I was reading this Massively OP post about changes to the skill nodes in Neverwinter and the comments quickly turned to lootboxes and the spam messages the game insists on showing every time someone gets a lovely mount or item from a lockbox. It’s a very ‘in-your-face’ form of marketing – something that would never tempt me to start buying lootboxes or the keys to open them from the game’s cash shop.
Lord of the Rings Online has an unusually low-key attitude to the same random-reward boxes. Lootboxes in LOTRO drop extremely rarely compared to Neverwinter, Tera or other games. I’ve found two or three total on my main character over the course of 50 levels of gameplay (I say levels as I’ve played too sporadically to measure it by time). That’s quite the contrast compared to the stacks of different varieties of box that I had in Neverwinter on multiple characters. Indeed in LOTRO I have found more lockbox keys than I have boxes to open!
A couple of nights ago I was debating whether to open the one Anórien box I had found but then noticed that the account bound keys that I did have were not the right kind to open this new type of box. So I needed to buy one from the store if I wanted to open it. I wasn’t that tempted in the first place and I put it on the auction house instead. It sold over night for 30 gold, not a small amount of money from my character’s perspective! I’d rather have the surety of in-game gold than some random reward. Regardless of my lack of interest in lootboxes, however, I do appreciate the more low-key version that Turbine have implemented in their game.