Massively OP Podcast Episode 139: Catching up with Legends of Aria

Everyone comes to our house.

On this week’s show, Legends of Aria’s Derek Brinkmann returns for another interview about how the indie MMORPG is shaping up as it goes through its “final” alpha and heads toward beta and launch. We also dig deep into the mailbag to gripe about gambling!

It’s the Massively OP Podcast, an action-packed hour of news, tales, opinions, and gamer emails! And remember, if you’d like to send in your own letter to the show, use the “Tips” button in the top-right corner of the site to do so.

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Larry’s article back then and your thoughts on lockboxes now have softened my opinions. I think it’s a fair point that lockboxes are not that dissimilar to in-game RNG mechanics. Though I also agree that I didn’t like the RNG stuff in the first place, even before I played MMOs.

It just makes me wonder what developers can even create as a substitute to RNG-designed gameplay. It’s been long tied into what gets gamers hooked on, and it closely ties into the rewarding feeling of progression. With how quickly content is consumed, I can’t think of a good answer. It all feels to intrinsic to gaming, especially these days. Developers and publishers have simply smartened up and caught on even more.

Harry Koala
Harry Koala

Another thought on lockbox psychology: imagine a situation where boxes and keys were reversed.

That is, instead of having boxes coming out of your ears, but virtually no free keys, flip it around so that keys drop everywhere, but the loot boxes are extremely rare or bought for cash.

Most people would have very little trouble with binning the keys en masse with the logic that as soon as you have a box to open, you can get a get almost immediately with no trouble.

The only difference between the two versions is changing the text and pictures. The mechanics of needing two items to combine to turn in to a ‘real’ item are absolutely identical. It is purely the picture that makes our intuition think that the item is ‘in’ the box and has some independent existence: the idea that it is already there in some sense.


I, myself, would rather argue instead of “time is money, money is time”:

spent money = earned money + time spent working!

Because if you spend money for a chance of loot, you are not only spending that money, but also spending the time you needed to earn that money! Time would only have the same value for me, if I took an extra unpaid vacation or missed business appointments only to try for a chance to get that loot from a boss! But I also agree with Bree, that spending that time ingame battling a boss together with friends still holds also its own value, even if you missed out on loot!

Btw, lockboxes are spreading even further: Star Wars Battlefront 2, Middle-earth: Shadow of War, Assassin’s Creed Origins,… :/