Gears 5 Drops Gear Packs, Season Pass But Adds Pay-to-Win Feature

Gears 5 is dropping all random paid elements in favor of greater transparency, but seems to be slipping in a pay-to-win mechanic to make up for it.

Gears 5 developers The Coalition recently announced that the upcoming game will not feature Gear Packs or a Season Pass. The shift is in an effort to make the game's additional paid offerings more transparent.

The news comes via a development blog shortly after Gears 5 received a lengthy overview at E3 — and not long after several countries are moving to take action against loot boxes and their inherent element of gambling.

Rather than paying to get a random set of items, players will be able to either purchase some items they want directly or earn them through normal play. DLC maps will also be free for Matchmaking and Private Play.

The earnable content will feature primarily in a new introduction to Gears 5: Tour of Duty. This replaces the Season Pass, but it ultimately fulfills the same basic function. Gears 5's Tour of Duty will regularly introduce new content all players can earn, instead of splitting player bases between those who bought a pass and those who didn't.

Content can be earned through completing daily challenges and earning medals, and it'll be largely similar to content earned through Season Passes, e.g. character skins and the like. Earnable content will also be transparent in that Gears 5 gives players a clear path to follow to obtain what they want.

Supply Drops are replacing Gear Packs and offer random rewards just for playing, but content purchased using Iron via the in-game store won't be random. Instead, players will pay for what they want.

Tucked away at the end of the developers' blog is an interesting tidbit that seemingly goes against the blog's general grain of appeasing the players. Gears 5 is introducing Boost as a new mechanic as well. Boost offers advanced progression rates for a set period of real-time days, for instance, 24 hours or a 7-day week in the form of:

  • Double Multiplayer XP
  • Double Character XP for Escape & Horde
  • Double speed Supply Drop Progression

However, it's a paid feature. The Coalition says it isn't required to earn content or unlock features. But it's fairly easy to see the increased experience rates have the potential to divide players from a progression perspective. 

Contributor

Josh Broadwell's gaming career began early--1993, to be exact--when he was introduced to the Super Nintendo and Super Mario World. Despite all the magnificent games the SNES and, later, the original PlayStation had to offer, it wasn't until the GameBoy Advance era that he finally discovered RPGs, which quickly became a favorite genre. He holds a BA in history, an MA in history, and is currently pursuing an MA in strategic communication.

Published Aug. 8th 2019

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