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IvanPonomarev

SWBF2 Loot Crates Investigated by Belgium Gaming Authority

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This is something we at World of Warships need to keep a watchful eye on as the EU is mostly the same on gambling regulations. A decision if EA violated gambling laws will affect all games with a loot crate mechanic. https://www.pcgamesn.com/star-wars-battlefront-2/battlefront-2-loot-box-gambling-belgium-gaming-commission

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Just now, IvanPonomarev said:

This is something we at World of Warships need to keep a watchful eye on as the EU is mostly the same on gambling regulations. A decision if EA violated gambling laws will affect all games with a loot crate mechanic. https://www.pcgamesn.com/star-wars-battlefront-2/battlefront-2-loot-box-gambling-belgium-gaming-commission

Its about time. I can't wait for the law to finally catch up with these greedy as*holes.

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1 minute ago, TabbyHopkins said:

How does this relate to "General Gameplay Discussion"?

 

Pretty sure hes talking about loot crates in this game, and how its also considered a form of gambling.

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5 minutes ago, TabbyHopkins said:

How does this relate to "General Gameplay Discussion"?

I buy loot crates specifically because I get advantages over other players. More doubloons to bring down consumables and ship costs, premanent camos with benefits over regular camos, and get ships that perform better than their counterparts. Loot crates do affect gameplay.

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4 minutes ago, IvanPonomarev said:

I buy loot crates specifically because I get advantages over other players. More doubloons to bring down consumables and ship costs, premanent camos with benefits over regular camos, and get ships that perform better than their counterparts. Loot crates do affect gameplay.

Nothing you obtain in containers in the premium shop gives a tactical advantage in game. Plus it is all obtainable very easily in game too. 

 

Doubloons simply get you ships quicker, and camos that make your ships cheaper to run, or they give you premium time which gives more credits and XP for the time you put in. 

 

Permanent camos give no tactical, or gameplay advantage over normal camos. 

 

Not every premium ship is better than their counterparts. Plus, none of the ones in game SCs are there before being sold. All the ships obtainable in game were sold at one point.

 

Containers affect economy, not gameplay, there is a big difference.

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1 hour ago, Ulthwey said:

 

Pretty sure hes talking about loot crates in this game, and how its also considered a form of gambling.

 

1 hour ago, IvanPonomarev said:

I buy loot crates specifically because I get advantages over other players. More doubloons to bring down consumables and ship costs, premanent camos with benefits over regular camos, and get ships that perform better than their counterparts. Loot crates do affect gameplay.

This really should have been in the Off Topic section as any connection to WoWS is tenuous at best. We don't pay to open the crates we get from playing the game which is what got the Belgium authorities involved. The move by EA is crummy but they aren't the first to do so. The Perfect World games are like this where you loot a crate and need to buy a key to open it. It took one of the really big gaming companies doing this to finally get the law involved. Any effect on our paid for crates will be that whatever is in them will have to have a sales value that is at least equal to what you paid for it.

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Belgium's have a lot more they should be worried about! Than a game! They put mayonnaise on their frites  for one!

 

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and they will find nothing wrong loot boxes are nothing like gambling in gambling you spend real money to make even more money that is one of the biggest reasons it is regulated with loot boxes you don't make real money and just like all other forms of mystery boxes you have a consensus decision to actually buy them if your 10-year old steals your credit card and buys $100 worth of loot boxes then it is your child's fault not the game developer for spending your money

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19 minutes ago, IvanPonomarev said:

I buy loot crates specifically because I get advantages over other players. More doubloons to bring down consumables and ship costs, premanent camos with benefits over regular camos, and get ships that perform better than their counterparts. Loot crates do affect gameplay.

I don't understand why people keep calling it advantage over other players.  I ran a free account for a year, and ran full camo and premium consumables, signal flags etc.  I just however was unable to advance very fast, getting only a single ship line up to T8 in a year of games.  Switched to a paying account, and the grind became simple, I ground 15 lines to t10 in the same time frame while still running full camo and premium consumables.  

 

It is absolutely a pay to progress faster.  The only reason a free to play player would be unable to run the same in game advantages on a tech tree ship is if you are choosing to save for grinding.  

 

Yes it is an insidious tactic to drive people to pay more than they want to, and will discourage players who want to play and progress but refuse to pay so much, but consumables and camo are by no means any sort of game advantage over a free to play account unless the free to play account chooses not to use them.  

Some premium ships are stronger than some free ships, but likewise many premium ships suck, and many tech tree ships are superior to their premium counterparts.  

Edited by SyndicatedINC
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2 minutes ago, skull_122_steel said:

and they will find nothing wrong loot boxes are nothing like gambling in gambling you spend real money to make even more money that is one of the biggest reasons it is regulated with loot boxes you don't make real money and just like all other forms of mystery boxes you have a consensus decision to actually buy them if your 10-year old steals your credit card and buys $100 worth of loot boxes then it is your child's fault not the game developer for spending your money

The problem is the European nanny-state mentality wants to save people from themselves.  Heaven Forbid someone should spend their rent money on opening loot crates because they have an addictive personality!

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Containers in WoWS, almost always reward more than there £value of ingame, so I wouldn't consider it gambling, you essentially always win.

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The fact that Belgium even has a 'gaming authority' tells you more than you need to know about the state of European continental governments. Those poor people just traded nobility - which at least had some class - for the most deeply embedded plutocracy the world has ever seen.

Edited by Battlecruiser_Renown

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7 minutes ago, Akeno017 said:

Containers in WoWS, almost always reward more than there £value of ingame, so I wouldn't consider it gambling, you essentially always win.

This,

 

So long as the value of the crate is a benefit over buying in game currency it isn't gambling.  The value tends to vary, but I've always found loot crates return more than buying the currency or flag outright assuming you want what the crate is dropping.  If you could buy/sell/trade items between accounts you might have a better argument.  

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21 minutes ago, Battleship_Dunkerque said:

The problem is the European nanny-state mentality wants to save people from themselves.

 

+1

 

Because the world needs to be even more packed full of fools than it already is.

 

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This is a rather interesting topic in that the "loot crate" concept in many games rides the hairy edge of gambling - so far, there hasn't been a legal precedent that has come down on the side of declaring it gambling wrt common implementations in many video games.  For anyone interested, there was a rather entertaining Jimquisition video about this specific topic.

WG, like many game companies rides that boundary and one could make an argument that it is a "gamble on pay-to-win (or progress faster)" since loot crates often contain consummables which can help you accelerate your progress.  This, too, is a discussion w/ both sides since increased concealment or a module or consummable can help your ship have a slight advantage over an opponent, but player skill is arguably a more critical determining factor in "winning":  Some of the points are:

  • Loot crates are not essesntial for you to progress successfully in the game.  You can still fully participate in the game if you never got a loot crate.  How practical this is, is a separate discussion, but the point is to play WOWS, you don't have to pay a cent for loot crates and you can still unlock all your ships.
  • WGs (and many) micro-transaction based games have a "you can spend real money and shorten the path or play for free but it will take longer" model ("Pay to progress?").
  • Defining gambling for digital goods is somewhat newer legal territory - You do get something of value in the loot crates but a clear P & L from WGs perspective is not so clear-cut as WGs Loot Crate mechanics offer situations where many players can get more value for their money (as defined by WGs pricing on its digital good).  Examples of this are:
    • Halloween Pumpkin Containers - if you observed the probability of getting the special Halloween cammos (a number of youtubers noticed and posted videos on this), you could actually use the RNG of the likely Pumpkin Container probabilities to get a good value on the digital goods that came from the containers.  In my case, I usually purchase a bunch of doubloons to support WG near the holidays - instead if you bought the 55 pumpkin containers for the same price, you were likely to get the doubloons (25000) + even more doubloons (in my case 17500 more) + all the extra cammos, flags, silver, FreeXP and all the special cammos.   The probabilities that were set up gave a reasonably clear advantage to a buyer who was willing to spend a certain amount - if you use a casino analogy, this would be akin to "if you place a big enough bet, the player, rather than the house has the odds advantage" - which is never true in a gambling establishment.
    • Santas Crates - WG is very careful to advertise that the product value you got in the $1/$3/$5 crates was at least equal to the price you paid for the crates.   Though you're speculating on what you got, you were guaranteed to get "at least your money's worth" on any Santas Crates (w/ many players getting free ships in their boxes).   This is akin to "gambling on the amount of and what items you could get on sale (w/o being able to chose a specific item)".  Since you get "digital value" equal and almost always exceeding (usually non-trivially) the price paid for participating, it plays with the definition of gambling, but again gives the player the edge instead of the "house" practically on every occasion.

I'd be the 1st one to be up in arms if I felt WG was crossing the line (in my opinion) re: gambling.  There is a separate discussion to be had re:

  • Whether this type of mechanic, which is becoming more prevalent in on-line gaming, feeds actual gambling tendencies & addictions. (You can go down a hairy rat-hole re: how video gaming itself, could be considered an addiction depending on where it fits in a person's larger perspective).
  • I'm much more concerned about other actual on-line gambling which are much more subject to actual fraud & (possible) need of regulation (e.g. on-line poker, Fantasy Sports Leagues).

In my opinion, it seems that WG has stayed on the safer side w/ it's crates/containers mechanic wrt getting undue attention from legal entities.

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Kuckoo said:

Because the world needs to be even more packed full of fools than it already is.

You know, I was thinking about this just last night on my long commute home while stuck in traffic.  Let me preface this by saying I am in no way advocating any form of 'genetic engineering', 'selective breeding' or anything along those lines.  I am simply making an observation about where we are as a species.

Assuming one believes in Evolution Theory in some form, then over the centuries the evolutionary process honed the species, pruning out the less successful traits and making a "better" human. 

If a child was born even 50-60 years ago that had, for example, terrible allergies, that child suffered and probably died young.  "Oh, Michael was always a sickly child, it's no wonder, such a sad story" was what you heard.  Now that same child can lead a long and productive life with much less suffering.  And that's great.  For them.  Unfortunately, this example also shows how traits that used to get you "weeded out of the gene pool" are now being allowed to remain.  Worse, as these traits become more common, we get more and more persons exhibiting these traits, passing them on, etc.  We are at a point where evolution, rather than "improving" the species, is actually working in reverse, keeping and in some cases amplifying "undesirable" traits.  When I was a kid, it was really rare to hear about kids with peanut or milk allergies.  With my kids, they always have kids in their classes/activities with bad allergies to these things.  Schools have actually had to say "do not send your kids to school with peanut butter in any form". 

One child, who is a good friend of my younger daughter, is highly allergic to most nuts.  They were returning from Washington D.C. on a commercial flight, and the airline basically told all the passengers that no peanuts were allowed, deep-cleaned the plane, etc.  When they were nearly home a child several rows ahead of them opened a Snickers.  This child started reacting to it - when they got off the plane it looked as though she'd been crying, so much that I asked my daughter what was the matter with her.

Don't get me wrong, it's great that these persons can be productive and happy.  It's just concerning where this all leads.

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1 hour ago, skull_122_steel said:

and they will find nothing wrong loot boxes are nothing like gambling in gambling you spend real money to make even more money that is one of the biggest reasons it is regulated with loot boxes you don't make real money and just like all other forms of mystery boxes you have a consensus decision to actually buy them if your 10-year old steals your credit card and buys $100 worth of loot boxes then it is your child's fault not the game developer for spending your money

When most of them have garbage in them and very few have anything of value it becomes gambling. it will be interesting to see the final fallout from this.

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3 minutes ago, BrushWolf said:

When most of them have garbage in them and very few have anything of value it becomes gambling. it will be interesting to see the final fallout from this.

probably loot boxes becoming less profitable so games stop using them so the base price of game starts going up as game get more and more expensive to make because when game cost millions to make and they are being sold for $60 dollars  a copy a developer has to find some way to make a profit and I don't want to spend $100 on a game

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The last lewt boxes I bought were the Santa crates last year. I probably won't buy any this year. There's nothing you need to have from boxes in Warships, thank goodness. You can get the rare-as-unicorns SC from playing.

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2 minutes ago, skull_122_steel said:

probably loot boxes becoming less profitable so games stop using them so the base price of game starts going up as game get more and more expensive to make because when game cost millions to make and they are being sold for $60 dollars  a copy a developer has to find some way to make a profit and I don't want to spend $100 on a game

They already are making a profit at $60. This is about wringing the last tiny bit of profit from the players no matter how slimy the method is.

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I will admit I almost spent out of my means here to get my Gremyaschy with the Christmas Crates last year but that's a decision I made and I stick by it.  Yeah I had very little in the tank going into January but that's what I knew doing it.  There are grown adults and children who spend more than me on these kind of events. 

The EA debacle is a different beast than a F2P game you enjoy to the point of putting money into however.  Its something that has me concerned for my nephew, who has bought into the Battlefront bandwagon wholesale.  My sister is pretty good about controlling these things but an accepted norm of spending $60 for the base game followed by more than that in DLC/micro-transactions over the course of a year is a legitimate worry for those without the ability to monitor their own impulses.  Like children.  I had to grow to monitor my addictive spending habits, my nephew doesn't have the perspective of real life costs like utilities to contend with and has yet to get an appreciation for what the $ means in a practical sense.  With some sites (and even some games!) requiring your card information on file to access accounts or gameplay, its fundamentally designed to encourage you to lose perspective of the real value of your dollar.

Wargaming treads a line, and while I do think they're honoring the ability to get these things in game without buying the boxes, I would object to them incorporating more into crates than they already do.  (I'd argue for an increase in ship drops in the SC's but that's never happening)

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1 hour ago, fbrrhd said:

Belgians Belgium's have a lot more they should be worried about! Than a game! They put mayonnaise on their frites  for one!

 

FTFY

 

Belgium is a beautiful country that I've had the fortune to visit a few times on business.  The people are friendly and the food is pretty good too.  There is nothing wrong with mayo on Belgian Fries.

 

b

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1 hour ago, Battlecruiser_Renown said:

The fact that Belgium even has a 'gaming authority' tells you more than you need to know about the state of European continental governments. Those poor people just traded nobility - which at least had some class - for the most deeply embedded plutocracy the world has ever seen.

 

Every country has a "gaming authority".

 

"Gaming" in this context means "gambling".

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It's illegal in California to run a lottery for money, and not disclose the odds. WG has been breaking the law for years.....:Smile_teethhappy:

 

http://consumerwiki.dca.ca.gov/wiki/index.php/CONTESTS/SWEEPSTAKES/GIFTS/PRIZES

 

Your Chances of Winning:

  • Usually the odds of winning a sweepstakes, contest, or lottery are quite low: for example, more than 400 million to 1 against winning a grand prize of $500,000. To determine your odds of winning, read the fine print on the ticket or the promotional materials.
  • The law prohibits the company from misrepresenting the odds of receiving any item offered.
Edited by awiggin

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