6 reasons why (we all suffer)

Hello everyone!

Going through the feedback everyone shares on latest multiplayer beta, I have noticed lot of confusion and bafflement about these draconian free to play measures such as: overpriced cash shop, very slow progression, absence of playlists etc etc. As someone who have some experience with designing monetizations system for mobile apps, I figured I could share my opinions and my feedback and maybe it will help everybody to better understand the inner workings of business side of game development.

First I want to stress out that 343i staff did a great job to create fun game loop. i really like the core gameplay. these are intelligent and talented people, they know what they doing, and if you think they have missed these big issues during their testing you are wrong - they havent missed anything, this is by design. At some point in the development, I am sure decision was made by leadership to make multiplayer portion free to play. Yes, nobody asked them to do this, but free to play games makes overall much more money than their paid counterparts. They want it to be a next Fortnite, next CoD. Problem is, when you make this decision, every single gameplay mechanic must be complementing or be subservient to applied monetization scheme - that means roadblocks and limitations - they need to create problem to sell you a solution. So keep this in mind as we go through 6 biggest complaints and, what is in my opinion, reason behind it.

1. Overpriced Cash Shop - If you think $20 bucks for piece of armor is too much, you are not target demographic. These aggressive cash shops are designed for “whales” - aka players who have access to lot of money and dont have any patience. As good armors and dyes are locked behind 70 -90 levels of gruesome battlepass leveling, these whales have no problems pay 40-even 100 bucks to get decent cosmetics right here right now. It works. Maybe they will tweak the pricing a little down the road, introduce in game currency, once poriton of whales will move to another games.

2. Slow Progression - Because progression is way how to get some decent cosmetics and dopamine hits, it needs to be monetized and hindered. Again to entice whales to buy xp levels and skip insane grind they have implemented. The other reason is control of engagement and pacing of rewards. This is a 6 month long season. They have decided their seasons wont be front heavy and they need to spread rewarding fro months and months. Same could be done with lots of events, but thats more work and more money.

3. Flat XP gains - You have noticed there are no xp gains for medals and wins. That is by design. From business standpoint you need reliable forecasting, reliable way how to control and tweak distribution of monetization system. This is one of the way how to flatten the curve. By putting too many variables and gains towards progression, it would introduce unwanted spikes into the model. Everything needs to be brought down to lowest common denominator and heavily exploited on that level - that is the “charm” of F2P models. everybody needs to progress in similar pace, so everybody is enticed to open their wallets.

4. Missing Playlists and Filters - Another way how to flatten the curve and, in my opinion, it is directly connected to weekly challenges. You need 5 CTF matches done to progress? Well, boot up Quick play and pray to gods of RnG to make your wish come true! Its just one more roadblock to hinder the progressions and getting challenges sooner. Yeah, its creating incentives for quitting matches, but remember the mantra of F2P model - every gameplay mechanic needs to be subservient to applied monetization scheme.

5. Armor Customizations - Ok so this one is pretty straightforward - you cannot mix and match armor sets, have MKVII chest with MKV shoulders, right? Well, again, its done to increase the time you will spent in game ,or spent your money, on the ideal look for our character. If you could mix and match your first two cores, you could potentially get the look you want sooner and not be enticed to continue running the hamster wheel - we cant have that :slight_smile:

6. BATTLEPASS will never expire - Of course it wont :slight_smile: Because normal player wont be able to finish it in time. And it will create a backlog for consumer to chase, after another battlepass is introduced. Its all done to make sure you always have something to grind for and create even more urgency to finish and buy as the backlog of unfinished paid battlepasses grows and grows - its quite genius frankly, but please dont bring this as a positive…it just clearly complements the implemented system.

So thats my take on this whole controversy. It all boils down to executive decision making the multiplayer F2P and I believe their system designer went a little bit overboard to implement that decision. I am sure whales are already buying and fans are grinding, but it could have been done much better for sure. Even Destiny, the king of overpriced and meaningless DLCs and Seasons, has done this progressions better, although their seasons are pretty front loaded. At least you can finish what you have paid for, by actually playing the game and not completely ruin it for others by chasing overt challenges, which are usually hindering the team success.

50 Likes

Makes sense, although it is unfortunate for players. Hopefully we get improvements soon that benefit the overall playerbase. :crossed_fingers:

One can hope, but honestly I dont have my hopes up, unless there is some genuine Battlefront 2 backlash. This is just a symptom of larger problem with F2P games and how they exploit basic human instincts. And it works, it makes huge amount of money, so there is no real incentive to stop this or at-least improve upon the formula. To change the industry, majority of player base would have to change too and not participate in those schemes. In our “instant gratification society” thats easier to say than done.

6 Likes

They can’t do this to Halo. This is the last franchise on earth that needs to be bastardized into profiteering.

If these things stick around, I don’t know what I’ll do.

13 Likes

5’s case has a alternative means of monetisation thats much more friendly to the players, its called Warframe’s Pallete system.

Trust me, I share your pain and disappointment… I grew up with Halo, its a great game and great universe… Unfortunately Microsoft have business to run, shareholders to cater to, financial milestones to meet etc… Grow, grow, grow… They choose this way how to monetize the franchise because, unfortunately, it is current industry standard. 343i has kinda habit to follow trends of biggest franchises - remember Halo 4 and COD like multiplayer? Rember lootboxes in Halo 5 during the time when lootboxes have not been yet exposed as slot machines for kids (which they are). Its kinda funny how even Halo 5 implementation of lootboxes had less negative impact on gameplay and team play than current system.

2 Likes

#4 is the one that really matters. This is a video game , it’s meant to be played not just looked at. Customization, progression, etc. are secondary, even tertiary elements and are of significantly less importance than the game actually playing well.

The game is never going to improve if people keep whining about irrelevant crap.

1 Like

I agree, but all these cosmetics makes insane amount of money, hence execs will push on development to compromise gameplay and game systems in various ways. You cannot escape it. Statements like “these are cosmetics, I dont care, its not pay to win!” are extremely shortsighted as cosmetic monetizations sometimes have severe negative impact on game itself.

1 Like

You’re kind of missing the point. They removed features from previous Halo games, just so they can sell it back to you. What if next time they make Forge a subscription based model?

6 Likes

Not that 343 will care, but I won’t be spending $60 on a half-finished, year-late monetization scheme.

I’ve been playing Halo almost exclusively for 20 years, and I won’t be back until this game is complete, fixed, and in the $10 bargain bin where it belongs.

3 Likes

Funny you say it’s not to be looked at. Then why do players constantly complain about games being ugly or not 4k? Also, personally, I hate forge maps because all the grey walls blend together, and make my eyes glaze over. Oh and personalization of one’s spartan is like wearing certain clothes in real life. Why do people buy crap with “Supreme” on it when it’s just a basic t-shirt?

1 Like

If it’s targeted at whales, then it is entirely predatory as people have suggested. Make a few people pay much more than the content is worth, meanwhile everyone gets a worse product. I don’t care if this “industry standard”. It’s bad for consumers. It hurts the game. It hurts the series reputation. Things shouldn’t be this way.

3 Likes

Progression in a competitive game is part of the fun for many people. We’re all wanting Halo to be the best it can be, including the developers. If the progression gets in the way of having fun, which currently it is for many, it’s not irrelevant – and raising valid criticism over it isn’t “whining” either.

1 Like

I’m with you on that.

I was interested in the campaign, but I’ll be waiting until it’s steeply discounted. I’m not keen on giving more money to a money-grubbing, politically-correct-pandering company. And since the game hardly even works on my PC that should be perfectly capable of running it well, there’s even less incentive for me to get it.

Unfortunately, that stuff doesn’t matter to the execs and investors who stand to benefit from the changes they’ve made and the profit such changes could bring. All they care about is making the maximum amount of money so they can further line their already padded pockets.

I personally don’t care much for cosmetics, certainly not enough to spend any time or money or effort on trying to obtain them. But the strongly limited playlist options is a big negative for me.

The limited playlists feels like it’s done to either get you to play more so you can do your challenge, or to get you to buy daily challenge rerolls.

Infinite’s team, seemingly, hired someone who has experience with mobile monetization models to design Infinite’s model. It seems this way, because it was executed extremely lazy. It copies so many other mobile game systems, therefore, this game’s system lacks creativity and ingenuity.

Now, the Infinite’s team reps will try to market as a great design “that has the most customization options of any Halo ever!”, but in reality, it has the least amount of customization of any Halo ever.

Their first obvious mistake, though, was making progression super slow at the beginning. Most mobile games I have seen draw you in by making progression fast early on, then it takes (literally) years to get your first maxed hero or item without spending 1000s of dollars. The typical consumer of these type of games only lasts maybe a few months. I’m about to quit the mobile game I’ve played for over a year as soon as I spend all my currency to unlock my first 5-star, which was only possible cause they ran an anniversary event.

So, that’s my take, that it’s a lazy design, and it won’t provide most players (the non-whales) to express themselves in the game that has always had that unique feature to other games.

1 Like

If 343 doesn’t change the model to be buy-to-play at the last second, everyone better flipping RIOT (through their words) when December 8th comes because this crap can’t stand. There are so many issues both with what the OP stated here relating to monetization but also non-monetized aspects like player collision, outlines, bad HUD, bad menus, bad BTB, random weapon pads, etc etc etc.

Can’t wait until the game becomes friendly to the players instead of the investors. The challenge scheme really ales me regret buying the battle pass right now and if the rumor about campaign armor just being paint jobs and gun ornaments, then I will be even more disappointed than seeing the lacking content of the battle pass (btw wtf is with one shoulder at a time? I mean that is straight up robbery at this point)

1 Like

I thought this was going to be an emotional thread at first, was about to add more points about why we suffer ಥ_ಥ

On topic, I think people take the usage of ‘beta’ from this multiplayer launch a little too seriously, there is less than a month until the game officially launches & there is no way the game will receive any significant patch on release, this was intended for retail.

That being said, there is little excuse for features we are missing or that was overlooked, the challenge-only progression system encourages people to forefit games for progress on their challenges, completely ignoring objectives instead trying to complete and oddly specific & difficult challenge

Customization is a joke, the fact that cores lock certain items away from other cores makes no sense, the fact that shaders don’t swap between means it was the intent from the start to sell you the same colour multiple times.

…why can’t we disable crossplay, the MCC had it and it was appreciated, forcing people to compete in the crossplay population implies that there isn’t confidence in the game long-term, also cheaters have started to pop-up & now console players have to suffer for it.

Many more things to write about but it’s just depressing to do so, I really hope a lot of concerns people have are, at the least, noted & addressed.

The title of this thread keeps making me think of-
The planet weaves a cruel fate for men, children are always the first to suffer.
Geostigma, Jenova, Reunion.
Children, who have lost hope, respite for the soul.
And so, he takes sword in hand, once again.