[Stick with me on this, folks.
While browsing the Steam store two weeks ago, it donned on me that there was no community group, official or otherwise, for the game Bastion. I decided to check the official forums to see what sentiments towards the idea of a community group were. As someone who rather enjoyed Bastion--Mr. Sterling's less-than-glowing review
notwithstanding--I was looking forward to discussing the idea with like-minded people. What I found was something that left me scratching my head. It seems that Supergiant Games
had committed a cardinal sin. The glaring ommission of hats.
As of last week, there were about a dozen or so threads in the Bastion forums. All of them questioning the game's worth. Comments like "$15 is too much!
" or "Why is there no pre-order discount?!
" were very common the topic of all of these threads. I decided to read these threads because I wanted to see if people were honestly bothered by the game not offering a $1 discount and that it was indeed 'too expensive' or if these statements were just the work of trolls.
I found that this was indeed a common opinion on the forums and that people were genuinely pissed over Supergiant Games' decision not to include TF2 Hats as a pre-order option or at all. Negative comment after negative comment about the developer and it's 'business practices' quickly made me rethink my desire to talk to these people, much less care what they thought of the game. All because the developer didn't have the virtual-equivalent of new barbie dresses, for their TF2 dolls.
I found my post count nearly doubling on the Bastion forums alone, trying not so much to argue with these people but to ask if they were seriously about to pass up one of the best games of the year over such frivolous issues and in trying to assure others that the game was indeed worth a look.
Not since my time with World of Warcraft(5 months sober, tyvm) have I seen such clamor for virtual, in-game items. The main difference here being Blizzard recognizes that there are people willing to throw their money away on such things and offers a multitude of cosmetic items for people to buy. Can't make it to the annual Blizzard convention, Blizzcon? Not a problem, for a price, you can watch it from home. Your $40 also gets you an in-game pet that you can parade around for others to point and laugh at. This could easily be misconstrued as an anti-virtual item rant, that is, if I wasn't guilty of purchasing said items myself(Hey! 50% of proceeds from my $10 virtual Pandaaren Monk
pet purchase went to charity, OK!?).
This hat debate was such an issue that, as of last week, the only developer post on the official Bastion forums, was a response to the outcry for hats. It was a reasonable argument against putting hats into the game. The explanation being that it wouldn't make sense with the game's style and then there's the minor fact that, in Bastion, there are no hats
. Did this ease tensions? Of course not. People simply asked for the kid's(main character of the game) hair be made into a hat.
It was at this point that I finally gave up, threw my arms up, shook my head and walked away. If people were willing to skip out on a good game because of virtual items, so be it. I quickly learned a lesson in arguing with trolls; Don't.
The game has since launched, today
, August 16th, 2011, without nary a problem--that hasn't already been patched
within the first few hours of the game's release. The Bastion forum now boasts over 3 pages of threads, the majority of which seem to be overwhelmingly positive. I'm sure the developers are breathing a sigh of relief that their game has been so well received on PC as well Xbox.
So, what have I learned throughout all this?
You might not agree with Hitler's politics and beliefs but you gotta give it to the guy; He certainly gave the people what they wanted.