One of the big changes that 343 Industries are making with Halo 5: Guardians over previous Halo titles is the REQ system, which is a combination of progression and random loot packs. Whether you play the more traditional Arena mode or the expansive new Warzone, everything you do will earn you points, and those points can eventually be expended on booster packs. Open those up, and you get cosmetic armor, visor colors, new weapon skins, power weapons and vehicles to spawn in Warzone, alternate assassination animations, and poses for your profile. The cards are also separated by their function, with the majority of them being temporary Warzone drops and the rarer cards being permanent account unlocks.
Bronze packs are available for 1,250 points, and feature more common drops along with a chance for one permanent unlock. Silver packs are 5,000 points, and include cards that are marked as Rare along with two permanent unlocks. Gold bumps up the price to 10,000 points, but you can get everything up to Legendary in these packs along with two guaranteed permanent unlocks. We’ve known for a while that some REQ packs will be optionally available for real world money, and 343 have laid out their plans in a recent blog post. The cheaper Bronze packs will only be available for in-game credits, but Silver and Gold packs can be purchased at a cost of $1.99 and $2.99 respectively.
I’ve included an example below from 343’s post showing off some of the possible cards you can obtain. From what has already been announced and some of the recent footage of the game in action floating around YouTube, it seems like most of the vehicle and weapon selection will be familiar to Halo veterans. Instead of completely new gear, we’re going to get alterations with slight stat boosts or added functionality. One wonders if every permutation of each weapon will be available to creators in Forge mode or to mess around with in custom games. With the Halo 1 M6D pistol heavily rumored to be making a return as a Legendary REQ item, I am very hopeful for that possibility.
The thought of microtransactions in any $60 game can be a bit off-putting to say the least, but there are some positive trade-offs to this system as well. For one, as revealed in a recent infographic to celebrate the game going gold, Halo 5: Guardians will have extensive post release support provided by a live team. There are plans for at least 18 new multiplayer maps and hundreds of new items for the REQ system, and all this content will be provided in free updates to the game. In addition, a portion of the microtransactions that are purchased will go towards funding the Halo Championship Series prize pool.
So, if you’re not interested in dropping your money on fancy helmets and alternate Fuel Rod Cannons, how often will you be able to procure REQ just by playing the game. 343 has said that the typical game of Warzone will net you 2,000 points, with packs costing between 1,250 points and 10,000 points depending on the type chosen. So even if you only aim for highest tier of rewards, a typical night of games should net you some rewards. You’ll be gifted with a pack of 54 cards and 7,500 points when you first load up the game, allowing you to jump right into Warzone with a stack of weapons and vehicles ready to be summoned.
If you’re interested in starting your weapon collection early, there are a few things you can do in order to make the wait for October 27th, 2015 a little more bearable. Xbox has set up a site where you can get a free Assault Rifle skin in exchange for watching a collection of short videos (or just getting around that if you’re not interested). Outside of that, there are promotional REQ packs and/or points available for pre-ordering the game, purchasing one of the special Halo controllers, and buying specially marked packages of Hot Pockets. In a change of pace, all these promotional items are actually not exclusive, as they are available as drops in the REQ system proper as well as distributed via snack foods and fancy joypads.
Halo 5: Guardians and its REQ system comes out on October 27th, 2015.
Are you stockpiling delicious microwave pizza squares in anticipation of the Master Chief’s latest adventure? Are you wondering when 343 is going to throw in the Jackal Shield as a usable weapon? Do you miss the Needle Rifle from Halo: Reach as much as I do? Answer these questions and more in the comments below!