Whilst these have functioned largely the same over the last four years, BioWare recently announced that they will be augmenting this system on Tuesday in Patch 4.7.
Basically, Cartel Packs and items will now have their own separate inventory system, from which packs can be opened and items reclaimed.
Instead of simply having the Cartel Pack land at your character's feet whilst they wave their arms in rigid gun-held-to-the-head jubilation, now a big black screen will superimpose itself over your game whilst a fancy little animation plays over opening the crates and four holocronesque cubes which then yield a picture of the armour set (even if it's just the supplementary box you receive) or vehicle or a simple diagram representing Decorations, Jawa scrap, or Companion Gifts.
We don't yet know what form Chance Cubes will take in this system, as the animation in the blog was almost certainly rigged to make it so that they didn't appear.
This having been done, the items will then go into an "Item Stash", from which any Character from your Legacy can retrieve the items. Got a Defiant Vented Lightsaber on your Gunslinger and don't want to wait for two days or spend 400 Cartel Coins so that your cherished Sage/Guardian/Commando's Lana Beniko can use it? Now you can just have them retrieve the Lightsaber from the stash, and nobody will be ever the wiser!
For people participating in the Dark vs. Light Event, this will also affect the special Bound packs that are given, meaning that rare items such as Satele Shan's Supplementary Armour Box (and its sole occupant, the belt) won't get locked on one character whilst another has the Upper and Lower Boxes anymore.
Indeed, this is clearly the catalyst for this system as it completely solves the issues that people were having if they completed it on different characters. Granted, this is something which could have been a non-issue if a lot of pre-planning had gone into things, but it's nice to see them tackling the issue nonetheless.
Unfortunately, this still leaves people who were treated 'unfairly' by this system high-and-dry with no way of 'fixing' the pieces of loot which they had received.
I rarely ever comment on Cartel stuff because it hasn't ever really been that interesting (for lack of a better word) to talk about, barring specific decorations which I have loved, but the changes to this system do have a smatter of potential. I love the idea of the Item Stash, particularly as it negates useless clutter and solves a fairly big problem with the Bound DvL Packs, something which I currently view as the biggest thing this new system has going for it even if this isn't a permanent affair.
On the other hand, it is surreal to see the Cartel Market receive such a massive overhaul at a time when people are complaining more and more about lack of content and other such concerns. To see the cash shop receive a fairly sizeable and actually potentially well-received quality-of-life change ahead of the aforementioned gripes and bug-fixes isn't exactly something that people want to see.
Of course, it doesn't help that this was announced on the same day that Conquest and the Priority Operation broke at the same time. This Conquest Week - which I believe was meant to be Emergency Operations - apparently also broke back in February, meaning that it hasn't worked once since 4.0. Not good timing for revealing this system, considering!
To summarise: It's a nice change, but perhaps wholly unnecessary outside of solving the issues with rare items from the DvL packs which could have been mostly negated by pre-planning anyway. I can't deny that resources could have been spent better elsewhere, but at this point it's clear that we can't predict what BioWare will come up with next at all.