Our friends over at IGN are continuing their First coverage of Halo Infinite with some new details on the multiplayer progression, unlockables, battle passes, and more. Miranda Sanchez sat down with Halo Infinite’s Head of Design Jerry Hook and Lead Progression Designer Chris Blohm to discuss. Let’s dive in!
Battle Pass Design
“We wanted to be able to say, ‘Hey, look, when you put 10 bucks in, you keep that 10 bucks,'” Hook said.
Hook and Blohm also discussed these key details about how battle passes will work:
- Halo Infinite won’t have loot boxes, so once you drop your money on something you know exactly what you can get.
- You can only have one battle pass active at a time, meaning your chosen battle pass is the one gaining experience you earn as you play.
- You can switch which battle pass is active whenever you want.
- The battle pass from the test flights is not representative of what we’ll see in the final battle pass.
- About every quarter of the battle pass will have a legendary cosmetic in it. Legendary-rated cosmetics will be character canon-related or a new type of customization object with special attributes or effects.
- Event rewards are separate from the battle pass.
Season 1: Heroes of Reach Battle Pass
“We know people like [Halo] Reach and we knew the story was going to have another Reach beat — in the paperback books, there’s a Reach beat [in Halo: Shadows of Reach] after Halo 5. The Infinity goes back to Reach. So we just started full speed ahead on the best of the Reach customization,” Blohm said.
“When we were looking at the Heroes of Reach and what [Blohm] and the team pulled together is a really great model of how we’re trying to tell a visual story with the battle pass of earning characters, basically through all the Reach characters with the battle pass,” Hook said. “For us, the system that’s been created with the [armor] core at the center, and then all of the attachments that players can choose to add. Do you want Emile’s knives? You want Jorge’s grenades? Mix and match how you want to create your own, or if you’re just like, ‘No, I want to look exactly like Jun’ then you can do that. And for the first time, you can look exactly like Kat with the prosthetic arm.”
Weekly Challenge and Event Rewards
New customization options aren’t solely earnable through the battle pass or purchasable in the store. Playing the campaign will also earn players new cosmetic items and players can also earn a weekly reward (called the capstone) by completing all weekly challenges.
The challenge system was available during the Halo Infinite test flight and has since undergone some changes based on player feedback. Hook said it was important for them to ensure that challenges are straightforward and are something players actually want to accomplish. The development team monitors stats regarding which daily and weekly challenges players don’t complete or opt to reroll. Then, those are phased out to make room for challenges for a trending weapon or tactic. Their goal, Hook said, is to make players feel like they’re able to earn constant XP for their battle passes or work toward their weekly capstone reward without forcing themselves to play in unfavorable ways.
“So at launch, we have the challenge system that fuels the battle pass and the event system. Events go live every few weeks,” Blohm said.
Hook and Blohm are keeping most event details quiet for now, but they did share that each event will have its own free event pass. This is one of the few timed reward systems in multiplayer and will not include a paid track.
“You get a special playlist and you get a new reward track for [each event],” Blohm said. “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.”
How to Get That Sweet Samurai Armor
Blohm acknowledged that while the more traditional Spartan armor and customizations look great, some of us crave more unique Spartan fashion options. This is where The Fracture event comes in. This recurring event is how we’re going to get unique cosmetics that don’t quite make sense with the Halo canon, like the teased Yoroi samurai armor. Hook said they watched what the Master Chief Collection is doing with its multiplayer cosmetics (the MCC multiplayer just got Viking and gladiator armor) and how its community is responding to inform their development on The Fracture event.
“Multiplayer Spartans aren’t Master Chief. Occasionally they have bright colors. 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,'” Blohm said.
“The battle pass system is really just a small part of the overall ecosystem for a season,” Hook said. “When we take a look at our events or events structures, it’s not just about another place in which you’re selling things. It’s about taking that structure of a battle pass and layering it with each of the events structures that we have as well. What Chris says a lot, which is I think pretty critical to the success of it, is we want players anytime they engage in an activity to be able to feel rewarded. The battle pass sort of sits above all of that, which is whenever you’re playing, you’re feeling rewarded from the battle pass. That’s our goal.”