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To comply China's new law, multiple games have released loot box rate in CN region.

Drkirby

Corporate Apologist
Jan 29, 2008
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So is Valve going to comply, or pull out of the market? They delisted almost all their chests in Dota 2 for China, which makes me think they may seriously pull out, or release different chests for those markets.
 

Interrobang

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Oct 5, 2011
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So is Valve going to comply, or pull out of the market? They delisted almost all their chests in Dota 2 for China, which makes me think they may seriously pull out, or release different chests for those markets.
That has to be a testament to how bad/anti-consumer the drop rates were for them to avoid revealing it all together.
 

hawk2025

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Jan 20, 2013
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So is Valve going to comply, or pull out of the market? They delisted almost all their chests in Dota 2 for China, which makes me think they may seriously pull out, or release different chests for those markets.
This just shows -- the business model works because it's a scam; they know being open about the probabilities will have a negative impact.


It's gross.
 

Clipse

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Feb 7, 2011
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I think out of all 3 of Blizzard's games, Overwatch is the most generous with legendaries. Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm can go eat a dick though.
 

Interrobang

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Oct 5, 2011
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I wonder if their drop rates were affected by what you had gotten out of the chest already?
Definitely. I know in Hearthstone there's a "pity timer" - you're guaranteed a legendary if you don't get one in 40 or so packs I think it is. So you can get a drop in between, but if you're luck is so bad that you make it to 40, they throw you a bone.
 

Arkam

Member
Jan 21, 2012
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Here, Now and maybe later
So glad I didnt have to do this when I was running F2P games. Would have really skewed player spending habits.

That said I guess it is kinda fair to tell players the odds of winning. I mean I can see the upside being able to use simple math to show the player why they didnt get the item they want and keep getting the 'junk'. But that assumes most know how math works lol I swear way too many players think that 3% chance = getting three if they open 100 boxes.
 
Jun 27, 2015
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It means their drop system uses drop rates that vary based on unspecified (and probably nefarious) criteria.
I'll save you the trouble and speculate the probability probably incrementally increases the more subsequent "rolls" or "purchases" you make in a row. That's it
 

Arkam

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Jan 21, 2012
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The United States is more likely to deregulate online gambling than add more regulations tbh. Net neutrality is already on life support, what's next?
Actually we have been clamping down in the last few years. You have to make sure the item received is at least equal to the cost of the box to avoid being labeled gambling. They were cracking down on this 4-5 years ago.

Of course the easy trick is to make sure you sell the crap item in yours store for the same price as the box
 

Afrodium

Banned
Apr 21, 2009
4,470
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Absolutely, the more information people have about what they're throwing their money into the better. This shit is barely better than gambling.
At least with gambling you have the chance to get all of your money back. Throwing money at loot boxes just increases the final cost of whatever skin you're fishing for.
 

hawk2025

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Jan 20, 2013
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So glad I didnt have to do this when I was running F2P games. Would have really skewed player spending habits.

That said I guess it is kinda fair to tell players the odds of winning. I mean I can see the upside being able to use simple math to show the player why they didnt get the item they want and keep getting the 'junk'. But that assumes most know how math works lol I swear way too many players think that 3% chance = getting three if they open 100 boxes.
Yes, I'm very glad you were able to rob your customers blind (...literally) before.
 

Starwolf_UK

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Dec 5, 2008
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No mention of Fifa FUT ?
They are the worst on console.
Looking on the EA Fifa 17 site there is a Hong Kong version of the site which suggests to me that Fifa 17 is not sold in mainland China.

I am a bit ignorant of the relation between China, Hong Kong and Taiwan but I think the latter two have some independence so nothing will get disclosed if they don't have this law.

On the other hand the Fifa online 3 mentioned in the OP seems like a f2p Fifa game made for parts of Asia.
 

Darryl M R

Member
Jun 19, 2013
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Any game that has loot boxes should publicize their rates and any other complex formula, if they don't the game should be rated M for mature.
 
Jan 20, 2010
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Ah, thanks. I actually didn't know that gambling establishments actually published the odds of you actually winning. That definitely makes what these games are doing worse, it's just exploiting the fuck out of people at this point.
At least that's the case in Sweden, where gambling is heavily regulated. The USA is a lot more laissez-faire about stuff like this, so maybe odds are not published there
 

Imbarkus

As Sartre noted in his contemplation on Hell in No Exit, the true horror is other members.
Mar 7, 2009
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They also actually want the retention it drives.
Indeed. But regulation is the consequence. And associated costs are both hazy and deferred.

In the U.S., the industry did everything it could in terms of self-policing to avoid content regulation--forming the ESA and the ESRB and developing their own ratings system. But now we're seeing gatcha tactics all the way up until laws are passed... with no effort to self-regulate.

Once lawmakers conceptually divorce the concept of gambling in their minds with the concept of cash out--pretty easy leap to make since cash isn't what it used to be anyway--there is a slippery slope there. Regulation usually doesn't stop at just the one rule.

This is why I state the long-term consequences may not be worth the short-term benefit, be that margin or player retention.
 

hawk2025

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Jan 20, 2013
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Indeed. But regulation is the consequence. And associated costs are both hazy and deferred.

In the U.S., the industry did everything it could in terms of self-policing to avoid content regulation--forming the ESA and the ESRB and developing their own ratings system. But now we're seeing gatcha tactics all the way up until laws are passed... with no effort to self-regulate.

Once lawmakers conceptually divorce the concept of gambling in their minds with the concept of cash out--pretty easy leap to make since cash isn't what it used to be anyway--there is a slippery slope there. Regulation usually doesn't stop at just the one rule.

This is why I state the long-term consequences may not be worth the short-term benefit, be that margin or player retention.

Yes, all of this.

The time is now and the window is closing.

Self-regulate or prepare to be treated as gambling. Which it is.
 

TheRedSnifit

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Nov 21, 2012
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In TF2, people figured out an approximation of your odds of getting an Unusual by using bots to crawl people's backpacks and collect their item data. The chances are in the area of 0.66%.

Is this not possible in Overwatch?
 

DataGhost

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Oct 1, 2013
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What's to stop companies from skewing the numbers slightly? It's not like it can be proven with just a few loot boxes
 

Stop It

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What's to stop companies from skewing the numbers slightly? It's not like it can be proven with just a few loot boxes
Skewing them? You're seriously asking why companies cannot commit fraud? I don't know, the law?

I've read some weird stuff in my time here on GAF but wow.

If the odds of getting anything of use is so bad that people will be put off then the answer is to not give terrible odds, not to hide the numbers.
 

Imbarkus

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What's to stop companies from skewing the numbers slightly? It's not like it can be proven with just a few loot boxes
Money.

Any sort of attempt to skirt existing regulation generally winds up in significant fines and stiffer regulation.

Regulation brings with it officers who are employed to sniff out violations. It becomes an additional revenue source for the state, honestly.

Our state Department of Gaming is a division of the Department of Revenue.
 

charlequin

Banned
Oct 19, 2005
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I'm not sure why people think that posting the odds meaningfully impacts the success of this business model.
 

GearFourth

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Feb 20, 2016
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Skewing them? You're seriously asking why companies cannot commit fraud? I don't know, the law?

I've read some weird stuff in my time here on GAF but wow.

If the odds of getting anything of use is so bad that people will be put off then the answer is to not give terrible odds, not to hide the numbers.
They could alter the data specifically for China region so say Overwatch lootbox probabilities isn't the same with west's to China's but I'm just guessing, that way its still complies with China's laws since they are showing their China rates.
 

Imbarkus

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I'm not sure why people think that posting the odds meaningfully impacts the success of this business model.
It won't. It doesn't for your average lottery. Increasing regulation does, for any business model, but not immediately.

But DraftKings, etc. didn't find themselves under New York judge orders to halt operations either, until their business model was big, loud, and successful. I mean, I can repeat "short term vs long term" all I want, but if people don't see the long-term drawbacks, they just don't. DraftKings sure didn't when they were buying ads on the Bombcast...
 

Xanathus

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Mar 25, 2006
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This law has come into affect but from my limited Binging the only major Western games that are complying with it are League and DOTA2. Are there any others that have come out since? As far as I can tell Blizzard hasn't complied.
 

Hedge

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May 29, 2013
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If they don't comply and release the data, what's the most likely end result? A fine? Getting service shut down in China?
 

Bluth54

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Feb 5, 2008
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In TF2, people figured out an approximation of your odds of getting an Unusual by using bots to crawl people's backpacks and collect their item data. The chances are in the area of 0.66%.

Is this not possible in Overwatch?
I don't think you can view anyone's Overwatch inventory but your own.

I imagine you could get some approximate lootbox uboxing percentages by watching a buch of large scale unboxing videos but it probably wouldn't be as accurate as what you can figure out with a Valve game.
 

hawk2025

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Jan 20, 2013
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I'm not sure why people think that posting the odds meaningfully impacts the success of this business model.
I suppose the question is -- if it doesn't, why aren't the odds ever public?

Why are lootboxes always purposefully obtuse?
 

Panajev2001a

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Jun 7, 2004
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Absolutely, the more information people have about what they're throwing their money into the better. This shit is barely better than gambling.
Real money gambling is a lot more regulated than F2P games.
 

BreezyLimbo

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Jul 11, 2014
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I don't think you can view anyone's Overwatch inventory but your own.

I imagine you could get some approximate lootbox uboxing percentages by watching a buch of large scale unboxing videos but it probably wouldn't be as accurate as what you can figure out with a Valve game.
Do it like people did in Hearthstone, take samples of people opening 40 boxes and then aggregate the results.
 

Inviusx

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Jan 4, 2016
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Maybe their "rates" aren't simple fixed chance percentages.

Seriously, I don't have evidence but I suspect this is way more common than people give it credit. Loot results have great impact in both retention and monetization, it would be hard for a developer to resist the temptation of using something more "complex" than a plain random number draw in order to "optimize" the loot experience.
I've always suspected this about Hearthstone. This is the first time I've thought about the term "optimized loot experience", but thats a great way to describe what I think is happening behind the scenes.

I've been regularly playing for about 2 years now and nothing surprises me anymore with the way Blizzard deals out cards from packs and rewards. The problem is of course there being such a closed system that's àlmost entirely handled server side, it's impossible to prove anything beyond an anecdotal post on a message board.

I think this "optimised" experience goes even further with the way Blizzard handles their ranked ladder as well, allowing you to get easy wins when you need them and hitting roadblocks out of no where after winning too much.

It would not surprise me if the free packs they just gave out offer better rewards to people who maybe haven't played in awhile, but that's just crazy talk...........right?
 

OfTheOverflow

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Aug 18, 2015
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Yeah, I'm kind of two minds on loot crates. On the one hand if it can exclusively pay for the development of proper DLC then that's good, but I guess it's kind of shitty for those who are vulnerable to gambling...
 

Imbarkus

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I've always suspected this about Hearthstone. This is the first time I've thought about the term "optimized loot experience", but thats a great way to describe what I think is happening behind the scenes.

I've been regularly playing for about 2 years now and nothing surprises me anymore with the way Blizzard deals out cards from packs and rewards. The problem is of course there being such a closed system that's àlmost entirely handled server side, it's impossible to prove anything beyond an anecdotal post on a message board.

I think this "optimised" experience goes even further with the way Blizzard handles their ranked ladder as well, allowing you to get easy wins when you need them and hitting roadblocks out of no where after winning too much.

It would not surprise me if the free packs they just gave out offer better rewards to people who maybe haven't played in awhile, but that's just crazy talk...........right?
I don't think your last point was crazy talk.

I think the one before it was. ;)
 

charlequin

Banned
Oct 19, 2005
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I don't know if anyone is saying it will. But I don't think anyone would try to make the argument that the added transparency is a bad thing
Oh, yeah, definitely not. I'm all for the change.

I suppose the question is -- if it doesn't, why aren't the odds ever public?
Companies are incentivized at a deep level to skew away from transparency and keep information private in case they want to change it or derive some benefit from not having competitors know it.