HearthStone

Another problem with Hearthstone’s Monetization: Obscure drop-rates

Content of the article: "Another problem with Hearthstone’s Monetization: Obscure drop-rates"



Many years ago I tried to argue that Blizzard's sneaky response to the Chinese government request to provide transparent loot boxes statics was deceitful as hell. However, this reddit was in positive circle-jerk mode, looking down on those that "still cared about that".

"Imagine caring about Blizzard ethics, brought to you by the DragonArmy-Gang".

The tables have turned, and thanks to the newly implemented battle-pass this reddit is on full negative circle-jerk mode, so I want to take this opportunity to talk about this subject as well. Bare in mind that my intention is not to kick Blizzard while it's down, but to bring into the light something that looked really scummy.




Long time ago, China asked every game-company with gatcha-like mechanics to be open about their completely obscure drop-rates. How hard was it to get a legendary item and all that jazz. Blizzard "response" was to evade the question and publish information everybody already knew: 1 rare per pack, 1 epic per 5 packs (on average) and 1 legendary per 20 packs (on average). The fact that they didn't give us any real percentage is what's so awful about this answer.

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Why is that an issue? Because that means that Blizzard doesn't have to make the packets random at all. As long as they don't over do it, Blizzard has no reason to actually "play fair". Hidden bonuses and hidden penalties could be applied all along, and still give 1 legendary every 20 packs "on average".



Most companies use big data and classify consumers into buckets:

  • Likely to spend more money this week
  • Stays online during weekends
  • Bought DLC last week
  • About to leave the game forever
  • Hasn't spent money in more than a year
  • Really excited about last expansion
  • And so on and so forth.

There are many reasons to do this, and there is nothing nefarious about data mining. After all, there is nothing particularly wrong with trying to understand your clients better. A lot of useful features, like recommendations, relays on this pieces of information.

This is just a personal anecdote and not "evidence"… but I have taken about 4 or 5 big breaks from Hearhstone. I started playing on BETA, and for different reasons I stopped playing the game from time to time. EVERY time I returned from a break, I found a Legendary in the first 3 or 4 packs I opened. After my longest break (a year or so), I found 3 legendaries on my first week.

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It may be a coincidence, sometimes this things happen, my personal experience proves nothing. However, what's important here is that foul play is not impossible. Blizzard's reticence to publish any number leaves the door open to this kind of actions.



Otherwise, how hard is to say that there is 0.5% of getting a legendary?


IMPORTANT EDIT: I have never bought packs upon returning for the game, the few times I spent money on the game was for adventures or for a few packs in metas that I really enjoyed. (after some time playing them) The packs I opened upon return were the free packs you got because of a new expansion, tabern brawl rewards or won in the arena. So, somewhere between 5 packs and 10 packs at top.

Thanks @BenJimJam for pointing it out.

Source: reddit.com

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