The less-discussed Fortnite sibling, PvE survival shooter Fortnite: Save The World is changing how its loot boxes work. Potential buyers will now be able to see exactly what’s inside the store’s llama piñatas, enabling them to make a more informed decision about whether or not they want to pay to take a metaphorical mallet to them.
Epic Games’ announcement also lays out changes that should prevent duplicate items from appearing. “After the Llama has determined the item rarity and type of drop (Epic or Legendary Hero, Weapon, or Schematic) it will select an item from that category that is not already in your inventory or Collection Book,” they say. Now the only way to be offered a duplicate will be if you already have all the available items in a certain category.
The store will refresh daily, so if a player doesn’t like what they see, they’re always able to come back and spend later.
Boxes Llamas that are earned through gameplay won’t be affected by this change, since they don’t cost real money, so they’ll retain the element of surprise. Epic are also giving away five upgrade tokens “to try out the new system.”
This is far from the first time that developers and publishers have changed their microtransaction systems. Among others, Forza Motorsport 7, Star Wars: Battlefront 2, and Middle Earth: Shadow Of War have all adapted or removed theirs entirely since release, while other games have been forced to alter them in countries with specific laws like Belgium and the Netherlands.
The random, blind-draw nature of loot boxes, and how closely they skirt the line with gambling as a result, is one of the elements often criticised by organisations and governments discussing the issue, so it’s not too surprising that Epic are moving away from the format, at least in part.
It’s also worth noting that, unlike it’s Battle Royale sibling, Fortnite: Save The World isn’t currently free-to-play, though it supposedly will be eventually. Today, the game costs £34.99, and each llama costs between about £0.40 and £1.20 if you’re using in-game currency that you paid for with regular currency.