Totem system perspective (positive topic)

I personally think the totem system may be the best so far when it comes to character unlocks. I know, I know, there’s a lot of you out there who feel the need to complain, but hear me out…

The system is simple - unlock totem - do easy challenges - receive character- rinse and repeat.


You may purchase the character directly for 500 iron.

I know you heard “purchase” and “Iron” and are already to go off on me, but this system works for everybody don’t be blinded by a useless pay option because that’s all it is… an “option”

Every character is free all you have to do is play gears5’s different modes and you’re ensured these characters. That “micro transaction” option is only intended for a small group of players. Characters have always been used as a reward and choosing to pay for something that easy only takes that reward satisfaction away for that person.

I have currently only unlocked the cog gear and I had a blast doing it. The system is great because you can choose which order to unlock the characters in.

Not only will you now always have something to work for even when you’ve finished tour of duty, but now you’ll be able to sport you favorite characters as you do it.

Look… I’m gonna break it down like this for you. The totem system offers slight challenge, heavy payoff, and keeps you busy while waiting for the next tour of duty.
Even if your favorite character isn’t there yet, when they do come out you can set all your attention to that character immediately and unlock it. No tricks, No Rng, just play the game… it’s that simple.

Don’t listen to people throwing out price tags. If your really going to pay for a character I get it. Not all of us have the patience we used too or even the time that we used to on our hands. It’s 500 iron which is well priced and you’re probably only going to buy one to be fair because you really want that specific character. I say go for it! The option is meant for all of you in this category. I personally thank you’ll get less out of the game by doing this, but that’s for you to decide.

There’s challenge and reward for the players who want it and there’s roughly a 5$ Alternative for the players who don’t.

The game gives you options and I like that. It’s up to you to make your choice. Most video game companies hide entirely behind a paywall or intense grind. Gears 5 chose to find a middle ground to please everyone. I honestly find it hard to find a legitimate reason to complain. If you’re going to give me free rewards for playing the game I love, I’ll be happy every time.

Edit : for those horders out there who hate “vs” just play co-op vs AI your welcome…


It seems fine to me. I unlocked warden in about 4 days of moderate play. I’m sure if you regularly play or grind escape or horde its even faster.

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This should be the system for all content in game.
Like you said just play the game, no time limit.

Take for example zombie Kait, I may like her.
But I refuse to pay 8 bucks for a single character skin, no one should accept such an overpriced item.

In exchange, put her into a challenge, even if it’s tough,to earn with some hours of playing, at least the best they can do it’s to maintain the people playing their game…

Ok, you need to us to spend money? You can still sell boost to make easier to complete the challenges.
Or ok, put her for 800 iron and avoid the grind.

Everybody will be happy, but no …
Boost it’s useless since re-up grant you crappy rewards,
people complain about overpriced items and quit from playing since they will be unable to get cooler skins without spend real cash, the only ones who spend their money on those are streamers for their 23 people who watch them.

Nothing in terms of cosmetics but totems makes any sense.

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I kinda agree and kinda don’t agree. I feel like the totem system is used as monotonous busy work to encourage people to spend the money to bypass the grind. It’s a weird line they’re walking. This is the first Gears where characters have unique abilities, so gating off characters like they have previously isn’t really the same…but also how do you define a reasonable challenge to unlock them?

The way the challenges are laid out, to me anyways, seems like a checklist designed to make people more inclined to just spend the $5 to not have to do them.

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Okay the challenges to me are easy - play horde, play vs, play escape. Getting dessert jd and del were a huge grind compared to getting the new characters. If I had to do that grind for each new character then I would agree that it’s a money grab but after earning cog and almost being done with the warden totem made me realize if you choose to spend the five dollars for those characters you have no one to blame but yourself.

And to the other gentleman who said that’s how all cosmetic items should be and that the store is overpriced and not fair. I understand where your coming but their will always be exclusive items in video games from the generation onward sadly. It’s up to you to decide how to spend you money.

Personally I love all the store items. I haven’t bought one yet but when there is finally something I really want I will do so. That will most likely be the only 8$ I spend in the store. I love seeing people who liked an item enough to buy it. I didn’t spend anything but I get to play with them on my team so it’s still cool to see.

I agree and said this as well. Most reasonable people also agree, but this forum is just filled with endless complaints.

Gears 5 has issues, yes, but THIS is not one of them. This is a great step forward for Gears and finding a middle ground as you said. The option is there.

Much, much better than the digital gambling system in Gears 4 and I’ve had fun unlocking the characters even if it can be a bit repetitive.


My only major gripes with totems are these: The 60k exp grind for each of them, and the fact that there aren’t more to unlock, specifically for Horde.

Had the DB skin been a Horde character (pretty easily done with mostly recycled skill cards), or an additional Horde character or two been released to unlock, some of my concerns would be addressed.

The available content seems too limited and too large an issue to be making tiny additions.

Totems are viable and it’s great TC made the effort, but it doesn’t seem like much of a concession.

It’s not the worst thing they’ve come up with I’ll give them that. Do I like playing 40 versus rounds? Not really but it does help with scrap and xp somewhat. The XP is probably the worst part.

I was looking at 4 as compared to 5 and I think one thing we’re all getting used to is the “skins” for the character in 5 as opposed to the individual character card in 4. It’s a mental adjustment for sure. Does it mean we have alot more characters than originally appears in 5? No not really, the crossover stuff was all filler and the carmine’s, baird and Cole should have been there to start. But whatever, just not how it went. I was hoping that onyx gaurd in next tour of duty would be his own thing with a boltock and cards, but cog soldier variant it is I guess.

I think along with the totems, the tod is also designed to boost their numbers across all boards game mode wise. So when the weekly reports come in they can say, yeah look people actually are playing xyz. Looks good on paper.

It could be alot worse, so I do agree it’s nice it can be done in a couple days just messing around.


My only issue is with the 60k xp. It’s not bad right now, but once everyone runs out of boost its literally gonna double the time lol. Honestly the outrage here in a week or two is gonna be about how everything is so much worse without boost lol


I agree with you and was wondering that myself.

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Totem system is great.
Aside from Raam, the other three can be earned in roughly five hours. Not that big of a deal. If your time is that precious and you absolutely can’t grind them then you’re not playing the game enough to be able to enjoy them anyway.

Man people are so worried about cosmetics when actual problems with the game exist.


They need to mix up the unlock requirements. Doing the same four things and just one objective being different makes it a boring grind. Id much rather have to get 500 executions as a swarm character to unlock Raam than do the same thing over and over for every unlock.

Swarm characters unlocks should revolve around PvP as it’s the only mode they’re usable in. The COG unlocks could have the horde and escape requirements.

At the moment It’s not difficult or engaging, just time consuming.

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Have you played Gears 3?

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People need to stop moaning that it’s grindy. I know for a fact that some of you guys used to grind to get 1,000,000 money in Gears 3 to get Aaron Griffin or some of you guys grinded your smithing to legendary multiple times the traditional way with out mods in Skyrim. Its all grinding but in different forms and you guys have done it in the past in different games so what’s different now?

I agree the totem system is good a system for unlocking skins or skin variants. But just as Savage Kantus x said there needs to be a variety of challenges to do. Using a particular character or gun to do things. Maybe something like use the longshot and get 3000 headshot kills to get a Gold Elite Sniper. It needs to be similar to how Gears 3 did it, so that when you complete it you feel like you have truely done something awesome and worth showing it off.

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This is something that TC could adjust, not like it’s set in stone.

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I don’t hate the totem system and I like the idea that we can unlock something in game(provided the grind isn’t too bad and this isn’t too bad) But right now the cog is the only pay off cause I’m a horde player. Obviously I will unlock RAAM cause it’s RAAM but the fact only one of these chars has a perk tree makes me feel that one takes priority.
The 60k exp could be lowered a bit. Despite doing everything else and mostly playing horde that was still the last part for me to accomplish and I even had the exp boost from the ultimate edition. I imagine the people without a boost it takes twice as long.


Yea hopefully they will, I’m kinda banking on everyone complaining about it so they adjust xp lol

The Totem system to unlock new characters is ok and will be great with some changes. The main problem I have is that you can only equip 1 Totem at a time, which makes the shared challenges not stack able. This becomes an issue for people that only play certain game modes since in order to get all characters you have to go through the same challenges over and over, which makes it tedious and not fun. Specially when you can only choose 1 of the new characters in Horde or Escape. That does not give those type of players an incentive to even grind for the other characters since they cannot use them in all modes.

A way to make the grind more fun and tolerable for players no matter what mode they enjoy playing is to cater the challenges to be completed in all modes. For example certain weapon kills or executions . That way everyone has the Choice to finish the challenge where they enjoy the most. I doubt this will happen though since the whole Totem system looks to be a way for TC to force people into playing all game modes, so they can market it later as all modes being popular.

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But they’re not cosmetics. Characters used to be cosmetics, but now that about half of the game is modes that have each character get unique abilities and upgrades, it’s different.

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There should have been no totems. These challenges should have been integrated into the game so that when the update dropped you could just play and earn concurrent progress towards any applicable characters and not worry about playing a swap the totem game. These totems only cost 100 scrap, but you have to see that they will eventually release legendary ones which will bankrupt your scrap because you can’t manually scrap anything. To me, not a very good system.