A few days ago, Reddit user Bystander007 laid out the case that For Honor's microstransactions were tuned a bit too hard. They noted that the average hero requires around 91,500 steel to unlock all base content, including outfits, ornaments, executions, and emotes. Ubisoft allows players to gain steel in-game or purchase it in the store, with the largest packs costing $100. The total price to unlock everything for every hero? $732.
These extensive costs are true of a number of other games with microtransactions. Bystander007 argues that the problem is no player could ever earn all of that in-game.
"If you're a casual player with hope of unlocking everything in-game then just stop now. I'm serious, stop," wrote Bystander077 on their Reddit post. "Casual players who play 1-2 hours 5-7 days a week will never reach this goal. Completing Orders/half-Contracts will get you roughly 1000 Steel, another roughly 200 for the matches you played. So 1200 a day is a good estimated gain for casual players. That's 915 days. Roughly 2.51 years. So, I guess you could get all unlocks. Long after Ubisoft's popped out For Honor 2."
The user also notes that it doesn't get much better if you're not a casual player. Enthusiast players have to grind duels, orders, and contract to gain steel, but contracts are only available every other day. At best, a hardcore player could unlock everything in 326 days, almost a year's worth of playtime. And that's before any DLC Ubisoft might add in the meantime.
This is layered on top of the fact that For Honor fans have real issues with the current state of the game. The biggest problem are the game's servers, which are prone to disconnects and resyncing issues. Players have issues with certain stats on gear, notably Revenge. And then there are the general balance tweaks that come with any competitive title on the market. Since these issues aren't being addressed, players feel that Ubisoft is only concerned with taking more money from them.
"Ubisoft's main concern however should currently be community responsiveness and involvement. Right now they're just trying to charge us more for unlocks in a broken game and we're kind of wising up to it," wrote Bystander077. "Want us to happily wait for you guys to fix the game? Make it less expensive. Tie all unlocks to reputation. Enhance per-match steel gain. Add more daily orders. Increase the profits from contracts. Really, Ubisoft just needs to make unlocks easier to unlock. Playing a game is more rewarding if everyday you have something new to show for it."
Today during a For Honor livestream, Ubisoft responded to community complaints about microtransactions.
"We never had an intention for you to unlock everything in the game," said For Honor director Damien Kieken during the stream. "That doesn't really make any sense. It's like in an RPG, in World of Warcraft, you would never try to unlock everything for all the characters. Same thing in any MOBA, you're not trying to unlock all the content for all the heroes."
Kieken said that they expected players to play around 1-3 characters in total, but they find that most players focus on one character in the live game. He called the cosmetic items "end game" content and promised that the team would continue to release more item unlocks. He noted those players focused on a few characters have already purchased everything they can for their chosen characters and have a surplus of steel waiting for new stuff.
"We never anticipated players who would want to unlock everything in the game. It doesn't mean we won't change anything. We're really listening to the feedback and we're looking at the data, like we do when we balance heroes," said Kieken. "We don't expect a player to buy everything. We just expect them to buy the items they want right away."
That's probably a cold comfort for the completionist For Honor player, but that's where everything currently stands. At the very least, hopefully Ubisoft can get to work on fixing the server issues, which definitely affect the game's performance.