Progression Feedback: Why Halo Infinite Progression and XP should Focus on Medals

As someone who enjoys a solid grind session, I can’t force myself to enjoy the current progressions system Halo Infinite has implemented. I know that this is currently a very hot topic if not THE topic of discussion on Halo Infinite, but I just felt like I should talk about how I feel about it.

    Index:
  •    1) RANT
    
  •    2) My Solution
    
  •    3) Why The Challenges Currently Hurt Gameplay
    
  •    4) Why Medals are the Better Option
    
  •    5) Final Thoughts/ XP Tweaks
    

1) RANT:
For starters, saying that the progression moves at a snail’s pace is giving it a compliment. I have put in over 30 hours and all I have to show for it is being level 13 on the battle pass (DOUBLE XP USED THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE 30 HOURS).

Not only is the progression system ludicrously slow, but the challenge system provides no incentive to grind said progression system.

  • I have, in my two days of playing the game, completed the weekly challenges, and now have no reason to get back on the game.

  • Obviously, I continue to play because of how amazing the actual gameplay is, but people (like me) who enjoy the satisfaction of being rewarded for their time will eventually slowly ease off of this game.

  • Finally and probably the single most irritating issue is the diminishing amount of XP rewarded per match. Not only do you not earn a specific amount of XP depending on the mode or match length, but the game disincentivizes long playtimes because you earn less and less per-match XP over time.

2) My Potential Solution:

  • Medals should be what earns you XP in Halo Infinite.
  • Jeffrey Steitzer and medals have been a HUGE part of multiplayer for as long as the multiplayer has been around. Whenever you get a ninja or a no-scope and Steitzer tells you of your skillful deeds, it just fills you with a sense of “badassness” for lack of a better word.
  • To me and I feel like a majority of the player base, going for skillful wacky kills is one of the main attractions to the Halo franchise.
  • Instead of forcing players to complete challenges and play a specific way each match, Give them an incentive to go that extra mile and get those medals.

3) Why The Challenges Currently Hurt Gameplay:

  • So far, the challenge system creates an issue in the multiplayer game loop. Here are some examples:
    - Teamwork is shattered whenever a challenge forces you to get kills.
    - Rotations are nowhere to be found because players are camping skewer spawns to get that challenge.
    - Objectives are just ignored. Yes, some challenges encourage objective plays, but in the wrong way. here is an example:
    - Kills while holding Oddball. This player does not care about anything but throwing themselves at the enemy with the ball until they can complete their challenge.
    - There are plenty of other issues, but for the sake of time, I will leave it at that.

4) Why Medals are the Better Option:

  • Players earn medals every match.

  • Players earn medals playing the objective.

  • Players earn medals playing how THEY want to play.

  • Players earn medals by utilizing the sandbox.

  • Medals are satisfying to go for as it is, so attaching XP to them will make the game feel more rewarding.

  • The Medal system is already Impressive.

  • Potential to earn medals every match.

  • Medals don’t drive players to ignore objectives.

  • This game has an utterly amazing medal system. The game already recognizes when players do something crazy, so I feel like tying XP to that would make progression feel so much more rewarding.

  • I’m not an expert on how progression works, but medals just seem like possibly the best option for progression in my personal opinion.

  • Even the 30 min double XP makes more sense with the medal progression. Instead of using a 30 minute XP boost that will only work for 1 match seems like an absolute waste. If I can not utilize my double XP to the fullest extent for each match, then why would I buy them.

5) Final Thoughts/ XP Tweaks

  • I am by no means at the developers at 343’s level in terms of programming or tweaking already implemented systems. I would assume, like any other program, that changing things in-game always cause more issues to appear and it is a difficult task, but I think that this should be a priority fix that would motivate players to stay in the game.

  • This system also seems like it could be easy to tweak around with and get into a good spot. Different medals can earn different amounts of XP depending on difficulty, or incentivize playing the objective, and if some medals earn too much or too little XP, you can just adjust it until a sweet spot is found.

  • There is also potential for some medals to be a “GET XP FAST!!!” type of medal, but like mentioned above, this could just be a tweak and it is no longer a problem.

  • And finally, I hope that this finds members of the community and hopefully members of 343 well. I have nothing but great things to say about the actual gameplay of Halo Infinite. You guys at 343 definitely put sweat and tears into this and it shows.

Thank you, everybody, for taking the time out of your day to listen to me talk about a topic that has already been talked about in-depth.

    Please leave thoughts, comments, concerns, or any discussion topics here and I would be happy to talk about them!

There is a similar topic discussion post: " Halo Infinite “Medals Progression” overhaul concept " that goes into detail on how this system could be implemented. I definitely recommend giving it a look and a like!

Side note: I like the challenge system as a way to earn XP and I find some of the challenges to be fun and creative, but it just can not be a standalone progression system. The current system and earning XP through medals could co-exist in a manner that would give players of all skills a way to get XP

Thanks,

ZHRPO

31 Likes

I think this is a great idea!

2 Likes

I think there’s room for both systems, but Challenges need some tweaks. Challenges for playing certain numbers of games, or getting kills with easy-to-obtain weapons, are fine. Challenges based on game type would be fine, too, if you could actually control what gametypes you are playing. As of now, there are far too many challenges that encourage antisocial behavior. It sucks when a teammate is spending the entire game trying to knock someone off a map with a Repulsor, for example.

I think Challenges can be a good way for players to get XP even if they aren’t very skilled or can’t play a lot. Like, handing out some amount of XP for getting 10 kills with an assault rifle in a day is fine. Anyone can do that if they play that day.

With that said, I really like your idea of having medals act as an XP progression method. It makes sense. It rewards excellent play at a better rate without leaving out novice players entirely. Good players should progress faster. It seems obvious. However, less skilled players should be able to progress and feel like they’re being rewarded for playing the game and, ideally, improving. Medals for assists, playing objectives, etc., allow players who aren’t necessarily the best to feel like they’re involved in their own progression.

Ideally, medals will also be tied to commendations that people can progress over long periods of time. For example, earn 100 double kills = emblem. Earn 50 triple kills = ID background. Earn 25 Mythic medals = weapon skin. Why is there nothing like this in the game? It is an obvious way to reward players for being a) good and b) playing a long time. Could include large XP bonuses for finishing individual ‘tiers’ of commendations, too.

4 Likes

I think medals granting xo is a fair way to progress. At the moment myself and many members of the player base; are frustrated with how the battle pass progression is right now. I think challenges could still work but give the players a way to progress the battle pass without soley doing challenges.

2 Likes

Yes! I 100% agree with you. The challenge system itself is not a problem. The problem lies in it being the only way to progress. I really enjoy knocking out weekly challenges to get that reward, and I do not want that to go away, but this just simply can not be the sole progression system. Some of the more difficult challenges can even be oriented around medals to kind of intertwine the two systems. There are just many implementations that could be considered with medal-based XP

And onto your skill-based rewards topic, I completely agree. I want to see players in-game wearing an earned set of armor or emblem and I want to go “Damn, that guy really put in the time to earn that.” The battle pass is not a problem and it is a welcome addition in my opinion, but earned cosmetics hold more value to me.

2 Likes

Yes, I like the challenge system in functionality, but as you said, this game just needs some other form of XP gain.

also as a side note, They also may have the progression slow so that players don’t rush through the battle pass and run out of content, I myself like to grind through the pass and finish it, and then keep playing.
(Just speculation)

I think players progressing through the pass too slow is significantly worse for the game than players finishing the pass early. I would much rather finish the pass early than feel like I have to log on every week to get XP and progress.

2 Likes

I like the idea of having multiple ways to earn progression - today I had a challenge to get kills with the mangler and ended up learning something about it in the process, so I like the idea of challenges earning a big chunk of XP but there needs to be other ways to progress when all my challenges are win BTB and I just got owned 5 btb games in a row and want to do something else, sure I could challenge swap but not at $3 CAN each. Medals seem natural to do a XP reward as well.

Also like the idea of credits in the battle pass to cover the next battle pass. Every 20 levels why not take out a challenge swap and award time 200 credits? That way we could either pay for our next battle pass or buy a premium store item.

3 Likes

I was thinking that as well. Though if they eventually implement a new progression system that doesn’t revolve around challenges, I feel like challenge swaps would be less prevalent in the battle pass.

I have heard some people speculating that some challenges are created so that players will want to use challenge swaps, but I found that most challenges weren’t bad enough for me to want to spend money to skip them. This very well may not be the case, but some challenges are RNG-based to some extent and can take a while.

I think the problem with including credits in the battle pass is their “infinite” lifespan. Since the passes never end that would mean that you could essentially only have to buy one or two passes for the entirety of this game’s life. I could see them offering some credits, but maybe not enough to pay for the upcoming passes.

I just want them to fix the Battle Pass xp system to be like MCC, because I’m only level 37 in the Battle Pass after blowing 15 xp boosters, because I skipped 25 levels, and there are no more weekly challenges left. Idk how you are supposed to grind to 100 in a BP when there are hardly any challenges. 10 levels a week is the most realistic you can expect to achieve. It’s a terrible progression system.

1 Like

Although I enjoy the MCC progression system, It still runs into a similar problem of running out of ways to progress. There are certainly more opportunities to progress in the MCC system, but I have found myself not having enough credits to purchase a cosmetic in the weekly MCC store because I had spent it all on the pass. I could have saved some and I am at fault for that, but just being at a standstill and having no way to push forward is still frustrating.

I’d like to see them just do what mcc does for post-match xp, where you see the categories you earned medals in and are rewarded xp for those categories. Even if I’m not getting a lot of kills in mcc I still can get xp for assisting my team. But in Infinite, I feel that I’m penalized for assisting my team because I’m just not rewarded for it.

1 Like

Yes, I have felt the same way. My competitive urge reduces the temptations of the challenges during matches, but I am penalized for trying to win the game because I did not go for a specific challenge. This is not always an issue, especially in slayer, but a lot of the challenges penalize you for playing in a competitive fashion.

Couldn’t agree more with this, hit the nail on the head!

2 Likes

I think you hit the nail on the head. Your suggestion is perfect, in my opinion. Making XP primarily medal/performance based, while having challenges as an added way to earn XP, is pretty standard in games now days, and I think it works great. It rewards you for playing how you want to play, as well as pushes you to find new ways to play to obtain new medals or complete challenges.

You also brought up a problem I didn’t even consider. That you could spend money on XP boosts, and end up not even being able to take advantage of them after activating them. If your challenges are all slayer based, and you just can’t seem to get a slayer game within that 30 minute window, you’re S.O.L. Which makes XP boosts yet another predatory money grab. These issues had to have been brought up in development, and were allowed to slide through in hopes that it would cause people to spend more money on buying more boosts.

In my opinion, they got far too greedy. They went with every predatory cash grab tactic they could, all at once, in the most egregious fashion they could. This does net them quite a bit of income at first, but ends up doing more damage than good in the end. Extremely predatory anti-consumer tactics like this are what kills game communities. People who don’t want to pay get fed up of being locked out of so much content, and having to grind for unreasonable amounts of time just for one item. People who are willing to pay eventually aren’t willing to pay, because their money isn’t going far enough. Once you lose a large chunk of both those groups, you lose a large chunk of the community. Now, obviously, there are diehard fans that will never leave. I’d leave Infinite, but I’d never leave MCC. But they, alone, cannot fund your expenses 343. Just think about the image this gives to Halo newcomers. Do you really want “predatory cash grab” to be the headline first impression of every newcomer to the series? That doesn’t sound sustainable to me. And that brings me to the…

TL;DR: 343 needs to implement a far less predatory and more sustainable progression system. The current system does more harm than good for the livelihood of the game. You’ve brought a great solution to the table that, in my opinion, is hard to beat.

3 Likes

Thank you! I am so glad that this is receiving such a positive response so far!

I can not begin to explain how great this game is in its actual gameplay. The overall community reaction to the gameplay is really good, and I think an XP tweak like this would put this game in a very good place!

Actually it should be noted that the 30 minute XP boosters are borderline worthless when I’m constantly wasting them by being stuck loading a match, being stuck in a very long BTB, having graphical issues in a match, or even crashing. Most of my boosters barely make it 2 matches. Halo 5 had a better XP booster system, and it wasn’t $2 per boost. Even worse is wasting XP boosters and not even completing a challenge that match.

1 Like

I greatly appreciate the reaction to this post so far!

Firstly, thank you for leaving a comment and opening a discussion. Being able to come together and discuss such things is a powerful tool!

Now I think that the push for monetization is more than likely the upper level at Xbox Game Studios (The Publisher).
As sad as it sounds, I believe that the developers get paid to develop the game, and the publisher rakes in the monetization money. I may not be entirely correct in terms of 343 and Xbox Game studios since Infinite is a “live service” but this is usually the case. I believe that a certain level of monetization is pushed on the developer to include in the game, but I absolutely agree that whoever it may be, they certainly did get greedy.

I do not want to think that the entire progression is built to be annoying and to make frustrated players purchase boosts, but it definitely feels that way. Because of their greed (whether it be 343 or Xbox Game Studios), Players will eventually grow tired of the slow progression and stop playing.

I honestly believe that the player base will begin to shrink if they try to fix the current system rather than implement a new one like medal XP. I just can’t think of a way to implement challenges in such a way that would fix the issue. Even if they were to increase the amount of XP earned that doesn’t fix the issue of coming to a standstill until new challenges release. Like I have mentioned before. It’s not necessarily a bad system, but it can not be a standalone one.

Also, your comment brought up another point of discussion I have. So obviously the gameplay is amazing and entertaining in it itself, but for people who don’t want to buy the battle pass, it just seems a little empty. Granted this is an early launch, but I feel there should be skill-based cosmetics as well. Something to earn and wear with pride. This very well may be on its way, but currently, people who do not want to spend money do not have much to “grind” for.

Yes, I certainly agree.

If they decide to try to continue pushing the Challenge-Only system, they need to make the double XP last for x amount of matches, or be able to select which challenges you want to earn double XP on. I have found myself spending multiple double XP’s on a single challenge because of unlucky RNG.

But at the same time, progression feels slow AND I have been using double XP almost entirely. I had plenty from the Rockstar promotion, but now I have flown through well over half of them for only 13 levels. I can not imagine how the progression feels without the boost.

1 Like

I totally agree with ZHRPO, tying progression to medals would be much more rewarding and fun. Anyway, whether 343 does use medals or not, the current model is awful and needs to be overhawled (not to mention that it’s glitched and it doesn’t even register the objectives you fulfilled properly, which only adds salt to the injury).

That said, the gameplay loop in Halo Infinite is great and I won’t stop playing this game just because the progression is terrible. But if things don’t change, I most likely will not by the Battle Pass again for season 2.

1 Like

That is how I look at it as well. This game is truly fun to play and the gameplay loop is enough to keep me coming back.

With that being said, it is a “live service” game that focuses on bringing new content relatively often. There are three driving forces that keep me coming back to a game:

-The gameplay
-The “Grind”
-The Progression (Level system, Comp. Ranks)

This is just my opinion, but I personally like to feel like I accomplished something when I turn off the game for the day. Halo has magnificent gameplay, but it lacks in the other two categories. Yes, this game has a competitive ranking system (which some games don’t even release with), but there is nothing to “grind” or progress towards. You can argue that the battle pass is a progression system and I would agree with you, but something more permanent and representative of the time that you put into the game would be nice.

I realize that asking them to overhaul the current progression system as well as add a leveling system of sorts is a lot to ask for, but I feel that nothing but good would come of it.

I don’t want to make this super long, but there are just so many things that can be implemented that make the grind a worthwhile task.

Examples could be:

  • A competitive seasonal reward connected to your rank (similar to rocket league)

  • I guess you could consider your battle pass level your seasonal level, It does not really come across as a way of proving your commitment to the game.

  • Potentially a permanent level system. This game will continue for a long time, so I can understand what this hasn’t been implemented, but there are certainly ways to do this.

There is just so much potential here for XP to be more than just a way to progress through the battle pass. It may be coming in the future, but I really think having something like what I have listed above would really extend this game’s longevity.

Sorry, this was really long.