343 Intentionally Neglecting Playlists

I have been sitting back and watching certain playlists for quite some time now, but I think it is time to speak out. Some playlists that are desperate for updates have been neglected almost entirely <mark>since their creation</mark>. It is almost as if 343 has never, ever played Halo: Reach. Action Sack, Invasion, and the Living Dead have only had minimal updates. Hardly any significant change has been made to the playlists. I know other playlists have gone untouched as well, but I would like to focus on the ones I have play often first.

Action Sack is terrible. Why does Action Sack have gametypes similar to <mark>Team Slayer</mark> and <mark>Team Snipers</mark>? Action Sack was not meant to be a playlist of slayer. Your sole objective should not be to kill. Power Slayer and Hotshot play almost the same as normal slayer. The only noticeable difference is that Hot Shot emphasizes camping once a player has reached 2 or 3 kills in a row. If you have a sniper with 2 or 3 kills, you’re almost untouchable. One shot = one kill, no exceptions. Why on earth would you want to move anywhere else when you’re safe and secure in a camping spot? And seriously, Shotty Snipes in Action Sack? I don’t think it is necessary for me to say that it either belongs in Team Snipers or shouldn’t be in the game at all.

In addition to the slayer gametypes of Action Sack, I am not too fond of the Speed variants either. It’s like Team Objective, just faster. There are already a playlists for people that want to play Team Objective. I enjoy Speedpile on Hemmorage, but enough is enough. This is becoming less of an Action Sack playlist and more of an Objective/Slayer mix.

Lastly, on the gametypes at least, some maps DO NOT work with some of the gametypes. Splockets on Asylum simply does not work. There is no place on Asylum for the use of a Spartan Laser effectively. 99% of the time, rockets will always be everyone’s tool of destruction. Hockey only works on Hockey Rink just as Halo Ball on works on Halo Ball’s map. See the connection?

This next issue is more personal than anything, but Dino Blasters obviously favors people of specific button layouts, such as the default. Of course it isn’t hard to switch from Bumper Jumper to default, but why should anyone have to? By being forced to switch to a layout I’m not comfortable with, I"m automatically at a disadvantage. To use the jet pack effectively, I have to switch button layouts otherwise I will be incapable of getting kills. Even so, I am not as comfortable with the controls as I would with Bumper Jumper, so I won’t get very many kills anyhow. Action Sack throws game balance out the window.

Another problem with Action Sack is the maps. What type of “fan-fueled action” contains absolutely no community made maps?! I don’t like to dwell on the past, but I can’t help but look back on Halo 3’s action sack. Halo 3 was full of gametype specific maps. Action Sack should be the most unique of all playlists, but the maps make the playlist awfully stale.

Invasion is another playlist that seems to be forgotten when the monthly updates come around. I have only one problem with Invasion, why hasn’t there been even ONE community made invasion map? Not a single map. It’s either Invasion on Spire or Boneyard. Breakpoint (if that’s even it’s name, I haven’t played it in so long I have forgotten) does not come up at all so it’s basically like playing the same two maps over and over again unless of course you’re playing Invasion Slayer.

Last but not least, Living Dead. Living Dead needs a long overdue update. I regret to inform you that the Boardwalk and Sword Base spinoffs are not the same maps with slightly different rules. They aren’t new, they aren’t creative either. Adding a color effect, some random objects, and a kill boundary or two doesn’t not qualify a map as new. They play the same, they feel the same. Again looking back on Halo 3, double exp weekend Infection was CRAZY. They had several maps that were unique and creative. Halo Reach, just like on ANY other playlist, you have the same default maps.

Also, what happened to gametype variety for Living Dead? On Halo 3 you had 5 different gametypes during double exp weekend. On Halo: Reach you have two. The main difference between the one on Halo: Reach is in one you can sprint and the other you evade. Each gametype on Halo 3 played different from the rest. I know Living Dead is doing exceptionally well as it is, but it honestly doesn’t compare well with Halo 3 at all.

TL;DR 343 stop neglecting your playlists. These playlists have not received any significant update and they can only benefit from one. I know they are doing well in numbers, but I think they would only benefit by adding an update.

Those playlists are meant to be played casually. They don’t require updates and fixes constantly like MLG or Arena.

I’m sure very few people would notice or appreciate changes in Living Dead or Invasion because they just play those playlists with a few friends on weekends.

> Those playlists are meant to be played casually. They don’t require updates and fixes constantly like MLG or Arena.
>
> I’m sure very few people would notice or appreciate changes in Living Dead or Invasion because they just play those playlists with a few friends on weekends.

Team Slayer doesn’t really need updates either as the population in that playlist will always be consistently high. Living Dead is a popular playlist as well, holding more people than MLG and Arena combined at almost any given time. So what gives Team Slayer a higher priority than Living Dead?

> > Those playlists are meant to be played casually. They don’t require updates and fixes constantly like MLG or Arena.
> >
> > I’m sure very few people would notice or appreciate changes in Living Dead or Invasion because they just play those playlists with a few friends on weekends.
>
> Team Slayer doesn’t really need updates either as the population in that playlist will always be consistently high. Living Dead is a popular playlist as well, holding more people than MLG and Arena combined at almost any given time. So what gives Team Slayer a higher priority than Living Dead?

Maybe Team Slayer has a more vocal population who asks for updates more regularly? I’m not sure.

But, Arena and MLG deserve to be high priority because their entire populations revolve around competitive play. If problems aren’t fixed then people leave. Just look at what happened to Arena. It wasn’t fixed for a few seasons and it went from 2000 players on daily to about 500.

As per the bulletin, released today 3/28/12, B.S. Angel clearly identifies what 343 is doing:

http://halo.xbox.com/blogs/Headlines/post/2012/03/28/The-Halo-Bulletin-32812.aspx

“as we are focused on bringing Halo: Reach File Share access to the Halo Waypoint website, expanding our Halo Waypoint services, and to be perfectly frank, building features and support for Halo 4.”

And while she is specifically talking about the final transition for halo services, it does indicate 343 is dedicating time to the next installment of the series rather then focusing majority of time to a game many on these forums choose to spam hate at. While I am one of the people that has been reprimanding those that choose to act in certain regards upon crossing such posts, this is what you reap ultimately. I will go ahead and admit I’m wrong with that statement above as I’m sure 343 is actually trying desperately to do a million things at once BECAUSE they want us to be happy in our own bubbles… however conceited those bubbles may be, but I do see this and take it as a lesson: you get more bee’s with honey then you do vinegar.

> As per the bulletin, released today 3/28/12, B.S. Angel clearly identifies what 343 is doing:
>
> http://halo.xbox.com/blogs/Headlines/post/2012/03/28/The-Halo-Bulletin-32812.aspx
>
> “as we are focused on bringing Halo: Reach File Share access to the Halo Waypoint website, expanding our Halo Waypoint services, and to be perfectly frank, building features and support for Halo 4.”
>
> And while she is specifically talking about the final transition for halo services, it does indicate 343 is dedicating time to the next installment of the series rather then focusing majority of time to a game many on these forums choose to spam hate at. While I am one of the people that has been reprimanding those that choose to act in certain regards upon crossing such posts, this is what you reap ultimately. I will go ahead and admit I’m wrong with that statement above as I’m sure 343 is actually trying desperately to do a million things at once BECAUSE they want us to be happy in our own bubbles… however conceited those bubbles may be, but I do see this and take it as a lesson: you get more bee’s with honey then you do vinegar.

I don’t deny that 343 has been juggling a ton of other tasks right now, I’m just saying that these playlists have seem to be uncared for entirely by both 343 and formerly Bungie. Like I said, since the creation of the playlists almost no significant changes have been made. 343 and Bungie really dropped the ball on playlist support. I refuse to believe there was not even a single month where 343 could have found time to implement changes to these playlists.

Just to clarify, I normally defend Reach and 343. I don’t mean to burden 343 with hate posts and I try my best not to. However, I don’t see any other way to combat my argument other than that 343 does not have enough time. The injustice these playlists endured is disgraceful and as a result 343 should be held accountable. I’m not exactly expecting change at this point, I just want to know why the brokenness and staleness of the playlists hasn’t ever been addressed.

Sorry if I’m not coherent, I’m much too tired to write right now.

I sold my 360 back in October last year, so I haven’t played Reach in a while, but I do empathise with the OP. Before I stopped playing, I’d spent about a year building up connections within the the various Forging communities, testing, designing and building maps and interacting with those close to the Community Cartographers (those middlemen between community creators and playlist engineers).

During all our customs sessions together, we’d come across a large variety of community-created Invasion maps and some of them played amazingly; with much better overall flow and strategic frameworks than the default Invasion maps.

However, when it came to submission time for any of these Forged Invasion maps, about 90% of them had to be ditched (and I mean completely ditched), due to (what was then Bungie’s) requirement that any submissions for the Invasion playlist had to work in FOUR PLAYER split screen.

I don’t know what your Forge skills are like, but I can tell you now from experience that Reach’s forge engine was simply nowhere near sturdy enough to handle even lightly complex object density in 2 player split screen, let alone 4 player, without introducing sometimes tremendous levels of frame rate lag.

We queried the 4 player requirement and I vaguely recall a response from Jeremiah stating that if community submissions for Invasion were popular enough, there would be a possiblity for a second Invasion playlist, with a party limit of 2 players, thus reducing the split screen requirement down to two.

This could have worked, had it been implemented way back then, but I can’t see it ever happening now, simply because the last time I checked there were like 4 thousand playlists in Reach. The population is simply spread way too thin to justify the addition of another playlist, without first heavily condensing the current set of available playlists.

If 343i were not so knee deep in developing Halo 4, I’d say the state of the current playlists would be bordering on inexcusable. They really do need to be consolidated and fairly heavily, at that. But as has been pointed out, this is unlikely to happen due to their preoccupation with developing Halo 4.

I mean look at how long it took for Jetpack to be removed from Arena. It’s almost laughable. I’m pretty sure I contributed to a thread calling for this over at B.net that was made a year ago, with a huge amount of support. A year. That’s just insane.

> Why does Action Sack have gametypes similar to <mark>Team Slayer</mark> and <mark>Team Snipers</mark>?

Because the default settings in this game are already just like Action Sack in any other game.

You think Living Dead is neglected? There’s an update to that playlist almost every month.

Very well put!

> As per the bulletin, released today 3/28/12, B.S. Angel clearly identifies what 343 is doing:
>
> http://halo.xbox.com/blogs/Headlines/post/2012/03/28/The-Halo-Bulletin-32812.aspx
>
> “as we are focused on bringing Halo: Reach File Share access to the Halo Waypoint website, expanding our Halo Waypoint services, and to be perfectly frank, building features and support for Halo 4.”
>
> And while she is specifically talking about the final transition for halo services, it does indicate 343 is dedicating time to the next installment of the series rather then focusing majority of time to a game many on these forums choose to spam hate at. While I am one of the people that has been reprimanding those that choose to act in certain regards upon crossing such posts, this is what you reap ultimately. I will go ahead and admit I’m wrong with that statement above as I’m sure 343 is actually trying desperately to do a million things at once BECAUSE they want us to be happy in our own bubbles… however conceited those bubbles may be, but I do see this and take it as a lesson: you get more bee’s with honey then you do vinegar.

This…

Facepalm

You do realize they are updating Reach for free right? No other 360 games receive this much support post launch.

> Facepalm
>
> You do realize they are updating Reach for free right? No other 360 games receive this much support post launch.

And it should be for free. The user shouldn’t have to continually pay for updates from a game that should have been completed correctly the first time. And they essentially have to or else their numbers would drop and they would lose the community, reducing the money they make completely. So in a way, they are getting paid

I agree with a good portion of How Is Your Day’s post, but I don’t believe that every playlist needs to be updated. Some of them just work the way they are. I do have a problem, however, with the lack of playlist support. In previous Halo games, whenever there were too many playlists, numbers dropped significantly in playlists, or their were playlists that could simply be combined, Bungie would shake things up a bit. Instead of tightening the community and reducing the number of playlists, 343 has continuously added new (and pretty pointless) new playlists, spreading the community thin. It’s hard, for exampled, to enjoy a good session of team objective when the numbers are regularly in the 300s. I don’t blame Bungie, because they have been in the process of transitioning out for a while, and 343 has had control. Please fix it. Get rid of some game types and combine others.

> Facepalm
>
> You do realize they are updating Reach for free right? No other 360 games receive this much support post launch.

And not too many other games require the same longevity that Halo games need. To keep players playing, the game needs support.

You wasted everyones time writing this, you’re talking about the joke playlists go play angry birds or something 343 staff don’t need to waste their time updating these playlists for the noobs that are so bad they can’t play anything competitive

grifball and living dead should be removed entirely and return as weekend playlists anyway. Those two spoil the game by drawing away people from the competitive playlists, so that they can’t match up people according to skill perfectly.

Invasion didn’t get community maps because it’s impossible to create a community map that doesn’t create lag when splitscreening, for example. A fix to this would be nice, but it would at least require making invasion DLC required so we have a third invasion map, breakpoint, in order to keep it popular. I bought DLC and i’ve played two games on breakpoint in total. A waste of money.

> Those playlists are meant to be played casually. They don’t require updates and fixes constantly like MLG or Arena.
>
> I’m sure very few people would notice or appreciate changes in Living Dead or Invasion because they just play those playlists with a few friends on weekends.

Casual stereotypes should be treated as spam… I play Invasion and Living Dead EVERYDAY, so please cut that -Yoink!- out.

> grifball and living dead should be removed entirely and return as weekend playlists anyway. Those two spoil the game by drawing away people from the competitive playlists, so that they can’t match up people according to skill perfectly.

Wrong thread for this common and uninformed complaint but i will respond any way. When i invite my friends to play GGL or MM Grifball i don’t find them in other playlists. I find them in other games. If you drop these playlists it will only serve to anger these players. They will be more apt to put a different game in the disc tray, rather than migrate to your playlist. There may be dozens of reasons your favourite playlist has a low population. Please don’t blame other playlists for ‘stealing’ your players.

Back to the topic at hand. If you were paying attention you would know that Invasion and other 4v4 and 5v5 competitive playlists are in the latter stages of possible refreshes. The wheels are still turning. Just not at the pace you personally expect.

> > grifball and living dead should be removed entirely and return as weekend playlists anyway. Those two spoil the game by drawing away people from the competitive playlists, so that they can’t match up people according to skill perfectly.
>
> Wrong thread for this common and uninformed complaint but i will respond any way. When i invite my friends to play GGL or MM Grifball i don’t find them in other playlists. I find them in other games. If you drop these playlists it will only serve to anger these players. They will be more apt to put a different game in the disc tray, rather than migrate to your playlist. There may be dozens of reasons your favourite playlist has a low population. Please don’t blame other playlists for ‘stealing’ your players.
>
> Back to the topic at hand. If you were paying attention you would know that Invasion and other 4v4 and 5v5 competitive playlists are in the latter stages of possible refreshes. The wheels are still turning. Just not at the pace you personally expect.

To be perfectly honest, I don’t care if they move to an other game.

While all-out grifballers and infectionists (?) won’t move to Reach multiplayer matchmaking, removing the playlists will stop drawing more players from competitive to casual. And at least some will go back to competitive matchmaking. Even 1/10th of that casual community is still 1000 players more for the competitive playlists. And that would be great.

Also, Halo 3 thrived better than Reach without having these permanent playlists. I played a lot of infection and grifball back then and I enjoyed it, because getting to play it was so rare. Now, I’m tired of both. The community has been spoiled.

It’s not like it would be dropping the GB and LD community entirely either. They can play their other games during the week, and grifball and living dead during weekends. And if they really want to, they can just play it in customs (like the competitive community needs to do now in Reach in order to get a fun gametype running.)

My problem is that there is only one playlist that has good, fun and competitive settings, that is MLG. I can’t really play the one playlist I enjoy playing so much because the population is scarily small, with almost every player being better than me. And that small population is because of its bad reputation i guess, I don’t know. I play anniversary classic to not feel like a total noob. but i’d simply like more players in all competitive playlists so that I am matched up with my own skill level more, whatever playlist I play in. I want to see more 45-50 games.

The bottom line of my argument is: Players should play Halo to play Halo. Halo is a first person shooter, not a grifball or zombie game. My complaint is more towards living dead, because there are so much better zombie games out there than Reach’s LD. Grifball doesn’t really have an alternative.
The first person shooter aspect of the game should obviously have first priority. Any unimportant extras that have a negative impact on the core of the game (fps), should be tweaked so that the fps aspect can shine.