Popularized by Fortnite, the battle pass as a content distribution method in video games has become a staple in gaming. When one purchases a battle pass, they can unlock a series of perks through the course of regular play. However, if you fail to unlock every perk before the allotted time, those perks are gone forever. As such, those who partake in the battle pass grind are heavily incentivized to buy early and play frequently to squeeze every last reward out of their investment.
Though I’ve played games that contained battle passes in the past, the Frigid Haul battle pass within Rogue Company is the first one I’ve ever actively worked towards completing. Do I feel better about my life having gone through the process? No.
Frigid Haul is the first battle pass to hit Rogue Company. Throughout the course of play, you can unlock an assortment of cosmetics, such as sprays, banners, gun wraps, and costumes. Rewards are doled out one-at-a-time, scaling upwards in value as you earn XP towards completing each level of the pass. The final and most alluring reward is a holiday-themed Ronin costume.
I got sucked into this one in particular for a few reasons. One, Rogue Company has been in heavy rotation since discovering it a few months ago. Also, it doesn’t hurt that this one is free. “The first one is always free,” Qowface told me as we discussed the launch of this pass.
Thanks to low XP requirements, the first few rewards of the battle pass were fairly easy to unlock. Had all 12 levels of the battle pass contained tiers that low, completion could have been done within a few dozen matches.
But around level five or six, the requirements gradually rise. All of a sudden, the final few rewards were going to take considerably more effort to unlock. But by this point, I had already unlocked most of the content within the battle pass. Would feel like a waste if I abandoned the chase now.
Having hit this turning point during the holiday break, I made a choice that I regret in retrospect. I pushed through. Though I don’t know exactly how long it took to reach the end, my gut says it took well over 100 matches to complete. Considering each match can range between 10-to-20 minutes, I sank a sizable portion of my break on unlocking these cosmetic items.
Sure, I love playing Rogue Company. Had a great time working my way through the pass while using this opportunity to learn new characters. However, if I wasn’t tied up with the battle pass, I probably would have used that time to play other games in my queue. Having received a number of games for Christmas, much of that sat aside while I took care of unfinished business.
For whatever its worth, I can now cross completing a battle pass off my bucket list. I understand why this particular distribution model has taken off. Relative to randomized loot boxes or outrageously-priced DLC, it seems like you get a lot of items for a reasonable price.
But what you save in money is exchanged for time. Lots of it. More than I’m willing to ever give up again. Now that I know what the experience is like, I don’t see myself getting caught up in another battle pass. Even if it’s free.
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