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Tycho / on Wed, Nov 17 2021 at 12:01 am

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Levels Advocate

At the very highest level, looking down, I think that the Halo Infinite Battle Pass has progressed thinking on this form of monetization in a way that suggests that they have, uh, parents on the team. Or, at the very least, that they have a philosophical bone to pick with the typical FOMO pump that a timed season creates. This is the part I like: you own the Battle Pass. It's like a TTRPG supplement or something, and it even occupies a space on a kind of shelf; the pass itself is something you own, and you can shelve it when a new one comes out if you're excited about that, but you can always come back to the other one, or swap to a third, whatever. This is what respect for my money and time looks like.

In that part, anyway! Holy shit. As if to counterbalance the humanity expressed prior, progress in this model is glacial, measured in Ages Of Man. Time and Money are cosmic twins; in the best versions of this F2P stuff, you feel like you could pay with either one. Obviously the store is there and real and allows you to buy time, but the psychological challenge in this system looks like this: balancing gratitude and resentment. I absolutely buy smurfberries or whatever the fuck for games I feel treated well by, especially if I don't feel manipulated into it.

I feel like the hard part was making an awesome Halo game, which they did. I thought burning limited use cards in multiplayer matches was fucking weird last time around and I'm glad to see it go. Enough people have complained about the pace of rewards that it's gonna have to be addressed, and all the levers are there for them to do it. I don't need a Modern Warfare style heavy metal riff every time I move the mouse or something, but it's like… bro. Bro!


Hello! Tonight, at 4pm PDT, we will be doing the finale of our show Acquisitions Incorporated: The "C" Team. Aside from Penny Arcade itself, it's easily the longest running creative project I've ever undertaken and I'm overjoyed that we'll be performing live from the studio tonight. I'm also sad. But it's okay! I don't think anyone has ever done a game like this before, and some of the reasons for that are noble ones. Also note that there is a supply of Celebratory Artifacts available in the Gift Shoppe, like Dabe's finale tee and a golden "C" Team pin. The URL for the latter says "le cteam pin," which means "Limited Edition" but in this case sounds fancy and really elevates the affair. Happy Valentine's Day. I'll See you tonight.

(CW)TB out.

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