I haven’t posted in this forum all that much, but since 343i is taking over stewardship of Halo: Reach’s Matchmaking very imminently, and are going to be developing Halo 4 (and 5 and 6!) which will presumably feature a Ranked multiplayer component of some sort, I felt it was important to bring this article and these ideas here directly. Both to generate discussion with the posters here and on the off-chance that 343i will see it and to help inform their decisions for the future.
What I present to you here is a 7500 (ish) word article which details changes I would make to Arena. The caveat is that of course I realise many of these things are simply impossible to implement into Halo Reach at this point in it’s lifetime, but hopefully this will inform the overall discussion of ranked play in Halo and its future in Halo 4 and in Bungie’s games. (hint: the answer isn’t to bring back 1-50 so stop saying it!)
Yes, some of it you will have absolutely heard of before or thought of yourself; I wanted to present it all together along with the rationale from my perspective. Still, there should be a few novel ideas in here for any reader.
The article is way too long to copy and paste here and would be even more of a nightmare to navigate so use either of the above links. But for those who have difficulty in clicking…
> So two changes have already been made to Arena:
> –They scrapped Arena Ratings for the TrueSkill calculation
> –They made the Seasons 3 months in length
> I reiterate why these are good and why I would have suggested them even if Bungie hadn’t already done it.
> Changes to the way people qualify:
> –People qualify for a rank after a single game - to give quicker gratification of the urge to get ranked, no ‘dead days’ if you don’t make enough games to get rated on a day
> –Use the ending TrueSkill ranks of players in one season to give better starting estimates for the next season - it’s still useful data and should be used.
> The way ranks are formed and shown off:
> –Use numbered ranks instead of these application specific divisions for easier comprehension
> –But number 1 should be the best! - not some arbitrarily set number - parity with other forms of competition
> –Bar graph of relative rank standing - Show another view of a player’s rank that can update after each game even if the numbered ranks can’t - to show they’re not discrete!
> But give players more reasons to play!
> --Keep all records of all seasons, in full, unabridged
> --Signify Arena’s specialness better in both the playlist read-out and the service record
> --Show Arena rank much higher up in service record
> – make overall arena summary easier to access and comprehend / compare
> –More Credits!!! Use these powerful motivators for both participation and performance - Super Jackpot weekend as exemplar
> --Introduce other Arena-specific rewards like medals, commendations or armours
> Changes to the way Arena Ratings are used and calculated:
> --Don’t attribute kills on the in-game scoreboard
> –Use each player’s current rating as score - (even if I still believe assists are screwy its better information)
> --Make the Arena ratings relative to curent leader’s score to reflect it’s use mid-game now
> Expand Appeal - as my only comment on the gameplay of Arena…
> --Introduce a small selection of non-slayer gametypes
Each of these brief points correspond to a section in the main article. The contents list is hyperlinked both on the web page and in the PDF version so just click on the relevent section to jump to what you want to read.
Read that section if you don’t understand what I’m saying from the TL/DR, then if you still have questions or comments come back and say them.
> Who are you to talk!? You’ve barely played Arena!
Just because I have no personal interest in Arena doesn’t mean I don’t still care about the people who do and the system itself being successful. This article is also partially about exactly the issues which mean more people don’t play it.
> Where to send your comments
Leave a comment here, PM me, leave a comment on my site or email me using Dr@DrTautology.net.
> Other points?
There are a couple of other points which I may bring up myself in the future, but if I’ve left anything out or something seems vague let me know!