Halo 4: Progression System Revealed, Provides Long-Term Incentives

12 October 2012, 1:02 pm EDT By Jonathan Charles Mobile & Apps

Halo 4 developers 343 Industries revealed in a blog post how players of the first-person shooter will unlock weapons, armor, and armor abilities. Rather than having everything unlocked from scratch, gamers will need to play over time to unlock the weapons.

Players start out with an Assault Rifle, Magnum, Frag Grenade, and Recruit Armor, Emblem, Visor, and Stance. The system basically works with players gaining experience points, called Spartan Points, that allows them to purchase content. Like in Halo: Reach, players can buy cosmetic upgrades like armor and visor colors. Experience is earned through playing matchmaking games, creating content in Forge, playing Spartan Ops, completing Challenges, and completing Commendations. Better players get more experience, while players who quit the game do not get experience.

Not to be confused with skill-based ranking, players progress through fifty ranks from "SR-1" to "SR-50." SR stands for Spartan-IV ranks.

Alongside weapon customization is visual customization, spanning Armor, Armor Skins, Weapon Skins, Visors, Emblems, and Stances that are unlocked in four ways: Spartan-IV ranks, mastering commendations, completing a Waypoint goal, and earning Specialization ranks. Visual items are unlocked automatically.

Specializations are Halo 4's end-game content, achieved at SR-50. Armor sets, emblems, visor colors, armor, weapon skins, and armor mods lead up to SR-50 during the 10 prior levels. Two Specializations will be available at launch: Wetworks and Operator. The remaining six will be released by 343 Industries over time as the player base reaches "milestones;" however, Limited Edition buyers and certain pre-orders unlock the remaining six Specializations. However, players will still be required to reach level 50 to get access to them.

Also, over 120 commendations are available and are earned by achieved goals through repeating an activity over time. Challenges are daily, weekly, and monthly content, which are the developers set across Campaign, War Games, Spartan Ops, and Halo Waypoint.

Consumers may well raise the questions how gamemodes will play when long-range weapons are not available on larger maps. The answer is that 343 Industries will create pre-set 'loadouts,' made up of a weapon, grenade type, armor ability, Tactical Package, and Support Upgrade, configured for maps and game types. Functionally similar to Halo: Reach's loadouts, it means that players can choose to spawn with a Battle Rifle from day one.

Halo 4 releases Nov. 6 on Xbox 360.

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