I’m just one guy, talking to what is effectively a huge corporation. I expect that, if this finds eyes somewhere in 343, it may just be passed over. Still, I’m the type that just has to try anyway.
It’s been twenty years since I was introduced to Halo by my computer nerd uncle. I wasn’t even ten years old, but he figured that since I’d enjoyed Unreal Tournament in the past and played Star Wars: Jedi Academy, I’d like this game too.
From that point onward, I loved Halo and its universe for many years. I started using a certain emblem and color scheme in Halo 2, and continued to do so until Halo 4, then in the MCC on PC. I couldn’t afford a good computer or Xbox One to run Halo 5 - and I’ll leave that there.
Regardless, it brings me to my point: I’m more than happy to pay for good Halo content. I’ve already bought this first season pass for Halo: Infinite, in fact.
But I’m not so keen on paying for things I’ve had for almost twenty years. I can’t use my old emblem anymore; it isn’t in the game at all, even the store. I can’t use my old colors anymore; not only do they not exist for my armor, but neither are they a choice for my emblem.
Now, Warframe has sold cosmetics for a long time, and they are a good example of what my feedback here is: Sell me patterns, not colors. Let my limbs look like hot-rod flames, or have my entire right arm be blue, sure - but let me choose my colors again from a palette. Even if you sell new palettes down the road like in Warframe! Not being able to bring mySELF, the Spartan I’ve always been in this multiplayer experience, into this game REALLY detracts from the experience.
Sure, there’s some minor balance issues, but that’s all spreadsheet stuff that can be fixed in a quick patch. The issues I have with monetization, though, won’t be changed without enough outcry; I doubt just my words alone will convince anyone.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t make money, far from it. But I’d rather buy vehicle color schemes, Spartan paint PATTERNS, NEW emblem PARTS for customizing an emblem, new armor or attachments, gun colors, ASSASSINATION ANIMATION SETS - all of that would be perfectly fine, excellent even… But I’m not only NOT willing to pay for the color blue, I’m actually turned away from the game by this, and I’m not the only one in my group who thinks this way.
I hope the full release will let us have the classic emblems back. I hope it will give us the chance to choose our own colors, not force us to use the Destiny-like “Shaders” we currently have, for both armor and emblem. And I hope in the future, when looking to fill out your storefront, you provide value, not a solution to a problem you purposefully introduced in the first place.
I don’t think this is an unfair ask. Looking forward, you have plenty of money to be made, and I know part of why Halo: Infinite’s multiplayer component was separated was for this kind of “recurrent monetization,” but it needs to start on the right foundation - and we don’t have that just yet. If I’m looking at a future where I wait years before I can use my colors or my emblem, and to do so I either need to spend hundreds of hours making battle pass progress or pay $10 here for my emblem, $20 there for my color scheme on the armor core I want to use, $20 there for my emblem colors? That isn’t a game I want to support, now or in the future.
I’d rather be giving my money to a work of art I believe in, rather than feeling forced to buy a bunch of armor pieces I don’t want so I can access a certain set of colors, then a bunch of vehicle stuff I don’t want so I can have my emblem back, and THEN another pack for my emblem color scheme. That’s what I’m seeing in the store right now. It’s very disheartening, and borderline insulting as someone who’s been playing Halo for so long.
I hope 343 will reconsider some of what they’ve chosen to take away from us to sell back.
A few concrete suggestions would be:
- Introduce a “chroma-key” style color choice for each Armor Core that allows the player to choose each node’s color. Even if this ends up as a separate purchase for a small fee, it’s a big deal to some of us older players.
- Introduce a customizable emblem and emblem colors, at least with the contents of Halo 3. Later sales could be for newer emblem parts, either original to Halo: Infinite or from later games in the series over time.
- Sell armor patterns rather than colors, which can change where each color sits on the armor core, creating more unique looks and allowing players more free-form expression.
I hope my feedback and the feedback of others does not go unheard on this front. I’ve loved and supported Halo for a long time, and seeing it take what I feel are steps back in any way never feels good. Stepping back from player driven customization of their avatars in this way hurts the most, I think. Being unable to carry the banner I’ve fought with - played against others from around the world wearing - just takes something out of me I can’t fully describe. Still, I’ve done my best.
Thanks for your time.