Are 'gold chests' like 'loot boxes'?

I’ve seen this news today, Belgium bans loot boxes (boxes with pseudo random items that you can buy) because: “Mixing games and gambling, especially at a young age, is dangerous for mental health,”

The description of loot boxes (I’ve never played those games to know exactly what they are) sounds like gold chests. This might be a problem for WD too, right?

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They’re loot boxes. You open it for a “random” chance of a pool of items.

There are ways that companies have been attempting to finesse things, such as how PG at one point had % amounts for each item but then decided they didn’t want to share that level of detail and fell back to rarity (e.g. epic, legendary) % only.

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The answer is yes

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“Random” :joy: I have a teammate that can tell me my next “random” gold chest if I tell him my last.

It’s kinda iffy. The drops aren’t random. There is a sequence to them so “technically” it isn’t random. I’m almost certain it’s intentional as well

The big thing with loot boxes is the gambling aspect of them. If it’s not random it’s hard to classify it as gambling

True, but PG doesn’t advertise the sequence of the items, rather depicts them as “random” so it could still count as gambling as far as Belgium is concerned.

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It’s the same reason we have to sit and wait for dragons to breed for 30 minutes. Even though PG knows that the players have published guides with the exact cost of these dragons, they are trying to keep up the illusion that it is “random”.

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Right, by all means is a random sequence, unless they publish exactly what’s next in the sequence. Reverse engineering doesn’t count

Crafting gear is still “random” :eyes:

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Reopened at op’s request

Some new information in the matter:

Fortnite will stop loot boxes purchases, changing to boxes with known content (like the daily offers but without gold chests)

I found interesting this snippet of the article:

Gambling regulators in 15 countries and Washington state have also joined together to put pressure on game makers that use the randomized item distribution method, and the FTC has pledged to investigate the practice in the US.

The last one about FTC could have a real impact in WD

From that last article:

“The FTC would determine if loot boxes are unfair or deceptive,” explained Rothbard. “If so, that would warrant the promulgation of a regulation that would cover the entire industry.”

The general tone of this last article is that FTC doesn’t have too much appetite of such general industry regulations nowadays.

Anyway, looks like some very high profile games are abandoning loot boxes.

Using known sequence, that won’t do with WD’s gold chest, as the drop list becomes one kind of proof for the loot fairness… (?)

…IMO

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The i for info on chests in the armory isn’t doing anything right now.

I heard about this a while back. I don’t see gold chests as a problem. (my opinion) as the prizes are small and the cost of gold chests is also small. We also get tons of gold chests from attacking so we can get them for free. I play another game that has loot boxes and to make a comparison to something we can relate to…that loot box costs 20,000 gems, about $100 USD for the chance at a mythic dragon, but you could get speed ups or dragon boosts instead. As you can see that would be a huge problem if you spent a hundred bucks and got nothing but 2 days of speedups.

It wouldn’t matter if the cost of gold chests was $1 or $100. The practice under investigation is independent of the financial cost to the players. The question being raised is whether random loot boxes constitutes gambling. Some countries have said yes. The FTC and other regulators in the US are going to investigate it as well.

PG uses a fixed sequence for their loot boxes so on the surface this would appear okay. However, the sequence isn’t published by PG (like it is for prize lines), which may constitute a deceptive practice as most players don’t know what they are going to get and spend hoping to get what they are looking for. That’s akin to gambling.

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I think one thing to consider here is that PG doesn’t sell loot boxes directly. They sell packs, some of which does contain loot boxes (gold chests). They could simply remove all gold chests from any pack directly purchased with money and comply.

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Not really since they would directly equate real money to x amount of in game currency
Thus any action you can perform with game currency would be the same as any action performed with real money.
Just because you change it from any nation’s currency to rubies does not in anyway impact the issue.

They do sell special “discount packs”… either was said game currency still has a direct correlation to real money. Direct or indirect is irrelevant and you do realize that if they tried to say “oh well its not direct purchasing blah blah blah” then they would be inadvertently admitting that they knew it was a problem and they schemed a way to try and circumvent the law which is usually in and of its self illegal. Typically carries heavier penalty than just saying…ah ok…we screwed up lets fix it sorry!

Game currency can then be spent on various items many of which are “% chance based” crafting gear for example or are advertised as % based (click the info tab on any chest it gives you a % break down of drops and does not disclose what your next drops will be).

If you’re spending money you should be able to just straight buy what you want

Also it is shown that young children - mid 20s brains are very malleable. Risk/Reward centers of the brain have been shown to activate just as much or more while gaming than doing drugs for example. This in essence wires the brain to be more likely to take part in other “risky” life behaviors (drugs, alcohol, gambling, reckless driving, or any thrill seeking activity that you can name). The younger someone is typically the less impulse control said individual has. You can’t gamble until a certain age in most places.

^^ just a guess but…that is probably the reason they’re cracking down on it and trying to at least minimize the impact its having on developing minds.

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I sample a lot of games weekly.

PG is way more forthcoming and one of the few devs abiding by it at all.

Cheers PG. the verbose info was cool but I think the less granular data is more often correct.

More activity against this bad practise than I had heard of. Good, let’s hope its banned widely.