Ghost Recon: Wildlands Loot Crates Aren't Worth The Money

Stop me if you've heard this one: The addition of loot boxes to Ghost Recon: Wildlands has been met with a wave of criticism from fans.

Ubisoft introduced Battle Crates into Wildlands with the arrival of the latest post-launch content update, titled Extended Ops, on January 25. These crates offer cosmetic-only items of various rarities such as gun camos, wearables, or character skins from other Ubisoft games.

Granted, playing Wildlands while dressed as a Rainbow Six Siege or Assassin's Creed character sounds pretty cool. Unfortunately, Ubisoft's loot box system didn't work as promised when it launched, and is rather expensive besides.

Unlike the loot boxes in Call of Duty or Overwatch, you can't earn these crates for simply playing, completing objectives, or using rewarded in-game currency. You can only purchase them by spending real cash on Ubisoft store credits. The store currency is currently on sale at 800 credits for $US3.49 ($4), and that minimum base pack will get you two Battle Crates at 400 credits each. 3840 credits are sold as a medium-sized pack for $US13.99 ($17), but since a bundle of crates costs 4000 credits, it's not quite enough to buy it.

Ubisoft's announcement of Battle Crates on January 19 stated: "There are no duplicates in the Battle Crate system. You will only get items you do not already own." This promise also shows on the screen as you open your purchased crates.

But as players spent their cash in hopes of unlocking new cosmetics, many complained on Reddit that they did indeed receive duplicate items that they'd already purchased from cosmetic packs in the store.

This part, at least, is being fixed: Reached for comment by Kotaku, a Ubisoft representative said Friday afternoon that "the duplicate issue with the Battle Crates has been resolved," and that players should no longer receive duplicate items. Ubisoft did not say if players who got duplicates would be refunded or otherwise compensated for the error.

Earlier on Friday, I tested my luck by purchasing a bundle of crates, spending $US17.48 ($22) to purchase enough credit packs to buy a bundle of ten Ghost War crates at the price of 4000 credits. I also claimed the free Spec Ops (campaign cosmetics) crate and a free Ghost War (PvP cosmetics) crate from the Ubisoft store.

Unlike the Rainbow Six Siege loot crates that Ubisoft will be introducing this spring, many of the Wildlands items aren't exclusive to the crates and can be purchased in the store. So the most compelling reason to test your luck with the loot boxes is for the chance of Legendary character skins, which can only be obtained from the Battle Crates.

I opened a total of 14 crates, which earned me only one Legendary Rainbow Six Siege skin. And one crate contained the El Tio devil mask, a duplicate of an item that I already owned.

Luckily, I haven't purchased many cosmetic items from the store, so much of the other stuff I got out of the crates was, at least, not duplicates. Some crates had unique gun cosmetics, but many crates gave me ugly hats and lame face paint.

All in all, I was disappointed. Even without the duplicate items issue, Wildlands' current loot drop system doesn't feel like a good gamble, especially for players who have previously purchased packs of in-game items.


Comments

    If it's only cosmetic items then I don't really give a toss. My objection to loot boxes is when they confer gameplay advantages, like the Battlefront 2 ones that unlock playable characters etc.

      I do give a toss when previously easily avalible cosmeic items are removed from the game and chucked into lootboxes.

        Is that the case here? The article doesn't seem to say anything to that effect and I haven't followed this story elsewhere at all.

          I was not commenting on this game in particular. Just the idea that if its just cosmetic its okay.

            I care about cosmetics. I like my characters to look cool. It's why game creators spend huge amounts of time and effort in character creators. Because people care about cosmetics.
            I don't appreciate gambling rubbish being tacked on to my computer games and try to avoid them as much as I can.
            I would much rather a one time payment option for these items than the horrid gatcha system all the publishers are trying to shoehorn into their games.

              Exactly. I don't mind paying for cosmetics directly. I love to support the artists behind them. I however don't like them being locked behind random chance in an attempt to fleece me of more money.

    *hands on head* oh mah gawwd, Ubisoft, what are you doooooing? Wildlands, R6:Siege, For Honor... please tell me there's no lootboxes in Far Cry 5. I really wanna enjoy that one.

      I think you secretly know that lootboxes will be all up in your Far Cry 5. It's financially irresponsible of publishers NOT to put lootboxes in a game, these days. I'm just glad I've got a decent backlog of non-lootboxy games.

        Noooooooooo, I was planning on playing this one co-op with the GF because apparently you can play it entirely that way and not just with random drop-in missions that you have to navigate to in your SP world!

    I'm okay with loot crates that give pure cosmetics, because ultimately the whales that feel it is valuable (no matter whether you and I do), are the ones that pay for it, and that the product exists for.

    It also funds the ongoing development.

    People need to remember, that in the 90's, games would cost $100 AUD. They now cost $60 to $70 new, and often can be bought for a lot cheaper. Adjusting that $100 over twenty years to an equivalent in today's dollars is about $160.

    A big part of games being cheaper up front, and being funded via loot boxes/micro transactions is to hope to draw in a large enough player base to sustain the game with the low-upfront cost, and subsidize these players via the whales purchasing microtransactions.

    The alternative is we all just pay more up front.

    Last edited 29/01/18 3:37 pm

      Yep would rather pay more than gamble.

      Whatever happened to advertising in games? I remember it made an appearance in racing games especially but then went by the wayside. If a developer of a modern day / near future game wanted to subsidise their costs with a Coca-Cola billboard in their in-game city, I wouldn't be pissed off, if anything, i'd feel more immersion.

      The problem with loot chests that "don't affect the game" or are "pure cosmetics" is that you can get a Destiny 2 situation, where, sure, everything is cosmetics, but it's also yanked away from the reward pools that were previously a cool feature of the game. So, for example, Strike specific loot in Destiny 1 becoming loot box only loot in Destiny 2.

    Can't complain if it's cosmetic only. Doesn't affect game play so i'd accept it in a game I was playing...wouldn't spend money on it but wouldn't bother me that it's there.

      Even if the others you play with look soo much cooler?

        Yeah, doesn't bother me. I'm the guy who doesn't even use skins in CS:GO

          Likewise, but what I am confused about is how there is a market for this kinda crap when they should just have it in the game, just with lower drop rates. Oh well people are obviously giving them free money.

    At this stage, it's getting hard to care about stupid greedy companies devaluing their games by adding loot crates to them. We all KNOW loot crates are shit by now. Anyone who buys them, KNOWING they're shit, deserves everything they get. The saying "A fool and his money are soon parted" exists for a reason.

    Yeah, not gonna spend a cent on gambling for any item. Maybe if I knew exactly what I was going to get, I would.

    Just shows how far out of touch developers and publishers are with their customer base, and how far their noses are up shareholders anus'.

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