As I’m sure everyone has heard around the internet-water-cooler, the discussion of progression systems and “loot boxes” are back in the limelight. With the recent reactions to both Star Wars: Battlefront II and Middle-Earth: Shadow of War, it seems that conversation of this topic has greatly intensified in the recent days. As this model is becoming all the more common in the modern gaming landscape, I’m curious if we could have a healthy, intelligent discussion in what that looks like now and how it can look in the future, as well as examining how Halo fits into the conversation.
First and foremost, it’s been really interesting to see how this model has been developing in the AAA gaming space, with Halo 5: Guardians offering one of the first examples of how this can be done in a multiplayer shooter-space. One of the things that I commend 343i for is how well-designed the game systems fit into place with each other, while distinctly preserving the core Halo roots of balanced multiplayer components. Throughout the course of it’s lifespan, my experience with the requisition reward system as it currently stands I find to be wholly unobtrusive to the core game-play experience. It’s why I constantly find myself continuously coming back to the game, night after night. It’s distinctly Halo.
While certainly debate has been waged throughout these forums on Warzone Balancing, a core area of the game where the requisition packs do have impact on game-play, I think having each item be one-time use and only attainable at a certain requisition level has proven to be an incredibly smart design move to ensure that each match starts fairly evenly in the long run. Of course the larger issue becomes the snowballing effect of systems that reward players who are already doing well, which can get out of hand quickly, but there might be some clever ways that this can be mitigated if the game-mode has a life in Halo 6. That’s a whole separate discussion, but there are certain options that may allow for greater balance and more engaging matches through dynamic systems within the match.
I think perhaps maybe the biggest question where requisitions come into play is the means of progression, where in previous games progression offered you further aesthetic rewards (armor, helmets, assassinations, etc), Halo 5 has it tied to the Requisition Packs, which admittedly it can be frustrating when there is a helmet that you have been looking at longingly from afar only to never actually get it because of the CCG system in place. I think as a whole though, it works fine enough if you have the patience (full disclosure; I’ve only purchased two packs with real-world money: the Voices of War Req Pack and the Relief & Recovery Req Pack). But as improvements for customization, I wonder if we would be better served with a hybrid model of both Req Packs offering you random rewards and commendations/weekly challenges offering you specific rewards, all being tied to aesthetic customization. I think the weapons, vehicles, etcetera for Warzone being accessed only by the random packs is the best way for it. Just a thought.
Yes, I realize I have written a tome, but I think I have everything covered that I wanted to speak about. All in all, though, what’s your take on it? What progression system would you like to see in Halo and why? I would love to hear all of your thoughts, from all levels of the community!