I would like to share my thoughts and opinions about the progression system in the game. By progression system I specifically mean the way you unlock cosmetics in the game.
The entire idea for cosmetic unlocks is based on what is called extrinsic motivation. That describes a reason for motivated that is based on a external source. In a lot of cases this means you get a reward for doing something (or not doing something). In the case of Sandstorm the game wants you to motivate to keep playing the game and as a reward you get a random cosmetic per level and you get tokens, which you can use to buy a cosmetic of your choosing.
I am generally speaking not against dangling a carrot in front of the player, at least not when it is done right. Examples of not doing it right could be loot boxes. But I also don't think that Sandstorm is not doing a great job here either. To say it quickly, I think that it takes too long to earn tokens and that the price for a lot of items is too expensive. To successfully motivate the player to go for that dangling carrot, the carrot needs to be close enough. In Sandstorm it does not feel like it is dangling in front of me, it feels that a couple of meters ahead.
"Good" reward systems reward the player frequently and this is not exactly the case in Sandstorm.