I've come to hate paid cosmetics

Hello fellow players,

let me start by saying that I know that cosmetics are a lesser evil out of all microtransactions but it is still an evil nevertheless. Also, I never had an issue supporting the game(s) I love but quite frankly I spent way more on cosmetics than I should have.

Lately, I’ve come to hate paid cosmetics (in any game) especially if they are significantly nicer than the armor and weapons you unlock in-game. That is one of the reasons I can’t play Path of Exile anymore even though I purchased multiple expensive support packs in the past …

I know many of you will argue that they are optional and do not alter gameplay in other words they are ‘‘not pay to win’’, which I partly agree BUT for me, how armor and weapon look, the visual progression of my character, is one of the most important things in RPG game. Visual progression is a vital part of the gameplay.

To put this into the ARPG perspective …
When a new season (cycle) begins, one of my biggest motivations for creating new characters and playing the season is not only to build a powerful and fun character but also to visually progress my character and end up getting the best-looking armor and weapon.

If the best-looking cosmetics are purchasable, not unlockable by beating hard content, half of my motivation to play the new character is just gone … and this recent realization makes me question if these games are even for me.

I am quite worried that the unlockable in-game armor/weapons in Last Epoch will never look as awesome as the cash shop ones, with great particle effects and weapon glows. Just look at the 1.0 new free armor sets that were put into the game, they are basic compared to the Pre-order edition or Cash Shop cosmetics.

Why am I creating this post? I am at a crossroads thinking about what game(s) I should focus on from now on. For the past 20 years, I played and was addicted to solely online games (MMORPGs, ARPGs, MOBAs) and maybe it is time to move to Single-Player games like Elden Ring, where microtransactions do not exist.

Am I the only one who comes to hate paid cosmetics? If not, how do you motivate yourself to push your character further / grind more? Leaderboards? Corruption?

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And yet another person who didn’t understand what such games are about. You’ve been playing for 20 years? What do you expect? The appearance of a character is individual. Some like it, others don’t.

Then why don’t you donate your wealth to the developers, then they won’t need any further income and can, of course, in the future, come up with great and beautiful skins just for you. Would you like to be involved in the decision-making and development process by any chance? Why don’t you ask?

I hope the irony is there.

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My wealth? I earn an average salary, have a newborn baby, and pay a mortgage for the next 20 years … Nothing to donate.

I have never said I expect the EHG, GGG, or any other studios to release content for free. But I would prefer another form of monetization, such as a higher base game price and maybe paid DLC, where all content is unlockable by playing rather than on purpose making all unlockable armor/weapons basic or straight-up ugly AF (Path of Exile) so I am forced to buy cosmetics if I wanted to have nice looking gear.

As you said, maybe I no longer understand what such games are about anymore. Maybe they are now targeted mainly at players who care about leaderboards, and how powerful their character is and that is OK.

I wonder why you have to be straight-up so offensive because I expressed my concerns about paid cosmetics. The forum is here to discuss things, or am I wrong? I am sure you had to use all your willpower not to call me names …


I actually think that the regular 3D Models look way better than cosmetics.

Some cosmetics are nice, but I would only call them Side-Grades at best.
Especially with you naming Path of Exile as an example. LE is landslides ahead of PoE in that regard. Especially with the latest additions of 1.0. There are so many great body armors and helmets.


That ends up being about personal taste, so I agree.
But then the question is how many new in-game unlockable armor sets/weapons will be added in the course of the next seasons and how they will look compared to cosmetics. Look at Diablo IV where they had great-looking free armor sets but since release, they added nothing new but tons of paid ones.

For LE the issue isn’t really the paid cosmetics. It’s the lack of a proper transmog system to fall back on. The cosmetics system in LE has not been thought about at all and it shows.


True but I’ve read that EHG is planning to introduce transmog system so fingers crossed.

When I think about it, maybe I should just create some personal rule that I am allowed to buy new cosmetics only when I achieve X or Y in the specific league … might work and could make me more motivated than how much corruption I could handle.

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Some of your issue might be fixed when/if they implement transmog functionality, so you can use in-game skins on other items.

There will surely also be achievement-based MTX made available in the future.


Yes, but it depends on how many new achievement-based or free unlockable cosmetics are added to the game each season to have new things to chase.

That would be nice.

Personally, I have no issue with paid cosmetics. I bought the supporter packs only because I wanted to support EHG. If the supporter packs gave me nothing at all, I would still have bought them.
Like in PoE, I don’t care about armor cosmetics. The only cosmetics I care about are pets, portals and skills. And if I don’t have them, I don’t really care either. I’ve spent (several) hundreds of euros on PoE over the years. And, like with LE, I would have spent it anyway, even without MTX.

Honestly, I hope they never go the paid DLC route. That is yet another thing that will kill D4 faster.

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I see your point and I am sure there are A LOT of players like you, if not the majority, who do not care bout them.
But at the same time, I guess some players also have no issue with pay2win (power, XP boost, etc.) microtransactions. As I see it all microtransactions are evil.

If D4 was a good game, like D2 was, but in a modern coat, with limited cosmetics, I would gladly pay 100€ for the base game and another 50-100€ for each DLC/Expansion, but that is just me. After all, I was used to paying subscription-based MMORPGs with expansions since I was 13.

Yes, I do understand your point. I just don’t think it works for live service ARPGs these days. Especially when you have strong competition for free.

The vast majority of players will never buy microtransactions. There have been studies about it for years. And they certainly won’t pay for constant DLCs over many years, like D4 plans to do.
MMORPG players have different tolerances for this, especially because of the success of WoW. Although, even in WoW, they eventually had to introduce a way to skip that subscription, because player numbers were decreasing. So even they won’t tolerate constantly paying money over long periods of time.


True, you are 100% right in all cases.

I did not say it out loud but damn you GGG for this :smiley: I assume when you talk about strong competition for free, you mean POE who came up with this model where all in-game armor is beyond ugly yet they managed to be successful. At least in games like Grim Dawn you have transmog and actually nice in-game gear.

Paid cosmetics would be somewhat OK if only they were in balance with in-game unlockable gear so players are not forced to pay to look awesome.

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Except in-game armour in Last Epoch isn’t ugly.

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Yes, I was talking about PoE. The cosmetics being ugly or not are simply a matter of taste, so that’s not really an issue. Personally, I don’t care about armor cosmetics, like I mentioned before. I don’t even care about transmogs either. I have no attachment at all to the looks of my character.
I like having pets around because they break some of the monotony, I like portal MTX because they’re oftenly cool, and I like skill MTX because they change the combat visuals. But I am rarely, if ever, looking at my character, so I don’t really care how it looks.

I know that many players don’t feel like this, but I guess a transmog system will fix it for most people. I’m sure EHG will implement one when they have time and are done with the higher priority stuff.

I understand where you’re coming from. Unfortunately, these monetisation models you suggested simply dont compete with mtx model in extracting consumer surplus. It is what it is. And you may be right that the current (and likely future) state of ARPGs just isnt your thing anymore.

Did you know, not one person cares if you like it or not, go play mindcraft

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I think overall, it’s a better model. If they charged a larger up-front box fee, to cover free in-game MTX, then people who didn’t use them – or use them all – basically get charged for something they aren’t using.

The way it is, while not as lucrative for the developer (up for debate I’m sure), as higher box cost might turn many people away at the get-go, it allows the player to only purchase what they (think) will use. It ends up being cheaper, in the long run, for the player, and potentially even better for the developer as more players in the game (due to cheaper box cost), purchasing many MTX items over the lifespan of the game. Yes, I am assuming here, that new MTX would only be released with each new ‘cycle’ or ‘DLC cycle’, if the increased box-charge model was used, so players would effectively be charged for all MTX available in the game.

I think it also has the side benefit of incentivizing the developer to create more, and cooler, MTX, to entice more player purchases.

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All I know is that by reading your post history I kinda feel sorry for you, not really. If you have nothing constructive to say, at least sometimes, why do you even go to forums and engage with others? Your life must be pretty sad if acting like a tough guy on the forums is how you are spending your time.