Meaningless micro-transactions over free updates and map packs to Halo 5? While I do feel that meaningless micro-transactions don't make Halo a pay-to-win game per se, it does seem to have stirred up some controversy. And what stems from that seem to be either backlash from those who have no interest in the game against those defending with revolt. Is it done well though, for its flaws?
Halo 5 has released to mixed and positive reception - some lauding the gameplay and multiplayer albeit with the lack of split-screen, while others said the story was disappointing and ended simply to set up Halo 6. I agreed after watching the ending. I may have stopped caring up until Halo 4 but I did keep up with the lore, and the story was satisfying for Guardians to say the least. However, most fans probably didn't care about that. It's the micro-transactions and some low review scores that's been keeping them on their toes.
I've seen some comments on YouTube that have defended the micro-transactions with full justification. Others simply flipped when those that were not a fan talked about it. While the problem wasn't necessarily swept under a rug and hidden, it's probably best that a word or two came out from those with high judgement to deplore their opinions on it.
Meaningless micro-transactions are what most have defended have said. And I do agree that compared to what Ubisoft has initiated in order to gain a quick buck from their players, 343 Studios has done a great job in keeping the Requisition points, an in-game currency, further from the winning scale. What you got from the packs were cosmetics. Granted, you can get pretty much all the accessories in Rocket League when playing for a few days, but if you love Halo and play it consistently with friends, there's no reason not to unlock majority of them.
What I really don't understand with the mind-set of the players are that they would rather forgo the history map packs from previous Halo games and free updates in favour of the micro-transactions that isn't pay-to-win. Why? Recently Insurgency had a Hunt update that was pretty large in scale, and that game had zero micro-transactions but still was a ton of fun. The game is about skill, and so is Halo.
The micro-transactions for the most part don't offer anything to the player, granted, but when there are free updates that reminds nostalgia of the previous Halo games, there's no reason why most owners of Halo 5: Guardians would want to experience the past again. The micro-transactions are nothing, yes, but since they're nothing why not add something with bigger value than cosmetics and accessories for the player to flaunt?
We've come from the back of Payday 2’s recent debacle with their paid skins that offer stat bonuses, and that has left a sour taste in most fans’ mouths. We've seen that micro-transactions, when done right, can be a loved feature. But for us to agree to the meaningless of it doesn't excuse that it should be implemented in favour of more content that have significant value than compared.
The Other Side
On the other side, I haven't been able to really make a judgement for being on the pro scale of thinking that micro-transactions would be healthy and not just to Halo, even though they are meaningless. I'd expect map packs and free updates regardless if so, for player retention even if the game already had earned more profits than the Bond movie, Spectre. (Which is a little criticism considering movie tickets costs much less than Halo 5)
But I do sort of understand why from looking at a consumer standpoint. Either have micro-transactions that don't affect gameplay, or be assaulted with DLC upon DLC that costs a liver. In regards to nowadays with how companies work and move, their bigger interest is to gain a quick buck or by “satisfying” the customers who actually want more. And in those cases, they'd either overpay or under-pay, of which is usually the latter.
There really isn't a right or wrong answer, especially after the false accusations that AngryJoe had displayed in his Halo 5 review. He has misconstrued the micro-transactions to be pay-to-win, but rather they're cosmetics that could be earned in game without having to pay a single cent (think of it like Dota). It's easy to misinterpret but I think people need to listen to both sides to fully grasp the understanding and see eye-to-eye on the same level.
Halo 5: Guardians is a solid game, albeit held back by flaws from developers 343 Studios. The micro-transactions don't matter and personally, that's a good thing. Still, I'm all for free updates and map packs that revived the nostalgia than simply looking good in multiplayer. Or maybe, that's just me.
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Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.