I didn’t have the most complementary things to say about Atlas Reactor’s free implementation last month, but at least one thing has changed to make the mode a little more palatable. The 36-hour time-gated restriction on free players opening loot boxes was done away with in a patch a few weeks ago, though whether the policy was an error or working as intended is unclear.

(But first — a few words on this site’s coverage of Atlas Reactor. We know that AR more resembles a buy-to-play game with a free trial than a true “free-to-play” game. As I said in my previous article, AR is less of a F2P game than even something like Star Wars: The Old Republic, that it’s more like World of Warcraft, with its level 20 free trial mode. We don’t routinely cover WoW news on this site, but we will do so if the game does something that has a F2P angle to cover.

For instance, if WoW’s level 20 free trial didn’t exist and had just been announced, we would make mention of that, and possibly editorialize on our experiences with it once it happened — as I did for Atlas Reactor, and as we might do for EVE Online once clone states arrive. But we won’t cover the general comings and goings of Atlas Reactor — content updates, patches, and the like — any more than we do with WoW. This is why it’s taken us so long to report on this change, because we haven’t been paying attention to the patch notes.

However, seeing as how this change exclusively affects free players, and directly contradicts a point I made in a previous article, we think it’s worth covering. Think of it as if WoW extended its free trial to level 30, or did away with it entirely. We’d probably do an article about that, too.)

Anyway, back to the loot matrices. There are two entries about the change in the patch notes from Oct. 17. The first seems to indicate that it is now “correct” for there to be no delay — as if it was a bug before that has now been fixed:

“Free players now correctly no longer have the loot matrix open delay.”

But the second reference seems to indicate that the delay was intentional and was changed due to player feedback:

“Removed the time restriction on Loot Matrix opens for Free players. Based on community feedback, we have lifted this restriction.”

Either way, it’s good that it’s gone, though I don’t think it’ll be enough to get me to pick up the game again. How about you?

Jason Winter is a veteran gaming journalist, he brings a wide range of experience to MMOBomb, including two years with Beckett Media where he served as the editor of the leading gaming magazine Massive Online Gamer. He has also written professionally for several gaming websites.


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