343 Industries’ Halo Infinite Holiday stream was filled with new details of what’s next for the game’s multiplayer mode, from teasing a seasonal Winter Contingency event, to explaining and promising changes that are coming to the game’s customisation, in-game store, progression and more.
We’ve got a breakdown below, but you can watch the whole stream here:
Let’s start with the Winter Contingency event, which is ‘coming soon’ to the game. A seasonal event for Christmas, Winter Contingency will run for 10 days with an ‘advent calendar’ of awards for logging in and completing daily challenges. Manage to do all that and you’ll unlock peppermint armour and weapon coatings, a nice gingerbread brown shade, and more.
More specific details will be coming next week, but here’s a brief teaser:
The festivities to one side, the stream did address a lot of the concerns and issues that the game has faced in its first month.
The regular Fracture: Tenrai event will be overhauled ahead of its next appearance in January. 343 apologised for misleading players by featuring premium content in promotional artwork for the event, and will be more attentive to more clearly showing what’s free and earnable. Because of that, and the reaction to the event in general, they’re overhauling the event pass to remove XP boosts and challenge swaps and replace them with items that were premium – this includes the full Kabuto amour set and post, and 343 will obviously make good for users that did spend money in the game. More event challenges will also be added so players can keep making progress and not get stuck.
For customisation and monetisation in general, 343 will be reviewing the ludicrously priced bundles and the value that is found in the in-game store, walking things back from the rather extreme situation that is currently in the game. They say that iInternal feedback is “sounding like Reddit”, and will look again at making free and paid customisation feel more rewarding, cross-core customisation, coatings, and other elements.
Further reading: Halo Infinite weapons tier list – which guns are the best?
That external and internal feedback is also pointing towards several longterm priorities for when 343 Industries return to work after the holidays. This includes:
- Playlist models (which follows on from this week’s playlist update)
- The first game balance updates
- Improving rate of content earning for free players
And in the longer term:
- Overhauled XP boost system
- Better UI indicators for challenge difficulties
- Ranked play backfills, MMR and UI
- A progression system separate from Battle Pass
All in all, it’s a positive sounding stream, but we will obviously have to wait for 343 Industries to deliver on these elements in the long term. Yesterday saw an update pushed to Halo Infinite that has addressed a couple of key concerns, and they are also working to improve the matchmaking for Big Team Battle.
Halo Infinite free-to-play multiplayer is out now for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC, alongside the paid single player campaign. We broke them out separately for reviews, saying in the multiplayer review:
“Halo Infinite’s multiplayer is a fantastic showcase of just how brilliant Halo can be, its fundamental gameplay and the mix of small and larger-scale modes a joy to play. It’s just a shame that so much of that is being clouded by the dismal battle pass, paid cosmetics and unsatisfying progression. Halo Infinite multiplayer is a must-play for shooter fans, but its monetisation needs to change if it’s going to survive in the long run.”