Treyarch has made key improvements to the way Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 players earn loot boxes simply through playing the game following a vociferous community backlash.
The developer has tweaked the game so players earn Reserve Cases (the name given to loot boxes you earn through gameplay as opposed to Reserve Crates, which you buy with real world money) at every tier after 100 in the Contraband system.
This is the way Black Ops 4 had worked with previous operations, but with the recently-released Grand Heist operation, Reserve Cases were not earnable after tier 100 - much to the anger and confusion of players.
"Effective immediately, Reserve Cases have been added back to the Tiers at the end of the Contraband stream, and players will continue to earn progress toward Cases for gameplay time while progressing through the stream," Treyarch said in a post on r/Blackops4.
"Daily Tier Skips after 100 Tiers also now work as before, granting a Case for each Tier for players of all modes to ensure the original goal of allowing players to earn Reserves earlier and with more frequency than in previous Operations."
Crucially, the earn rate for Reserve Cases through gameplay has been doubled. Players had complained that it took too long (around two hours) to earn a Reserve Case through simply playing the game. This change should ensure players earn cases faster at all times.
And, usefully, those who have already progressed beyond tier 100 during the Grand Heist operation (that was quick!) will automatically get the same number of Reserve Cases they would have earned for every tier completed since that point in this operation.
While these changes have certainly gone down well with players - and considered a victory of sorts after a week in which Treyarch and Activison had come under increasing pressure from Call of Duty players - problems with Black Ops 4's controversial loot boxes remain. Coveted items, such as the Vacation Hudson skin, are locked behind loot boxes, and gameplay-affecting weapons are included, too. It's worth noting that Reserve Cases only include one item from Blackjack's Reserves, whereas Reserve Crates include three items.
But this is a welcome step in the right direction for Black Ops 4 following a number of monetisation missteps that threaten to overshadow the quality shooter underneath.