Ubisoft is notorious for their deceptively expensive multiplayer games as anyone who has played any of their recent Tom Clancy games could tell you. I personally have just suppressed the Completionist within me and stopped bothering to grind for unlocks. Once you do the math, you'll agree.
The average hero requires around 91500 steel to unlock all base games (no DLC/Update content) unlocks. This includes Emotes, Executions, Effects, Outfits, and Ornaments. From there, you multiply by 12 (for each hero) and get 1,098,000. That is approximately 7.32 of the $100 steel packs. So Ubisoft has valued their in-game unlocks within the base game at a $732 over-charge of the original $60-100 spent on the game.
If you're a casual player with hope of unlocking everything in-game then just stop now. I'm serious, stop. 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.
And for those who grind, the system doesn't repay effort. Because the game is designed to maximize Steel returns for play-time up too only the first 1-2 hours. The illusion of rapid gain. You see, because Orders/Contracts are dailies. Contracts in fact are only available every other day. So once you hit 1200 from 1-2 hours of casual, steel gain rates drop drastically. The other half of the contracts will net you 400 or so. So 1600, and the extra Steel from matches, so roughly 200 more. So a good 2-3 hours grind will get you 1800 steel. From there on out, let's assume you just play Duels, and gain around 20 Steel every 8 minutes. That's roughly 150 Steel an hour. Just straight grinding Duel matches with room for error (Long matches, short matches, loading screens, new lobbies). So, since it took, optimistically, 3 hours to grind the dailies, that puts you at 13 hours left in the day to grind (assuming you sleep at least 8 hours a night). So that's 1950 for the Duel grinding. That's 3750 a day if you just play back-to-back matches. Not bad right? Yes. It is. Because contracts aren't daily. They're only every other daily. So on the next day of play you'd get only 600 for Orders in about 30 minutes to and hour. Lets say an hour. And then 15 hours of steel grind. So 2250 from that. 2850 total. That's 3 days a week of 2850, and 4 days a week of 3750. So lets do this one weekly, and say you get 23550 a week from this intense grinding. That's still 46.62 weeks. Or more accurately 326.37 days. Just for all of the unlocks available upon the release of the game.
Casual players would spend nearly 2.51 years trying to get all unlocks. And hardcore grind player's would need to spend close to 326.37 days. This equation ignores disconnects, down servers, and all DLC/Update content. So the new emotes, effects, ornaments, and future hero costs are not factored in. Meaning the grind for additional (non-base game content) would require far more time.
Ubisoft really wants you to buy those Steel Packs. For Honor's player base is decreasing daily due to poor developer involvement in repairing the game. Beta problems are still problems over one month into the games release. Stacked with combat balancing issues that should be their top concern at this time. They're milking a dead cow, why else would a new guard-up emote cost 7000? Steel Pack incentive. Make as much as you can off something you've stopped trying to sell. The illusion is that effort will eventually repay you with rewards. And it does, the new emotes could easily be unlocked within 3-5 days of casual play. Only for one hero. Out of twelve. Then it's 3-5 days for the next hero, and so on. And quickly turns into a 60 day effort to simply unlock one new emote release for all current heroes. The effort required doesn't match the pay-off.
There are many ways for Ubisoft to fix this. Currently, they need to simply fix the server issues. I don't care what system you use (dedicated or p2p) I just want it too fucking work. If Ubisoft can reduce disconnects then I honestly won't care if it's a p2p system. Ubisoft also needs to balance the current issues with combat, namely, the use of Revenge outside of intended situations. Revenge should really not be a stat affected element at all to be fair. Since higher level players use it to achieve unfair advantages. And there's other stats that could easily replace it, such as fall damage, recovery time form knock-downs, action-specific renown gain rates, stagger/concussive recovery, and honestly I don't think many would complain if you made guard-up dodge cost stamina then linked the stamina drain to an equipment stat… I take that back, every Berserker main in the game would complain. But it's a thought, just a thought. 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. 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. I hate people who say Mythic Outfits Need to be hard to unlock because they're a prestigious outfit. Like, no, the Reputation Outfits are prestigious, the Mythic Outfits are $15.00 plus tax. When they should just simply be cool unlockable content for committed players. Since they literally came with the base game on release.
Most people will comment with something around the lines of You just don't won't to work for your unlocks. Bitch, I played Dark Souls 2 and got the rings to make my big-ass sword invisible. As a Ps4 player I've experienced the grind. And before you say it, no, For Honor is not Dota 2, LoL, Hearthstone, CSGO, or any other super expensive micro-payment f2p system game. It's CoD with swords. Overwatch without guns. It's a simple arena combat game with max 8 player lobbies on about 4 different maps (R.I.P Viking Maps). Stop trying to defend Ubisoft's payment system with examples from other games. Because other games just like this are more charitable than For Honor. I unlocked more legendary gear in my first month of Overwatch. Yeah, it was random. But I still got the gear and used it (I always play each match as a different hero). Don't defend Ubisoft, they made bank on the sales for this game compared to the cost of developing it. Now, rather than improve upon the game and promote it for future content, they just want to snatch every last dime they can get out of it, release timed content they've already prepared, and let the whole damn thing die.
I play every hero. Valkyrie was my main until I realized the repetition was killing my soul. So now I've got every hero to at least reputation 1 and love switching up my play-style from game to game (Conqueror is quickly becoming my favorite, RAH!). I don't want to be pressured into maining one hero. I want every hero. And all of their unlocks. Not right now, I don't mind working for it. But .9 to 2.5 years of hardcore/casual grinding? Yeah, especially considering that's just for content available upon release. I'm not asking you to give us the unlocks Ubisoft. Just make it slightly (much) easier than you currently are. So that everyone can conceivably unlock at the very least all of the base game unlocks.
Games expensive AF.
OP Word of Wisdom
Upvote for visibility. And because I really like being on the front page. But mostly for visibility. Maybe, just maybe, if Ubisoft sees this logical, thought-out, non-assault description of their Steel System and player reactions they'll actually consider taking steps to accommodate their player base.
Edit: Fucking grammar.