343 Industries gave us our first look at Halo 5: Guardians’ new mode, Warzone, during Microsoft’s E3 conference. They didn’t announce it at Microsoft’s conference, but Halo 5: Guardians’ has a new feature called Requisition System (REQ). And, it is present in Arena and Warzone.
Eurogamer wrote an article earlier today talking about the microtransactions and how they are causing “a stir.” That’s right, you can purchase REQ card packs with real-life money. You can also earn them through normal playing.
There’s always a knee-jerk reaction to microtransactions. Many people instantly think ‘pay-to-win.’ But, it’s a non-issue for Halo 5. Here’s why.
What are REQ packs?
REQ packs give you a variety of requisitions (REQs). These range from weapons and vehicles you can use in Warzone to cosmetic items including armors, skins, assassination animations and more.
You earn REQ points after each match in Arena or Warzone. These points can then be used to redeem REQ packs.
343 plans to continue adding more REQs post launch.
REQ cards are cosmetic only in Halo 5: Guardians’ Arena multiplayer
343’s Josh Holmes wrote a blog post earlier this week to clear up some things about the REQ system. Holmes writes, “only cosmetic items can be used in our Arena experience. This is to ensure that all players start with the same weapons and abilities as part of our vision for the balanced, competitive play in Arena multiplayer.”
That clears that part up.
How REQ cards work in Warzone
Warzone is different. You can use your REQ cards throughout a Warzone match to deploy vehicles and equip weapons. 343 won’t let you spam REQ cards though. An “Energy” system helps balance what you can and can’t deploy. Weapons and vehicles need a certain amount of “Energy” to deploy them.
Say you want to spawn with a sniper rifle in Warzone. You have the REQ card, but you also need to meet the Energy requirements. This will prevent players from spamming power weapons and vehicles every spawn.
Earning REQ packs
REQ packs are earned as you play Halo 5: Guardians multiplayer. Holmes also touches on the microtransaction part in his blog post. “We’ll also give players the option to purchase REQ Packs as a matter of convenience, with a portion of the proceeds going toward prize pools for the Halo Championship Series,” writes Holmes.
There’s only one potential pitfall here. 343 has to make sure you earn REQ packs at a solid rate.
Plenty of games do it right
Plants vs. Zombies, Battlefield 4 and Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare have microtransactions. I don’t know who the hell buys them, but they have them. The key is making sure gamers don’t feel obligated to buy them.
Look at Battlefield 4. You can buy battlepacks for XP boosts and attachments, but you never have to. I have dozens of XP boosts that are just sitting there waiting to be used. And, that’s key. Give players more than they can use.
Microtransactions for free maps
Halo 5: Guardians is getting free map DLC. If it takes microtransactions to make that happen, then so be it.
Keep Calm and Play On
Weapons and vehicles from REQ packs are exclusive to Warzone. The only thing impacting Arena are any cosmetic items you receive from the REQ packs.
REQ packs sound exactly like how other big games have embraced microtransactions. They are there if people want to buy them. Plus, proceeds help support Halo’s competitive scene and gives us free DLC maps. How can you not like that?