Update March 23, 2017: Ubisoft have commented on the extreme grind needed to unlock everything in For Honor.
Last week, a Reddit user worked out that you'd need to play For Honor for roughly two and a half years, or spend £585, to unlock every cosmetic item in the game. This caused quite a stink among the community, who seemed to think that unlocking everything in the game was a reasonable goal. In a recent livestream, publishers Ubisoft basically said: It's not.
If you are tempted to walk the way of the warrior, read our For Honor guide.
That's the view of game director Damien Kieken, speaking on the weekly 'Warrior's Den' stream a couple of days ago.
"We never had an intention for you to unlock everything in the game," says Kieken. "First, that doesn't truly make any sense. We applied RPG mechanics on top of a fighting game, in a PVP environment, but it's like in an RPG, like in World of Warcraft: you would never try to unlock everything for all the characters of the whole game. Same for any MOBA, you're not trying to unlock all the content for all the characters in the game."
According to Kieken, Ubisoft estimated that most players would play no more than three characters - a guess which is apparently proving accurate - with the pacing of cosmetic unlocks designed around this. "The cosmetic items are really for us the end-game content, the things we want you to unlock after playing for several weeks," says Kieken.
One of our own readers made basically this exact point on our original story (congrats, xNuke, on your astuteness), and it's been made several times on the Reddit thread too, but it doesn't impress original poster bystander007, who's edited his post with a strongly-worded rebuttal, or other Redditors who have started posts criticising the response.
Bystander007's point is that the cosmetics are base content in a full-price game that he paid for, therefore he's entitled to any and all that he wants, whereas Scumlordx420 says "if we're not supposed to play all characters, please stop giving us class-specific orders," which is pretty fair really. Antoseb simply reckons all the extra microtransactions in a full-price game smack of greed.
Original story March 19, 2017: With the recent release of For Honor’s new emotes and the backlash regarding their price point, dedicated duelists have crunched the numbers to see how long it would take a player to unlock everything in Ubisoft’s competitive brawler. Without spending any extra pennies, it would take a casual player roughly two and a half years to unlock all of the base cosmetic items in For Honor.
Much like Credits in Rainbow Six Siege, For Honor has a currency system called Steel which can be used to purchase cosmetic unlocks like executions, outfits, emotes and so on. Currently, new emotes cost 7000 Steel and players can purchase Steel in multiples of 5000, with a 5000 Steel pack going for $4.99/£3.99.
Already, you have the irritation that you can’t just buy an emote directly with real cash, you either have to buy a 5000 pack and make up the difference with Steel gaining from fulfilling contracts, or you have to buy a 11,000 pack for $9.99/£7.99. When you consider that For Honor is not a free to play game, you can understand the frustration For Honor players are feeling.
To unlock a hero and all of their accompanying cosmetics, it costs around 91,500 Steel according to Reddit user bystander007. There are 12 heroes in the base version of For Honor so times 91,500 by 12 and you get 1,098,000 Steel. It would therefore cost you a total of $732/£585 to unlock everything in the current build of For Honor.
With there being six more heroes to come with For Honor’s season pass, complete with their own cosmetic items, it would cost 1,647,000 Steel to unlock absolutely everything. So, if you wanted to buy everything out of your own pocket and not have to grind Steel in-game, you would have to buy 11 of the 150,000 Steel pack which go for $100/£80. This means the complete cost to get all the cosmetic items in For Honor is around $1,100/£880.
That figure is bad enough, but bystander007 then crunched the numbers on how long it would take a player to raise enough Steel to buy everything just through normal play. With players mainly relying on contracts, half-contracts and duels to acquire Steel, bystander calculated that with an average daily Steel gain of 1200 based on around two hours of play, it would take a casual player 921 days or 2.51 years to unlock everything in the base version of For Honor. Take into account the season pass heroes and you’re looking at around 1373 days or 3.76 years.
It only gets worse when For Honor’s gear system requires Steel to keep your armour and weapons at the same level as your opponents. To stay at the higher end of competition, you have to spend Steel on gear upgrades, meaning you are constantly losing resources which could be used to buy that cool execution or that goofy emote. It’s a Sisyphean task to raise Steel in For Honor, and many fans want the system reformed so getting all the cosmetic items is somehow achievable for players who don’t want to spend more money on top of the initial $60/£40.
With there already being problems with For Honor’s servers, the Steel issue is adding fuel to an already raging fire. Ubisoft need to pull a Rainbow Six Siege and radically overhaul the Steel system, to stop warriors of all stripes leaving For Honor in their droves.
Cheers PC Gamer.