343 doesn’t want players ‘to burn out at the end of the season’ chasing rewards
Digging into the nitty-gritty FOMO of a battle pass for a game that’s not even out yet seems kind of stressful to me — unless it’s mostly good news. In the case of Halo: Infinite, it sounds like 343 Industries is on the right track. You might’ve already heard that Halo: Infinite‘s multiplayer battle passes won’t expire, and there are more details today.
In a lengthy rundown with IGN, Halo Infinite‘s head of design Jerry Hook and lead progression designer Chris Blohm dropped some choice quotes about how 343 is approaching battle passes, in-game events, and not burning players out each season.
“We wanted to be able to say, ‘Hey, look, when you put 10 bucks in, you keep that 10 bucks,'” according to Hook. This means that if and when you buy a battle pass, it won’t be a ticking time bomb that pressures you to hit a certain pace of progression in Halo: Infinite regardless of what else you’ve got going on in your life in and outside of gaming.
If you buy into the Season 1 “Heroes of Reach” battle pass for Halo: Infinite, you can take your time without stressing. It won’t “expire.” And if you end up getting more passes down the road, that’s fine — you’ll only be able to make progress in one battle pass at a time, but you can swap between them as you please.
Legendary cosmetics will show up “about every quarter of the battle pass,” per IGN.
As for events in Halo: Infinite multiplayer, they’ll “go live every few weeks” according to Blohm, and there’s also a weekly “capstone” reward for knocking out challenges.
The rewards you’ll earn from events are distinct from your battle pass unlocks.
“You get a special playlist and you get a new reward track for [each event],” explained Blohm. “That’s two weeks for an event and one week for the Fracture, but the Fracture comes back every month and it saves your progress. Now that’s another case where we had a long talk. We said, ‘How much do we expect people to play?’ Right? And let’s balance it. So you know what, if they’re at their parents’ house for a week and they don’t have their Xbox they still can get everything that is on the reward track.”
Backing up a bit, the recurring Fracture event is a way to earn special cosmetics that more or less fit the universe but aren’t strictly canon, like samurai armor.
“Multiplayer Spartans aren’t Master Chief. Occasionally they have bright colors,” Blohm told IGN. “Occasionally, you know in Reach, they have a flaming helmet. We want to be very careful about how we treat some of these things and that’s one of the reasons we brought The Fracture in as we brought it in. What we’re saying with a Fracture is very clearly, ‘Hey, this isn’t canon. This isn’t a Spartan that’s fighting the Banished.”
How engaging and reasonable these events, weekly challenges, and overall battle passes will feel to players remains to be seen, but 343 says that community feedback will be a factor. Broad strokes, Halo: Infinite seems like it’s got a good foundation for its “keep them coming back” hooks. It helps that there’s such positive buzz surrounding multiplayer.
Here’s hoping they can pull off the campaign and multiplayer on December 8. It’s a bummer that the campaign co-op has to wait, but I’m hoping that everything we are getting at launch is strong and that it sets 343 up with a lot of momentum for 2022.