I was only about 10 hours in The Division 2 a game that I expect to be playing for tens of hours when I realized something about the benefits of the game has been. I could easily unlock them once I reached level 30 and the last benefits were available. Suddenly, I was not interested in what I had selected. These perks became a checklist that I hardly thought of. When I gave myself the opportunity to get everything, I stopped worrying about any options. Games, stop it.
It's wild how quickly I went from planning the perks I wanted to take to literally unlocking them from the first to the last point in the menu. I knew that I would probably unlock most of them, if not at some point, but if that moment happened so early and was so obvious, I killed every interest that I had in that part of The Division 2 , This is not the first game I encountered this problem.
Fallout 4 was another game that made me realize that someday I could unlock any advantage if I played enough. My idea of working on a particular build evaporated. Unlocking a bonus has been less exciting, and eventually I would even forget to unlock new bonuses and have them set up before thinking, "Oh yeah, I have some benefits that I can give away."
It's hard To opt for certain benefits skills, when it becomes clear, you will get all. Sure, I focused on certain things early on, even though I eventually stopped caring because I would get them all anyway. The newer Far Cry games also have this problem. Usually I get more health or fighting moves first, but towards the end of the game I just pick things randomly.
As players unlock everything, the game robs the player of making sensible decisions about how to build your character. It also makes it difficult for me to remember what I've even unlocked. I feel that some of the benefits I got in Fallout 4 were completely ignored because I did not think about it when I unlocked it. The same goes for other games where I get every ability.
Compare this with the feeling of improving your character in something like Fallout New Vegas.
In this game I would schedule builds. I would do a mental math in my head to figure out how many SPECIAL points I should use in combination with a later benefit to get a statistic that was important to me. I would have to make difficult decisions to really get an ability or a strong advantage. I also remember how I felt really excited when I reached the level. There were a few more points that I could distribute in my build. Every new benefit or skill I've ever gotten felt memorable, and until today I remember certain characters I created, and how fun or how awful they were.
In contrast, I never saw myself forced to end a new character in Fallout 4 because, after all, all the advantages end up being my original character.
I understand that some of the basic games like Division 2 have unlockable abilities and perks to give players a sense of progression. However, when each and every character lands in the same place, I feel uncomfortable with this sense of progression.
In The Division 2 I was also less motivated to explore and seize some of the play items since I did not need them. I do not need any more SHD technicians, the tokens that unlock the benefits, since I already drown in them and have nothing to unlock. Maybe future updates will bring even more benefits or opportunities to use SHD tech, but now I prefer something that feels worthless.
Making a good selection of video games is not about offering you something, it's about choosing something to sacrifice. Yes, you can take advantage of this to gain more ammo capacity, though you will miss this benefit, which gives you more accuracy. MOBAs do a great job in every game, getting players to pick things and make important decisions.
I would like more games to see the value of limiting players and thinking about their decisions.