The Daily Grind: What do you actually expect to get out of MMORPG lockboxes?

MMO blogger Bhagpuss has an intriguing multi-angle post out this week criticizing, rightly in my mind, Guild Wars 2’s lockboxes, but not the way you’re thinking. See, unlike a lot of MMO players who read blogs and think about the way our games are put together, he says he doesn’t mind lockboxes, at least the kind you needn’t pay to open. He even likes RNG. What annoys him is that the game’s cash-shop lockboxes are usually crap, such that the freebie ones he gets are so unappealing that he can’t even imagine how anyone feels compelled to buy keys.

“The only remotely interesting thing I got was a dye,” he laments. “Everything else was embarrassingly dull. […] I’d have thought it might be worth rigging the odds on these infrequent freebies so that everyone gets at least a halfway decent item. The dye would do it. A mini, perhaps. Nothing amazing, just not a Bank Express and a 30 minute booster.”

I thought his article would prove a fun jumping off point for today’s Daily Grind. What do you actually expect out of a paid lockbox in an MMO? Are there MMOs whose lockboxes are so stingy that you just skip ’em entirely?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!
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Little Bugbear

I don’t buy lockboxes, but you would think they would have cool things like costumes, mounts, dyes, pets, weapons, or housing items.

Cadaver
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Cadaver

I don’t pay for lockboxes. It doesn’t matter to me what they contain. All they ever do is incrementally feed my disenchantment with the game, this genre and the games industry in general. I’m just so tired of all this bullshit.

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Ket Viliano

Robbed.

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NeoWolf

My expectations for lockboxes are like how SWTORS packs USED to be (emphasis on USED to be), whereby you are garunteed a number of useful things (rare mats, companion gifts, exp boost consumables etc..) and one or two bronze of silver things from the pack selection and that CHANCE of a gold thing (the rare things), which defaults to another silver if you don’t get one.

If a lockbox gives me nothing useful and you literally NEVER EVER get the rare thing even after hundreds of lockboxes then something IS seriously wrong especially as they constantly dangle that rare carrot in your face or in STO, and Neverwinters case outry lie every 30 seconds by putting fake messages on screen that EVERYONE has been getting the rare thing …uh hu..sure they have. :)

miol
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miol

Why would somebody want lockboxes to be more consequential, if you don’t want them in the first place?! o.O

If you can’t get rid of them entirely anyway, I would prefer to have them as uninteresting as possible, so I don’t need to be bothered with it and couldn’t care less!

After the backlash of having the entire Privateer weapon skins collection account-bound and therefore not having the alternative of being purchaseable directly from TP throuh gold instead and being forced to buy lockbox keys, Anet backed off and I was proud of the community!

But Anet didn’t stopped trying! Now providing only single account-bound weapon skins instead from time to time, where there wasn’t given much attention compareably!

There are so many other MMOs though, where it mostly revolves around lockboxes and their possible prices, making them way less about gaming but are more just gambling hangouts!

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blah blazh

I agree with Bhagpuss on GW2’s lockboxes. The only people I could see buying keys for them are new players who don’t know any better. What do I expect out of them? Well, crap is what I expect. And that’s what I get when I get free keys to use on them.

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McGuffn

I bought keys yesterday or the day before. I’ve been playing for 5 years, and I know better.

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blah blazh

well, you should know better ;-p

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zoward

While I’ve never bought lockbox keys, I have bought lockboxes. The only time I’ve ever bought lockboxes was from TSW – I wanted to toss a little money their way, so I bought some Funcom points. I didn’t see anything I wanted in the store and was feeling whimsical, so I bought some of those “open this box and 15 people around you get the same thing you get” holiday lockboxes. Then I hung out for a while in Agartha, and handed out loot whenever the urge struck me. I got mostly crap, but one pet, a new dance, and a lot of thank yous. Interestingly, someone else opened one nearby and I got a second pet. Overall it was a lot of fun. Not giving a crap what actually came out of the boxes themselves actually added to it.

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Rees Racer

“…expect to get out of MMORPG lockboxes?”

My serenity is inversely proportional to my expectations and directly proportional to my level of acceptance. I only open lockboxes with free keys, and if I receive anything at all, then I am pleasantly surprised.

Just as the WOPR computer says at the end of the movie Wargames“the only winning move is not to play.”

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Michael18

I hardly ever open lockboxes, even if I get free boxes/keys.
At the moment I’m making a fortune selling black steel keys on the AH in LOTRO.

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Sally Bowls

What I am looking for is where the expected value of the contents is worth more than the purchase price.

The SWTOR lockboxes were the best – least worst – implementation I have seen. People who wanted to RMT the credits could buy them and sell the lockboxes unopened so no RNG involved at all. I could buy a lockbox with ingame credits. A then guildie made quite a bit of credits from buying lockboxes with credits and selling the contents for credits. Which, of course, completely refutes the contents are worthless: most boxes were losses, but the wins more than made up for it.