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Whenever a studio announces that microtransactions will be included into a game, there's going to be instant groaning and moaning. The inclusion of microtransactions have ruined a great many games, but Injustice 2 is promising that you won't be able to use them to pay to win.
Over on the official WB Games community site, a community administrator advised the community that there will be microtransactions in the game in the form of Source Crystals.
Source Crystals can be purchased with real money and can be used to buy cosmetic items, shaders and quick-level boosting for characters only if you've already managed to get a character to level 20. They repeatedly mention in the post that the Source Crystals can't be used to "pay to win" in Injustice 2.
The community administrator explains...
Source Crystals can be purchased using real money but aren't required to progress or advance in the game and can't be used to purchase Gear or an advantage in gameplay. We value our community and want to be clear -- you cannot "pay to win" with Injustice 2.
It's explained that the Source Crystals can be used to purchase costume skins for the characters, known as "Premiere Skins". These skins can also be altered using custom shaders for said skins, allowing users to change the colors of the outfits.
In one example it's explained that you can use the Source Crystals to buy the Power Girl skin for Supergirl. Her stats will stay identical but she'll look like Power Girl. They continue to reiterate that this won't affect the stats for the characters.
So why is that such an important point to hammer home? Well it's because in Injustice 2 you can unlock Gear that can be equipped onto the characters. Gears contain stats that alter the characters and how they behave during a fight. Warner Bros. wanted to make it known that Source Crystals for Injustice 2 can't be used to buy Gears. However, the Source Crystals can be used to transfer stats from one Gear to another.
If you like the way one piece of equipment looks but prefer the stats on another, you can use Source Crystals to swap the stats with the look, or transfer the stats from one piece of equipment onto another.
You cannot use the Source Crystals in any way to unlock more powerful gear. You will have to play through Injustice 2 in order to do so.
You can, however, use the Source Crystals to instantly level another character... but only if you've first leveled a character to 20. So just to reiterate that point: you can instantly level another character to level 20, but only if you've already leveled up a character to 20. I suppose in this regard you can't just pay to have an all-powerful character right from the start, but you'll be required to grind through the game and get a character to level 20 first.
The instant leveling does seem like a way to pay toward winning depending on how easy/hard it is to level a character. What if it's more difficult to level up a certain character in Injustice 2 but they get really powerful at level 20 and instead of leveling them up naturally you use Superman or Supergirl to get to level 20 and then insta-level the other character? I mean, technically that is paying to win.
But we'll see how well this all works out when Injustice 2 launches for Xbox One and PS4 on May 16th.