October 10, 2017 5:20 PM   Subscribe

The Fright for the Future Returns | Overwatch’s Halloween Terror 2017 skins [YouTube] [Pepsi Blizzard Blue] “This Halloween, explore the haunted streets of Eichenwalde and Hollywood, expand your collection of spooky seasonal cosmetics, and team up to fight the forces of evil once more in not one, but two Junkenstein’s Revenge-themed brawls! We’re also re-opening our crypt so players can unlock their favorite Halloween-themed items from last year along with over 50 new tantalizing treats, including legendary skins like Corsair Ana, Van Helsing McCree, Dragon Symmetra, Cultist Zenyatta, Jiangshi Mei, Dracula Reaper, Viking Torbjörn, & Totally 80s Zarya.”

• The Internet Reacts To Overwatch's Symmetra Halloween Skin [Kotaku]
“Overwatch’s Halloween event has been announced, along with new spooky skins. While there are a lot of great new skins on offer, the fandom has already been freaking out over Symmetra’s Halloween skin that depicts her as a Dragon. The fandom has been freaking out over Symmetra’s Dragon skin, which leaked over the weekend. There’s tons of fanart of it already, some even before it was officially announced. This isn’t really a surprise. Overwatch fandom loves their demon-y looking women.
• I Opened 100 'Overwatch' Halloween Terror Loot Boxes And This Is What I Got by Paul Tassi [Forbes]
Alright, here’s the haul:

Sprays – 27
Voice Lines – 61
Icons – 49
Victory Poses – 14
Emotes – 5
Highlight Intros – 4
Halloween Terror 2017 Legendary Skins – 8, 2x Ana, 1x Reaper, 1x Zarya, 1x Symmetra, 1x Mei, 1x McCree, 1x Zenyatta
Old Halloween Epic Skins - 5
Old Basic Legendary Skins – 4
Legendary Gold Piles - 1
Gold from duplicates – 5,400

For your planning purposes, I think you can probably get all seven in about 80 boxes. Maybe 60-70 depending on your gold situation if you want to just buy the last 1-2 outright. These skins are very good, which should be no surprise because the Overwatch skin team has been killing it lately. ‘80s Zarya was a hilarious surprise, but the best “spooky” ones are no doubt Dragon Symmetra and C’thulhu Zenyatta. Van Helsing McCree, a long-running fan request, is pretty badass. I don’t really like Dracula Reaper, as he’s a bit boring, and the Mei one is from Chinese folklore I’m not familiar with. But overall, I’d say 5/7 are worthwhile, which are not bad odds.
posted by Fizz (36 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
the Mei one is from Chinese folklore I’m not familiar with

If the Mei one doesn’t make sense, then you haven't seen Mr. Vampire. Lucky you, you're in for a treat!
posted by zamboni at 5:39 PM on October 10, 2017 [7 favorites]

*grabby hands*
posted by Hermione Granger at 5:41 PM on October 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

I am 100% here for Jiangshi Mei.

(Also I first encountered them in the surprisingly good NES game Phantom Fighter)
posted by xthlc at 5:45 PM on October 10, 2017

Torb still carrying a torch for Mercy apparently
posted by Hume at 6:10 PM on October 10, 2017

If the Mei one doesn’t make sense, then you haven't seen Mr. Vampire. Lucky you, you're in for a treat!

I've never heard of this film and I'm downloading as we speak. This looks amazing. Thanks for this reference/recommendation. I am excite. As Mei would say, “Scary!”
posted by Fizz at 6:13 PM on October 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

I am down for Reaper and Symm. Pretty much the rest of them can hang. Yeah, so I play Torbjorn a lot, but Viking was WAY TOO predictable. I pretty much only play Mercy, Reaper, Symm, and Lucio (who is sadly unrepresented apparently).
posted by Samizdata at 7:01 PM on October 10, 2017

(was a double post due to server issues)
posted by Samizdata at 7:02 PM on October 10, 2017

(Looks at the rest of the pictures)

posted by Samizdata at 7:17 PM on October 10, 2017 [3 favorites]

Went down the jiangshi rabbit hole and found this:

Dropping a bag of coins can cause the Jiangshi to count the coins
I’m not sure why, but defeating a zombie horde by dropping shiny things on the ground is extremely entertaining.
posted by mfu at 7:22 PM on October 10, 2017

Dropping a bag of coins can cause the Jiangshi to count the coins
I’m not sure why, but defeating a zombie horde by dropping shiny things on the ground is extremely entertaining.

Same sort of thing goes for western vampires. So keep some rice or a bag of marbles on hand or such. I read that years ago, although, I remember Charlie Stross throwing it into one of the later Laundry novels too.
posted by Samizdata at 7:35 PM on October 10, 2017

Mei, yes. Very cool. I will be purchasing the Zarya skin if it doesn't drop for me, because she's my main and it will always make me giggle every time I play, I'm sure!

I didn't get to play the Halloween stuff much last year. Hoping to this year, as I'm a fan of the Junkenstein's revenge -type maps.
posted by gemmy at 8:25 PM on October 10, 2017

Seriously, Gemmy? Mei? Very cool?

(Despite my hate for Mei, I just see the pun chances.)
posted by Samizdata at 9:31 PM on October 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

If anything could bring me in, it would be the Zarya skin. It's like she stepped out of GLOW.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:32 PM on October 10, 2017 [1 favorite]

I got the Zarya and McCree skins tonight! (Guess I'll stop running around as a lifeguard for now when he comes up in Mystery Heroes.) I had pretty much everything from last year I wanted, so now it's just a matter of saving up for the Sym and Zenyatta skins if they don't drop by the end of the event.

Also, Blizzard's selling Mei's yeti slippers from her animated short at Blizzcon so there's that temptation. The ugly holiday sweater is hilarious.
posted by rewil at 10:25 PM on October 10, 2017

i got zarya (coins) and zenyatta (arcade boxes) plus 4 legendaries not from this fucking event, THANKS BLIZZARD, but i have enough saved coins to buy all the remaining ones if i need to so thanks blizzard for reals i guess?

anyway the endless junkenstein is the most horrible thing i've ever had the grave misfortune to encounter but i am helpless i cannot stop playing

why isn't anyone stopping me
posted by poffin boffin at 1:27 AM on October 11, 2017

also i am super angry that doomfist didn't get a halloween costume, especially considering the GLORIOUS POSSIBILITIES from the masquerade comic
posted by poffin boffin at 1:29 AM on October 11, 2017

Sprays – 27
Icons – 49

posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:33 AM on October 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

Pirate Ana and Viking Torb are ace. The horror-themed ones are nicely done but I was never really into that aesthetic. Still no really good skin for Zarya (she really needs a kind of space marine power-armour look, and no Cyberian doesn't really cut it).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:42 AM on October 11, 2017


I am really worried about you.

Such constant unchecked anger. It's not even like you are Mr. Furious and can use your boundless rage to power your superherodom. I think we might have to have a proper sitdown and talk.

Also, yeah. I got ONE lame skin, and an icon, and a little gold, and some stuff for people I don't even play (and, by saying people, I am including Winston by dint of his sentience.).
posted by Samizdata at 4:27 AM on October 11, 2017

See also the recent discussion of microtransactions in games. Everything I said there about Overwatch's events being particularly predatory applies here. Those skins are beautiful. I want those skins. The only way I can get them reliably is to gamble real money. The adult in me knows it's all just cosmetic and fun and I should lighten up. The gamer addict in me is itching to buy some loot boxes right now.
posted by Nelson at 6:05 AM on October 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Absolutely everything Nelson said. I know it's a purely cosmetic purchase, but it's also a gamble as to whether or not I may walk away with one of those legendary skins. And that is going to cost me money.

It's so greedy and predatory. But I also kind of don't care. Stupid Blizzard. Stupid Fizz brain.
posted by Fizz at 6:09 AM on October 11, 2017

Can you purchase the event skins with in-game currency or are they loot box only? I know that recently they put a bunch of older event skins on sale at a reduced price for a bit.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:20 AM on October 11, 2017

I don't see why this is seen as so predatory. The game was $60, and you play online with others for free. Lots of updates/balances/stuff going on in the back end. Holiday events.

If people want to spend a little more here and there for the game... why is this bad?
posted by jeff-o-matic at 6:43 AM on October 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Can you purchase the event skins with in-game currency or are they loot box only?

You can. Current event skins cost 3,000, but I bought last year's Junkenstein skin for 1,000 coins. So even if you miss a skin you can get it during the next event.
posted by Fleebnork at 6:45 AM on October 11, 2017

It's predatory because they've deliberately engineered a feedback loop to encourage gambling. "Must get this limited edition skin! Only way to get them is to pull the slot machine lever, and the only practical way to get enough pulls is to buy boxes." I see how it affects my own psychology and I'm generally pretty immune to this crap.

I'm not a gambler by nature and I'm not particularly enthralled by cosmetic skins. And yet still I'm compelled. I don't like that. I'm not saying Blizzard is super evil and I'm not boycotting the game. I don't even resent my $40 game purchase. But I do resent the way they've exploited gambling and desire for new shinies to extract a lot of revenue from vulnerable people.

For folks who don't play: the 3000 coins required to just buy the skin you want is a lot of coins. I don't have reliable stats on the economics (another way Blizzard's model is predatory; hide the true costs). But if you only want to play, not pay, this analysis has some numbers. It says you get about 1 free box an hour, which contains about 60 coins. So 3000 coins represents 50 hours of time. It also estimates ~25 loot boxes (25 hours) to get a single random event legendary skin. Note these numbers are before the recent change about duplicate items and coins; if someone has newer data I'd love to see it.
posted by Nelson at 6:56 AM on October 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

It's called "being an adult." Kids shouldn't have access to the credit cards, period.

Sheesh, my grocery store sells liquor. I like drinking. I guess I could overspend every month and drink myself sick every day. Is the grocery store predatory?
posted by jeff-o-matic at 8:04 AM on October 11, 2017

Liquor sales can be predatory. It's a big part of why liquor sales are heavily regulated in the US, particularly advertisement. Same for cigarette sales. Both liquor and cigarettes are physically harmful and exploit physical addiction mechanisms. Blizzard skins are nowhere near as harmful.
posted by Nelson at 8:17 AM on October 11, 2017 [2 favorites]

If they removed the "randomness/gambling" part of these loot boxes, I'd be all in. I have no problem with people paying for cosmetic add-ons in a game. If you want to spend a bit more money so that your character looks a bit shinier, then go for it.

The issue is that there's no guarantee that you'll get one of these "Legendary" skins and that's what most people are after. I cannot recall where I read it, maybe something Nelson posted in one of the more recent threads about this subject, but I believe you're more likely to get one of these skins with the loot/gambling system than you are through regular loot drops from in-game experience. Maybe I'm making that up though, not sure. If so, that is also a shit thing to do.
posted by Fizz at 9:37 AM on October 11, 2017

It appears really reductive to define "gambling" in that sense. All that's needed to acquire any of the loot is time playing. They changed their loot box system for awhile so that it never gave duplicates which I thought was ridiculous because then you didn't accrue money to buy loot that might not have dropped. Then they changed it back. I toyed with the idea at one point buying some loot boxes, but I realized the game is only worth as much I play it and if I play it the loot will drop. Anything can be addictive though.
posted by P.o.B. at 9:58 AM on October 11, 2017

ESRB Says It Doesn't See 'Loot Boxes' As Gambling [Kotaku]
““ESRB does not consider loot boxes to be gambling,” said an ESRB spokesperson in an e-mail to Kotaku. “While there’s an element of chance in these mechanics, the player is always guaranteed to receive in-game content (even if the player unfortunately receives something they don’t want). We think of it as a similar principle to collectible card games: Sometimes you’ll open a pack and get a brand new holographic card you’ve had your eye on for a while. But other times you’ll end up with a pack of cards you already have.””
posted by Fizz at 10:50 AM on October 11, 2017

i'm kind of ambivalent on the loot box situation as i see event stuff as like a dlc, which i would gladly pay an extra $10-$20 for under normal gaming circumstances. but on the other hand, it's a dlc that is partially taken away after 3 weeks, which is not the natural order of things.

i refused to buy loot boxes this summer because of the shitty rollout of the summer games event, and at this point i am mostly withholding my money from blizzard because of their open disdain for support characters and the people who like playing them. but again, on the other hand this is an easy choice to make because i'm leveled up enough that i don't get anything but dupes in boxes anyway and can easily save coins.

i am def annoyed that they didn't keep the loot box changes PoB mentions above, as the small increase on coin amounts for dupes was great.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:16 AM on October 11, 2017

(even if the player unfortunately receives something they don’t want).

Welcome to 90% of my Overwatch loot box experience.
posted by Samizdata at 11:32 AM on October 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

I thought they removed dupes but increased the chance of raw cash so on average you got the same amount of cash via boxes? Did they change it back?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:15 PM on October 11, 2017

There's no way that this will ever happen, no incentive for Blizzard to do this, but I'd love it if you could destroy a loot/purchase and turn it into in-game gold to spend on something else.

I know that if you get a duplicate in a loot box it does this automatically but if I decide I dislike a particular skin and want to convert that and then spend it on something else, that'd be lovely. Again, highly doubtful this would ever happen.
posted by Fizz at 2:41 PM on October 11, 2017

they'd make that change if a shrilly squealing entitled whiner top 500 dps main asked for it
posted by poffin boffin at 8:02 PM on October 11, 2017

It's not defined as gambling due to a technicality that you can't exchange these items for real money. But it's absolutely psychologically manipulative and heroin to people with addictive personalities. I'm old enough to remember when costumes weren't something you paid extra money for a chance of getting.
posted by CyborgHag at 5:43 AM on October 12, 2017

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