In an attempt to remind their fellow Apex Legends players of how easy it is to blow a wild amount of money on loot boxes, one gamer admits to having spent $500 on Apex Packs in their pursuit of unlocking the game's rarest item set. Apex Legends is a massively popular and incredibly well-received free-to-play battle royale game by Respawn Entertainment, the creators of the Titanfall series. The watchword here is "free-to-play," though, and the game's monetization scheme is designed to compensate for the title's lack of an entry fee.
Why, many might wonder, would anyone pay the price of eight full-price AAA games on cosmetic items for a single free-to-play game? The answer isn't simple and could vary from player to player, but a solid start can be found in a number of gambling commissions' findings that loot boxes manipulate players' minds much in the same way games of chance do - in other words, their mechanics are almost identical to that of gambling. Combine that with Apex Legends' steep drop-off in terms of Apex Packs earned through play rather than pay, and it makes at least some sense how one could find themselves in the hole over digital items with no real value.
Redditor BAE339 shared their cautionary tale with the Apex Legends community on the game's subreddit, explaining that they were trying to snag the game's incredibly elusive Heirloom Set for Wraith, the void-jumping Legend who's grown notorious for being hard to shoot. So far, this is the only Heirloom Set offered in Apex Legends, meaning that Wraith mains - like BAE339 - are feeling the pressure to acquire her unique kunai melee weapon skin, banner pose, and intro quip before additional sets for other Legends lower their odds even further. Rationalizing their mounting number of purchases with publisher EA's guarantee of an Heirloom Set drop within every 500 Apex Packs bought, they quickly found themselves hitting the ceiling of that rule before finally acquiring the set on their 500th attempt. Expecting ridicule (and receiving a fair bit of it among an otherwise supportive response), BAE339 reflects:
"I can tell you it wasn’t worth it. I now own every single blue rarity item in the game, along with countless legendaries for almost every gun and legend in the game, none of which I really care for or wanted. All in the hunt for a set of items that has a less than 1 percent chance of dropping."
What the redditor stresses most heavily is that they were and remain entirely cognizant of their poor odds and the manipulative nature of loot boxes, yet they still fell for paying hundreds of dollars into a game that's otherwise completely free to enjoy. Clarifying that they've put "hours into Overwatch and Rocket League," which each sport their own loot box-centric monetization models, without ever falling down this deep of a rabbit hole, they say that what drove them most was that their friends collected their own Heirloom Sets "in only a few crates" and "all the streamers have them." Wanting players who also think themselves above the predatory model Apex Packs present, they conclude, "Don't be like me."
It's almost certain that BAE339 is not the only one to have fallen for the allure of Apex Packs, having mistaken outlier anecdotes and the apparent ease with which professional streamers drop massive sums of money on in-game purchases as representations of their own odds of achieving the same results. While Apex Legends players would be wise to listen to the redditor's advice (especially once they hit Level 100, at which point the game stops handing out free Apex Packs entirely), they can at least take heart in the coming arrival of the game's inaugural Battle Pass sometime this March. Until that relieving wave of content washes over anticipant players, though, they'll have to fight the draw of Apex Packs or submit to the temptation against their better sense of judgement.