Those shiny loot boxes have been the perpetual carrot dangled in front of casual Overwatch players to keep them playing - and, by and large, it's been effective. Across each seasonal event, players surge into the game and try their luck at grabbing the limited edition holiday skins, and (naturally) complain when they don't get exactly what they want.
Players have had the perception that loot box drop rates are lower, especially on the Battle.net forums and on Reddit - but it seems that's not the case at all.
"The drop rates for Summer Games, Halloween Terror, Winter Wonderland and Year of the Rooster are all the same," according to Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan.
This outcry came despite research in the community showing the opposite, and some agreeing with Kaplan. There have even been attempts at smartphone apps being created to puzzle out the science of what kind of items you'll get, along with their rarity.
Loot boxes are one of the less obnoxious forms of Gacha gaming - things could be far worse, after all. We could be grinding for specific types of currency for skins, sprays, and player icons, and then imagine if there were different versions of each skin (like a Factory New, for instance - looking at you CSGO).
Developers are going to be forced to reveal the drop rates for loot boxes and other forms of items with digital drop rates, at least in China. There's nothing stopping a company like Blizzard from modifying drop rates in different regions, of course - but that doesn't mean that we won't at least have something to compare against then.
Of course, all of this could just be exhaustion from the player base warping perceptions - everyone has been grinding so long that it seems like they've not been getting as many legendaries as before. There's also the change to how leveling worked in Overwatch in some of the earlier events. Previously, when a player hit level 100 (or 200, or 300, and so on), their XP would reset and allow for a quick burst of 20-30 levels, allowing for a rapid acquisition of loot boxes from leveling. Remove this, and the passage of time is surely having an effect on players mistakenly remembering their loot box experiences.