Despite Outcry, Blizzard Says Overwatch Loot Box Drop Rates Haven't Changed

If you ask Overwatch players, the most recent seasonal event, Year of the Rooster, had some damn good skins and some damn heinous drop rates for those skins. Blizzard, however, insists that they haven't touched those dials in months.

I've seen a number of threads on the Overwatch forums about what appears to be a reduced rate for skin drops. People are pissed, and when Year of the Rooster first started, I had the same problem:

I didn't unlock a single skin until I'd opened 10 more loot boxes, and I only had my first spot of decent luck a couple of days ago. Even then, I bought 15 boxes and only got a couple of solid skins. However, my Overwatch show co-host Heather Alexandra purchased around the same number near the beginning of the event, and she nearly got buried by an avalanche of legendary gold. Meanwhile, other websites have conducted more scientific analyses, and while some have found that nothing's changed, others report changes to epics and legendaries, as well as duplicates.

Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan recently addressed people's concerns, saying that Blizzard hasn't tweaked loot box drop rates between events. "The drop rates for Summer Games, Halloween Terror, Winter Wonderland and Year of the Rooster are all the same," he wrote on Overwatch's forums.

And yeah, sure, it's Jeff Kaplan, so he's probably telling the truth, but there's still room for doubt given the results people are reporting. The easiest solution to this problem would be something people have been clamouring for Blizzard to do for ages: Release the damn numbers behind loot box drop rates. Would it open the game up to some kind of exploit? Maybe. But as is, we're basically gambling without knowing our odds, and it's all kinda scummy.

Of course, this business practice is hardly a Blizzard-exclusive thing. It's so pervasive that China will soon start forcing game creators to disclose odds on "all virtual items and services that can be drawn/forge on the official website or a dedicated draw probability webpage of the game". Hopefully that means we'll hear about them in Western territories as well, though there's nothing stopping publishers from modifying drop rates in different territories.


    The rates may be the same, but when they add 100+ items for the events it dilutes the pools so much that getting what you want is even more of a long shot than it already is. Also makes it harder to get coins due to the influx of new items, so it's a lose-lose.

      This exactly...

      And when there are even more small items (sprays etc) added it makes it hard to get the goods!

      Although it does make the getting of said items rarer and more valuable?

      It really depends on how they're calculating the odds for getting stuff. If it's just one big pool then it will get diluted. If it's separated into rarities then each pool should still have the same drop rate. Granted, each of those mini pools could be dilated by "rare" non-skin items.

      I think the big issue here was that there were so many legendary items that people wanted, but under the last event most skins were in the more common slot.

      Last edited 15/02/17 3:38 pm

        During the event you're guaranteed one event item per lootbox. You may also get others but definitely 1 event item.

        The problem is it still picks the rest from the entire pool and there is the chance of duplicates so it is weighted against you somewhat. I think they also quoted a legendary drop rate of 1 in 25 lootboxes at worst so if you're super unlock you will at least get a legendary at your 25th lootbox.. Again this can be coins or regular skins or a dupe though so yeah.

        It's just RNG being shit is all...

        Last edited 15/02/17 4:12 pm

          Unless the drop rate gets weighted each time you don't draw a legendary, then RNG will screw you over 96% of the time. And then the pool of legendaries get bigger with event, so that's another RNG roll.

            Bad luck protection is the way they do it in both WoW and Hearthstone. I don't recall the formula exactly but in Hearthstone you're guaranteed to get a legendary in I think 40 packs maximum, and each time you don't get one the odds of the next one being one increase slightly. It's not a stretch to imagine they use a similar system in Overwatch.

    I sort of agree with the article and I also belive in RNGeusus too

    I got majority of skins from Winter wonderland and from Halloween, didn't get anything from Olympic event but this Chinese new year, even with making an effort to farm loot boxes all I got was 2 skins for Junkrat and Symetra, and a whole stack of duplicates (1 in 3 loot boxes were 4 duplicates)

    I don't know, but I only opened 6 boxes during CNY and scored x3 legendary skins and x2 epics.

    I have every one of the new skins except for the DVA one, which looks awesome, however I spent $22 on loot boxes.

    You're asking for Blizzard to reveal drop rates...


    You poor, deluded soul.

    I opened 4 boxes in a row the other night that contained nothing but sprays and player icons.

    But yeah, as we used to say on the WoW forums, "random loot is random".

    I never believe Jeff Kaplan. He said Bastion needs a boost every few patches.

    I think there should be a 50/40/30/20 percent chance that a legendary/epic/rare/common will automatically be something you don't have. Should be enough protection to help with new item flood, but keep the business model alive (since the chances of getting a legendary type haven't changed)

    In Australia don't they have to show the odds, as this is no different that buying a lotto ticket? Just because they are a US company doesn't matter as they are sell to Australians. Just look at the ACCC vs Valve case.

    I really hate all of these business that have microtransactions on full price games. I'm so sick of it. When I see a player with a legendary skin I don't think, o how lucky of them. I think o how much more money did they spend after purchasing the game. In my point of view I don't see the whole point in spending money to unlock item, isn't that what playing the game is for?

    People are complaining about Ubi$oft releasing large amounts of DLC. First I don't like that neither, but at lease you know what your spending your money on. Most of the Ubi$oft DLC adds up to around $30 to $40. Where as I have seen people already spending over $200 on loot boxes on top of the game. Like I said before this is gambling and needs to be regulated.

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