Basically, you pay a few bucks for a random loot box, and a plane flies in so everyone can see it and drops your shipment somewhere nearby, but anyone who gets there first can loot it. These Airdrops can have guns and ammo, which are a terribly precious commodity in H1Z1, so a lot of people are complaining that Airdrops are "Pay 2 Win," even though the loot is random and it might be another player that gets to the Airdrop you just bought first.
Honestly, I haven't played H1Z1 yet, but after reading about it, I kinda want to be part of the drama. I think these Airdrops are a brilliant idea, for the following five reasons:
1) Gambling Is Fun
Especially when the target audience is underage and impressionable.
Nothing beats the thrill of spending your parents' credit card on a pack of random stuff that you may or may not get. Except maybe doubling down and then hitting on a 15. Or dropping a giant stack of chips on 00 at the roulette wheel. It's a rush!
2) It Teaches All The Entitled Jags An Important Life Lesson
All these damn kids who feel they deserve to get everything for nothing just because they want it need to learn how the real world works. Sometimes, you just get screwed. Like when you buy a thing from a cash shop, and it doesn't have that AR-15 you wanted, and plus some other guy got to your crate first and took everything, and then used that loot that you just paid for to kill you. That's an important lesson kids these days need to learn.
It also provides these folks with a bonding opportunity: they can all form a support group on Steam and cry "LIARS! P2W!" together and give the game a "Not Recommended" rating. It gives them a nice cozy bandwagon to jump on.
3) If You're Going To P2W, Let Everyone Know It
Calling in an Airdrop paints a giant target on your back. That way, all the bitter, resentful poor people, like me, know exactly who to target for griefing. The guy who just dropped a few bucks on a random box of whatever that he might not get - chances are good that hunting him down and killing him will have some kind of reward. It may not be a material reward, but the kill is sure to be satisfying.
Survival of the fittest, on two levels.
Firstly, it allows the strong to survive. The ones who get to the gear first, the ones who survive the hordes of zombies that are attracted by the noise, the ones who walk away from encounters with the angry customers they just ripped off - these are the ones who outlast and who get to propagate the species (or, in this case, fuel further game development, advance faster).
Secondly, people who are dumb enough to buy random shit they might lose to other players deserve to go broke doing so. That's what you call financial Darwinism.
5) Because Screw Your Money, Kid
I remember a while back when Star Wars: the Old Republic came out with dye modules. You pay actual money for a dye pack that will contain a random color combination. You have no choice in the matter - you will probably get one of the green-quality, hideous combos which you can't even sell on the market because nobody wants their characters to make their eyes bleed. But you just might luck out and get a rare and desirable purple-quality combo like black-black, or white-white, or something else that looks actually decent. At the time, I felt this was a horrendous disservice to the community.
But by golly, Sony has taken things a whole hopscotch grid further. Not only does the player have no control over the goods that he is buying, but the RNG grab-bag he bought might end up going to another player. And the devs actually have the stones to call each MTA delivery a "server event" meant to enhance gameplay for everyone.
I love a good troll. And Sony has managed to troll all of its players.
At least with the Airdrops, the randomly-generated shit is probably something everyone wants, and most of 'em will be willing to kill you for it. And it might only be a new shirt, but there's an outside chance it might be a semi-automatic rifle and a fistful of .223 to shoot through it. It makes SWTOR's far-too-common purple-pink and yellow-green dye packs seem quaint and wholesome by comparison.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our H1Z1 Game Page.