Why would you want loot boxes in your games?

IselinIselin Vancouver, BCMember LegendaryPosts: 10,275
Conventional wisdom in gaming circles is that loot boxes are very lucrative so players must be buying lots of them.

Let's leave the discussion of gambling and addiction for some other thread. I'm not interested in having that discussion again.

But I honesty do not get the appeal of loot boxes in games. To me they are at best something I can and do ignore when they're implemented in a mostly harmless way and at worst something that impacts the rest of the game in a negative way by redirecting the typical game rewards into those boxes.

I also don't want to discuss yet again in this thread whether games need to have loot boxes in order to make whatever profit they want to make.

But whenever a pro and con discussion about games that have loot boxes happens, there are always voices that object to their removal on the basis that they don't want others telling them what they enjoy or don't enjoy.

I can understand not caring whether they are there or not but I'm having a hard time understanding why from the perspective of the gamer, someone would actually prefer having them in the game.

So please explain it to me. If you actually like having loot boxes in games and would miss them if they're gone, why?
You say you never compromise
With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
He's not selling any alibis
As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
And say "Do you want to make a deal?"
YashaXGdemamiMadFrenchie
«13456711

Comments

  • waynejr2waynejr2 West Toluca Lake, CAMember EpicPosts: 7,693
    Did Frodo have loot boxes?   How about Conan?  Does anyone remember the time the Elric and Moonglum changed directions and went to Tanelorn just to dump their extra cash on Loot Boxes?
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    Kyleran:  "Now there's the real trick, learning to accept and enjoy a game for what it offers rather than pass on what might be a great playing experience because it lacks a few features you prefer."

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  • KellerKeller UtrechtMember UncommonPosts: 430
    How frustrating rng was in WoW Vanilla, I got my priest weapon from MC after a year. It did had some motivation and reward to clear MC week after week, even we were clearing Nax40 by then.

    In games without clear endgame or to keep all players on board, lootboxes can be an addition. Just watch a few streams and see how happy streamers are when they got a nice skin in Overwatch. Yet I do not believe it's desirable that upgrades and progress is put in behind a paywall in the form of a lootbox.

    Legendaries in WoW Legion could drop, with a small random chance, from world bosses, dungeon/raid bosses and loot cases earned by doing dailies/missions. Yet the crowd was not pleased by that. Guess, some just want to kill something 100 times to get finally that 1 item. To me it was refreshing as I could do what I like to do that day and still have a chance on a legendary.


    Lootboxes as reward from doing something in game, is fine by me! Just make sure the chance to get that item you want isn't too small. Lootboxes for cash, that's just gambling. On faires they always have these games kids can get tokens from, or those grabbling hooks. In the end their parents spend $30 on a prize worth $2. Lootboxes are just like that.
  • tawesstawess LkpgMember RarePosts: 3,775
    Well one way to look at it is that they can be fun, if done right. After all the entire MMO endgame is pretty much built on the same idea as loot boxes.. only these boxes fight back. 

    That is... click container and have the chance of getting something cool... even if you for the most get zilch. 

    Now the problem ofc is that it is hard to ignore the potential revenue that come from this... It is pretty much a money printing machine.. Low cost and massive return. And that is when it usually goes to shit. 

    For now a pretty good system can be found in Forza 7 (i say "for now" as they do not sell any money packs afaik) with the car crates. You either save up and buy the cars you like or you spin the wheel spending some of your in-game currency on lady luck. Sometimes you get a Veyron.. sometimes you get a Ford Fiesta... 

    Also we have to understand that between the "arcade" generation and the "mobile f2p" generation we are the odd one out. 
    Torval

    Tawess gaming

    Tawess soapbox

    This have been a good conversation

  • btdtbtdt Member UncommonPosts: 151
    Keller said:

    Legendaries in WoW Legion could drop, with a small random chance, from world bosses, dungeon/raid bosses and loot cases earned by doing dailies/missions. Yet the crowd was not pleased by that. Guess, some just want to kill something 100 times to get finally that 1 item. To me it was refreshing as I could do what I like to do that day and still have a chance on a legendary.
    Problem was, the damn things dropped like candy for some and not nearly at all for others... and when one did finally drop, it was often inappropriate for their current spec.  The system was broke and Blizzard admitted that.  It hopefully will never see light of day again.
    Keller
  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCMember LegendaryPosts: 10,275
    tawess said:
    Well one way to look at it is that they can be fun, if done right. After all the entire MMO endgame is pretty much built on the same idea as loot boxes.. only these boxes fight back. 

    That is... click container and have the chance of getting something cool... even if you for the most get zilch. 

    Now the problem ofc is that it is hard to ignore the potential revenue that come from this... It is pretty much a money printing machine.. Low cost and massive return. And that is when it usually goes to shit. 

    For now a pretty good system can be found in Forza 7 (i say "for now" as they do not sell any money packs afaik) with the car crates. You either save up and buy the cars you like or you spin the wheel spending some of your in-game currency on lady luck. Sometimes you get a Veyron.. sometimes you get a Ford Fiesta... 

    Also we have to understand that between the "arcade" generation and the "mobile f2p" generation we are the odd one out. 
    I understand that parallels can be drawn comparing them to end game RNG loot systems. But do we actually like those too?

    Personally I've always preferred the systems that give you tokens for doing that type of end-game content that you can then exchange for exactly what you want.
    gervaise1YashaXimmodiumAmystia
    You say you never compromise
    With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
    He's not selling any alibis
    As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
    And say "Do you want to make a deal?"
  • laxielaxie UK - Leamington SpaMember RarePosts: 903
    The one aspect of loot boxes I enjoy is the collection.

    I've always loved collecting Magic the Gathering cards - I still buy them every now and then and organize them into a binder. I don't play MTG and I don't care about the card value. I enjoy the artworks on the cards. Buying a box of 10 boosters for 30$ every other month is something fun. Every booster has some neat artwork I don't have yet, so in that respect it's a win-win situation. If I had the mentality of wanting to find one specific card (which I probably wouldn't get unless I bought lots), opening and collecting the cards wouldn't be as exciting.

    It's similar in games. I actually enjoy lootboxes in Heroes of the Storm. I play almost all the heroes. There is a lot of skins to collect and the boxes come regularly. Many of the skins look really great, so I get something nice almost every box. It has no impact on gameplay at all, so it's kind of two games in one. One is the MOBA, which is always on a level playing field, and the other is the collectible skins, which I get to look through when I'm waiting for my friends in the lobby.

    I enjoyed the boxes a lot less in ESO. For me, the content of those boxes had a clear distinction between desirable and undesirable. Each "edition" of the loot boxes had a small selection of amazing mounts, a few cool outfits and animations, and then about 80% of the items I did not find nice at all. In a setup like that, you can easily end up in a situation where you buy 20 boxes, but only get 1 or 2 nice things. Sometimes you don't get anything nice. If you approach it with that mentality, you can (and most likely will) have a bad experience overall. The collection aspect isn't there for me - you simply care about getting specific items.
    IselinYashaX
  • knightauditknightaudit Victoria, BCMember UncommonPosts: 346
    I think the idea of a lootbox is fine, you play you get a loot box, Congrats. But if you can log in and buy as many as you can afford ... without playing .. that is a no. If what you buy makes you better than those who play without buying, then NO.
  • SovrathSovrath Boston Area, MAMember LegendaryPosts: 23,203
    edited November 28
    Iselin said:


    So please explain it to me. If you actually like having loot boxes in games and would miss them if they're gone, why?
    while I don't care about loot boxes (won't directly buy them with my money) I receive some crowns with my Elder Scrolls Online sub.

    Not sure what to use them for but one day I decided to buy a few loot crates to see what that was about.

    And you know what? it was kind of fun. In a Carnival Barker game of chance sort of way. In and of itself it was fun.

    So I can see people also thinking they were fun and valuing the larger prizes. It feels like being at a Carnival and trying your luck.

    oh and this before someone else brings it up ...

    CARNIVAL SCAM SCIENCE- and how to win (or more about what is behind the games and how in some ways you can't win.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tk_ZlWJ3qJI&t=606s


    Post edited by Sovrath on
    immodiumIselin



  • BruceYeeBruceYee Member RarePosts: 1,086
    I think the idea of a lootbox is fine, you play you get a loot box, Congrats. But if you can log in and buy as many as you can afford ... without playing .. that is a no. If what you buy makes you better than those who play without buying, then NO.
    The whole "earn by playing" in the case of loot boxes/cards is a cover for them selling it cause there will always be people who'd rather buy it than earn it. I can't think of a single game with loot boxes/packs that doesn't offer the option to buy them for real money. If I could buy individual cards in games I play for money I would but that option is never available.

    Think for a second what kind of people would devise a loot box system that you pay real money for and set you up to lose repeatedly unless you're trying to swindle. It's similar to the pick one of three face down cards on the table in NYC game cept in the case of video games it's not that simple and the developer sets all the rules to determine how you win and lose . In the recent case of Marvel Heroes a developer came out and said their card system was based on how you spend money so the less you spend the more you win and the more you spend the more you lose. Not sure if exposing that was good for his career but maybe what he said was the real reason Disney was so quick to shut down Gaz.

    If a game company uses the excuse of "if it wasn't for loot boxes we'd have to shut down" then maybe their game wasn't/isn't good enough and perhaps they should consider closing their doors or make a better game that doesn't require con-artist tactics just to stay in business.
    Gobstopper3D
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member EpicPosts: 18,210
    By "loot boxes" are you talking purely about things that are paid for by real money?  Or do you also mean to include anything earned in-game with a random drop chance?
  • IselinIselin Vancouver, BCMember LegendaryPosts: 10,275
    Quizzical said:
    By "loot boxes" are you talking purely about things that are paid for by real money?  Or do you also mean to include anything earned in-game with a random drop chance?
    Paid loot boxes.
    You say you never compromise
    With the mystery tramp, but now you realize
    He's not selling any alibis
    As you stare into the vacuum of his eyes
    And say "Do you want to make a deal?"
  • k61977k61977 Pendleton, SCMember RarePosts: 786
    I don't want them.  I don't mind them for people that do as long as they only contain cosmetics or boosters for xp ect...  If a single piece of gear or something that is needed to progress is in them leave them out of the game.
  • QuizzicalQuizzical Member EpicPosts: 18,210
    Iselin said:
    Quizzical said:
    By "loot boxes" are you talking purely about things that are paid for by real money?  Or do you also mean to include anything earned in-game with a random drop chance?
    Paid loot boxes.
    In that case, why would you want taxes in real life?  They're not good in themselves, but revenue has to be raised somehow in order for the government to do anything.  Likewise, game developers have to make money somehow.  If the question is why have loot boxes instead of an otherwise identical game without loot boxes, that's pretty much the answer.

    If the question is why have loot boxes instead of other methods of payment, then that's a different question entirely.  Is the latter what you intended to ask?
    YashaX
  • laxielaxie UK - Leamington SpaMember RarePosts: 903
    Quizzical said:
    In that case, why would you want taxes in real life?  They're not good in themselves, but revenue has to be raised somehow in order for the government to do anything.  Likewise, game developers have to make money somehow.  If the question is why have loot boxes instead of an otherwise identical game without loot boxes, that's pretty much the answer.

    If the question is why have loot boxes instead of other methods of payment, then that's a different question entirely.  Is the latter what you intended to ask?
    This is how I understood the question:

    Monetisation aside, what are the positive factors of loot boxes experienced by players, besides those related to gambling.
    IselinYashaX
  • FlyByKnightFlyByKnight Algo Star SystemMember EpicPosts: 2,023
    My question is, why do some forum posters talk about these topics from a companies perspective and not a consumer? Are you a shill? Are you blowing somebody with a C-title at these companies? What the hell type of gamer wants an RNG loot box in a game? The answer should be none.  :D
    BruceYeeYashaX
  • BruceYeeBruceYee Member RarePosts: 1,086
    My question is, why do some forum posters talk about these topics from a companies perspective and not a consumer? Are you a shill? Are you blowing somebody with a C-title at these companies? What the hell type of gamer wants an RNG loot box in a game? The answer should be none.  :D
    They have something to gain by backing those practices and my guess would be free entertainment.

    If you take away the cash cow then there's a chance that FTP ride will be over and all games will eventually become BTP(circa 2000) again which is what many of the "shills" as you called them are trying to prevent with all the shilling.
    Gobstopper3D
  • acidbloodacidblood melbourneMember UncommonPosts: 655
    edited November 28
    Iselin said:
    I understand that parallels can be drawn comparing them to end game RNG loot systems. But do we actually like those too?

    Personally I've always preferred the systems that give you tokens for doing that type of end-game content that you can then exchange for exactly what you want.

    RNG rewards can add some fun and excitement to a game (ARPGs being another example) ... the issues come in when a certain item is seen as 'required' or 'highly desirable' but the drop chance is unreasonably low... which is why mitigations such as tokens, or guarenteed non-duplicate drops, are now quite common (edit: i.e. the excitment of RNG is still there, but you do get your item before RNGesus overstays his welcome).

    The two inherent issues with paid 'loot boxes' (regardless of implementation) are that:
    1. There is a major conflict of interest in setting the drop chance; set it too reasonably and very few will pay for loot boxes, set it low enough to drive sales and the fun of game is reduced.
    2. The very fact that you CAN spend money (even if you don't) to effectively by-pass the gameplay greatly diminishes the sense of achievement in 'earning' those items in-game; again, reducing the fun of the game itself.

    Bonus: Though it is not inherent, the game design itself also generally suffers, with certain mechanics and systems designed to accomodate, or even drive the sale of, loot boxes at the expense of good (fun) gameplay. Perfect examples of this are the progression systems in Battlefront 2 and NFS:Payback.

    TLDR: RNG is fine (and good) in moderation, but paid loot boxes by their very nature are a determent to good design and fun gameplay, regardless of how they are implemented.

    Edit: As for loot boxes vs. other forms of monetisation to pay for additional content; give me a direct, pre-defined, payment for a known (quality) product any day.

    Post edited by acidblood on
  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIMember RarePosts: 2,896
    Overwatch probably has the most consumer friendly loot boxes.

    They are only cosmetic so they have no effect on gameplay at all. They are easy to get, by leveling and Arcade mode I can get several every day. Also, they made it so you won't get duplicates (if you don't have every item of that rarity).

    The people that pay $100s every event to get every single new skin keeps the system in place that allows me to get what I want for free.

    If they switched to a non-loot box system I would have to pay for the skins that I want.
  • acidbloodacidblood melbourneMember UncommonPosts: 655
    Xiaoki said:
    Overwatch probably has the most consumer friendly loot boxes.

    They are only cosmetic so they have no effect on gameplay at all. They are easy to get, by leveling and Arcade mode I can get several every day. Also, they made it so you won't get duplicates (if you don't have every item of that rarity).

    The people that pay $100s every event to get every single new skin keeps the system in place that allows me to get what I want for free.

    If they switched to a non-loot box system I would have to pay for the skins that I want.
    So if they did switch to a non-loot box system, would paying your fair share (i.e. for the skins you want), for a game that you obviously get a lot of ongoing enjoyment out of, be such a bad thing?
  • nariusseldonnariusseldon santa clara, CAMember RarePosts: 27,659
    Iselin said:


    So please explain it to me. If you actually like having loot boxes in games and would miss them if they're gone, why?
    Because whales buy them, and we can free ride?

    You don't honestly think I will buy them, do you?
  • XiaokiXiaoki White Pigeon, MIMember RarePosts: 2,896
    acidblood said:
    Xiaoki said:
    Overwatch probably has the most consumer friendly loot boxes.

    They are only cosmetic so they have no effect on gameplay at all. They are easy to get, by leveling and Arcade mode I can get several every day. Also, they made it so you won't get duplicates (if you don't have every item of that rarity).

    The people that pay $100s every event to get every single new skin keeps the system in place that allows me to get what I want for free.

    If they switched to a non-loot box system I would have to pay for the skins that I want.
    So if they did switch to a non-loot box system, would paying your fair share (i.e. for the skins you want), for a game that you obviously get a lot of ongoing enjoyment out of, be such a bad thing?
    Well .... yeah.

    I currently enjoy all of the new content for free. Why would I want to go to a system that charges for new characters, new maps and new skins?

    No one is ever happy to pay for something that they are used to getting for free.
    acidblood
  • GorweGorwe Ald'RuhnMember RarePosts: 4,280
    edited November 28
    Iselin said:
    Conventional wisdom in gaming circles is that loot boxes are very lucrative so players must be buying lots of them.

    Let's leave the discussion of gambling and addiction for some other thread. I'm not interested in having that discussion again.

    But I honesty do not get the appeal of loot boxes in games. To me they are at best something I can and do ignore when they're implemented in a mostly harmless way and at worst something that impacts the rest of the game in a negative way by redirecting the typical game rewards into those boxes.

    I also don't want to discuss yet again in this thread whether games need to have loot boxes in order to make whatever profit they want to make.

    But whenever a pro and con discussion about games that have loot boxes happens, there are always voices that object to their removal on the basis that they don't want others telling them what they enjoy or don't enjoy.

    I can understand not caring whether they are there or not but I'm having a hard time understanding why from the perspective of the gamer, someone would actually prefer having them in the game.

    So please explain it to me. If you actually like having loot boxes in games and would miss them if they're gone, why?
    Because, if regulated properly, they're cheaper than direct sale items. Also, because you get them for doing ANYTHING, it can feel liberating(as opposed to killing the exact same boss 100 times). The act of opening them is a mini adventure on its own...that's why there are so many "lootbox opening" videos. Those three reasons are quite enough I believe.
    Post edited by Gorwe on
  • BruceYeeBruceYee Member RarePosts: 1,086
    Xiaoki said:
    Overwatch probably has the most consumer friendly loot boxes.

    They are only cosmetic so they have no effect on gameplay at all. They are easy to get, by leveling and Arcade mode I can get several every day. Also, they made it so you won't get duplicates (if you don't have every item of that rarity).

    The people that pay $100s every event to get every single new skin keeps the system in place that allows me to get what I want for free.

    If they switched to a non-loot box system I would have to pay for the skins that I want.
    This post basically sums up what's wrong with that system.

    You pay - $0
    Other guy - $100+
  • PhryPhry OxfordshireMember EpicPosts: 9,026
    Quizzical said:
    Iselin said:
    Quizzical said:
    By "loot boxes" are you talking purely about things that are paid for by real money?  Or do you also mean to include anything earned in-game with a random drop chance?
    Paid loot boxes.
    In that case, why would you want taxes in real life?  They're not good in themselves, but revenue has to be raised somehow in order for the government to do anything.  Likewise, game developers have to make money somehow.  If the question is why have loot boxes instead of an otherwise identical game without loot boxes, that's pretty much the answer.

    If the question is why have loot boxes instead of other methods of payment, then that's a different question entirely.  Is the latter what you intended to ask?
    If 'overpaying' taxes gave you a significant advantage over your neighbours then that would be a valid comparison.
    BruceYee
  • ConstantineMerusConstantineMerus LondonMember RarePosts: 1,329
    Gorwe said:
    Iselin said:
    Conventional wisdom in gaming circles is that loot boxes are very lucrative so players must be buying lots of them.

    Let's leave the discussion of gambling and addiction for some other thread. I'm not interested in having that discussion again.

    But I honesty do not get the appeal of loot boxes in games. To me they are at best something I can and do ignore when they're implemented in a mostly harmless way and at worst something that impacts the rest of the game in a negative way by redirecting the typical game rewards into those boxes.

    I also don't want to discuss yet again in this thread whether games need to have loot boxes in order to make whatever profit they want to make.

    But whenever a pro and con discussion about games that have loot boxes happens, there are always voices that object to their removal on the basis that they don't want others telling them what they enjoy or don't enjoy.

    I can understand not caring whether they are there or not but I'm having a hard time understanding why from the perspective of the gamer, someone would actually prefer having them in the game.

    So please explain it to me. If you actually like having loot boxes in games and would miss them if they're gone, why?
    Because, if regulated properly, they're cheaper than direct sale items. Also, because you get them for doing ANYTHING, it can feel liberating(as opposed to killing the exact same boss 100 times). The act of opening them is a mini adventure on its own...that's why there are so many "lootbox opening" videos. Those three reasons are quite enough I believe.
    RNG is never cheaper. Yeah it can be more exciting, also more frustrating, depending on the variance. 
    Have you ever noticed that their stuff is shit and your shit is stuff?
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