The next update for multiplayer shooter Rainbow Six Siege [official site] will add random loot packs to its plank-smashing and head-shotting. Update 2.1.1 will add “Alpha Packs” that contain cosmetic items like flashy gun skins, spikey helmets, colourful balaclavas and the like, which you’ll earn basically on a dice roll after every win. This is part of the game’s “Operation Health”, which was the studio’s way of spinning the cancellation of some seasonal stuff and postponing of some other seasonal stuff into something that sounded reasonable: a health check. Turns out part of getting a health check is creating a gambling game where you roll dice for hats.
The Ubipeeps describe the new rando-crates as: “a chance-based loot system that will contain many past cosmetics (like the Black Ice skins), as well as exclusive Legendary tier items that you will only be able to get in Alpha Packs.” It’s familiar stuff, aye. The update is due today, but the packs won’t be there right away, they say. Instead they’re to be staggered out shortly afterwards among all platforms.
Players on the technical test server have known about this upcoming feature for a while. Here you can see a player opening a silly 205 of the loot packs on the test server, and it also describes how you earn the packs:
“Build up your Chances meter by completing matches. Each victory grants you a loot roll. The higher your Chances meter, the more likely you are to earn an Alpha Pack”
Ubi haven’t said much else about how the finalised pack-grabbing will work, most tellingly they have not clearly stated whether you will be able to buy these packs for real people money or not. There’s nothing to suggest this is the plan, but icky microtransaction guff has been increasing among Ubi’s library in recent times. You just need to look at all the garbage flowing over the edges of the pause menu in Ghost Recon Wildlands to raise your eyebrows. On the other hand, Rainbow Six Siege has been historically generous to its players. In other words: I don’t know. You should have stopped listening to me ages ago. There’ll be more information next week, says Ubisoft, by which time the packs themselves will likely already be in your game.