought once.

In terms of items, there are a few on offer: the Harpysnare smoke Beacons can lure the pesky flying creatures to the ground; the Heartfelt Pendant can be given to an NPC you’ve grown fond of to increase affection; the Ambivalent Rift Incense can be used to change your Pawn’s disposition to Ambivalent; The Makeshift Gaol Key can be used to escape the Gaol if you find yourself locked up; the Art of Metamorphosis can be used to change your the look of your Arisen or Main Pawn; Wakestones are used to return one recently deceased, you included, to life; and Portcrystals can be placed almost anywhere on the map, allowing you to teleport to said destination.

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Out of all these items, only the Wakestones can be bought more than once (a maximum of five times). While some of these items are useful, the Portcrystal can make travelling a lot less time-consuming — fast travelling being something director Hideaki Itsuno wanted to keep at a minimum — and the Art of Metamorphosis can be handy if you realise you don’t really like how your Arisen or Pawn ended up, all of these items are available in-game. They can be either bought for RC, found in chests while exploring, given as quest rewards or can be bought from a vendor. The exception here is the Portcrystal, which can be found but is a rare item. The thing about it, however, and the reason it is rare, is that it goes against the nature of Dragon’s Dogma 2. The game is all about the journey and exploration of the land, making teleportation to and fro antithetical to some degree. Sure, we all would rather just get to where we’re going, but if you’re not going to enjoy the journey there, this may not be the game for you.

There are currently two DLCs I would classify as “extras” at the moment: the Explorer’s Camping Kit and the Dragon’s Dogma Music & Sound Collection. The former is a cosmetic change to your usual tent whenever you camp out, featuring a roomier place to sleep along with a nifty banner. The latter adds music and sound from the first game for those missing the nostalgic sounds of Dragon’s Dogma. Both these DLCs cost about £2.5 and only affect the game aesthetically, offering no actual benefit. The tent is pretty sweet, though.

The final item in the DLC is the A Boon for Adventurers - New Journey Pack. This large bundle is the costliest of the bunch, running up to £15, though it also contains the most pizzazz for your pound: with the exception of the biggest RC pack and the Portcrystal, this bundle contains all of the aforementioned additions, being a good choice for those who just want it all and now.

So, there we have it: in-game currency, items, cosmetics, and a big bundle with all of the above. The question remains, however, How bad and malicious are these DLC? Well, consider the following: all of the items sans the music pack and camping cosmetics are attainable in-game. Sure, you do need to wait a bit and grind to receive the items, but it is not an impassable wall. If your Pawn is recruited often, and you explore a bit, you should be able to get a character modifying tome pretty quickly! The items are in a similar situation, being found out in the world and available for purchase at a reasonable price (in in-game money, of which you usually have an abundance), though I would argue the Portcrystal is the most advantageous of the lot, allowing a player to easily throw it down and pop into town without having to travel all the way back.

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In my humble opinion, all of the former seem to be mostly ways to pay money to avoid using time. Want to change your Arisen or Main Pawn but can’t be bothered to spend the hours? Two pounds, please. Hate having to go to town to offload loot and then walking back to where you were? A fiver. You could argue the Rift Crystals allow players to get ahead, though honestly, the use of RC is relatively limited to cosmetics and stronger Pawns. Fun fact: if you have a friend playing, their pawn will always be free to recruit, no matter the level difference (at least based on my experiences so far).

Before you glue that torch to your pitchfork, I do agree that adding these kinds of DLCs is not good for the gaming community. A single-player title should not need extra gubbins like this since the experience is meant to be played, not skipped over with a credit card. However, a friend of mine made a very valid point: not all gamers have time. Especially in the world today, with our busy lifestyles, long work days, and neglected hobbies, sometimes a person simply does not have the time to put into a long game like Dragon’s Dogma 2 and would rather skip ahead. If they are an adult with their own income to use, is it not their right to spend a bit of money and save on time? I don’t know, but I do think there is an argument to be made for both sides. The addition of microtransactions to a single-player title is indeed predatory and can seem greedy, but at least in the case of Dragon’s Dogma 2, it seems they are more shortcuts to get what you want instead of being the only way to play the game at a manageable level.

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To summarise this rambling explanation: I agree that having microtransactions, especially in a single-player game, is at best slightly odd and at worst predatory and an indication of greed on the part of the developer, publisher, or whoever decided it was necessary to add them. However, in the case of Dragon’s Dogma 2, I believe the DLCs on offer are less malicious than first impressions implied: almost everything offered can be obtained in-game, and the ones that are not can be considered pretty basic DLC extras.

Do you think the microtransactions are forgivable with the added clarifications, or do you think this is the latest slight from Capcom? Let us know in the comments!

Martin Heath

Martin Heath

Staff Writer

Professional Bungler

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