Proposed HITMAN "Season" Progression System

So… I was talking last night with a confidante about game progression systems. And the topic turned to HITMAN 2 where we saw a number of issues:

  1. Players possess too many unlockables - While in total there are fewer weapons and gadgets in HITMAN 2 compared to say CALL OF DUTY, players gain too many items too quickly which results in the developer being forced to always develop new items at times stepping over balance issues (eg: Emetic Device, Electrocution Phone)

  2. Stairway to Nowhere - Players gain XP and Levels but climbing them seems to go nowhere.


  1. Only Some Gear is permanent. Requiem Pack, Collector’s pack, ICA 19, Fibre Wire, Coins (normal and Achievement variants), Jaeger 7, Combat Knife, One Breaching Charge. These are the only permanent items.

  2. All other gear is bought from Kruger Schmidt Store. The Store grants you access for items according to Player Level from 1 to 50 meaning at Level 1 you can only buy basic items with Merces but at Level 50 you can buy everything from the store with Merces. Schmidt’s store inventory totally changes every season. Some items/weapons are earned through Map Mastery but these also change every season.

  3. You can buy higher Level Category items from Kruger Schmidt even if you are under levelled but only with the use of Keys (the same Keys @fortheseven suggested for temporarily reopening an ET).

  4. A season lasts 4 months and will have prizes in the end depending on your level of Achievement for that season that are permanent. These are a pack of Merces, Keys, season commemorative weapons, new suits etc. that are permanent. Then ALL of the items (except Past Season Commemorative gear) you bought from Kruger Schmidt are taken away and you start the next season again from Level 1.

  5. Mastery Levels per map is reduced to 15 instead of 20 and the unlockables now change every season and start over at Mastery 1 every season. Mastery 15 now always rewards a Key.

  6. New players who missed previous commemoratives because of past seasons can still purchase these PERMANENTLY from Kruger Schmidt but require a lot of Keys to buy.

  7. This system includes the Elusive Target Tab and Key system proposed by @BEowen and @Fortheseven

The good thing about this system is that we relive the “start and initial unlock plateau” cycle every 4 months. Certain broken or OP items can be locked away at Level 50 (though players can still get them with Keys if they want to get it early). And IOI even have the option of excluding an item from that season. We still have some items that are permanent which are more than enough to play the game. And even if items are taken away at the end of the season ALL players have access to the same items and the same game overall at any time.

This season system is similar to the game ASPHALT 9.

What do you guys think?


I would like a new inventory system, your idea sounds good, it would be cool to constantly keep unlocking stuff, not sure everyone would agree though and people who play it offline might be stuck with the default gear. I feel like they should do something with the XP/level thing we earn, i had an idea where we have some permanant gear like you said and we have a store with all the items in and you can buy with your XP. So for example i take my Tuxedo, Silverballer, Remote bomb and a knife, if i don’t have my gear on me (suit included) when i exit the mission, I have to repurchase that with my XP if i want to use it again, then you could have just the items you want in your Inventory, Explosives would cost less becuase obviously one use and OP items like the Phone would be the most expensive, but you can only have one of each item in your inventory at a time. It would always feel cool getting an item again, not sure how it would work offline though, but if you’re playing offline you can’t unlock the items anyway :smile:

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Yeah I thought about that… and I had a different suggestion that was more Codename 47 redux - buy every gun… buy every bullet.

But I saw some people cycling seasons of ASPHALT 9, personally I’ve played a couple of seasons of DIABLO 3 and I felt like “There is definitely some kind of fun/appeal to this idea of start from level 1 again”. My little nephew just broke Infamous Level 1 in PAYDAY 2…

The thing about these systems though is people want to “work upwards again” but there should be a reward for having gone through the season and there must be progress you keep permanently.

So in this suggestion I suggest that each season has some kind of special skin/variant that we can keep (even another explosive duck color would have its uses), and of course the idea that with Mastery reset… we can “Go to Mastery 15” on each map again (with Kruger having different items available each season) and earn at least 13 keys (H2 + legacy) a season…plus another 10 (one per 5 levels) as you go up again from level 1 to 50. And you can sprinkle that across rushing to get Upper level gear that you really want for that season… or replaying Elusive Targets… or retrying any ET’s you fail that season.

And, inspired by @fortheseven’s Keys suggestion for ET’s… Players who buy Gold Edition late and missed seasons can still get say “The 2019 Season 1 Commemorative Suit”… it just costs 5 Keys. So you balance that against whether you can grind up Kruger’s store and not use Keys there… save on keys and not blow it on ET’s…

Succeeding on an ET in its 10 day release window without failure can also award Keys as well as the Suit, but will only reward the Suit without Keys if played in the ET Tab and unlocked via Keys.

Contracts Mode awards more Merces…

I think it can work.

P.S.: I am trying VERY HARD not to suggest monetizing Keys… hahahahaha. :stuck_out_tongue:


I wouldn’t want to lose items I unlocked


That would be the default reaction. But let’s be honest… do you really use ALL the items you’ve unlocked? Do you value them all equally? Would you be unable to play if half of them were not available?

And you wouldn’t really lose them… You’d just have to regain them… or regain something else (eg: IOI had CX Explosives in one season, but this is replaced by Emetic Gas Devices next season… you have to unlock them in either 4 month season).

The “staples” remain in our inventory so it’s not like “It’s not the same game for everyone”.

One has to retain an open mind. The idea I can see in seasons as implemented by DIABLO 3 for example is this theory that the most enjoyable time… the peak of playing excitement is actually on the way towards getting your set loadouts and then being able to enjoy them for a time… not the ‘eternal’ ownership of such items.

Four months is enough time to enjoy the items you’ve earned.

Bit too complicated for me currently, however i like the idea. It would be cool if you could buy weaponry and suits, preventing the problem with suits currently that being if you buy the game a few years down the line: all the ET suits are completely impossible to gain, which im sure is annoying for some. I also like the idea of having to work your way up to achieve a ET replay. That would be a good way of making them elusive but possible to play for those who buy the game later.

EDIT: - Additional thoughts. Also a currency system to buy and upgrade weapons would make contracts more fun to play, because like in HITMAN absolution you would be able to upgrade and add stuff to your weapons

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I agree the XP and progression doesn’t seem to have much purpose as it is. But, I also don’t think its really needed either, I don’t take much notice of my level. To make you constantly have to re-unlock stuff in order to force the progression system that wasn’t needed to have a purpose seems like putting the cart before the horse. I might not use all the items I’ve unlocked, but does that make it fun to have to re-unlock them every time I come back to the game if I’ve been gone for a while?
The ‘key’ idea seems a bit scary because it’s part that kind of design philosophy where buying keys to save you time from the grind becomes a thing.

Then ‘seasons’ mode in Diablo III works pretty well but it’s a separate mode where you’re opting to do it each time, if it was like that and it was a separate mode [but where the permanent prizes you unlock carry over into the main mode] doesn’t seem so bad. In fact it sounds like it could be fun. [Unless that’s what the idea was anyway and I misunderstood ] If I could load up the game and play as normal, or click a different icon to continue my seasonal campaign.

If they were to fold the seasonal idea together with the ‘monthly roadmap’ idea that they’ve been doing so far that could be something good :thinking:

Yes… the idea is almost like the “parts you lose every 4 months” (basically 3 times a year) is off-set against permanent stuff we are awarded every 4 months at the “scoring screen at season’s end” (again… 3 times a year). So in a way it is two modes in one. In DIABLO 3 Seasonal is a separate mode but when the season expires gains you want to keep are folded into your main Non-Season stash. Over time, you actually start becoming more picky on what you keep (since storage space is finite in D3).

In this proposal over time, players that go through many HITMAN seasons would have a lot of permanent stuff still (that we didn’t even need Keys to buy) so we wouldn’t be necessarily starved of equipment. Except maybe the “overpowered” stuff like Electrocution Phone which can instead be tucked away as the odd “sometimes there… sometimes not” Level 50 Kruger Schmidt expensive gear.

Also any “Commemorative” (read: Past End-of-Season rewards you missed because you bought HITMAN 2 Gold Edition a year later) items you buy with Keys are permanent and yours to keep forever.

So the result is there is still a gradual forward progression and all our permanent gear would feel “normalized”. We don’t each possess this ultra-powerful phone that makes short work of all targets for example at least not unless IOI thinks it fits in with Kruger Schmidt’s pool for that season.

I do agree that this system is all basically just one step away from saying that the Keys can be bought with money to do away with the grind. In fact, with the weird psychology of the modern gamer… those who can’t “grind to 15 per map and grind to Level 50 per account” may actually request IOI to make Keys available for USD.

I am not going to push that. But if I’m honest, if I were working for IOI, it would be necessary for me as Marketing person to say that such option is on the table - if it is deemed necessary.

Also note that if maps are now only up to Mastery 15, and the level cap is 50, you kind of expect most players, including those who only play HITMAN 2 on weekends, to have attained complete Mastery of every map within the first month and to hit level 50 about mid-way into the 4 month season.

Yes. The intended effect is say we are crossing into a new 4 month season, then we are building our arsenal and getting our time in while keeping up with the roadmap of what IOI releases. This would also include “Kruger Schmidt’s Arsenal for the Season” as part of the first month roadmap.

A season where both the Kalmer and Sieker are available would be quite different in a season where both are missing, or only one of them is present. Dealing with that could be fun! And we’re just talking about the two dart guns here.

Also the roadmap would now tell you what permanent gear, suits, or other goodies we would be able to gain at the end of the season (either for participating or by hitting certain achievements within the season).