Dead Space 3 offers three ways to get the best gear… only one involves playing the game
There was much disappointment when it was announced that Dead Space 3 would support microtransactions. You could find resources in the game to use to craft new and exciting weapons but, if you didn't want to muck around with the whole “playing the game” thing, you could also simply buy those resources with real-world money from the terminals inside the game. This allowed players to buy their way into better weapons without having to deal with the game's built-in economy. Then videos that showed how you can farm resources began popping up online. Check it out.It looks like a glitch, and in fact many games have features this kind of broken mechanic that allows players to gain infinite resources. In most cases the glitches are found during playtesting, but the ones that make it through testing are quickly removed via patches. In this case, however, it turns out the issue isn't a glitch. EA seems to suggest that there are many places in the game where players can farm an infinite number of resources. This means you don't have to salvage resources or mess with the bots that bring you back materials, nor do you have to pay real money for the items you'd like. “The resource-earning mechanic in Dead Space 3 is not a glitch. We have no plans to issue a patch to change this aspect of the game,” EA said in a statement to Gamefront. “We encourage players to explore the game and discover the areas where resources respawn for free. We've deliberately designed Dead Space 3 to allow players to harvest resources by playing through the game. For those that wish to accumulate upgrades instantly, we have enabled an optional system for them to buy the resources at a minimal cost ($1-$3).” I contacted EA to make sure the statement was legitimate, and they confirmed the report.
What the living hell is going on?
This is what I imagine happened, although there is every reason to think I could be wrong: There are areas in the game where you can loop around and get a ton of items, those are glitches, and EA just said screw it. This is an easy way to get some goodwill from people. What if they were to remove these areas after publicly supporting them? Would people cry out? It's an odd situation. Bringing in unlimited resources from outside the game with real money seems odd, since we're supposed to be playing a game that is being built on tension. A lack of resources is a good way to create and maintain tension, but people gotta be paid. On the other hand, it's apparently not enough to also offer a way to get the materials by playing the game, and using your bots to find and farm those materials. Now that game also has a way to feed the player unlimited resources without paying for it, or playing the game in a way that makes sense from a design standpoint. There are three ways to get the goods you need to create the best weapons, and only one of them is “play the fucking game.” Once we get to that point, there has to be some value in ditching microtransactions altogether. You can avoid the microtransaction model, and you can ignore the unlimited items you can apparently find in multiple places in the game to focus on actually playing a game with limited resources, but you're avoiding tapping the button to get the pellet in favor of doing something that takes time and effort. Why do that when EA has given you a button you can hit to simply “win?” Or maybe it's elitist to say that only those who ignore the for-pay materials and farming opportunities are “playing the game.” Everyone else is playing something, but it's certainly not the sort of designed challenges and controlled economy we're used to from our games. An element of challenged has been removed, sure, but it still doesn't make the rest of the campaign a cakewalk. Easier, yes. But there is still a game to be had. Hell, didn't we just talk about this earlier today?