Sat. Oct 1st, 2022
Loot boxes in video games will soon receive an OpenCritic rating flag

In the week since I was raving about the increasingly toxic practice of loot boxes appearing in store-priced video games, more major titles have appeared at the loot box party. Apparently we’re not the only people fed up with the trend, which combines slot machine psychology with obscure real-money economies in games. On Monday, the review aggregation site OpenCritic announced the first major game review initiative to combat the practice.

“We’re going to take a stand against loot boxes,” the site says announced on his Twitter feed. “We are exploring ways to add business model information to OpenCritic.”

OpenCritic says it is currently testing a number of flags that can be applied to a particular game’s rating page. The simplest would clarify whether a game has a “loot box” system that randomizes your progress in a game, as opposed to an experience-driven or store-driven system that allows players to freely choose changes or upgrades. OpenCritic would also assess the “purchasing power” of a loot box system to clarify whether a game’s randomly generated loot boxes contain more than a “cosmetic” tweak.

Other sorting suggestions from OpenCritic at the moment include whether loot boxes are paid exclusively, whether the game ever in-game prompts players to buy loot boxes, and the estimated total time it takes to play a game “100 percent”. give without payment.

Tell other games forza 7 to keep their lootbox beer

Welke orc komt uit je loot box in <em>Shadow of War</em>?” src=”×360.jpg” width=”640″ height=”360″ srcset=”https://cdn. 2x”/><figcaption class=
enlarge / Which orc comes out of your loot box in Shadow of the War?

The latest statistic seems to be a veiled critique of: Middle Earth: Shadow of War, which launches Tuesday, October 10, on Windows PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Multiple pre-release reviews of the game have confirmed that the “100 percent” completion status is locked behind an endgame mode called Shadow Wars, which largely depends on the game. players’ ability to recruit “more powerful” allies into the game. To do this, players must use the game’s loot-box recruiting system, and ratings indicate it’s tied to a random number generator. Your chance of unlocking a worthy ally therefore increases the more loot boxes you open. To do this by simply using in-game credits, it will cost a lot longer than opening your wallet.

OpenCritic’s page for Shadow of the War doesn’t currently mention this, and all game review sites that weight games based on numerical scores should simply include a loot box exercise in their final verdict. Shadow of the War has rated well, in terms of factors like presentation and combat, but many reviews have devoted entire paragraphs to breaking down the game’s loot box system.

(Ars Technica has no Shadow of the War review code during this pre-release review period. Our final communiqué with the game’s PR handlers prior to the code request period depended on an interview request about the game’s loot box system, which was announced well after practical preview events we attended. The game’s representatives did not respond to that interview request.)

Star Wars Battlefront II isn’t out yet, but it unveiled its own loot box last weekend in the form of its multiplayer beta. EA didn’t hide the loot box process during the testing period and it was striking enough to earn a striking “pay to win” tag from Eurogamer when reviewed.

Basically, every unlocked skill, character, and stat bonus in the multiplayer-focused game can be randomly unlocked in loot boxes or paid for with in-game credits. (These unlocks exist in addition to being fully cosmetic, also unlockable via the same loot boxes.) Currently, the in-game credit costs for those gameplay-related unlocks are quite high because those in-game credits only appear when players recycle duplicate found items into later ones. loot boxes. This means that they take quite some time to build up.

Different “levels” of the game’s characters are ultimately determined by how many specific cards for a particular character or class are randomly poured into loot boxes. For example, in the beta version of the game, this can increase a damage reduction while using a special move from 50 percent to 100 percent.

Since these were impressions of a beta, EA still has time to tweak this system, which currently seems to favor luck and real pay over player skills in terms of unlock progress.

As more fully-priced games experiment with loot boxes — and stuff high-impact gameplay content into their randomly generated, cost-real-money boxes — more critics and review centers will have to figure out how to convey those savings to potential users. First, loot boxes are both similar to and different from long-standing “paid DLC” add-ons, and the gambling-like, psychology-preying power of loot boxes may require its own pre-written disclaimer, rather than being described. comprehensive in each review. (That’s part of why we gave my own diatribe about forza 7‘s use of “mods”, which existed before forza games in a different form, own special article.)

Additionally, many game publishers disable actual microtransactions during review periods, usually because storefronts like Xbox Live and PlayStation Network have “closed” the games in question to the public before they’re officially launched. Aggregators and critics alike will have to be vigilant about updating reviews as charges are added (and hopefully changed after fans complain).

List image by Warner Bros. Interactive / Aurich Lawson

By akfire1

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