@Prokaizer Then say that. Skip the "predatory company" hyperbole.
@BloodyKyona I don't know how many times this needs to be said before it gets through your thick skull: They have given away these passes FOR FREE since the game first launched. They've given them away FOR FREE at least 4 times just in the last year alone and if you had three characters made (FOR FREE) and logged in after each release you would have OVER A DOZEN of these passes FOR FREE stored away. Grow the hell up and miss me with that "oh they so evil they give this stuff away for free all the time but I'm still going to cry about it" bullcrap.
You want to talk about them doing EVERYTHING to maximize profits? Alright, go time, so sit the hell down and shut the hell up, I'm about to school you on a little game called "Destiny."
When Destiny was released IT WAS NOT FREE. It cost $60. How much did PSO2 cost? $0. Destiny released with a gutted Campaign that would barely compare to the first CHAPTER of Episode 1 of PSO2, let alone an entire EPISODE of PSO2, and that's what you got for $60.
The first "expansion" - which barely added a tenth of the content of the original game - cost $20. How much did Sega charge for the rest of Episode 1? $0. How much did they charge for Episode 2? $0.
The SECOND expansion of Destiny also cost $20. Again, how much did Sega charge for Episode 3? $0.
The THIRD expansion of Destiny which delivered LESS game-changing content than PSO2's addition of entire new classes (e.g. Bouncer and Summoner), had an even more "what the actual f* did I just witness" than PSO2's "it's all a video game in an alternate dimension" BS, and came with the price tag of $40 (double the cost of either of the previous expansions). Sega's price for Episode 4? $0.
The FOURTH expansion of Destiny cost $30, however you HAD to buy the THIRD expansion or else you couldn't play it, so you HAD to spend that additional $40 even if you had no interest in that expansions content. Also at this point Bungie decided to cut support for "legacy consoles" PS3 and Xbox 360, forcing any players who were on those consoles to buy the Next Gen versions. Oh, and NONE OF YOUR PRIOR PURCHASES TRANSFERED, so if you had to upgrade to a new console you had to buy the new "Special Edition" of the game for $60. Sega's price for Episode 5, which added the first Scion class "Hero?" $0.
The FIFTH and final "expansion" to Destiny was nothing more than a limited-time seasonal event that added almost nothing to the game other than cosmetic incentives to re-engage with old, obsolete content. Sega's price for Episode 6, which added THREE new Scion classes (Phantom, Etoile, and eventually Luster)? $0.
Total cost of playing Destiny and having access to the BASIC CONTENT (zero microtransaction purchases) $170-200. Total cost of getting the FULL content of PSO2: $0.
Then came Destiny 2, which repeated the same $60, $20, $20, $40 scheme then stopped "expansions" and converted to "seasons" with the first pack of seasons (dubbed the "Annual Pass) coming at a price tag of $35 IF you purchased it with the third expansion. After that Bungie "gave away" the first $100 of now entirely obsolete content as a "Free to play" standalone version of the game and "technically" you didn't have to spend a cent on the game...except you would receive ZERO new content (i.e. no new weapons or armor, no access to new classes/subclasses, no access to new activities, you could only "explore" new regions but received zero location-specific rewards for doing so). Each and every new "season" came at the cost of $10 and all content for that season would VANISH COMPLETELY once the season concluded, i.e. even paid players could no longer play that season's signature activities nor access it's "campaign" missions. Again, for this RENTED content you had to pay $10 every 3-4 months.
Total cost of having full access to Destiny 2's content to date: Got to be close to $250 at this point but quite bluntly I gave up on them ever doing right over a year ago, but even so MY total investment in the franchise at that point was close to $400. D1 and D2 COMBINED will reach the 7-year anniversary in September of this year. Sega's price tag for what will be NINE years come July: $0.
So when you say Sega is "doing EVERYTHING to maximize profits" I don't know what the blue f* you're even talking about. The one and ONLY thing I have ever felt I "needed" to purchase was inventory and storage expansion, and that's just because I'm a hoarder and hate having to waste time between every quest unloading my "carry-ons."
Oh, and as for "the cost is always quality," agian, look how much Destiny cost compared to PSO2 and now wrap your head around these differences:
In PSO2 if you want to join another player, you select the menu option and you are instantly (INSTANTLY!) added to their party. If you want to join a player in Destiny you select the menu option, you're "kicked to orbit" (think "Gate Ship" or "PQ" except you can't actually DO anything but watch your ship float in space for THREE. FULL. MINUTES. Then your ship "flies back down" (basically just a wasteful animation to make loading screens seem "interesting") to "land" you at whatever the "starting point" of the area YOU WERE JUST IN happens to be, no matter how far from that point you had progressed before deciding to join that player, so now you have to waste several more minutes playing "catch up" to get back to the where you were. At any point during this trek any of the multiple "loading barriers" you walk through could glitch the game and kick you not only back to orbit but out of the party with no way to rejoin unless that player was on your console "friend list" or you were otherwise "Connected" (e.g. through Xbox "party chat"). This has happened to me...well I don't have an exact count but somewhere in the hundreds. Sometimes it wouldn't be satisfied with a "KTO" (kick to orbit) but would instead crash the ENTIRE game and you'd have to start from the title screen. Something that has ONLY happened to me in PSO2 when Sega's servers are completely overloaded (like when they first released the NA version on PC) or about to go down for maintenance anyway. All totaled maybe 2-3 times in the last YEAR vs 2-3 times A DAY in Destiny.
Also, Destiny had NO options for chatting with other players who were not in your party. You had to open the console menu and message them, or stand around "emoting" like a spastic orangutan hoping they understood what you were trying to express to them (spoiler: n one speaks "emote"). It became a meme that Destiny was "the most anti-social social game ever made." Even the Tower (think "gate area") which could only support a maximum of 16 players (you can have what, like 50 in PSO2 in the same "block" all running around the same lobby at the same time?) if you wanted to join another player you STILL had to go through the five-minute-long cycle of navigating the clumsy menu, getting booted to orbit, having to re-enter the lobby, and then go find them again.
PvP in Destiny is a literal cesspool with zero weapon balance. Every patch literally boils down to "ok which weapon class is the new completely unbeatable meta that absolutely no other weapon type will ever stand a chance against." Every. Single. Time. Not a fan of PvP to begin with so I haven't tried it much in PSO2 but what I did experience was that, for what it is, it's balanced. I got my butt handed to me constantly but that's because there's no option to "map" the attack/PA buttons to the way I had mine laid out, so I was constantly hitting the wrong button. I prefer losing because of that than losing because an opposing player's potato gun with a range of 0.2 meters one-shot me from halfway across the map while my ROCKET LAUNCHER fired point blank into their chest only kills me and never even breaks their overshield.
Let's talk "MMORPG" elements. First, the MMO bit. PSO2, as mentioned, let's up to 50 or so players mingle in the lobby vs Destiny's 16. PSO2 allows player groups of 4, 8, or even 12 to join in the same activity and even sets up your own "private rooms" so your whole squad can "party" together. In Destiny your group options are 3 or 6, maximum. Even when they had the "big team battle 8v8" PvP mode (it was very short-lived as the game just simply could not handle that many players in active combat) you couldn't actually put together a FULL team.
And as for "RPG," don't make me laugh. D1 did have a fairly lengthy "EXP grind" to unlock your class/subclass abilities, and literally EVERY weapon or piece of armor you received had no access to its randomized perks (i.e. "augments") until you leveled up each individual perk one by one. This was on top of your "character level" as well as your "power/light level" which was tied to the rarity and stat levels of your currently equipped gear, but only served as a "be less squishy" and "content gatekeeping" mechanic rather than a "growing steadily stronger" mechanic. If you were a certain "level" below an enemy AI you would do diminished damage scaling down to the point of doing literally NO damage. Once you matched that enemy's "level" that was it. Any and all gains beyond that meant literally nothing. In PSO2 if you equip a stronger weapon you do more damage, if you equip a unit you take less damage, and EVERY stat point you gain whether inherent to the gear, through augments, or from Skills translates to greater attack and defense performance to the point where even doing "Super Hard" quests my level 90+ classes generally take 1HP of damage even from most BOSS attacks. Something that NEVER happens in Destiny.
Literally the one and ONLY thing Destiny excels at compared to PSO2 is visuals. It IS a very, very "pretty" game. Bungie's reputation for glorious skyboxes remains solid. But the game is absolute shyte to play, and I haven't even gone into how much absolute hot garbage their near 100% RNG-based loot system is, but to give you an overall impression imagine running THE single most challenging Quest in PSO2 on the HIGHEST difficulty setting and not ONE SINGLE DROP from the entire run was higher than 3-star. Now imagine you can't even use that for augment fodder because unlike PSO2 you CAN'T customize all your gear at all in D1 and it was only recently in D2 that they added the "mod" system with extremely lack-luster options to "tack on" to randomly rolled weapon perks (like a 0.5% increase to reload speed. Yea, THAT pathetic).
So again, having something INFINITELY worse to compare it to, I have NO idea what the heck you're even talking about when you claim PSO2 is so horrible.
And by the way, I'm not rich. Not by a long shot. I'm a grown-ass man still living with his parents in a trailer built by the lowest bidders in the damn 70s. Doesn't get much "poorer" without being homeless, so one again I don't know what you're on about.
You want to know what the "evil" was in the pandemic? It wasn't capitalism. Hell I can't even really blame it on bureaucracy (the REAL evil in 90% of cases). No, the real "evil" of the pandemic is, in essence, communism/socialism. That is, total government control over every aspect of the lives of citizens. That is why every INDEPENDENTLY OWNED business was shut down in America yet MAJOR,, INTERNATIONAL, CORPORATE CONGLOMERATES like Walmart and Target could operate virtually unrestricted (except the requirement of masks to keep up appearances). It's why INDY SHOWS like garage band concerts, indy wrestling, art/craft fairs, etc. were all cancelled but Wrestlemania still happened, the Superbowl still happened, the Grammys still happened. You want to bitch about a 'system of oppression" what the actual fuck do you call that?! Sorry for the language but for real how damn ignorant can you be to think CAPITALISM (i.e. "you can open your own business and keep whatever you earn") is "oppressive" while socialism/communism (look at virtually EVERY major mass killing event in history and you'll find one of these two forms of totalitarian government at the center of just about all of them) is somehow "better." Healthcare isn't broken in America because of Capitalism, it's broken because of bureaucracy. I have Medicaid. I need new glasses (these are almost as old as PSO2 at this point). But I haven't been able to get new glasses in years DESPITE HAVING COVERAGE because the nearest optometrist is in a different state, and even though Medicaid is a FEDERAL (i.e. it exists on the NATIONAL level) healthcare program that exists in EVERY state, I am not a resident of THAT state therefore I have to go to the nearest one in MY state 4X farther away. That's not "capitalism," that's BUREAUCRACY.