I Have A Problem…

overwatch-lunar-loot-box-light

Overwatch is a great game, no question about it. The cast of characters is vast, and the choices to customize them, many. Add to the mix that Blizzard creates limited time events that help ring in the various times of year, and you have an addicting situation.

And those loot boxes.

Sure, you can earn loot boxes in the game by leveling up (or satisfying various other weekly requirements), but you can also buy them. With real life money.

Loot boxes contain all cosmetic items. Nothing in those boxes will help you play any better.

But hoo boy does Blizzard manage to design some beautiful skins for their characters.

Add to that that the RNG can be great for some and abysmal for others and you have a situation in the making.

At least for me.

On Tuesday, I caved in and bought $20 worth of lunar new year loot boxes. There were a couple of skins specifically I wanted (Zenyatta and D.Va among them), and I was hoping I’d get at least one or the other.

Allow me to add here that I rarely play Overwatch anymore. It’s not for lack of wanting, rather I’ve been trying to stay on top of new releases and get caught up on recent titles.

So I’m basically buying cosmetics for a game I’m not even currently playing.

Back to my transaction.

I opened my boxes. I got very few skins, only one of them lunar new year related. It wasn’t even one of the ones I was trying for. I ended up with many sprays, a few voice lines, and an emote or two. Nothing special.

Feeling a bit down about my lack of spoils, I caved even further and plunked down another $20.

It’s ridiculous. I know.

I opened those boxes. It was nearly fruitless, but I managed to get the D.Va skin, so all was not lost.

However.

Out of all those boxes, there were at least four where literally all the items were duplicates. I had thought I read somewhere that at least one item in each box is supposed to be a fresh.

Turns out, that isn’t true.

Boo.

So last night, I got to thinking about that $40 I spent on completely unnecessary loot boxes, and then I remembered that I had spent (during events past) roughly that much on loot boxes historically, and I couldn’t believe that I have now spent more on useless cosmetics in Overwatch than I spent on the game itself.

That’s a problem.

I’m not a huge fan of microtransactions in the first place, but it’s hard to believe I ended up here. I don’t have nearly as much of an issue with microtransactions when they are strictly cosmetic (like Overwatch), but when they start veering towards a pay-to-win strategy, I have more of a problem.

Look, I love pretty things. I love costumes. It’s only natural I’d love to dress up some super awesome characters in outfits with a sense of occasion.

Still…I’m more than willing to admit I am susceptible and have a problem.

Have you ever bought into microtransactions? If so, for what game/s? Please commiserate with me.

P.S. Here’s that beautiful D.Va skin!

overwatch-d-va-lunar-skin

16 replies »

  1. For the Halloween Overwatch event I spent a lot of money on those boxes. I’ve been pretty lucky with the skins I’ve gotten out of the event so far.

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    • I’m glad you are getting skins from earned loot boxes this time!

      But I totally get why you bought boxes for the Halloween event. Some of those skins were super cool.

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  2. Yes. Mechwarrior Online. In their defense, though, I actually think it’s a better deal for users, seeing as how most of the time the purchases are for Mechs and Mech variants (allowing for different styles of play); colors are a one-time-purchase, although I don’t think paint schemes are one-time. (With that said, PGI recently made it known that they will only be releasing one mech from here on out, and will be giving refunds to users for other in-game assets. It’ll be interesting to see how it all pans out.)
    However, my safeguard from spending too much is the fact that I have a fear of committing to a purchase. As of now I’m certain that my Amazon cart has probably rusted out from being left alone for so long, along with all of its $50 worth of products in it, including a body fat measuring device, and Wacom pen nibs… :D
    Thinking about it a little more reflectively, I wonder if it’s the intangible that I can’t bring myself to buy, because when it comes to suits… I have 0 problem dropping dough on them.

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    • Interesting that they would offer refunds to those customers, though! I think I have a lot less of an issue if what you are buying is a known quantity. Buying boxes that are at the mercy of the RNG is…unsatisfying.

      I like that you weigh your pen nib purchases. Frugality is a wonderful thing. :)

      Do you mean real life suits? Do you have a lot of them? Do you wear them a lot?

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      • I’m pretty happy that PGI worked out a good deal with their customers. It’s certainly going to keep them in good standing with fans, especially since they just released a trailer for a new Mechwarrior Mercenaries 5.
        Yep, I buy a lot of suits. I’m primarily a sport coat guy, though. I have 4 suits, about 10+ sport coats, 6+ pairs of oxfords, 4 derbys, and various ties and bow ties… it’s a sickness lol! I love to wear them as much as possible/acceptable. Ever since I learned how to properly dress, I’ve noticed a considerable uptick in interactions in all of their forms. It’s a great feeling!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Good gracious! That’s a lot of fancy clothes! But I love it. I always feel better when I wear nice clothes that fit well.

        But I’m also a huge fan of comfortable leisure clothes for my leisure time.

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  3. Well I’m glad that you got the D. Va skin! I haven’t (yet) spent actual money on Overwatch’s loot boxes but I’ve definitely been very tempted too. I’m not sure what the allure is in the cosmetics as you can’t even see your own character the majority of the time but I too sorely want those skins. I haven’t tried out the new Capture the Flag mode for the event but from what I’ve seen it’s a tricky mode to pull off with tank characters or it requires much more teamwork than what I’ve seen in the matches. Ah, now I want to play more Overwatch but I’m close to finishing Dishonored 2. Maybe I should just stop sleeping so that I can play just a bit more.

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    • Thank you! It happened in my second to last box, I believe, and I didn’t think I’d get it.

      Exactly! I remember thinking the same thing when Borderlands 2 was offering not even skins, but color palette swaps for the vault hunters. I didn’t bother because I thought the exact same thing: how often do I really see myself?

      I haven’t tried it either, but I’d like to this weekend just to see what it’s like. I’ve also heard it can be tricky.

      Also, I highly advocate to continue getting sleep. Sleep is gold. Sleep will never be out of style. Sleep is unicorns.

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  4. Noooo!!! Unless you know exactly what you are getting and not spending too much (I’d say $10 max), don’t play that money-making game! It is designed to fool the player into continuing to spend in the hopes they will get something good.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I have never spent any real life money on any microtransactions. Even if it is purely cosmetic, the fact that they expect you to spend additional money on top of the $60 you spent on the game itself just rubs me the wrong way.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I haven’t spent money on boxes, cosmetic or no. I’ve been juggling 3 multiplayer games lately with cosmetic unlocks and I’ve found Overwatch to have the least productive return on investment of time for me. I feel your pain with the terrible RNG, I’ve played multiple events and have rarely gotten any of the limited run costumes let alone ones I want. I’ve decided to give up on Overwatch, I still haven’t found a consistent groove and even with the added modes and increased ability to earn loot boxes in Arcade mode I still get duplicate sprays and voices far too often considering I don’t have very many unlocks per hero.

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    • I think that’s smart. I wish I could retroactively go back and not buy the ones I have.

      I’m in a very similar boat with Overwatch in every way you mentioned. Most of the loot boxes I get are mostly duplicates. It’s very frustrating, particularly when there are so many things to unlock.

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