I’ve continued to play throughout the beta, and have kept an eye on the shop most days. I made a chonky feedback post for the first week of the shop, and here’s the new thread.
As a side note before I dive in, there needs to be a “shop” tag for discussion and feedback.
TLDR bundles are a poor value for their price, too few offerings at a time, and I expected flashier things for sale. Despite checking often, I still haven’t bought anything outside of the battle pass, and a combination of the prices and how restrictive customization is are the main culprits.
1: Bundles - I expect bundles to be a good value for the money. In other free to play games I’ve enjoyed, even those with expensive microtransactions, Bundles exist because the items are sold separately for a given price and bundled together for a discount. Infinite currently does not offer items separately at all, but it absolutely should, and the bundle version ought to be cheaper than what is being slung around in the shop right now. Not a single bundle I’ve seen so far has included mostly items that I wanted, usually I want only the coating or only one armor component, and they are very clearly packaged with less desirable assets intentionally. If the part I wanted were sold separately for a fair percentage of the cost of the bundle, that would have been a sale. If the bundle itself were discounted, I might have picked up a bundle or two for some variety, but so far they haven’t hooked me yet and that’s kind of a shame. Improve the value of the bundles, or decrease their price, or sell their parts separately, ideally all 3 of those things would improve the shop experience.
2: Lack of selection - There are too few items in the shop at a given time, like way too few for a triple-A shooter title. If the full 3 weeks worth of rotating items were in the shop all at once, with a daily special or rotating discount instead of rotating offerings, that would have been more in line with my expectations. One reason I keep not buying shop items is because my next favorite helmate or shoulder might be tomorrow’s daily, or next week’s weekly bundle. If I’m not 100% in love with a cosmetic, I’m not spending the same price as a pot of actual paint (like a really good paint color for miniatures is about $5 where I’m at), and so far I’ve been assuming that there might be coatings and armor parts that I like more yet-to-be rotated in. If the ready-assets were all in the shop available for purchase, I’d be able to make an informed decision about how I want to equip my various cores, and that might lead to some sales. As it stands so far, I’m holding out for some of the leaked content that I know is done and being held-back before I shell out for parts.
3: Dull Options - So far, there have only been a handful of bundles that have the kinds of items I expect to show up in the shop. Katanas, extra knives, camo patterns, the pineapples, these are the kinds of items that ought to be the head-liner for every shop bundle. It should stand out from the free content, it should stand out from the starting colors, and it should really show off what a next gen shooter can do in terms of eye candy. If a shop item is something I would have unlocked from a bronze-teir req pack in Halo 5 though, we’ve got to have a chat. About 75% of the armor parts, helms, visors, emblems, etc from shop bundles I’ve seen so far fall under the category of “this should have been in the free part of the battle pass” because they are just downright boring. Only one or two shop bundle armor parts have I seen than made me think “wow, this looks great” and that should be the whole shop. If it isn’t a real jaw-dropper, it probably should be in the battle pass or otherwise unlock-able through play, because I sure as heck won’t pay for it.
4: Armor Cores are too rigid - and this is the real doozey for me. I’m not thrilled that armor parts are locked to specific cores, especially given that Bots have had mixed-core armor throughout the beta, and Waypoint app bugs show that the parts are visually compatible and look fine together. I’m downright livid that armor coatings/visors are locked to cores however. It makes coordinating the color scheme of your cores nearly impossible, since only a few of the “starter” colors were available for the Yoroi (and all shop exclusive), and most of the premium and unshockable coatings are only available for a single core. To my knowledge there was a single shop bundle that had a coating for all 3 cores (I think it was Dust Wind for Yoroi, and Forgotten Sands for MKV and MKV11) and it just wasn’t my style. The rest of the bundles I’ve seen that have a decent looking coating It’s been locked to a core that I don’t care for enough to justify the price, or bundled with items that I just don’t want to buy. If the coatings and visors could be applied to any core, I’d be singing a different tune, and that’s doubly true of armor parts were more flexible. Until at least the coatings and visors loosen up however, or the shop shifts to always include a full set, I’m going to be really picky about picking up a bundle for a color.
The core theme of my feedback is that there just isn’t enough variety in the customization system for me to be satisfied. In theory that variety is there, but so much of it is locked behind shop paywalls in rotating bundles that it is hard to really see what options are really there. Pair that with the lackluster selection from the battle pass, and it feels like a real step back from previous games. It shouldn’t feel like a step back for the series, and I sincerely hope 343 takes steps to improve the shop experience.