Is SMITE Pay to Win?
The gods of old were known to grant boons to those humans who would give them offerings, but does the same apply to SMITE, and is SMITE pay to win? Let’s find out, shall we?
Is SMITE Pay to Win?
No, SMITE: Battleground of the Gods isn’t pay to win. But, since it’s a MOBA, it’s fallen under the same criticism that every online game with microtransactions gets. And that’s fair. Developers deserve to be criticized for unfair business practices.
And in that regard, Hi-Rez Studios are quite fair with their microtransaction policy. So, let’s take a look in detail at what you can actually buy with your money in SMITE.
What Can You Purchase in SMITE?
There are a few things that you can get through microtransactions. So let’s take a look at each of them. For starters:
Skins are the most commonly bought item with gems (the resource that you get with real-world money).
In essence, they offer you no significant advantage over your opponents. Except for making you look cooler than them, that is. So if you consider winning the moral battle, before the actual battle has even begun, as an advantage.
Then yes, skins do give you an advantage. But for the rest of us, skins are just something that we look at and say “Oh hey! That looks cool.” And then we go about for the rest of the game.
Daily bundles are another thing that you can spend your money on. In essence, the daily bundles are just a marketing trick that’s used everywhere, from markets - to video games. It’s the same skins that you can get otherwise.
Just now, they’re bundled together with a couple of extra things. It can be that cool avatar that you’ve always kinda wanted, but not really needed. Or it can even be a ward skin. Things that you don’t really need. But the temptation…
How do you pass up the temptation? And that’s how they get you. They offer you one thing that you really like, and a couple of extra things on the side that you don’t really need, but are nice to have. So you keep coming back, again and again.
The Imperial Chapters are another marketing trick that they use to get you to spend money. Each chapter has 6 rolls each. And each roll costs around 400 gems, which translates to 6.40€, or about 6.61$.
Ok, say you want to buy out an entire chapter right? So you do the math. To do 6 rolls you’d have to spend 38.4 euros to purchase the 400 gems option 6 times. But that isn’t practical, since the other, more expensive options give you bonus gems to your purchase.
So, you opt to get the most popular option, which costs 27.99 euros and gives you 2500 gems. Perfect! You now have just enough gems to roll 6 times. And you even have 100 gems left to spare.
And then you see that there are 3 more chapters that you’d have to purchase. And now you’re in a dilemma. Do you: 1. Purchase the remaining 3 chapters. Or 2. Be satisfied with the skins that you got from just one chapter.
The longer you think about that dilemma, the higher the likelihood that you’ll purchase more gems. And that is how they get you!
This is the most controversial mechanic, and one of the main reasons many people argue that. “Ohh, SMITE is pay to win, since you can buy the gods.” And yes. While it’s true that you can buy the gods with gems, instead of having to spend favor on them.
But on the flip side. You can’t buy the skills and knowledge required to be able to play that god properly. That is why this mechanic isn’t necessarily “pay to win.” You’re not paying for a guaranteed victory.
You’re just paying for the ability to play with a god that would have otherwise taken you a week’s worth of grinding to unlock with favor. What’s more. The likelihood of you losing your first couple of matches with the new god you’ve just unlocked are actually higher.
As you’ll need time to learn how to play that god. You’ll have to develop a feeling for the god, you’ll have to learn all the optimal builds for that god, you’ll have to learn all the proper plays with that god, you’ll have to learn its counters and what it counters.
All of this requires time - and most likely a few lost matches before you get the hang of it.