As various governmental forces consider imposing restrictions on the sale of boxes of random goodies in games, it seems that at least one major industry player has decided to demystify the process of earning and buying loot crates, perhaps trying to preempt more popular legal proposals to make publishing such details mandatory.
In a fairly lengthy guide (which Riot say will be updated as and when odds change, or new random drops are introduced), the League of Legends studio lay out exactly what’s in one of these Schrodinger’s goodie-bags, and the external factors involved.
Riot’s guide is surprisingly comprehensive, opening with a glossary of all key terms, explaining the exact limits of what can be earned by who and how. Nicely, they also confirm that while you can earn new Champions through these hex chests, there are no low-tier ‘cheap’ characters included. Only characters costing 4800BE or higher are included in the pool. They even include some handy tips on working the system, like how it takes a day or two for new shop items to be filtered into the loot lists, so you should hold off on drawing rewards until things have had a time to settle.
While the information provided is helpful, I feel it would be nice if they could provide a full in-game descending percentage-list of odds for every item available in the crates, as I’ve seen some mobile games with Gacha-type character unlock systems do. Being able to clearly see that there’s only a one in a thousand chance of drawing one of the rarest tier of characters is helpful, and at least allows buyers (or those happily using boxes from free giveaways) to adjust their expectations accordingly. One figure I would love to see published is an estimate of how much real world money you’d need to pour into chests (on average) to earn a specific reward – that’d help put things in perspective, and probably put some people off throwing cash at such systems.
Interestingly, though fitting in with League of Legends’ continuing push to combat toxicity in their community, being a big dumb jerk will result in exemption from earning Hextech crate & crafting rewards until they believe that you’re honestly turned over a new leaf. There’s no hard and fast rule on this, so it’s all down to how the moderation staff think you’re behaving. So, don’t be a dick, alright? While I have my issues with loot boxes as a whole (especially ones that contain gameplay-affecting goodies like playable characters), the level of transparency is refreshing, and I’d like to see this become the new base-line industry standard before legislation has to be passed to make it (or stronger restrictions) mandatory.