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On May 1 of this year a law in China went into effect which required all online multiplayer games to publicly announce their drop rates from their loot-boxes/gift boxes or any other random gifts which can be bought by players with real money.

Riot games had complied with the law while Blizzard and Valve had put their loot boxes sale on hold. Recently Blizzard has decided to release those numbers as well.  Follwoing are the drop rates for 3 of their most popular games.

Overwatch drop rates

  • Every loot box will contain an item of “excellent” or higher quality – that’s rare (or blue), to you and I. That’s 100% of boxes, obviously.
  • On average, you’ll get an epic (purple) item every 5.5 boxes. That’s 18.2% of boxes.
  • On average, you’ll get a legendary (gold) item every 13.5 boxes. That’s 7.4% of boxes.

Hearthstone drop rates

  • Every card pack will contain a card of rare or higher quality.
  • Epic cards occur every 5 packs, on average (20%).
  • Legendary cards occur every 20 packs, on average (5%).

Heroes of the Storm drop rates

  • Again, Rare items should occur in every box.
  • Epic items should occur every 4.5 boxes, on average (22.2%)
  • Legendary items should occur every 17.5 boxes, on average (5.7%).

These numbers officially confirmed the drop rates that have been speculated by the community for long.  The epic drop rate is typically 1 in every 5 packs, and the legendary drop rate is typically 1 in every 20 packs. These drop rates run toe-to-toe with the actual drop rates, and with the drop rates predicted from a statistical analysis on Reddit a few years back, during the beta phase of Hearthstone.

What’s surprising is the actual mention of the “pity timer”, which is a passive reference to the game’s measure of pity for you – in other words, the number of packs one needs to open before a guaranteed epic or legendary drops from a pack.  The site mentions that “actual odds of opening better quality cards increases as players open more packs”, which is a reference to the pity timer.

Interestingly, it’s only the Hearthstone article that mentions a ‘pity timer’ which raises the drop rate of higher-quality items if a player has gone a long time without receiving one. It’s widely thought that such timers exist across Blizzard’s games, and though the Overwatch and Heroes posts don’t mention one, that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.

The official revelation has left many players around the world celebrating, for the announcement confirms everything that have been revealed in theoretical and statistical analysis so far. However, it still hasn’t been confirmed whether the drop rates are similar in the rest of the world (though there literally is no reason for them to be different at different locations).

What are your thoughts about the drop rates? Let us know in the comments below.

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