Loot crates, also known as loot boxes are packages of in-game items typically bought with real-world currency. The items in each crate may be picked at random by the game's internal algorithms; or, they may be fixed packages of currency that attach one or more additional exclusive items, with the expectation that the player will open the crate or spend the added currency in gacha for a chance at rare items, while also awarding the extra item(s) offered in the crate.
Tied with gacha in theory, loot crates are equally as contentious an issue in online gaming as gacha itself, since paying for a loot crate does not often guarantee that the player will win a desired item; in many respects, the practice draws comparisons to gambling, and is just as risky. Despite this, several titles in the Final Fantasy franchise, particularly free-to-play mobile games, make use of loot crates as a component of their revenue models.
While free-to-play, the strategy sim frequently presents players with continuous offers of materials and coins at various price points. Some packages are required to add other characters as empire leaders; others can be bought to advance development of an empire within a shorter period than if the player was to develop it naturally. This creates a perceived level cap on free players, as time to perform any actions increases exponentially with each asset level gained. Though the player is given at least one item appropriate to their quest in each loot crate, the rest of the items may be random. In a guild, the more a leader invests, the more members get in gratis rewards.
From time to time, bundles of gems will be offered in the in-game store. Many bundles also include a package of crafting and exchange materials for the player’s use, to be delivered to their gift box upon payment. If a specific unit can change costumes in a given event period, the bundle valued at US$36.99 includes the costume and 9,000 gems. A warning may display if the player already has the costume desired, but the purchase can proceed as it usually does. It is not, however, guaranteed that the purchase of any package will improve the player’s chances of acquiring desired gear in the gacha.
Various loot crates are available in the Shop menu. and can be purchased with gil, Lapis, or real-world currency as indicated for each.
- Loot box on Wikipedia (in-depth definition and analysis)