Path of Exile cancels new lockboxes-within-lockboxes after ‘intensely negative’ feedback

    
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So let’s play a little round of bad news, good news with Path of Exile. Yesterday, with the Blight expansion not even a week behind us, Grinding Gear Games announced the sale of what is effectively a lockbox inside a lockbox.

“Unlike a themed Mystery Box, the Salvage Box contains microtransactions from all past boxes. It can yield most microtransactions introduced with a themed Mystery Box that weren’t specifically marked as exclusive to that box. The microtransactions from each new box will be added to the Salvage Box’s reward pool at the point that those microtransactions are added to the store (one month after their box goes off sale). For example, the Frontier microtransactions will become available one month from now, and the Carnival microtransactions in four. A Salvage Box costs 30 points and by default, contains any Common (non-exclusive) microtransaction introduced in a past box. The Salvage Box also lets you destroy your duplicate microtransactions to increase the chances of getting better results. Only microtransactions you have more than one of can be Salvaged. The more valuable the microtransaction, the more of an increase to the reward chances it grants.”

The player reaction wasn’t great, given the current state of lockboxes in the industry; most of the only positivity was for the fact that GGG was at least addressing duplicate items. So here’s the good news: Less than four hours after announcing and implementing the new system, GGG’s Chris Wilson canceled it outright, citing “intensely negative” feedback.

“Earlier today we released the Salvage Box, a mystery box that ramps up the value of its rewards if you destroy duplicate microtransactions,” he wrote. “Community feedback about this feature was intensely negative. We have removed this box from sale. Salvage Boxes that have already been purchased will continue to function until consumed.”

We’re going to assume here that the sort of clear thinking and fair play that’s won Path of Exile’s devs our studio of the year award (and propelled the studio to march at the vanguard of the transparent lockbox trend) prevailed in the end.

Sadly, this isn’t remotely the first time the MMO industry has seen this; SWTOR’s lockboxes-inside-lockboxes were legendary.

Source: Official site, retraction. Thanks, Arktouros!
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Jonathan Straka

Yeah, how dare Grinding Gear Games attempt to fund what is the most generous free-to-play experience in the history of video games with insignificant cosmetic rewards that have zero effect on gameplay. You can attack alot of games for loot box practices. Path of Exile isn’t even close to being one of them. More entitled gamer nonesense.

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Arktouros

GGG already funds the game extremely well through things like league supporter packs ($60/league and there’s 4 leagues/year) and extremely expensive cosmetics ($42 for a full set of just armor). They also regularly introduce new mechanics that are extremely inventory space intensive. Currency, maps, essences, fossils, divination cards, fossils, resonators, splinters, scarabs, fragments, etc. This makes any kind of elongated play time extremely painful if you don’t pay something for storage. You might argue that if you’re going to play then you should pay something, but I would equally counter argue that you can’t really call it F2P then cause there’s an expectation of payment.

As someone who does support GGG quite substantially the outrage here was not entitlement. It was a poorly designed attempt at addressing one of the worst parts of their lootbox system and they recognized that and pulled it. Lets be clear about that too, they didn’t wait a while, they didn’t give it a shot, the feedback was so overwhelmingly negative from universally everyone they didn’t even last an hour. Why anyone would defend what was obviously a bad decision is beyond me.

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Armsbend

The ire over it’s latest lootboxes – Carnival – isn’t much better. It is one of their first truly awful looking MTX offerings. The game is finally in decline.

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yoh_sl

GGG clearly screwed up here, but at least they have the conscience of mind to at least A: Be aware of the fact they screwed up, and B: Own their mistake openly and honestly.
Which is a lot more then I can say for the significant majority of companies that have done something shady with their lootboxes.

Mewmew
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Mewmew

These aren’t “lockboxes within lockboxes” – I think the way they worded it was just confusing to people. This is putting previous lockbox rewards in a new type of lockbox with a trade in system for duplicates. You don’t open a lockbox and find another lockbox, it just contains rewards from previous lockboxes. These rewards and items that you can still just buy straight from the store instead at this point if you want. I don’t really see the issue in a game that already has lockboxes anyway…

I think what they were doing and how they worded it just confused people… It seemed to sort of confuse the writer of this article :P To me the concept makes sense, though I admit I’m very used to this kind of thing in the games I play as well.

Unless it was that people thought this was some kind of foreshadowing to either raising the prices of stuff outside of lockboxes or not selling some things at all but having them only appear in this lockbox.

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agemyth 😩

It is no longer acceptable to do the same things Dota 2 does with its MTX/lockboxes.

I love Dota 2 to death, but get this stuff out of video games and off this planet. At least Dota eliminated getting dupes ages ago.

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Bryan Correll

PoE lockboxes have always been a particularly poor ‘investment.’ Most games you would be able to trade duplicates with other players or (as Arktouros points out below regarding ESO) turn them in for a different type of currency. And since the items in the seasonal boxes are all eventually (after six months-ish I believe) listed as directly purchasable items on the cash shop if there’s something you want you’re better off to wait and buy it without the gamble.

ejester
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ejester

all lockboxes fucking suck!

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Arktouros

The worst part about this box is people who have lots of duplicates usually already have the “rarer” items because that’s what they were going for when they got said duplicates in the first place. Someone who opened 50 boxes and ended up with 25 duplicates got there chasing the other few items they didn’t get (and, well, those are still rookie numbers). So trading 5 duplicates and getting back what will most likely be yet another duplicate is just a real kick in the balls especially when you had to pay another $3 to even do that.

It’s essentially “The Mysterious Gift” prophecy come to life: “A merchant seeks to trade misfitting gifts. Five for one, but what is the one?”

Also this problem is very easy to fix if they were interested in fixing it. Let players turn in duplicates for items they want. There are many ways to do that with being fair to both the players and GGG. The only downside is that they lose money from the people who have poor impulse control and spend hundreds/thousands trying to get that one last item the boxes didn’t give them to complete their set. Which if that’s the way they want to do business that’s fine, and sadly pretty normal for game developers, but I don’t think they deserve any kind of praise or recognition when they’re literally no better than other companies at that point.

K38FishTacos
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K38FishTacos

Is this the fingerprints of TenCent starting to show up, or just a GGG brainfart?

camren_rooke
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camren_rooke

In this parable, Tencent is the serpent and GGG is Eve.

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Tanek

If it was from TenCent, I doubt it would have been turned around so quickly.sometimes mistakes are just going to be made and we can judge based on the response. Like Bree said, this is why GGG gets pretty high marks as a game dev.

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Life_Isnt_Just_Dank_Memes

“We saw what happened with EA and Star Wars but we were like, maybe our customers are garbage people and won’t care and we’ll make a ton of money.” PoE devs, most likely.