Star Trek Online players play with numbers to crack lockbox drop rates

    
25
Oh noes.

While plenty of online games with lockboxes already have transparent lockboxes and far more are due to get them over the next year thanks to the ESA’s soft-mandate, there’s something you can do right now to confront lockboxes: Don’t buy them. Of course, you’re gonna buy them anyway, so maybe – just maybe – you should know what’s in ’em before you gamble away your hard-earned money, and if the studios aren’t gonna tell you, it’s down to the players to sort it out.

And that’s exactly what Star Trek Online players have done.

Rather than open a bajillion boxes on a video for views, dukedom01 instead hiked over to the Tribble test environment and opened 10,000 Infinity lockboxes to meticulously record how much of everything he got in order to estimate the drop rates of all the foozles inside. He found a 7.15% drop rate for regular duty officer packs and 6.61% for special duty officers – so nearly 14% rate for duty officers total – as well as almost 11% for kits. The tester’s conclusions, however, focus more on items that have become more rare unintentionally, on player-unfriendly bind-to-character mechanics, and on what he characterizes as the “carpal tunnel inducing” weapon pack opening system.

And then Redditor joxterthemighty performed a similar experiment with close to a thousand Phoenix prize boxes, pulling in only one epic and two ultra rare items for his trouble.

So there you go: the closest thing to transparent lockboxes in STO right now.

I’m having flashbacks to that time I ran tests on whether a certain stat affected crafting rolls in another sci-fi MMORPG. It didn’t. But a decade later, people still believe it does. I wish these napkin-math rundowns had the effect they ought to, but nope.

Source: Official forums, Reddit. Cheers, Panagiotis!
newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Hravik

People have been calculating the odds of dropboxes for years in STO, but mostly through crowdsourcing the numbers. Nothing new here.

Reader
Castagere Shaikura

I have never opened one box in any of PWE games. I do make a crapload of credits though by selling them on the AH. They drop like candy.

Reader
Arktouros

there’s something you can do right now to confront lockboxes: Don’t buy them.

This has been and always will be the solution to lock boxes. Just don’t buy them.

If a game gates enough interesting and fun items behind their lock boxes that the game is no longer enjoyable or fun then quit that game. Games are entertainment products and if you’re not being entertained them simply go find another one that does entertain you.

If you’re an gambling addict and you can’t control yourself then don’t play that game. Like all forms of addiction understanding what your weaknesses and triggers are is important and avoid them. There are some games I avoid because of the unhealthy habits I fall into when I do play them.

You’re not going to get businesses to change. You can maybe once in a great while get them to adjust their behavior, but the business that was OK with adopting a predatory business practice like lockboxes isn’t going to hesitate to find and use the next predatory method.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

And yet according to the spamming messages on your screen every 10 seconds, someone gets an epic ship from a lockbox all the time!

What you mean they were lying and most of those people don’t even exist.. i’m shocked! SHOCKED! I tell you… okay, well maybe not so much.

There are reasons I call them craptic and their prolific lockboxes with sh**y odds is just one of the many of them. Although its likely more PWE than them to blame.

Lockboxes need to go, they are the worst.

Reader
Daniel Reasor

I see no reason to assume the fly-in messages are fake, but the game hosts every player in the world on one server and has since launch. It’s disturbing to think about just how sporadic those messages are, in light of that.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

Already a LONG proven fact I’m afraid that little nugget got exposed not long after they started. They aren’t ALL fake, but many of them are and from non-existant and made up account names. You will also see names repeat if you watch it long enough too. But as I say that is all old news.

flatline4400
Reader
flatline4400

You can turn off those flyby notifications (and anything else you dont want to see) with like 3 clicks…

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

Partially true, you can turn them off temporarily, but they default back on every time you log in.

flatline4400
Reader
flatline4400

No, my flybys for those things have been disabled for a good I dunno… 7 years? However long I’ve been playing. Did it in my first hour in the game, they’ve never spontaneously turned back on.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

Either you found something I didn’t, they changed it etc.. as I’ve been with STO since early Beta and when it eventually went F2p in 2012 and they added those stupid messages, every time I disabled them they default back on every time I log in.

colour me jelly :)

Reader
Hirku

I also disabled the messages just as flatline said, and also in 7 years of on and off play they’ve never come back. Pretty sure it was also included when I exported the UI settings to a file to quickly apply to new characters.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

hmm may be time to re-download the client I think as they NEVER stay off for me.
Still on or off their presence is less offensive than the snake oil they are trying to sell with the fake tales of lockbox success lol

flatline4400
Reader
flatline4400

Click down arrow chevron near the minimap, Notification Settings, uncheck Gameplay Announcements (Chat and Flyin). Done.

If it’s not sticking then you should try resetting your Gameprefs.Pref file (inside your STO directory in \ Live \ Localdata \ ). Just delete/rename it and start the game. (Relevant entry is PrefEntry DisableGameplayAnnounceFlybys 1)

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

cool thanks flatline4400 i’ll give it a tweak, as I say its the not sticking part I have issues with.

Reader
PanagiotisLial1

The odds for a ship are like 1 from 200+ lockboxes since 0,40%

if you are the one opening the keys you spend on them worth around 4m energy credits or so and that makes it 800m+ to find one on average while they usually cost in exchange 350-450m depending on ship. Of course you get other things on the way too, but if your only goal is the ship then it will be quite expensive just for it

I got my only lockbox ship, the Sarcophagus with Energy Credits(EC short) from the exchange(their marker) and I am not intending to open boxes unless and when I need lobi for account bound things

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

I use my lifer’s stipend to buy keys, I would never use my own cash. And to date, I have opened literally hundreds upon hundreds of lockboxes and in 7 years have NEVEr had a single ship from them. The only ships I have from them have come from accumulated lobi purchases and auction house purchases..

The odds for the rare ship that they feature with EVERy lockbox prominently are so remote as to be ridiculous.

Reader
PanagiotisLial1

I got exactly 120 lobi and my lifetime lobi sum is 170(I had spent 50 on a weapon) so you can guess the number of boxes I ever opened is quite low

I had been checking the game starting from its PWE acquisition every new expansion for a couple weeks and deleted my char every time I returned, so technically I play “seriously” only since april 2018 but while I intend to play for a lot more I dont intend to open boxes. I occasionally bought keys to sell for EC but that is also something happening rare.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

I prefer how they were pre PWE acquisition. They released a ship it went into the C store. You liked it you bought it, if you didn’t you didn’t. It was purer, more honest and did not have the lottery approach involved. Give me a sub game ANY day of the week of the F2p and all the associated BS that comes with that business model.

Reader
PanagiotisLial1

I didnt even know on the game pre-PWE. Basically I was playing PWI back then and most PWI players who ever spent something got an invite to test. It was even promoted as “beta” on that email which apparently, wasnt as I learnt later.

If you ask me, the lottery began from asian f2p mmos as wheel of fortune/lottery tickets to use and slowly evolved into lockboxes. I remember wheel of fortune appearing first time around 2004-05ish on asian games and while already had the pay-not-to-blow up items while enchaning

Reader
Vincent Clark

So when I stopped playing LotRO because of their loot boxes (one of many reasons, really), I continued to play STO because I took that game less seriously, I bought a lifetime sub ages ago and it was more about just shooting stuff with my shiny new ship every once in awhile. Very hypocritical, I know.

I’ve since then uninstalled and refuse to pay them a dime, but I’m not the “problem”. My best friend has far more disposable income, far less time on his hands and a deeper reverence for Star Trek lore…so he will pour hundreds of dollars into this game and not bat an eye–all on shiny new ships (or in this case, a chance to get a shiny new ship).

STO knows who my friend is (lol). They depend on people like him. They cater to people like him. So…as long as there are people around who fall into that category (and I have no doubt that the “whales” are keeping STO afloat), the game will keep doing what it’s doing.

Reader
Robert Mann

No, actually, I am NOT going to buy them. I just don’t. I don’t spend money on anything I wish to avoid supporting, so even if I support a game with such mechanics in it the money would be on anything else. Even if I wouldn’t use that thing, I would buy it before this trash. Heck, even them existing in the game makes me want to play it less.

Same deal with other things I do not wish to see more of: Gacha, various shady practices in shops, not-so-optional subscriptions in F2P titles (although I fully support sub-only as an option for games if they return on that to players), Epic’s exclusives thing which would just lead to even more launchers for us to download and juggle, etc.

semugh
Reader
semugh

you can buy everything in those lockboxes with cash. (zen -> keys -> EC) That way you direct support cryptic. (I do this myself. I have every enterprise in the game.)

Reader
Daniel Reasor

That’s precisely how I secured the only two lockbox ships I’ve ever owned, the Kelvin Timeline Romulan Carrier and Kelvin Timeline Klingon Bird of Prey.

Reader
Daniel Reasor

The odds on the Phoenix Prize Pack sound right. That matches the experience that I had with then until I stopped spending dilithium into packs. A smarter use of the Phoenix Prize Pack is to sell your refined dilithium to other players for Zen while the demand is high, but even that isn’t really a fix for the problem. It’s just making the problem work for you.

The Tribble test server tester cited in the article claims a 0.40% drop rate on Tier 6 lockbox ships in his lockbox experiment. Just under a half of one percent is honestly a higher drop rate than I would have expected.

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Darthbawl

Praise to these players for killing their keyboards/mice so we all don’t have to. ✔