Yesterday it was announced by the community manager of Elder Scrolls Online that Crown Crates are making their way into the game this week.
Now, for those of you that might not know, Crown Crates are loot boxes that give you a chance to get random items, like a mount, a pet, XP scrolls, Crown Store potions and food and poisons and costumes and head pieces like hats.
They act very much like loot boxes that have been added in games like Star Wars: The Old Republic, Guild Wars 2 and other MMO’s and games that contain micro-transactions. They offer a quick fix to spend crowns and give you a chance to get some shinies. We know from what we have been told that they are going to have Crown Crate “Seasons” and are having exclusive mounts and items in the crates (for example, Storm Atronach mounts) as opposed to just putting them in the store for sale, you can buy these crates to have a very small chance at getting a mount.
They were implemented onto the PTS for testing, and a bunch of the community tested them for drop rates and the chances of getting the good items, such as mounts. One of the ESO Community Ambassadors – a YouTube let’s play video recorder and streamer by the name of Miss Bizz (Who has made a lot of very good ESO related content) made a video about it that you can see here:
The chances for a good item looks very much like you are going to have to spend quite a few crowns to get what you desire. And, of course, this is the way with such items in MMO’s. You take a chance for an item. It is a gamble.
The introduction of these items seems to leave a bad taste in the mouth of a lot of the Elder Scrolls community. There have been numerous threads on the topic on the official forums about Crown Crates, and they have been overwhelmingly against having such a thing in Elder Scrolls Online.
One of the biggest fears amongst the community appears to be that adding Crown Crates will slow down real content for the game, such as the DLC’s we have been getting, and that the devs will focus more on these types of transactions, rather than adding meaningful content. This appears to have been the way with other MMO’s, so why wouldn’t this happen with ESO?
The simple truth of the matter is that we just don’t know.
Now, I think that this game has come under a lot of (Unwarranted, in my opinion) scrutiny, just because it is an Elder Scrolls game. It is a very beloved property, and the community have been proven to be very vocal at times regarding this game. They call ZOS out on a lot of things that I feel would not happen if it were not an Elder Scrolls title. And I think that is rather the point.
Why add such things into a property like Elder Scrolls Online, when there is already such an ardent fan base who will buy things that are put into the Crown Store normally? The game already has an optional subscription and a steady stream of Crown Store additions and DLC, and, according to game director Matt Firor at E3 this year, 7 million people have played the game and that number is, according to him, growing.
Will Crown Crates slow down meaningful content? We don’t know. The only thing we can do is wait and watch what happens. With Elder Scrolls Online certainly not being like a typical MMO and more like a large online RPG, why are they taking this particular route with regards to micro-transactions? There is certainly a willing base of people wanting to buy the special items that are being put into the crates.
And if nobody buys them, will they start adding in armour sets and weapons to tempt us to buy? Again, nobody knows.
RNG crates are not my thing, and I have never bought one in any game I have ever played, so I won’t be buying any of them. Nor, it seems, will the majority of the players on the official forums.
They will be publishing an article on the official website later today on Crown Crates, and I think it might make for an interesting read. The only thing to do would be to watch and observe what happens. But, of course, err on the side of caution.
With the New Life Festival coming to the game in December, and player housing forming Update 13 for the game sometime in early 2017, things seem as busy as ever for Elder Scrolls Online. But maybe we could get some ideas as to what the road ahead is, past Crown Crates? Will the updates such as Imperial City, Orsiunium and the Dark Brotherhood continue to come? We certainly know that other places such as Vvardenfell, Clockwork City, Murkmire and Mephala’s Realm HAVE been in the works. But with no word as to when they are coming.
We can only wait, see, and remain hopeful.