Overwatch loot boxes are about to get less terrible


Look, I love Overwatch. I mean, it was my 2016 Game of the Year, which for a story-less, multiplayer only game is one heck of an achievement. What can I say, I had a great year hooking pesky Tracers and raining justice from elevated positions.

But despite Overwatch’s many great elements, its gambling-esque, majorly stacked against you loot box system is the worst. In order to unlock the cosmetic upgrades you want like new character skins, dance emotes or catchphrases, you have to hope they crop up among the waves and waves of garbage spray tags and player icons Blizzard has thrown in as padding. And even the microtransaction system doesn’t help, because you can’t buy specific items, only more loot boxes in order to have more chances to hopefully snatch a skin among all the trash.

Throw in the fact you can even be “awarded” duplicate items in these loot boxes, and you’ve got one frustrating system. Well, thankfully this latter aspect is about to change.

In a recent developer update video, Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan announced they are going to “drastically reduce the rate of duplicates you get out of any loot box.” Duplicate items won’t disappear completely, as Kaplan notes they have a finite number of content to award, but they will crop up a lot less. And for anyone worried about missing out on the credits awarded along duplicate items, which can be saved up to purchase specific items outright (eventually), Kaplan says they’re compensating this by having loot boxes drop more credits in general.

Here’s the full video, which also details plans to make capturing highlights footage easier. The loot boxes part is towards the end:

All in all, sounds like an improvement. It’s not “loot boxes just award credits we can spend to buy skins, none of this microtransactions slot machine bullshit,” but it’s a start.

The loot box update is available now on the Public Test Range.

Rage against the microtransaction machine with Tom on Twitter: @tomdheath. Be sure to follow LoadScreen on Twitter: @load_screen and Facebook.


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