Gacha or Gotcha?

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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?