Will 343 Take Weapon Skins to the Next Level?
Customization is an ability almost every player loves to have. To have the ability to change your character or weapon's design to make it look different than everyone else's on the battlefield is something that interests most players and, from the looks of it, it only seems to have a higher demand as time goes by. With Halo 5 greatly improving their weapon skins compared to the skins on Halo 4 and with the community for the most part showing satisfaction with 343 Industries’s investment to improve their weapon skins, should 343 continue investing time on improving their Weapon Skin System come Halo 6?
Although Halo 5 has a growing variety of weapon skins, this system still lacks a few features that could potentially improve it greatly. Currently, the game that I feel has the best weapon skin system is Counter Strike: Global Offensive. With the game being on the PC, it provides fans with a wide variety of features that most games don't offer. Prior to Valve’s recent ban on custom skins, players with the ability to do so were able to create their own unique weapon skins. Although this would require a lot of work and knowledge on different software, it was possible at the time for you to show off your own truly customized weapon skins. Another system that really helped CS:GO’s weapon skins was Steam’s Trading System. Although this system would eventually lead to gambling problems and Valve being sued, the initial idea that you could trade weapon skins with others rather than buying them was great for those who could not afford constantly buying new skins.
Although the ability to create your own weapon skins is probably not an idea that 343 would want to work on, a skin sharing system in which fans could trade weapon skins with each other could be very helpful to the players. Although many of you may be concerned that 343 introducing a trading system may influence gambling problems in the future, keep in mind that CS:GO’s current problem was primarily caused by Valve not bothering to look into these gambling sites and shutting down the one’s that were corrupt. With Valve allowing a free market to form within this trading system, fans were able to create their own gambling systems with no rules to follow, which meant that anyone could do anything when it came to trading. With no rules to follow, some people saw this as an opportunity to make some quick money and took advantage of the privilege Valve gave to the community and ripped others off. If 343 were to be strict on this trading system and and prevent gambling sites from forming, the Halo community could freely trade with each other and 343 wouldn't have to worry about a gambling system forming and getting out of hand.
Halo 5’s skins system is currently very limited and it is very hard for some people to afford unlocking some of these skins (such as the Halo Championship Series Team Skins, which are definitely on the pricey side). There are also several great looking weapon skins that, although are free, are very rare. For me and all the other people like me who seem to have the worst luck when finding good weapon skins, a trading system would also greatly help since the Halo Gods refuse to. Another great thing about the trading system is that a lot of these free skins will have some value to them and, although this value does not need to automatically link to actual money, the idea that weapon skins could be used as a form of virtual currency within the game is pretty cool.
If 343 decides to not take any risk going this route, another way they can improve their weapon skins is by lowering the price of Skin Packs. With the recent HCS Team Packs as well as the HCS Pack from a few months ago facing criticism for being too expensive, I am sure 343 lost a lot of potential sales. The idea that you are paying $10 for a virtual skin that will no longer have any value once you stop playing the game since there is not trading system that allows you to trade your skins for others is pretty crazy to me. If 343 were to lower the prices of these packs to a more realistic price such as $5, I can almost guarantee you that fans would be much more willing to invest their money and more packs would be sold.
Improving this weapon skin system is a very tricky path to take. Following the footsteps of CS:GO may be possible, but Valve’s current problem may not be a risk 343 is willing to take. There is still a lot of time for 343 to decide what they want to do with their weapon skins, but hopefully they build off of their recent success with Halo 5’s system.
What do you think about how I think 343 can improve their Weapon Skin System? Let me know in the comments section below.
Image credits go to TechTimes, PCGameSN, CSGOPools and Halo Waypoint