Research for an article: Have you ever bought VC?

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Have you ever bought VC in NBA 2K, and if so, how often and how readily/enthusiastically?

Poll ended at Fri Oct 09, 2020 1:49 pm

Yes, frequently; no issue
1
7%
Sometimes; prefer not to
3
20%
No, but have felt tempted
3
20%
Never, and never would
8
53%
 
Total votes : 15

Research for an article: Have you ever bought VC?

Postby Andrew on Fri Oct 02, 2020 1:49 pm

I'm currently running a poll about this on the official NLSC Twitter, but not everyone's a fan of that platform - understandably so - and I figured it would only make sense to canvas opinions here in the Forum, where I can also create a poll.

As per the topic title, I'm interested in getting a cross-section of the community's habits and feelings regarding VC. The question, as I presented in the Tweet, is as follows: A two-part question, fellow basketball gamers! In all these years, have you ever bought VC in NBA 2K, and if so, how often and how readily/enthusiastically?

I'm presenting the same poll options as I did on Twitter:

  • Yes, frequently; no issue
  • Sometimes; prefer not to
  • No, but have felt tempted
  • Never, and never would
And of course, leaving the topic open for further discussion.

Personally, I have purchased VC in the past, for a quick upgrade for MyPLAYER so that I can jump into competitive play quicker with Kenny, Arcane, Valor, The X, and zzcoolj. I've not been happy about doing so as it goes against my general principles re: microtransactions and the like, but it's something I've done with gritted teeth and regret, in an effort to have a better online experience. These past few years however, I've committed to a No Money Spent experience. While the grind has been tougher, it's also felt very rewarding to not give in to that temptation and pressure.

With that being said, I understand that the temptation and pressure can be too much, because the games are designed to firmly push us in the direction of microtransactions. As of this post, many of the people who have responded to the poll on Twitter have indicated that it's a sometimes thing for them, and they ultimately prefer not to do; basically, my approach before eventually drawing the line.

Anyway, please vote in the poll, and by all means expand on your thoughts on the matter. I'm interested in the community's general perspective on this, after so many years of pushier and pushier recurrent revenue mechanics.
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Re: Research for an article: Have your ever bought VC?

Postby sticky-fingers on Fri Oct 02, 2020 5:41 pm

=> Never, and never would

as an offline player, i never bought a single VC.
im also not interested at all by MyPlayer modes. Because not only its full of MT, but basicly you got a one year scripted story and your path each year is to be a nba demi god.
lot of people talks about RPG and MyCareer. But in fact, its not the case. In a real RPG, the story has many stories, ending. I remember the original Fallout 1 and 2 in which you could do so many things.
and for myteam, i loved to make soccer Panini albums... when i was a little kid.
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Re: Research for an article: Have your ever bought VC?

Postby Andrew on Sat Oct 03, 2020 12:18 pm

MT is only a MyTEAM currency, along with VC and Tokens, but that aside I definitely agree in regards to MyCAREER. There are definitely issues with the story and the grindy aspect that's intended to encourage spending on VC, especially if you're also playing online. If you're not interested in the mode, you obviously don't have to bother with VC, so it becomes a non-factor. As someone who has gotten into that experience this generation, I'm envious of that. It's unfortunate that a mode that can be appealing (if you're into it, of course) forces you to grit your teeth and deal with that upgrade system one way or another.

Same goes for MyTEAM. I'll disagree that it's kid's stuff because the concept of fantasy teams can be a fun one, if it appeals to you. It's taking the concept of custom teams, as well as unlocking players and putting together squads like we saw in the NBA Street games, and presenting a few different modes of play. The card collecting aspect is something I personally find nostalgic, and there's at least a use for the cards you collect, unlike the folders I have stashed away in a cupboard. It's not for everyone, but there's nothing wrong with that part of the concept.

It's the loot box mechanics and the spending that is the issue, and why I have little interest in playing MyTEAM online, because you're inevitably going to come up against people who are willing to spend a lot to try and beat the pack odds, and end up with really stacked teams. Like MyCAREER, you don't have to pay and I choose not to, but if you play those modes you do inevitably have to deal with the system in some way, and that is off-putting.

These days I'm committed to No Money Spent, to the point where I don't even want to spend the $15 Sony gifted to everyone to celebrate the anniversary of PlayStation Plus, on any VC. That's basically free money - well, if you put aside the annual subscription fee, I suppose - but out of principle, I still don't want to spend it on any of NBA 2K's recurrent revenue mechanics.
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Re: Research for an article: Have your ever bought VC?

Postby Pdub on Sat Oct 03, 2020 3:48 pm

Yes, I bought too much VC, especially when I bought two versions of the game as well. I did it because I wanted a boost for the grinding of MyCareer and didn't have the time. I could afford it since I had a job and I was going to play 2K a lot more than other games at the time.
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Re: Research for an article: Have you ever bought VC?

Postby Andrew on Sat Oct 03, 2020 5:07 pm

Understandable'; time is money, after all. Is it something you're ultimately not pleased about, or do you see it as just the way it is when you want to skip the grind? Just wondering as I'm interested in opinions as far as how acceptable people find the whole system and if there are mixed feelings about it (i.e. convenient but shouldn't be a thing, absolutely unacceptable, more acceptable if it were a bit cheaper, etc).
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Re: Research for an article: Have you ever bought VC?

Postby Pdub on Sat Oct 03, 2020 7:06 pm

It depends. When you are younger with older people to look after you, you may have more time to grind and get the satisfaction from progression. But older fans may want quicker pleasure, and a way to that means, hence VC for ratings boosts. From a business standpoint, it makes perfect sense. Once a game is bought, no more revenue comes in and software companies have to deal with servers for multiplayer support and bug fixes. For a yearly game that has grown as big as 2K basketball with their 2KTV, online presence, and multiple game modes that people play religiously, it is quite important to get extra money, so I don't look at it as something that should be pleasurable.

Look at NBA Live. They can barely generate sales to even think about an in-game currency and they have been cancelling games year after year, which sucks. Imagine if half the 2K players decided to buy Live instead of extra VC.

I'm getting over it. Doing a MyLeague while adjusting sliders for fun and competitive cpu play.
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Re: Research for an article: Have your ever bought VC?

Postby sticky-fingers on Sat Oct 03, 2020 7:27 pm

Andrew wrote:Same goes for MyTEAM. I'll disagree that it's kid's stuff because the concept of fantasy teams can be a fun one, if it appeals to you. It's taking the concept of custom teams, as well as unlocking players and putting together squads like we saw in the NBA Street games, and presenting a few different modes of play. The card collecting aspect is something I personally find nostalgic, and there's at least a use for the cards you collect, unlike the folders I have stashed away in a cupboard. It's not for everyone, but there's nothing wrong with that part of the concept.

this is just how i feel it. panini albums were nice when i was a kid, because you could exchange the cards with your friends, you also own really something.
MyTeam is a giant loot boxes mode for a virtual panini album which will disappear in two years when 2K will close the servers (like all MyXXXX Modes ... )
BTW i dont bite in the fantasy team concept behind in particular the terrible ratings of the players.
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Re: Research for an article: Have you ever bought VC?

Postby [Q] on Sat Oct 03, 2020 9:32 pm

They're basically printing money at this point, with players putting in time and money into a game that will only last for one year. When the year is up, they have to start over again in every single mode. I don't want to say it's a waste of time, but it's hard not to think that way of you genuinely don't enjoy playing the game.
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Re: Research for an article: Have you ever bought VC?

Postby sticky-fingers on Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:29 pm

waste of time and real money.
i dont understand why there's no lawsuits btw.
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Re: Research for an article: Have your ever bought VC?

Postby Andrew on Sun Oct 04, 2020 12:57 am

sticky-fingers wrote:this is just how i feel it. panini albums were nice when i was a kid, because you could exchange the cards with your friends, you also own really something.
MyTeam is a giant loot boxes mode for a virtual panini album which will disappear in two years when 2K will close the servers (like all MyXXXX Modes ... )
BTW i dont bite in the fantasy team concept behind in particular the terrible ratings of the players.


It'd be more fun without the microtransactions and loot box mechanics. The terrible ratings and OP cards are another issues altogether, but yeah, that stuff is bad. I personally like the concept, the execution leaves much to be desired.

Pdub wrote:It depends. When you are younger with older people to look after you, you may have more time to grind and get the satisfaction from progression. But older fans may want quicker pleasure, and a way to that means, hence VC for ratings boosts. From a business standpoint, it makes perfect sense. Once a game is bought, no more revenue comes in and software companies have to deal with servers for multiplayer support and bug fixes. For a yearly game that has grown as big as 2K basketball with their 2KTV, online presence, and multiple game modes that people play religiously, it is quite important to get extra money, so I don't look at it as something that should be pleasurable.

Look at NBA Live. They can barely generate sales to even think about an in-game currency and they have been cancelling games year after year, which sucks. Imagine if half the 2K players decided to buy Live instead of extra VC.

I'm getting over it. Doing a MyLeague while adjusting sliders for fun and competitive cpu play.


Fair enough. It is the way of gaming these days, no question about that.

[Q] wrote:They're basically printing money at this point, with players putting in time and money into a game that will only last for one year. When the year is up, they have to start over again in every single mode. I don't want to say it's a waste of time, but it's hard not to think that way of you genuinely don't enjoy playing the game.


Basically why I opt for No Money Spent. I get where you're coming from, too. If you have fun with it for a year and all you spend is the price of the game, then it's probably a worthwhile annual investment. Starting over is definitely painful even if you don't spend a cent over the purchase of the game, though.
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Re: Research for an article: Have you ever bought VC?

Postby Rodzilla91 on Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:56 am

Sometimes I have, but not much at all, usually only when they give out a "special" deal for like $5-$10, I feel a lot of the complaints about microtransactions are overblown, but I don't like that people are able to spend a hundred or so dollars to get their player up within the first 10 minutes of the game being released. I'm not condoning the use of microtransactions especially since what is being bought is to make your player better and not something cosmetic like limiting VC to clothing/animation purchases. I feel like a lot of the people that complain about the MTX in the game have never seen it, granted I have not played career in 2k21 so I can't tell you whether or not that they have become a lot worse than what they were previously, but I don't see an issue spending $5-$10 more to spend less time trying to grind it, except the problem with buying MTX is that you are losing time you could have playing the game to upgrade your player, but admittedly the grind in 2k can be lengthy (Live is way too short of a grind imo, so I don't think it should be like NBA Live's).

I remember seeing a reddit comment that someone posted on r/nba about 2K, complaining about it & saying that they were 3 seasons in and still a mid 70 overall, which I called him out on. You can't find legitimate complaints about the actual game (minus Dee's twitter rant about the lack of realistic tendencies and stats) because most complaints you see are about the rampant MTX. Once again, I'm not condoning them and I would be all for the attribute upgrades requiring a skill point based currency, but the way people talk about them, it's almost like you would expect to have to pay 500 VC just to play the next season game.
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Re: Research for an article: Have you ever bought VC?

Postby Andrew on Thu Oct 08, 2020 11:19 am

It depends what mode you're playing. The way online play is mostly devoid of proper matchmaking, there's more pressure to upgrade quicker, whereas with the NBA side of MyCAREER you're able to go at your own pace. The clothing you wear has also become a status symbol and a rudimentary form of matchmaking in Park/The Playground, so there's pressure to buy more cosmetic items (including premium items) if you want to stand a chance of getting a game.

I'd also argue that the need to pay any amount of money on top of RRP just to be able to enjoy the game or skip the grind is an indication that the grind isn't fun; that there's a problem with the journey if it's quicker, easier, and more desirable to skip to the end. It means that progression is being designed in a way that's aimed at generating recurrent revenue rather than being enjoyable or reasonably attainable for the player, and that strikes me as rather insidious. If the gaming experience is worth skipping, then it's not worth playing, to put it another way.
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Re: Research for an article: Have you ever bought VC?

Postby Rodzilla91 on Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:29 pm

Andrew wrote:It depends what mode you're playing. The way online play is mostly devoid of proper matchmaking, there's more pressure to upgrade quicker, whereas with the NBA side of MyCAREER you're able to go at your own pace. The clothing you wear has also become a status symbol and a rudimentary form of matchmaking in Park/The Playground, so there's pressure to buy more cosmetic items (including premium items) if you want to stand a chance of getting a game.

I'd also argue that the need to pay any amount of money on top of RRP just to be able to enjoy the game or skip the grind is an indication that the grind isn't fun; that there's a problem with the journey if it's quicker, easier, and more desirable to skip to the end. It means that progression is being designed in a way that's aimed at generating recurrent revenue rather than being enjoyable or reasonably attainable for the player, and that strikes me as rather insidious. If the gaming experience is worth skipping, then it's not worth playing, to put it another way.


Yeah, I never really played much park, only rec/walk on, and I didn't start playing online modes til I was around 80+ overall. It's bad because as I said before, people can just buy their way to the highest overall possible (assuming there's caps, stuff 2K has had the past few years) without a second spent playing an actual game. People who don't buy VC will always be shafted in that regard. Cosmetics have been so expensive in 2K that starting out, you might as well stay in your default outfit until you reach a reasonable overall.
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Re: Research for an article: Have you ever bought VC?

Postby Andrew on Thu Oct 08, 2020 12:47 pm

It's definitely more viable if you're sticking with The Rec or Pro-Am, while grinding your way up through the NBA. The Playground has fostered a pretty toxic culture, and the situation with cosmetic items isn't too dissimilar to kids getting bullied and unable to get a game in Fortnite because they're not using premium skins. It's all by design of course, and sadly, it works.
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Re: Research for an article: Have you ever bought VC?

Postby Andrew on Mon Nov 09, 2020 3:46 pm

Article is out now. Thanks to everyone for their feedback here and on Twitter! By all means let's keep the conversation going.

Monday Tip-Off: How We Really Feel About VC

IBack in October, I posted a poll on Twitter and in the NLSC Forum, asking a two-part question about Virtual Currency. The question I posed to my fellow basketball gamers was whether they had ever bought VC, and if so, did they buy it regularly and readily. I was interested to see the results, because the community's thoughts on VC aren't always as obvious as you might think. While it would likely be a very small minority that would argue that NBA 2K needs to have microtransactions, not all basketball gamers are completely against them.

As such, the matter of how we feel about VC isn't open and shut. When you look at the poll numbers and opinions that people have offered up on the subject, it's fair to say that the consensus is that we're not fans of microtransactions and NBA 2K's general approach with its freemium-like in-game economy. At the same time, being against the practice doesn't mean that people don't partake in it. Likewise, partaking in buying VC - at least somewhat willingly - doesn't mean that someone necessarily disagrees with the criticism. Throw in staunch opposition and general apathy, and the question of how we feel about VC doesn't always have an obvious answer.
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Re: Research for an article: Have you ever bought VC?

Postby cavs4872 on Mon Nov 09, 2020 4:24 pm

I missed my chance but I have no issue buying VC when I need it... 2K has provided me so much entertainment for over a decade now that I couldn't care less. I used to be bad in the past and max out multiple MyPlayer builds but now I'm pretty much set after my launch payment for 200K VC to bring my player to 85 and then use the rest on whatever.
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Re: Research for an article: Have you ever bought VC?

Postby Andrew on Mon Nov 09, 2020 9:15 pm

Definitely interesting to hear that perspective as well.
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