Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

I very recently decided to fire up an old favorite, Wild Arms, to once again meander around in its fantasy steampunk-Western world of magic and machinery. However, as soon as I dipped my toes into that beloved classic, I started feeling guilty about ignoring all of the seasonal content in other games that I was ignoring.

Now, I actually really like seasonal content in video games. When you’re dealing with multiplayer games specifically, seasonal exclusive content ends up being a much better way for post-release monetization than, say, charging for DLC map packs, which splits communities and results in longer wait times and less balanced matches overall.

In case you’re not familiar with the seasonal model, in a typical season of content, a player will buy into that season’s offerings, usually with in-game currency. By buying in, they are able to get an entirely new, limited-time progress meter that they’ll level-up through. At each level, they’ll unlock cool rewards such as cosmetic knickknacks. One example is Red Dead Online‘s Bandit Mask (pictured below).

Red Dead Online - Bandit Mask

It’s a great concept, and I actually find it to be quite fun to grind through a season of content in a game that I really enjoy. The only problem is, I play several different games, and those games’ seasons are all overlapping right now. It’s becoming difficult to keep up with.

Red Dead Online launched Season 3 of their Outlaw Pass at the end of July, which includes 80 levels of content to grind through. The pass costs 40 Gold Bars, which is an in-game currency that can be purchased with real-world money or earned by playing the game (I’ve created a guide to earning Gold in Red Dead Online, so check that out if you’re looking for the fastest ways to earn it). The season ends October 19, 2020.

Red Dead Online - Fireplace

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout debuted with their first season of content straight out of the gate. This one includes 40 levels of content, and some of the rewards are actually very cool (there’s a nautical-themed skin at level 39 that I’m eyeballing). This pass is free, so anyone playing the game right now is able to participate without spending a dime — not even a virtual dime. Season 1 of Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout ends October 5, 2020.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare blew open the roof of the Verdansk Stadium with Season 5, which includes a fresh Battle Pass. This is by far the heftiest season of the ones I’m mentioning in this article. There are 100 levels to grind through, plus series of additional tasks that can earn you even more goodies. This one costs 1,000 Call of Duty Points (CP), which you can really only earn in-game during a content season, otherwise you’ll have to spend real-world money to buy in. 1,100 CP costs $9.99. The season ends at some point in early October, probably, but communication about this hasn’t been super clear.

Modern Warfare: Season 5

I play all three of the games listed above, which means I’ve got 220 levels of content to push through. I’m writing this piece in August, so I have all of September and a chunk of October (and a week of August) to get through all of this. On top of that, I’ve already finished Red Dead Online (those levels move really fast), and I’m 31 levels deep in Fall Guys (a few wins have certainly helped). Still, it’s a hefty commitment.

Sometimes, the seasonal grind can feel like work, and it’s stressful to sort of have this looming deadline hanging over me at all times. It also means I can’t enjoy something story-based, such as the aforementioned Wild Arms or Marvel’s Spider-Man (which I’ve recently started) without feeling like I’m procrastinating on more important gaming content.

Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout

Would I trade the seasonal content model for the old DLC map-pack model of post-launch content? Of course not. We’ve come a long way since then, and it’s actually nice to get a continual flow of meaty content (maps, game modes, etc.) without having to pay extra money for it.

Still, there’s a part of me that wishes I could enjoy this just a little more without feeling so guilty about it.

Either way, I should probably just stop complaining and go play a few rounds of Modern Warfare instead. Those levels aren’t going to grind themselves.

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