Overwatch’s Loot Boxes Are a Ripoff

Most of you are playing Overwatch now, and that’s great. It’s a fun game, and should be enjoyed before Blizzard hand it to their B team and it turns to shit. But that’s not what I’m here to talk about. I’m here to implore you not to support Blizzard’s crappy microtransactions like I’ve been foolishly doing all week.

Why am I asking you not to? After all, the Loot Boxes are “reasonably” priced. Put simply, you’re not getting very good value from them all of the time. In some other games, cosmetics you attain through their gambling mechanics that you don’t want can be traded or sold for a currency or item that you do want. Hell, Blizzard do it in Hearthstone, where unwanted cards can be ‘disenchanted’ for Dust, which is used to create cards. Overwatch lacks that option. If you don’t get what you want, either level up and get another Loot Box or fork out cash for more of them so you have a higher probability of getting an item you want. This is unacceptable for a game that you need to purchase in the first place, that doesn’t allow custom sprays or player icons.

My Great Capture Screenshot 2016-05-27 11-55-34

Devil, thy name is loot box

“But Aza,” you cry with glasses-pushing smugness, “you can use the in-game currency and buy items you want!” And where are those? “In the Loot Bo–oooooh.” You get a currency called…well… Currency… in random crates in random quantities (you also obtain it if you get duplicate items in a Box, although not much). It can, and more than likely does, take either a long time or a lot of money to obtain what you want without the freedom of an in-game market or trading system. I should know, I’ve spent just about $50 on the bloody things; I fell for the excitement of opening a box hook, line, and sinker, and I feel swindled. In contrast, I’ve never felt like my money was wasted in Hearthstone because there was at least something I was getting back.

My Great Capture Screenshot 2016-05-27 12-08-48

Let loot box swag fill the emptiness in your soul

Sure, I finally have the skins and emotes I want, but I would much rather that there were more options for getting stuff. Maybe offering both Loot Boxes and Currency for sale as in Hearthstone, or allowing in-game trading like in Team Fortress 2 and other Steam games. Just about anything is better than the obvious money-grubbing on show, which doesn’t put my fears of Overwatch being the next Heroes of the Storm (a game hyped like hell then ignored almost entirely after a tremendous drop in player count post-release) to rest one bit.

Maybe I’m just being a grumpy elderly person. Maybe, like Soldier: 76, I just want these young punks to get off my lawn. Maybe it’s just 2am.

Aza is the site's resident Nintenyearold, but is also proud to be part of the PC mustard race. When he isn't floating on flamboyant air into the lollipop sky, he's chowing down on cheesy foods and watching 80s action films.
  • Kalgar

    Nah, you’ve got a point. Any game that you pay for, that also includes microtransactions feels a bit skeezy.

  • Blake Hooper

    You don’t need to buy them.. You know that it’s a gamble and it doesn’t effect game play what so ever. They have every right to put it in. This also contradicts the review post from dyegb.

  • HAppY_KrAToS

    A true shame.
    That’s why I avoid any game like overwatch.
    These games are built around micro transactions. Everything runs around microtransactions. All the upgrades, leveling systems, etc, are build around these fukin shady commercial schemes.

    And I about 12 months, blizzard Will be publishing their financial reports, and will add ‘we are happy to announce gamers on overwatch have spent a total of 800 millions, on cosmetic/microtransactions stuff, etc, online, in the first 6 months.we’re very happy with overwatch success’.

    Damn, stop playing these damn games, for God sake.

    Funny, when I first heard about overwatch, I said wow, there are a bunch of characters to chose from. They are being very generous. Now I understand. The more characters they have, the more dozens thousands others items they can sell ! The more choices people have, more upgrades, more cosmetic stuff to buy, more different characters to try out, that will be leveled up, will require even more purchases, etc.


    And those who support it and even claim ‘oh hi, you can buy stuff with in-game currency’. Really?
    And how many ‘millions’ in-game currency do you earn? Sure, the grinding system is there, to make you play, over and over, and realize it is must faster, to spend cash, then playing thousands of matches. I mean, they know pretty well how to build a game in a way that people will be fed up of playing without their favorite outfits, weapons, emotes, and will end up grabbing their Visa card.

    I’m currently playing uncharted 4 main campaign, almost finished dying light main story, and have been having a blast playing alienation. Why the hell would I need to play the latest microtransactions-fest game, like over watch? I mean, there are hundreds of amazing games to discover, + hundreds free AAA games from ps+. That makes hundreds of games I still want to play. That’s why I avoid overwatch games like I avoid Aids or the black plague.

    Stop supporting these companies and their craaapy games built solely to make you spend hundreds and hundreds bucks. I don’t dare imagining how some guys, with very disposable incomes, can easily spend 500 to 1000 dollars, on these roll dice loot boxes scam !

    • Whitney Grim

      Did you actually look into the loot box system at all? I think you may be a bit biased against any and all microtransactions and jumping to conclusions.

      First of all, everything in them is 100%, purely cosmetic. Game play is not effected whatsoever no matter how many dollars you spend. All the characters, DLC content, etc. will be free in the future for anyone who purchased the game.

      Secondly, I personally know that you accrue currency via leveling fairly quickly and the drop rates on the rarer items are not all that bad. With a loot box per level indefinitely, they add up quickly (and once you hit 100 and gain a “prestige” level, you start over the leveling process with the same xp requirements as before). At level 152 I have at least 9 legendary skins, countless other goodies and have gotten around 6k+ currency (and I haven’t purchased a single box nor used any of my currency on legendary skins).

      I feel some people may be missing out by disregarding any games with microtransactions. The game is great and loads of fun with high replay value! I don’t get how so many can be angry at a company for making money off of things people are more than willing to spend THEIR money on. If the games themselves weren’t any good they wouldn’t be making a killing off of the in game purchases.

  • ChatWraithShichi

    They have 20-30 dollar mounts in world of warcraft, and priced up cards in hearthstone.

    Heroes of the Storm does the same thing as well with costumes.

    Why did anybody think that just because there was an up-front fee that Blizzard would give up the chance to squeeze something for money?

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