PAYDAY's Steam Moderators Are So Unhappy, They've Gone On Strike

The Crimefest annual community event wasn't exactly a PR success, but rather than revert the introduction of microtransactions and paid-for stat bonuses with skins, Overkill Software has doubled down on their changes.

As you can imagine, the fans are far from impressed. But they're not the only ones upset. The volunteer Steam moderators are just as outraged — so much so that they've gone on strike.

In a pinned post on the Steam forums, volunteer moderator Ashley outlines why her and two other admins have announced their decision to strike. "We're pretty unhappy with the [Completely Overkill Pack] update for a number of reasons," she writes. "Due to this situation, myself and Jones are now refusing to moderate the forums any more."

The offending update is the Completely Overkill Pack, a package that contains a pick from "an exclusive collection of 25 weapon skins". "The Completely Overkill Pack owners are guaranteed a rare, epic or legendary weapon skin upon opening, which can be used, traded or sold," Overkill wrote on the landing page for the latest update.

So, what's the problem?

The volunteer moderators write that while the COP safe provides "1 of 25 skins", the problem lies in the variance therein. "What I didn't expect is that these skins can be of varied quality and rarity. This is NOT acceptable and just expressed the lack of feedback taken into consideration," the thread says.

To the moderators, the design of the COP rewards illustrates a long-running pattern of ignoring and not adhering to community feedback and/or advice, a sentiment that has been echoed by long-running PAYDAY fans since the surprise introduction of microtransactions during the Crimefest annual community event.

PAYDAY's user rating has plummeted from the low 90's to 76% from 167,455 reviews all within the space of a month, an indication of the public's fury. The moderators are prepared to return to work, so to speak, though if Overkill grants them an interview with a developer. "We want to be heard and see what Overkill are willing to do to fix the situation," Ashley explained.

"If Overkill decides to let us go as moderators it's something we are prepared for, I personally cannot sit by when they continue to promote immoral business practices. I felt the skins system needed work but could function. The recent safe update showed against that."

It's difficult to imagine a studio that has such bad PR in the last few weeks, but going by the studio's recent public communications it doesn't seem like they'll do a 180 any time soon. After all, the game's producer already intimated in a Reddit AMA that adding microtransactions was necessary to stave off layoffs at Overkill.


Comments

    I'm never going to open my Completely Overkill Safe. There is a skin unlocker you can download anyway to use all the skins and I hope that everyone uses that rather than give this company a single cent.

      I opened mine straight away and sold the skin for $23. I don't care that Overkill got $3 of that because it is the last of my money they are getting. I got my money back for the DLC.

    So they're upset that they might not get a legendary skin? :/

      I think its more akin to the fact that long ago we were told they were going to be lowering the amount of RNG in rewards, but then we get micro transactions instead that have a fair amount of RNG as their basis.

      People are upset that the Completely Overkill Pack, released specifically to support the Spring Break/Hype Train content from the developers, contained a mystery item that would be announced in the future.

      Now that we're here, in the future, it's been announced that the mystery item is a weapon skin that is exclusively available to COP owners. All 7 DLC that could contain a weapon skin from the COP safe were also gifted to COP owners so that it was impossible to receive a skin they could be locked out from.

      But yeah, essentially it does come down to players being angry that they may not receive a legendary skin, and also being angry that they made the decision to support the developer in the past for unrelated content.

        To add to this, it's also a matter of fairness.

        The initial specification was that there would be 25 items. Now each of the 25 skins not only vary in "rarity" but also may or may not include the new stat and exp boost bonuses.

        This creates a vast difference in the quality and value of the items received by each of the 50k people that bought into the COP, essentially making the purchase worth a lot less or a lot more to some simply based on random number generation and the type/quality of item received.

        This is a lack of fairness where it was most needed to those who all paid the same amount of money at the same time for the pack, and is cited as the final nail in the coffin for the moderators giving up their efforts in their stickied post.

        It's only compounded that those who have COP can't gift the DLC provided if they already have it (I'd be interested to see just how many COP owners didn't already have the DLC at the point of delivery).

        Anyway, as an OG Payday fan (from before the Overdrill secret days) I have to say that my confidence in OVK is all but shattered and shows no sign of restoration any time soon.

      They are upset because people paid 20 dollars for the completely overkill pack and were promised a unique cosmetic only item and what they got was the opportunity to gamble to receive an item that is not purely cosmetic but provides real in game benefits.

      Its just flat out false advertising.

        So not only do they get a skin that other players can't get normally, but the skin might make their weapon better? What a raw deal.

          Are you purposely trying to misunderstand? We are unhappy because we were tricked into supporting micro transactions for 20 dollars.

          I despise micro transactions in full priced games even if they make me more powerful. Its a disgusting business practice and I feel like I have been cheated.

            I guess the problem I'm seeing with all of this is these microtransactions are optional and don't seem to negatively impact my experience whether I participate or not.

            You weren't tricked into supporting micro-transactions, that's a highly disingenuous proposition.

            The Completely Overkill Pack was released during the Spring Break/ Hype Train event earlier this year with the explicit intention to support development of free Hype Train content. Supporters received special editions of the original Payday masks and the promise to receive one of 25 secret in-game gifts from an old friend.

            The criteria for the secret gifts were that they would be:
            From a pool of 25 items
            From an old friend
            Rare
            A collectible

            Supporters have now received one of 25 weapons skins from Vlad, that range in quality from Rare to Legendary, and are exclusive to supporters. Fits all the criteria.

            To reiterate the point: people got what they paid for, supported the development of free DLC for the Hype Train event, and nowhere was it originally stated that supporters would receive a purely cosmetic item.
            Stop making shit up.

              Perhaps a quick google would have served?

              http://i.imgur.com/aKZGemT.png

              Also the criteria that you listed weren't what was listed when the pack was actually available for purchase.

              It originally just said you would receive a secret item that was clarified to be cosmetic only on their website during the event.

              Last edited 14/11/15 10:04 pm

                hahah oh so rekt

                Here's the actual link:
                http://steamcommunity.com/games/218620/announcements/detail/213129572199434422

                That's a fair point, thanks for clarifying, and I'm sorry for saying that you made it up. The devs did state that supporters would receive a cosmetic item, which they did, and they said that item would not confer an advantage, which was false.

                Doesn't change the fact that you weren't tricked into supporting micro-transactions. Your statement is still disingenuous.

                Edit: To address the edit. It was stated throughout the sale of the COP that this item existed to support development of free DLC for the Hype Train event. The developers were very open with their intentions for the COP DLC.

                Last edited 14/11/15 10:27 pm

    I never understand the people that defended the microtransaction decision and happily let developers screw them over and excuse them from such poor business practices.
    Payday 2 cost me about $150 dollars personally. Before this fiasco I believed they were a small indie company making a game and wanted to support them. I bought the most of their dlc when it was released.

    They then added microtrasactions. Which I wasn't unhappy about (not happy either mind) until I discovered that the microtransactions affected gameplay.
    I complained on the forums with many others (microtransactions that affect gameplay released alongside a surprise weapon "rebalance"... no the devs surely haven't gone mad.) And I was told to wait.
    I waited for 9 days and watched as the community tore itself to shreds. People kicking people who had weapon skins, forums roiling with rage and blame etc.
    We were then told by Almir (the head of overkill) that "microtransactions are making us too much money to stop or change them"(summation).
    ... and now they've cranked it even further.

    So yeah $150 game gets microtransactions that affect gameplay... it doesn't even matter if they said they were never going to do it or not the practice is obscene.

    But hey they as a company are well within their rights to screw over their customers.
    It is also the customer's right to call them out on it.

      Can you explain to me how microtransactions have personally affected you experience?

        Because of the new skins available that modify weapon properties several new builds in the game are possible to those who own the skins that can have quite an impact on gameplay.

        You may think to yourself 3 concealment on a weapon is nothing well...it can make powerful builds possible that were impossible before

        https://steamcommunity.com/app/218620/discussions/8/496881136913813609/

        the surprise weapon rebalance that accompanied the safes also screwed up allot of my gun combos (just my own suspicions but I think this was done to entice people into buying the weapon skins). So yeah I feel as though the balance (what little there was) has flown out the window

        And as I mentioned before it resulted in a huge split in the community.

        I now refuse to play the game. Have uninstalled it, written a bad review and will advise people not to buy it (or at least research into overkills business practices first)

        This is an implementation of a microtransaction feature in a well established (2 year old) game with copious amounts of DLC. Even if it did't impact gameplay the practice is galling. The fact that it does is just abhorrent and as a gamer and consumer I will not condone such malicious business practices.

        It speaks volumes that the steam mods are on strike.

          I don't know, what I'm seeing is a lot of people outraged because other people are outraged instead of coming to these opinions on their own.
          I'm yet to come across any problems with any of my weapons or builds, and so are the people I play with. If you have, then that sucks but it hasn't broken the game or made it unplayable.

        Because of the new skins available that modify weapon properties several new builds in the game are possible to those who own the skins that can have quite an impact on gameplay.

        You may think to yourself 3 concealment on a weapon is nothing well...it can make powerful builds possible that were impossible before

        https://steamcommunity.com/app/218620/discussions/8/496881136913813609/

        the surprise weapon rebalance that accompanied the safes also screwed up allot of my gun combos (just my own suspicions but I think this was done to entice people into buying the weapon skins). So yeah I feel as though the balance (what little there was) has flown out the window

        And as I mentioned before it resulted in a huge split in the community.

        I now refuse to play the game. Have uninstalled it, written a bad review and will advise people not to buy it (or at least research into overkills business practices first)

        This is an implementation of a microtransaction feature in a well established (2 year old) game with copious amounts of DLC. Even if it did't impact gameplay the practice is galling. The fact that it does is just abhorrent and as a gamer and consumer I will not condone such malicious business practices.

        It speaks volumes that the steam mods are on strike.

    heres the thing. you can keep hanging out on your entitled high horse screaming bloody murder all you like. when you get your way AWESOME! then they lay off most of the employees and stop supporting the game. Good Game guys you won the internet.

    I never understand the people that defended the microtransaction decision and happily let developers screw them over and excuse them from such poor business practices.

    You arent being screwed over btw... none of the skins are massive game changers (especially in a completely PVE game) and guess what you arent being forced to buy them...

    The second option is to just calm the heck down and hey let the people that want to throw a couple of extra bucks at the devs for weapon skins do their thing. they are in no way hurting you. and infact they are keeping the company in business and the game supported.

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