When to pass on the Battle Pass - Budget gamer's advice
League of Legends actually picked up on the tactic that Blizzard Entertainment has been doing for ages on Diablo 3, which was to create content based upon the “seasons” of gaming, and has turned events such as the Spirit Blossom dating sim. Into a way to sustain their living, much like the purpose of battle passes (Apex Legends), sometimes called season passes (as in Destiny 2).
Budget gaming, or efficiently allocating resources within a game or virtual world, is essential to the player that wishes to complete the game's achievements in a suitable manner or to play the game in a way that makes little impact upon one's wallet. In order to definitively answer when gamers should not purchase a battle pass, there are about six different main criteria to look at when gauging whether to splurge on your latest fad battle pass.
Number one, is whether it is a purely cosmetic battle pass or not. Some games are inherently more balanced than others when it comes to the f2p and p2w arenas, pun intended. An example of a game that mostly uses battle passes for cosmetics is Apex Legends. A counter example of a game that gives players more edge or more power in a game is Genshin Impact’s battle pass, which grants a slew of in-game currencies (primogems and such), exp books, and equipment too!
Secondly, you should look at your own gaming habits and types of game you play. Why should you do this? Well, you may find that you don’t actually play enough of the game that you wish to spend the battle pass on, and that the battle pass’ content goes away or is only granting limited time bonuses that go away after a certain period of time (I’m thinking of Destiny 2’s season passes and Heroes of the Storm stim packs).
Third, gamers should analyze whether or not the battle pass cost has tiers or not. While games such as Genshin Impact and Apex legends offer the base battle pass at the base cost, they may also offer higher levels of the battle pass at an increased pricing, with flashier and more effectively “useful” prizes. Dota 2 International’s battle pass also offers this, but the prizes are still purely cosmetic, and not really helpful to the player’s in-game play (unlike the Dota Plus, which gives players some in-game guides and perks). If a game offers no “cap” on the battle pass level, such as in Dota 2, the budget gamer should be very wary of this type of offer, as uncontrolled spending could result in disaster, especially during trying times such as these.
Fourth is the frequency at which the battle pass is presented. Is the battle pass thrust upon the face of the player at the start of the game’s news menus? Or is it hiding nonchalantly within the game launcher’s news page. While this may seem like a minor issue, the frequency at which one is exposed to the battle pass may very well cause you to purchase the pass, eventually. I have done this before in the past, when I have purchased a battle pass due to a passion buy for Apex Legends.
Fifth is the shelf-life, so to speak, of the game. Games such as MapleStory 2, which have sunset, are becoming somewhat commonplace in the market of games. Other titles such as MxM and Rise of Incarnates are a couple of other lovable games that have essentially gone on and then off the market. One must be wary of the battle passes or costumes in these games, because once the game’s gone, so is your license to play the game, and thus use the pass content or costumes.
Sixth, lastly, is the “Impact” of the pass on your gameplay. Does the pass offer an irreplaceable playability value to your gameplay experience? This is different for everyone, but for budget gaming specifically, I’m here to tell ya’ll that your Noctinium.Cloudbringer in Final Fantasy 14 doesn’t need the flashiest gear to clear the mobs, as much as your brain is telling you to do it, your wallet (and perhaps your heart/stomach) will thank you later.
TL;DR: Consider these six points when purchasing extra ingame content:
- Purely cosmetic?
- How much do you actually play?
- Tiered content?
- Exposure to ads for purchase of pass?
- Shelf life of overall game?
- Gameplay quality of life changes?
I sincerely hope this makes some of you players out there reconsider your budgeting per month, (looking at you, gacha spender newbs on Genshin Impact!) and hopefully you’ll be able to take your loved ones to that extra-glamorous dinner date you’ve always wanted to plan after COVID ends!
That being said, I’m just fortunate(or extremely lucky) to flex that I have most of the fire element characters, minus Xinyan, in Genshin Impact, while only spending 35 dollars total on the content. Guess my content just that hot? Joking of course, about my content, but please stay safe out there, people, and wear a mask! (save some of that would-be battle pass money for these essentials)