With Christmas nearing, it comes to no surprise when every (at least semi-regularly updating) game comes with a themed update to signify this coming of the Holidays. Payday 2 shows to be no exception to this rule, having first pushed out an update one week ago that introduced the new "Santa's Workshop" heist. But the updates do not stop, as Overkill has prepared and released another significant update that ties into one of their more controversial updates, dating back to Crimefest 2015.
Two months ago, Overkill introduced Weapon Skins to Payday 2 in the shape of microtransactions, causing an outrage from much of their fanbase, in no small part due to these skins also coming with stat boosts. These boosts would prove significant enough in some circumstances, e.g. concealment boosts that surpass the previous cap of 30 (up to a current max of 33) allowing certain builds to carry much more powerful weaponry with them without sacrificing as much effectiveness.
The Payday 2 fanbase had a variety of demands, the largest of which was the microtransactions to be undone or at least removing the stat boosts. However, after a Reddit AMA with producer Almir Listo, it would seem these skins are here to stay along with their boosts.
But with Update 93 comes a turn of events. Instead of undoing weapon skins and their boosts, Overkill has found a way to make the boosts on these skins partly irrelevant. A new weapon mod has been introduced named 'Boosts' and, when applied to ANY weapon, will boost the weapon just like a skin and override the boost of any currently applied skin if applicable.
Furthermore, these Boosts can be earned through either regular Post-Mission Card Drops or as a reward from the new Monthly Side Jobs feature. Side jobs are challenges that require completing specific Heists and/or doing so under specific conditions and up until this update were available in Daily and Weekly variations. "Monthly Side Jobs is our new addition to our Side Jobs feature and introduces jobs that you can only complete once per month. The Monthly Side Job reward is a Stat Boost or a Team Boost modification of your choice. "
After investigation on my part, it would indeed appear that these skins not only can be applied over the boost of an existing weapon skin (practically overwriting it) but that any weapon can have boosts applied to them, including those that currently do not have skins made for them. Every weapon has a basic array of boosts existing of Concealment, Stability, Accuracy and Team Experience & Money. Some weapons have Damage, Ammo and Negative Accuracy (e.g. for increasing the spread on a shotgun) boosts available for them. Those seem to be specific to the weapon and what possible boosts skins could give them in the past.
One concern remaining is that the Team Boost and Stat Boost cannot be combined when slotting them yourself. Some skins come with the experience or money team boost in addition to a stat boost and if these retain at the same point, those would be 'strictly better' than the stat boost without the team boost. While the 1 or 3% bonus may seem negiliable, it can result in a combined maximum of 12% when working with an organized team that's focused on these bonuses
I'd call this a smart move on Overkills part. Microtransactions with exclusive boosts, even small, isn't a good precedence to set and the outrage should've been expected. While this update doesn't alleviate the fanbases gripes or undo the bad press they've received, it does amend the P2W aspect and turns it into a convoluted 'pay 2 to save time' situation, something not unfamiliar to players of games like Warframe. Overkill found a way to mend a mistake without seemingly backing down. We'll see whether this'll be enough to sweeten Veteran players who felt soured, or the first step towards a lengthy recovery process.