Up For Debate - Loot Crates are Irreparably Ruining Multiplayer Gaming

Written by Jon Sutton on Sat, Apr 8, 2017 12:00 PM
System Requirements Optimum 1080p PC Build Low vs Ultra Screenshots GPU Performance Chart CPU List That Meet System Requirements GPU List That Meet System Requirements

Loot crates. Dear god, loot crates. Where do I begin. The last two or three years has been an absolute onslaught of randomised goodies tucked away in locked boxes. Valve kind of kickstarted this with CSGO and Team Fortress 2, but then every Tom, Dick and Harry spied an opportunity to make a quick buck. Now basically any successful multiplayer game is packed to the gills with loot crates. Rocket League; Heroes of the Storm; Battlefield 1; Elder Scrolls Online; Overwatch. You name it, it’s got loot crates. Heck, even single-player titles like Rise of the Tomb Raider have got in on the action, and now Twitch has them of all places.

I think my frustration with loot crates reached its zenith this week when I booted up Rocket League of an evening. My first match some cockwallop was just spamming the word trade the entire match. Then it the second match my teammate reached out with “Trade?” before we’d even kicked off. I politely said no thanks. He then just left the match, leaving me in a 1 v 2. The rage boiling up inside me I can’t describe.

They’re everywhere. A constant distraction designed to appeal to the gotta catch-em-all mentality. It’s one thing including loot crates in a free-to-play title, it’s a whole different thing to cram them into your $60 AAA title with a $50 season pass though. How Battlefield 1 seems to get a pass on this I’ll never know, while people are falling over themselves to praise Overwatch while it’s got its own loot crate system.

Naturally there’s two sides to every coin, and for the most part loot crates are purely cosmetic. Some aren’t, but that’s a whole different matter. There’s an argument to be made that cosmetic goodies don’t affect the balance of a game. If it was a super powerful weapon it’s easier to see the train of thought behind disliking it, but when it’s a new knife skin it seems relatively harmless.

What we’ve ended up in is a situation where it’s absolutely fine to lock away cosmetic content behind loot crates, as if the visual appearance of your character doesn’t matter and doesn’t count towards the cost of a $60 purchase. Why? Clearly people love cosmetics, that’s why they’re buying the crates in droves. It used to be great to unlock alternate costumes for characters in games, usually as a reward for completing a tough challenge. Now you’re asked to buy it. It’s a system designed to tug at your wallet, extracting additional cash after your game purchase. It’s also abhorrent they’re usually randomised. This ticks all the boxes for gambling 101, adding rarity and manipulating players into having just one more roll of the dice.

It's a struggle to me to conceive how loot crates are pro-consumer, but I'd love to open it up to you and get your opinions. Does anybody love loot crates? Are they becoming too invasive? Let us know!

Are you a fan of loot crates?

Login or Register to join the debate

Rep
95
Offline
admin approved badge
02:26 Apr-10-2017

There is a big difference between how Blizzard handles loot crates and how Valve and other companies handle them. Blizzard does not use keys, AKA you can open loot boxes without spending a single cent. You have the option of buying them, but that has no effect on what you can actually get. There is absolutely nothing locked behind a money wall. Valve on the other hand is pathetic, you spend $2.50 on a key in CS:GO and you get an ugly skin worth 5 cents... Because you don't have to pay for Blizzard's crates, it also gives you an incentive to keep playing their games. IMO Blizzard did it right.

2
Rep
55
Offline
00:37 Apr-10-2017

Worst case scenario is when:
1.Most game updates are focused on new loot crates instead of gameplay improvements, bug fixes etc.
2.Can't be opened without buying a key for it and contains items making a player superior to others (p2w).

0
Rep
55
Offline
00:40 Apr-10-2017

If none of them occur, i'm not fussed.

0
Rep
272
Offline
admin approved badge
21:15 Apr-09-2017

Game devs these days are digging deep into the human psychology to exploit our instincts and weaknesses. Mobile games giving you "pings and chings" when you do something? Apps nudging you and reminding you you've not played in a while? Achievement systems? Loot crates for the gambler..? It's all there to generate dopamine and to exploit us - and it works well because people are too weak to resist the urges.


It's sad, really... Like you, Jon, I long for the days when you unlocked stuff by being GOOD at the game, by grinding the materials for it in the game or by winning stuff, not by randomly "unlocking" virtual crates and hoping for the best...or worse...clicking the shiny "buy" button..

0
Rep
67
Offline
admin approved badge
07:49 Apr-09-2017

I like to loot the crates from dead players in PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds ;D

0
Rep
1
Offline
22:45 Apr-08-2017

In europe there is a law; the online casinos needs to have some papers in order before they can open something like that. The sh*tcases in these games are like casinos, so why they don't get regularized?
Half of the games companies these days won't waste their time with the bureaucracy.

4
Rep
34
Offline
22:34 Apr-08-2017

The simpler it is, the better it's going to be. Companies messing with skins and loot boxes and stuff, and not focusing on the gameplay aspect of the game, the map design, etc (take the Suez map from BF1 for example, most unbalanced map ever). Companies running as companies, focusing on everything else other than the fun aspect of gaming.

-1
Rep
319
Offline
admin badge
13:33 Apr-09-2017

I get your point but I think that BF1 is an unfair example. They are constantly improving and balancing the game and they have also reworked the Suez map a while ago and made it better. Although I still dont love it admittedly.

0
Rep
383
Offline
senior admin badge
10:45 Apr-26-2017

Mmm, I doubt there is any connection between loot crates and poor map design. I don't think loot crates negatively affect the development of any other component at all really, but they do negatively affect a game. It's probably just 1 or 2 artists cranking them out, which is obviously nothing to do with BF1's level designers.

0
Rep
34
Offline
13:18 Apr-26-2017

The point i am trying to make is that the community cares less about the gameplay and fun aspect of the game, and more about stuff that frankly doesn't matter, like who has the nicest skin. Simply, we couldn't care less about which skin is the nicest, it makes no sense anyway to focus on stuff like that. Useless content has become a focus of the developer for no reason, while their focused moved somewhat away from the gameplay aspect of things

0
Rep
34
Offline
13:21 Apr-26-2017

Let's not talk about the bitter disappointment that is called Battlefield 1 map design. Developing a game includes simple things, which are very hard to create and balance. What i mean: we need great maps, great gameplay, proper content, balance, diversity, fun game modes, nice graphics. NOT FREAKING SKINS, WE DON'T CARE! Players focus on skins, medals and stuff and miss the crucial point of the thing. Having fun, which is what gaming is all about.

0
Rep
34
Offline
13:24 Apr-26-2017

When was the last time you sat down and played BF1 and thought "God, this is so much fun" I can answer for you, since i have the same problem, NEVER. bf1, bf4, bf3, they are not fun games. they are fast paced shooters that make people anxious. 1 thing that got fixed with bf1 is that not many weapons are needed, nor is customisation, because all this content is never going to balanced. When you find yourself being nostalgic of games that came out 6 years ago, there is an issue

0
Rep
34
Offline
13:27 Apr-26-2017

And, i am bored of saying this but i will once more, why do these issues exist? Because companies don't let gamers develop the games. People who develop games right now are professionals, editors, programmers and stuff. You need these to code and execute, not take decisions about the actual game. Actual gamers are the ones who should have the ideas and develop the games, with the help of these people, not these people by themselves. BC2 did exactly that

0
Rep
-33
Offline
21:57 Apr-08-2017

I agree. Its a cancerous cell that is killing every consumer and these companies make money off the few whom are addicted and keep spending. :(

1
Rep
24
Offline
21:31 Apr-08-2017

It's not that I love them, it's that I love free content updates.


It's 2017, the cost to make a game had risen astronomically over the years. The idea of getting everything for free, while still paying the same price for the game isn't feasible(inflation is a thing). So as long as it's cosmetic(no P2W), it's much better than the alternative.


Battlefield 1 and other games that double dip with paid content AND loot boxes are NOT okay though. Not at all.

1
Rep
0
Offline
16:46 Apr-08-2017

If they don't grant an in-game stat bonus/weapon that affects balance, I couldn't care less. Fine.
But if they provide the player with advantages over a player that doesn't buy/open cases, it's ridiculous.

5
Rep
60
Offline
16:41 Apr-08-2017

I hate when you get a crate from a game for free. But to open it you need to buy a key. Thats just stupid. You might aswell not give me the crate in the first place. If they made the keys atleast avaiable to drop it would be way better.

6
Rep
14
Offline
15:25 Apr-08-2017

i have some loot crates in league of legends and they make me try harder to obtain them...that is why i like them

-2
Rep
9
Offline
13:59 Apr-08-2017

For me it really varies on the game. I absolutely hate Overwatch's loot box system and was the starting reason as to why I despise that game (alongside the boring, one sided all inclusive characters and complete lack of singleplayer), however I don't really mind/care for PAYDAY 2's (well, Generation 2 at least), and I do indulge myself in Killing Floor 2's (both opening and buying skins).

-2
Rep
9
Offline
23:13 Apr-08-2017

Why all the downvotes? Is it 'cause I hate Overwatch or because I do indulge in it?

0
Rep
72
Offline
admin approved badge
00:04 Apr-09-2017

What is there to hate because you get the cases when you level and do the weekly missions (arcade mode) cause they are not forcing you to pay for them and you can open them just like that unlike on Steam when you get a case on Payday 2 or a USB on Killing Floor 2 which you have to spend money for the keys to open the cases and also just be happy people didn't click thumbs down on your rep.

2
Rep
319
Offline
admin badge
13:38 Apr-09-2017

I agree with Ecks30 here. I think that Overwatch cases are some of the best scenarios. You get a ton of them for free AND you can open them for free. On top of that you cant trade/sell skins which prevents this madness of betting and trading for insane amounts of money like in CSGO or DOTA 2 which I am against. Valve is making mountains of money out of thin air with that Market it has set up (which charges you for every transaction) and the ridiculously rare skins that they can make so easily. Actually they dont even bother making them... they take the skins of workshop creators, put them in a new case and profit.

1
Rep
72
Offline
admin approved badge
17:30 Apr-09-2017

The main thing i don't like about the case system on steam is that everyone spends money to have a pretty looking skin for their gun and correct me if i am wrong but now you have to spend money to open a case in order to have a spray to place on the wall/floor unlike back then when you could upload your own custom image which i did like back then when i played CS GO is to be able to spray my logo that i made.

0
Rep
38
Offline
12:59 Apr-08-2017

As long as it's just cosmetics, it keeps the game alive, provides money to keep new content coming and doesn't hurt anyone. The only thing bothering me is all the shady gambling that comes with it for example in cs go. People act like valve killed it, but all they did was sending letters and doing nothing since.

13
Rep
72
Offline
admin approved badge
13:35 Apr-08-2017

Actually Valve did shut down some sites that they sent letters to.

2
Rep
72
Offline
20:56 Apr-08-2017

Valve only shut down specific site's that were being blatantly illegal like disregarding age of people gambling etc. Realistically they didn't do anything about it.

0
Rep
74
Offline
12:57 Apr-08-2017

Well as long as people buy them, they will continue selling them. You can't really blame them. Gaben created the boxes, and saw they were good and the Gaben did grin. And the people did feast upon the lambs, and sloths, and carp, and anchovies, and orangutans, and breakfast cereals, and fruit bats.
As long as you have that average gullible Joe that lives on video games and fast food, you're going to have season passes, DLC without content (Fallout 4 workshop BS) and other poo-storms.
May God have mercy upon our souls for allowing this.

9
Rep
58
Offline
13:03 Apr-08-2017

whenever someone states the same facts there's always the idiots who say "nobody is forcing you to buy it!"....

0
Rep
58
Offline
13:06 Apr-08-2017

aaand that's when they force me to keep my pimp hand strong, to beat common sense back into those who defend this micro transaction garbage O_O

0
Rep
8
Offline
12:42 Apr-08-2017

Exactly what you said, they're fine in F2P games, but for the $60+ we cash out on AAA titles it's quite pathetic.

6
Rep
39
Offline
12:54 Apr-08-2017

Completely agree with you sir

2
Rep
39
Offline
12:55 Apr-08-2017

Also it wouldn't hurt for these Devs to stop putting them in single player game

3
Rep
72
Offline
admin approved badge
13:39 Apr-08-2017

Well they're not forcing you to buy it after because people complained for Deus Ex Mankind Divided for the spend money on the Praxis kits which they only added in there if someone wants to play it easy mode on hard mode which i finished the game twice without paying for those Praxis kits.

0
Rep
8
Offline
15:36 Apr-08-2017

I agree with you, you don't have to buy them, but if you spend close to $100 for a game with a season pass everything should be included, especially in a single player game. I absolutely loved DE:HR, but DE:MD has pushed the limits of developer greediness way beyond usual limits.

0
Rep
72
Offline
admin approved badge
01:31 Apr-10-2017

Well i don't think it was the Dev's choice because remember the publisher can be extremely pushy as well which Square Enix i find for a lot of games they publish now is a lot of greed put into it.

1
Rep
8
Offline
19:27 Apr-19-2017

Yeah, good point.

0
Rep
4
Offline
12:27 Apr-08-2017

My only problem with them is getting duplicates. If you spend real money on crates I don't think you should get any. I made that mistake in Gears 4

1
Rep
26
Offline
12:19 Apr-08-2017

only thing i dont get people dont have to buy them yet some spend vast sums on them, just why after spending all that money on a game and then maybe the season pass on top just stop

0
Rep
386
Offline
admin approved badge
12:11 Apr-08-2017

As long as they are cosmetics ONLY they do NOT matter, if they start including gameplay content cought CoD AW, BO3 and others cough then they need to be burned to ash.

9

Can They Run... |

| 60FPS, Low, 1080p
Core i7-9750H 6-Core 2.6GHz GeForce GTX 1650 Mobile 16GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i5-4690 3.5GHz Radeon RX 580 Sapphire Nitro+ 8GB 16GB
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600 GeForce RTX 2060 Super 8GB 16GB
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
80% Yes [5 votes]
| 30FPS, Low, 720p
Core i7-7500U 2-Core 2.7GHz GeForce 940MX 2GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
Core i5-4590 3.3GHz GeForce GTX 1650 12GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1440p
Core i5-10400F 6-Core 2.90GHz GeForce GTX 1080 Ti Inno3D Twin X2 11GB 16GB
33.3333% Yes [3 votes]
Core i3-9100F 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1650 Super 4GB 8GB
| 60FPS, Medium, 1440p
Core i3-9100F 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1650 Super 4GB 8GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
Ryzen 3 3100 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1060 MSI Gaming 3GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
Ryzen 9 4900HS 8-Core 3.0GHz GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Core i7-10700 8-Core 2.90GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]
| 60FPS, High, 1080p
Ryzen 5 2600X 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce RTX 2060 6GB 16GB
66.6667% Yes [3 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 720p
Pentium Dual Core E6300 2.8GHz GeForce 210 3GB
100% Yes [1 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Ryzen 5 3600 6-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB 8GB
| 60FPS, Ultra, 1080p
Ryzen 7 2700X GeForce RTX 3060 Ti MSI Ventus 3X OC 8GB 16GB
100% Yes [3 votes]
| 30FPS, Medium, 1080p
Core i7-2600K 4-Core 3.40GHz GeForce RTX 2060 MSI Gaming Z 6GB 16GB
| Ultra, 1080p
Core i3-9100F 4-Core 3.6GHz GeForce GTX 1070 Gigabyte Windforce OC 16GB
100% Yes [2 votes]