Blizzard’s multi-universe MOBA Heroes Of The Storm will remove the ability to buy loot boxes with real world money, according to their latest test region patch notes. You’ll still be able to roll the dice with currency acquired in game, and you’ll still be able to pay for various heroes and cosmetics using your hard-earned quids, but no more direct wallet-to-random draw conversion.
The patch notes simply read:
Loot chests are no longer available for Gem purchase
Rare loot chests are now available for Gold purchase (3000 each)
If the distinction between Gems and Gold isn’t enough to confuse you, don’t worry, there’s also a third currency called Shards, just to make things more complicated. But the bottom line is that Gems the only kind purchasable with real cash (though you also recieve some for leveling up enough). Once this patch goes live, you’ll still be able to buy Gems and spend them on heroes you want to play, experience boosts for faster levelling, or various cosmetics, but not on the random loot boxes.
Rare loot chests are guaranteed to include at least one rare item, and gold is generated by gaining five hero levels or through various daily quests.
Loot boxes were already disabled in Heroes Of The Storm (and fellow Blizzard joint Overwatch, among other games) in Belgium, thanks to the country’s gambling laws. Players have also been pretending to be Belgian to use that law to get around Apex Legend’s loot boxes.
They're not the only ones making changes, either. Fortnite: Save The World also altered their loot
boxes llamas a couple of months ago, though they chose to show players what was inside rather than removing the ability to purchase them with money entirely. Not long after that, a lawsuit was filed against their previous system, calling it ‘deceptive.’
Neither is this the biggest shake-up for Heroes lately. In December, Blizzard decided to scale back work on the game, including moving developers onto other projects and ending its official esports program, leaving professional players surprised and without careers.
Nonetheless, the patch notes also detail a slew of other changes, including a new event, changes to the ranked queue, and various balance tweaks. It’s also changing up how heroes are grouped into roles, because, to paraphrase their announcement slightly, wow, there are a lot of them.