Gacha or Gotcha?

Image Source:  marketplace.secondlife.com
Image Source: marketplace.secondlife.com

Hello, my name is Kat, and I’m a gacha addict.

Ok, not really, but I could be. 😀

It’s December, which means it’s time again for the latest round of The Arcade gacha.  Now, everyone knows (or I thought they did) that this event is ALWAYS full for at least a couple of days, with everyone trying to be the first ones to get in.  The Arcade even had ‘preview passes’ for some lucky few to this round.

I tried a couple of times to get in.  It was full.  So, I wait.  I don’t even really play that many machines, I just like to look at all the cool new stuff people made for it.  Yesterday (while sorting through my inventory and trying to get rid of previous gacha items), someone began complaining about The Arcade in a group chat.  (Not The Arcade group chat, mind you.)  This person basically thought it should be open for them to get in whenever they wanted.  When it was pointed out that they would simply have to wait, their response (after first calling everyone else ignorant) was to call for support for a boycott of The Arcade.

People are crazy.

It got me thinking though – what is it about the gacha machines that make everyone so nuts?  I get that there’s a thrill in collecting stuff – I collect a few things in RL myself.  But after playing several gachas at various locations around the grid, I’m rethinking them.  Most gacha machines sell items for less than creators would normally price them – that’s part of the attraction.  Who doesn’t want to save a few L$?  And when I first started playing paying them, it was usually a set of the same items, with rares in different colors.

These days, the machines are set up with ‘pieces’ to a set, and you must pay multiple times to have any hope of getting a ‘complete’ set or outfit.  I can see why the creators like this set up – it virtually guarantees multiple plays.  For instance, at one of the last gacha ‘events’ I went to, the gacha was for an outfit (which I thought was adorable).  However, you needed to get the wings, the sleeves, the shoes, the belt, and the dress itself.  After 10 pays, I had 3 wings, 5 sleeves, a belt, and shoes.  None of them in matching colors, of course.  And no dress, so the rest was really useless.  It’s very easy to get caught up in the thrill and lose track of what you’re spending.  I would happily have paid $500-$600 for the outfit.  Once I hit that limit on plays, I quit.

It’s disappointing.  It was a REALLY cute outfit.  I’m still out the L$, but have no outfit to show for it.  Oh sure, I can try to recoup some of my L$ at a yard sale or something, but it just left a bad taste in my mouth.  I won’t be playing gachas from that creator again.  And the list of ‘won’t play again’ is sadly growing.

Now, do I blame the creator?  No.  It was my decision to pay the machine, and I knew it was a random chance payout.  I have had machines where I got a rare (or the new ‘ultra-rare’) item on the first pay.  But sometimes you wonder if everything is on the up-and-up.  How do you KNOW that the seller set up the machine to actually have a decent shot at a rare or ultra-rare?  Who decides what a ‘decent shot’ means?  You can’t say you got cheated, because you always get AN item.  It’s just usually not the one you want. 🙂

So, for me, it’s become more ‘gotcha’ than gacha.  I’ll still visit The Arcade, and other gacha events, but I will be a looky-loo rather than a serious shopper.

How about you?

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7 thoughts on “Gacha or Gotcha?

  1. I don’t play gacha machines at the Arcade or any of the events now. They were fun at first but a lot of creators have come to realize they are a cash cow and as you say, load them with far too many different items and you spend far too much trying to get a matching set. So yes, you can blame them for that!

    I do spend time at a couple of big gacha yardsales and occasionally will even pay for a rare item if it’s not too outrageous. Another thing that annoys me is how some bloggers seem to be given all the items including rare items. Often they blog them before the events open so you know they haven’t played the machines and been incredibly lucky!

    JMB (Jo) Balogh

    1. I can see both sides – as a seller, providing the items to bloggers helps get the word out about your product. But you’re right, as a consumer, it kinda sucks to see someone just given all the pieces.
      I still visit some of the events, but usually it’s because I designer I like has items there. 🙂

  2. I don’t like them. I usually get five in a row of the same thing, so it is extremely rare that I play them. I don’t usually even notice them. When I have noticed them, they seem mostly full of cute stuff that I will never use, and I have enough of that in my inv already. If I am going to want something from a gatcha, I prefer to try a yardsale.

    1. I have a whole box of items that are duplicates or ‘impulse’ purchases.
      I find the whole ‘gacha’ thing interesting, especially after finding out that some people finance their SL by selling their duplicates and rares.
      I’m far too lazy – I could list everything on MP, but it takes too long. And in the case of the common items, most people don’t want them anyway.

  3. My name is Zed and I’m a gacha addict.

    I don’t play as many as I used to, mainly because I don’t see as many things I want now. I don’t play for clothing, hair or skins as they’re usually just recolours of the same item and I think that’s a bit cheap on the part of the creators, unless it’s something I really want I won’t play for no mod items either. I’ve noticed an on going trend with gachas, especially at this round of the Arcade, prices are going up, they used to be L$50 pretty much across the board now a lot are L$75 or L$100 and the RARE chance is dropping (when you can see what it is). I’ve seen machines with 20 or so items, most of which are pretty poor with some very nice rares but they’re priced at L$100 with a 3% rare chance (8% used to be considered hard to get). i’ll play mostly for decor items where each item is unique (yip I hate recolours) and trade for items I don’t get from machines, the rest i’ll put for sale at yards to recoup some small amount of L$.

    People do make their SL living from them, buying up items from yardsales and selling them at another yardsale for profit (I saw some commons today which are set at L$50 in the machine for L$299 at a sale)

    From a creators point of view it is tempting to go for the easy option of a pile of gaudy recolours and save yourself a load of work. Items I’ve made specifically for gacha events have been unique items, it’s a lot more work and it’s a gamble for creators too, you may have something no one wants to pay for and potentially weeks or months of work are wasted, it’s also tempting to up the price (think of what you could have made if they all paid double what you charged). Some do appreciate their “fans”, at least one creator I know of made an item his set and sent it after the event to “highrollers” who spent over a certain amount on his machine, this wasn’t known about until people got a message and a lovely item he made when he found out how much people actually paid him. Others just want as much money as they can get.

    If you don’t want to play gachas then don’t play them, personally I get a lot of pleasure from my precious things. I have all I wanted to get from this round of the Arcade, I spent close to L$10,000 on one machine but I think the price is fair considering the work that went into creating it, I’ve done a lot of trading and met some nice new people through that and I’ve sold off some duplicates and made over L$4000 back in the first three days. It can be expensive and frustrating trying to get the one thing you want but it’s also a lot of fun!

    1. And that’s how it should work! If you’re having fun and you think the price is fair, that’s what matters.
      Your little Christmas town is adorable, by the way!!

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