Thank you for the solid answer, Ethics.
Being that I never use consumables in games, even within games like RPGs [with the exception of potions in Diablo-likes and the occasional phoenix down in Final Fantasy], the current design is rather... eyh. Not that I'm stressed about the shift to expansion-style content releases, that feels rather agreeable given the nature of the game (even though I did have the game installed on android previously [before my android device broke] so there's a bit of a "aw, lost opportunity" vibe to it).
On the other hand, unlocking *real* content through gameplay is a major draw in gaming, in any genre or style. That's not part of the pay-to-play/free-to-play dynamic, that's just basic RPG-style methodology. You remove that, and the compulsion to play the game can become significantly minimized. In other words, Obsidian shouldn't be doing an either/or approach: They should be releasing expansions (as they currently have it structured) in addition to providing in-game unlocks.
At the moment, it feels like they're pulling actual core game content [ie, unlocks] out of the game in an attempt to cater to instant-unlock gamers exclusively, and that's an approach that'll only hurt the game in the long run. That they retained Enhancement cards in the store is promising, but hopefully they'll end up expanding on gold-based unlocks (especially as gold purchasing is apparently still an option for instant-unlock-minded gamers) so as to give the gameplay the significant increase in depth [or, rather, addictiveness] that such provides.
In the meantime, I've no issue with expansions- I spent around $200 on Dungeons & Dragons Online and around $80 on Card Hunter over the years, and not a penny spent on currency or consumable purchases. Likewise, I thought every cent worth it- meanwhile, I refuse to pay for any subscription-style game, because I lose that ability to decide my own purchases.
In other words, I'm fine with purchasing extra content- in excessive, expensive amounts, if the game warrants it- but the game has to also give me something to unlock via gameplay. DDO let you earn premium currency rather easily, so outside of expansions, I regularly was able to unlock new content just via playing. Card Hunter relies on its addictive collection-building, where the unlocks are integrated deeply into the gameplay [unlike Pathfinder Adventures, which has a limited storage stash and the ability to permanently lose certain items, meaning there's a strong RPG dynamic, but nearly no collection one].
So.. hopefully that's all something Obsidian is considering. It should help cut down all this gold-is-now-useless-why-would-you-do-that-Obsidian drama I've seen browsing the forums, as well, eh?
As far as digital versus tabletop- I love tabletop. It's like books: You've got tactile, manipulable, aesthetically-pleasing, shareable content that enriches your home by existing in it.
And then there's digital, which is just bloody damn convenient- typically being easier to set up, play for shorter periods with, and close up. In addition, we often see additional content and features that tabletop wouldn't be able to reproduce. It's a great thing, and Pathfinder Adventures seems to do it well-
...well, other than some interface clunkyness here and there, and some vagueness in the tutorial, and- as this thread indicates- some lack of clarity on content details.
The game is fun, and I want to get into it as much as the other games I've been really into, but right now I see a lot of things [as noted] that could run new users off (or, as the forums indicate, distance older players). I'm hoping that's all just a phase that Obsidian'll get past, given the company's positive reputation.
Of course, that's why I messaged them [before investing in steam purchases], hoping to get a clear idea of how good their response to their customers is.
Unfortunately, I haven't heard back yet, but I assume that's just the holidays at work- or are they known for slower support times, usually?
Edit: It ended up being a bit delayed (apparently they had quite the support backlog after the holidays), but for record, I ended up getting an awesome support response.
Edited by Dagolar, 10 January 2018 - 01:13 AM.