Riot used to be seen as one of the best examples of microtransactions done fairly, but thats changed quite a lot now.
It started with them slowly raising RP prices, to the point that ultimate skins are now over €20.
As time has gone on, unique skins have been slowly fazed out in favour of slapping an older skinline on champs so they make more money from people having a complete set. This has lead to many skins just feeling lazy or uninspired, but even then we still got amazing stuff like the Odyssey event.
The Odyssey event was 11 months ago and I'd argue it was the last time calling something an "event" over "cash grab" was warranted.
Season 9 has, without a doubt, been the worst year to buy anything from the game, and has completely warped the playerbase's view of Riot, I'd think.
Every few patches a new "event" comes out. I say "event" loosely, because an event is something that deviates from the norm, but it has been nothing but the same thing copy and pasted (they are so frequent that, as of writing this, you will have 2 kinds of tokens that list near identical rewards) with different, uninspired skins for the same group of popular pro play champs, maybe with a lazily done skin for a relatively unpopular champ to combat any sort of criticism towards their bias. Oh, and don't forget to lightly change the model and give it a gold colour scheme for the amazing Prestige skin that is its whole other beast. My favourite skins this year have been the Battle Boss skins that have nothing to do with the previous skins except tasting purple, and Project Pyke, a legendary skin that doesn't have any new animations and thus, by Riot's own pre-2019 standards, is not a legendary skin.
Going back to Prestige Skins, remember how Riot was perfectly ok with selling them for over a hundred dollars and only changed things when they were repeatedly made fun of for how absurd this was and how low quality the skins were? Now they are locked behind event passes, 1680rp for the ability to grind within a limited time period for rewards that are possibly worth less than what you initially paid. How fun and interactive!
And then there's TfT. TfT is really fun and I am glad it was made. However, Tft isn't ready to be live. At all. Not only is the game itself really buggy and not ready for live, but, and I can only speak for EUW, the servers themselves were not ready for it. After launch it was a complete gamble whether or not you could get into a game successfully. Even now, its not uncommon to find people being completely unable to connect to games at first. While its likely that the current issues aren't entirely due to Tft, it did not help the situation. The fact that the servers are this bad while riot is seemingly rolling in money is laughable, and shows that the bare minimum is being done for this game.
Eternals are more of a culmination of this year than anything else. Paying for a sense of pride and accomplishment. There's no real other way to put it. They are "rewards meant to show you mastery" yet are locked behind a pay wall. Achievements are only something worth showing off if it took effort to do, not how little money means to you that you thought that spending it on the ability to see how many kills you got with garen ult, a worthless number that every other game would happily show you for free.
Thank you for coming to my Ted Talk.
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