TERA Online forum archive
TERA PC - General Discussion: Loot Boxes (You knew it was coming)
Earlier Today, the U.S. Senator Proposed a bill to BAN loot boxes and P2W micro Transactions, mainly for games that are played by "minors" that being said, Inthe USA, you are considered a minor if you are under the age of 18, and in many states, gambling (another way to call the loot boxes) is illegal unless you are of age 21 or older.

We saw this coming, in games like Destiny, Fortnite, Apex Legends, but those are the popular ones. Lets talk how this would affect TERA

In the past, we the players talked of ways to bypass the RNG of the loot boxes and its predatory nature. The most talked about points being:
- Add a guaranteed box, more expensive than the regular loot box, that will guarantee that you get what you want.
- Add a failcap to the loot boxes, so that after a specific amount of them being opened, you get what you were looking for.

Both methods were kind of tested in TERA by EME, and both failed to be continued, and EME kept going back to the evil loot boxes.

If you do not know what im talking about, here are the links

https://kotaku.com/u-s-senator-introduces-bill-to-ban-loot-boxes-and-pay-1834612226
https://www.gameinformer.com/2019/05/08/upcoming-us-senate-bill-proposes-a-ban-on-loot-boxes

And a video


The question now is, should this bill gets passed (we all gamers hope it does) How will EME react to this? Will you finally listen to the suggestions of the players that you been ignoring for so long? Will you continue with the success that were the Frontera Winter boxes that were pretty much a direct sale of a dyable costume? Will you FINALLY add some sort of failcap to the loot boxes? and no, those noblesse and dragon tokens arent a failcap, a TRUE failcap, would be :-1:
- Open 40 boxes, you get nothing. Open the next box, you get your loot you desired.
You know damn well as much as i do if the lootboxes get banned theyll just pull a blade and soul snd empty out the store like they did to belgium.

Only other option is to sell costumes at very high prices or release only non dyable costumes or high priced mount packs

Theyre not changing the entirety of their business model, theyll just fire up a short cut.
You know damn well as much as i do if the lootboxes get banned theyll just pull a blade and soul snd empty out the store like they did to belgium.

Only other option is to sell costumes at very high prices or release only non dyable costumes or high priced mount packs

Theyre not changing the entirety of their business model, theyll just fire up a short cut.

Thing is, EME already did tried selling dyable costumes for direct purchase.

The frontera Dyable winter costume was the first, and it was VERY WELL received by the players, a lot of us encouraging EME to keep doing that, and yet EME went back to loot boxes with infinitely low odds of getting a jackpot.

Through the years, players have voiced their concern about the loot boxes. A lot of us even mentioned that we wouldnt mind paying 30 to 50 dollars for a straight purchase.
Well pretty sure you aren't really supposed to be playing Tera if you are under the age of 18 *Shrugs shoulders* And since you are guaranteed and Item from a Loot box it's not exactly gambling either.
TERA PC - General Discussion#5 Moroku05/08/2019, 11:05 PM
Well pretty sure you aren't really supposed to be playing Tera if you are under the age of 18 *Shrugs shoulders* And since you are guaranteed and Item from a Loot box it's not exactly gambling either.

Still considered Pay to win or Pay to progress, it would still be under supervision of the FTC
Actually, it really is a form of gambling even though you aren't winning cash. However, you kind of are seeing as the prizes have a cash value. It's gambling and seen as an exploit to young minds that will end up in debt as they don't have self control.

Hey, I'm all for anything that gets rid of RNG cash grabs, because I see every game try to sneak that junk in to really rip some people off. Just be honest about what you're selling and just sell it for it's value. I get that peeps make loads of gold off of the lootboxes, but direct sales are just nice to have.Anything that demotes rng gets a thumbs up in my opinion.
If anything, Cosmetics should be separated from Consumables.

If you gonna sell cosmetics, sell them for direct purchase, dont lump them in together in the same box with consumables like gold talents andmeta tokens, instead, make a box that is strict purpose is to drop consumables like those.

My suggestion, in light of this new bill that hopefully will get passed for the USA:

- Remove the loot boxes altogether, replace them with Purely direct sales of cosmetics.
- Instead of having a consumable box, make a Metamorphic token box.
- Remove the Strongbox keys from the shop, and include em into the game as an earnable item to open the strongboxes.

But this is just my unpopular opinion.
As was said, this proposal in particular is unlikely to impact TERA because it targets minors specifically, and I think it's more likely that EME would implement stronger controls to restrict access to minors, rather than changing their business practices if this specific proposal were to pass.

That doesn't mean that there won't other be other regulatory pressure, or changes as a result of self-regulation, if the gaming industry feels that the odds of legislation that threaten their business model is too high.

I've always said that posted odds and a failure cap should be the minimum every gaming company should do to create a good long-term customer experience, and I still stand by that. Unfortunately, companies like EME (and many others) don't seem to want to do anything more than bare minimum they are legally required to do, which is why we need this sort of legislative industry pressure.


All this being said, it should probably be noted that their cash shop model has shifted a lot in the last few years, and there are a lot less cosmetics being added and a lot more consumables. A lot of these kinds of consumable lootboxes (gems, talents, etc.) don't really have the same sort of "grand prize" that a cosmetic loot box has, so this idea of having a failure cap becomes a bit trickier. (Is the "prize" for a gem lootbox whatever the highest possible amount of gems you can get is? Or is it just any amount that's within a certain "prize threshold"?) Something like the skill re-roll thing for companions they just added is also kind of complicated; would you let people choose their skill after a certain number of rolls for each particular companion? The more they incorporate RNG into these other aspects of the cash shop, the trickier it is to actually untangle.
I will glady pay $30-$50 for a dyeble-rare costume than $300 on lootboxes and fail to get it.
If the costumes are good I dont mind paying for the dyable one straight up. I bought the Frontera frost suit, and I love it.
Totally worth it imo over buying a pile of loot boxes.
As was said, this proposal in particular is unlikely to impact TERA because it targets minors specifically, and I think it's more likely that EME would implement stronger controls to restrict access to minors, rather than changing their business practices if this specific proposal were to pass.

^ This.

And also, people should be allowed to swipe if they wanted too.
I mean... adult peeple.
:smiley:
A colleague and I were just discussing this and his understanding is that in other countries with a similar law, they are still able to sell loot boxes provided the reward is no longer random. They have to publish the reward table so you're able to figure out exactly how many boxes you'll have to buy to get the particular item you want, but the boxes themselves still exist.
EJECWCWG55 wrote: »
I will glady pay $30-$50 for a dyeble-rare costume than $300 on lootboxes and fail to get it.

Absolutely. I opened so many boxes to get a vermilion kirin and never did get one that way (enough to get half a dozen crimson, to give you an idea of just how many I opened). I'd have gladly paid for one outright. I wish it had been an option.
This system sucks.

I want a Pteryx for various reasons and we now have a discount to get phoenix loot boxes at 50% of the price so i was able to get x100 Phoenix Boxes that cost 12500 EMP but i am afraid to open them because i will probably not going to get a single Pteryx even with so many boxes...

Why it is not guaranteed to get a mount even after opening boxes worth of 100$..
TERA PC - General Discussion#14 Milice05/10/2019, 09:39 AM
> The US pass a bill to ban lootboxes in games for minors
> All games change their ToS to make you agree that you are an adult and keeps the lootboxes just the same
Everyone:
sohWhy9.jpg
In Belgium any kind of loot box are banned, no matter how old are you is illegal there to have loot boxes in games.
TERA PC - General Discussion#16 kubitoid05/10/2019, 04:43 PM
SocateKun wrote: »
In Belgium any kind of loot box are banned, no matter how old are you is illegal there to have loot boxes in games.
poor guys have nothing to play since then :lol:
TERA PC - General Discussion#17 vkobe05/10/2019, 06:21 PM
so is mean rip tera ?
TERA PC - General Discussion#18 vkobe05/10/2019, 06:22 PM
As was said, this proposal in particular is unlikely to impact TERA because it targets minors specifically, and I think it's more likely that EME would implement stronger controls to restrict access to minors, rather than changing their business practices if this specific proposal were to pass.

so is mean elin cant play anymore tera ?
Ya know, rather than worry about more consumables, they should just re-release their cosmetics at flat-rate, use their rng for the consumable items (where people know they are gambling) and stop splitting hairs between the two. If it's game resources, let it be a gamble, if it's a straight cosmetic purchase, let it be that. Separate the two, that's the easiest way to resolve their "oh, but if we do this for this, then this will do this" argument.
My hubby opened x200 Phoenix Lootboxes since they are at discount with -50% and still did not get a Pteryx Mount.

Ok.....
Lilienette wrote: »
Ya know, rather than worry about more consumables, they should just re-release their cosmetics at flat-rate, use their rng for the consumable items (where people know they are gambling) and stop splitting hairs between the two. If it's game resources, let it be a gamble, if it's a straight cosmetic purchase, let it be that. Separate the two, that's the easiest way to resolve their "oh, but if we do this for this, then this will do this" argument.

I don't think anyone was really making that argument, actually. (At least I certainly wasn't, and I've never heard EME make it.) It's not like they're in any way prevented from using a flat-rate model for cosmetics regardless of what they do with consumables -- they can do whatever they want in every case. (In practice, they do what they think will make them the most money.)

The whole reason gacha works (not just in this game but in general) is because it tricks people into spending more by masking sticker shock. It's the same trick arcades, slot machines, etc. have used forever. If you just ripped all cosmetics out of loot boxes and put them all up on the cash shop at the "average price based on previous lootrate odds", they'd make less money -- more people would think twice about dropping $40 or whatever on a single outfit than they do about ~25 chances to win the same. By doing it the way they do now -- occasionally taking things out of lootboxes to put them up for direct sale as a special offer -- veteran players are able to swallow the higher price because of the contrast. A market without that constant contrast/reminder of the lootbox alternative could never sustain a store full of $30-$50+ character-bound costumes as a general rule. All this is basically why I've always pushed for failure caps + posted odds as a more achievable goal, since it can improve customer satisfaction/retention without threatening the whole business model.

You might still say that they should remove all lootboxes from cosmetics as a matter of principle/ethics, and find a way to go direct sale for all. I'm not opposed to that at all. But, to make that work would require a different approach than just listing all the rares up for $30-$50+ and calling it a day. You'd have to rework the entire cosmetic business strategy from the ground up. It can definitely be done and other games have done it, but it'd have to be approached carefully. And although I would love for EME to undertake that sort of rework due to heartfelt principles and a desire to do the right thing, at the end of the day management will only support it if the new approach will cause them to make the same or more money.
TERA PC - General Discussion#22 Zoknahal05/10/2019, 08:58 PM
You might still say that they should remove all lootboxes from cosmetics as a matter of principle/ethics/morality, and find a way to go direct sale for all. I'm not opposed to that at all. But, to make that work would require a different approach than just listing all the rares up for $30-$50+ and calling it a day. You'd have to rework the entire cosmetic business strategy from the ground up. It can definitely be done and other games have done it, but it'd have to be approached carefully. And although I would love for EME to undertake that sort of rework due to heartfelt principles and a desire to do the right thing, at the end of the day management will only support it if the new approach will cause them to make the same or more money.

I wouldnt say there would be a need to rework the entire approach of the shop, but more like, copy it from a successful developer that just the other day, got rid of their very last rng shop pack: Digital Extremes.

If you jump into their game, Warframe, you will notice clearly that nothing, absolutely NOTHING, is sold inside a loot box or behind rng. Everything is sold as it is, directly. That earns the trust of the customer, because the company is not masking anything behind any sort of lower price point, they are simply just giving you, what you want, for the correct price. Some skins come only inside bundles, and the only way to get them, is if you buy the bundle.

That to me really is the big deal: Be transparent with your sales. If you are gonna have loot boxes, ok, go ahead, place loot boxes in your shop, but release the odds of getting each thing inside the box, that should be a bare minimum.

Digital Extremes realized what no other Publisher realized before, or maybe did, but never acted on it: They realized their old Kubrow system (pets) was a slot machine, and when they saw someone pull the lever 200 times, they knew they had created a slot machine, so they did what no other did: Removed it. That is unheard of pretty much every publisher in the USA, because slot machines make money, and as long as they keep making money, no matter how evil and how predatory they are, they will keep it.

Ok, so you want to rework the entire cosmetic business, here are some ideas:

- Bundles: Bundles always work. They sell a bunch of items together cheaper than they would be when bought separately. Provided the bundle offers a unique item that you cannot get separately, then is a good market strategy.
- Direct Sales: No need to explain this one, just simply give us everything for direct sale, even the dyables and rares. I would rather spend 30 dollars on each dyable for each of my alts, than spend 100 on loot boxes just to get 1 for my main.
- Elite needs desperately a rework. If you rework Elite to something that will be worth the money, more people will want the benefits of it. As it stands right now, its pretty much only worth to be elite for the atlas and journal. The other benefits, specially the broker fees, need a desperate rework. Match the preferences of your customers and turn elite into something everyone can enjoy, from new players to veterans.
Zoknahal wrote: »
I wouldnt say there would be a need to rework the entire approach of the shop, but more like, copy it from a successful developer that just the other day, got rid of their very last rng shop pack: Digital Extremes.

...Switching to the approach that a different developer did with an entirely different business model would be to "rework the entire approach." It's not like Digital Extremes did this without testing it out and seeing what worked for their customers. It's also not like copying what they did would work for every single game on the market just because it worked for them (otherwise, every single game developer would already have copied them -- they're all in this business to max their profits).

You noted yourself that EME actually did a large number of experiments with different sales strategies. They've tried direct sales, bundles, lower prices, higher prices, lootbox failure caps, bonuses with purchase, various discount thresholds, time-limited offers, elite-only items/offers... the list goes on and on. These are all tests to see what actually drives customers to spend money. When a certain strategy performs above expectations, they try to do the same thing again to see if lightning strikes twice. That's the sort of careful approach you take when reworking your business model.

It's great that Digital Extremes found a model that works for them, keeps their customers happy, and doesn't involve any cash shop RNG. (I actually literally have a cousin who works on Warframe, so it's particularly cool to me that they found success after their dicey patch.) But it'd be a bit naive to assume they can just copy/paste what they did, drop it onto TERA, and suddenly profits go up. Each game and each audience is a bit different, and that's why it requires careful thought and experimentation.

Zoknahal wrote: »
- Elite needs desperately a rework. If you rework Elite to something that will be worth the money, more people will want the benefits of it. As it stands right now, its pretty much only worth to be elite for the atlas and journal. The other benefits, specially the broker fees, need a desperate rework. Match the preferences of your customers and turn elite into something everyone can enjoy, from new players to veterans.

People say this, but what exactly do you want that will make it "worth the money" but won't be even more Pay-to-Win? (Broker listing fees I personally think they just the remove for the whole game, F2P and all. But if you do that, obviously, it wouldn't be an enticement for Elite anymore.)

TERA PC - General Discussion#24 Waraxe05/11/2019, 11:45 PM
Returning player posting his 2 cents here:

I dislike any form of gambling, for me personally. I won't demean or condemn anyone for doing so; it's their money, they can spend it on whatever they deem is worthy of their time. Beyond this, however, I straight up disagree that opting out of gambling should require massive expenditure on the part of the player for a single cosmetic item that isn't even the most desirable form (i.e loot boxes for dyeable costumes or costumes with effects vs. plain or solid color costumes).

Spending money, above and beyond the purchase price (Tera wasn't always free to play), on a game I enjoy is perfectly fine to me, so long as I feel I'm not being ripped off. Being told to spend upwards of $30-$50 dollars for a cosmetic piece or bundle in it's least desirable form, one that isn't even an account wide, multi-character unlock, is a massive rip off. I can buy an entirely different game for that much money.

I have an entire roster of all the classes, ranging from alts that hover in the 30-40 level range, to several mains at 65, and most of these have some form and quantity of cosmetic items on them, which were purchased both in-game and on the cash shop. I've spent a good $200-$400 over the years, but none of it has ever been a gamble and none of my purchases were ever worth more than $20 at a time.

I take a look at the cash shop now and I just have to shake my head. Tera is getting away with charging $30 for a single-use cosmetic item on the basis that it grants flight with an additional in-game purchase of a skill, and this isn't even the bundle; that one costs $60. This is just one of a plethora of, in my opinion, egregious examples of greed on Tera's part. But hey, people are clearly buying them as I see the items on a character every so often.

The point of my rant here is to say this: I have returned, but I will no longer be spending my money on this game, even for elite status, until the methodology behind the cash shop is completely changed. If the idea behind the anniversary items being brought back was designed to be an incentive for me to spend my money, it utterly failed. I hope this legislation or whatever it is the US government is intending puts the devs in a position where they have to rethink their approach to selling cosmetic items.

At the end of the day, I think the majority of us can get behind the sentiment that a single item, in an intangible and digital environment, that is used purely for cosmetic purposes, shouldn't cost us anywhere near as much as an entirely different AAA-tier game would.
I hope it eliminates loot boxes, but who knows. You know its all rigged when they stuff specefic loot boxes with consumables just to stuff the odds against you. Any who defend this current system is most likely a troll or just lying to themselves. Let me spend my money in this game not gamble it away.
TERA PC - General Discussion#26 kubitoid05/12/2019, 10:01 AM
Zoknahal wrote: »
- Elite needs desperately a rework. If you rework Elite to something that will be worth the money, more people will want the benefits of it. As it stands right now, its pretty much only worth to be elite for the atlas and journal. The other benefits, specially the broker fees, need a desperate rework. Match the preferences of your customers and turn elite into something everyone can enjoy, from new players to veterans.
in other words back to p2p model B)
The premise of the bill is absolutely idiotic. they say its mainly to stop "minors" but its the PARENTS of those minors that lets these kids use their credit card to buy these RNG boxes. think about it. why does a kid who is barely in middle school have access to a credit card to swipe as much as he/she wants? the bill wont pass because of its idiotic mentality of "we merica! we got save kids!" . kids are stupid because mama and daddy allow them to do stupid things. if you are 18 years and older you should have the mental reasoning to buy or not to buy a RNG box.
Ballistixz wrote: »
The premise of the bill is absolutely idiotic. they say its mainly to stop "minors" but its the PARENTS of those minors that lets these kids use their credit card to buy these RNG boxes. think about it. why does a kid who is barely in middle school have access to a credit card to swipe as much as he/she wants?

Just for context on this, the biggest area where this happens is on phones that aren't properly configured with parental controls, since your card information is saved on your Google Play/iTunes account. It can also happen to a certain degree on Steam (where it lets you save your card information for future purchases). But aside even that, kids aren't stupid; they know where their parents keep their wallets/purses/etc. so it's not hard at all to take it when they're not looking if the kids are so inclined.

What the law is trying to say is that games targeting children shouldn't be designed to encourage this kind of spending model in the first place. But... as you point out, this is naive, because the line between a "game for children" and a "game for adults" isn't always that clear, and no matter what measures you try to put in place as an age check, it's not hard for a determined kid to lie about it. If the law were actually going to make real systematic change throughout the industry, it'd have to be much more broad and forbid all games of chance that involve money (as some EU countries did) -- but, again as you point out, it doesn't necessarily mean that the net result will be "we'll go back to the old days" either.

Mostly this proposal is a sign to the industry that the government is willing to consider legislation unless they take the matter into their own hands and clamp down on the more egregious practices. So at this point the ball's back in the industry's court (groups like the ESA) to propose some common-sense ways to calm people's fears/concerns a bit.
TERA PC - General Discussion#29 Daewa05/13/2019, 01:59 AM
Fact is, if and when the law is passed, it will signal the end of Tera and a lot of games like them. It's not the player's fault that devs got greedy. The greed caused good games to be turned into less that stellar cash boxes where most of the devs time is spend finding new ways to fleece their customers rather than create good solid content. These games followed EA's lead in a sense. The dollar signs were far too tempting. Now the market is flooded with garbage p2p games. When this law goes through, and make no mistake, it will in one form or another, it will wipe the slate clean. Maybe then we will see a return to quality content. I'd rather see a few good f2p games than the mess we have now.
Will this effect TERA too? I do hope so. No more pointless RNG gambling from loot boxes. Just make those loot box items one-time direct purchase from the shop. 3.0 Hopefully this will make more of the player-base happy. :blush: GO AMERICA!

[video]
creativly wrote: »
Will this effect TERA too? I do hope so. No more pointless RNG gambling from loot boxes./quote]

FYI that I merged your thread with the existing one on the same subject.

And see also this thread for why this particular proposal (even if it went through) is unlikely to affect a game like TERA. This is not an all-purpose "ban all lootboxes" bill, but specifically to protect children.
TERA PC - General Discussion#32 tisnotme05/13/2019, 08:05 AM
creativly wrote: »
\Just make those loot box items one-time direct purchase from the shop.

they tried making them a one time direct purchase and at the price they apparently needed to be no one bought them and kept buying the loot boxes , go figure
so they dropped the one of payment setup
TERA PC - General Discussion#33 Latza05/13/2019, 01:48 PM
While this likely won't affect TERA (or most games for that matter), if this passes, it opens the doors to further discussion regarding lootboxes. I personally would like to see a complete ban of lootboxes in the United States. I have no problem with dishing out more money than normal for a dyeable version of an outfit as long as the price isn't ridiculously obnoxious. I have personally bought the dyeable Celestial costume, as well as the special effect version of the Celestial weapon skin, twice since returning to the game. I think the price is a little too high on those items and would look prettier being $30, but atleast I had that option, and that made me a lot happier and willing to spend money.
tera knows we will gladly pay whatever price for the costumes/cosmetics/pets/mounts we want.

it makes them more money to scalp us with lootboxes. the avarice and contempt for consumers displayed by the modern gaming industry as a whole have caused them to fly too close to the sun.
they were warned. whatever happens will only affect us consumers positively, trust in that.
I mean think about it. If you spend over $200 on the loot boxes trying to get a rare virtual costume or mount, you should be guaranteed and entitled to get it instead of junk + worthless items that are worth less than 150k in value total (with a bunch of golden talents and other garbage from RNG) losing so much. The loot box value and mount can be placed from 500,000 gold to over 1 million gold on the Trade Brokerage which is ridiculous. Some of the items cannot even be found in the Brokerage due to most people trying to avoid RNGing from loot boxes. So if you have very bad RNG/luck, then sucks to be you, right? ;)
Maxmilian wrote: »
tera knows we will gladly pay whatever price for the costumes/cosmetics/pets/mounts we want.

it makes them more money to scalp us with lootboxes. the avarice and contempt for consumers displayed by the modern gaming industry as a whole have caused them to fly too close to the sun.
they were warned. whatever happens will only affect us consumers positively, trust in that.

Minus Warframe.
Current business model in a nutshell.
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TERA PC - General Discussion#38 Elinu105/14/2019, 04:58 AM
Loot boxes are a total scam, most of the time you have to open over 100 boxes just to get 1 of the item you want. Lootboxes are just like slot machines, you always lose.
Elinu1 wrote: »
Loot boxes are a total scam, most of the time you have to open over 100 boxes just to get 1 of the item you want. Lootboxes are just like slot machines, you always lose.

27c20aaf0feda17d52c37c74d9f72072eddb5351_hq.gif
TERA PC - General Discussion#40 ghenea05/14/2019, 05:04 PM
creativly wrote: »
Will this effect TERA too? I do hope so. No more pointless RNG gambling from loot boxes.

FYI that I merged your thread with the existing one on the same subject.

And see also this thread for why this particular proposal (even if it went through) is unlikely to affect a game like TERA. This is not an all-purpose "ban all lootboxes" bill, but specifically to protect children.

Doesn't mean there might not be other proposals or changes.

18uotlm4ra3kwjpg.jpg
it will work just as good as the "i am 18" button on *hard content* sites, wink wink
"do you certify you are 18 blahblah?"
"yeah sure, i totally do B) "
According to the Terms of Service on the En Masse website the minimum age to play Tera is 13. Granted, 13-18 year old players do need consent of a parent or guardian, but this is also true of EA Origin which is presumably being targeted by this bill. Of the various games I checked, only Fortnite seems to have no minimum age limit.

So this bill will impact NA Tera unless En Masse changes its ToS to outright ban players under the age of 18 whether or not parents consent, or offer alternate "youth" accounts that can't access the store at all.


But it's possible Tera's lootboxes are already gambling under existing laws. Until recently I would have compared loot boxes to card packs of Magic the Gathering or similar games which are legal. However I recently saw this video from "YouTuber Law" that explains the difference.



While the lawsuits accusing Wizards of the Coast of gambling were thrown out by technicality and don't establishment a legal precedent, the thought processes of judges show some important differences that don't look good for Tera's current monetization.

Essentially baseball cards, Magic cards, etc. can sell randomized packs that may contain rare cards because there is sufficient value in the packs that people would buy them without the rare cards. It's not that you get "something" but that what you get is approximate to what most people would be willing to spend that money on anyway.

What this would mean - and again this isn't case law yet - is that randomization is only acceptable if a jackpot or rare reward is incidental to the purchase. It can't be "the" reason a typical player would buy something.

So the question then is this: would the average, reasonable player be willing to spend $1.95 for 300 metamorphic emblems and a crafter cure or niveot without any chance of a bonus item? If the answer is no, then Tera's lootboxes are gambling.

Also consider that collectible card games accurately market their products as "booster packs." They make it clear they are selling a set of randomized cards. There is no "Black Lotus Pack" that advertises the pack based on a chance for what Google tells me is a rare card. However Tera specifically markets and even names their lootboxes based on the jackpot rewards. That indicates people are buying the lootboxes for the jackpot and not for what is guaranteed - and that would be gambling.

So Tera is guilty, right? Well, no, not necessarily. What would be a fairly easy case to prosecute if Tera's boxes were actual, physical products instead becomes way more complicated with these being digital items in an online game. Online gambling itself is still very much a gray area, and gambling real money for digital goods opens a whole other can of worms. We don't really have property rights within what's effectively an online service. We don't technically own any of our characters or accounts so much as we are renting/licensing them for as long as the servers run, so can you gamble for something if you can never truly own it?

All this being said, it would probably be smart for BHS and Tera to "go legit" and remove gambling elements. They already have things in the Tera store that aren't gambling, such as the smart boxes guaranteed to give a costume/pet/mount. The garment bags are actually not gambling because they're advertised as a random costume and that's exactly what you get - that's randomization done properly.

They could still include randomization within their boxes as long as the guaranteed reward is worth the price in the eyes of reasonable consumers. So it would be fine if a Devilicious loot box guarantees a regular Devilicious costume but has an uncommon chance for a black, gold or silver variety and a rare chance for a dyeable. That meets the criteria of promotion while retaining value of what you're buying.

Another option could be that instead of a paltry number of metamorphic emblems each lootbox guarantees enough of the new Terachic Boutique coins (that you get from dismantling costumes) to buy a random costume. That way if you don't get exactly what you're looking for, you at least get some cosmetic item.

Or hell, they could have each lootbox guarantee, say, 500 golden talents - which could be crafted into 300 darics or 180 plates - and they'd address two problems at once while making a lot more money.

Point is there are alternatives to the current loot box system that can, and imo should, be considered.
KFGRWRD3XH wrote: »
According to the Terms of Service on the En Masse website the minimum age to play Tera is 13. Granted, 13-18 year old players do need consent of a parent or guardian, but this is also true of EA Origin which is presumably being targeted by this bill. Of the various games I checked, only Fortnite seems to have no minimum age limit.

So this bill will impact NA Tera unless En Masse changes its ToS to outright ban players under the age of 18 whether or not parents consent, or offer alternate "youth" accounts that can't access the store at all.

Creating an account is one thing, but the game itself is also ESRB rated M. So even though legally players under 18 are allowed to create an EME account with the approval of their parents/guardian, you'd still have a pretty hard time arguing that this game and its monetization are "targeting children". I'm not even sure it's actually possible to "outright ban players under the age of 18" because if they have their parents'/guardian's permission to create the account anyway, it's already legally under their adult authority. A "ban" wouldn't really change that a parent could sign up in their own name and let their kids play on their account. You could argue this gesture would make it even more obvious that EME isn't targeting the game at children, but I think you'd have a pretty hard time sustaining that argument already.

KFGRWRD3XH wrote: »
Essentially baseball cards, Magic cards, etc. can sell randomized packs that may contain rare cards because there is sufficient value in the packs that people would buy them without the rare cards. It's not that you get "something" but that what you get is approximate to what most people would be willing to spend that money on anyway.

What this would mean - and again this isn't case law yet - is that randomization is only acceptable if a jackpot or rare reward is incidental to the purchase. It can't be "the" reason a typical player would buy something.

So the question then is this: would the average, reasonable player be willing to spend $1.95 for 300 metamorphic emblems and a crafter cure or niveot without any chance of a bonus item? If the answer is no, then Tera's lootboxes are gambling.

This argument is kind of spurious. Who gets to decide the "value" of a purchase? EME could just as soon list 300 metamorphics, crafters cure, and a niveot for direct purchase on their store for 995 EMP and declare by fiat that is their cash value. People can say "no one would ever buy it at that price" but they're digital products with no manufacturing cost, and they cannot be exchanged for real money. The price is completely arbitrary and defined by the parameters of the game they created. They could completely strangle supply of those items in the game *so that* they're now going to be "worth that much." The entire value economy is literally a game they control.

And you can't really tell me that a person who buys 100 baseball/Magic/whatever card packs and ends up with zero valuable cards is going to say it was worth their money. If that happened all the time, the whole market would dry up completely; the "chase items" are what make the whole thing worthwhile. Of course the sellers argue that the buyer did receive what they paid for ("items of equivalent value") when they bought the card pack, but the price people are actually willing to pay per pack has amortized the value of the rares over the whole set. On the statistical average if you open <x> packs, you would get <y> value, and getting the rare/super-rare prizes is part of that total. People's belief in that principle is what makes them willing to keep buying.


Anyway, I do think EME should move away from chase item lootboxes, but I don't think arguments like these really hold up all that well. As you go on to imply, it's trying to take physical item principles and apply them to virtual items in an entirely-developer-controlled space. That's why they need to come up with completely new ways of thinking about these issues that address the issues that need to be solved.
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