Until The week of March 26, Gems were the only in-game currency that players could purchase with real currency in Heroes of the Storm. That option has been removed.
In recent years, Loot Boxes have become a fixture in the most popular games (Heroes of the Storm, Overwatch, League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Objective, Apex Legends, etc.). But Blizzard Entertainment has decided to make changes to how players can purchase loot chests in HotS.
Since the controversy with the loot boxes of Star Wars: Battlefront II, developers have been eyeing options to remove loot boxes or improve their loot box system so as not to be seen as creating “pay to win” games. The March 18, 2019 patch does not go into detail about why Blizzard is making changes to loot boxes. They only make it clear that players will no longer be able to use real currency to purchase loot boxes.
Starting the week of March 26, all Loot chests earned through progression (except Hero-specific Chests), Heroes Brawl, or by spending Gold will be Caldeum Complex Loot Chests. These loot chests guarantee at least one item from the Caldeum Complex or previous years’ Lunar New Year Spring events. Carve out your place among the infamous gangs and score yourself some sweet loot before the streets calm on April 30!
HotS players will still be able to use real currency to buy Gems, Heroes, Bundles, Stimpacks, and Featured Items. But because the randomized loot boxes are seen as a form of gambling, Gems cannot be used to purchase them.
The changes could be influenced by recent concerns about paid loot boxes being a form of gambling and politicians both in the U.S. and the EU have proposed legislation to remove loot boxes from games. And to comply with the Belgian Gaming Commission, Blizzard removed paid loot boxes from both Overwatch and HotS in 2018 from their games in Belgium.