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Blizzard announces major changes to loot systems in Overwatch & Hearthstone

In one day, Blizzard announced notable changes to the IAP-based loot systems to both Overwatch and Hearthstone.

Bryant Francis

June 22, 2017

2 Min Read

If you’re in the business of in-app purchases, or just have been angling for that perfect D.Va skin in your Overwatch loot boxes, you should probably know that two different Blizzard games announced changes to their random loot systems today that will probably shift player expectations about the field. 

In a developer video update, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan announced (among other things) that the game’s loot boxes would no longer dispense so many duplicate items. This change affects the game’s cosmetic items, so it doesn’t have a direct impact on gameplay, but it may impact player decisions about buying loot boxes in Overwatch and other games. 

Meanwhile an announcement on the Hearthstone blog states that players won’t receive duplicate legendary cards until they’ve collected all the legendary cards from a given set. This decision does affect the in-game power economy, as more players will more likely have a broader set of high-powered Legendary cards than they do currently. 

While duplicate items will continue to appear in Overwatch (and be exchanged for credits in their usual fashion), Kaplan says they’ll appear less often, and players instead will see more standard currency drops that just deliver the in-game cash instead. 

“We’ll make sure that your credit intake will be at least the same, if not more,” Kaplan states. 

Jumping back to Hearthstone, the announcement adds that Blizzard is making tweaks to duplicate cards and legendaries in other ways. For one, players won’t receive more copies of a card in a card pack than can be deployed in a given deck. 

And starting in the next expansion, players will receive 1 legendary card within the first 10 packs they acquire with either in-game currency or real-world money. So every time Blizzard releases a new set of cards, 1 of the first 10 packs that players acquire will have a high-value card. 

About the Author(s)

Bryant Francis

Senior Editor, GameDeveloper.com

Bryant Francis is a writer, journalist, and narrative designer based in Boston, MA. He currently writes for Game Developer, a leading B2B publication for the video game industry. His credits include Proxy Studios' upcoming 4X strategy game Zephon and Amplitude Studio's 2017 game Endless Space 2.

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