DEVS: If pressed for time, please skip to the PRIMARY SUGGESTION halfway down.
I initially played when a sub was required, left, then came back. I was pleased FE went F2P and this was the lure that drew me in.
Over the years, I have played a number of different F2P MMOs that mixed F2P with Subs. I wanted to offer some suggestions/discussion on lockboxes and what I think might be a missed opportunity. While I understand many players want to see bug fixes and more players, lockboxes can be an amazing source of income for the company providing a F2P game.
I've seen in chat "Just destroy green and blue boxes. They're not worth it." This is a huge missed opportunity. Let me lay out the structure and then describe a tweak in the approach to boxes.
Green box - people laugh.
Blue box - people are indifferent.
Red box - people start to show a little interest.
Dusty box - ambivalence.
Black box - people with money will buy and/or get keys for these.
The Green Box should be the gateway drug, so to speak. Higher drop rate on the green boxes, cheaper keys and a higher key droprate for green boxes would give new players something to be excited over. Increase the content of the boxes dramatically. Doesn't have to be anything too special. But you want a good 4 slots of items whether singular special items or multiples of one. The current green box fairly much does this though not enough to be inducive to spending on keys. My suggestion here: don't increase the quality of the green box drops - they look fine. Increase the quantity. For example, I just opened a green box after buying a key with reward points for a test. Got a gas mask, 5 Distilled Alcohols and 1 Pale Chemical. Not bad at all. The variety is perfect, but it needs more. 20 Distilled Alcohols and 5 Pale Chemicals with the gas mask would make a great "newbie box."
Further suggestion on Green Boxes: get the new players wanting to open those boxes by giving them something immediate. Throw a quest in Embry to kill 100 creepers - one time quest - to attain a green key. Whet their appetite by giving them a glimpse of what's inside. Too often the new players express dejection that they have no reasonably viable way to get a key. Camp bosses? I've seen higher levels camping Big Bertha. We don't need that. Also, the cost of the green key, if this is to be like a "gatewway drug" is too high. The RP cost makes me scratch if the Green Box is designed for newbies.
Moving to the Blue Box: The variety in the Blue Box I opened was excellent. Brass Goggles, 10 Weak Bio's, 5 Salvaged Injectors, 5 Frayed Synthetic Cloths, 10 Scrap Fasteners and a Pure Paint, a Black Box, and Dye Kit. Excellent, but the weaker mats might have been nice at 20 each. Key cost and RP cost looks good if the basic mats are increased.
PRIMARY SUGGESTION. Without discussing the boxes players generally feel are at least worth it, I want to introduce another "BOX" idea from a mix of other F2P MMOs that are smashing income records off box sales.
As a set-up to my primary suggestion: in Neverwinter Online, the team rotates series of boxes. The Nightmare Box. The Faerie Box - whatever. Each has a chance to drop a mount. They also contain a mix similar to the Blue Box you have here. One stack of rare materials, PLUS 2 stacks of common materials, PLUS some tradebars used to purchase goods ingame from a special vendor (here maybe Death Toll Points?), PLUS the chance for another special item (pet, clothing, etc). The tooltips even emphasize the PLUS. You want to be as detailed as possible in the tooltips here using similar emphasis.
Now for the suggestion. In Star Wars the Old Republic, the team has a stunning series of rotating boxes that don't drop in the game. These are special purchase packs that contain mounts, clothing, armor sets, reputation, titles, special emotes, dyes, etc, etc. I believe FE could benefit financially from introducing something like this. Imagine a store-only pack containing a possible exclusive mount, PLUS rare crafting materials, PLUS a tradable faction token (worth 500 specific faction points), PLUS a piece or two of gear, PLUS some DOME or GORE or similar function crafting materials (rothium), PLUS a chance at some cosmetic gear. SWTOR charges $1.99 to $3.50 per pack, depending on how much is in it. I spent well over $400 having a ton of fun opening their store-only boxes.
FE needs that kind of SWTOR box available in the store. This kind of box has the potential to have a substantial impact on the bottom line. More money in FE's pockets is more money to pay for fixing content and adding new - obviously. I hope the devs give this box suggestion thread some thought.