Rod Fergusson, studio head at The Coalition, has addressed the disappointment surrounding the structure of Gears 5’s Tour of Duty battle pass (via Eurogamer).
Gears 5 was received warmly by critics and fans alike as a deserving chapter in the Swarm-slaying saga. Colm thought the game ‘tinkers with the best parts of its predecessors’, and enjoyed the new take on multiplayer that introduced the reverse-Horde mode, Escape, along with unique ultimates for each character.
The Tour of Duty are campaigns that stretch the season with new unlockable cosmetics on offer. Three daily objectives and seasonal medals give players Stars to improve their Rank, and the rewards are unique to that season’s Tour of Duty. It’s like a battle pass, only it’s totally free and the in-game purchases apply to cosmetic choices and not to skins or maps.
But, the Gears community found the progression system to be wanting and the items on offer skew disproportionately towards banners and blood sprays. The character skins are often copied from the campaign, and the cosmetics are deemed to be overpriced. For example, a flashy Boltok execution will cost 800 Iron, or £7.00 in actual coinage.
Fergusson shed light on the perspective of The Coalition regarding the Tour of Duty structure on Twitter. He explained that the developer is working with an entirely different economy compared to Gears of War 4, and that the team are willing to learn from player feedback.
‘We’re learning as we go,’ Fergusson stated. ‘This is a completely different economy from Gears 4 (removed Gear packs) so it will take a little time to work through any issues. Our first attempt is not our last and we will continue to evolve until we get it right.’ He then elaborated that even minor adjustments to the structure would take time, and that ‘no magic wand’ would help that journey along. But, The Coalition is ‘just getting started’ with its intentions for Gears 5 multiplayer modes, and ‘waaaay more free content’ is headed to the game soon.
It is hoped that the second Tour of Duty effectively addresses players’ concerns over the battle pass system, and that the content on offer will be delivered to no detriment either to the players or to the teams working on Gears 5.