Let's discuss the "Pokéforza" policy (exclusive cars and emphasis on collecting them)

Unicorns are not a new thing to Forza. I missed the 360 era but I know there were many. Furthermore, since gaming was different (read: better) back then, it was even possible to unlock the unicorns by yourself (IIRC in FM4 there’s a reward for doing Le Mans for 24h straight).

Fast forward to 2016 which is when FH3 was released and we begin to see a dramatic increase in the number of exclusive cars tied to times events. Forzathon was a new feature to FH3, appreciated by many, even though most of them involved performing extremely grindy tasks to earn menial rewards and the odd exclusive car. In FH3 the Auction House was brought back as well and Playground saw it fit to limit the player’s ability to price their cars on their own, offering the chance to unlock unlimited freedom (up to 20 million CR) should you reach Legendary tuner and/or painter status. The system was obviously exploited by dishonorable players who effectively founded a cartel within the game and locked exclusive cars out of the market, unless you showed up with 20 million CR obtained by whatever means (most of the time in violation of the Xbox Live TOS).

When 2017 came and T10 released what could be called “Forza Horizon 3.5: Motorsport Expansion”, with a much different tone to the game compared to FM6 (I like the rock music but most don’t and it gets old fast), they really, REALLY upped the ante on the exclusive cars feature. The game shipped with Prize Crates which were likely to be involved in microtransactions containing said exclusive cars had the backlash against EA’s Star Wars: Battlefront II’s microtransaction system not happened. The poor reaction to the crates, even based on made up arguments, boosted by the VIP debacle, would undermine FM7’s commercial performance. The game also had a “Car Collection” menu resembling Forza’s very own version of a Pokédex, even with a full set of “Legendaries”.

In the following months T10 would try to tweak their exclusive cars system with mostly poor results, sometimes disastrous like the late offer of the 1932 Ford Coupe with bugged features in a February 2018 event (I think it was around that month), which was a previously locked car with bugs people couldn’t report because you can’t customize rentals. Forzathon itself was so badly coded, T10 moved validation to their own servers. Finally, in July 2018, T10 unlocked almost everything in the game, owing to our many requests that they did so. In November it was the crates’ time to say goodbye (good riddance!).

The next and latest game in the Forza franchise is Horizon 4 released September last year. It didn’t have the rocky launch FM7 did, save for the worse multiplayer modes and lack of custom time trials. But it did bring the exclusive cars feature up another notch. Forzathon would no longer reward you with cars outright, but give you “Forzathon Points” to be used in a new shop. The easiest way to earn these points was, and still is, to partake in Forzathon Live, which is an hourly, co-op version of those grindy events FH3 had, in real time. Moreover, there were quite a few cars exclusive to wheelspins, many of which having no special trait other than being exclusive.

The Legendary tuner/painter system and the Auction House were brought back almost unchanged from FH3, the only difference being a level bar, and it was the team’s desire, since Creative Director Ralph Fulton has said on stream prior to the game’s release that “we won’t be changing it since players need rewards for their efforts”. As a matter of fact, the team was also asked about the removal of the ability to sell duplicate wheelspin rewards back to the game and they replied with “not happening since we don’t want to give players an unfair advantage”. This policy on Playground’s part could be first seen when they inexplicably increased the price of wheelspins in the Forzathon Shop, which was difficult to understand since there was a lesser chance of winning good prizes with the availability of cosmetics among the possibilities.

The Auction House would go on to become an even bigger disaster than it was in FH3. What followed in the following months was a bunch of Legends earning their privileges by uploading easy designs and tunes (just some random, odd body color), while renowned creators who took their time to bring excellence, some of whom were even given a headstart by owning the game before everyone, were left behind. To make matters worse, the Fortune Island update added multiple paint groups to wheels but broke old designs in the process, making people quit as a result, as if the team wanted to say, “it’s not our problem, you should tweak and reupload your stuff”. Thing is, there were people who already had hundreds of designs in their Storefront, all of which broken after the update. Activity in the Paint Booth dwindled as a consequence thought there’s still good content coming.

Now we had exclusives being sold at 20 million once again by people who didn’t deserve their status, making the Auction House unusable. What’s more, the inability to disable crossplay in FH4 has let PC hackers run rampant and snatch all the cars with a myriad of tools outside Microsoft’s control and the season system enabled people to tweak the in-game clock to receive their exclusive cars early, in a repeat of what used to happen in the Pokémon games with day/night and season cycles. Regular players who wanted to ensure their cars didn’t fall into the hands of scammers didn’t have a proper buy/sale system to fall back to, so they had to risk a rudimentary trade by private messaging.

Playground’s “magna opus” when it comes to car restriction was yet to come, though. In March, in a shameless attempt to make players spend more (online) time in the game, the Festival Playlist was created, offering rewards for doing daily and/or weekly tasks. 50% completion was possible without online interaction and took the best part of two hours at the most. The juicier prizes, however, were locked behind 100% completion (yes, ONE HUNDRED!) and required, among other things, taking part in The Trial, qualifying for Online Adventure (which was still a mess when Playlist was first introduced), doing every single daily Forzathon event and, worst of all, winning a Playground Games event in co-op. The backlash was such that Playground had to back off and lowered max completion to 80% as well as moving many of the exclusive cars to the 50% tier, which wouldn’t be enough next to what the devs would do in the upcoming months.

So, exclusive cars became “easier” to obtain, but, with the end of the Car Pass, instead of releasing another couple DLC packs to round off the car list, Playground decided to bring T10’s “Spotlight Car” feature to FH4, with a twist: cars newly introduced to the game would be free as in FM7, but locked behind timed events (unlike in FM7). Usually, the new car was the reward for 50% Playlist completion, which took winning many unnecessary challenges (some of which repeats from championships we had in the first couple weeks after the game’s release) and filling up our garages with redundant cars we couldn’t, or wouldn’t, sell. But there were two instances were Playground blatantly backed off on their “ok guys, you’re right, 100% was too much” stance, which was when the Apollo IE and now the Jeep Wrangler DeBerti Design were exclusively available by winning The Trial.

Indeed, 50% could be achieved without online gameplay but it wouldn’t be enough if you wanted these cars… In addition to that, you needed The Trial. And the first one was a real piece of work: Hypercars on rainy Street Scene events! Now we have a Cross Country one in which the last event is none other than The Titan… And the Apollo is available outside The Trial, but at an inexplicable cost of 2,000 Forzathon Points when other exclusives cost less than a third of that.

Now, I ask: if Forza Horizon 4 is such a commercial and critical success, why are you guys trying to dictate when and how we should play? Why so much emphasis on stalling us and making us collect stuff?

Right now I feel as if playing Pokéforza. We even have “Legendaries” in the game, and, as in FM7, a Pokédex. FH4’s version of the Car Collection menu is, in fact, further closer to a Pokédex to FM7’s variant since it tells you how to get the cars (a feature in Pokémon’s Pokédex since the very first pair of games). I can bring my car friends with me in my journey to become Horizon Master and grow their abilities with my skill points (which made FE cars redundant) along the way, all while meeting new friends such as Rebecca, Alex and Jaimin. What happened to the driving experience? Engine sounds took a step backwards, racing is broken with many OP cars (some of which cleverly placed as unicorns by the team), the PI system still favors AWD cars and makes drivetrain swaps the unofficial assist in the game, houses were a lame addition next to what other games have, even the music has become worse (not that the ESRB helped with that). I like that the team brought back old features like Custom Rivals, but this was 9 months after the game’s release. Elimination of Freeroam Rush took less but still, many people had left by then.

The exclusive cars system hurts the game’s content. In fact, I wonder if the 1932 Ford Coupe’s situation in FM7 was the final straw in the back T10 needed to decide to unlock all the exclusive cars in the game. We have locked cars shipped with bugs that shouldn’t be there, given they’re “special”. The Mercedes AMG GT 4-door does not have Race suspension yet. The Apollo has a paint bug in the wheel center caps (which sucks because the stock color is a horrid orange). The Koenigsegg CCX has a poorly made shifting animation and comes fitted with a positive displacement supercharger, which is wrong since the real car comes with centrifugal superchargers, which has an impact on its sound. The Jeep Wrangler DD is locked behind The Trial but isn’t even distinct enough from the Trailcat to earn its exclusive status. Not really the same but even the Lego DLC has its issues regarding exclusive cars, with the rumored 1974 911 Turbo coming to the game after most people don’t even care anymore.

There’s so much focus on increasing gaming time among the player base by doing boring and/or frustrating events and not enough is done to fix the game’s flaws, or even improve on existing features. No new pricing system will save the current Auction House from the failure it has become. Blueprint does not let us set a custom PI limit, which would ease our frustration with the broken PI system. Heck, we can’t even edit Blueprints without reaching the max limit. Bugs are ignored (I sent a ticket regarding the lack of Race suspension for certain cars and, months later, they remain unfixed). Expansions are useless past completion since their online activities are limited and the seasonals repeat over the months. Even the clothing is useless (emotes are useless by default). OP cars aren’t toned down despite the game having a competitive online mode with a ranked ladder. Cars cost an absurd price in the Forzathon Shop for no reason whatsoever. Wheelspins hurt more than help once you start getting duplicates of cheap cars. Talked about (and highly anticipated) features like painting brake calipers are abandoned in favor of stuff like “Star Cards” (which were broken when they first came out BTW).

Playground, we want to play this game because it’s good, not because we have to. I know I could just give up on collecting the cars but I drive a lot of stuff in the game and I like a variety of vehicles (even the trucks). You guys have nailed the gameplay and the graphics but the rest is increasingly frustrating to deal with, I’m sorry. If I didn’t have a Game Pass Ultimate sub, I wouldn’t get Ultimate Edition the next time. Locking the Apollo was on a level of stupidity almost equal to T10’s when they locked the 991.1 GT3 RS in FM7.

In fact, locking stuff doesn’t help anything but number ratings.

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I’ve often had occasion to disagree with NightDriver, but I think I largely agree with the points scattered among that Wall of Text.

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In short: the “live service” hypetrain we can see and experience in the whole gaming industry. A harsh competition to bind the finite gaming time of a player solely to your product/s.
Weekly updates with smaller daily hooks seem to be the most efficient way.
Forza as a franchise has a problem with the rewards they can offer for daily/weekly objectives.

Money? Due to the linked SP no one cares (unlike GTA Online for example where SP and MP are seperated).
Skins & driver cosmetics? Were obviously introduced in FM7/FH4 as a hook but from what I can tell did not work well.
The meat of the game are the cars. The reason the players log in. But you can’t swarm the game with them as other games can with their meat. If you compare Forzas “cars” with “guns” of a shooter you simply can’t provide an equivalent to gun skins or mods.
So you have to put the most desirable (Bone Shaker, 812, Rip Rod for example) behind tasks you want to push. It was no coincidence the first Bone Shaker after the initial was tied to the introduction of playground games in the playlist.
It’s also no coincidence the 812 is tied to probably the longest “Star Card”. No one knows when the “special” show-events return but you need them to get the 812. It won’t become available via other sources, that’s a given.
I am still convinced the game was originally designed around lootboxes (“wheelspins”). Car tiers, no in-game progression aside from “gain more wheelspins” and wheelspin-exclusive cars. Why it was pulled? Could be many reasons but one thing I know: As a gamer one has to truly thank EA for Battlefront II. It opened the minds of many gamers and even officials about the shady practices of lootboxes and “live service” business models.
I deeply hope this hype dies quickly and we’ll get more “oldschooly” designed games. Maybe over at T10 they heard the reception of it and realized Forza is not suited for “live service”. I’m counting on Chris Esaki and the team to make the right decissions for FM8.

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I think the 812 is tied to the stories/businesses star card. The frustrating thing is that I’ve worked hard to get 300 stars simply for the 812 which I missed first time round but now find that the money earned from businesses is not updating. I’m stuck at just over 900,000 CR (2,000,000 CR required).

I’ve not read any news about the not yet released story/business which looks quite interesting (39 stars?).

The cars now being offered in the Forzathon shop are disappointing and although I don’t like the system of locking cars behind challenges, I wouldn’t be playing the game as much if all cars were immediately available to purchase. There is an amount of hype and peer pressure in the present system and it’s doubly frustrating when things in the game are broken and don’t work as they should.

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I thought it was tied to the show-event stuff. My bad then.
Probably shows how much I bothered with “Star Cards” and Horizon in general lately. Rivals should’ve been the turning point but got immediatly slaughtered by the broken PI system and the “Clown Fiesta”.

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Too long, did not read. Exclusive cars will pop up to earn again. Apollo just this week, why all the complaining?

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It’s not about the exclusive cars in particular. It’s about the mechanics behind all the “exclusive stuff”. A dangerous trend which already brought games into the field of “gambling regulation”.

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Pure speculation on your part.

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https://support.forzamotorsport.net/hc/en-us/articles/360022460533-Gone-Forever-Missed-Opportunities-Explained
Gone Forever? Missed Opportunities Explained

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You mean like the 812 Superfast, which was offered in the Forzathon Shop exactly once and is now locked behind a timegate achievement?

Or the Ford Capri FE, which was never offered anywhere outside of this game’s horrendous PVP (another rant for another day) and a (allegedly) mistaken, mere hours-long listing in the Forzathon shop, but is now locked behind the same kind of time-gated achievement?

How about the 2019 GT3 RS, which was offered in the Forzathon shop twice and hasn’t been seen since?

I could go on and on, but I think the point has been made.

To be perfectly frank, it was my hope that when Forza Edition cars were introduced into this game, it would put an end to this artificial-scarcity nonsense that peaked with FM6’s CBHs. Let those tuned-up, smoothed-over cars be the Super Treasure Hunts, if you will, and leave the stock cars for everyone else. But, alas, Playground Games decided to mess all of that up mere months into the game, and has doubled and tripled down since.

This is a racing game, not a Barrett-Jackson simulator, but unfortunately I have had to treat it as such lately, because there is no other way to get cars that you want. Take the 599XX Evo, for example. I missed out on it the first go-around (because I have a life). And now, I can’t get it unless I’m faster than a bot, because every time one shows up on the Auction House, it sells before I can even pull up the shortcut menu to buy it out. Want a stock Huracan or R34 GT-R? Can’t go to the autoshow and get one - nope, gotta wade through the Auction House and hope that you see one that is relatively untouched. Fell in love with the Aventador SV? Well, until this series, you either had to get lucky in a Wheelspin, or go to the Auction House and pay through the nose.

This is not how a racing game should work. Not at all. And honestly, between this and PG’s inexplicable decision-making and utter refusal to fix things (see: Multiplayer), it’s pushing me to make Horizon 4 my last Horizon game.

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Oh, it was available one other time - before release. And you needed 300 FP, which not even the Ultimate Edition players had at that time. Essentially, it was there just for the “influencers” that got advance access.

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To be fair, you can strip the paint job, upgrades, and tune from anything you buy in the auction house. What’s the need to look for one that hasn’t been touched? Am I missing something?

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It’s been my understanding that if the previous owner bought any or all of the Car Mastery upgrades on the car before selling it to you, you were prevented from buying them yourself. That’s one of the reasons I look for stock, and then add on a heap of prayer to that.

Frankly, I like your idea - all cars in the series get added to the Autoshow following the conclusion of the series. I would be happy if that were the case. If I were to take it a step further, it would be that every car that is not a pre-order or Forza Edition be available from the Autoshow from the jump. Price them accordingly, if you need to, but don’t lock them behind stupid stuff. Base game or DLC - doesn’t matter.

Further, the Auction House should be locked to stock cars, period. Forza Editions and “1-of-1” customs that were painted/tuned by the seller only. Using your own tune/paintjob nets you more cash than using someone else’s. As for “my rarity!”, make more Forza Editions, then. Problem solved.

And another thing. Using bots and macros to snipe auctions should be a bannable offense, from all online activities. Two months first offense, six months second offense, and permanent for the life of the franchise third offense.

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Yes that part is true. Perks unlocked by a previous owner can’t be re-unlocked. If it’s an ongoing perk, you can still take advantage of it. If it’s a one time perk like a cash payout or a special car, then yes you’ll be out of luck. There’s only a few cars that have car unlocks in their perk tree though. But you might want to avoid those few if you aim to unlock the perk tree cars. Like the MC12 FE or Sagaris FE. As for the cash payouts… meh. There’s plenty of other sources of cash in the game.

A big wall of text which could be compressed to the sentence:

“Reeeeeee, unicorn cars! I wish I had the will and brainpower to spend a half hour in FH 4 each week to earn them.”

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Except weeks like this one… I have the will/brainpower/skill to podium about a dozen times in the trial, but I still don’t have a Jeep DD. If you got it in half an hour that was luck more than will or brainpower.

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It’s all about using the right vehicle. I have done the Trial multiple times now, because I really enjoyed the races in B. Won all three times, only get the Jeep once though.

Try the 2017 F150 w/the first engine swap option then build/tune from there. Or check out my tune CC / Dirt Winner for the 2017 F150 Raptor. You’ll own the Trial and as a result, the Jeep.

Whirled Peas

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That’s not the problem. I can place first or top three consistently pretty easily in the trial, and did so with multiple times in different cars. The problem is my team mates either; drove the minimum speed to not get booted, were just terrible at driving, and or turned around and went the wrong way etc. I can come in first and block drivatars all day and it won’t matter if my team keeps expecting to be carried and not even trying.

If you lose any of the first two races then forget it, last one is The Titan and that track is very difficult against Unbeatable Drivatars. I ran a 2011 Raptor and finished second, but we lost in points because the track is very frustrating and the Drivatars don’t make enough mistakes on Unbeatable to compensate for the players’ lack of ability.

I own all of them. Sorry to burst your bubble. :slight_smile:

The Xbox One has more to offer than Forza Horizon 4 and games compete for my time with other real life tasks. Even the Game Pass should not be a “Forza Horizon Pass”, there’s other stuff in there I like to play. I don’t need Game Pass to play FH4 but the biggest draw to the service at present is FH4. Hopefully Gears 5 helps change things but I digress.

The MMORPG model of making people constantly play in order not to miss prizes is not a very healthy one since it preys on addiction and “fomo” (fear of missing out) which go rampant in modern society. It’s fine for things to take effort to get (Top Gear story is one of the best in the game, period) but timed events are a great way to bind people to your game by seeding insecurity into our brains.

You’re just missing the point, sorry to say. The Apollo and the 812 are cars that took a lot of effort to get. Yet the reward isn’t great. One of the guys I partied with to win the Apollo told me “if it isn’t good, I’m selling it”. Turns out the car is only good in X class which has no metagame so he probably did sell it (might ask him later on). The 812 on the other hand struggles for grip in S1 class and isn’t competitive in S2 class, not to mention it doesn’t even have a full perks list like the other legendaries.

The only function these cars serve in the game is bragging rights, but this is still a driving game at heart. Road Racing events have the highest completion rate if we go by achievements. Stuntmen like DJS and drifters are actually the minority. Cars like the 812 aren’t a measure of wealth since you can get a couple of them just by being lucky. It’s ironic how the people most likely to use the Apollo (offline players who aren’t interested in competitive prowess) don’t really have a shot at winning it unless they bow down and pay lots of money in the AH to people who earned their privilege of unlimited buyout prices very unfairly.

Ironically, Forza would benefit from being even more like Pokémon in this regard if they let us trade cars, possibly even items like credits, FP or skill points, within the game. In Pokémon you can trade Pokémon with held items (in Gold/Silver there were even love letters available). Right now in FH4 you can’t even see which perks the car has. Scammers have a field day with how the game currently is.

Right now the 812 is the biggest “privilege” I had for buying Ultimate Edition, and it’s a car that doesn’t require Ultimate Edition to get. Meanwhile there’s plenty of cars in the Bond Pack without Race suspension. Think about it for a second.

New Jeep DeBerti feels like a prettier Trailcat.

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