Tonight In Overwatch Loot Boxes

I’ve already explained why I think Overwatch‘s loot system is absolutely terrible. You’re welcome to agree or disagree (and many of you have been very vocal either way) but there’s one thing that cannot be denied, one universal truth that you must acknowledge.

I have the shittest fucking luck with these wretched things.

The header image is a collection of wet garbage that I obtained last week, but tonight was simply incredible. Three loot boxes painstakingly unlocked through play – three piles of complete toss.

o1

So this was the first disappointment of the night. There’s a reason I call Overwatch‘s cuboid extinguishers of hope Spray Boxes, and you’re looking at it.

Just let your eyes drink in this worthless filth. Three sprays and a stupid profile logo that does absolutely fuck-all. They’re not even good sprays, either. They look like shit.

This is probably the worst Loot Box anybody’s ever had.

Still, there’s always next time, huh? It could take an hour if things go bad, but it’ll surely be worth it.

o2

NOPE!

Not a skin in sight, but it makes up for that with another useless fucking icon for my stupid fucking profile and TWO voice lines. Imagine if someone had paid for this box. Paid for a jpeg and a couple of mp3s.

Oh, and currency. A tiny amount of currency that shouldn’t even be in these stupid trash baskets.

It was at this point that I decided I’d write an overly dramatic article about the evening’s unlocks if the next Loot Box sucked.

o3

Oh huh, the next Loot Box sucked!

At the VERY least we got a skin out of the bargain, though I hesitate to call the more common low-effort recolors “skins” of any sort.

Also it’s for Widowmaker, a character I never play.

BUT HEY AT LEAST I’VE GOT TWO NEW SPRAYS SORRY I MEAN ONE NEW SPRAY BECAUSE I GOT A DUPLICATE!

AT LEAST I GOT FIVE COINS FROM THE DUPLICATE HA HA WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE ONE DAY!

If you think I’m flying off the handle just because I got three worthless unlocks in a row, please bear in mind that this is what nearly ALL of the shitting things have looked like for me since I started playing.

I’m level 33 now. That’s 33 rolls of the dice, and so far I’ve managed to uncover one single “legendary” skin for D.Va.

Beyond that, I’ve got a handful of the palette swap skins – and I mean a laughably small amount- with the rest being sprays and voice lines. Mostly sprays, because these are Spray Boxes.

Even if I was inclined to purchase microtransactions for premium games, I’d never consider doing it for this game. Not with such clumps of complete and utter wank being tossed before me like a fistful of severed dicks.

Anyway, that mildly annoyed me tonight.

  • Kelerak

    I wonder if there’ll be someone in the comments who will blame it on you playing on the PS4.

    • *puts ear to the ground to hear the stampede of PC gamers*

      • They can suck it.

        • Slumberjack

          If I could play shooters on anything but m+kb, I’d probably snag it on ps4 for funsies, but I am trash at aiming with a controller. Would be especially fun to remote play OW on my Vita

          • Nitrium

            Apparently on consoles they have a thing called “auto-aim”, which basically sounds like cheating to me.

          • Richard Cadman

            If everyone has it it’s a level playing field *shrug*

    • Notsowisesage

      Nah, buh. I play PC, can confirm bunch’a crap sprays and duplicates.

  • MrCas222

    there needs to be a small gold reward for playing games or a hearthstone
    quest system

    • Duster

      I’ve only been following the Overwatch scene from a distance, so I was shocked when I first heard that currency in this game was a random drop. That’s hardly much of a currency system at all.

  • Batnut1992

    Ah jeez, I’m picking up the game next week and gotta say, this aspect I am definitely not looking forward to, least everything else is ship shape right?

    • Dan9000

      Yeah it’s amazing. The boxes are down to luck though, I’m lvl50 and have 8 legendary skins and a few others. Still, the game is so good you won’t really be thinking loot boxes.

  • Andrew Butt

    Wow :S That is shit luck. I’m only level 20 and I’ve gotten 3 or 4 legendary skins now, though not for any of the characters I play; still better then all those sprays… I hope your luck improves somewhat, and at least the game is usually really fun 🙂

  • Michael Gram

    It’s because you’re an atheist and don’t pray to RNGesus :p Seriously though, you’ve gotten a disproportionate amount of junk compared to me (my level’s a bit higher than yours and I’ve gotten 4 Legendary skins and 3 Epics) and that’s not fair.

    At least they think this system can let them keep new maps and heroes free. If that turns out to be true in practice I won’t be too motivated to complain.

  • ʟυᴄαѕ⁰⁴⁵¹

    I’m level 34, and I’ve opened one legendary skin + 300 gold or so. At that rate, I’d need to reach level 2000 or something to get all the legendary skins. I don’t even want them all, but it’s just completely ridiculous. I really love Overwatch as a game, but the loot crate system is a complete mess.

    People have been comparing it to Hearthstone, but that game is free to play and all the cards you get can be used for something, even if it’s just for a bad joke deck. What are you even gonna do with a profile pic in Overwatch? No one even looks at them.

    Another thing that bothers me: if you disenchant a legendary card in Hearthstone, you get 400 dust, enough to craft an epic card of your choosing. But a duplicate legendary skin in Overwatch will only net you 200 gold, not even enough to unlock an epic item, as they cost 250 gold.

    They could remedy this very easily. Give you one loot crate per week if you win a brawl match, make duplicates give half of the items value in gold and make it so that only skins can be duplicate. It’d still be bad, but it would be waaay better.

    • dpunk3

      I think dups should be given full value of the item. If you’re gonna be forced to continue getting items you already have (especially at the higher levels and more items unlocked), giving the value of the duplicate item still nets you a way of getting whatever you want.

      • Steven Thomas

        Full is actual insanity. If I got full money for a thing I bought and returned that would be bad. There shouldn’t reallllly be duplicates at all considering all of the potential unlocks, but half the value rounded up or down should be a sufficient payback.

        • qorl123

          “If I got full money for a thing I bought and returned that would be Bad” Why? Especially since it is a digital good. Yesterday I bought a pc mouse, didn’t like it, returned it, and I got the full price back.

        • Scott John Harrison

          You know that getting full money back for something you returned unused – It is called a Refund.

    • Scott John Harrison

      People over at polygon calculated it around 800 boxes…but the more I look at people talking about it I think they underestimated it.

  • Roler42

    Remember when skins used to be sold as little DLC add-on and not this worthless gamble?

    • Sperium3000

      You mean this free gamble? That you can do for free?

  • kripto sporidium

    Might be because I’m a fighting game person, but I actually like the recolors. hell, there’s some characters who I honestly think look better with recolors with any of their supposed legendaries (I love you, Soldier 76, but christ are your legendaries all garbage)

    • Slumberjack

      Got the recolor for him where his jacket looks like brown leather rather than a particularly shitty motorcycle jacket, will never use any other skin

    • Abdeel Morales López

      Purple Mei’s skins are fucking rad

  • Even Luck

    Jeez, how much more worthless can these forced microtransactions get?

    • Moon1337

      Horse armor. never forget horse armor

  • Slumberjack

    …I kinda like that banana spray…and that twisted smiley face one…I wish I had those…

  • Sperium3000

    See, the problem is you have such a low opinion of anything that is not a legendary skin. Sure sprays aren’t as cool as skins, but I don’t see why you’d say they’re completely worthless. Also profile images are cool. I got this six-arm cowboy one that’s super sick.

    • dpunk3

      When you don’t get more than 1 legendary skin in 33 levels, I think you’re allowed to have low opinions of anything that isn’t something you’ve gotten 1/132 times.

      • Steven Thomas

        Yeah but Jim also is kinda underselling the other drops. I like throwing up my sprays with the rest of the team or on payloads, and voice lines are the closest thing to a usable and friendly taunt in the game (emotes take far too long.)

      • Sperium3000

        Then play the game until you get it! The argument seems to be the progression system is not needed because playing the game is its own reward, then what’s the problem with just playing the game?

  • Jamesworkshop

    only skin that matters

    getting duplicates in a system with over 1000 unlocks is ridiculous, feels bad man.

    • Sapphire Crook

      It’s like 4 per, right?
      That’s still 250 boxes MINIMUM to get all 1000, excluding the dupes and currency drops.
      WTF man.

      • Scott John Harrison

        It is 284 boxes excluding duplicates…and “We are giving you money” having money in the boxes is basically a Willy Wonka saying “You get nothing! You lose, Good day sir.”

        • Sapphire Crook

          What a great incentive to keep playing. Nothing motivates people but a firm slap across the cheek by a gross old man with soggy cookies.

          I’m not saying the game doesn’t have other reasons to keep playing, just that the loot system falls short of being cohesive.

    • jamesbrnhll

      Four duplicates in a box is a regular occurance for me, and I’ve only unlocked half of the game

  • Gary Walaszewski

    I’ve had similar bad luck, though I got lucky and got an ‘epic’ skin for Mercy, my main support hero and main hero overall. That got me pretty happy, all things considered.
    Look at the bright side, maybe the next level you’ll get a few hundred coins and can drop a thou on a legendary skin you’re actually after? Only one I’ve gotten was for Pharah and while that motivated me to play as her (which turned out to be a blast) I’d actually rather trade down for say, the Anubis costume.

    I do think this system doesn’t hurt my enjoyment of the game overall, but I do see the reason to get frustrated.

  • sillyskeleton

    At least D.Va has cool legendary skins. My snow gear Zarya is so lame…
    I’ll give the game this one little compliment, though: The best sprays (‘cute’ and ‘pixel’) are really fun to unlock through the achievement system.

  • Level 26 or 27 and finally got my second legendary.
    My best box was three rares and an epic.
    Epic currency, Rare emote or pose, Rare voice and Duplicate rare icon.
    Friend of mine got a Legendary and three Rares.

    I think a little currency per level or at level milestones would be cool; or a little currency guaranteed per box; or maybe even currency for a first win, and that’s it?

  • Liara Ashlynn Jennings

    Ah, probability. Thou art a fickle fucking bitch. It’d maybe be a bit better if they noticed when you get shit drops and upped your chances to get something actually worth a damn, but. It’s still really fucking shit.

    • Sherrif

      Made me wonder if he reviewed XCOM 2.

  • Jakub Nytko

    Jim, how would you improve loot boxes? I have been following this drama ever since Overwatch launched and personally am somewhere in the middle on subject of microtransactions. Do you think guarantee loot like at least 1 skin of random quality, 1 spray, 1 voice line etc. would help? I can see the problem you are showing, it is troubling even for me who doesn’t care about cosmetics.

    • Magmafrost13 .

      A good place to start would be to ensure that every single possible item from the box is at least somewhat desirable to a decent amount of the player base.

      • Jakub Nytko

        I’m going to refer to TotalBiscuit’s video who points out that “desirable” is a relative term. There are people who will find voice lines or sprays desirable. Just because you don’t, that doesn’t mean everyone else doesn’t either.

        • Magmafrost13 .

          Voice lines I can understand. I don’t play Overwatch, and unless its ever 70% off or more, I never will, but I mean, I’d pay for more TF2 voice lines, for example, because those are wonderful. Sprays though, I’m gonna need direct evidence of people liking them. The idea of only having preset sprays to chose from… it kinda defeats the point of sprays, in my opinion. It makes them utterly worthless. Maybe if there were enough of them for you to be unlikely to see the same one from different players.

          • Jakub Nytko

            I prefer sprays over voice lines so there’s an example of one person who likes them.I grew up playing CS 1.5 where sprays were actually very popular so I constantly used them as well as the whole community, I understand why you cannot use custom ones. Blizzard knows what CS had to deal with and i agree with that approach for the most part. I bet I am not the only one who thinks like that.

          • Scott John Harrison

            Here is what I would do: Every box contains 1 Skin (I look cool), 1 Emote/Victory Pose/Highlight Real (Character pose stuff), 1 Voice Line/Spray/Icon (Show off to your team mates stuff), 1 Money (Save up for what you want).

            I would also increase the duplicate pay out to 60% so you getting at least 15 money for the cheapest items.

          • Sherrif

            I would put voice lines with poses too…

            What I kind of wish was that more of the current emote wheel was just hotkeys, and that you could put several emotes and voice lines in the wheel. I’d rather be able to just hit “thanks” in the middle of a fight when I get some clutch heal or save, rather than fumble with the wheel.

            I think the loot system is fine, I would also say that the RNG appears to be pretty fair. I typically get 1 thing I like from every box. In fact I’d kill for some of the things he got in these boxes (well I’d probably kill for the voice lines).

            Jim is being kind of an idiot about it though, he forgets that Rares are supposed to be rare, and epic even more rare, and getting a legendary should always be like “no way a gold!”

            I’d agree there is a lot of shitty sprays, shitty icons, and the duplicate payout is way too weak (even just doubling it to 40% would be more acceptable). And when I say shitty, I mean the fact that there’s 3 Overwatch logo sprays you can unlock. Since you start with the white ones, why would you ever want them. There’s clearly bloat in there to add to the content to make dice rolls even more likely to make you hope for the next box, and stuff that will only appeal to a small audience.

          • Gazatteer

            They’re a cool little image that you can throw down for fun or show off or use to taunt someone. So, meeting the intended use, I think? Some of them are just little “I was here” thingies that feature cute versions of the character you’re playing, some of them are actively for taunting other players (I posted DV.a’s “Salt” spray up above, actually — if you throw it down immediately after killing someone they see it in the kill cam). My favourite is from a character named Symmetra, who can set up multiple small turrets — one of her sprays is literally a CAUTION turrets sign. You can sarcastically put it up after setting up a kill room, on a wall that the enemy won’t be able to see until they’ve already blundered into it.

            I would personally way prefer this to some asshole using a custom spray feature to post racist memes or porn or whatever.

          • Magmafrost13 .

            Based on evidence from other games which allow played to import sprays though, people spraying racism or porn simply doesn’t happen that often.
            “Some of them are just little “I was here” thingies” this is why I prefer the idea of having your own personal sprays. Nothing about these sprays is specific to the player. It doesn’t say “*I* was here”, it says “a Blizzard customer was here”. Like I said before maybe if there were enough sprays for duplicates to be very rare, but clearly that isn’t the case.

    • Artemiy

      At least make it really high-quality stuff. Recolor skins and simplistic sprays should be handed out like free lollipops.

  • Rob

    I think that there are a lot of epic skins that look cooler than the legendary skins. The epic skins stick to the original aesthetic but make it different in a cool way without making it a new model. Also banana is Winston’s best skin.

    • qorl123

      Epics are still just recolors.

      • Rob

        Ignoring that pharah’s epics have a different helmet and reinhard’s Bundeswehr skin isn’t wearing a helmet they are in my opinion the best recolors. The epic skins stick to the original model but do something interesting and new. For many characters I find the epics better than the legendaries. I think that the skins were done well and don’t make you wonder who the hell a character is. The reward system in overwatch is the problem because it’s a full cost game that uses a manipulative system to extort money from the player.

      • Gazatteer

        They’re literally not, though? They’re re-textures. Some even have minor modifications to the model.

  • Abdeel Morales López

    y u so mad 🙁

  • Dan Squire

    The ONLY complaint I genuinely have about the loot boxes are those bullshit amounts of currency you get for duplicates. Its just laughably inexcusable. There’s no reason to be that stingy, even IF you’re trying to get people to buy boxes.

  • Steven Thomas

    At this point I can’t tell whether you’re playing the game for the game, or to get loot boxes when you clearly have a dislike for them.

    • Nitrium

      Jim has made it pretty clear in a lot of dialogue that he not only loves the game but is also crazy about character cosmetics. Unfortunately he can’t unlock the cosmetics he actually WANTS for his beloved characters, only the shit that Blizzard randomly shits out. And even if you choose to pay real money, you STILL can’t be guaranteed to get the cosmetics you want because your real money only gives you more totally RANDOM loot boxes!

      • Steven Thomas

        I’m not saying that the loot boxes aren’t stupid, even though I feel they aren’t. What I’m saying is that Jim made his point once, it’s a valid and respectable point, and it’s the type of point that should only NEED to be made once in this particular case rather than kvetch and beat it into the ground.

        NOW, he’s going out of his way for it and he’s doing it in an entirely wrong manner. It’s clear that he only wants the rare stuff and doesn’t even regard that some of the lesser stuff might be nice (when some of it really is) and is making it pretty damn clear to me that he won’t be satisfied with his play experience regardless of how he feels about the game because he doesn’t have a cosmetic that he wants because he feels there’s some big psychological factor in skins when there’s not. If a D.VA is on my team and has a legendary skin but still doesn’t know how to do her job right, I still will double up on D.VA with them so I can play the roles they’re supposed to be playing. If anything, I think the people who get legendary skins early are almost unlucky because then they feel incentive to play a character that they might not grasp properly or that may not mesh with their personal style of play. In a team game like Overwatch, that’s crippling.

        I’m level 40 and don’t have a legendary skin for D.VA either, and she’s who I use and like the most. It’s shitty, but it’s how the game works and I don’t play this game just to have my character look nice while I play it. I play it because it’s fun, and I play D.VA because she has a fun and frenetic playstyle and just happens to also have skins I like that I’m willing to wait for.

        • JoYKiLL

          I think, and I’m sure a few would agree with me, that he’s using hyperbole to get some chuckles from people and to vent his frustration a little. Y’all motherfuckers need jesus, calm down.

        • Artemiy

          *insert Jim’s video about silence here*

          I think we need a specific tag for this.

  • Elbows for Knees

    You see, loot boxes are better than paid cosmetic dlc because that way you can sell people shit they literally don’t want. Soon Blizzard will start selling the games themselves in loot boxes. You’ll go to try to buy Diablo 4 or whatever the fuck and you’ll just end up with 3 copies of Blackthorne and a broken Lost Vikings cart.

    • Lloyd

      But they will generously buy them back for 1 Blizz Buck each, only 1000 of them and you can get the game you actually wanted!

  • nicethugbert

    Reminds me of Mass Effect 3 MP. I swore off Bioware games after that. But, to be fair, the loot crates in ME 3 MP did not reward cosmetics. They rewarded game play items. Warframe does the same crap. Never again.

    Smite has the same business model as Overwatch and I just don’t play the loot box scam. I play the game and ignore that crap. I have a healthy “relationship” to Smite. I play a match or three every couple of days, maybe double that some weekends and that’s great. No obsessions. It’s healthier that way.

    • JoYKiLL

      What do you mean Warframe does the same thing? Do you mean the daily reward for logging in? Because unlike Overwatch and ME3, Warframe is 100% free to play.

      • nicethugbert

        Warframe is Wait Wall Extortion for game play items. Warframe has loot crates. Many people forget that because DE doesn’t promote it.

        Warframe is not free once you spend money. Warframe is profitable. Someone must be spending money.

  • Magmafrost13 .

    I don’t understand this idea of making people chose from a set list of avatars and sprays. Just let people use their own (well, they very rarely own the image, but you know what I mean) images. Sure people will occasionally use porn, but as we can see from existing games and services, it doesn’t happen so dramatically often as to warrant legitimate concern.

    • Steven Thomas

      It does when the game is trying to push into being an e-sport like Overwatch very much is. Having porn be available to just be in the game ends up damaging the view of the brand to certain consumers, and any company doesn’t (and rightfully shouldn’t) want that.

    • nicethugbert

      Oh you just want to see more porn in game.

      • Magmafrost13 .

        Nah, I dont play overwatch. And thats unlikely to change unless its 70+% off any time soon

        • nicethugbert

          I was kidding.

    • RIME

      Could be allocation of server space (imagine moving past a wall to see a buffering icon) and/or overhead needed for content moderation.

      • Magmafrost13 .

        and that would be a legitimate concern some 10 years ago or more. These days not so much.. I feel like if TF2 could handle people importing sprays (at least 5 years ago. Very probably earlier), Overwatch should have no problem

  • SilentPony

    Hey Jim, I’m thinking of grabbing a bottle of Gentleman Jack for games night. What do you guys usually drink on DND night?

    • Overlord Aeldarian

      I like White Owl Spiced Whiskey, but thats just me.

  • I know you’re upset Jim, but just think, a. 100 Loot box unboxing video would make this all better. Every big YouTube channel does it, even fucking Polygonnhas one, and besides, poor little two-person indie studios like Blizzard NEED the money to keep the lights on! The micro transactions are totally not just lining someone’s pockets.

    • Martina Veselá

      Here’s an idea: don’t buy into it if you have a problem with it. Mind blown, eh? I’d never pay for a bunch of polygons no matter how “legendary” it is.

    • MartyVendetta27

      your slight typo has me wondering… has anyone ever called that site Polygonorrhea? i want that to happen. actually, i want them to somehow piss of Jim so much that we get a #FucKonami-esque tshirt design out of it haha.

  • thyri Carver

    Wow you do have bad luck with boxes. However, I think some of the randomization might just be that Blizzard wants you to be able, ultimately, to play a wide variety of characters rather than loading up on skins and “coolness” on just one character. I admit because of some skins I had gotten, or a certain pose I got, I wanted to give that character a try. Like Mercy. I never intended to play a healer. I play one in WoW thank you very much. Had NO desire to play a healer. But getting a skin for her made me want to try her out and play her more

    • Nathan Aldana

      doesnt always work though. I got a legendayr zenyatta skin but the problem is I dont actively dislike playing him, but I also dont think his sunyatta skin is cool looking.

  • SilentPony

    You know…I wonder if Blizzard would ever come about with…LEWDZ skins. Like would Jim pay for Tracer in Sting makeup and leotard, with a visible horse cock erection fighting against, I dunno, Bastion as BDSM IronHide with a ballgag and like….WAY too many anal beads.

    ’cause I’d pay a buck fifty….

    • qorl123

      Why dont you trawl some shitty rule34 site where they post source filmmaker porn instead for that

  • Jack Airheart

    Just my own silly idea, but what if they just gave every box a guaranteed legendary skin, and gave color change for plays/playtime. That way you could get cool randoms while always unlocking skins for your main

    • Martina Veselá

      There aren’t that many legendary skins, though. Most of them are just lazy recolors. This way you’d unlock everything worth unlocking in a matter of days and no one would give a shit about lootboxes anymore. Obviously that’s not what Blizzard wants.

    • Aiwass

      The solution would be to either cut out the possibility of getting duplicates or offer a much great payout when they arise. At least that way, you’re still working towards something as you level up.

      • Lloyd

        Increasing payout for duplicates and/or giving a payout for just playing matches (like in HotS) would at least help imo.

  • Martina Veselá

    You really have pretty bad luck, Jim. You’re like the polar opposite of that guy who got 2 legendary skins in one box.

  • XionEternum

    I won’t deny that there is validity in this angst; provided you give a damn about the cosmetics.

    I cared about a few select skins. That said I would like to see that loot boxes have at least one guaranteed skin (that also covers the guaranteed rare system they are emulating from Hearthstone). However after 70 boxes I have received maybe 5 Legendary skins and bought 2 more with gold. I’m sitting fairly decent and have little left to care about now. Nothing really worth paying money into ‘trying’ to get.

    On the flip-side; You want an in-game gambling* system? Check Vindictus. Both in-game power-scaling and item acquisition systems have exceedingly horrible and blatantly rigged(in some cases) RNG. Intentionally taunting you with “what you could have gotten” but in reality the odds are much lower than they seem.

    *Disclaimer: I do not consider RNG systems in games to be gambling. Gambling is defined as risking money or possessions for the potential gain of more money or possessions. Since in-game items of any kind are not “real” I find they circumvent the notion of gambling. Otherwise crit-chance and all other forms of RNG in many games should also be considered gambling.

    • qorl123

      Vindictus is free though. “Otherwise crit-chance and all other forms of RNG ” You don’t pay for critchance, and it is not a ‘reward’ for continued play.

      • XionEternum

        Loot boxes can be earned for free though…

        I’m sorry where is the point you are trying to make? And no… anyone who has played Vindictus to the current end-game can tell you it is absolute hell getting there if you’ve not paid to do it.

        • qorl123

          The “it can be earned for free” is just a weak excuse trotted out by publishers to pretend they dont really want your money. “anyone who has played Vindictus to the current end-game” The only thing I said about vindictus was that it has at the very least the excuse of it being technically free. No point, I was just disagreeing with specific statements in that comment.

          • XionEternum

            No. “It can be earned for free.” Is a legitimate argument when the rewards are both purely cosmetic and are not consumable. After 70 boxes I have well more than 12 unlocks per character, and I have what few I even like. I have no further incentive to get more, and am just happy to enjoy the game. See this is the difference between actual gambling systems and Overwatch’s RNG lootboxes: Once you have what you want – and it’s shockingly easy to get those things – you lose all desire to earn or buy more. No different from a CCG. Hearthstone’s monetization system is by nature more damning than this.

    • Michael Campbell

      I would argue the “real”ness of what you are trying to get is less important than the “real”ness of what you are wagering.

      Wagering in-game currency for a chance at in-game items? Sure, not really gambling.
      Wagering real money for a chance at in-game items? Totally gambling.

      But that kind of logic is probably how all the f2p games out there with gambling systems in them get away without having to follow gambling regulations.

      • XionEternum

        Again; virtual items in a virtual world have zero intrinsic value. Especially when that virtual world is not something you own; you merely license the right to experience it. A right that can be taken from you at any time and everything you’ve paid into it ceases to exist.

        • Michael Campbell

          And yet, you are wagering real money for a mere chance at that licence to experience it.

          How is that not gambling?

          • XionEternum

            No, because first and foremost you already bought that license in the first place. How are you wagering anything for a chance at a license you have already purchased?

          • Michael Campbell

            The extension of your licence to include the access to the randomly “won” virtual item. You purchased the licence to the game, and you are wagering real money to maybe extend that licence to cover the in-game items.

            Generally speaking, in psychology we define gambling as the staking of an item of value on an outcome determined by chance. The physical status of the “prize” is not relevant.

          • XionEternum

            There is no “extension” of your license. There are only the loot boxes. Which can be earned through levels or bought with money. What’s in those loot boxes is random with a guaranteed rare or better. Same way most TCG card packs work except loot boxes are purely cosmetic. How are TCG card packs not considered gambling? Because you are paying money for a pack of cards with an intrinsic value of some fraction of the pack’s worth. They do have a subjective value within the TCG due to their effectiveness; something Overwatch’s cosmetics do not have.

            Now let’s also consider the notion of getting that super-cool legendary skin you want for your favorite character. You’re going to want to play that character all the time just to show it off. Problem is; you will either get countered by someone playing the character that kills yours easily, or you have to swap to a character that doesn’t have that cool legendary skin you like so much. ZERO intrinsic value. It cannot be gambling on any level if what is gained has no intrinsic value.

          • Michael Campbell

            At this point I am going to assume you are deliberatly being dense. Good bye.

          • XionEternum

            No. I am trying to spell out why gambling is gambling and RNG is not gambling. Look up the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition if you don’t believe me.

  • Dosbilliam

    As much as Tera and Rift have been annoying me recently, at least when you get random boxes there’s a good chance of SOMETHING useful, mostly in Rift where one of the many, many currencies is certain.

  • boguspeople

    Come on, guys, Jim said we were vocal about crates, lets prove him right, and party like its yesterday’s article on Watch Dogs 2!

    Okay, now i only need to find a link between Overwatch microtransactions and feminism…

    • Aiwass

      I guess the money either goes to at least one women working at Blizzard or married to someone who works there? Odds are some of it does, right?

      • boguspeople

        Of course, those cunts just had to find a way to poison everything, we, Gamers, stand for, even when it demanded from them to apply for a technical job (for which, as youtube scientists clearly demonstrated, women, being a weaker sex, are unsuitible).

        Now excuse me, im pretty sure im persecuted by a scissors-wielding Anita Sarkeesian. I will retreat to my domain, were i’ll proceed to reinforce my manhood by searching for pictures of athleticaly build men, which in no way suggests latent homosexuality.

        Ahhh, Duke Nukem…

  • Lloyd

    Can’t say my luck has been any better. I just reached level 11 myself.and out of all those boxes the only thing of note is two recolor skins to show for it.

  • Sherrif

    Jim, calm the fuck down.

    The system isn’t great, but it’s better than it could have been, and you DID get good stuff… You just want the rare things, that are rare to get, to make them rare to see… Since people like exclusivity, which makes them retards, I’m aware, but that’s why it is the way it is.

    At this point, you need to just get over it, there’s more things to complain about in Overwatch… Such as netcode, balance, map design, and matchmaking.

    You know, things that actually matter that NEED to be worked on. The loot system is a meaningless little system that adds variety to the 21 characters, and variety is more interesting than everybody using the same damn skins all of the time.

    Notice, I agree the system is not great, but it’s not something to worry about. This is almost worse than the stupid Kotaku article about the writer using the card system as a way of being passive aggressive to the people he was voting for.

    • Maddy

      Fuck no. This is the entire reward system of the basic game. If the ENTIRE REWARD SYSTEM is shit, it’s a point to criticize.

      • Steven Thomas

        But it’s a reward system that wasn’t even in place originally, and is only in place because players specifically asked for it. So like………why?

        • Shit excuse.

          • Sherrif

            Jim, you still haven’t answered the question of how they are going to pay for the game post launch.

            Those servers you use to put in all those hours cost money, that’s not even considering the fact that they’re planning additional FREE content updates.

            You’ve yet to answer that question, cause servers aren’t free, so what do you propose they do?

          • Max Whiteley

            Because its blizzard and blizzard could afford to buy the moon mate.
            I don’t think running a game for 10-15 years is going to dip in their hoard of cash!

            Edit: they made their money back and payed for the servers and free updates when we all brought it!
            Do you honestly think they were going to release and run a game at a loss? Ha!

          • TheGreenGarden_Is_A_Swan

            Especially with Activision backing them up financially.

          • Gazatteer

            That’s… really disingenuous? Like, this particular article is primarily about someone being unsatisfied with the particulars of Overwatch’s microtransaction system — “but how would they make money?” is a false choice in this context. There are many other ways to make money other than a Japanese MMO style roulette system; this one mainly just has the advantage of literally being gambling.

          • It’s always a disingenuous question. Acting like this is the only way a company could conceivably make money requires deliberate and surgical ignorance on the part of the asker.

          • Cooltrainer Ian

            i think it would be prudent and justified in this case if someone shot the sheriff. because he is lame and it would be inhumane not to put him down at this point.

            i can personally empathize with Jim’s antipathy over this loot system. while anecdotes abound of people getting 4 legendary skins in one box, the vast, VAST majority of players will mostly all receive the same smegma that Jim’s boxes contained as evidenced by this article. I have the same experiences in other “lol random” reward systems, including hearthstone where, even guaranteed a rare “or better” card, i always get duplicate cards, and the shittiest possible rares “or better”.

            and it feels BAD, man. true, it discourages those like us to never want to pay real money only to be let down, because can you imagine how much WORSE it would feel to piss away cold hard cash for that same let down? What stings the most about all this is that blizzard COULD do better. they CHOOSE not to. Deliberately. and i honestly don’t know why they would intentionally treat their player/fanbase this way.

          • Sherrif

            All I asked, is what do you suggest, and the answer you’ve given is “DLC” which is extremely problematic in multiple ways.

            So, my question is, what system would be better? Quit avoiding the important questions, you’ve really slacked off as a journalist if you are going to criticize a system that you can’t even conceive of a better way to do it.

          • toadie

            Same way every non-microtransaction-depentent game does: Include the ongoing costs of upkeep of the product as part of the initial budget outly for the game. I mean god, if you think that Valve didn’t do this as part of TF2 before the invention of the hat-n-gun-trading-economy, you’re goddamn naive.

          • I’ve answered this question already. If you care that much, go look back on all the things I’ve said about the game in videos, on Ask, and other places.

            I’m not repeating myself for you.

          • Sherrif

            So you want them to slice up Heros and Maps and divide the playerbase?

            I’d also like to mention that the server costs of this game are pretty high, and if you take TF2 (for example) the initial costs of the game forced the game to go F2P and change a lot of the game systems to pay for the upkeep.

            No other game has server costs like Overwatch without having micro-transactions. I mean, did you know that you are actually connecting to SEVEN different servers when you play a match of Overwatch? One of those servers has to have the hardware to run the game logic for 12 people at a time for each game.

            I’m sick of people thinking Call of Duty is the person to imitate when their system is release a new game every year to pay for the costs… And they use Peer to Peer server structure!

          • Max Whiteley

            What are you on about pal?
            No one said that.
            No one is saying the server costs aren’t high.

          • TheGreenGarden_Is_A_Swan

            “I’m sick of people thinking Call of Duty is the person to imitate when their system is release a new game every year to pay for the costs… And they use Peer to Peer server structure!”

            Says the person who told Jim to calm the fuck down.

            And it’s telling you feel Jim shouldn’t complain about the reward system, but should complain about netcode, balance, map design, and matchmaking, aka, things YOU think should be fixed.

            Question, why are your problems somehow valid but Jim’s ones aren’t?

          • Sherrif

            Jim’s problem is with the fact that the game should be riddled with map packs and hero expansions that divide playerbase and kill the game so Blizzard can just make Overwatch 2 to stay profitable.

            He keeps railing on this point, when there’s plenty of other points that are also problematic. Jim hasn’t suggested any change to the system, or rather, he just wants the system to be completely removed, without actually considering the purpose it serves and why it HAS to be there.

            He is completely ignorant to the fact that Blizzard is a business, and it IS unfair to expect them to be charitable, rather than profitable.

          • Max Whiteley

            Overwatch was profitable before the game was even launched thanks to pre order culture. The executives would have factored the cost of running the game with the free updates when they allotted the budget for the game…. There not idiots.

          • Sherrif

            That’s not how game development works, and projecting those profits to cover not only the initial development of the game, but to cover the next 10 years of those employee salaries and 10 years of game servers is insanity.

            They wouldn’t be profitable, and every employee that made Overwatch would be sitting with a feeling of job insecurity as the inevitable post release cutbacks start.

            It’s insane to think Blizzard made the game so people had a game to play, Blizzard made the game to make money. Using the profit margin to fund the game to run forever is not in the budget, and the fiscal calendar is only one year long.

            So next year, if they don’t sell more copies of the game Overwatch will be a cost, even if the profit from this year would but it back in black. And THAT is why you cannot expect a game, like this, to run off initial sales.

          • Max Whiteley

            You make a very valid point… But..I will give you an example of another blizzard property that has open servers and regular updates that doesn’t include MTs… Xbox version of Diablo 3.
            How can blizzard run that with all the free content and still open servers and not force in MTs but can’t do it for Overwatch?

          • Sherrif

            Server Load for D3 is incredibly small, as most of the server processing is done locally, it’s processing capability for instance is that of a simple calculator application. Whereas Overwatch has Physics, Hit Detection, Latency Correction, Lag Prediction, and the need for a higher tickrate.

            D3 servers can run at a tickrate of about 5hz and be more than enough by contrast.

            So the example of D3 doesn’t work, as it’s not even close to the same server load. And they have the ability to sell expansions in that game, something that would break the game for Overwatch.

          • Max Whiteley

            Blizzard have a net worth on 18.9 billion dollars… I’m sure they can give us one.

          • Sherrif

            No, they can’t….

            You’re an idiot for thinking that’s how a business works, it’s insanity to think like that. They HAVE to make a profit on the game, otherwise it’s a failure.

            If you knew the basics of business you’d understand that simple fact. They’re not a charity, they aren’t making Overwatch just so people have a fun game to play, they’re making it as a product to sell, and profit off of.

            Blizzard may like that they made a game that players enjoy, they may have that charitable happiness that they made a good game that people like… But they still have to turn a profit off of it, end of story.

            They can’t just “give us one”

            Beyond that compared to Blizzard’s other games, this game’s monetization is beautifully pushed to the side, so in essence they did “give us one”

            Fact is they COULD have put a monthly subscription on this (and it was considered) they COULD have put heros and maps behind paywalls and grind walls (which was considered) they could have sold the game at 60 dollars with a subscription, microtransactions, and playerbase dividing DLC.

            But instead we got a loot box system where a large majority of players didn’t know the “shop” button took you to buy the boxes, rather thinking the “shop” button took you to spend the in game currency on the skins you wanted, but nobody used it cause the other screen was always easier from the main menu.

            They system isn’t perfect, but it has to exist, and it could have been worse, and the sad part about Jim is that he wants it to be worse.

            He wants people to have to buy the new heros and maps when they come out, because he doesn’t give a rats ass about the cost, he just doesn’t like RNG, neither do I, but I don’t bitch about a system when I don’t have an answer on how to fix it.

          • Max Whiteley

            Jesus man don’t get your loot boxes into a twist.
            I’ve already conceded you had a valid point!

          • You’re swallowing the company line loyally, I can appreciate that.

            But you’re deliberately looking through a pinhole lens, assuming DLC can only ever include map packs that “slice up the community” (an assertion I often find to be a dodge) and pretending microtransactions are the only way a company can make money when Blizzard has demonstrated it could make money shitting in a bucket.

            And it’s not JUST the existence of microtransactions that I’m criticizing here, but the implementation of them. I’d still never consider a fee-to-pay game for GOTY, but I can accept them grudgingly if they’re not utter shit. Garden Warfare 2 does microtransactions way, way, WAY better than the stingy bullshit Blizzard’s pulling off in Overwatch.

            There are multiple approaches to anything. Even in a single idea, and you are being incredibly myopic when you keep acting there’s only one way to do DLC, one way to do the loot system, one way to make money, etc.

          • toadie

            You’d have a point, if Blizzard weren’t tied to the inherently well-cashed Activision, Well cashed up themselves, or if your TF2 example held ground (it does not).Blizzard haven’t survived 30+ years in business without acq

            TF2 lasted five years as a full retail release,without additonal paid content releases, with the inclusion of microtransactions coming only as part of it’s switch to a free-to-play model (which allows them to maintain budget for the game’s services well after it’s projected shelf life)

          • Sherrif

            So because they have a bunch of money to make the game, they’re expected to lose money on the game?

            Do you not see the lunacy in your thinking?

            Mind you, TF2 was not near as big or popular as Overwatch on Day 1. Not to mention TF2 was a keystone for Steam to take hold on the gaming market, so even if they didn’t exactly make money at the end of 5 years like you said, it would make sense for it to be OK as a generic cost for the company at the time, because it was imprinting it’s sale platform on the map.

            So yeah, the TF2 example holds up. At the end of 5 years, they realized they need to turn a profit on the game, because essentially the box sales weren’t cutting it and they were losing money on it.

            So they alienated quite a few fans of the game by changing the nature of the game drastically. So not exactly something we want to imitate. And if we were to look at TF2 with regards to Overwatch shelf life, you’d see 10 years being a likely answer.

            Initial cost of the game would be huge.

            Fact is, again, Blizzard cannot be expected to sell this game at a loss, even if they do have lots of money sitting in the bank. In fact what they are expected to do is exactly what they did, make a new game with that money.

            While they have the ability to eat the loss, it doesn’t mean they should be expected to.

          • toadie

            So to address this in order-
            Blizzard are not stupid, in fact, begrudgingly they’re one of the smartest business operators in game development (the fact that WoW is still hand-over-fist is the most consistently populated MMOs even to this day tells you this), so they’d have done the numbers on Overwatch. They have not, historically, put out titles to become loss leaders, using that as my data for extrapolation, I doubt they’d do it for Overwatch. They felt confident enough in the title that it launched with a full retail tag as the buy-in price, and that over it’s lifetime, probably would cover it’s service costs. Microtransactions, in the context of Overwatch were, AT THE ADMITTANCE OF THE DEVELOPERS, added in at the request of the community as a way to speed up the collection of items and skins.

            TF2 most certainly was as big as Overwatch was on day one. Maybe you weren’t there, or you’re misremembering, but The Orange Box (the package that TF2 came on, with Portal and HL2:Ep2) was only of the biggest launches of 2007, and considering that it was the only Multiplayer component of that package, yeah it’s fairly good money that across all platforms TF2 was on comparable scale launch to Overwatch. Now, I’ll concede that my statement about TF2’s life is an assumption, but like Blizzard, I’m assuming that they have business acumen. You build a product with an intended service life, and you run a game development project with an intended service life, it’s factored into the initial game budget. The product had outlived it’s projected life (and therefore the allocated funds for services), but was still very active at it’s EOL mark, so rather than switch off the servers, Valve switched over to Microtransactions for the dedicated base. That’s an assumption, but it’s a safe one based on the knowledge that Valve are a business, weren’t running micro-transactions in the product from the start (nor had any facility to), which, given with the turn to Free-to-play tells me that they’d gotten what they felt was the most out of it.

            Here’s where I think the divergence of thought we’re having is – You’re not looking at Overwatch as a whole, you’re looking at the game from just the package you get when you recieve it. I’m looking at this from the perspective that divorces itself from the end product and looks at the development cycle as a whole and what decisions say what about it. To even get to the point of release, especially with a studio the SIZE and CLOUT of Blizzard, it would have had to go through not just the design and development wringer, but it would have had to pass SO many business heads to show the monetary viability of the product before it even got to the point of proper development, covering every aspect of the product budget over it’s life.
            They’d be asking questions and going over figures for everything- PR, Testing, Middleware licenses, projected development time, post-launch support, service hardware, etc,. The whole picture. From there, they’d be looking at the scope, and the asking budget, and start projecting how they’d work out monetising it. Clearly they had enough confidence in the product that it,like TF2 came with a FULL retail pricetag. That is business insuring that their product WILL sustain itself for it’s life. They know their own sales figures historically, and they also know the actual rates on longterm microtransaction investments (they’re not great, Sub 15% of total engaged customers invest longterm, and not really a secret) enough that they’re not risking all their eggs in the dalliance into them.

            So, fact is, Blizzard are probably not running a loss on Overwatch, nor were expecting to by evidence of it’s retail pricetag. If they were, you’d have seen an Overwatch subscription. Guarenteed. It would have covered longterm service upkeep costs plus some. The game mechanics would be different, but again,retail price plus the exact form of the game tells you EXACTLY how well they were expecting to run at profit.
            And yes, the actual cost of games are HUGE. GTA5 cost something in the order of 50-60 million to make. Life is Strange cost 20-ish.Valve is tightlipped about how much it actually spends and rakes in, but I’d be susprised if the Orange Box cost less than 45 over it’s lifespan. Overwatch is probably less initially, but all up I would say it’d be comparable over it’s lifespan, especially if there’s any DLC in the works.

            Additional note- 10 years is an unrealistic expectation for the shelf life of a game. That’s nearly 2 console cycles of time. Games that remain consistently populated at that age, especially Multiplayer ones, are anomalies at best. They are out there, and Blizzard built one of them, but it’s staying power was certainly not factored into it’s initial project cycle.

            TLDR – You’re overblowing how much you think servers cost to operate and showing absolutely no faith that Blizzard’s business heads haven’t already taken them into consideration.

          • Benj

            Overwatch could well last for 10 years. It’s unlikely to if everyone gets microtransactioned out in the first few months.

          • Benj

            Jim. Never. Accepts. Micro. Transactions. In. Full. Priced. Games. Of. Any. Kind.

    • Powermad80

      Getting enraged at small, petty things nobody cares about is a pastime of Jim’s. That’s not an insult, it’s the basis for his Nitpick Theater series on his youtube channel, every episode is prefaced with the message that getting angry at tiny things nobody cares about is fun, and every episode ends with “anyway that mildly annoys me sometimes” just like this article.

      Point is, this is not an article to be taken seriously.

      • Steven Thomas

        But people ARE taking it seriously and that’s an issue. He’s also taking it seriously.

      • Sherrif

        It would help if Jim wasn’t seriously upset about the lootboxes.

        He’s basically doing that thing he says devs shouldn’t do on Steam. “OH haha it’s a shitty game, it’s satire, LOL”

        It’s the same exact thing, sady.

        • VanessaMagick

          there’s a big difference between actually being satire, and just being THE THING you are pretending to be satire of

    • “At this point, you need to just get over it”

      No.

    • Ergoemos

      Hey, I don’t mean this as a jerk, and I am not trying to start another long thread or anything, but… you don’t have to be be here. On this website. Reading about Jim’s issue with loot boxes. I think the internet is pretty big, and most people are pretty okay with the loot boxes.

      Of course, I am not saying you don’t also have the right to complain. The comment section here is open to anyone with a discus account and who don’t violate the comment rules and regs.

      But you seem awfully upset about a single person’s blog and complaints about their loot boxes. I bet there are already a hundred threads on Reddit with the same content, and a thousand others filled with excitement over their loot boxes.

      Jim is complaining about his experiences. It sounds like you have other complaints, but you don’t like to hear about the loot and progression system. Don’t expose yourself to something that you don’t want to deal with. Or add in different ideas.

      What do you think about the netcode or map design? Heck, what do you like about the game the most, what is well-designed? I’d like to hear about your input rather than your reaction to Jim’s output.

  • Tvirus Getz

    my problem with the leveling system is this: why does it start to take longer to level up
    if the shit i get is still completely random?

    • Powermad80

      It doesn’t, really. Once you hit level 21 it’s 22000 (or something similar) EXP to level up every time, all the way through 100 and through the prestige system. It never increases past that.

  • Powermad80

    See Jim, this is why I don’t think the microtransactions are bad, necessarily. That point about how you’d never consider buying the loot boxes because they’re almost always filled with filler trash you don’t want is exactly why. The way the system is set up actively *discourages* paying for those things.

    Someday I’ll get Okami Hanzo, though, and it’s gonna be sweet.

    • nicethugbert

      But it actively encourages voodoo dolls stabbings.

    • Dragongelf

      Never underestimate how willing people are to throw money at stuff like this.

      Take into consideration what the average IQ is.

      Now consider that half of the world is less intelligent than that.

  • Leon

    Reckon the chance for legendaries is higher if you pay for the box? Wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Maddy

      I think Jim just has shit PR with RNGesus. I got two “legendaries” in a single box once, semi-regularly get the 250-tier retexture skins, the occasional emote or highlight intro.
      If this is what the loot boxes look like for Jim there is absolutely no wonder he hates them.

      • molamolacolacake

        Pretty much what they look like for me too except early on I got three in a row with currency and just bought the sprays and voicelines I actually wanted with that. The rest have been trash overall.

  • Mike Wallace

    Some of those sprays, too. It’s like they went to a High School computer art class and just had every student pump out as many as possible over the course of an hour. There is a lot of “couldn’t be asked” in those spray collections.

    • Moon1337

      It took me a good minute or so to realize the gray one was of Winston’s face

  • Neo Genesis

    If they want to do microtransactions right, they should just let people purchase the skins/sprays/whatevers they want. They won’t, of course, because the idea is to keep people buying more unlocks to get that one item that they keep failing to obtain.

    But that, in my opinion, is how you do microtransactions right rather than this RNG system which in my opinion belongs more in a F2P game than a £40 release.

    • Powermad80

      “because the idea is to keep people buying more unlocks to get that one item that they keep failing to obtain.”

      And the failing of this is that the odds of getting what you want are so overwhelmingly bad that it discourages even trying, I bet they’d make more money just letting you buy the stuff you want too.

      I see Overwatch’s micropayment system as a failing for both the consumer and blizzard, because I know I’d have no problem personally paying a dollar or two to get Hanzo’s Okami skin and Zarya’s Siberian Front. But all I can do is pay for an RNG box where my odds of success getting those are on par with Stephen Hawking’s odds of winning a fight with Mike Tyson. So sorry blizzard, no more of my money for you.

      • Neo Genesis

        Unfortunately, no matter how bad the chance are as long as there is still a “chance”, people will spend ridiculous amounts of money to try. It’s a microtransaction model which has stood the test of time so far because a fool and his gold are so easily parted.

        • peter

          Daddy needs a new pair of epics .

        • Dragongelf

          It’s designed for people who have more money than common sense.

      • Cooltrainer Ian

        that seems logical that they would make more money if you could buy exactly what you want, but it turns out not to be true. people would buy what they wanted right now, and not buy anything once they had what they wanted until something they specifically want comes out down the line. this model provides more return short term but trickles off substantially later down the road. only by taking away player’s ability to get exactly what they want do you maintain a more steady stream of purchases for the life of the game.

        • Dream gazer

          Indeed; and if/when they add new skins down the road (as they surely will) everyone has to repeat the process to unlock them.

  • Comadreja

    Sheeeeee-it, son. It’s a pity because Overwatch is the first Blizzard game I’d been even somewhat interested in since forever (‘dat character design, damn), but its being multiplayer-only has kept me at bay (for all of its diversiwhatever thing going on, Blizzard seems rather exclusionary of people with social anxiety disorder or severe pretentiousness or whatever’s going on with me). And now seeing this kind of cutthroat monetization just seems to me like lack of respect for both their players and their own work.

  • jet jet

    hahahahahaha and you gave it a 9 out of 10!

    • peter

      Completely agree 9 out of 10
      Forget the micro transactions the loot crate system is awful
      1170 unlocks about 70 skins and the rest is unless junk
      Then their is the balances issues
      This a big part of the game and angry joe gave it 7 to reflect these bad points .

      And anyone saying its balanced you just need to learn the counters can bugger off that is like dark souls and its git gud.

      • Dan Squire

        I find it horrible and gross that Blizzard themselves shoot down anyone pointing out Torbjorn being a broken character with way too many advantages.

        • Cooltrainer Ian

          what will happen with Torbjorn is what happens with bullshit characters in other games, namely mobas, where there is just an unwritten, silent agreement by the community not to pick certain characters so the game can be appreciated by most players. once his picked % drops to less than 1% they MAY consider doing something about him.

          • Gazatteer

            I really doubt that’s going to happen, though. He and Bastion are the sort of character that seem really insurmountable and unfun to fight at first, but with enough practise and experience you figure out ways around them. So, even at just higher skill level pub games, it’s much more of an even playing field with him.

            Certain heroes are really good at smashing his turret; they’re quite fragile compared to, say, the Engineer’s turrets in TF2, and it’s hard for him to rebuild then to tier two in the middle of a fight without his team providing really solid cover for him. His gun is pretty solid without his turret, but the range on it is deceptively short and he’s got no mobility at all. Like, I’m not trying to “get gud” you here or something obnoxious like that, but all in saying is that the opinion you’re expressing is nowhere near wide spread enough for people to make a gentleman’s agreement not to use him or something like that.

        • Steven Thomas

          Probably because when asked, people don’t point out those advantages. Torbjorn is only a problem if your team (and yes I’m going to be one of “those” people, because this is a game where team composition is important) doesn’t have anyone whose job it is to kill his turrets. There are at least three very hard counters to his turrets in the game, and if a player is that stuck up their own ass about sticking to the ONE hero that they like then they honestly should find a different game or play TF2 because this game is just a different beast altogether.

          One D.VA can handle an opposing team with three Torbjorn on it, I’m speaking from experience here. She’s built to disrupt them, and the snipers are more than capable of taking them away as well even from an attacking position.

          I’m not a Blizzard fanboy, and I don’t even give a shit about them. Torbjorn does have a few tiny things that bother me, like his turrets being able to follow a blinking Tracer, or that they have just a tiiiiny bit too much range for my taste. That said, aside from McCree who is a real problem, the people who tend to call out balancing issues are the people who also refuse to play more than one hero and actively are stunting their team and then blaming it on balancing issues rather than their own willingness to adapt.

          • Dan Squire

            My main problems with Torbjorn are, as you mentioned, the Turret’s snap-on target locking and range, but also Torbjorn’s main weapon is a bit too powerful when he has the turret for damage too.

            At one point I was using Pharah to take out a Torbjorn’s turret from the top of that front gate at Temple of Anubis, and the Torbjorn was able to two-shot her from the objective with his main.

        • Moon1337

          This is Blizzard we are talking about. They do really well balancing in a lot of ways then ignore one glaring problem for a very long time. Having played WoW since vanilla you can track the ups and downs.

    • hahahahahaha and I criticized this in the review as well.

  • Ken

    After being high on pack sales in Hearthstone, the folks at Blizzard decided to have packs in a premium AAA game

  • aimei66

    The thing I hate about the loot box system is that it is pretty much the whole progression system; no lore unlocks, no skin unlocks for playing X character X times etc. I have been lucky with the boxes and I seem to get a legendary skin about every 15 boxes and can afford to buy one every 30 boxes. However as this constitutes as the whole progression system, it seems weak.

  • molamolacolacake

    I would have much preferred if they just let us earn skins and stuff through pure leveling, dependent on which characters we were using. But I realize thats hard because we’re supposed to change characters a lot.

    Also the only thing at this point I actually want is that damn squid profile icon. I remain bemused those were locked behind loot boxes, actually.

    • Cooltrainer Ian

      that sounds like what they implemented with heroes of the storm. but that game proved to be a MASSIVE failure, and isn’t even in the top games list of Twitch. so they went a different route.

      • Zen110

        It’s not like Heroes of the Storm was a failure because of its unlock system, it was more the game itself.

        • Cooltrainer Ian

          hahaha i’m glad we agree that it was a failure

  • MartyVendetta27

    hey Jim, with the sign off and general tone of this article, why wasn’t it a Nitpick Theater video?

    • Because it wasn’t.

      • MartyVendetta27

        cool, good enough.

  • Gazatteer

    I like sprays and voice lines a lot : (

  • Themoonlightwolf1

    It feels like they could solve most problems by going the garden warfare route and giving consistent currency drops per game, they’d still have their loot boxes for people who want to pay their way to skins but at least it would mean those of us who are investing time could work toward stuff for character’s we actually play.

  • Gazatteer

    I mean, look at this one! This one is great! It’s too bad you didn’t get this one.

    • BAH!

      Ok, yeah. Blizzard know EXACTLY what the’re doing.

    • Benj

      I’m still waiting for the “boiled piss” spray… ewwww.

  • Derek Pietras

    That is ONE more legendary skin than I have! Admittedly, I am tempted to be like “here is ten dollars, please gimme something good!” But I don’t wanna start down that horrible path.

  • Max Whiteley

    I just want devil mercy.

  • ThatGuyMurix

    I really think there should always, like you mentioned at one point before, be a cash handout of the in game currency. I mean even 100 or 150 would be fine, 200 would be better, but only make this for ones you unlock by leveling. That way you can actually save up for things and feel like you’re being rewarded for playing the game.

  • CX316

    I would have thought you’d enjoy the Road Hog player icon, what with your love of masks and fondness for the character.

    • IronEleven

      POUNDING IT

      • Cooltrainer Ian

        yeah but in all blizz games profile account icons are worthless and do nothing. no one notices them, ever. no one comments on them, ever. no one appreciates them, even when they require some kind of effort or are limited release to unlock, ever. 99% of the viewers of your profile account icon is you, alone, looking at it yourself when you are thinking about how no one gives a shit about your profile account icon.

    • Sherrif

      He only cares for skins and has a complete disregard for players that like the sprays, voice lines, and player icons.

  • George

    Why is an article like this important? Because it provides more evidence (or at least one documented case) of the phenomenon Jim has been talking about in previous articles.

    The system in Overwatch looks DELIBERATELY DESIGNED to annoy the player and pressure them into spending more money on a chance based system.

    To me that is a gambling mechanic.
    I belive gambling mechanics (that involve real money) should be illegal in games period and anyone under the age of 18 should not be sold them. Unless, of course the companies subject themselves to the appropriate Canadian taxes, regulation an licensing.

    • Max Whiteley

      Well it’s not technically gambling as you can’t win any money.
      It’s still buying something even if u don’t get what u want.
      But gambling is good comparison, as most of them are shite.

      • Nicholas de Leeuw

        Heck I prefer the literal gambling you can do in casino’s in video games to this. At least the odds tend to be better.

        • Benj

          And you win something that actually exists and there’s an element of risk by the casino. With Overwatch the house can’t lose, and since re-coloured costumes are “skins” they have a functionally infinite number of potential new content to offer people.

          • Alex Wheatley

            The house never loses in a casino, either. Sure, someone occasionally walks out with thousands of times more money than they went in with, but the casino needs that to happen to keep people gambling. The house has a strict edge in every game, and the law of large numbers ensures that they are always making money.

          • And that’s exactly how these microtransactions in Overwatch are designed. As a former slot tech, I’ll assert baldly that penny slots are the most exploitative ones out there. They generate bonus rounds just frequently enough to keep people playing, and all the bells and whistles are deliberately designed to feel like a reward subconsciously. Even if they barely win anything on the bonus round (as generally happens), there will always be that one out of every thirty where they *do* win $30 or $40, and they’ll think “Oh, if only I’d hit Max Bet that time! That would have been $3000!” To make matters worse, the odds are almost always better the more that a person bets, and we *always* set the odds as low as was legally allowed (around 80% if I remember correctly).

            It’s disgusting stuff. And seeing the gaming industry blatantly pulling game design ideas from such an exploitative market… it’s positively abhorrent.

            Give them just enough to keep them coming back for more. If you give them too much, then they win and leave. Give them too little, and they lose and leave. The trick is to exploit them *just* enough that they are aware of it, but are convinced that they can overcome it.

          • George

            Thanks for the analogy and input because it’s a really good comparison.

      • It’s not “technically” gambling if we go by the letter of the law. In terms of the colloquial though? Absolutely gambling.

        • Max Whiteley

          I like the gambling analogy, I’ve used it to explain to my hardcore micro transaction buying friends, I’m just a pedantic sod.

          Tbh I equate all in game purchases to buying this…. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4945557df2ae5c6002d65bea13ea2533d25aaa3859d78964af5b65c075b3184a.jpg

        • George

          My view is that in Canada at least, (even though things like this may indeed be gambling in Canada) Parliament needs to step in and amend the criminal code or the Provinces need to start regulating these products.

          I don’t know how it would work in the US or UK though.

          This is also one of things that I think does genuinely involve a conversation about ethics in gaming and related businessness in general.

        • Za_Docta

          Who was the one guy that said something about fantasy football leagues?
          “Can you spend money on it? Can you win stuff randomly? Then it’s gambling.”

        • George

          Oh and 1 more thing…

          I am not a writer, critic or journalist. But I believe that the issues related to “gambling mechanics in games” including addiction…deserve a lot more attention then they currently get.

          Please don’t think that I am telling how to do your job.

          I humbly offer the suggestion because I believe that you have the professional experience, integrity, intellect, and talent as a journalist to tackle what possibly is a very serious issue.

      • Benj

        Does it really only legally count as gambling if you can win money? So raffles and lotteries without cash rewards (win a car/ speed boat) aren’t considered gambling?

        • Max Whiteley

          Yes you are still winning something and there’s a chance you will get nothing that’s what makes it gambling.

          These you are just buying in game products. even if it is a gamble on what you get, you always get X amount of loot boxes.

          I like the gambling comparison. I was just being pedantic.

      • George

        Well in Canada, Risking something of value to win a prize in a game of chance where skill is less important to the outcome is the only definition of gambling I can find. Currency is not explicitly mentioned.

        • Janio

          You get a granted spraydrop or better till your account has everything. When a double drops you get coins. Its not real gambling. You invest in something and know what may get even if it is just some coins that will not give you a opporunity to unlock something new. Its a silly system because some day you will stop playing or be forced when the gameservers stop and you have ask yourself was worth the money invested.

          And yes its strange how expensive its seems to run servers for multiplayer against how cheap you are allowed redownload games and patches from websites .

  • TheGreenGarden_Is_A_Swan

    This is slightly off topic but I feel it’s appropriate. A week back, me and a friend of mine who works in the industry were talking about microtransactions in games and I came up with an idea that we both found interesting:

    “Maybe something more akin to a patreon would be better. I’m sure there would be plenty of fans willing to chip in £2-£5 a month to the
    developers if the company was open and honest about what the money was being used for, it meant no microtranactions and maybe in return we’re able to access faqs, interviews, exclusive videos?”

    Would people here like to see this approach?

    • Max Whiteley

      We already give the devs money when we buy their product.
      When is someone like blizzard asking for more and more it’s pretty disputable wether they need it for greed or if they have an agreement to only update the game using the money from the MTs.
      I can see smaller company’s using a system like this if their trying to make an online game, but then it’s just a subscription then isn’t it?

      • BAH!

        It’s a subscription if content is gated off. But if they did it like Jim and others do their Patreons (and like MT’s in many games do now) where the donations of some benefit all, it might be workable.

        • Max Whiteley

          Understood!
          I would rather they just let us have the continued content of the game for the price of entry but people keep saying that it costs ludicrous amounts just to keep it up and running.

          • BAH!

            The costs for servers and maintenance is apparently so high we don’t even have words for numbers that big.

          • Janio

            Still not get why its so expensive to run servers for multiplayer and seems so cheap to download or redownload games from servers.

          • BAH!

            DDS servers pay for themselves through their own functionality. They are literally storefronts, and the owners get a significant cut from every sale. Multiplayer servers, on the other hand, do not. They are payed for through money (hopefully) budgeted for the development of the game they host, but that only lasts so long.

            It’s not necessarily more expensive to run one than the other, but one is inherently more profitable than the other.

    • Dragongelf

      The problem you’re setting yourself up with here is consumer trust.

      How much would a consumer trust you that you’re not lying to them when you do an FAQ or an AMA.

      I’m not saying you’re a liar just for being a dev but we’ve seen it time and time again from other devs. They can not be trusted with our money and they will lie to us just to sell more copies of whatever trash they’ve spewed up.

      I’m all for ways to help budding developers earn an honest living and to have them do their passion projects with the tender love and care that it requires to make a good game. But I think this would just open the gates to more abuse and dishonesty from all sides.

  • Alex McCracken

    After 60 hours with battleborn (no seriously, I genuinely enjoy it) I’ve got a pretty damn impressive collection of loot. The drop rates are surprisingly fair.

  • Kevin Wilson

    I would criticise this but I’d be a hypocrite if I did. While semi-drunk last night, I spent £26 on 30 hearthstone packs to get enough to craft a legendary…..

    • Benj

      Hearthstone is free to play though. That’s the crucial difference. Though to be honest the gambling style of microtransactions is always a little bit exploitative.

      • Dragongelf

        That’s because they’re designed to be exploitative. A game isn’t made for your enjoyment, a game is made to earn money.

        Sure, you could earn all the rewards in but it’ll be soooo much faster and easier and better and oh hey why don’t you just give us some money so you can have your precious little sticker, son?

        At least with the non F2P model you know exactly how much money you sink in.

        But how much have you dropped into League of Legends?

    • Max Whiteley

      Nothing wrong with being a hypocrite man!
      If you were a heavy smoker would you tell your kids that they can smoke if they liked?
      Hell no! I’m like;
      “Kids if you even so think of touching one of these I will shove it so far down your thought you will be farting smoke for a month.” While simultaneously lighting my tenth of the day!

      • Kevin Wilson

        Hahaha good analogy there! Can relate as I’ve recently quit after smoking since I was 15

        • Max Whiteley

          Yeah quitting is tough. I’ve not quite managed it yet.

    • Jack Trevor

      Hey I’ve defineatly dumped a fair amount into cosmetics for League of Legends, Smite, and Warframe.

      And frankly, Overwatch is not as exploitative as people think. If anything this shows how you should do micro transactions. There are games with micro transactions that are way more exploitative. Like TF2.

    • Weasel Biggs

      The average gamer’s wallet has two enemies: alcohol and sleep deprivation.

  • Wolfie

    See, Jim, you just gotta git gud, cause then you’d get boxes so fast you wouldn’t even notice how many you waste. Yup, the system is perfect as it is, how dare you criticize Overwatch, you’re just a noob, git gud.

  • Demon Harry Kane

    My friend has spent over £80 on loot boxes, he has a fucking problem!!

    • That’s exactly how they’re designed, too. Only like 5% of people will ever buy them, but those 5% will all spend far more money on them than is really warranted, because that’s how the system is designed: just like slot machines at a casino. Worse here, since, as Jim rightly points out, the entire game is built surreptitiously around coercing players to buy the fucking things, to frustrate players until they’re thinking, “I’ll just throw money at it.”

      • Muddy Scarecrow

        Even beloved Blizzard is hunting for whales.

        • Bashtarle

          In a Buy to Play (or should I say Pay) game no less :/

        • Jack Trevor

          It’s essentially leaving money on the table otherwise. Money that they can use to keep their talent employed and continue future development.

          And frankly, can only advise people on how they should spend their money but they are under no inclination to listen to your advise. And honestly, most arguments that I’ve heard against micro transactions boil down to “Because we told you so.” And, to no one’s surprise, they keep getting told no.

          • Muddy Scarecrow

            My argument isn’t against micro transactions. It’s against micro transactions in a game we already paid a shitload of money for. And before you say it yes I know Overwatch is 40 bucks but that’s still a lot of money to some people. Also they’re Blizzard. They made a major Hollywood movie and are still making money through merchandise and game sales. I really don’t think they’re going to have that much trouble funding Overwatch. It boils down to what Jim has always said: They’re not incorporating transactions because they need to. They’re doing it because they want to.

          • Captiosus

            Money that they can use to keep their talent employed and continue future development.

            Because Blizzard is totally a struggling indie dev looking to make a splash with their next big project after this, am I right?

            It’s not like they don’t still have the world’s largest subscription MMO, the world’s most successfull ARPG franchise, the world’s most successful (and competitive) RTS franchise, or a couple casual cash-cow games like Card games or MOBA-lite.

            Your comment is a prime example of the lunacy of Blizzard fans. They don’t NEED this pseudo-gambling loot box nonsense to stay afloat or pay for new development.

      • Weasel Biggs

        I’m just glad the actual mechanics aren’t influenced by the skins…

        Can you imagine the rage if skins somehow conferred passive bonuses à la Diablo?

  • Valentine Shargatova

    Yep, it’s been pretty much the same for me and my friends.
    The only drop I look forward to is gold so I can get the stuff I like. I do however enjoy the sprays you get for achievements.

    • Batmatt

      Sprays for achievments is actually a good thing, IMO. I like them and work on getting the ones I want.

  • Benj

    If Jim had ads running on his articles then he could use the ad revenue from all his articles complaining about Overwatch’s loot boxes to buy more of them and then be annoyed all over again and have more fodder for future articles.

    It’d be like a perpertual motion machine than runs on disappointment.

    • Dream gazer

      It’s a microcosm of the AAA games industry!

    • Muddy Scarecrow

      Upvoting just for that perpetual motion joke. That’s wonderful XD

  • Jacob H

    I don’t know if sprays are better or worse than silly hats.

    • Ergoemos

      I mean, you can sell those silly hats. Or trade them with others. Is there a trade system in Overwatch?

      • Dream gazer

        No. I’m not even sure if you can exchange your first instance of an item for currency or if it’s only duplicates (maybe someone with the game knows?).

        That’s the real difference between cards in physical TCGs and digital ones in my mind. If I spend a fuckload on MTG singles or decide to throw some money on gambling with packs I can recoup some of my money and maybe even turn a profit once I’m done with the cards. In Hearthstone you can only ever buy deeper into the game.

        Whilst it occurs to me, the pull rate for cards in TCGs is more reliable too; whereas who knows what algorithm is going on under the surface when you open packs/loot boxes/crates etc.

        At least when you’re cracking packs in a TCG you expect a certain number of commons/uncommons/rares/”legendaries” per pack; and per box. Some cards can be rarer due to manufacturing processes, but that comes with the territory of physical products and that issue exists in other products too.

        I’ll take that over a unknown system that could well be designed to screw me over as much as possible.

        • Batmatt

          You can’t turn your items in currency in OW. If they’re duplicates, they’ll automatically turn into gold when you open it, but you cant turn something into gold at will. This reeeeeeeally sucks, especially considering there’s no reason at all for the game to even have a duplicate system and they give you so little gold for something that shouldn’t even be in the game.

    • Zen110

      Plus, the silly hats are actually in a free-to-play game, and I’m pretty sure you can buy them directly, too.

      So yeah, hats are infinitely better.

  • Terriosaurus Hex

    You utter fools. They’re playing you more than you’re playing the game. Wake up, wise up.

    • Benj

      Get up, stand up. Stand up for your rights!

      • Terriosaurus Hex

        I think it’s about time for a singalong!

        • TheHoundHalf

          ‘Fame! I want to live forever…’

          … wrong song?

  • Anders Stensson

    Remember the days when you unlocked skins just through gameplay?

    • Great days, great days.

      It’s a shame so many gamers are now too young to remember it, so this stuff has become so much more palatable.

      • Bryce Jordan

        I honestly feel like the biggest insult is the duplicates. They give so very little gold. Got a legendary skin duplicate? That’ll be 200 for a 1000 skin that you will extremely rarely get. Those useless sprays? 5 gold! Yeah sorry you won’t be getting that skin you wanted for a couple dozen levels or more (probably more).

      • George

        I heard a story on-line about Bayonetta 2 I can’t remember where. Apparently some gamers were confused about where they could buy the alternate Wii-U exclusive Bayonetta 1 Costumes and the Bayonetta 2 alternate costumes. One writer said, that Bayonetta 2 shows how much content has been cut away with pay walls over the last 10 years.

      • Otaku World Order

        Don’t say stuff like that. It makes me feel so damn old. Especially when I remember how many hours I put into unlocking stuff in Soul Caliber 3.

      • Moon1337

        It also doesn’t help that so many in the older generations are fine with this happening as well. For everyone one of us that call BS another one yells “DO IT MORE!!!”

        • Benj

          I know right. If I hear one more person make the “games should be more expensive now because the price I paid in the 80s has increased below inflation” argument I’m going to choke them to death with an NES controller cable.

      • Gervasius
      • nicethugbert

        Remember the days when you just bought the expansion pack then went to the Neverwinter Vault to get all the new mods that used the new content? Then logged onto a server using the new content? Remember life before WoW?

      • Sherrif

        See, I don’t remember a single MMO that didn’t have a monetization method of some kind, and as far as it goes this one IS palatable, quit acting like it’s the worst system they could have imagined.

        Yet you CONTINUE to tout that this is a bad way to do it, when it is the most consumer friendly of the options..

        God dammit Jim, you lack any ability to be critical about this game because you’re lacking in the ability to give a better way to monetize the game. The simple fact that you haven’t come out and stated a better way to do it is proof that the system of microtransactions is the best option.

        AGAIN since people lack the ability to read, there IS PROBLEMS WITH THE SYSTEM, it’s not perfect and needs to be adjusted duplicates need a higher payout the quality of everything should be in line… but bitching about it simply existing is insanity, and it makes you sound like a child that wants everything in the world just given to them.

        • Artemiy

          Hmm… Tell me, how is $40-60 given up front not a way to monetize the game?

      • XionEternum

        Aye I remember it too. Long meaningful single-player campaigns with time/difficulty challenges used to unlock both aesthetic and functional features in the multiplayer. A multiplayer that did not rely on servers and forced us to gather friends from school or family members to come over and play on a 480i CRT split 4 ways. Screen-peaking for the win!

    • Benj

      And recoloured costumes where all available at the start rather than offered as a “reward”. I’m not going to get excited to have things in my favourite colour, I’m not 5!

    • Jack Trevor

      You can revel in your nostalgia all you want but the genie is out of the bottle and it ain’t going back in. And plenty of people are fine with it being out.

      • Anders Stensson

        People can enjoy what ever they want to enjoy. Personally I have no interest in overwatch, I just miss the days when cosmetics were unlockables through gameplay and not through cash.

    • mconstanza

      They are unlocked through gameplay, just randomly rather than you being able to accomplish a specific task to get them.

    • XionEternum

      Funny thing is… you still can in Overwatch.

    • Jim Cravat

      Remember the days when you could import any jpeg you liked as your spray in half life? I seem to remember you didn’t even need to piss around in the game files, that it was actually an option in the menu…

      Also remember the days when valve made videogames?

  • Vaughan MacDonald

    I was talking about how much the loot boxes annoy the shit out of me on facebook the other night, and my brother-in-law (who’s a huge Blizzard fan) starts ranting about how it’s all my fault for being shit as team based game, and it’s just grinding so deal with it. Never mind the fact I never said I had an issues with the gameplay, or that I sucked at it, he just assumed that. Blizzard fans are fucking weird. The Warcraft movie is shit too.

    • FTLTom

      All game fandoms are cancer, but some are more malignant than others.

      • Jack Trevor

        Fandoms are not cancer considering cancer is a disease designed to destroy the host. And people who really like a piece of media tend to help it GROW and THRIVE.

        This is not to justify unsavory behavior but if anything is “cancerous” it’s the “anti-fanbases” that show up around anything popular.

        • Janio

          Cancer is disease of cell dividing unchecked or/and not dying of when asked. Most die of horrible side effects. Please do not use terms like designed to destroyed it links the more meta use of cancer with the real disease.

    • Medallish

      Blizzard fans act as if they are brainwashed. I put Blizzard in the same box as EA and Ubisoft, easily, they’re not an altruistic company, they do things for profits, and when they overreach I don’t mind saying so, but holy hell, you’d think I was selling people Mein Kampf, the way they react to anyone saying that Blizzard is a greedy ass company.

      • Za_Docta

        I feel like a lot of that is down to sunk costs. The same way people rabidly defended Microsoft when we pointed out that the Xbox One was a lying failure machine. You know those were the people who dropped $600 to pre-order the Xbone and a bunch of launch titles, and when it turned out they made a bad decision, they have to defend it because not doing so would reflect stupidity on their part.
        Same way with Blizzard fans. I feel like these are the people who have bought every expansion for WoW and lost track of the costs of their subscriptions. Or people who have played Starcraft or Diablo for years and can’t bear the thought of losing those franchises if people turn on Blizzard the same way we’ve turned on EA and Ubisoft.

        • Weasel Biggs

          Eh. I count myself as a Blizzard fan, and I’m nowhere near thinking that the Loot Box system is excusable. I’ve heard others chant “Server costs to cover!” or “More free content!”, but it’s the same rigmarole I’ve heard out of Diablo III players defending the Real Money Auction House. I’m also a D3 player, but I never sank a single dime in either auction houses, either as real cash or in-game currency.

          • Za_Docta

            Online gaming doesn’t cost shit, either. We know that because random joes set up their own private servers for games all the time with minimal effort. People who pretend that Blizzard–fucking BLIZZARD–wouldn’t have the resources to cover the maintenance costs are delusional.

      • Vaughan MacDonald

        I know, they’re ridiculous. Just look at how many people refused to accept that Diablo 3’s DRM was a problem. Hell, even Jim had to do a Jimquisition on why it’s not okay to just shut up and be happy the game exists.

  • Emilia Gianova

    Since when are recolors of a character considered skins!?
    Only the legendaries in Overwatch are actual skins.
    Remember the good old days of CS, when you could swap around the spray or how you your character model looked, without your wallet getting milked.

  • Steve Turner

    I love every aspect of this game except for the loot boxes. I would even prefer it if i could buy an individual skin for actual money (or in game currency) and the boxes only contained currency or something. It’s crazy to think that in order to unlock every single item, by leveling alone, you’d have to be well over level 250 – and that’s if you never got a duplicate.

  • Za_Docta

    Aimee Mann summed up AAA BS without even trying:
    “It’s not what you thought
    When you first began it
    You got what you want
    Now you can hardly stand it, though
    By now you know
    It’s not going to stop
    It’s not going to stop
    It’s not going to stop
    Till you wise up.”

  • Christian Mills

    I have similar luck and then my wife goes and pulls two legendaries in one box.

  • Coincidentally I also just unlocked the D.VA scavenger skin.

  • Jackson Winn

    Honestly, the fact that fucking SPRAYS are an unlock is a fucking insult. Look at tf2, you can just do sprays, not an unlock for characters, no sprays are exclusive to any character, hell, it can be a spray of ANYTHING you want from a poster about the endangered spy crabs to tits. And here they’re UNLOCKS!? For certain characters!?!?!? AND I CAN’T EVEN FUCKING CUSTOMIZE THEM!?!?!? WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS BULLSHIT!?

    Voice lines? Ok, I can understand those, and they are KINDA cool, and don’t take up nearly as much of the pool as the sprays.

    The recolor skins are… meh. They’re better than nothing I suppose, but if you get a Legendary, you’re NEVER going to use the regular skins. Honestly, if it was everything BUT the sprays in the boxes, I’d be fine with them for the most part, better chances for skins, or emotes, or ANYTHING. It’s not even a microtransaction thing for me, it’s a “why the ever loving fuck would you make sprays an unlock” thing.

    • Bashtarle

      To water down the prize pool and frustrate people into spending money on gamble boxes 😛

    • CX316

      Pretty sure the lack of spray customisation is to stop people spraying penises and tits on everything on a family-friendly Blizzard game.

    • Batmatt

      I purchased the epic black D.Va and even if I end up dropping a legendary I would still use it.

  • Bashtarle

    inb4 this is phase one and sinister phase 2 ends up being that they add everything to the cash shop (at crazy high prices of course) because it’s what the players “asked” for. Because I totally see this playing out that way 😛

    And if it does play out like that they will almost certainly spin it like they are doing the players a huge favor 😛

  • Drake Warnock

    This would be difficult to test, but I wonder if the loot boxes you buy have different drop rates than ones you earn?

    Then when you buy one you are more likely to get something enjoyable, and you’d start subconsciously picking up on this making you more likely to want to buy a box.

    Almost impossible to really test or prove, but I would not exactly be surprised to learn Blizzard was doing this.

    • Jack Trevor

      Oh I’m sure that there is some form of math happening behind it. Somebody just has to be willing to dump a bunch of money and record a video of the experiment.

      I’ve seen this happen with another game Clash Royale where people not only found out what kind of cards you can expect to get based on your collection but also what kind of chest you can expect to receive after you win a game.

  • Jack Trevor

    I must be the only person who doesn’t mind the sprays mostly because most of the artwork used is amazing. Still I can’t fault people being mad about opening a box, seeing an orange coin, go “OH FUCK YEA! A legendary skin!”, and then getting a pile of coins.

    Still, there is no point in buying the loot boxes as I’ve heard people are less inclined to buy the game as a result. Plus if you want to blame anything, blame people demanding that they add a progression system into the game and the stupidly successful CS: GO crate opening videos on YouTube.

    • Neil Damer

      I think blaming consumers for a dumb progression system is a bit unfair. We know what we want from a game after all. People like to feel like they’ve earned something. Nothing wrong with that.

      There’s plenty of ways this could’ve been implemented without the whole thing feeling so incredibly underhanded.

      • Steven Thomas

        I mean…at what point is it fair to blame someone for something that they literally asked for? It’s not as if the player base was specific in what sort of progression system or cosmetics they wanted. They just said that they wanted them and they got them one way or another.

        Obviously it could be better implemented, and that’s Blizzard’s fault, but why shouldn’t the consumer take some brunt of the blame in asking for a system that they just turn around and not like? If it weren’t for them asking, this wouldn’t even be a discussion topic.

        • Neil Damer

          Who asked for a cash shop with a small percentage chance to get something usable or remotely worthwhile?

          I think we both agree that the current system is a bit of a mess, but if Blizzard did indeed ‘listen to the userbase’ then they clearly got their feedback through a protracted game of chinese whispers, where whatever was requested has been morphed and bent into high risk, low reward cash farm.

          Personally, I don’t think it’s appropriate to ever blame the consumer for poor design decisions on the part of the developers, least of all for a company like Blizzard.

          • Steven Thomas

            Yeah but nobody I’ve seen argue this is also taking into consideration that at the time this was all asked for, they were taking feedback from a closed group of people and the game was 4 months out from being launched. Adding an entire progression system that’s also satisfying isn’t a particularly easy thing to do, especially when you’re also trying to still implement new characters, maps, and are getting constant feedback about that all at the same time.

            I think that the tacked on microtransactions are bad and shitty, but this is getting to the point where it’s just the reward system being complained about and it would be complained about whether there was money attached to it or not.

            I don’t think that Blizzard is being a bad company incredibly consciously, and this is as someone who honestly doesn’t give a shit about them or any company because they all have the capacity to be disappointments. I just think that they were suddenly asked to do a thing, did the thing, didn’t get any negative feedback from it for four months up until the game was in public hands, and are now suddenly being inundated with complaints not only about this but also about game balancing, the amount of server ticks there are, etc.

            Personally, I feel the game balance and server changes should come first and then if there’s still a huge backlash at the reward system Blizzard has no reason not to take a crack at fixing it or making it more enjoyable for their players. It’s not as if they’re averse to making gigantic changes in their games to facilitate player experiences. Look at Diablo III and how they fixed that after realizing they’d fucked it up.

            Also, wouldn’t be surprised if Activision had some sort of hand on them implementing the MTs. Destiny is also a collaborative business venture between Activision and another company who has cosmetic (and even non cosmetic) cash buyable loot boxes that feed into an unsatisfying reward system in an already full priced game. Destiny shouldn’t just be getting a free pass either, but for some reason nobody talks about that.

          • Neil Damer

            You’re being very kind to Blizzard, here. I’m not quite so tolerant of the bullshit that these companies perpetuate. I don’t think there’s anything subconscious about putting a slot machine into a game with such a grotesquely low rate of pay-out. Whatever system they ended up launching with was intended, by definition. There’s no accident here.

            If they rushed the progression system in and half-arsed it, that’s on them. If they sought much-needed feedback in an echo chamber, that’s also on them. If it wasn’t ready, it shouldn’t have launched. But, it has, and they’re therefore absolutely open to criticism.

            What I find particularly galling (and you mention it yourself) is that after the debacle that was the D3 auction house (which, as money-grubbing and gross as it was, was still ‘fair’), they learnt nothing. They deserve no free-pass.

            Personally, I’d like to see a character specific progression system that clearly shows what you get, and when. You want Junkrat loot? Play as Junkrat. That kinda thing…

            What they pulled with Destiny was also gross. I get the feeling there’s little fuss about that because it’s no longer flavour of the month, and was basically a disappointment right out of the gate for many people.

          • BAH!

            “…but if Blizzard did indeed ‘listen to the userbase’ then they clearly got their feedback through a protracted game of chinese whispers…”

            This is Jerry Holkins-level stuff. I love it.

            Also, I’d have to agree that the likely reason Destiny’s smurfberries are no longer a significant topic is because we’ve moved on to other things. Like Overwatch, for example.

          • YourDaddi

            So.. Basically you’re just mad because the drop rate hasn’t favored you… Tissue?

          • Neil Damer

            Way to completely miss the point.

  • Neil Damer

    20 levels in so far, no meaningful skins yet.

    I feel ya Jim, the loot is utter wank. Dare I say, A SLAP IN THE FACE!

    • Benj

      A joke of a loot system

    • YourDaddi

      20 levels in and I have 2 purple skins and 3 or 4 blue…As well as 4 intros

    • Neil Damer

      Quick update: I got my first legendary skin – Safari Winston. A character I use a lot, thankfully. Ended up getting it level 24.

      Still bullshit, though.

  • Anders Stensson

    What if Smash Bros for Wii U had loot boxes for alt. skins and trophies?

    • BAH!

      It sort of does for trophies. Kind of. It’s called “Trophy Rush”, and Melee had the semi-random prize ball machine.

      • VinLAURiA

        And in Brawl, there was that “Coin Launcher” shoot-’em-up minigame that was actually a load of fun. I’d drop 1,000 coins on that sucker per play.

        • Batmatt

          But none of those systems are paid. I guess that’s what he meant.

          • Billy Bissette

            You don’t have to pay in Overwatch, either.

            The big differences between Overwatch and Smash Bros were:
            1) You received rewards more frequently in Smash Bros
            2) The possible rewards were not primarily garbage items
            3) You could also get many of those rewards through regular play
            4) Alt skins were not locked behind a random reward system.

            It would be extremely unlikely for a Smash player to experience what Jim has experienced in Overwatch.

        • BAH!

          I don’t think I ever played that mode. Of course, I barely put any time into the game at all.

  • OctopussGrift

    They seem to have basically taken the random card packs from hearthstone without taking the rest of the economy. Hearthstone works as a free to play game. A person can reasonably unlock content without spending money, but spending a little will make it faster, overall a fair system. Overwatch is not a free to play game, and the unlocks don’t seem as reliable.

  • nikolas orava

    i like tf2 spray system more where you can put in any picture from your compeuter.

  • MartyVendetta27

    just testing something, will erase this this, sorry, move along.

  • Otaku World Order

    I love Overwatch but the loot boxes do feel underwhelming.

    It might have been easier if Blizzard just sold the currency instead of selling loot boxes so people looking for a short cut could at least be sure they get stuff they want.

    • Batmatt

      Yep, that would be less offensive.

  • Hyro201

    Yea loot boxes when done poor are a nightmare and just end up leaving a sour taste rather then making me want to strive for more of em.

  • Moon1337

    So glad I got bored with this game after about an hr or so and moved on (I don’t do shooters much). Blizzard has had such a bad habit in the last few years of making these great products and adding something to fuck them up. Ingame store in Warcraft for mounts and pets (a running joke/expectation that any new mount shown will go to the store). Diablo’s AH. Overwatch’s sprayboxes. Hearthstone is the only one I can actually understand since it reflects the real world market for card games.

    • Moon1337

      Should note I didn’t pay for OW. I used a friend’s account while he was out of town. I’m not so stupid to pay for a game I know I will get bored with.

      • YourDaddi

        I’m glad you don’t play… Someone of your your demeanor should stick to cod sucking… Because the fps is so much better when it’s done by call of duty… You do realize your opinion and that of the OP are extremely stupid… Can’t believe someone gave you retards a forum… Smdh

        • Moon1337

          1. Look at the names. I was just adding something to my original post.
          2. Why are you telling me to go play CoD? I even say I dont play shooters…

          • YourDaddi

            Then why offer an opinion on a genre of games you don’t even play…

          • Moon1337

            Good thing I wasn’t talking about the genre at all and was focusing on Blizzard’s pratice of putting shitting pay systems into their games. Glad you didn’t bother to read my post at all…

          • YourDaddi

            Wouldn’t call it shitty… I’d say it’s a smart way to build more capital… I don’t pay for the stuff but there are those who do… So why not offer that system… And why would you hate on it… I don’t think you use your brain much except to hate on an idea you don’t agree with…

          • Moon1337

            You’re allowed your opinion and I’m allowed mine. I think it’s a shitty system for any game to use. You think it’s a good system. Let’s move on now.

          • YourDaddi

            And I read your post… It was all over the place… Basically hating on paying for customizations… I’ve always preferred patience… But why not capitalize on those who spend hundreds for content… It’s a great idea…

    • Assirra

      If those small things fucking up whole games, you have a very short fuse.

      • Moon1337

        Not saying it ruins the whole game. Just saying it fucks them up in some way doing it.

  • thyri Carver

    I’m curious on this one. I doubt Jim would answer me himself, but I’m curious if he’d accept day 1 DLC if every skin was DLC rather than in random loot boxes available for free or available for pay. Would he accept day 1 DLC if every skin came with a “worthless spray”.. Would he accept day 1 DLC if the “good cool skins” for the characters he wanted were available for purchase at 20 dollars a legendary skin and 10 dollars for an “epic” skin. Would that be acceptable? How about 3 dollars per voice emote? How about 5 dollars for the hero intro thing. 2 dollars per character pose (with the exception of 10 dollars for the tracer butt pose). Under this system, maps and new characters would be delayed as development and art resources are diverted to skin making. Would this be acceptable? Or, is it only acceptable if there were no legendary skins, no loot boxes, no recolors, no hero poses, no voice lines, no “worthless sprays” and no character intros. You get the game in its non cosmetic state on the disc. No preorder bonuses, no gamestop exclusive skins, no nothing. Just a game, and a promise to add more heroes and more maps for free in time. And next year Overwatch Infinite is launched… the year after that, Overwatch Ghosts, and after that Overwatch, Modern Combat Evolved. Would that be a more acceptable framework? Because it wouldnt be for me. I can keep my grubby paws off of the loot boxes

    • Moon1337

      From some of his older stuff Jim has made clear he doesn’t approve of day 1 dlc.

      • thyri Carver

        So then if that is the standard, then there would be no way of offering the skins except as include everything in the box. Or maybe it would be acceptable if the skins were on the disc, and then offer the skins a month into the game, or 3 months into the game. Or keep the skins off of the disc on purpose, and then introduce paid skin DLC 3 months into the game. Maybe Jim would find that acceptable. Or I’m wondering more if its now that he sees the “coolness” of the legendary or epic skins, that he wants them now. But by wanting them now, he’s either asking for day 1 DLC, or for these customization options to be included in the asking price for the game. Now that skins are available, I dont think there’s anything that could make Jim happy other than reducing the rare aspect of the skins by making all skins available to everyone initially

        • BAH!

          “Unlockables” are not the same as “DLC”. Do not confuse them.

          • thyri Carver

            I hate using CoD as an example, but some DLC for CoD games are skins. Granted they’re gun skins, or player calling cards, but they are just cosmetics. And they’re DLC, not unlocked through gameplay but purchasable in the cash shop. So skins do not just equate to unlockables. Skins can be just as much of a DLC as an entire map pack

          • BAH!

            “But by wanting them now, he’s either asking for day 1 DLC, or for these customization options to be included in the asking price for the game”.

            Here’s the thing: they’re already included in the asking price of the game. They’re already there and *technically* unlockable. What he (and others) are asking is that the system be modified to a more reasonable drop rate. Or, what would probably be even better, is simply have the current RNG with a diminishing pool. So the more trash you get now, the more likely you are to get good stuff later.

            You talk like Jim’s just crying that he can’t get anything nice, but the point he’s making is that the loot system is clearly geared in a way to get under the skin of even patient players and thus make them consider dropping money on the smurfberries. And sometimes it works. Even I, the most MT-resistant person I know, wound up caving the other day with the Nintendo Badge Arcade because hours of “tilting” were wasted by a slightly misplaced crane grab.

            So no, I’m quite certain he wouldn’t be happy with any of the suggestions you made. Largely because they’re all bad, but also because your dichotomy is false and there are other options.

          • thyri Carver

            But you see, your suggestion still plays into his “no microtransactions” quibble with this game. Its a hardline. So the only way to make this situation happy is to give away skins for free. Now, those skins for free could have been stashed behind a different progession system of x levels = x coins or x skin for free. Not a terrible system there. However the current blizzard hardline is to prevent botting. As we’ve seen in games like CoD, stashing desirable skins behind a high level would promote win trading or botting. A system I doubt any of us would like. I’m sure we dont want to see campers in Overwatch. Blizzard has shown good on their word that they’d ban botters in Overwatch. However, we’d also need to concede that if the only reason to progress in the game is to obtain skins, then once level X is obtained, which X being the legendary skin, progression stops. Unless they put new skins behind even higher levels to promote continued play.
            I agree that this system isnt perfect, however in the end, ultimately Jim’s quibble with this loot system is that he hasnt received the skin he wants for the character he wants.
            The proposed system of more play = more coins to buy whatever skin you want… ie the Hearthstone model, punishes the casual players. They cant get the skins they want as fast as they’d want because they cant get in the playtime. You’d be punishing the player like TB who cannot devote a significant number of hours in the game to obtain the coveted skin. Thereby, those players may resort to camping or botting in order to get in the playtime while remaining a casual player.
            A poster below calls Blizzard “content witholding overlords” That brings up the question. Is a skin “content”? You dont play the skin. The skin has no effect on the outcome of the game, the skin does nothing to benefit or detract from gameplay. So with Jim’s quibble, he just wants to “look cool”
            And those who say they’re being “forced” to buy these loot boxes are deceiving themselves. They desire to “look cool”. They see someone who has something they dont. Dont blame the game creators for creating a system that your willpower cannot withstand.

          • BAH!

            You’re just rambling in what looks like an attempt to justify microtransactions by insisting the only other reasonable alternative is to make everything unlocked from the start.

            That is not the only other option. Stop saying it is.

            And regardless of what Jim wants, the loot system is shit.

          • thyri Carver

            Oh I will justify cosmetic microtransactions in any game. I’ve purchased cosmetics before and I’ll likely do it again. I dont feel the “need” though to have cosmetics. If I want a certain cosmetic, I’ll play until I earn it, or I do have the option of buying boxes. I’ve bought DLC season passes in the past, I’ve bought gun skins in the past. I happen to like some microtransactions. WHEN and only when they’re cosmetic. I loathe microtransactions when they are used in a pay to win format. If a micro affects the outcome of a game, I will beat the drum until my hands are sore, that the microtransaction is wrong. But for cosmetics, I ultimately dont see the harm. I replied to another post of mine a suggestion of Hearthstone style quests for coins to offset this horrid RNG. It would allow people who want to buy boxes to still buy boxes, while at the same time rewarding people for playing different classes and characters which I believe Blizzard does want you to do. The quests would be daily so people cant just sit around for 36 hours farming the quests and get everything they want instantly. If they do want that kind of instant gratification, they could still buy loot boxes. Keep the loot boxes the way they are, but add in the quests for coins. That’s my only suggestion other than give away the farm.

    • Mauricio

      Why you think under this system, the artists won’t be spending their time making even more useless sprays and player icons?

      Hell, they have even more reason to do so now, because the more time they invest in making this stuff, the harder it gets to get one specific item and people will need even more boxes to get what they want.

      Also, this false dichotomy that Blizzard has to do this or launch a game every year doesn’t fly here. Blizzard could make expansions for this game like they did with every other game they had, with all the cosmetics unlocked and it would be fine. Then, at least people will be paying for actual content, instead of gambling with their money trying to get a specific item, because it was locked behind a terrible and grindy random loot system.

      • thyri Carver

        But Blizzard expansions are almost full price game releases in of themselves. But lets go that route. They’d be breaking their promise of all heroes and all maps are included in the game. Instead with this other system, there’d be expansion packs with the new maps and new heroes and new skins, with all of the associated balancing issues with expansion packs used to introduce new heroes and maps all at once.
        And I know this much, the sprays and player icons can be made over a cigarette break, while a legendary skin for many of them is almost remaking the hero. Some have different heads, some have elaborate chestpieces, some remake the entire hero… others not so elaborate. But on the more elaborate ones you’re looking at rigging the new piece to the hero’s body or rerigging the body itself. This takes far more time than making 8 bit sprays. If they purposely were trying to make this loot system be sprayboxes and really hose the player behind a F2P system, they’d be “announcing” more sprays and player icons. Conversely to Jim, I’ve received some skins but I only have received 2 player icons. I mean, dont get me wrong I like my wine bottle icon, but I’d want more player icons for myself. Now, because I want more player icons for myself, does that mean there should be more player icons in the boxes? I dont think that would make Jim very happy if I got what I wanted more of.

        I dont know, I cant think of any system that would make everyone happy, especially since pandora’s box has been opened. We know what the skins are, we know what the other unlocks are. We all have our favourite heroes. The only way that would make all players be happy would be to unlock every skin, every spray, every unlock and just hand them all out to everyone. This likely wouldnt make Blizzard very happy. So there wouldnt be any more skins offered until all of this blows over, and then a WoW style cash shop is opened with “legendary skins” And then more people would complain that the “cool” items are hidden behind a paywall.

        Frankly, I could care less if Overwatch gets Jim Sterling’s GOTY. Game studios dont put his endorsement on their games as selling points. Same with TB, studios dont put his endorsement on their games either. And I’d argue that Jim and TB are some very consumer friendly critics. I just dont happen to agree with Jim’s reasoning for this particular criticism. I do agree with why he enjoys playing the game. I find the game to be very consumer friendly by not offering map and hero DLC. I think however, that many players view “loot” as progression. They say “look I got this legendary skin, look at how far I’ve progressed!” When in fact, the loot means nothing to gameplay. You could have a level 2 player in a legendary skin because they got lucky with their 1 loot box, or that player purchased hundreds of loot boxes. You just dont know how they came by their legendary skin. And the player might be flat out bad.

        Players demanded a progression system in the beta. They wanted some kind of ranking as their reason for playing. They just couldnt enjoy the game without being ranked. And that group of players was very vocal. So they were given rewards in the form of loot boxes as a way to say “grats, you gained a pointless level” Then players said “but I dont have 12 hours a day to grind out levels to get loot boxes, I want to be able to get skins too!” So the loot boxes were made for purchase.

        It sucks for companies to try to appease everyone, because in trying to please everyone, you wind up pleasing noone

        • Mauricio

          *But Blizzard expansions are almost full price game releases in of themselves*

          That’s a problem with blizzards pricing, not with expansions. The expansion for The Witcher 3, blood and wine, costs 20 bucks and adds around 40 hours of gameplay in a singleplayer open world game, which requires a lot more work than a fps arena, specially with the small maps of Overwatch.

          * If they purposely were trying to make this loot system be sprayboxes
          and really hose the player behind a F2P system, they’d be “announcing”
          more sprays and player icons.*

          Of course they won’t announce that as a main feature, but i’m sure than when they add new skins, you can just wait for a good amount of sprays, voice lines and other crap that as you said, is made in a cigarrete break.

          *We all have our favourite heroes. The only way that would make all
          players be happy would be to unlock every skin, every spray, every
          unlock and just hand them all out to everyone. This likely wouldnt make
          Blizzard very happy.*

          I know right, what a revolutionary concept…not have items in the game which you alreadi paid for, behind a grindy loot system to sell them to you…i mean, to let you gamble for them.

          *Players demanded a progression system in the beta.*

          And blizzard was very happy in making sure it to be as unrewarding as possible, so people are encouraged to buy the itens already in the game.

          • thyri Carver

            On your revolutionary concept point, they could have simply removed those items from the “disc” And introduce the gambling system later on in the game. I think that would piss off more people than it does now. Unfortunately as I said before, pandora’s box is open now. We know the skins are there.
            So how do we fix this is the question at this point.
            Some have offered up suggestions to tweak the RNG like in hearthstone to be more apt to give a legendary after so many non legendary openings. But what if that legendary is a duplicate? What if what you’re looking for isnt a legendary skin? I personally dont like the legendary skins for Roadhog. Not really attractive IMO. So i’ve stuck with his static skin. Someone else might like the legendary skins for him. So who do we please?
            What if I want more voice lines than skins? How do you please me, while at the same time pleasing Jim?
            The only way that i can see would please people like me, and people like Jim is to offer a “small” amount of coins for wins or for quests. Like 100 coins for “kill 5 tanks” or “get frozen 10 times by Mei” or whatever. Like in Hearthstone. This would cause players to avoid camping because they need to actively do something. And it would prevent botting because the quests could change on a daily basis. And then let people buy skins or voices or sprays or whatever they want with the coins, while at the same time offering loot boxes on a 1 box per level basis, as well as for the truly impatient, offer boxes for sale.
            Maybe that option would make people happier?

          • Mauricio

            If they wanted to make it the reward system rewarding, instead of a clever way to sell random boxes to people, they would only need to give an X amount of gold to the player every level, and the player would be able to choose whatever he/she want.

    • The Stain

      He wouldn’t accept it, though. That was the point of his second Jimquisition this week – explaining that regardless of what Blizzard changed about the micro transactions, that he wouldn’t let it slide. The only thing that would “undisqualify” Overwatch is the complete removal of the micro transactions. A lot of that video was indeed articulating on the ludicrous nature of the lootbox system, but even if it was fair or even if the individual pieces of content were directly purchasable, he’d still disqualify it; that’s his policy. He might not have made a video dedicated to the issue, but it wouldn’t have snuck under the gate, either.

  • Jeremiah Pizana

    I don’t think the whole thing would bother me if it actually let you buy the skin you wanted straight up. Leaving it to the RNG gods seems a bit too much like gambling and gives it a really Sleazy feel.

    • jamesbrnhll

      I’m confused, why are you saying you can’t buy skins directly?

      • BAH!

        You can with in-game currency, but that’s also earned through the loot boxes as opposed to gameplay.

        • jamesbrnhll

          Gotcha. I assumed you could purchase currency with real money. Guess they feel the lottery system is more profitable.

  • Northern_Light_27

    PVP shooters are so not my thing but this really sounds like people’s complaints about Destiny. Thing in common? Activision.

    • Moon1337

      Activision is only part of a greater problem that is happening in the AAA industry.

      • Northern_Light_27

        Oh, I agree. But specifically the fucked up RNG loot system seemed very deja-vu to me.

        • Moon1337

          It sounds like in this case they just copy/paste the system from Hearthstone in a game that doesn’t work the same way.

      • Mauricio

        And it will only get worse, since now that one company managed to pull it off…heel even have people defending them, others will do the same shit.

  • Peter O’Hanraha-hanrahan

    Overwatch pachinko machines when?

  • Seth Moyer

    > Writes angry multiple angry articles in exasperated tone
    > “mildly annoyed”

    …I would hate to see how you express yourself when you’re more than mildly annoyed…

  • Molly

    I don’t really feel that riled up over it, but I agree that the loot box system is kind of fucked. It’d be entirely different if you were just able to straight up buy currency or skins, but no, you have to pull the slots lever every damn time. Like, honestly, the idea of random loot boxes for FREE is kinda cool, but when the only offering for paid content is buying more of the random boxes… well, that’s just shitty paid content… which didn’t need to be there in the first place…

    • Jessy Diamond Exum

      Random boxes for free with your paid game, unlocked with time in an intentionally irritating way. Nothing free about that in my mind, but I agree that people seem to care about cosmetic stuff a bit too much.

  • Yaster Goodman

    Why don’t they just make the skins buyable? Sure, it’d still be fee-to-pay bullshit, but at least it’d be a little bit less smelly.

    Because that’s where the industry is now: being less shitty than everyone else is the bar.

    • Mauricio

      Because people have to spent money money buying random boxes, than what they would buying a single skin.

      • Yaster Goodman

        I don’t know what you just said, but point taken.

        • Moon1337

          Jibberish to English translation: People will spend more buying loot boxes with random loot than they will on a single skin.

          • Yaster Goodman

            Yeah, that is a fair point. I tend to look at things from the consumer point of view, so that didn’t really occur to me.

  • RioSine

    Jim its not like the legendary skin is gonna be a Nude skin, I mean just give up in your quest for better cosmetic loot, not worth to get infuriated with

    • Vaughan MacDonald

      The unlocks are literally the only reward you get for playing the game and they’re locked off. Even if it is cosmetic, huge amounts of content are gated off unless you get lucky.

      • RioSine

        well you can’t get mad at luck. and if you ever get a legendary quality loot then what will you do next? assuming you were only playing it for the weak reward system then it will be the end of it

        • Jessy Diamond Exum

          I do not think anyone is irritated with luck. People are angry that Blizzard put this content behind a slot machine that takes your time as coins. And each play costs more. In a full price game. No matter how god the game is, it is scummy.

          • RioSine

            what do you expect, Is there any blizzard game that hasn’t been a loot fest ever since diablo? even if they remove the microtransaction the extremely low drop rates will still be there

  • illmunkeys

    I thought so at first. Seriously though, since they’re all cosmetic nonsense, I let it all pass away. If I get something cool, I’ll be honest: I don’t notice. I’ve just been ignoring the entire thing.

  • artisticMink

    The truly rotten thing about the currency inside the loot boxes is the likelihood that it’s not there for the benefit of the player but to create a reason to make the player fill up the remaining currency the player needs for a set of boxes by buying currency.

    • El Minotoro

      Ever notice when you buy in game currency and then try to spend it, it’s almost impossible to spend it all? Blizzard has gone the extra step here

      • artisticMink

        I think Jim even discussed that topic in one of his videos. The whole Bullshit Currency thing does a great job obfuscating how much is actually spend and suggesting the feeling that it would be a waste if you don’t spend all of it.

        Say about Heroes of the Storms hefty pricing model what you want – but you see what you spend on a character in real currency and there’s no ‘leftover’. I feel like they currently probing the water, testing business models.

        • Gizensha

          …God Microsoft Points sucked balls, yes.

  • Effusion

    I’ve reached level 22 without even finding a rare. Starting to a get a tad salty about the system myself.

    • Bashtarle

      I’m really surprised they tied it to a level system and didn’t just award currency at the end of each match.

  • MinuteWalt

    Has anyone found that getting payed-for boxes statistically will get you better loot? Just asking. If that’s true, there’s a serious culpability issue, possibly actionable, opposed to just simple greedy exploitation.

    • For shits and giggles I bought the 50 boxes. From those 50, I got 3 legendary (gold colored) items. 2 were skins, one was 500gold. Of the 2 skins, I only play the 1 char o I got lucky. But it wasn’t a skin I would have bought. Also out of those 50 boxes I massed about 2k gold. So not much. Lots of voice and sprays. Tbh, not worth the money. But I had to try. At least I got to buy a skin I liked with the 2k.

      • Jessy Diamond Exum

        Thanks for making the sacrifice for the rest of us. Now we know they are always trash.

      • ENAY

        For shits and giggles, hoping it wasn’t your money. That would be the giggle, otherwise it’s just the shit.

        • meh, i had a bit extra and already had enough beers.

  • Loot Boxs are a super malcious scam on people who paid full price for a game. Hell people who paid less then 60 bucks for Overwatch still shouldn’t have to deal with this bullshit. Games get free updates all the time, maybe if the lootboxs were less shit in design it be better but it still be bullshit.

    40 bucks is a full price 3DS game I get a solid 80 hours of a 3DS JRPG, they get costumes for free, I get a load of play time, I get online play in some. Idk they really need to balance this shit out.

  • Diddy_Mao

    I do feel a bit bad that at level 10 I’ve unlocked 2 epic skins for the 3 characters I play regularly. (Cyberpunk Zarya and Anubis Pharah)

    Shame I don’t play Macree though. I’ve unlocked all sorts of cosmetic goodies for that fucker.

  • ATBro

    IT’s funny how this game is some sort of sacred cow that’s beyond reproach and Street Fighter V is some sort of pariah with a similar style problem. They are both fantastic on the base game level, but everything around the good stuff is shitty and half baked. Though only Overwatch has microtransactions in it so far.

    • Jack Trevor

      And Street Fighter V has almost no players in it (not counting the pros).

  • Rmetcalfe

    I’ve had great luck at lv 19.I’ve gotten about 4 legendary (76, Mccree, hanzo, zenyatta.) I don’t think you should get mad about rng though. Maybe the balance is to make each item worth an arbitrary value and each box must contain at least a certain total value, whether it comes from skins or currency

  • Chürz

    I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the game was set up in a way that level up loot boxes have a way, WAY lower chance of giving you legendary stuff than paid ones. It’s something that they’re never gonna admit if it’s true, so there’s not much point in discussing it. Anyway, the thought of it being likely is what keeps me away from this game.

    • P-Gap

      I bought a couple of lootboxes just to see if there was a difference. Still shit in them. I am at level 20, zero legendary skins, only about 4-5 other minor skins (the ones with a different color tint). Fortunately I enjoy playing the game, but the lootbox system still buggers me. If you pay full price for a game it kind of ruins the experience a bit IMO.

    • zeeby

      I did wonder that. Especially on your first purchase just to pull you in..

  • sweetbabyroy

    I think this is ultimately why I’m not hooked on this game like so many seem to be. It’s fun don’t get me wrong, but the loot box system gives me zero incentive to keep playing. It feels like they designed it with only the most thoughtlessly compulsive schlub in mind. A chabub, if you will.

  • Vimaleon

    I have unlocked 4 legendaries at lvl 52 now, but regularly get periods of 5-6 useless loot boxes. It’s chance based, so as a reward for levelling up it doesn’t bother me too much, but if I was to pay actual money for it and got shit all, then that’d piss me off. I don’t understand why people buy them personally, it’s gambling, except your risking your money on virtual cosmetics, rather than more money. The only reason I’d buy loots boxes is to support Blizzards continued support of the game, maybe every time a new character or map comes out.

    • Jack Trevor

      I’ve taken to calling this the buying of loot boxes the
      “idiot tax”. Because when you really think about it, you don’t need any of the items in there. You just want to look cool, which is fine although whining about it makes you look petty.

      Plus putting in the option to buy the loot boxes was pretty smart considering the community that built up around Hearthstone Pack Openning videos.

  • Kethran

    Just to put it out there.. I’m level 29 and I’ve gotten four legendaries and enough money to buy a fifth of my choice. Also a fair share of emotes/purple skins/highlight intro’s.

    The group I’m playing with regularly have had similar results. The RNG isn’t nearly as bad as some people claim.

    Them being random also encourages people to try out multiple characters, as you’re more inclined to show off your new fancy skin even if it’s for a character you’re not intricately familiar with. This discourages people from playing one character UND VON CHARACTER ONLY!!! which is a very good thing in my book.

    • Mauricio

      That’s the average, legendaries have a chance around 4.5% of dropping, the question is, from those legendaries, how many did you wanted?

      What’s the chance of getting a specific item and how much time it takes to get it and how many boxes in average would you need?

      The fact that there’s 21 characters and each of them have 4 or more legendary skins, trow that chance way down.

    • SarahJFarron

      “The RNG isn’t nearly as bad as some people claim.”

      Except it is because random is random and most people don’t get lucky when the chances for decent stuff are stacked against them.

      The occasional player or group getting decent enough results doesn’t mean it’s good. That’s like saying a claw machine is fair because you got lucky and managed to grab a plush on your 3rd try

      “This discourages people from playing one character”

      I find this not to be the case. Many see a skin for a character they don’t play as effectively getting no item at all. It makes it feel more of a slap in the face for people when they open several boxes with sprays just to get a skin that’s just a recolour or for a character they don’t enjoy.

    • VeryImportantQuestion

      The fact that you’re having a different experience of it to other people just confirms that it’s random. While chance dictates that out of all the players someone was always going to have the experience you had, it’s still far more likely that a given player won’t be so lucky.

    • ”Just to put it out there.. I’m level 29 and I’ve gotten four legendaries and enough money to buy a fifth of my choice. Also a fair share of emotes/purple skins/highlight intro’s.”

      This hasn’t been anywhere close to my experience with Overwatch. I’m level 24 and have only gotten 2 purple skins and maybe one highlight intro. The rest sprays, icons, voicelines and palette swaps.

      It’s hilarious seeing how people try to justify the loot boxes. Can’t they be a blight on an otherwise spectacular experience even if they are giving out better stuff for some people than others? It’s still a gambling mechanic trying to suck money out of you. I’m finding all the excuses for Blizzard and the loot boxes to be pitiful fanaticism.

      Plus I haven’t gotten the D.Va highlight intro I really want yet so therefore loot boxes objectively and empirically suck.

      • Sherrif

        I’m level 81 and I have legendary skins for Soldier, Reaper, Winston, Hanzo, and Zenyatta. I have epics for McCree and Zarya, and I bought a legendary for Mei.

        But see, that’s hardly the point, I also got emotes, sprays, icons, and voice lines that I liked, and the shit I hate about all of these people complaining is “Oh I got another voice line”

        Well, think about it, I like my voice lines, and I could hardly care for the skins, every time I get skins and not the voice lines or sprays I want it’s a disappointment. People forget that the RNG is actually REALLY balanced and fair because unlike YOU people WANT the sprays, the icons, and the voice lines. Bitching that it doesn’t give out a skin in every box is stupid. That’s just another skin I could care less about that took up the spot for the spray I wanted.

        It’s the biggest issue I have with people complaining and wanting the system to hand out a skin every box, they’re really only thinking about what they want and they’re forgetting that people want those emotes and voice lines and intros. People WANT those sprays.

        Jim got a bunch of boxes I’d love to see on my account, and I think he forgets that people all want different things, and complaining that in 4 levels he didn’t get a legendary is idiocy. In 81 levels I’ve gotten 5, and 3 of them were skins I couldn’t care less for. I bought the only one I wanted, so it didn’t matter.

        You are going to just get a bunch of sprays, icons and voice lines… That’s probability, there’s just more of them and to get an the rarity of epics and legendaries (emotes and intros being epics) you have to be extra lucky… Cause they’re extra rare.

        It’s not a gambling mechanic to suck money out of anybody either, it’s just a fun little way of doing rewards and customization that stops everybody from just using the same legendary skin for each hero, to the point where Hanzo is always just Okami wolf man.

        It’s the problem with most of the complaints about the system, how would you fix it? I’d say give a lot better return on duplicates, sure, I’d say remove a lot of the extraneous sprays, allow for use of multiple voice lines and emotes at a time, and just add more content.

        However most people are just complaining for the sake of complaining, without having any idea what Blizzard should do to fix the issues they have with it.

  • Forrest Kayssen

    In Hearthstone, they have something called the ‘Pity Timer’, which keeps track of how many boosters you’ve opened since you got a legendary. If you open your fortieth since you last saw a legendary, you are guaranteed to get a legendary.

    Surely Overwatch should have something similar, right? You get loot boxes more often than you get boosters, but the items are cosmetic anyway. Plus, they have legendary gold drops…

  • SarahJFarron

    “Even if I was inclined to purchase microtransactions for premium games, I’d never consider doing it for this game.”

    Same but also because I bought the base game and all the content included within that case have already. I shouldn’t be getting pushed towards microtransactions when I bought the game and no new wave of content has been added.

    • Gervasius

      I’ve been playing Dirty Bomb lately and found that the progression system, while an absolute PAIN, is at the very least entirely consistent. Sure, your loadout cards that you loot and craft are random, but you always have all the option to buy the bronze cards you want (which are all oddly enough objectively better than the higher rank cards for some reason) for real or in game cash.
      It’s crazy sad that a free to play game system in a free to play game is actually less abusive and shady than a paid game, Especially when you consider that even then Dirty Bomb’s progression system is still pretty crap and designed to encourage you to pay to get unlocks faster.

      (PS: don’t take my above post as a rant against Dirty Bomb. Like Overwatch, the core gameplay is still absolutely fantastic.)

      • Za_Docta

        And Dirty Bomb is also free-to-play.

        • Gervasius

          Yup! Although, that’s sort of my point. XD

  • VeryImportantQuestion

    I don’t find the skins compelling enough to be terribly bothered by not having got them, but I must stress that this isn’t a point in the game’s favour; I’m just fortunate enough not to be affected by a nonetheless genuine issue the game has. There is a difference between something being ok and us not being bothered by it.

    • BAH!

      So many people forget that.

  • Kev’ Bryant

    Hit the lever!

  • Duhad

    Lordy… Jim your luck is terrible man! I mean, I play this game with all my friends and no one I know has been that unlucky! I think the average unlock for a legendary skin is… hold on I will just look it up.

    %9.38 based on a count of 1028 loot box openings. So on average you should get 1 every 10 levels. And the drop rate on epics, which included the often rather good skins that really change up the characters look (but don’t change how your abilities look, which does suck a bit) is %25.91. So 1 in 4.

    From a mathematical stand point, unless you got two legendary cash drops (which do suck and should not be a thing, I fully agree) your a shocking aberration! Which is rather damning on Bliz honestly.

    In Hearthstone (an actual ftp game) they have a hidden mechanic called the ‘mercy legendary’ in which you are guaranteed a legendary skin every so many packs and if you don’t get one by the time the limit is reached, you’r next pack will automatically have a legend added to it. I am shocked they did not included that same system here and I find it down right ugly that they seem more driven to make you buy boxes in a game you paid for them one you pay only what you want in cards for. Like, where the hell is the priority here people?

  • Atis

    Blizzard should just give Jim epic skin for roadhog, – skin with formal suit, red sunglasses and slick dark hair. It doesn’t exist but it absolutely should.

    • Mike Wallace

      With a gun that shoots pogs and the chain hook is a xenomorph tail, and “Thank God For Me” tattooed over his belly. “#1 Kissboy” written on his bowler hat…

      • Atis

        How could I forget about tatoo! Not sure about PogGun though, we wouldn’t want such refined game to become tacky.

        • Benj

          Boglin Bazooka?

  • zeeby

    I wonder if that mysterious little RNG is more inclined to give you a little sweetner on your first “purchased’ box? You know.. just to whet the whistle.

    • Artemiy

      It’s certainly technically possible.

  • Фролов Денис

    RNGesus doesn’t care about you. Embrace the Lootcifer and the power he offers!

    • Xan0810

      Awesome

  • DaTruth

    I’m pretty positive It’s on purpose and working as intended Jim, this is blizzard the people who admitted they screwed with the loot tables to promote use of the real money cash auction house in D3 launch (instead of their current method of stacking a ton of useless stats on their itemization table to make 98% of the legendaries slightly crappy)

    Does ANYONE actually believe they haven’t skewed the loot boxes loot table payouts to drive people to buy more of their gambling addict targeting, light up, sound effects, spin the wheel of RNG boxes that are probably skewed in favour of the house…

    Do any think blizzard/activision would choose NOT to try and drive up their profits? Let’s be honest their a company and they know that sheep line up to be fleeced. WoW and CoD proved they would so why wouldn’t they do it again?

  • Gervasius

    Slightly off-topic, Jim, but either the last video or a couple of them ago, you said Payday 2 removed microtransactions. But I logged on today to find them still completely available. Did you mean they said they were planning to do it? Or what exactly happened? I’m so confused.

    • Weasel Biggs

      I think the changes are planned for the next patch, or it could be they’ve just applied a zero-dollars “fee” for drill packs and loot boxes.

    • Azdoge

      All future “safes” are free of charge to open. The old ones are still paid. They couldn’t just make them free after people have brought keys for them. They have value on the market now, they can’t take that away.

      • Gervasius

        Sounds like a double standard to me. :/

  • Craig

    I ended up with hockey Lucio and Siberian winter clothing skin for Zarya (though I don’t really use her yet) and I’m only level 12, you’ve had shit luck mate.

    I use the hockey Lucio one. You are right about them being lazy recolours half the time as well. Skins in Heroes of The Storm are better.

  • CaitSeith

    This reminds me of my woes with ME3 multiplayer. I just wanted an Evicerator shotgun for my Vangard (and it isn’t even rare!) 🙁

  • Captiosus

    I really enjoy Overwatch but this is one of the most unrewarding reward structures I’ve played in the last 30 years – and that includes the god awful double RNG engram system of early Destiny which, until now, was my benchmark for horrible rewards systems this generation. I got lucky early on and got three legendary skins but in the last 21 levels I haven’t even seen more than 2 epic items. Most of the boxes have only had one or two blues and sprays/voice lines. The last FOUR boxes (levels 63 through 67) have been one blue and three duplicates EACH TIME.

    Now in the high 60s, I’ve reached a point where I don’t care about loot boxes at all. So the entire XP/progression system is now meaningless to me. Which brings up a nother problem with this system: The leaver penalty genuinely has no meaning since taking an XP hit has almost no significance when the leveling rewards are so slight. As I’ve gotten in the higher levels I’ve seen a LOT more people leaving rather than sticking around – and why not? They know the likelihood of getting something they WANT from a loot box is so ridiculously small they might as well just take the leaver penalty and get into more enjoyable games instead.

    I just don’t understand why currency isn’t rewarded for basic game play (or, as part of the microtransactions, why I can’t buy currency straight up without having to play the loot box one-armed bandit).

  • Neil Damer

    It really saddens me how willing many people are for an alternative to still give Blizzard extra money for content that is already in the game. Whether it’s lootboxes or BlizzardBucks, there really is no excuse to have to pay more for something we’ve already bought within the original package, randomness (or lack thereof) be damned.

    Please folks, stop being so subservient towards these content withholding overlords.

    Maybe I’ve just been gaming a lot longer that most, but this shit just absolutely baffles me.

    • Mauricio

      It’s blizzard, it doesn’t matter what we say, people will turn off their brains and get in line to give them their money.

      • Neil Damer

        Very true, sadly. That wont stop me at least trying to remind people what they’re doing, and the ramifications it has on the whole industry. Even if only a handful of people engage their brains before hitting ‘buy,’ that’s still worth something, surely?

        What’s really irksome is that in most cases, users of cash shops of this nature represent a fraction of the game playing audience, and their so easily exploitable lack of self-control and excess of disposable income ruins things for everyone else. Why try desperately to sell 1 or 2 lootboxes to a hesitant consumer when you can sell literally hundreds to a single gullible sap? 🙁

        I try desperately hard to not be a defeatist with this stuff, but it seems like I’m fighting a worthwhile, but long-lost battle, which is compounded by respected figureheads like Total Biscuit singing along to Blizzard’s hymn sheet. As much as I love the guy, and as generally well-reasoned as he is, I was really disappointed with his stance in regards to Overwatch.

        Sorry, I’m soapboxing – Microtransactions are a sore spot for me, clearly.

        • Billy Bissette

          I sadly remember Defiance, an MMO that had potential but was routinely shot in the leg by Trion’s mismanagement. It was even more skewed in that management knew that there was a core base of people which were willing to spend thousands of dollars each. (Basically, a core group that had large amounts of disposable income and only played Defiance, so they were willing to dump thousands into the game.)

          I can easily see Blizzard having a much larger “core” base that is flush with money and more than willing to dump it into Blizzard products if given the chance.

        • Sherrif

          What monetization method would be an improvement?

          This is the problem with people “fighting the cause”

          It’s like fighting for world peace, sure if you kill off all the people that don’t agree with you, you’ll get your peace, but you’ll eliminate so many different viewpoints that technological, creative, and ideological progress will literally halt.

          So, I ask you, why would you get on a soapbox against the microtransactions in Overwatch, when you don’t have a way to fix it?

          • Neil Damer

            Like I said in the previous post, money-grubbing for content already in the game is never, and can never be an improvement. I don’t want to see them change how they nickle and dime, I want to see it gone completely.

            There are a whole host of different ways the unlockables could work without screwing over the userbase in the process: A clear ‘this is what you unlock at level 10’ would be a start, or perhaps giving in-game currency at the end of matches for you to purchase what you want, or unlocks specific to the characters you play (which level individually).

            Hey, if you want to be bent over and done dry, power to you. But please don’t equate greedy, unnecessary and exploitative microtransactions with world peace. It’s not just a bad analogy, it’s intellectually dishonest.

          • Sherrif

            So you don’t have an answer.

            Fact is the game needs to be supported with sales post launch to afford the server costs and patch support costs.

            “Gone completely” doesn’t solve a damn, you have to have some form of post launch monetization, otherwise the game will eventually have to drastically change business model and gameplay mechanics to support the bloated rising costs the game is absorbing.

            Servers aren’t free, so I ask you… How do they pay for it?

            So again, quit acting like you’re some kind of representative of better gaming, come back to the real world where things cost money and realize that it was either this, a subscription, or DLC packs.

            While the system is not perfect, it’s core method “microtransactions” is the best choice anybody has come up with, so unless you got a better method, quit bitching.

          • Neil Damer

            “So you don’t have an answer.”

            I just provided multiple suggestions for players to get to access the content they’ve already bought. Try re-reading?

            “Fact is the game needs to be supported with sales post launch to afford the server costs and patch support costs.”

            Yes, but these are not ‘post launch sales.’ They’re selling base game content that has already been paid for. Making something new and selling it, I have no problem with, though I would still take issue with randomisation.

            “”Gone completely” doesn’t solve a damn, you have to have some form of post launch monetization, otherwise the game will eventually have to drastically change business model and gameplay mechanics to support the bloated rising costs the game is absorbing.”

            See above

            “Servers aren’t free, so I ask you… How do they pay for it?”

            That’s Blizzards problem to solve, and if they can’t do it without double-dipping on pre-existing content, they may be in the wrong line of business.

            “So again, quit acting like you’re some kind of representative of better gaming, come back to the real world where things cost money and realize that it was either this, a subscription, or DLC packs.”

            Both of those suggestions are preferable. They are at the very least transparent.

            You come across as very needlessly aggressive towards me about this. Is there really any need?

          • Sherrif

            Or, you could just simply that having whales subsidize the majority of the playerbase IS preferrable to a subscription, as that allows more players to maintain playing the game. DLC is ALWAYS bad for games such as this, as it fractures the playerbase and kills off the game which is a lose/lose situation.

            So yeah, microtransactions that are not required to access all the content is preferable by anybody with sensible facilities.

            So yes, there is a need to be agressive towards somebody that wants to gate off content from normal users, that wants to require exuberant subscription fees upon users, and expects a business to put profits after the feelings of a select few users that struggle to understand how unobtrusive the system actually is.

            So get over it, we don’t need Blizzard ruining the game by changing the monetization method to something more aggressive and obtrusive.

            I SAID THE SYSTEM IS NOT PERFECT, but I sure as hell would rather have a playerbase that isn’t divided by DLC packs, and I sure as hell ain’t paying a subscription fee to access something because some idiot can’t control themselves over a box of random cosmetics to add visual diversity from game to game.

            The fact is the system HAS to exist, and the other two options are far worse. The simple fact that you ignore that, get on a soap box and DEMAND that Blizzard simply eat the costs of the game over the next 5 years, is the very reason that the gaming industry doesn’t even pay attention to upset players anymore.

            We won’t get a better loot system, there’s too many idiots like you jumping in saying the entire system should be removed and replaced with a system that is far more obtrusive to a majority of players.

          • Sherrif

            To add, because people lack understanding.

            If they were not to have the loot box system, the alternative was that you simply paid for skins you wanted, with no way to obtain it without paying for them. That’s what Jim wants, so he can whale up that D.Va skin he wants so bad, and ignore the fact that a majority of players don’t want to pay for skins.

            You have subscribed to the alternative of DLC packs? Well that means that the skins would be sold separately of the main game. Is that what you want, to reduce the chance to get the skin you want for free to exactly 0?

            Get off your soap box before you hurt yourself with your massive lack of understanding of basic business ‘measures of success’.

          • Thea Queen

            1. Quit using the word “whale” in whatever context you want just because it’s some nerd power-argument word, you look dumb.

            2. Please tell me how being able to purchase the ONE FUCKING SKIN I WANT in the entire game rather than wading through possibly hundred of boxes (paid or unpaid) to get to it would be some bank-breaking move that puts Blizzard out of business.

            As it stands, with the current system, they will be receiving a very literal ZERO dollars from me. I’m not willing to pay into this system and hope I get my skin. If I could buy what I wanted for like $10 they would already have my $10, and possibly even more.

            “If they were not to have the loot box system, the alternative was that you simply paid for skins you wanted, with no way to obtain it without paying for them.”
            Or you know… they could just have both options in there?

  • Zul

    You tell it like it is, Jim! Fuck those wankers and their microtransactions!

  • Malidictus

    I’m not against paying for extra cosmetic stuff in video games, but Blizzard’s lockboxes are probably the worst implementation possible, I’d argue worse than Payday 2, arguably. At least in that game every single drop from a safe gives you a skin of some description. Blizzard seem to have filled their drop pools with something like 90% stuff they knew for a fact nobody would want, seemingly for the sole purpose of concocting a Skinner box. And yes, they did know that. There’s a reason skins cost 250-1000 and Highlight Intros cost 250 while a spray costs 25.

    That’s classic predatory behaviour. You promise players the chance at something cool if they keep shaking hands with the one-armed bandit, but you stack the odds against them by ensuring players get predominantly crap drops. Yes, you COULD get that epic legendary purple thing on the very next roll of the dice, but you probably won’t. You’ll just get more garbage. At that point, I’d rather have a progress bar that takes a week. At least that way, I know what I’m getting at the end.

    I don’t know what’s going on with video game publishers these days. Used to be they’d try to carve up content and demand our money for them. Now that they have players lining up yelling “Shut up and take my money!” companies are refusing to take said money and instead direct us to an online casino. I guess they know that you’ll end up paying them more if they con you into paying for garbage you never wanted.

    • Jonathan Roth

      Agreed. I rarely buy cosmetics in a game, but the right systems have made me pull the trigger on occasion. A 100% slot machine mechanic is one of the biggest turn-offs for me, as are “Pay to skip the grind”.

  • HisDivineOrder

    I’m glad you keep hammering on this topic. It’s frustrating for Blizzard to be so close to delivering a game that’s truly great only to kick out its legs for sheer greed’s sake.

  • SwimmingInOlives

    During Closed beta there was a Reddit article on play time to unlock everything (based on XP gain at
    that point) and you’d need roughly 1700 hours or so to unlock
    everything. Since then I believe they added more skins (as some
    characters didn’t even have legendary skins at that point).

    On a plus
    side, the game is fantastic and the longer you play the more currency
    you’ll accrue (simply due to duplicate chances increasing).

    I know this isn’t the popular opinion here but I’ve already gotten over 1400 currency in 49 levels and I find it silly to complain about something funding the further development of a game. $40/$60 isn’t enough for ongoing maintenance of a game that will probably see content updates for 5 or 10 years. It’s all aesthetic stuff. And at least they give you SOMETHING for duplicates. As someone who played my fair share of Mass Effect 3 MP, once you hit a certain point, duplicates literally got you nothing. Didn’t stop you from getting them.

    I’m not saying the current loot system is perfect mind you. I think there should be a guaranteed amount of credit in each loot box so you KNOW you’ll get X amount of currency every Y levels. I think the currency return on duplicates is lower than I think it should be but I think with the guaranteed credit per box, this wouldn’t be the case.

    As for Jim’s luck, I went the first 20 levels in commercial release without getting a single legendary skin. In the last 29 levels, I’ve gotten 5. Taking a set of 3 boxes is a terrible way to showcase how bad this is. If he showed me he had 25 boxes with nothing but sprays, player icons, and blue skin recolors, then I’d say he has a point.

    • Nutarama

      Diablo 3 and The Witcher 3 have had significant amounts of content added for no additional cost.

      I might accept small transactions for things like the legendary skins or full audio replacements, but unfortunately most of the stuff Overwatch offers is tedious and nigh-useless (sprays, icons, character poses), or lazy (recolor skins, single voice lines). To add insult to injury, you can’t even just buy anything, you have to get it through loot boxes like you’re playing some stupid mobile game.

      Heck, even even map packs are more acceptable than this loot crate bullshit.

      Oh, and 1700 hours is more than triple my recorded time in Skyrim, even with mods extending the life of the game. The only thing that I’ve played that comes close is a stupid idle game I’d leave running in the background and while I was sleeping.

      • SwimmingInOlives

        Witcher 3 is made by CD Project Red, who own GOG, and like Valve, can use that revenue to prop up their development. Do you think companies like releasing unfinished, broken games? No, if they can pay for it, they will spend 5 years making a good game over releasing a turd (most of the time, exception: X-Men: Destiny and Silicon Knights).
        Diablo 3 also released in a completely broken state and if they didn’t wind back the RMAH in that, they could’ve seriously damaged the entire IP. They chose to go always-on with it (and SC2) for control, where neither of them needed that sort of system, but they wanted it to help build their Bnet social system.
        Overwatch is literally an online-only MP game. There is no escaping a need for servers, and I don’t live in a country that taxes me for video game servers, so that money comes from SOMEWHERE. I also don’t have a tax to fund additional content development past the point where a game is no longer selling a large number of copies.
        Blizzard IS famous however for continued development on their series far past the normal time frame a normal dev could possibly do that.
        I’m sorry you don’t like the 1700 hours number. I know thats a lot. I have however put that amount of time into multiple MMOs I’ve played. Guess what those need to be successful? Lots of money for further development, server maintenance, and expansion costs.
        Do you need everything in Overwatch? Do you have to obtain every skin, spray, and other cosmetic item in the game? This is an online MP shooter, not a single player offline RPG. You’re comparing apples to oranges. The two are not the same. I can barely stomach Bethesda RPGs so I personally don’t get the love, but I know others do and that’s fine.
        Blizzard gave everyone a fantastic game for $40/$60, easily worth the value IMO, and then, because the players wanted a progression system, put in one and then gated the cosmetic stuff.
        Is it perfect? Nope. Is it worth condemning a game as unforgivable for a game that cost some $X before you played it (which is funny as I played it in open beta, and knowing Blizz, there WILL be a demo/starter edition at some point)? I don’t think so. I find that being unwavering (like Jim and most of the people here) in an opinion is a bit silly.
        Everyone has a right to an opinion though, and this is very much in that ball park.
        As this is a novel (I’m so sorry if you’ve actually read this far… did not mean for this to happen), I’ll stop here.

        • Pvt Dirt

          So it’s unfair to expect Blizzard to support their games with the profits from their other games, but it’s okay for CD Projekt Red and Valve to use GOG and Steam success? Blizzard is worth more than both of them combined by a huge margin. Diablo 3 still has content added well beyond “fixing” what was already a damn fine game. No other Blizzard game has relied on such a microtransaction system, and Overwatch is definitely not struggling to make sales. Nobody is arguing that the boxes break the game, but their very existence is an insult to people who buy Blizzard games with the expectation that the company doesn’t buy into this crap about monetizing consumers after they’ve bought the game.

          • SwimmingInOlives

            GOG and Steam success is not based on their own efforts but the efforts of having a store front that they then take 30% off of sales of other dev’s games, so not equivalent in my eyes, no.
            I would legitimately be shocked if Valve was smaller than Blizzard at this point in terms of financials. It’s not like they spend their money making games anymore (ZING!). Joking aside, my fundamental problem with this all is that it’s such a hardline stance to think that no game should be allowed to charge for entry and then be able to charge for other things in the game.
            I’m less mad about people being upset with micro-transactions then just this idea that it’s NEVER something that can be done (and I’ve probably done a terrible job of that being the focus). I think people are at the point where many of us don’t make a lot of money, and game devs are at the point where they don’t make enough to survive (most of the time, I’m not claiming Blizzard is in that position).
            I remember Yacht Club games releasing a chart showing how much money it was to pay for everything to make Shovel Knight. That was a 6 man team, of which only 5 people needed living expenses, and they needed a lot of money to get paid for 60% of what they’d actually make in a comparable position in a boring software job. This was all for an 8-bit game with 6 people and they needed over a quarter of a million for a single year (if I remember that number correctly, it might actually have been higher than $250k).
            I personally want everyone to be happy with how games are, but I don’t think it’s a coincidence that game companies are getting exploitative in their behavior when games cost more to make than ever but, based on inflation, are almost half the price of what they were 2 decades ago.

          • Yorioto

            I looked up the few numbers I could find for free on Blizzard and Valve. Activision/Blizzard makes about 3 billion dollars in profit (Hoovers), while Valve has an equity value of about 2.5 billion (Wikipedia). So in one year, A/B could buy Valve. Regardless, if you’ve followed the Jimquisition, you know that game companies have caused the increased cost of development themselves. This is because of constant stakeholder pressure, leading to yearly broken releases and microtransaction schemes. CD Projekt was able to keep its cost down on the Witcher series and make a profit at sales figures that Ubi, EA and the gang would have called a failure. Since that argument is still in line with the contents of this site, I will put it another way. YOU are not responsible for the health of a company. You do not owe anyone anything. In a capitalist system you buy what you want to buy (or what is brainwashed into you by marketing and societal norms). This is a system in which we are free to criticize our products. Overwatch has a rewards system that has no stat effects, but it has a psychological impact, and that matters when it comes to entertainment. In fact it is only in gaming where you see such a divide between the “technical” aspects versus the “aesthetic” aspects, even though they are closely interrelated.

        • Fyou

          Wait, what in the actual fuck? Blizzard can (continue to) afford supporting Diablo 3 years after, releasing content for free and keeping the servers running, but it’s unfeasible for overwatch because…? They’ve had a model that has been working for them for years (as evidenced by their continued success), but all of a sudden periodic large scale expansions can’t work? They just have to delve into micro transactions? Fuck, how does that dick taste? I’m guessing vaguely reminiscent of fruity pebbles, what with the way everyone is salivating over it.

          • SwimmingInOlives

            Wow, I’m sorry for whoever touched you. Please seek help as I think you might hurt someone if this level of aggression keeps up. I’d call a cab as you might road rage out!

    • Captiosus

      If he showed me he had 25 boxes with nothing but sprays, player icons, and blue skin recolors, then I’d say he has a point.

      You’ve pretty much described my last 21 levels. I’ve only gotten ONE epic item in the last 21 loot boxes. The rest has been blue intros, skins, and sprays/voice lines – a lot of which have been duplicates.

      • SwimmingInOlives

        So, taking your levels as well as the levels I’ve seen in commercial, open beta, and 2 other friends, in 170 levels, there have been 11 legendary skins. In this (admittedly) small sample size, you are looking at around 1 legendary skin per 20 levels (this is once again rounding down as I’ve gotten much luckier than you or my other 2 friends who’ve played). While I can see why people would be upset at this, it is, once again, entirely cosmetic. You get to play the entire game, for life, without having to do anything aside from buying the game once.
        It’s also unfair to demand that a companies other games fund all of their other games. That’s a silly idea and I won’t even try to fight it because I find that ground as hollow as Swiss cheese.
        I think the fans ASKED for a leveling system, they needed to put something to unlock, and as the game would be ruined by literally anything else, they gated cosmetic items. EVERY cosmetic item CAN be unlocked through play, but no one talks about this because they just want to complain about micro-transactions in a game that isn’t free.
        I don’t live in a world where everything is free. I don’t have to pay for the servers to run the game and I think everyone is GROSSLY underestimating the money it takes to do that as well as continue development of a game.

        • Bork Lazer

          WOW – I get to play the game I paid for…FOR LIFE?!?! WHAT A STEAL

          • SwimmingInOlives

            Yep, buying a game makes the game developer your slave, and they must then supply endless content forever from that moment forward.
            I like your simplification of what I said to entitled gamer salt. If you would like to actually discuss things that would be better for everyone (as I don’t think I’ve made my argument well throughout this thread to be honest), but somehow I doubt that’ll happen. Prove me wrong, please!

          • Bork Lazer

            Oh, I’m sorry if I came across as rude, I’m just genuinely shocked that I get to keep the game forever. I always thought I had to give my Final Fantasy III SNES cartridge back eventually (it’s the only other game I own since the others weren’t “lifers” as those of us in the know call them), but now I’m wondering if this whole “play it for life” thing applies to older games as well. If so, this is great news.

            THANKS FOR THE HEADS UP, MAN!

          • SwimmingInOlives

            As assumed, your reading comprehension is at the level that Trump supporter (which is a 4th grade reading level). I was talking about this in terms of cosmetic unlocks. I was talking about how people are COMPLAINING they have to spend time to unlock a game. I was telling them they had a complete gameplay (e.g. not cosmetic unlocks) experience and should care less about this than, say, gated story-crucial dlc or MP maps they’ll receive for free.
            As predicted, you show you don’t understand what is being discussed. You have a great life, ignorance is bliss afterall.

          • Bork Lazer

            Mister, you sound real smart. Now, I may not be as fancy as those Trump supporters you’re bragging about with their 4th grade reading level and all, but if you could teach me how to be smart and have cool opinions like you, it’d be real keen.

        • Thea Queen

          “Can be unlocked through play” what you meant to say was “can be unlocked possibly throughout the course of you playing for the rest of your life”.
          I’m a Mercy player, I love Mercy, I love her design, her kit, her voice, just love the character in general. That said, I have literally 40x more Mercy played than my next hero in line, yet I have skins for a bunch of people that aren’t Mercy. If it was old school “whoop this much ass with this hero and unlock something” then I would be fine with it, but I’m just throwing my hope into every single box that maybe, just maybe, out of EVERYTHING ELSE in the game I might get the 1 skin for Mercy I actually want.
          If it were just about them wanting some money for these creations then it’s whatever, I’ll give you $10 to let me have what I want, but that’s not the case. It could cost me $10 or it could cost me $500 with the current system, who knows I may never get it. And that, my friend, is the problem we all have with the loot system.

          • SwimmingInOlives

            At level 60, I’ve earned 1995 currency for the game. To buy 1 legendary skin and 1 of everything else (you get to pick your favorite), the total cost is 1625.
            What I’m trying to say is, with no extra money spent, I could’ve bought my favorite of everything for a character already without spending a cent from somewhere in the neighborhood of 50-60 loot boxes (levels).
            The point is that you’re being close-minded about how to acquire things in game and tunneling on something you personally don’t like.
            You also might want to try playing other stuff. Try out some of those skins you’ve got. You might like the hero. I know I gave Pharah a chance after I got one of her legendary skins and now I love her. Having 40x more playtime on #1 played hero than #2 makes you a liability to a team. Sometimes the last thing a team needs is a healer (unlikely, but I’d say 1 in 25 games to break through the other team you need more damage than a Mercy can offer).

          • Thea Queen

            Just came back to say there is literally never a time that Mercy isn’t useful (unless your team has 2 other supports). In the case of needing more damage she can either buff a dps or just use her own gun to provide the damage.

    • Oso Negro

      I agree. And everyone saying I am level 28 or 40 even 50 blah blah blah. Wait till you reach level 100+ or 200+ the amount of duplicatesis sstaggeringand stupid. I got pprobably 50% of everything and Im level 210. This game is a shameless cash grab. Which is a shame for a premium game. The loot at the end of the day does fuck all. It’s mostly recolors till legendary . And now you can grind for the Competitive Points weapon. 300 pop. Lol. Fuck Blizzard

  • Maluco

    Y’know, in gambling situations it’s kind of supposed to be part of the deal that the odds are properly exposed to the player, however in randomised microtransaction schemes like this, it’s all buried underneath the code. There’s no effort to disclaim how random it genuinely is and that’s a problem, because there’s random and then there’s ‘random’.

    In XCOM aim chances are boosted on lower difficulties after successive misses, so as to get ‘random’ to play into peoples expectations.

    In black box gambling systems like this, you’re entirely beholden to the algorithm you can’t see, which could be weighted in all manner of ways to the favour of Blizzard [making more money] or the player [actually getting what they want].

    I hate gambling as well mind you, and this is just gambling too, except for imaginary stuff instead of tangible cash, targeted at children too young to gamble, but old enough to nag their parents for ‘loot boxes’, old enough to learn behaviours the gambling/gaming/wagering industry would be ecstatic for them to pick up.

    • XionEternum

      That may be because RNG systems in games are not legally defined as gambling, or by the Merriam-Webster dictionary for that matter. It’s how CCGs sell their card packs. Only difference between CCGs and Overwatch’s loot boxes is that the loot boxes only have cosmetics. Not to mention the fact you earn them just leveling up.

    • Fixit

      Gotta agree. I swore I’d never do a “gachapon” styled promotion ever again when I wasted like $40 failing to get the actual thing I wanted, which I wouldn’t have hesitated to buy if they just offered it directly. I hate how lockboxes and gachapon and similar systems just don’t tell you what your real chances are, and as such, how much these things are likely to actually cost you to get.

  • XionEternum

    You know… it’s sad that posts like this are the ones that bait all the extremists like moths to the flame; all cultishly bashing the one thing about something as if it’s some inhuman atrocity. As unpopular as more realistic perspectives are on this matter; I shall avoid such shit-posts in the future on the site, and am deleting all prior posts on this thread.

    • Fyou

      Sorry that Jim made fun of your girlfriend. Hope you feel better soon!

      • XionEternum

        That’s the best you can do?
        Amateur.

        • ENAY

          You are a moth to this flame.

          • XionEternum

            I was someone trying to apply reasonable debate and perspective to the extremist conceit this topic propagates. If anything I was the bat trying to eat the moths going for the flame, but that’s a little extreme in and of itself. Try again?

  • KaoTeK

    White white blue white.

    Always white white blue white.

    Man fuck these boxes.

  • onlyspeakstruth

    I really don’t understand the butthurt. The stuff in loot boxes do absolutely nothing to change the gameplay.

    • mohamed abotgar

      well video games are about visuals and gameplay, he is talking about visuals and not gameplay, if you don’t care about skins then there others that cares about them and would play the game a bit longer if they get cool outfits that makes a fun purpose to keep playing and for you to find other players to play with

  • chris

    Meanwhile, last night I unlocked 2 boxes and each one contained a legendary skin. Guess I had a lucky night!
    I agree that I’m usually disappointed with what comes out of the box, but when something rare does show up I’m usually ecstatic (even though one of the skins I got last night was the Sparrow skin for Genji, which I think is way less cool than even his default skin).
    Anyway, Jim. Looks like you have some bad luck with these boxes. Maybe it’ll even out and you’ll have a stretch where you are unlocking 4 rare skins every box.

  • Captiosus

    Holy shit! Stop the presses! I finally saw a Legendary again after 25 levels of white/white/blue/white garbage!

    ……….And it was a duplicate of a skin I got back in the early 20’s. (D.VA’s B.VA skin, specifically.)

    Yep. Fuck this loot box BS.

  • MadsBjoern1 ´

    Wait, REALLY?! I´M LEVEL 27 AND I HAVE 3 LEGENDARY SKINS!

  • The outlaw Jesse McCree

    On average i think a legendary drops about every 10 boxes. However, you can be very lucky or very unlucky of course.

  • Jiryn

    First box I opened was a Legendary Young Hanzo, and that’s about it.

  • Jon

    It’s definitely different for everyone — I’ve gotten super lucky with my loot boxes so far, so I won’t be surprised if every one I open from now on is literally a flaming pile of dog poop

  • nerdycanuck

    This has been my experience with the game. It’s incredibly frustrating. I even bought w small pack of loot boxes in the desperate hope I might actually end my streak of bad luck, but no dice. Won’t be making that mistake again.

  • Wildcard

    I’m not a fan of random loot crates at the best of times but Overwatch’s can be punishingly harsh even by loot crate standards.

    How about a guaranteed skin in every box plus 3 other items and the pool it chooses from is anything you don’t already have? At least that way even a crappy drop is progress towards something good i.e. you’ve got it out of the way.

    Maybe I’m just not corporate enough to design these cynical gambling traps…

  • miza

    No complaints here. I’m level 28 and have gotten 3 legendaries, the first of which was on my first roll. I’ve also gotten a decent amount of currency. emotes, color palette swaps. etc. Also, I like the profile pics and sprays. *shrugs* I do feel your pain, though – my bf has the same kind of luck that you guys have, and we usually play together, so it seems a little unfair.
    As for the duplicate sprays, I was disappointed that a dupe doesn’t make the SPRAY sparkly. That would be much better than 5 measly coins, imo.

  • Stenly Järnefelt

    I know your pain Jim.

  • KILL ME

    Yes, hands down loot boxes are rigged. Last night I crafted Stonehardt. Guess which skin I got out of a box 2 level ups later? The one I just crafted, of course. Clearly an attempt to get me frustrated and spending money. Very shady, Blizzard.

  • Zellder

    level 45, got one legendary for a character i suck with and three uncommon, which i F###ing bought with coins!!! i got all the sprays and voice lines in the first 20 loot boxes. I DON’T NEED MORE. oh and with highlight reals i got two, FOR MEI WHO I SUCK WITH. and finely to add insult to injury during the recent Olympics event I’ve relay wanted one of the tracer skins, i have the american mccree one.

  • Norbert

    I’m lvl 75 and mostly got shit from it. Sprays,sprays and more sprays with the exception of skins once a month. Recently I got a legendary…gold. Yes a fucking legendary gold like god knows who would want that since duplicate sprays are everywhere. It’s nothing more but disappointment.