Dota 2 players in the Netherlands can now see what's in loot boxes before they buy

Dota 2 players in the Netherlands will enjoy a little leg up on their counterparts in other nations, thanks to a newly-added ability to see what's inside loot boxes before they purchase them. A Dota 2 Treasury screenshot posted by a redditor named Larhf contains a notation stating, "Treasures in your region show their contents before opening them." 

The change presumably comes in response to the country's crackdown on loot boxes, which recently left Dutch CS:GO players unable to open loot cases at all. But the power to see into the future is not without some downsides. 

Players can no longer buy multiple boxes simultaneously, for one thing, and the loot inside is tied to your account, not the individual box, so selling them (which you can't do anyway, because the market remains disabled), trading them, or resetting your game won't have an impact: What you see inside is what you'll get the next time you open that type of chest, no matter when you do it. And the underlying randomized system hasn't been changed, so your odds of getting a high-rarity item are still not great—meaning that you'll still almost certainly have to spring for multiple boxes to get something you actually want. 

The benefit, as Larhf explained, is that instead of buying a truckload of boxes and busting them open in a frenzied orgy of microtransactional horror, players will (hopefully) only purchase as much as they need to get something cool. That's not going to put the brakes on compulsive box-buyers, because the gambling element is still present: You know what's in the current chest but not what's in the next, and it'll cost you $2 (or whatever) to find out. 

But it is apparently enough to satisfy Dutch gambling regulations. And yes, you could VPN yourself to a different country to take advantage of an unregulated market, but that's against Steam's terms of service, and again, that apparently satisfies the legal requirements. 

Assuming the new system doesn't run into some unforeseen speedbump, it could prove viable for other games as well, particularly CS:GO, which is an obvious candidate for this kind of compromise solution. I've emailed Valve for more information about the change, and will update when it's available. 

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.