Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 now has duplicated protected loot boxes.
Dupe-protected crates, as they're called in-game, were added to the Black Market yesterday, 1st July. They contain three duplicate-protected items from the reserves pool, but you're protected against getting duplicates.
Black Ops 4's standard loot boxes have a chance of spitting out a duplicate item, much to the annoyance of players. With standard loot boxes, if you get three duplicates, you get a re-roll.
So, duplicate-protected loot boxes are welcome. What's interesting, too, is they have to be earned. Currently, there's no way for you to pay real-world money for the duplicate-protected loot boxes. Instead, you have to trade in six regular cases to get one duplicate-protected loot box. Cases are earned through gameplay - from ranking up the reserve case wheel (you get one for roughly every hour of play) and completing the recently-added contracts.
The deal seems good on the face of it. With a case there's a decent chance of getting a duplicate item. Trading in six of these for three duplicate-protected items is a no brainer, really.
What we have here - it seems - is an update to Black Ops 4 that does not appear to be awful. After nearly a year spent reporting on grim after grim microtransaction additions to Treyarch's shooter, here we have an addition that feels good because it's not disgusting.
Questions remain. Are the duplicate-protected crates a permanent addition to the game? Treyarch hasn't mentioned them before and still hasn't. Hopefully they're not tied to a limited-time event. And how will they work with the new Ultra Weapon Bribes, which guarantee players a weapon they don't have?
For now, we have something relatively positive to report about Black Ops 4, which is a rare thing. Loot boxes are inherently problematic, even if you can't buy them, you shouldn't get duplicates in the first place, and the way you earn items generally in Black Ops 4 is pretty bad, but for Call of Duty, this is certainly a positive step.