Path of Exile creates the industry’s first ‘transparent’ lockbox

We’ve all griped and grumbled about how MMO lockboxes are too much like gambling and tend to swindle players out of money for a chance at getting desired items. But what if an MMO came out with a lockbox that told you up front what your odds are of winning rare items, promised you an item of equal value or more to what you spend on it, and said that any of its offerings would be put up for sale on the store at a later date?

That’s exactly what Path of Exile is doing with its new classic mystery box. “We’ve taken a look at how our mystery boxes are designed, and have revamped our systems to be more ethical, transparent and provide more value than ever before,” the studio said. “We’ve flattened out the odds of possible outcomes to make it more likely to receive the most valuable microtransactions than in previous boxes.”

The odds are no secret; players have a 20% chance of winning a rare item, 35% chance of an uncommon, and 45% chance of a common in each box. Additionally, while the boxes won’t tell you what’s inside, they will post the price up front of the value of each box’s contents so that you can make a more informed purchase.

Check out what some of the offerings look like in the classic mystery box after the break!

Source: Path of Exile. Thanks BalsBigBrother and Anon!
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50 Comments on "Path of Exile creates the industry’s first ‘transparent’ lockbox"

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Stropp

I still don’t like spending real money for the chance to win something I want, aka gambling.

Why can’t they tell us what is in the box, and then I can choose to spend ‘money’ if it’s something I need or want. But there’s no way I’m going to buy a lockbox key if there’s a chance the item will be useless to me. I’d rather just vender the lockbox, which is what I do most times anyway.

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Jeremy Barnes

You can just wait a month and buy the items directly…

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Bryan Correll

One major problem with POE’s lockboxes is that the contents aren’t tradable. If I already have a couple Arcane Halo’s (a common item in the new box) the value to me of another one isn’t 30 points, it’s zero points.
Also: The available items are pointed out as having value up to 450 points. But the only item with a value that high is the purple scorpion non-combat pet. And I doubt there are many people that would consider that particular item to really be worth $45.

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Veldan

Well, if lockbox items were open to trade, the economy would no longer be closed and the game would be P2W. Unless they created a seperate trade system just for store cosmetics. That would be nice, but I don’t think it will ever happen.

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Scrungle

Never understood the kerfuffle with lock boxes. Don’t like em? Don’t buy em. Good on GGG for being more transparent, they really want to keep that best F2P mantle.

Xijit
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Xijit

Uhm … Doesn’t (20+35+45) = 90?

What happens on the last 10%?

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Armsbend

No it equals 100. Add the 5s.

Xijit
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Xijit

I am tired: I added 20+35 in my head and came up with 45.

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Bryan Correll

Time to replace your cooling rod.

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Armsbend

Fire Emblem mobile summon orbs have the percentages laid out. They are the same things as lockboxes and did it before Path. I doubt FE was the first.

I bought two Path boxes with left over points and got junk. Fireworks – peh.

GGG – stop allowing dupes on effects please.

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BalsBigBrother

I got a thing that changed by gloves purple, one that changes Herald of Ash purple (which I am using) and also fireworks. shrugs.

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Armsbend

I really just want the floating sign of godhood above my players head. I think it looks cool on pretty much all costumes. I may buy the $30 pack and roll the bones again.

I said I had given enough to GGG over the years for one video game (my guess is roughly $150ish) and wouldn’t do so again. And here I am.

I am a dope.

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MassivelyMacD

So, if they’ve gone that way to make it more whatever, why not go it all the way and make it a purchase of the desired item with the correct price directly? I don’t get it.

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BalsBigBrother

All the items with the exception of two will be available directly from the store a month after the current legacy league has finished. The lootbox offer you a chance to get the items earlier and potentially cheaper though obviously the cheaper part is not guaranteed due to the nature of gambling.

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Wanda Clamshuckr

“..more ethical”
“..more likely”

You’re still putting lipstick on a pig.

A lockbox is a lockbox. The gambling process remains the same.

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Tobasco da Gama

I mean, your odds of winning at a roulette or craps table are well-known and transparent. It’s still gambling, but at least it’s a mildly less exploitative form of gambling, I guess?

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Armsbend

People have learned to accept [real casino-type] gambling likely because you can find the odds. Only the video game industry is allowed to mask odds while marketing to kids specifically. Funny, huh?

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Sally Bowls

Sigh. Except the largest casino gambling is not craps, blackjack or roulette, it is slot machines. Where the odds are masked.

Xijit
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Xijit

Well, you are not exactly wrong … But the difference here is that this is like them showing you the roulette tavle vs the rest of the industry hiding it so you have no clue what the odds are.

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Dug From The Earth

I respect them for being honest with the chances.

It doesnt make lockboxes any better however. Its still RNG.

If i was gonna give money to someone though for their game, GGG would be at the top of my list. Ill just stick to buying the non-random items from them though.

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rafael12104

Welp, at least their upfront about things.

As for seeing the value of the box, I’ll have to see how that works in practice. Do you see the value before purchase? And if it is a low value, can you pick another box?

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BalsBigBrother

All the items in the lockbox loot table are listed on the site along with the cost they will they will charge when the items make it onto the store as individual items, which is planned to be a month after the current legacy league ends.

You are also given the percentage odds of receiving each item so you can decide whether you want to spend you money trying to get them potentially cheaper via rng or wait and pay the list price (anything upto $45 for the most expensive item in the loot table)

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Oleg Chebeneev

Would be also nice to have transparent lottery tickets

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Armsbend

Look on the back of your lottery ticket. Odds are printed on the back.

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Dug From The Earth

The odds are pretty public. Go outside. If you get hit from a piece of metal fallen off a passing airplane… buy a lottery ticket

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Scrungle

Isn’t the quote trying to win the lottery is like trying to commit suicide by flying?

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Mr Poolaty

I like how Neverwinter does it. Wanna pay, pay, if not grind for it in game.

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Leiloni

Definitely not the first. Some Korean gaming companies used to do this and probably still do.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Because they have to legally. This is voluntary.

Reader
Witches

The only good part is the items being up for direct sale eventually, as for the boxes themselves there’s still the chance of spending a lot and not getting what you want.

I still think the ethical way of doing this is setting up a price for everything, and once you spend that much you can straight up buy the thing you want, if the RNG odds were not in your favour.

It pains me to say this but free is a very deceptive word in the MMO world.

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Ashfyn Ninegold

Made me laugh. Free is a VERY deceptive word in any world. Nothing is free. Not a thing. Someone, somewhere is paying for it. You’re probably paying for it, just not in a way you immediately recognize. Do you really think free miles are free? Do you really think the award points on your credit card are free?

Many people may play PoE and spend no money on it, but many, many more buy supporter packs. The players who buy supporter packs pay for the game’s development.

To get back to my point. Nothing is free. It’s just that somebody else is paying for it.

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John Mclain

I look forward to the not-too-distant future when all countries label these for what they are, gambling. And outlaw/restrict them appropriately. (Some already have I hear.)

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Blood Ravens Gaming

I guess it makes it better that you are being more open about how you plan to take advantage of someones need to gamble(?).

For me the boxes are just a no go. I don’t buy them, I don’t like the mechanic in an online game. If companies were more creative in their content they could develop better ways to get support for their game. When items like this and most cash shop items are focused on as the major source of revenue for a game the content, story and other core parts of the game loses.

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TheDonDude

I wonder how 100% transparent lock boxes would work. Like a boss drops a piece of gear, but in order to actually use the piece of gear you have to buy a key.

“Telling you the odds” doesn’t make it transparent. That should be the default.

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Fenryr Grey

But it isn’t a standard in the West. In some Asian countries it is enforced by law. Probably it’s just my imagination, but sometimes the odds are just very conveniently against you just before you collected the last bit to get 100%. I simply don’t trust the RNG in a software especially if the RNG pays the bills of those companies.

failed_apathy
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failed_apathy

Kind of ironic for them to talk about ethics, considering they directly profit off of a third-party website by selling stash tabs that interface directly with it.

They claim that an auction house or trading system will somehow screw up their vision of the game, but they certainly don’t mind profiting off of an already robust trading system set up by someone else.

But hey, as long as poe.trade is okay with it, then it’s fine, right? “That’s how business works! Developers have to make money!” *waves hands in a mysterious gesture, seemingly doing nothing*

“Why would GGG steal your ethics homework?”

“… because they don’t have ethics?”

That’s a Star Trek joke, lest I smudge anyone’s gleaming white armour.

I’m willing to give GGG the benefit of the doubt and assume they were busy with their upcoming update, but really, some sort of functional mass/quick trade system — even if not on a global auction house scale — is long, long overdue. Or at least, it’s been overdue as long as they thought it ethically okay to sell trade API stash tabs off of someone else’s work.

I know GGG’s a small team, but maybe after the big update would be a good time to get cracking on it, eh?

At any rate, good on them, I guess. I suspect their internal data suggests it won’t hurt lockbox sales anyways though, which would mean this is mostly just a PR stunt. But still, 20% is probably better than most games’ lockbox rare drops.

wandris
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wandris

Nobody who actually trades wants such a system. As it is you can sell items very easy due to the lack of a standard auction system because it cuts down the competition making it easier to find buyers.

For most people stash tabs are literally the only thing they will ever buy. The one highly desirable item which supports future development of the game. So congrats on questioning the ethics of one of the least greedy game companies in the world.

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Bryan Correll

As it is you can sell items very easy due to the lack of a standard auction system because it cuts down the competition making it easier to find buyers.

You do realize that an integrated AH would increase the number of buyers as well as sellers, don’t you?

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Liking for your last line, not for the rest. Calling GGG out for being transparent in an industry that isn’t just makes no sense. It’s fine to want an auction hall too (and no kidding that people who thrive without an AH don’t want competition, heh!), but that’s got nothing to do with lockbox transparency.

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Veldan

There is actually a reason to keep the trade system as it is. If there would be an auction house or broker type of system in the game, that would mean both looking up items and making the transaction were as good as instant. As a result, trading would be too fast and easy, and would get a bigger impact on the game than it does right now (because right now, while searching an item is fast and easy, you still have to contact a seller and do the trade ingame).

This is also why for the xbox version, which will have an ingame system with instant transactions if I understand it right, it will be harder to find the item you want. This is to keep some sort of balance and prevent trading from becoming too fast and easy.

Source: interview with GGG lead dev, I can probably find a link to it if you want

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BalsBigBrother

Um yeah

*Backs away slowly with a friendly smile plastered on my face*

styopa
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styopa

Still gambling, and should be considered as such in terms of regulation.

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Craig Sharp

Agreed, and having been a vocal opponent of lockboxes I’d much rather they didn’t exist at all. That being said, this is a hugely positive step if companies DO insist on treating customers as milkable cash-cows, hopefully it gets enough decent press that it persuades/shames other companies into adopting similar policies for their crack crates too.

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BalsBigBrother

Oh don’t get me wrong I rather they not be around either. I value honesty a lot so if lockboxes must be a thing then companies should be honest about what they sell and what their buyer can expect of them instead of hiding it away.

Like you I really do hope that more mmo companies look at this and adopt the same stance as GGG.

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Veldan

I love it, first studio to do a lockbox right. I’m still not going to buy one though. I also wonder how this affects the box sales.

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Jeremy Barnes

I need to throw some money at poe today

pepperzine
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pepperzine

Good job GGG! This is definitely a step in the right direction! Hopefully other MMOs see the success of PoE and take note on the way they choose to monetize their product.

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Targeter

Well done, POE. They’ve long been considered the most ‘ethical’ of F2P games, at least by my circle of friends. This is both welcomed and appreciated. When this drops on Xbox, I’m definitely picking it up and supporting them with some microtransactions.

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BalsBigBrother

This is something I personally have been asking for a long time from every mmo that sells lockboxes. Lockboxes sell there is no denying that but if you are going to sell them to me let me make an informed choice about buying one by telling me what is in them and the odds of getting it.

It really shouldn’t surprise me that Grinding Gear Games are forward thinking enough to take this sort of approach ahead of pretty much everyone else. I don’t usually buy lockboxes but after seeing this at the weekend I dropped $20 on them. Simply because I agree so much with what GGG are doing and how they see gaming monetisation. Other companies need to take note.

Rustyblades
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Rustyblades

You mean they took a more ethical approach to sell digital content???? Woah, pick me up off the floor. If I enjoyed 3/4 RPGs then I’d definitely play more of PoE.

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