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Need For Speed Payback’s progression tweaked in response to criticism

Rewards for beating events should help drivers upgrade faster

Need For Speed Payback Ghost Games
Owen S. Good is a longtime veteran of video games writing, well known for his coverage of sports and racing games.

Need For Speed Payback, whose progression system was criticized in the game’s reviews, has had its in-game payouts adjusted in response to that feedback. Developer Ghost Games says more changes are on the way.

The REP (an indication of a driver’s experience level) and Bank (in-game currency to unlock parts and upgrades) will be increased for all events throughout the game, Ghost Games said on the Need For Speed subreddit.

This also goes for finishing an event but not winning it. Payouts to REP and Bank for finishes lower than first place will be slightly increased, Ghost Games said. Further, the Roaming Racers — NPCs who drive all over the open-world map and can be challenged on the spot — will also give up more REP and Bank for beating them.

These tweaks are just the beginning, Ghost Games said. “Coming shortly will be some changes to the way tune-up shops work, especially around the quality/level of parts they stock,” the studio said. “More on that soon.”

In Need for Speed Payback, players upgrade their cars by purchasing parts cards out of tune-up shops located around the map. The parts are available at random and refresh after certain intervals, typically 30 minutes.

Parts are also obtained by exchanging three Parts Tokens for one “roll” targeted to a certain part of the car’s equipment (engine block, brakes, nitrous, etc.). Parts Tokens are earned through winning events, or by trading in old equipment. In addition to conferring an upgraded part, these “rolls” will generate a parts card that has an extra benefit affecting some other part of the car as a bonus.

“We do encourage you to recycle your speed cards for tokens,” Ghost Games wrote. “Targeted rolls are a very good alternative to tune-up shops. Definitely worth buying out the parts from the tune-up shop and recycling them.”

Still, the progression system was roundly criticized (by Polygon’s review, and others) for taking too long. Many drivers felt the low payouts for winning events forced them to grind through old events they had already beaten in order to either upgrade their car for tougher challenges, or buy a new one altogether. Ghost’s changes this weekend, and the ones coming later, appear to address that disappointment.

Need For Speed Payback does employ loot crates (called “shipments”) that can upgrade a car more quickly, but these cannot be bought for Bank. They’re bought with Speed Points, which are only available for real money. A basic shipment contains Parts Tokens, a chunk of Bank currency, and a cosmetic item that can be exchanged for more Bank. All of this stuff can be used at a tune-up shop to get the parts a player wants. Daily shipments are awarded free for logging in, with the payouts in smaller amounts.

For more on Need For Speed Payback, see Polygon’s review.