Treyarch updated its new loot box system over the weekend to make it a little fairer for PlayStation 4 players. Before the changes, many players felt Treyarch was aggressively asking players to spend money on loot boxes to unlock, not only cosmetics, but new characters as well.
The new loot box system in Black Ops 4 makes it so that players no longer need to buy boxes with real money for "reserve crates." These crates can now be earned through normal gameplay, and the rate in which players can earn crates are now doubled.
Crates now also contain three items, including characters and weapons. So theoretically, players can unlock all the content in Black Ops 4 through normal gameplay, instead of having to pay for loot boxes. The previous system was also particularly aggressive since it allowed for the possibility of opening duplicate items in a loot box, something other shooters like Rainbow Six Siege and Apex Legends disabled.
Things got heated again in the Black Ops 4 community last week when Treyarch introduced loot boxes with the Operation Grand Heist content drop. The loot boxes not only contained cosmetics, but also new Specialists. This is something Black Ops 4's design director David Vonderhaar said wouldn't happen in Black Ops 4, but changed later in development.
Unfortunately, Black Ops 4 still features an overabundance of microtransactions including battle passes, season passes, and loot boxes. While some games as service titles feature a combination of one or two, Black Ops 4 features all of them.
You can still play Black Ops 4 without participating in any microtransactions, and you can read how in our Black Ops 4 guide. But considering Activision admitted in an earnings call that Black Ops 4 failed to meet expectations, monetization through microtransactions will likely continue.