I’m also really upset that most modern shooters don’t even have simple setup options for system link LAN support. I used to get together with a bunch of friends, and we would link our Xboxs together, play Halo 3 or Gears on a local LAN without internet connectivity. I miss simple conveniences like that as well. In Halo 5, you can’t even access multiplayer features without internet connectivity, at all, not even to go through the maps solo and explore.
In the case of Gears 4, you can’t even grind to get the items without buying them. They have a crafting system, but most things available to craft aren’t the items you truly want, and can only be acquired through either acquisition of in game currency or microtransactions.
RAAM for instance, has been available through this special promotion pack twice now only for a limited time, but can NOT be crafted at all. Any game where he’s available, he’s usually my Locust side character pick, but this time I have to earn him through random luck. To make things worse, he’s not in one of the $1 (400 in game credits) pack, but a $5 dollar (2000 credits) pack, so you have an artificial price hike that carries with it little meaning, since the Marcus pack before it offered about the same amount of rares and skins. It also has duplicates, which is the worst part of all, where you could potentially get anything you’ve already gotten and increase the odds of NEVER getting the item you want. I’ve gotten several Kantus and Savage Kantus characters already grinding for these packs, and since you earn credits at an insanely slow pace at the higher levels, I got frustrated at a certain point and said to myself, “this just isn’t worth it.”
So since you can’t craft it, and you are basically 100% reliant on shear blind luck of RNG. Bungie learned with early Destiny that pure RNG isn’t going to make people happy, it only frustrates and adds needless repetition, eventually driving people away. Yet still, these loot based systems are completely built around it. I’ve seen my friends burn hours away trying to earn exclusive weapons on Black Ops 3 and Infinite Warfare multiplayer only to come up with nothing time and again for their troubles. They are built to take advantage of microtransactions in a manner that is IMO underhanded.
So that said, I’ll never get to play as RAAM probably on Gears 4, unless I’m willing to pay out hundreds of dollars and grind more hours away that I don’t have of either. If there were a guaranteed method of claiming an item, it would undermine the microtransaction system in play, and that’s why they will never put RAAM up for crafting.
He’s done a lot for the brand, and he really saved the Xbox One from the slippery slope of Don Mattrick’s bad calls, but his record isn’t perfect. However, I do trust him as he is a gamer himself, and he understands what people want, being someone who identifies with the consumer base himself, and helps deliver. I do understand though, any promise from a spokesperson should be taken with a little skepticism and cautious approach, and never blindly accepted at face value.