343 would be very wise to start talking about (months before the game actually is released) a new system in Halo 5 that will address a gamer’s connection. If I have absolutely no information whatsoever to give me a sense of what my ping is, then it can become pointless to play competitively online very quickly; moreover, if I am going to get my butt kicked because I am 3 seconds behind the host I’d like to have factual data reflecting what I know to be true (ie. a warthog on the other side of the map suddenly appears on top of me) just so that I can have an explanation as to why suddenly I can’t seem to make any decent kills; whereas, the day before I had several games in a row where I went 25-5, for example.
First off, in Halo 5, there should be a screen that displays numbers based on your console being pinged by a server near to the center of the United States to determine (a “ball-park” figure) of how good of a connection you have. I remember a Call of Duty game doing something like this a couple years ago and because a friend of mine who lives in the same town as me was getting a much higher “bandwidth” test result, and so I switched to his Internet Service Provider and was actually able to enjoy myself online because my actual skill was more often reflected in the gameplay (ie. the matches weren’t impossible to play due to an extremely poor connection). That information helped!
If 343’s “Searching for Best Compatible Host” system isn’t providing the gamer with some kind of data to determine connection quality, it’s pointless. Because of how bad lag is (how unpredictable it can be) in this game, there ought to be a separate lobby for “unranked” games so that when we can’t seem to break free of the lag we have some place to go and have fun and not be punished (ie. “WTF?? I shot that guy in the head seven times before he even saw me!!!” ← well, my friend, because his ping is 75 and yours is 325, you did not see him see you first and he already had 3 shots into you before you started to actually shoot at him! Yep. That’s not a fun situation in a ranked match.
We should all be able to press the back button and see an image that depicts connection strength [ie. "5 bars means a ping of 30 (awesome!), 1 bar means 240+ (bad!!)] AND THEN there should be an option to “LEAVE GAME” if you can’t get into the yellow or green (above 1 or 2 red bars).
A message should pop up saying, “AFTER LEAVING THIS GAME, PLEASE REBOOT YOUR MODEM IF YOU PLAN TO REENTER RANKED MULTIPLAYER. CONTACT YOUR ISP IF THIS PROBLEM PERSISTS. CHECK WAYPOINT FORUMS REGULARLY FOR UPDATES BEING IMPLEMENTED BY 343 TO IMPROVE CONNECTION PERFORMANCE…” etc., etc.,).
My point is that if NO feedback is given to us to give us a sense of what our ping really is, no one knows how good they are… if I can finish a match 9-9 when I’m 3 whole seconds behind the host (ie. a ping of 350 or so) then that’s like going 25-5 under reasonable connection conditions (ie. reflecting a ping of less than 100).
IF NOTHING IS DONE IN HALO 5 ALONG THESE LINES THEN 343 WILL COMPLETELY MISS AN EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY TO EVOLVE ONLINE MULTIPLAYER GAMING ON CONSOLES AND WE WILL ALL SUFFER FOR IT FOR YEARS TO COME. This is the perfect time to engineer/create a system for providing gamers feedback concerning their connections so that playing online doesn’t have to be left to chance whether or not the experience will be enjoyable or extremely frustrating. If the game ADMITS that it’s laggy and providing me with a poor connection, I can accept that. I’d just go into unranked games for a bit and try later or the next day… and if it tells me I have a poor connection a lot, I know then to try to upgrade my equipment or change internet service providers and research other ways to improve the situation – at least I’ll have numbers to track if what I’m doing is working!
I don’t see why in Halo 5 there couldn’t be a whole section within the game’s menu that helps people track their ping numbers… so we can try to determine if there’s a time of day/time of week that it best to play and also to help diagnose where the connection slows down… does it start slow? – meaning it’s on our side and we need a better service and modem, etc… SOMETHING WITHIN THE GAME SHOULD TRACK PING-RELATED NUMBERS and form graphs for us. Giving us this information will allow the gaming community at large a fighting chance to correct (or at least drastically improve) our lag issues. This would improve the whole network, over time, as people would take this data and then educate themselves on ways to strengthen their own connections. Then you could see if things are better from the tracking data being recorded within Halo 5.
I WOULD LOVE TO SEE 343 RELEASE VIDEOS PRIOR TO HALO 5 SHOWING US SUCH IMPROVEMENTS THAT WE WILL SEE. THEY SHOULD BETA TEST SUCH A SYSTEM IN HALO 4 AT SOME POINT TO WORK THE BUGS OUT SO IT CAN GET PUT INTO HALO 5 WITHOUT TOO MANY HICCUPS.
I think all game developers would eventually follow suit because any game that has a competitive multiplayer aspect to it needs something like this. It makes no sense not to be providing us with this level of intel regarding our connections. I too, LIKE INTEL WITH MY INTEL! But 343 isn’t providing enough to help us wage war against an enemy more ruthless than anything known within the Halo Universe… … … LAG!!!