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Here's the deal with Assassin's Creed Origins in-game loot chests

Loot boxes are the hot topic of games right now, and their inclusion in big-budget titles such as Destiny 2, Forza 7 and Middle-earth: Shadow of War has set tongues wagging.

So, what’s the deal with loot chests in Assassin’s Creed Origins? Happily, it sounds like good news.

I recently played Origins and reported back with impressions from nearly four hours of play. During my time with the game, I encountered an in-game merchant who sold “mystery item” chests containing loot – which set alarm bells ringing.

This travelling merchant pops up in several places. A young boy named Reda, his Nomad’s Bazaar shop offers “Heka Chests” for 3000 Drachma, the in-game currency. (“Heka” means magic in ancient Egyptian.)

“Contains one random weapon or shield,” its description reads. “Opens automatically on purchase.”

Footage from this preview build of Origins showing the loot boxes has surfaced online – and fans have been expressing their concern about what these may represent: blind loot boxes paid-for with real-world money.


Image credit: Centerstrain01

But these chests are only purchasable with in-game currency, and there for those people who like to play the game naturally and pad our their wallets.

“He’s a very unique shop [vendor] in the world who sells Carbon Crystals, which are the rarest item needed for crafting,” Assassin’s Creed Origins game director Ashraf Ismail told me. “You can find this stuff in the world, but the idea is if you have the money you can just buy stuff for him.

“Heda also sells a mystery box which can contain any weapon, piece of gear or item in the game. It’s a way for people who hoard lots of money, if you min-max the economy system, to gamble the money and get really unique stuff.

“The reason we did that was because we saw, even two years ago, people playing the game in different ways,” Ismail continued. “There are people who like to go into a military location, infiltrate them, steal the loot and equipment and hopefully find some unique or legendary gear.

“Then there was a smaller set of people who would focus almost entirely on the economy, buying and selling stuff to gain as much money as they can. And we felt like, okay, that’s a valid way to play the game – it’s a part of the RPG [aspect], so we’ll let them play the economy. So, it’s one way to be able to purchase or get some of the unique items in the game.”

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