For it to constitute as gambling it should be possible to resell the items gained through lootboxes. Otherwise I find it better that the odds for different outcomes through lootboxes should be known to the public.
I personally detest microtransactions and lootboxes but instead of thinking that govt should regulate it I will just spew acid over companies that do those things. If you buy games made by EA and get hit by these shit mechanics its no-one's fault but your own.
I enjoyed it because it was a proper scifi RPG instead of being just another fantasy RPG. The universe felt interesting with species having conflicts where it was hard to find out which species were right and which one was wrong.
My favorite moment was meeting wrex in me3, especially since I almost got him killed in the first game. Worst was getting tali'zorah killed in me2, even more annoying since I never made a manual save throughout the game series so couldn't recover her.
I can't comment on ME:A since I never felt like playing the game so its more like five years of mass effect for me.
While reading the article it was impossible to know which game you were talking about, it could have been Pantheon, Chronicles of Elyria, Bless, Saga of Lucimia or countless other games you were excited about.
I honestly don't understand why Ashes of Creation is going to be better. The creative director has no experience in making games, its just recently they managed to recruit a lead designer and they aren't remotely close on having an AAA budget. The living world is something lots of others have promised and none of them have ever delivered on it.