Are Black Lion Keys "Loot Boxes" ? — Guild Wars 2 Forums

Are Black Lion Keys "Loot Boxes" ?

https://kotaku.com/the-ftc-says-it-will-investigate-loot-boxes-1830714932

The Federal Trade Commission says it is investigating loot boxes, a controversial video game mechanic that can allow players to spend real money on randomized goods.

During a hearing yesterday, FTC chairman Joseph Simons addressed New Hampshire Senator Maggie Hassan, who has recently spoken out about loot boxes. During her turn to ask questions at the hearing, Hassan cited a recent report by Great Britain’s Gambling Commission that found 31% of children in the country had at one point or another paid money to open a loot box, a well as moves by Belgium, Japan, and other countries to limit how loot boxes can be used in games.

“Given the seriousness of this issue, I think it is in fact time for the FTC to investigate these mechanisms to ensure that children are being adequately protected and to educate parents about potential addiction or other negative impacts of these games,” Hassan said. “Would you commit to undertaking this project and keeping this committee informed about it?”

In response, Simons said “yes,” but declined to go into any more detail about the FTC’s current position on loot boxes and whether they constitute a form of gambling.............

<13

Comments

  • I think so. You can buy keys to open locked boxes. Although keys are sometimes rewarded, locked boxes you have little use for drop far more frequently.

    That said, you can kinda make the argument that you're not required to buy the keys with real money, since you can convert gold into gems.

  • Did their report happen to mention how those children got access to the cards used to make these purchases? Let me save you some time, probably not, because poor parenting is always the fault of evil businesses. Before anyone starts dancing in the streets, thinking this will solve anything, there's a post on these forums by someone from Belgium that points out a very negative side effect, so be careful what you wish for.

    https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/61781/gemstore-and-belgium#latest

  • Palador.2170Palador.2170 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Poor parenting or not isn't the real issue here, though. The real issue is how badly the laws against it will be written, and how much that will mess with us.

    Anyway... are BLTCs loot boxes? Yes. The Statuettes are a step in the direction of reducing how "loot boxy" they are, but they are still loot boxes. Any solid law against loot boxes will shut them down, hard.

    ANet is trying to figure out other ways to make up that lost income if that happens. We've seen some of that already, but losing the BLTCs will still cause massive changes in the game. Not all of them will be good.

    Lip synching is just mime karaoke.

  • Its only a loot box if they play them backwards.

  • @Palador.2170 said:
    Poor parenting or not isn't the real issue here, though. The real issue is how badly the laws against it will be written, and how much that will mess with us.

    Anyway... are BLTCs loot boxes? Yes. The Statuettes are a step in the direction of reducing how "loot boxy" they are, but they are still loot boxes. Any solid law against loot boxes will shut them down, hard.

    ANet is trying to figure out other ways to make up that lost income if that happens. We've seen some of that already, but losing the BLTCs will still cause massive changes in the game. Not all of them will be good.

    Whether parenting should be an issue or not, it will be, and I base that entirely off of the statement in the OP about children paying to open loot boxes. I have seen the argument more than a few times that "loot boxes are predatory because they're aimed at children", even though most children don't have their own credit cards. I despise the concept, but my solution was to not buy them. Even in swtor, where I got coins for their store from my sub, I didn't buy them. So I anticipate that this will be an aspect of anything they do to pass any laws on the subject.

  • I would be incredibly surprised if ArenaNet was ever stung by this loot box controversy. Every item in this game can be obtained without spending a single penny on gems and I think this is the sole reason why ArenaNet are safe. Other games offer keys to their loot boxes without any means of obtaining them in-game, making them more susceptible to the gambling accusation.

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  • Laws on this might be a carpet bomb.

  • Zunki.3916Zunki.3916 Member ✭✭✭

    @robertthebard.8150 said:

    @Palador.2170 said:
    Poor parenting or not isn't the real issue here, though. The real issue is how badly the laws against it will be written, and how much that will mess with us.

    Anyway... are BLTCs loot boxes? Yes. The Statuettes are a step in the direction of reducing how "loot boxy" they are, but they are still loot boxes. Any solid law against loot boxes will shut them down, hard.

    ANet is trying to figure out other ways to make up that lost income if that happens. We've seen some of that already, but losing the BLTCs will still cause massive changes in the game. Not all of them will be good.

    Whether parenting should be an issue or not, it will be, and I base that entirely off of the statement in the OP about children paying to open loot boxes. I have seen the argument more than a few times that "loot boxes are predatory because they're aimed at children", even though most children don't have their own credit cards. I despise the concept, but my solution was to not buy them. Even in swtor, where I got coins for their store from my sub, I didn't buy them. So I anticipate that this will be an aspect of anything they do to pass any laws on the subject.

    Thats just like saying make alcohol illegal because children can eventually buy it anyways. It shoul be illegal to sell it to this audience.

    Viable != Optimal

    Not viable = You only get carried, 10 players with a build as "viable as yours" can't properly do it.

  • What would be nice is if parents watched their own kids. I dont see how protecting kids is my responsibility, as I don't have any and I certainly don't see why its mine or anets job to baby sit their in game behavior thus ruining or limiting my experience in game for no reason, other than parents are negligent and use online games as unsupervised babysitters.

  • Haleydawn.3764Haleydawn.3764 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 29, 2018

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    It's up to each nation's government to decide what is or isn't gambling, what is or isn't a loot box, and whether that's the sort of practice they want to regulate. When I see a headline (or worse, a politician) saying

    ... Commission that found 31% of children in the country had at one point or another paid money to open a loot box

    I want to know:

    • Was this an estimate or did they actually count everyone?
    • How did they define "loot box"?
    • Where did the money come from? (Already in the account or using a credit card for the transaction.)
    • What games was this in? PC? Console? Mobile?
    • What age ranges?
    • Of those kids who opened one, how many went on to open more?
    • In what way do the lootboxes affect the outcome of the game? (e.g. many mobile games, lootboxes are required to 'win')

    It would have been helpful if the article the OP linked actually cited the research that this 'Hassan' fella did...
    You can read it here.
    Some snippets:
    • 14% of 11-16 year olds had spent their own money on gambling in the past week (that is,
    the seven days prior to completing the survey), up from 12% in 2017 but still lower than
    rates seen prior to 2017
    • This compared to 13% who had drunk alcohol in the past week, 4% who had smoked
    cigarettes and 2% who had taken illegal drugs

    • 5% of 11-16 year olds have spent their own money on online gambling in the past 12
    months, but only 1% have done so in the past week
    • 6% have gambled online using a parent or guardian’s account
    • 13% have ever played gambling-style games online
    • 31% have ever opened loot boxes in a computer game or app, to try to acquire in-game
    items, while 3% claim to have ever bet with in-game items.

    This last part I quoted is so broad though. “3% claim to have bet with ingame items”. In terms of Guild Wars 2, throwing anything into the Mystic Forge that isn’t a known recipe is technically considered gambling. So I can safely say that a huge majority of players have “gambled” here, even if the stakes are lower (throwing cheap materials/items in for something else) it is still gambling by definition of “take risky action in the hope of a desired result.”

    Honestly, if we take this research/survey information, especially where parents set strict rules down, the problem isn’t as prolific as people make it out to be. Sure, some kids/young adults do develop addictive tendencies, but video gaming is not what causes it.

    The above was written as part of an attempt to waste time.

  • Blocki.4931Blocki.4931 Member ✭✭✭✭

    While still lootboxes, they are the less malicious kind. It becomes a problem once people feel the need to purchase them to get ahead, aka pay to win. Since GW2 gem store items are entirely convenience based I don't thinkt hey will face any big problems with this.

    Smugly chuckling forever.
    My sentence doesn't make sense? Well, I probably forgot to write half of it before posting.

  • Hmm...31% ever opened a loot box. Did it say opened, or spent money (theirs or someone else's) to open?
    I mean, I can open a Black Lion Chest right now without spending a dime.
    That would be misleading.

  • sigur.9453sigur.9453 Member ✭✭✭

    @Blocki.4931 said:
    While still lootboxes, they are the less malicious kind. It becomes a problem once people feel the need to purchase them to get ahead, aka pay to win. Since GW2 gem store items are entirely convenience based I don't thinkt hey will face any big problems with this.

    a lootbox is a lootbox, malicious or less malicious, qol or p2w. but in the end it will be on the law to deside. i for sure wouldn´t be sad if they would be gone and all items would be able to achive via an ingame activity. (and im not talking about farming gold here)

  • That is unlikely to ever happen (in my opinion).

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    IMO a big step in the right direction would be to make the small number of account bound items in each chest tradable, like they used to be. That way black lion chests are completely optional - if you want a specific item you can buy it from the TP and you only need to buy keys if you want to open chests yourself.

    @robertthebard.8150 said:
    Did their report happen to mention how those children got access to the cards used to make these purchases? Let me save you some time, probably not, because poor parenting is always the fault of evil businesses. Before anyone starts dancing in the streets, thinking this will solve anything, there's a post on these forums by someone from Belgium that points out a very negative side effect, so be careful what you wish for.

    https://en-forum.guildwars2.com/discussion/61781/gemstore-and-belgium#latest

    The only reason Belgium is in that position is because they're the exception at the moment, and a lot of companies (including Anet) have opted for the 'quick fix' of simply blocking people from Belgium from buying those items without offering an alternative. If more countries go the same way with making loot boxes illegal, especially if it includes the USA (because that's where Anet is based) they'd have to do something more effective. After all there's no point having Black Lion Chests and a set of items only obtainable by opening them if no one is allowed to buy the keys.

    "You can run like a river, Till you end up in the sea,
    And you run till night is black, And keep on going in your dreams,
    And you know all the long while, It's the journey that you seek,
    It's the miles of moving forward, With the wind beneath your wings."

  • Ashantara.8731Ashantara.8731 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 29, 2018

    @Zunki.3916 said:
    Thats just like saying make alcohol illegal because children can eventually buy it anyways. It shoul be illegal to sell it to this audience.

    Alcohol should be illegal, just like cigarettes should be, because it is a drug in many regards (addiction potential, clouds your mind, potential to cause severe harm to your health). In Sweden, they recently raised the price for any alcoholic product to a set minimum to discourage people from buying alcoholic beverages frequently.

    As for loot boxes, yes, they are gambling - they should be globally banned from any game. Only time will tell if this will ever happen, though.

  • Linken.6345Linken.6345 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Ashantara.8731 said:

    @Zunki.3916 said:
    Thats just like saying make alcohol illegal because children can eventually buy it anyways. It shoul be illegal to sell it to this audience.

    Alcohol should be illegal, just like cigarettes should be, because it is a drug in many regards (addiction potential, clouding your mind, potential to cause severe harm to your health). In Sweden, they recently raised the price for any alcoholic product to a set minimum to discourage people from buying alcoholic beverages frequently.

    As for loot boxes, yes, they are gambling - they should be globally banned from any game. Only time will tell if this will ever happen, though.

    Im from sweden what is this recently raised price you speak of mate?`

  • Ashantara.8731Ashantara.8731 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 29, 2018

    @Linken.6345 said:
    Im from sweden what is this recently raised price you speak of mate?`

    Wasn't it Sweden but another Skandinavian country? I remember reading the news earlier this year (or last year?) that minimum prices for wine etc. were raised. Let me see if I can find a link...

    Edit: https://www.debatingeurope.eu/2015/03/04/europeans-binge-drinking/
    One user's comment: "Or look at Sweden: Alcohol is unaffordable, laws are strict, so people take the ship to international waters and drink their souls off!"

    (Still trying to figure out which country did it more recently, apparently it has been like this in Sweden forever.)

    Edit #2: Oops! It was Scotland --> https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-43197384
    (Sweden was mentioned in comparison in the news report I watched.)

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Ashantara.8731 said:
    As for loot boxes, yes, they are gambling - they should be globally banned from any game. Only time will tell if this will ever happen, though.

    They wouldn't necessarily need to be banned completely, after all even out-right gambling for money is legal in a lot of places. It's just more restricted and more closely regulated than loot boxes currently are. Admittedly if they were classified as gambling under current legislation that would probably come to the same thing. In the UK for example they'd have to restrict their sale to over 18's (GW2 is currently 12+), would have to buy a gambling licence and operate under the conditions of that and I think there's restrictions on advertising too. Which means like the sweepstakes Anet would probably decide it's too complicated and simply block UK players from buying keys.

    But from what I've seen of the various discussions going on around the world it's unlikely most loot boxes will simply be bought under current gambling legislation. It's more likely there will be new laws specific to loot boxes which would allow for different conditions or even different options. For example boxes which give useful items (like actual weapons instead of just skins) could be treated differently to purely cosmetic ones.

    Personally I'm glad this is being discussed as IMO it's been a grey area for far too long and some companies definitely have abused the loot box system to pressure players to spend more than they'd normally be comfortable with. But as with all new (or even changed) legislation it's important for all interested parties to involve themselves in the discussion to make sure their voices are heard and try to ensure any new laws achieve what they want.

    "You can run like a river, Till you end up in the sea,
    And you run till night is black, And keep on going in your dreams,
    And you know all the long while, It's the journey that you seek,
    It's the miles of moving forward, With the wind beneath your wings."

  • Eloc Freidon.5692Eloc Freidon.5692 Member ✭✭✭✭

    If you spend money on something based on chance, it most certainly is.

  • Bloodstealer.5978Bloodstealer.5978 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 29, 2018

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    It's up to each nation's government to decide what is or isn't gambling, what is or isn't a loot box, and whether that's the sort of practice they want to regulate. When I see a headline (or worse, a politician) saying

    ... Commission that found 31% of children in the country had at one point or another paid money to open a loot box

    I want to know:

    • Was this an estimate or did they actually count everyone?
    • How did they define "loot box"?
    • Where did the money come from? (Already in the account or using a credit card for the transaction.)
    • What games was this in? PC? Console? Mobile?
    • What age ranges?
    • Of those kids who opened one, how many went on to open more?
    • In what way do the lootboxes affect the outcome of the game? (e.g. many mobile games, lootboxes are required to 'win')

    Good public policy isn't based on alarming headlines. It requires distinguish those people who can benefit from a change in rules versus those who won't be affected versus those who might be harmed.

    I am not suggesting that the FTC shouldn't consider the issue; there's no question in my mind that the various gaming studios (big & small) aren't regulating themselves to prevent this sort of thing, even after Belgium's decision earlier this year. I just hope that people will keep things in perspective and not treat all lootboxes as the same thing, not assume that RNG+money = evil.

    Agree Ilc.
    Interesting points were raised last week in BBC Question time regarding Child Gambling addictions and it highlighted a genuine growing problem in the UK and I guess around the globe now. The info was referenced to under 15yr olds and the numbers were pretty shocking tbh.
    That said many of the surveys and figures put out there cover a broad spectrum of gambling activities, most notably things like online betting on sports, but with the newly formed gaming addiction clinics popping up around the country now, it will only be a matter of time before the UK government enforcement agencies gather a head of steam and push on loot boxes imo.
    Like "Illconceived Was Na.9871" says though, no one really knows where all these figures come from, what was the target audience, what particular activity is genuinely the source of such number and how were they able to access the facility to gamble in the first place.
    As a parent of 2 kids who happily use their mobile phones and games consoles/laptops on a daily basis (after their homework is done :) ) I actively ensure they have restricted access to certain things using parental locks, data restrictions etc... in other words parents must shoulder some of the blame here. As adults we are afforded the luxury of choice as to whether or not to buy into gem store purchases because it is deemed our responsibility.. children of ages highlighted in these surveys rely on parental responsibility or should be, but sure sometimes that gets circumvented and that's why there are varying tools to help parents ward against such things like gambling and prawnography. Waiting for a government to act is the wrong way to think imo.. prevention is always better than reactive actions .. kinda after the horse has bolted I guess.
    Do I think keys are loot boxes - Yes
    Is the practice deemed predatory - Yes and No depending on what the individual seeks from it
    ANET have made efforts to listen to the player base regarding BL chests and other similar games of chance like Mount licences, which I think reinforce the idea of choice rather than chance. Chest have guaranteed drops like statuettes from which you can outright purchase many items within chests so it essentially becomes a guaranteed gemstore purchase rather than a gamble, except you may need multiple purchases to get enuff statuettes whilst at the same time offering a chance to obtain extras from each chest. I see this as a half way house solution, which in fairness not many other online games afford to players unless forced..."BF2 cough"
    Personally as an adult I like to think I am able to control my inner gambling demons, but at the same time I actually enjoy opening BL chests or mount licences, but my expectations are not drawn to any particular item or skin, it's more about supporting the game a little bit each month and in return I get something back that can be useful to me somewhere in the game. (granted I have decided to withdraw that monthly support this last 3-6 months for my own reasons, but that in itself shows how much BL chests push that "must have demon in my head". Children however may lack the maturity or financial understandings by which such decisions and choices should be made and so there are still things ANET and other gaming companies could and should be doing in an effort to help sort out this mess of child gambling addictions, alongside governance and parental responsibility.
    One such area imo is this new sweepstake malarkey and using info to send out marketing .. its just like the BBC Question Time panel said.. regarding sports gambling and such... watching the sport is great but before, during and after the tv is lit up with adverts for gambling companies, offering free bets etc etc at all hours of the day, when in fact a low level form of violence, sexual content, bad language etc is placed on a watershed or edited out.. gambling is basically left unrestricted and in your face for all to see man, woman, adult, child, pet budgey alike and this new sweepstake offers out that same opportunity when the marketing materials get pushed out.

    Life is what YOU make it... NOT what others tell you!

  • The only marketing I've ever received is the Newsletter, which gives information on major releases.
    Anyone else received anything in their emails?

  • Pifil.5193Pifil.5193 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    It's up to each nation's government to decide what is or isn't gambling, what is or isn't a loot box, and whether that's the sort of practice they want to regulate. When I see a headline (or worse, a politician) saying

    ... Commission that found 31% of children in the country had at one point or another paid money to open a loot box

    I want to know:

    • Was this an estimate or did they actually count everyone?
    • How did they define "loot box"?
    • Where did the money come from? (Already in the account or using a credit card for the transaction.)

    Gamestop and other stores sell gem cards and many other gaming currencies so getting real money onto an account without a credit card isn't that much of a problem. Also, a lot of the ATM cards being issued now are debit cards which can be used for online purchases just like a credit card (however, a debit card doesn't offer credit, you can only spend money that's in the account).

    • What games was this in? PC? Console? Mobile?
    • What age ranges?
    • Of those kids who opened one, how many went on to open more?
    • In what way do the lootboxes affect the outcome of the game? (e.g. many mobile games, lootboxes are required to 'win')

    Good public policy isn't based on alarming headlines. It requires distinguish those people who can benefit from a change in rules versus those who won't be affected versus those who might be harmed.

    I am not suggesting that the FTC shouldn't consider the issue; there's no question in my mind that the various gaming studios (big & small) aren't regulating themselves to prevent this sort of thing, even after Belgium's decision earlier this year. I just hope that people will keep things in perspective and not treat all lootboxes as the same thing, not assume that RNG+money = evil.

    Some of that is or should be irrelevant to policy makers, they don't and shouldn't care if one loot box is better value than another or whether a game is pay to win, they should only care if this practice is or should be considered gambling by whatever definition they use (even if it means redefining gambling). If it is then it should be regulated as such.

    At the least that means that the company should require a gambling license to operate in any given country and no doubt it will have tax implications for those companies. It would also generally mean that games with loot boxes would have to carry 18+ age ratings.

  • yann.1946yann.1946 Member ✭✭✭

    @Pifil.5193 said:

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    It's up to each nation's government to decide what is or isn't gambling, what is or isn't a loot box, and whether that's the sort of practice they want to regulate. When I see a headline (or worse, a politician) saying

    ... Commission that found 31% of children in the country had at one point or another paid money to open a loot box

    I want to know:

    • Was this an estimate or did they actually count everyone?
    • How did they define "loot box"?
    • Where did the money come from? (Already in the account or using a credit card for the transaction.)

    Gamestop and other stores sell gem cards and many other gaming currencies so getting real money onto an account without a credit card isn't that much of a problem. Also, a lot of the ATM cards being issued now are debit cards which can be used for online purchases just like a credit card (however, a debit card doesn't offer credit, you can only spend money that's in the account).

    • What games was this in? PC? Console? Mobile?
    • What age ranges?
    • Of those kids who opened one, how many went on to open more?
    • In what way do the lootboxes affect the outcome of the game? (e.g. many mobile games, lootboxes are required to 'win')

    Good public policy isn't based on alarming headlines. It requires distinguish those people who can benefit from a change in rules versus those who won't be affected versus those who might be harmed.

    I am not suggesting that the FTC shouldn't consider the issue; there's no question in my mind that the various gaming studios (big & small) aren't regulating themselves to prevent this sort of thing, even after Belgium's decision earlier this year. I just hope that people will keep things in perspective and not treat all lootboxes as the same thing, not assume that RNG+money = evil.

    Some of that is or should be irrelevant to policy makers, they don't and shouldn't care if one loot box is better value than another or whether a game is pay to win, they should only care if this practice is or should be considered gambling by whatever definition they use (even if it means redefining gambling). If it is then it should be regulated as such.

    At the least that means that the company should require a gambling license to operate in any given country and no doubt it will have tax implications for those companies. It would also generally mean that games with loot boxes would have to carry 18+ age ratings.

    I don't think throwing away the value of alootbox is appropriate. As this might have an influence on if it considered gambling.

  • Danikat.8537Danikat.8537 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Pifil.5193 said:

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    It's up to each nation's government to decide what is or isn't gambling, what is or isn't a loot box, and whether that's the sort of practice they want to regulate. When I see a headline (or worse, a politician) saying

    ... Commission that found 31% of children in the country had at one point or another paid money to open a loot box

    I want to know:

    • Was this an estimate or did they actually count everyone?
    • How did they define "loot box"?
    • Where did the money come from? (Already in the account or using a credit card for the transaction.)

    Gamestop and other stores sell gem cards and many other gaming currencies so getting real money onto an account without a credit card isn't that much of a problem. Also, a lot of the ATM cards being issued now are debit cards which can be used for online purchases just like a credit card (however, a debit card doesn't offer credit, you can only spend money that's in the account).

    I know it's a bit off-topic but is that a new thing in some parts of the world? In the UK debit cards which can be used to make purchases (as opposed to cash cards which only work in ATMs) have existed since at least the early 90's and have worked for online purchases as long as credit cards have. I was 15 when I got my first debit card and it's worked online as long as I've had it, I remember using it not long after I got it to buy breed packs for Creatures 3.

    Loot boxes didn't exist back then (as far as I know - I turned 15 in 2000 - maybe they were around then and just not in the games I played) and microtransactions were rare, but if they had I suspect I'd have been buying them - using my own money - long before I turned 18 and was legally allowed to gamble. I'm not sure if that would be better or worse than the things which put me off any form of gambling with real money, but I could definitely see my 15 year old self getting sucked into feeling like I "had to" buy these things even if they were purely cosmetic.

    "You can run like a river, Till you end up in the sea,
    And you run till night is black, And keep on going in your dreams,
    And you know all the long while, It's the journey that you seek,
    It's the miles of moving forward, With the wind beneath your wings."

  • A simple solution without considering financial aspects would be, to have BLC and corresponding keys drop in the world at same chance %. If you end up having more chests than keys, you can have the option to buy them in the store, or vice versa, buy chests if you have too many keys.

  • Offair.2563Offair.2563 Member ✭✭✭

    Technically they are yes. Whether you buy keys with ingame currency or just cash, you pay to have a chance on stuff, so yes lootboxes.

    Don't argue with idiots, they drag you down to their level and own you with experience.
    Big Babou, Ranger for life.

  • kharmin.7683kharmin.7683 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Holy Kitten, are we going to discuss this AGAIN??

    I am a very casual player.
    Very.
    Casual.

  • Lanhelin.3480Lanhelin.3480 Member ✭✭✭

    No, the blc would be a loot-box if it was sold directly and opened without a key. But chests aren't sold, only keys are and these do what they're advertised - they open chests and nothing else.
    Buying a chest = buying a pig in a poke.
    Buying a key = getting a key.

  • @Lanhelin.3480 said:
    No, the blc would be a loot-box if it was sold directly and opened without a key. But chests aren't sold, only keys are and these do what they're advertised - they open chests and nothing else.
    Buying a chest = buying a pig in a poke.
    Buying a key = getting a key.

    Lol it's still a loot box because they sell the item to open the boxes, which mind you are quite abundant and yet keys are not.

    It's the same exact thing as the RNG mount skin boxes, this can be coupled with the games other pay to win schemes such as unlimited tools, and the salvagers.

    Feel free to quote me and argue that it's not pay to win because it's not required to play. But it's a serious hinder to not have these items, and play this game in regularly to the point that most players buy them because otherwise, it makes for an asinine game experience.

  • ReaverKane.7598ReaverKane.7598 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Van Jango.3074 said:
    A simple solution without considering financial aspects would be, to have BLC and corresponding keys drop in the world at same chance %. If you end up having more chests than keys, you can have the option to buy them in the store, or vice versa, buy chests if you have too many keys.

    That was the case in the earliest versions, or at least keys would drop way more frequently. But then again, back then the BLC was basically the same things you get in the Daily login reward for Black Lion items, plus all the boosters they removed, oh and the Infinite contracts.

    AN has been adding a ton more stuff to them to make them more appealing when it would have been better if they'd remained a less significant product. Actually, the gem store today compared to the gem store at launch is a lot less consumer friendly.

  • @Lanhelin.3480 said:
    No, the blc would be a loot-box if it was sold directly and opened without a key. But chests aren't sold, only keys are and these do what they're advertised - they open chests and nothing else.
    Buying a chest = buying a pig in a poke.
    Buying a key = getting a key.

    I just need to point out that many games including one's like CSGO and such use the key + box combo, however it didn't stop them from being affected.
    It's the purpose of the box and key that matters. Not so much how many pieces they make it to do so.

    Granted, the interesting thing here is; about a year or two ago I would have laughed at someone saying BLC were gambling with just how downright AWFUL they were at giving anything decent. I doubt many bought them back then. Nowadays though, it's a bit more desirable.
    However, Anet COULD get away with it simply due to the fact that most of the stuff can be obtained without the chest (with a few exceptions).
    This -may- be enough of a difference to let them get away with it. Since in most games you are forced to, Anet has given choices.
    IE: mount adoption; skins in BLC or featured in the gem store.

  • @Pifil.5193 said:

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    It's up to each nation's government to decide what is or isn't gambling, what is or isn't a loot box, and whether that's the sort of practice they want to regulate. When I see a headline (or worse, a politician) saying

    ... Commission that found 31% of children in the country had at one point or another paid money to open a loot box

    I want to know:

    • Was this an estimate or did they actually count everyone?
    • How did they define "loot box"?
    • Where did the money come from? (Already in the account or using a credit card for the transaction.)

    Gamestop and other stores sell gem cards and many other gaming currencies so getting real money onto an account without a credit card isn't that much of a problem. Also, a lot of the ATM cards being issued now are debit cards which can be used for online purchases just like a credit card (however, a debit card doesn't offer credit, you can only spend money that's in the account).

    • What games was this in? PC? Console? Mobile?
    • What age ranges?
    • Of those kids who opened one, how many went on to open more?
    • In what way do the lootboxes affect the outcome of the game? (e.g. many mobile games, lootboxes are required to 'win')

    Good public policy isn't based on alarming headlines. It requires distinguish those people who can benefit from a change in rules versus those who won't be affected versus those who might be harmed.

    I am not suggesting that the FTC shouldn't consider the issue; there's no question in my mind that the various gaming studios (big & small) aren't regulating themselves to prevent this sort of thing, even after Belgium's decision earlier this year. I just hope that people will keep things in perspective and not treat all lootboxes as the same thing, not assume that RNG+money = evil.

    Some of that is or should be irrelevant to policy makers, they don't and shouldn't care if one loot box is better value than another or whether a game is pay to win, they should only care if this practice is or should be considered gambling by whatever definition they use (even if it means redefining gambling). If it is then it should be regulated as such.

    At the least that means that the company should require a gambling license to operate in any given country and no doubt it will have tax implications for those companies. It would also generally mean that games with loot boxes would have to carry 18+ age ratings.

    No. Redefining gambling isn't a way to go. If we want to go there, then it will end up a totally subjective thing, and you can say bye to the beetle races, because you could be considered to be gambling on your skill to finish them in the set time. Any time you have to redefine a term to fit a narrative, there's something wrong with the narrative. As much as I don't buy loot boxes, I have yet to get a key that yielded absolutely nothing in return for the time investment I put in to get it. The "popular" definition is "I didn't get what I wanted, so I didn't get anything", which is closer to an oxymoron than a fact.

    "But my feelings" isn't a valid argument when it comes to defining gambling either. As we can see by the thread I linked earlier, Belgium considers the mount skin boxes to be gambling, even though you're guaranteed a skin. "It may not be the one I wanted, so it's bad". It's like reading the description of an item doesn't matter, even if you know there's a chance you'll get something else, when you do, it's someone else's fault, and I can't get behind that either. I can't support "predatory because it's aimed at children" either, because this is the excuse of parents that throw the kid the card with "shut up, I'm trying to (insert whatever excuse here), and don't want to be bothered". Especially here, where it's cosmetics we're discussing, laws don't make any sense. If one absolutely cannot live w/out this skin, or that one, then they have a problem that can't be addressed by legislation, unless we're going to start having to pass a personality disorder test before we can install and play a game? I wonder, if that were the case, how many of us would actually be here?

  • @Adoninilol.3180 said:

    @Lanhelin.3480 said:
    No, the blc would be a loot-box if it was sold directly and opened without a key. But chests aren't sold, only keys are and these do what they're advertised - they open chests and nothing else.
    Buying a chest = buying a pig in a poke.
    Buying a key = getting a key.

    Lol it's still a loot box because they sell the item to open the boxes, which mind you are quite abundant and yet keys are not.

    It's the same exact thing as the RNG mount skin boxes, this can be coupled with the games other pay to win schemes such as unlimited tools, and the salvagers.

    Feel free to quote me and argue that it's not pay to win because it's not required to play. But it's a serious hinder to not have these items, and play this game in regularly to the point that most players buy them because otherwise, it makes for an asinine game experience.

    So your subjective view that you must have indestructible tools means the store should be considered P2W, otherwise the player that disagrees is just being asinine? Now, if the only way to get any kind of tools was through the store, you'd have a point. But since I can spend in game currency to buy them in game, your argument falls flat. I can also, through in game means, craft a bag that holds them w/out having them clutter the rest of my bags when I'm managing my inventory. Would it be convenient to have them? Yes. Is it necessary? No. Is not buying them "asinine"? Again, no. Not paying for a convenience is no more asinine than not buying keys for the chests. I'm not sure that saving myself somewhere around 30 silver a week on tools would really be considered "winning" either, and then there's the tools you get as quest rewards.

  • Trise.2865Trise.2865 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 29, 2018

    Though by far one of the more "fair" and "optional" microtransactions in any game, Black Lion Chests are, by definition, loot boxes. Even with the prizes listed along with potential chance of each, it is an unknown, random digital product bought with cash.

    If we want ANet to step up their game, then we must step up ours.

  • @Trise.2865 said:
    Though by far one of the more "fair" and "optional" microtransactions in any game, Black Lion Chests are, by definition, loot boxes. Even with the prizes listed along with potential chance of each, it is an unknown, random digital product bought with cash.

    So when people are talking about "key farming" they're talking about getting out their wallet and buying keys?

  • Trise.2865Trise.2865 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 29, 2018

    @robertthebard.8150 said:

    @Trise.2865 said:
    Though by far one of the more "fair" and "optional" microtransactions in any game, Black Lion Chests are, by definition, loot boxes. Even with the prizes listed along with potential chance of each, it is an unknown, random digital product bought with cash.

    So when people are talking about "key farming" they're talking about getting out their wallet and buying keys?

    Does key farming guarantee, or "lock in" the result of the box? Does key farming remove the product from the cash shop?

    If we want ANet to step up their game, then we must step up ours.

  • @Trise.2865 said:

    @robertthebard.8150 said:

    @Trise.2865 said:
    Though by far one of the more "fair" and "optional" microtransactions in any game, Black Lion Chests are, by definition, loot boxes. Even with the prizes listed along with potential chance of each, it is an unknown, random digital product bought with cash.

    So when people are talking about "key farming" they're talking about getting out their wallet and buying keys?

    Does key farming guarantee, or "lock in" the result of the box? Does key farming remove the product from the cash shop?

    Does the fact that I can gain keys in game w/out spending a dime make that irrelevant? Yes, yes it does. It's free, so it's a fun minigame to pass the time. "But my results aren't guaranteed" doesn't matter, when, despite what you claimed, you don't have to spend a dime to play.

  • Bloodstealer.5978Bloodstealer.5978 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 29, 2018

    @Inculpatus cedo.9234 said:
    The only marketing I've ever received is the Newsletter, which gives information on major releases.
    Anyone else received anything in their emails?

    Not yet, but this new sweepstake, is iirc, much like the recent joint promo competition mess, tied in with other companies, not just the ANET newsletter. Let's hope those companies act responsibly with the material they might choose to push out (if any at all) to players who sign/signed up.

    EDIT - Of course BL keys in a total GW2 sense can't be totally classed as a loot box gamble, being how we can loot keys and chests in game, get awarded with keys through story/levelling/map completion so there is nothing to loose in that regards. I guess one of the arguments in defence of BL keys/chests is the fact you always get a guaranteed return of the statuette and are guaranteed 3 sometimes 4 additional items all of which have a use in game, whether players want it or not.

    Life is what YOU make it... NOT what others tell you!

  • Trise.2865Trise.2865 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @robertthebard.8150 said:

    @Trise.2865 said:

    @robertthebard.8150 said:

    @Trise.2865 said:
    Though by far one of the more "fair" and "optional" microtransactions in any game, Black Lion Chests are, by definition, loot boxes. Even with the prizes listed along with potential chance of each, it is an unknown, random digital product bought with cash.

    So when people are talking about "key farming" they're talking about getting out their wallet and buying keys?

    Does key farming guarantee, or "lock in" the result of the box? Does key farming remove the product from the cash shop?

    Does the fact that I can gain keys in game w/out spending a dime make that irrelevant? Yes, yes it does. It's free, so it's a fun minigame to pass the time. "But my results aren't guaranteed" doesn't matter, when, despite what you claimed, you don't have to spend a dime to play.

    So an item being sold, but also given away for time spent, is suddenly not being sold? and that's irrelevant to the discussion somehow, despite being part of the literal and legal definition, because... you said so?

    Well, I'm convinced... /sarcasm

    If we want ANet to step up their game, then we must step up ours.

  • Dawdler.8521Dawdler.8521 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 29, 2018

    @robertthebard.8150 said:

    @Trise.2865 said:
    Though by far one of the more "fair" and "optional" microtransactions in any game, Black Lion Chests are, by definition, loot boxes. Even with the prizes listed along with potential chance of each, it is an unknown, random digital product bought with cash.

    So when people are talking about "key farming" they're talking about getting out their wallet and buying keys?

    The very idea of microtransactions is to pressure to you give them money in exchange for time. It applies to pretty much every f2p game. They say it's free and oh you can play it totally for free. And then you have the option between doing something every 24h... or pay $1 to do it right away. Oh and you need to do it at least 3 times a day to compete with the people paying. And you can only pay in $5 increments.

    Key farming is just another variant of this.

    There are many different levels of hell and for loot boxes its the same thing. BL chests are technically loot boxes, but they arent something that is considered oppressive and hangs like a shadow over the game. Even some things that would be considered "bad" such as bag slots, bank slots and characters werent really designed to be showstoppers from the start, unlike how many games rip features out and basicly force you to pay for them (I say "from the start" because I would argue that Anet went waaaaay overboard with clogging the inventory over the years). Anet has clearly made a game that both we and them enjoy, instead of trying a quick cash grab. And that's great. But BL chests are still technically loot boxes.

    The problem I see with any FTC investigation is that it will be stiff businessmen or so called "experts" doing the investigation, instead of actual gamers playing the actual games. The game industry clearly cannot regulate itself since they will just blanket say "its not gambling" even if its a game about gambling that only contain gambling and you're playing it at a casino so in that sense I guess its fine... but I doubt much good will come of it. Maybe it'll dial back the worst game microtransactions but at the same time games like GW2 will suffer for it.

  • Pifil.5193Pifil.5193 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @robertthebard.8150 said:

    @Pifil.5193 said:

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    It's up to each nation's government to decide what is or isn't gambling, what is or isn't a loot box, and whether that's the sort of practice they want to regulate. When I see a headline (or worse, a politician) saying

    ... Commission that found 31% of children in the country had at one point or another paid money to open a loot box

    I want to know:

    • Was this an estimate or did they actually count everyone?
    • How did they define "loot box"?
    • Where did the money come from? (Already in the account or using a credit card for the transaction.)

    Gamestop and other stores sell gem cards and many other gaming currencies so getting real money onto an account without a credit card isn't that much of a problem. Also, a lot of the ATM cards being issued now are debit cards which can be used for online purchases just like a credit card (however, a debit card doesn't offer credit, you can only spend money that's in the account).

    • What games was this in? PC? Console? Mobile?
    • What age ranges?
    • Of those kids who opened one, how many went on to open more?
    • In what way do the lootboxes affect the outcome of the game? (e.g. many mobile games, lootboxes are required to 'win')

    Good public policy isn't based on alarming headlines. It requires distinguish those people who can benefit from a change in rules versus those who won't be affected versus those who might be harmed.

    I am not suggesting that the FTC shouldn't consider the issue; there's no question in my mind that the various gaming studios (big & small) aren't regulating themselves to prevent this sort of thing, even after Belgium's decision earlier this year. I just hope that people will keep things in perspective and not treat all lootboxes as the same thing, not assume that RNG+money = evil.

    Some of that is or should be irrelevant to policy makers, they don't and shouldn't care if one loot box is better value than another or whether a game is pay to win, they should only care if this practice is or should be considered gambling by whatever definition they use (even if it means redefining gambling). If it is then it should be regulated as such.

    At the least that means that the company should require a gambling license to operate in any given country and no doubt it will have tax implications for those companies. It would also generally mean that games with loot boxes would have to carry 18+ age ratings.

    No. Redefining gambling isn't a way to go. If we want to go there, then it will end up a totally subjective thing, and you can say bye to the beetle races, because you could be considered to be gambling on your skill to finish them in the set time. Any time you have to redefine a term to fit a narrative, there's something wrong with the narrative. As much as I don't buy loot boxes, I have yet to get a key that yielded absolutely nothing in return for the time investment I put in to get it. The "popular" definition is "I didn't get what I wanted, so I didn't get anything", which is closer to an oxymoron than a fact.

    I'm not talking about you or I redefining what gambling is to suit our own needs, I agree that's a silly thing to do, I'm talking about policy makers possibly having to change their country's legal definition of gambling to cover loot boxes. Changing the legal definition will not result in it being a subjective thing. I personally tend to avoid them because they feel like a mugs game to me but I think they probably should be treated like scratch cards or lottery tickets and I know that where I'm from you can't buy those of you're under 18.

  • @Bloodstealer.5978 said:

    @Inculpatus cedo.9234 said:
    The only marketing I've ever received is the Newsletter, which gives information on major releases.
    Anyone else received anything in their emails?

    Not yet, but this new sweepstake, is iirc, much like the recent joint promo competition mess, tied in with other companies, not just the ANET newsletter. Let's hope those companies act responsibly with the material they might choose to push out (if any at all) to players who sign/signed up.

    EDIT - Of course BL keys in a total GW2 sense can't be totally classed as a loot box gamble, being how we can loot keys and chests in game, get awarded with keys through story/levelling/map completion so there is nothing to loose in that regards. I guess one of the arguments in defence of BL keys/chests is the fact you always get a guaranteed return of the statuette and are guaranteed 3 sometimes 4 additional items all of which have a use in game, whether players want it or not.

    It's not the first time ArenaNet has offered sweepstakes/contests with joint partners (Alienware, For Fans By Fans, Razer, etc.). I've always been "opted-in", and still yet to receive anything but the Newsletter. I don't know why these same partners would not have sent promotional material before; or are you suggesting ArenaNet is suddenly going to sell the information now, when they have had the opportunity to do so ever since the first partnership?

    Besides, the Official Rules state:

    By entering this Promotion, any personal information entrants submit will be disclosed to the Administrator and Sponsor and will be used only by ArenaNet and Administrator consistent with Sponsor’s privacy policy. Sponsor may use entrants’ personal information, including postal and email addresses, to contact entrants regarding Sponsor related goods and services and any other offers and/or promotions that they believe might be of interest to entrants.

    Who is the 'Sponsor'?

    ArenaNet (“Sponsor”)

  • Ashen.2907Ashen.2907 Member ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 29, 2018

    @Pifil.5193 said:

    @robertthebard.8150 said:

    @Pifil.5193 said:

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    It's up to each nation's government to decide what is or isn't gambling, what is or isn't a loot box, and whether that's the sort of practice they want to regulate. When I see a headline (or worse, a politician) saying

    ... Commission that found 31% of children in the country had at one point or another paid money to open a loot box

    I want to know:

    • Was this an estimate or did they actually count everyone?
    • How did they define "loot box"?
    • Where did the money come from? (Already in the account or using a credit card for the transaction.)

    Gamestop and other stores sell gem cards and many other gaming currencies so getting real money onto an account without a credit card isn't that much of a problem. Also, a lot of the ATM cards being issued now are debit cards which can be used for online purchases just like a credit card (however, a debit card doesn't offer credit, you can only spend money that's in the account).

    • What games was this in? PC? Console? Mobile?
    • What age ranges?
    • Of those kids who opened one, how many went on to open more?
    • In what way do the lootboxes affect the outcome of the game? (e.g. many mobile games, lootboxes are required to 'win')

    Good public policy isn't based on alarming headlines. It requires distinguish those people who can benefit from a change in rules versus those who won't be affected versus those who might be harmed.

    I am not suggesting that the FTC shouldn't consider the issue; there's no question in my mind that the various gaming studios (big & small) aren't regulating themselves to prevent this sort of thing, even after Belgium's decision earlier this year. I just hope that people will keep things in perspective and not treat all lootboxes as the same thing, not assume that RNG+money = evil.

    Some of that is or should be irrelevant to policy makers, they don't and shouldn't care if one loot box is better value than another or whether a game is pay to win, they should only care if this practice is or should be considered gambling by whatever definition they use (even if it means redefining gambling). If it is then it should be regulated as such.

    At the least that means that the company should require a gambling license to operate in any given country and no doubt it will have tax implications for those companies. It would also generally mean that games with loot boxes would have to carry 18+ age ratings.

    No. Redefining gambling isn't a way to go. If we want to go there, then it will end up a totally subjective thing, and you can say bye to the beetle races, because you could be considered to be gambling on your skill to finish them in the set time. Any time you have to redefine a term to fit a narrative, there's something wrong with the narrative. As much as I don't buy loot boxes, I have yet to get a key that yielded absolutely nothing in return for the time investment I put in to get it. The "popular" definition is "I didn't get what I wanted, so I didn't get anything", which is closer to an oxymoron than a fact.

    I'm not talking about you or I redefining what gambling is to suit our own needs, I agree that's a silly thing to do, I'm talking about policy makers possibly having to change their country's legal definition of gambling to cover loot boxes. Changing the legal definition will not result in it being a subjective thing. I personally tend to avoid them because they feel like a mugs game to me but I think they probably should be treated like scratch cards or lottery tickets and I know that where I'm from you can't buy those of you're under 18.

    Do you believe that card booster packs, such as for games like Magic the Gathering, or collectible sports cards, or Kinder Eggs, should be similarly restricted to 18+?

  • Pifil.5193Pifil.5193 Member ✭✭✭✭

    @Ashen.2907 said:

    @Pifil.5193 said:

    @robertthebard.8150 said:

    @Pifil.5193 said:

    @Illconceived Was Na.9781 said:
    It's up to each nation's government to decide what is or isn't gambling, what is or isn't a loot box, and whether that's the sort of practice they want to regulate. When I see a headline (or worse, a politician) saying

    ... Commission that found 31% of children in the country had at one point or another paid money to open a loot box

    I want to know:

    • Was this an estimate or did they actually count everyone?
    • How did they define "loot box"?
    • Where did the money come from? (Already in the account or using a credit card for the transaction.)

    Gamestop and other stores sell gem cards and many other gaming currencies so getting real money onto an account without a credit card isn't that much of a problem. Also, a lot of the ATM cards being issued now are debit cards which can be used for online purchases just like a credit card (however, a debit card doesn't offer credit, you can only spend money that's in the account).

    • What games was this in? PC? Console? Mobile?
    • What age ranges?
    • Of those kids who opened one, how many went on to open more?
    • In what way do the lootboxes affect the outcome of the game? (e.g. many mobile games, lootboxes are required to 'win')

    Good public policy isn't based on alarming headlines. It requires distinguish those people who can benefit from a change in rules versus those who won't be affected versus those who might be harmed.

    I am not suggesting that the FTC shouldn't consider the issue; there's no question in my mind that the various gaming studios (big & small) aren't regulating themselves to prevent this sort of thing, even after Belgium's decision earlier this year. I just hope that people will keep things in perspective and not treat all lootboxes as the same thing, not assume that RNG+money = evil.

    Some of that is or should be irrelevant to policy makers, they don't and shouldn't care if one loot box is better value than another or whether a game is pay to win, they should only care if this practice is or should be considered gambling by whatever definition they use (even if it means redefining gambling). If it is then it should be regulated as such.

    At the least that means that the company should require a gambling license to operate in any given country and no doubt it will have tax implications for those companies. It would also generally mean that games with loot boxes would have to carry 18+ age ratings.

    No. Redefining gambling isn't a way to go. If we want to go there, then it will end up a totally subjective thing, and you can say bye to the beetle races, because you could be considered to be gambling on your skill to finish them in the set time. Any time you have to redefine a term to fit a narrative, there's something wrong with the narrative. As much as I don't buy loot boxes, I have yet to get a key that yielded absolutely nothing in return for the time investment I put in to get it. The "popular" definition is "I didn't get what I wanted, so I didn't get anything", which is closer to an oxymoron than a fact.

    I'm not talking about you or I redefining what gambling is to suit our own needs, I agree that's a silly thing to do, I'm talking about policy makers possibly having to change their country's legal definition of gambling to cover loot boxes. Changing the legal definition will not result in it being a subjective thing. I personally tend to avoid them because they feel like a mugs game to me but I think they probably should be treated like scratch cards or lottery tickets and I know that where I'm from you can't buy those of you're under 18.

    Do you believe that card booster packs, such as for games like Magic the Gathering, or collectible sports cards, or Kinder Eggs, should be similarly restricted to 18+?

    That's a good point, I'm not sure. Like I said loot boxes in games always feel like a mugs game to me because either the odds aren't known or are so fantastically poor that it's completely unlikely that you'll get what you want.

    I know when I played magic the gathering you were guaranteed a set number of uncommon and rare cards and there weren't different tiers of rarity within those. Same with (I believe) football cards and kinder eggs. Although it's been a long time since I opened any of them so the rules may have changed there. There's also the fact that you can trade your extras to complete your collections.

    So to answer your question, I guess not, I suppose my issue is less with the fact that it's down to chance (good ol' RNGesus) and more to do with the value of things and how fair it seems. Some loot boxes (and their games) seem to be designed to wring as much cash out of the players as possible, others don't.

    The issue for policy makers is more about the habits this may be engendering in children.

    It's fun to open a loot box and hope for a cool toy but the game shouldn't revolve around loot boxes.

  • Teratus.2859Teratus.2859 Member ✭✭✭✭

    Guildwars 2 is one game I would honestly give and exception to regarding this lootbox problem but I expect that should any legal restrictions come around Gw2 will be effected by them as well.

    Are Black Lion Chests Lootboxes?..
    Yes, I think it's obvious to say they are.

    Are Black Lion Chests unfair and malicious ingame items designed to nickle and dime the players and exploit additive behavior for financial gain?..
    Absolutely not!

    I want to make it absolutely clear that when it comes to Lootboxes.. Anet is one of the only companies I know of who does them right and doesn't screw their consumers over with them..
    Sure we get some cool items exclusive in them which does make me want to buy keys from time to time but with keys being fairly common rewards for map completion and story chapters as well as the rare random drop.. plus the ability to convert in game gold into gems and then into keys, It is absolutely unfair to even put Anet, and Gw2's Black Lion Chests on the same level as the greedy, malicious, morally bankrupt lootbox practices of companies like EA..

    They're not even remotely the same thing by comparrison because Anet does them right and fairly..
    Where as most other companies see them exclusively as a tool to exploit their players..

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