Gears of War 5 has ditched loot boxes and the season pass, developer The Coalition has announced.
DLC maps are free for matchmaking and private play, according to a post on the Gears5 website.
You earn content via the new Tour of Duty system, and all store purchases are direct, so there's no RNG.
Tour of Duty is a seasonal progression system that involves Daily Challenges and Medals. These let you rank up and earn customisation content, such as character skins.
"The path to each piece of content earnable is clear - you will know what you need to do to earn each specific customisation item," reads the post.
There is no premium, pay-only content for Tour of Duty, the post clarifies.
There are Supply Drops in the game, which you get just for playing. Supply Drops are a random item drop from a pool of content called Supply. If you get a duplicate card, it's automatically turned into Scrap, which in turn is spent on crafting Supply items you don't have or upgrading character skills. You cannot buy Supply Drops and Supply Drop content with real-world money.
What you can buy with real-world money is customisation content, via the premium in-game currency called Iron. You can earn some Iron through each Tour of Duty to spend in the Store. But everything in the Store is direct purchase. No Gear Packs, as in previous entries in the series, and "no randomness".
"We are committed to ensuring we preserve a fair competitive environment across our modes, so there will be no items in the store that provide a competitive advantage for real-money purchasers, i.e. no pay to win."
But! You can spend real-world money on what's called Boost, which provides "accelerated progression for a period of real-world time" such as a day or a week. Boost gives you double multiplayer XP, double character XP for Escape and Horde modes, and double speed Supply Drop progression.
This all sounds welcome if you're interested in getting Gears 5 when it comes out in September. The XP Boost sounds a little worrying, and the suggestion is you'll be able to pay to get Supply Drops quicker. But a The Coalition rep stepped in on reddit to say "supply is based on time... so not boostable".