Gambling addict successfully petitions Path of Exile to disable lockboxes

    
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it just keep rolling

In a year full of Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad news concerning lockboxes in online games, here may be the very first positive story about the topic.

On Reddit, a Path of Exile player named Candence shared a testimony about how she was dealing with her gambling addiction by playing the game instead. This was a great substitution, she said, at least until lockboxes game into the game and started tempting her to buy supporter pack after supporter pack in the hopes of completing gear sets.

But here’s the surprising twist: Recognizing that she was on a self-professed slippery slope that was feeding her addiction, Candence petitioned Path of Exile’s support team to disable the option to purchase these lootboxes entirely (with specific instructions never to lift this restriction). The answer? Yes, it could be done.

“What a relief that is,” she wrote. “Thank you, GGG, for allowing me to enjoy the game without exploiting my brain damage. For anyone else who’s dealing with the same problem, please know that this is an option.”

Source: Reddit. Thanks Scott!
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Chosenxeno .

Meh. Be an adult and exercise self-control. Not advocating for shitboxes. Just tired of people hiding behind mental health.

Veldan
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Veldan

That’s a dumb thing to say. Obviously, this person did not have the required amount of self control, or he wouldn’t have gone through the trouble of contacting GGG.

If you have lots of self-control, that’s great. But not everyone does, and it has nothing to do with “be an adult”. Some people’s brains are wired in such a way that they get addicted easily.

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John Kiser

To address both of you. Yes, people need to exert a bit more self control and realize their personalities are dangerous. Other people that occasionally buy loot boxes and the companies that put loot boxes into games should not be punished because some people lack the self control.

I think what needs to happen honestly is pushing games to require an algorithm that watches people’s buying habits and if they start noticing a pattern that looks like gambling addiction disable those people’s ability to access buying randomized things.

It is particularly problematic to punish lootboxes that are cosmetic only, but i have a problem when there is gear that effects power that you can only be gotten in lootboxes or even micro-transactions that are actually p2w (ie you can buy power that you can’t attain in game and not just shit that speeds up the leveling process.).

I feel the person here was responsible in asking for her specific account to be flagged so she cannot purchase. Sadly if her addiction is really bad she may find ways around this. She is thankfully seemingly going to seek professional help which she should of probably done a long time ago too.

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Chosenxeno .

Meh. I’m not going to change my stance on this. Spare me the short story. I’m also annoyed by anorexics. Eat or Die. Not really a hard choice imo. I’m not going to pity you because you are too dumb to eat even though we don’t need to Xray you to see your skeleton. Post epidemic Aids who acquired it through preventable scenarios are also annoying. Don’t share needles or have unprotected sex. AIDS is not new. All Drug Addicts piss me off. Again, drugs are not new and the consequences are well documented. Why would you try heroin? I have no empathy for the undeserving. If you don’t see a problem with getting a Home Loan to support your Gaming habit(this is real) don’t come crying to me.

It is about being an adult and Maturity. Being a Grown up is not about doing what you WANT to do. It’s about doing what you HAVE TO DO. I would love to pack bowls like I did in my teens and 20s. I’m a adult now. As such, I recognize that that money needs to be spent handling adult responsibilities. Not on Drugs or a hobby that I am not making my living on. People need to grow up.

Would you white knight someone saying: “Boobs need to be taken out of games because I’m a recovering serial groper and this game makes me wanna grab boobies”?

No you would not. And don’t say I’m being extreme. You are the one saying we should cater to people who refuse to get a hold of themselves! Where does it end for you?

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kgptzac

I don’t know what’s being said in the back and forth of the messages between this player and customer support, but if I work for the CS I have to genuinely wonder if it’s worth my time responding. Of course I don’t work for their support and I can’t verify whether or not they’ve been “not trained professionally to tell you to fuck off” (and whether I need to be trained to have that ability anyway).

I don’t play Path of Exile, and knowing it’s a F2P game, I can compare to what this player is asking akin to walk into a Starbucks, use their restroom, and ask the cashier to ban her from ever purchasing anything from Starbucks (but still retain her right to use Starbucks’ restrooms).

It is inconceivable. Not sure if this is a zero-sum game on PR points, but if they allow one person to self-ban purchasing lootboxes, they are saying everyone else could get this treatment, instead of you know, instead of clicking that “buy” button one could just uninstall the game instead.

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Bryan Correll

The analogy doesn’t quite hold since there are things besides lockboxes on the store (see below for my rant about the particulars of PoE Mystery Boxes) that she can still purchase (she notes in her post that she had no issues with the store before the boxes were added.) This is more akin to asking the folks at Starbucks not serve you any dairy products as you’re trying to go vegan and don’t trust yourself to not have milk cravings.

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Mewmew

I have a real problem with lockboxes as well.

If you see something you want, you keep spending until you get it. Once you’ve spent so much money trying to get something good, it becomes a thing where all that money feels totally wasted if you stop spending before you get it. You feel like you’ve invested too much to stop and have to keep going, at least then you will get something for your money once it does finally come up in your draws.

There actually is a lot of fun to be had in the right mobile games, but I’m completely addicted to rolling for draws in the wrong ones. I’d have a good deal of money in savings if I could get control of my lockbox addiction. I’m not going to mention the amount, because it is embarrassing. Plus I keep the amount I spend on them hidden from those around me and so I don’t want to write it down in a public comment.

Maybe you might think that admitting it to those people around me would be a good way to start to get the problem under control, but I don’t have a great understanding support group of people or anything. They’d just deride me and give me crap about it and go on about how stupid I’ve been etc. and it would continue for years and years.

Cadaver
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Cadaver

Praising GGG’s actions here really highlights how little we have come to expect from developers. But good behaviour should be always acknowledged and encouraged, so bravo.

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Bryan Correll

Preface: Path of Exile is pretty much all I play these days. I love the game and approve of GGG’s handling of issues overall.

That said, PoE’s lockboxes are a particularly bad ‘investment’ in virtual items even compared to other boxes since micro-transactions can’t be traded. The items may all be set to cost more from the store (once they’re up individually,) but once you have a Corsair Hood (a common item in the newish Fairbanks Mystery Box) the marginal value of getting a second one is extremely low (even if you want more than one character to wear it you can switch them on the fly.) Most games you could trade away unwanted lockbox items, but in PoE you’re just stuck with them. All the items will at some point (this is also a big difference from most games) be placed on the market at individual prices once the particular mystery box is retired. It’s much better to wait and get exactly what you want instead of gambling.

tl;dr – Don’t buy PoE mystery boxes even if you want the items in them. Just wait for them to go up on the regular market where you can buy them straight up without gambling.

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Godnaz

Just got into PoE when Betreyal dropped at the beginning of December. 76hours into PoE, I’ve never seen a developer so in touch with thier community like Grinding Gear Games. There is literally no need to white knight Path of Exile because of how well handle they thier customers. Developers post multiple times a day from thier respective development positions on the forums to guide players and address concerns. They don’t go silent over concerns or requests that I’ve seen.

– ‘We want 360 degree camera panning.’ – Sorry, we can’t do that. Here’s why.

– ‘The HUD is too big and gaudy. Better customization!’ – We are working on refining the UI all the time. Any new changes coming, we’ll post it.

– ‘The cash shop is too expensive!’ – Our entire game is completely free. No paid buffs, no time saver items or mechanics, no pay to win what so ever. Just cosmetics and storage organization tabs. You do not have to pay to support us. We discount our items sets twice a week. We do appreciate it though.

No other developer of the RPG’s I’ve seen do this. You keep reading it but you begin to understand why they are Developer of the Year if you play and enjoy thier game. Plus a cancer free community who likes to help eachother get better.

GGG cares about thier community and customers.

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Armsbend

A few years ago – when PoE leaned much more hardcore – the community was pretty nasty to each other – in kind of a friendly ribbing sort of a way. GGG started off being that way themselves but slowly changed. It’s been an interesting ride.

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NeoWolf

I find this very heartening that a company would not only hear this plea, but do something about it.

I doth my cap to you GGG, you clearly care about more than money, which is very rare among companies these days. You have my respect.

failed_apathy
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failed_apathy

Oh, Good Guy GGG! How great that they allow players to stop poisoning themselves! What a smart player, too, for being self-aware!

I mean, it’s not like someone with an actual gambling problem wouldn’t just find a way to get around the restrictions. Are they going to block her from making new accounts or applying for new credit cards too?

But I play POE, so therefore any news that puts me and my chosen affiliation in good light will be praised as good news, for I too, am a Good Person.

But POE is still a good game if you enjoy RPG number inflation more than actual skill-based gameplay, enhancing your RSI via micro-managing dozens of new one-slot items every league (buy our new stash tabs!), and the flexibility of thousands of possible builds via the amazing skill tree (but only a dozen or two practically viable ones).

Nevermind the fact that they cashed in on trade-enabled stash tabs for the longest time by taking advantage of third-party site poe.trade, and rather than acknowledge that, they instead made their own trade site to deflect the fact that they profited off of someone else.

Of course, they still seem to be reluctant to put in an actual in-game trading system beyond this half-assed pseudo-bartering. They say it’s for economy or balance reasons, but considering they officially support external systems already in place, it’s hard to believe.

Considering how much they nickel-and-dime their game “convenience,” they really ought to just make a full-access subscriber package(s) at this point. But I’m guessing that wouldn’t be nearly as profitable, especially now that they’re spreading their F2P to consoles.

btw Justin/MOP, the person’s name seems to be Cadence, not Candence.

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Matt Comstock

That was a nice bit of news. Glad to hear they were able to accommodate her.

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3dom

I have a card released in another country and GGG’s store does not allow me to purchase anything using the card (it works fine for virtually all other stores via Internet). When I’ve asked support if they can lift the restriction for my account by checking my documents during video call – they’ve said “no, sorry”.

So it’s believable that GGG is cutting off their sales to reduce risks.