Update May 25, 2017: Overwatch's Anniversary event is live and the loot is harder to get than ever, thanks to the rarity of each of the 11 Legendary skins.
If you've seen the Anniversary skins, you'll know they're amazing. You'll probably want them all. The thing is, if you're not willing to spend some cash, there's very little chance you'll earn them normally.
Which of the Overwatch characters are you looking to show up in your loot boxes?
According to some calculations from Forbes, based on the loot box odds that came out of China recently (see the story below), it would take you 267 hours to get them all. And that's assuming you don't get duplicates, which you will. You're looking at about 50% of your Legendary drops being duplicates, in fact.
That means you'd have to spend well over half of every single day playing in the event - it's only on for three weeks, after all. Good luck with that.
Update May 5, 2017: Overwatch's loot box odds in China have already been released.
As you'll know if you've been following this story, new Chinese laws were going to force all publishers to disclose loot box odds in their games by May 1. We were all looking forward to when that’d happen for Overwatch, but amusingly, it actually happened a while ago.
Over a month ago on March 23, in fact, when this article appeared on Blizzard China. Once again the accuracy of Google translate is a devious mystery, but fortunately numbers are international.
- Every loot box will contain an item of “excellent” or higher quality - that’s rare (or blue), to you and I.
- On average, you’ll get an epic (purple) item every 5.5 boxes.
- On average, you’ll get a legendary (gold) item every 13.5 boxes.
In percentages per box, that’s:
- Rare: 100%
- Epic: 18.2%
- Legendary: 7.4%
Note that these are the odds for Overwatch in China, and they might not necessarily hold internationally.
There’s no mention of a ‘pity timer’, which would raise the drop rate for higher-quality items if you’ve gone a while without one. It’s commonly thought to exist in Overwatch, however - you can read more on page three of this article.
If you're curious about the loot box odds in Hearthstone or Heroes of the Storm, click here.
Update April 24, 2017: Reddit have worked out the number of loot boxes needed to unlock every item in Overwatch, based on an estimate of their drop rates.
A few hard-working Redditors have calculated the average number of Overwatch loot boxes you'll need to unlock every item currently available in the game. Including the Uprising event, the number is 1,465 (excluding the event, it's 1,250). Put into hard cash, that'll cost you $1,172, or £967.
The work was done by mynameismunka in this post on Reddit, which builds on the work of The_Tastiest_Tuna in this earlier post, which in turn builds on this post by ourobouros. Ourobouros estimated the drop rate (from a sample of 1,028 boxes), Tuna added some clever maths to account for the credit value of each box and thus estimate the total number of boxes needed to unlock every item, and munka updated Tuna's findings for the Uprising event.
A few caveats: since player icons can't be bought, munka excluded them from his calculations. Pre-order items and Blizzcon items were ignored for the same reason. There's also no way to account for the effect of the 'pity timer', which increases the chance of a valuable drop if you've gone a long time without one.
Assuming you're going for the big 50-box bundle (which offers the best rate), that 1465 divided by 50 works out at 29.3 bundles, each costing $39.99. Multiplying 29.3 by 39.99 returns the final number of 1,171.707, rounding to $1,172. On this side of the pond, 50 boxes cost £32.99, so the equivalent sums in sterling return a figure of £967 (rounded to the nearest pound).
Note that this figure of 1465 is the average, and assumes average luck - the real number of boxes required could be as low as 1300 or as high as 1600. Check out munka's graphs on Imgur to get an idea of the curve.
It'll be interesting to see how close the community has got to Blizzard's own odds when, as we expect, they are forced by new Chinese laws to disclose them on May 1.
Turn to page 2 for our own grapplings with Overwatch loot box odds across all the game's main event so far.