How To Buy Overwatch Loot Boxes
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Any unopened seasonal event boxes will remain in their original form after the event; these boxes will not be removed, will not turn into normal boxes, and will remain unopened. If they are opened after the event's conclusion, they will still yield special seasonal items.
I agree that not everyone who buys lootboxes has a gambling problem, but those people are still getting a bad deal, and combined with the fact that it DOES lead to compulsive gambling style behavior in some (including children), I still find them inexcusable as a business model for games.
I bought an xbox recently to play games with my little niece and nephew, so started playing Overwatch there instead of on my PS4. After something like 40 levels since the start of the event, I have earn like maybe 50 boxes. I have got a grand total of a single event skin. Now remember I dont have any for the previous years and I still only ended up with one, whats worse, I havent even saved enough to buy the one skin I do want.
Loot box concepts originated from loot systems in massively multiplayer online role-playing games, and from the monetisation of free-to-play mobile gaming. They first appeared in 2004 through 2007, and have appeared in many free-to-play games and in some full-priced titles since then. They are seen by developers and publishers of video games not only to help generate ongoing revenue for games while avoiding drawbacks of paid downloadable content or game subscriptions, but to also keep player interest within games by offering new content and cosmetics through loot-box reward systems.
Loot boxes were popularised through their inclusion in several games throughout the mid-2010s. By the later half of the decade, some games, particularly Star Wars Battlefront II, expanded approaches to the concept that caused them to become highly criticised. Such criticism included \"pay to win\" gameplay systems that favor those that spend real money on loot boxes and negative effects on gameplay systems to accommodate them, as well as them being anti-consumer when implemented in full-priced games. Due to fears of them being used as a source in gray-market skin gambling, loot boxes began to become regulated under national gambling laws in various countries at the same time.
A \"loot box\" can be named several different ways, usually related to the type of game that it appears in. A \"loot box\", \"loot crate\" or \"lockbox\" is often applied to shooter games since one obtains new equipable outfits or gear from it. Digital card games may use the term \"booster pack\" following from collectible card game roots.
Loot boxes are often given to players during play, for instance as rewards for leveling up their character or completing a multiplayer game without quitting. Loot boxes may also be given out through promotions outside of gameplay, such as watching certain streaming events. Players can also buy them directly, most often with real-world funds but also through in-game currency (sometimes, in-game currency can or has to be paid for with real-world funds to obtain lootboxes). Some loot boxes can be redeemed immediately, while redeeming others requires further consumable items dressed as \"keys\".
Loot boxes are generally redeemed through an in-game interface which dresses the process with appealing visual and audio effects. Some such interfaces are similar to those of slot machines or roulette wheels, and designed to create a psychological response to increase player excitement. When the player runs out of loot boxes or keys, a prominent button may be displayed with which they can buy more.
The items that can be granted by a loot box are usually graded by \"rarity\", with the probability of receiving an item decreasing rapidly with each grade. While the set of items given are randomly selected it can come with certain guarantees, for instance that it will contain at least one item of a certain rarity or above. In some redemption processes, yet-revealed items are presented with a colour that corresponds to its rarity level, further heightening the excitement of revealing the items. Some game systems include a \"pity-timer\" mechanic, which increases the player's chances to receive a rarer item from a loot box if the player has not received one in the last several loot boxes they have opened. This pity-timer mechanic may also be used if the player purchases loot boxes in bulk rather than individually, such that one of the loot boxes in the bulk purchase is assured of having a rarer item.
The player's inventory is managed in server databases run by the game's developers or publishers. This may allow for players to view the inventory of other players and arrange for trades with them. Items obtained from loot boxes and equipped or used by the player's character are nearly always visible to all other players during the course of a game, such as seeing a character skin or hearing a voice line.
Most loot-box systems grant items without regard for what the player already owns. Means are provided to dispose of these duplicates, often involving trading them with other players or converting them into an in-game currency. Some loot-box systems allow players to then use this currency to directly purchase specific items they do not have.
Some loot-box systems, primarily from Asian developers, use an approach adapted from gashapon (capsule toy) vending machines. These gacha games offer \"spins\" (analogous to turning the crank of a capsule machine) to get a random item, character, or other virtual good. One form of gacha called \"complete gacha\" allows players to combine common items in a set in order to form a rarer item. The first few items in a set can be rapidly acquired but as the number of missing items decreases it becomes increasingly unlikely that redeeming a loot box will complete the set. This is particularly true if there are a large number of common items in the game, since eventually one single, specific item is required. This particular practice was banned in Japan by the Consumer Affairs Agency in 2012, though gacha games at large remain.
Some games may include seasonal or special event loot boxes which include specific items only available during the time of that event. In the case of digital collectible card games which rotate expansions in and out as part of keeping a viable meta-game, booster packs of a certain expansion may only be purchasable while that expansion is considered in standard play, and once it is \"retired\", these cards can no longer be earned in packs, though still may be gained from the use of in-game currency and used outside standard play.
Loot boxes are an extension of randomised loot drop systems from earlier video games, frequently used to give out randomised rewards in massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMO or MMORPG) or similar games. Loot boxes took this approach and formulated a monetisation approach used by free-to-play games in mobile gaming. Loot boxes also incorporate elements of the randomness of acquiring gachapon capsule toys.
The first known instance of a loot-box system is believed to be an item called \"Gachapon ticket\" which was introduced in the Japanese version of MapleStory, a side-scrolling MMORPG, in June 2004. Such tickets were sold at the price of 100 Japanese yen per ticket. Like real-life gachapon machines, players attained randomly chosen game items when they used the ticket on \"Gachapon\", an in-game booth that was distributed across the game world.
The Chinese free-to-play game ZT Online (or simply Zhengtu) which was released in 2007 by the Zhengtu Network is also considered to be one of the early examples of video games that contained loot boxes as a part of its game system. Players in Asian countries typically do not have the funds to purchase full-cost titles, and use Internet cafes or PC bangs to play the game for free, or resort to copyright infringement to obtain copies of games for free. Instead of trying to change this approach, Asian games like ZT Online introduced loot boxes as a means to assure monetisation from a game that they would otherwise not receive revenue from the base sale. Within a year, Zhengtu Network reported monthly revenue from ZT Online exceeding US$15 million, justifying the profitability of this scheme. This led to the approach of releasing games as free-to-play with microtransactions atop the title. Many free-to-play mobile games in Asian regions would offer loot-box approaches, most notably Puzzle & Dragons, released in 2011, which used its gacha approach to be the first mobile game to earn more than US$1 billion from its monetisation scheme.
In Western regions (North America and Europe) around 2009, the video game industry saw the success of Zynga and other large publishers of social-network games that offered the games for free on sites like Facebook but included microtransactions to accelerate one's progress in the game, providing that publishers could depend on revenue from post-sale transactions rather than initial sale. One of the first games to introduce loot box-like mechanics was FIFA 09, made by Electronic Arts (EA), in March 2009 which allowed players to create a team of association football players from in-game card packs they opened using in-game currency earned through regular playing of the game or via microtransactions. Another early game with loot box mechanics was Team Fortress 2 in September 2010, when Valve added the ability to earn random \"crates\" to be opened with purchased keys. Valve's Robin Walker stated that the intent was to create \"network effects\" that would draw more players to the game, so that there would be more players to obtain revenue from the keys to unlock crates. Valve later transitioned to a free-to-play model, reporting an increase in player count of over 12 times after the transition, and hired Yanis Varoufakis to research virtual economies. Over the next few years many MMOs and multiplayer online battle arena games (MOBAs) also transitioned to a free-to-play business model to help grow out their player base, many adding loot-box monetisation in the process, with the first two being both Star Trek Online and The Lord of the Rings Online in December 2011. 59ce067264