Atlas was the first game I ever refunded since I started playing on PC. I have never refunded anything else, considering all of the digital platforms I have bought my games on. Steam, Humble Bundle, GOG to name for example...
|You can really see how often I go to Steam Support.|
So this got me thinking, what made me super picky on the games I buy now?
Don't get me wrong, I still love playing games. I still love playing the games I have on console; Nintendo, Sony, Microsoft, they all have their exclusive commodities. But I don't buy them as often anymore. In fact, I am very picky when it comes to games! I rarely go buy games nowadays; happily looking for free alternatives, like Warframe. (That's a referral link which means you get a leg up when starting and I get cool benefits. That aside, I would like you guys try being a Space Ninja! Comment below if you do play this game, we should totally play!)
|Me + Pirates, can't go wrong, right?|
When Ludwig first asked me to help him on KoopaTV, at this point I only had three or four games on the Wii; I wasn't even planning to get a Wii U! (Although I was tempted to pick up both Smash 4 (now that I think of it, I'm glad I didn't) or The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword.) For KoopaTV, I would be the least ideal candidate to write out articles. (Again, that lead me to being just a Graphics Designer for the site.)
With games going digital nowadays, it might be harder to get a refund now; just simply returning the physical copy is so much easier as long you hand it back in within a week. Bethesda's extreme example of refusing to refund Fallout 76 is one to come in mind. Or Steam's very picky criteria of what makes you eligible for a refund. Of course with that in mind and the ever-increasing cost of games (I look around and Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is 80 CAD), of course I have to be picky. That money could be used to pay for more important things, after all.
My Criteria for Getting a
New Game (This actually applies to every game)
- The concept has to entice me
- It has to be reasonably priced
- The moment I start playing it, I shouldn't see any glaring problems that makes me put down the controller
Concepts have to be interesting for me to make me a customer. If I'm not interested, I'm not buying. I also like playing demos before I buy; if I like the product, I'll be more interested in buying. (Welp, there's another article I have to write now. Also, Piracy will be a part of it.)
Atlas was a very good example for my initial investment. I like pirates, and they promised ship battles with some fantasy element to it. (I'm still waiting for Ubisoft's Skull & Bones, mind you.)
This also means I have to hold off on really enticing jingles companies hang over my head to get me to buy on launch day. I rarely pre-order nowadays and if I do, I do it for some nice little collectible that I've had my eye on for a while. That is usually reserved for reputable companies that I know make good stuff.
Games also have to be reasonably priced. A good game bought at launch at that price means a higher risk that the number of hours of enjoyment returned can be not ideal. But I've also picked up really cheap games that are well worth over the hours I've spent doing it. I've played over 200 hours of Slay the Spire, a game I bought for around 20 bucks. I'd say that's a steal. You also can't beat free games.
|I actually spent too much time trying to make this Space Ninja look like a Combusken. (Warframe)|
This subject altogether is very subjective. What I think is a reasonably priced game is very different from what you think is a reasonably priced game. There will be times where you buy into a game and play for a good length of time but at the end you don't feel that you got your money's worth. The problem is that you can't return it anymore at that point. Can you get a refund after playing a game after 20 hours? It seems ridiculous and scandalous. Remember that game developers still have to get their due after all.
However, it is also understandable that within your first hour of your new game, you find that the game is not what you hoped to be. If you ever get those vibes right away, I would highly suggest getting your money back! Don't try to push through it; your gut is rarely wrong, and if you do push through this will turn into a terrible investment!
Is it inherently and obviously broken?
And finally, any glaring problems should not show up anytime within your first two hours of the game. It should not obviously crash repeatedly upon right after the introduction of the game. If you're playing multiplayer, you should not time out after every three matches. Essentially, it's stuff that doesn't break your game or give you that eerie feeling that this is really a bad idea.
MMOs have an exception in my experience. Whenever I find a new MMO I want to play, I usually wait for a week or two before playing. This is because most of the time, the studio heavily underestimates how much load their servers can hold the influx of people that want to play.
But Wendy, you didn't follow this rule with Atlas!
|I didn't get this, but most players were greeted with this screen trying to connect for hours on launch|
My issue was that even when I entered a server at low peak times (early morning on North American servers), I was encountering heavy rubber banding. It's not fun watching you, your friends, other players and even monsters jumping/teleporting from point A to B every 20 seconds. I also had experience from the studio's previous endeavors: ARK: Survival Evolved. I've had issues playing in a highly populated server; it's playable and tolerable, but it should be better. (An example of point 3 being broken, although I can apply the MMO exception here.) Those issues, compounded with the fact that it's a slightly unrefined ARK with similar mechanics (and thus, same problems) is what made me refund the game.
Now don't get me wrong, it's understandable to reuse assets; every programmer worth their salt does that. You would think that after working on ARK for such a long time that they would have applied some of the lessons learned from ARK onto Atlas. (Yes, Grapeshot Games is a sister studio to Studio Wildcard. No, this doesn't excuse them; they have developers that worked on ARK working on Atlas.) That to me was the straw that broke the camel's back, breaking point 2 of my criteria list. I expected an improvement from the developers when this game came. If I was a crazy Call of Duty fangirl, every installment I buy would have something as an improvement, no matter how small it is. (Again, subjective.)
I'm sure the game will improve considerably later on, but right now I can't justify buying Atlas at its current state. I expected something better, or at least an improvement over ARK even in its Early Access state. Right now, it's playing ARK as a pirate. I'm hoping they will improve, I would be happy to buy it again if it gets any better.
Overall, I hope you can enjoy my insight on how picky I can be when I want to buy a game. I want to help you guys understand that games shouldn't be an expensive hobby.
Wendy is seriously looking for more feedback for her style of articles. She is hoping to start a Wealthy Wendy section here on KoopaTV! Please comment below if you would like to see more of these articles!