BIG READ - Food for Thought!!!

Hey guys, here’s a thread I posted over at Bungie awhile back, the thread got bashed by Reach lovers, although this forum looks much more mature with everyone being open minded and overall listening to criticism, also known as constructive feedback! =P

Love to hear what you guys think, cheers:


The first big step to make is to bring back to 1-50 skill, the algorithms and what not are already running in the background according to your weekly updates, it’s just not visible to the public eye in-game. It is almost as if Arena which resets every month was created in an attempt to counteract boosters and stop buying/selling of accounts, although this is just speculation. One should not forget the success of Halo 2 and 3, and the fact that what made those games so different to any other was the matchmaking system with worked flawlessly with skill ratings 1-50.

Thus the difficulty of implementing the skill system is not hard when all Bungie have to do is make it visible, nothing more. The skill rating does not need to appear in the service record of a player, nor should it unlocks ranks, armor etc. The skill rating should merely appear in e.g. Ranked Team Slayer for the simple purpose of setting a goal in the mind of the player.

Here’s an analogy (for Arena), a stockbroker sells and buys shares, the number one stockbroker makes $50,000 (50 skill) a month, Bob decides to go into the stockbroker business/playlist/job, and in his first month he earns $39,000, “good Job Bob”. The next month he earns $42,000, and the month after that he earns $43,000, slowly getting closer to $50,000. But wait there’s a catch to the stockbroker ‘playlist’. Every month the taxman takes all your money, and you start all over again, sounds great doesn’t it? Maybe you’ll do better this time round…or worse.

  • Hopefully I have made my point pretty clear as to why Arena is flawed, and I’m not going to bother going into detail about how the rating in Arena promotes betraying for the Sniper and going +20 Kill/Death Ratio due to the complete vice versa of teamwork, or how a player on the losing team can still get a good rating. I could start another analogy about a soccer team winning 1 - 0, with one player touching the ball only a couple times during the game, the player is still vital to the team blah blah blah…you get the idea.

Another major problem is the lack of maps, some of those firefight maps might as well be copied over into multiplayer. The game has on launch, 9 maps, and I just downloaded the Noble Map pack - 3 great maps. Lets all divide 9 by 3, now lets think for a second, OK moving on.

To summarize the above - The two biggest problems with Reach? Skill ratings of 1-50 missing and not enough maps, the latter a little hard to be instantly fixed.

(My wish list for the next map pack? Three…symmetrical…maps…medium…to…small…sized…ma ps…But this is unlikely, since from what I can see in the Noble Map Pack, map packs are there to make money, and in doing so you want the maps to cover as broad of an audience as possible, so more people will spend the Microsoft Points, fair enough, but damn don’t leave the hardcore halo community hanging with Forge World. Kudos to Anchor 9 btw.)

Now for a few other MINOR issues I have with the game:
(My own opinion, pretty open to scrutiny, and I repeat the word ‘minor’…)

Personally I don’t think armor abilities should even be in the game, but this is a matter of preference, some people will love em, some people will hate them, I don’t think they belong in a Halo game, innovation is good, and Bungie had the right idea and tried to push the game in the right direction, but lets face it, there all designed so you can survive, and what does that lead to? A slower pace game, more frustration for players and, drum roll, an imbalanced game. Armor abilities will never be removed from the game of course, but there is definitely the need for a few playlist to have them completely removed, including sprint.

Again personal opinion; I would like to see a return of the Battle Rifle, this will most likely never happen, but how hard would it be to replicate the Needle Rifle for example, change the model and skin of the gun and change the bullets and sounds. Abracadabra you have a BR. This in conjunction with the implementation of skills 1-50 would be very quick and easy on Bungie’s part.
-Balancing issues? No, it’s the needle rifle.
-Something against 1-50 skill? Then don’t play that playlist, go play something that’s not ranked? Play Arena, it’s slightly more competitive than “social playlist”, I mean “competitive playlist”, wait what? Haha, good one Bungie, I get it!

A few other minor things I don’t like such as how hard it is to get assist medals, halo is a team game, this alone separates it from many many games, and one in particular. Arena encouraging individual play, assist medals really hard to achieve, the players speed being slowed down to compensate and encourage the use of armor abilities such as sprint and the reduced jump height, which I’m assuming is to encourage the use of armor lock, invasion a new playlist having it’s very own maps when there are so little to choose from to begin with, and so forth.

Overall, believe it or not, I think Halo Reach is a ‘good game’. The fundamentals of halo are there, things just need to be tweaked and changed. Not so much fixed, but some fine tuning so to speak. Reach has a little over 60,000 online, a number I only saw a couple years after the release of Halo 3, reach has been out for a couple months. Numbers don’t lie. The game needs to undergo some form of change ASAP.


“”""""""“Go back to halo3?”""""""""
The first two points are what I really emphasise, the BR is not important, it’s personal preference, as mentioned. I know some people will agree and disagree, I’m cool with that. Similarly with armor abilities, I’m not going to edit my post to make it any clearer on how these things are simply personal preference!

More maps, again, as mentioned, is hard to be fixed since they cant bring in 10 new maps the following morning, but if you think 9 maps is a great variety to choose from then good for you.

Oh, and numbers don’t lie…


“”""""""“I can see you’ve never worked before - that’s what your employer does to you every month.”""""""""

Interesting stuff.


“”""""""“Bad analogy is bad. Better players on the same team end up getting paid more so individual ratings are fine. Do you think Peyton Manning’s team mates get paid the same as him? Everyone shares the win or loss but as an individual when he does better he gets more rewards. “””""""""

I was waiting for someone to say this, it’s a fair call, but you miss the point, it is still a team effort, when the individual player does better in halo, sure, more rewards, better KD, more medals, but…in halo everyone does not share the win since in the current arena system you can effectively keep going down every time you win.

A soccer team has so many players in the team, all of various skills, some get paid more than others…some get paid more credits than others lol? But if the team wins, every member of that team enjoys the win and the progression towards being on top. This sets a milestone to reach and promotes longevity in the game.

Instead of trying to point out the mistakes in my post why not give us your input in what’s wrong and needs to be done with reach?

If you think the game is perfect and does not need to be changed, then you need to wake up.


The BR is the least of my worries, in fact, I really couldn’t care less if the BR made a return or not, it would be nice, but I’m aware that it’ll never happen and have accepted that.

To all of you saying the BR is overpowered? OK, so is the DMR overpowered? is the needle rifle overpowered? is a gun overpowered if everyone spawns with it? please enlighten me on this as it boggles my mind!

And to repeat what I said in the first post, it would be cool if they replicated the needle rifle as a BR, so too anyone saying “oh you want an overpowered gun back in the game” is silly, go re-read what I’ve said, unless you guys think the needle rifle is overpowered in halo reach.


“”"""""""

  1. Takes to long for the non-dedicated/impaient player to see where they are compared to everyone else.

  2. Works against everyone who wanted to be a 50 but didn’t deserve it in the 1st place.

  3. Discourages new players from trying to “get started” to Onyx/50 ect
    “”"""""""

These three points are valid, especially number 2 since arena looks at the individual within a team, Arena was a great idea, it is a great idea, but the majority of the halo community has not adapted, and that is fact, there are only 1,700 people playing team arena, and I’m searching for 10minutes before I give simply give up.

After playing over 6,000 games of Halo 3, with 2,577 of those being ranked, it is safe to say that my view on what needs to be fixed will be a little bias, and favor those who played a lot of ranked back in halo 3. I believe I can provide some fairly strong arguments in what is required to bring back a large number of players.


“”""""""“Plus the “problems” w/ Reach…not its core mechanics”""""""""

I couldn’t agree more, the core mechanics of halo remain intact, I load up a custom game, fiddle around the settings to my likings and it feels just like playing halo again. The core mechanics are definitely still there and this is great, if the core mechanics were not there I wouldn’t of even bothered with this post since it would mean the game would redeem unfixable.


“”"""""""Now for what I think the Arena really needs:

  1. As many Gametypes/playlists that are worth playing [MLG (slayer to compensate for the Arena of course) , SWAT and Snipers]as Halo 3’s ranked.

  2. More small-medium sized symmtrical maps."""""""""

I 100% agree, I am no asking for Arena to be removed, it can stay in the game unchanged for all I care, but there is definitely the need for some playlist to have the classic 1-50 skill, and of course more symmetrical maps


“”"""""""The Arena WAS meant to stop boosters, 2d accounts AND derankers- why? Whether you like it or not they were HUGE issuse.

The derankers were annoying and helped ppl boost along the way.
The 2nd accounts AND especially boosters made the 1-50 ranks practically meanignless and led to everyone trying to prove how legit they were by excessive trash talking when the point of it all was compeittion of skill not who’s a bigger -Yoink- to people they will never have to meet physcially."""""""""

Yeah, boosters were a huge problem, BUT, boosters, derankers and the selling/buying of accounts was almost unheard of for the first year of halo 3. I remember the days when you would see a 50 skill general in halo 3, and be gobsmacked with how rare it was etc. This quickly changed of course.

This was a huge problem, but look at it this way, Arena, lets say Arena is just as popular as ranked, in fact, lets say it is even more popular than ranked, the only thing, and I mean the only thing stopping boosters/buying/selling accounts would be the fact that it resets every month. So has Arena successfully countered and gotten rid of boosters? Yes, it sure has, along with 200,000 other players lol.

Another reason for the skill being boosted etc. was that the ranks required a min. skill. THIS IS NO LONGER THE CASE. armor, rank, whatever, nothing requires skill (because it’s not in the game), but the point here is that if skill was implemented into a couple playlist, there would be little incentive for people to boost etc. But that doesn’t mean there will be no boosters, there will always be cheaters, every game has them. But will it be a problem and break the game, no I dont think so, Halo 3 was running strong for over 2 years, there were boosters everywhere, but it ultimately didn’t harm anyone, just very annoying at times if your teammate quit out of a game, which has been fixed by Reach’s quit ban if I’m not mistaken. (not sure on this, correct me if I’m wrong)


“”"""""""Now perhapse to stay w/ the theme of divisions (which I think is a nice touch but of course too broad) why can’t each division be slit up into ten levels? Ths way whether or not you higher or lower you are recognized still of being at a general range ,not neccesaily to make anyone low feel better or anyone higher feel lower by being put in a general division/category but to make assesing players a bit easier and simply to keep w/ the theme of divisions.

Incase anyone reading is confused 10 x 5 = 50 so your 1-50 is stil there only ranks will look more like Iron 1-10 = 1-10, Bronze 1-10= 11-20 all th way up till Onyx 1-10 = 40-50.""""""""

This is a great idea. probably one of the best ideas I’ve read during my short time browsing these forums.

A few points that spring to mind with this idea of combining the two systems.

  1. With the top 5% of players (according to bungie http://www.bungie.net/projects/reach/article.aspx?ucc=variant s&cid=25865) reaching Onyx, this would mean it would be very very hard for any player to even hit 50, it might even be impossible. Impossible is good.

  2. I remember one of the things Bungie kept repeating in their updates about Arena was that there was no rating cap, this is also shown graphically in this link as well http://www.bungie.net/projects/reach/article.aspx?ucc=variant s&cid=25865
    What does this mean? well, technically it’s possible, (yes possible) to get a rating of 1,000,000, this is all of course theoretical, put into practice and this would be impossible, a rating of 1,000,000 is not practical at all, this same exact concept can be applied to the 1-50 skill system, sure, 50 skill is as high as you can go, but it is impossible to reach.

  3. The fact that there is no cap, and you cant just sit on a division, rating, etc. is great. I’m repeating myself here aren’t I?

The bottom line is that Arena needs some sort of change for the better. If not Arena, the ranking system as a whole.


“”"""""“1. 1-50 does not represent skill accurately since it only is effected by people you play against. The division system of Reach allows for much more specific placement against the WHOLE population in ther form of a percentile and a division.”"""""""

Yes and no, although Arena is very different and has its pros and cons just as the 1-50 skill system does, I still think it is a great idea for a couple playlist to have the 1-50 skill implemented, or a combination as mentioned above.


“”"""""“2. The 1-50 system was exploited a lot in Halo 3. Sometimes not even illegitimately. People would play like crazy until they hit 50, and never play in the list again. They would make new accounts, derank, etc. It was awful.”"""""""

The Arena system is very exploitable, but with only a few thousand players playing Arena every day, it is not as noticeable nor is there as much of a desire for players to exploit it. Players will do ANYTHING for rockets, sniper etc. (betray a teammate), because to get a high rating requires ‘great’ stats or as previously mentioned by toddles above… Individual ratings are not fine because it does not promote winning the game it promotes stat -Yoink!-. There needs to be a bonus for winning e.g multiplying your end rating by 1.25 for winning this would promote more of a team game and getting the win


“”"""""“3. Most people just cared about their Global rank in H3. In order to increase that you had to play ranked. Seperating out to a playlist and not tieing it to rank is not any kind of a solution. “””"""""

But that’s the beauty of it, you have one or two playlist with the 1-50 skill system, it does not tie into your rank, armor, service record, nothing, all it does is create a huge incentive for players to try and reach a goal. To progress. To improve. Play as a team. Have fun. If a skill of 40 unlocked some sort of armor or rank, or it showed up in 100 font size in your service record, then of course people are gona boost in it etc. I feel as if you’ve completely ignored the point I’ve tried to make with bringing back the 1-50 skill system. (A system that is, I repeat, already being used, but just not visible)


“”"""""“Arena is meant for the hyper competitive player. It’s structure ensures that the best slayer player will rise up the ranks. Now even if you disagree with parts of it the rating formula can be tweaked to adjust it. But by and large it works great. “””"""""

Yes, arena does ensure the best slayer player will rise up in the ranks, it has completely ignored the team effort. Can the rating formula be improved? most definitely, here’s an idea, lets say i search in team arena by myself, then the rating looks at the individual player. Lets say i search in team arena with a party of 3 or 4, then if we win as a team, we should all get some sort of bonus. The arena rating formula can always be tweaked and adjusted for the better. I agree with this. Does arena work great tho? …ummmm If you want to play some sort of Team Slayer/Lone Wolves combination - it sure does work great.

Just remember, I’m not demanding for the BR to be implemented, it will never happen, im not asking for the armor abilities to be taken out of the game, just for some playlist to have no armor abilities at all. And playing those forge maps with the same geometry and forge objects is very repetitive.


“”"""""“As for maps, you are counting all of Forge World as 1 map which is very reductive. Asylum, Hemmorage, Pinnacle, Paradiso, and the Cage are all very, very different maps. I personally think they all play really well too “””"""""

Yes, they are all very different maps, and they play really well, I agree 100% with this.


“”"""""“Personally though, I think they are all well balanced with the glaring exception of Armor Lock. “””"""""

Fair enough, some people will love em, some will hate em. I can fully understand this and it’s great seeing something new in a halo game. But, are they balanced? Depends on your perception of the term ‘balanced’. I see balance as, a symmetrical map, with everyone spawning with the same weapon, and no armor abilities or everyone has the same single armor ability.


“”"""""“The BR is gone and needs to stay gone, IMO. It was ridiculously unreliable with non hitscan, burst fire, and spread. The DMR is a much more worthwhile weapon. “””"""""

It would be cool if they replicated the needle rifle as a battle rifle. This means it wont be unreliable, there will be no hitscan problems etc. It would just be a needle rifle in disguise, this cannot harm the game in any way at all. This means that a person with a BR vs someone with a needle rifle is 100% fair game.


“”"""""“Implementing a 1-50 skill based system is the opposite of progress for a few reasons. “””"""""

This is not true at all, the arena system has been some what of a step backwards when you look at it’s popularity. It’s a shame this was not noted heavily during the Beta. (I never played the Beta)

I don’t see how if two playlist were implemented with the 1-50 skill system, this would result in the opposite of progress for the game. Remember I’m only trying to improve the game.


“”"""1-50 in my opinion is bad.

Before you go on flamin’, I was a Brigadier back in Halo 3.

1-50 ranking system caused lots of no-lifers to create 2nd accounts just to pwn noobs, especially in Ranked playlists.

Neither me or my friends back then could enjoy many ranked matches without having to deal with these 2nd accounters.

While Reach’s ranking system now somewhat sucks, at least there’s isn’t any more 2nd accounts. But I have to agree the way you rank up in Arena is stupid. That’s the only reason why I never even touched Arena again after trying the Beta version."""""

Yeah, I think all of us can agree, (whether you want the old skill system back or not), that the issue is rather one of a predicament.

Some people will be overwhelmed that the 1-50 skill system is back while others will not be so happy - you gotta remember tho with Reach it would be very different, skill will not be a prequisite of any sort and will simply be there for FUN, not to show off and achieve a global rank like in halo 3.

“Dark Neptune”, you didn’t enjoy ranked playlist in halo 3 because of 2nd accounts, fair enough, it was a huge problem with the old system. But you also do not like the current Arena system and haven’t touched it since Beta. You said it yourself…

Both systems, both ARENA and 1-50 SKILL have massive, and i mean MASSIVE cons. But which one was more popular, which one had a longer life span? In my opinion that is what it comes down to.

Those who do not enjoy the ranked system in halo 3 do not like the ranked system in reach. Those who do enjoy the ranked system in halo 3 also do not like the ranked system in reach.

And there is your problem.


“”""""""So you want 1-50, want more maps, want no armor abilities, and want the BR.

Sounds like you should go back to playing Halo 3.""""""""

You have completely ignored half of my post, I’m asking for a couple of playlist to be implemented, using a skill system that is already in the game, running in the background. + i would like it to be visible.

You make it sound as if I want bungie to go and change the whole game all for me. There are many who agree with me and also want some form of a classic playlist, I’ve just given my view on things, I rarely post on these forums, if at all. Why did I make this thread? because the game at this rate will not perform as well as it should, yet it has the potential to.


“”""""""I fail to see why we should make Reach into Halo 3. If you want 1-50, no AAs, and the BR, why the hell aren’t you playing Halo 3? Reach took bold steps into a new direction, and if you don’t like it, don’t ask the game to take steps backwards just to accommodate those who can’t get over H2 and H3.

And you can’t really b**** about maps, because there’s nothing Bungie can do about that now, Microsoft has control over DLC and its pricing.""""""""

A step backwards? no. you mentioning AA’s and the BR again? well…i must of said this 10 times, but just for you, I’ll say it once more, I dont care about this, it is not important and was very much so something I would like to see, as for the 1-50 skill system and more maps, I think these 2 are crucial for the game.

Reach has taken bold steps, very bold in fact. They wanted to create a feeling of halo that reminded players of halo CE, to bring back what was so good about the original halo. The game is great, I like reach, stop taking in what I say as if I want Arena to be completely removed or replaced by the 1-50 skill system, because I don’t, I, plain and simple…want a couple playlist that will include the 1-50 skill system.

…to accommodate those who cant get over H2 and H3 made me laugh.

And your comment about me whinging about maps? I already said, ten times, they cant fix this instantly, I’m aware of this, but it is poor on their part to release a game with 9 shipped maps on the disc.


“”"""""“Microsoft has control over DLC and its pricing “””"""""

This is irrelevant, absolutely no where have I talked about DLC pricing and who controls what.


“”""""""Bungie has said repeatedly that they hated 1-50, largely because they didn’t think it worked. The chances of them changing their entire ranking system are simply astronomical, they have never changed a game they’ve released so dramatically post-launch.

In terms of maps, yes, I think Reach should have launched with more maps. However, there’s nothing that can be done about that now. You’re complaining about a dead issue that cannot be remedied, because any further maps would count as DLC, of which microsoft has control over.

I can understand some of your arguments for a 1-50 system, but the fact of the matter is it would take an unprecedented amount of outcry from the community to even put the possibility of changing it in Bungie’s mind, and the community is far from unanimous on the matter.

I didn’t mean to brush off your concerns, I just think it’s a pipe dream, and if you truly want the things you say you do, you’d be better off playing the game that has them.""""""""

“”"""""“Bungie has said repeatedly that they hated 1-50, largely because they didn’t think it worked. The chances of them changing their entire ranking system are simply astronomical, they have never changed a game they’ve released so dramatically post-launch. “””"""""


No they didn’t. Show me where Bungie have said this multiple times, if at all. Since when does a company repeatedly tell everyone that there stuff sucks anyways? I think your making this up just so you can attempt to rebuke what I say.

Also, in halo 3, whether it was post-launch or not, doesn’t bother me, Bungie released a title update where the entire melee system changed. A very long time after that another title update was released changing the whole ranks system, with a rank for each playlist that anyone could get with enough xp.


“”"""""“In terms of maps, yes, I think Reach should have launched with more maps. However, there’s nothing that can be done about that now. You’re complaining about a dead issue that cannot be remedied, because any further maps would count as DLC, of which microsoft has control over. “””"""""

Wow! Go re-read my post.

I dont understand why you keep mentioning how microsoft has control, yeah, well I’m pretty sure it’s not Bungie who are running the Xbox Live Marketplace.


“”"""""“I can understand some of your arguments for a 1-50 system, but the fact of the matter is it would take an unprecedented amount of outcry from the community to even put the possibility of changing it in Bungie’s mind, and the community is far from unanimous on the matter. “””"""""

I agree 100% that the community is far from unanimous, but that is also the case when it comes to playlist such as infection, invasion etc. being put into the game, not everyone will agree with it, but if you don’t like it, don’t play that playlist, go play something else. Just like if you don’t want to play a 1-50 skill system that may be featured in one or two playlist, just go play a different playlist.


“”""“I didn’t mean to brush off your concerns, I just think it’s a pipe dream, and if you truly want the things you say you do, you’d be better off playing the game that has them. “””"""""

Ignorance is bliss.