Concerning Population

Those of you who frequent the Reach forums are aware that discussion concerning population is quite common. However, I never really noticed how low it was until now: 38,653 players online.

I know it’s 1:44 AM on a weekday but Halo 3 had this many people in SOCIAL SLAYER ALONE and time never really mattered. And this got me thinking… how does 343i hope to remedy this? It is, after all, in their hands to bring Halo back to life. And when I say “back to life” I mean back on the top of the list.

Every Halo veteran I talk to (myself included… yes, I talk to myself) feels that Halo is no longer the same. The stotyline is still appealing and all, but the community just no longer feels… Halo. The pinnacle of Halo (for me) was playing Halo 3 and Halo Wars in dire anticipation of ODST. When ODST came out I loved playing on the new maps knowing I could play the new amazing Firefight whenever I wanted.

But enough of this veterans rambling about a decades experience of Halo. Sips coffee staring outside the window into the rain I’m concerned for you, Halo. You look pale. Do you have a future?

Clearly you haven’t talked to a lot of veterans :wink: I love Halo Reach, and it feels as much as Halo as ever! I know that a lot are concerned for the population, but what is there to worry about? There are more than 900 000 unique players each day, and when we hit a low, there are still plenty of players that finding a mtach rarely is a problem, and when it is, it’s not related to population.

And I don’t think 343i can really do much to remedy Halo Reach’s population, as they don’t control playlists, etc.

Bungie did what they thought would be best for Halo, making it noob friendly and having players always have something to unlock when playing online instead of beeing good at the game to unlock the highest rank.

They thought that this was the best thing to do because lots of people never got their 50 and payed boosters to get them one, by removing this 1-50 system they lost lots of competitve players.

The AAs sounded like a good idea when i first heard of them, however in the beta i could see how unbalanced some made the game.

AL was 5 seconds (still is) of invinsibility with an EMP blast and a tiny bit of bonus shielding when used all (frosting), it made me see how much bungie wanted to make the game easier for the bad players.

Sprint sounded like a good idea, even though i never wanted to be able to sprint in a halo game, but then i noticed that the melees no longer go through shields and sprinting at someone and hitting them 2 times had become the new AR rush melee noob tactic from Halo 3, but this one is worse, and having any AA exept for AL makes it impossoble to counter, it can also be done with evade…

I won’t continue, i’ll just say shortly what i think made Halo die, it’s the fact that the whole game is such a quantity > quality game.

The quality of the Halo 2 maps was the best and the quality of the HCE gameplay was the best, which was medium paced and not frustraiting, those 2 games were similar and simple, and that’s the key, if 343i can make the game simple and balanced it will have a good quality, qoing back to the roots of Halo, there was alway a way to counter your opponent (exept smg starts and button combos) it was like a chess game.

Having 50/50 focus on casual and competitive players is something that will give the game a huge replay value, they should remake the 1-50 (competititve) system and the cR (casual) system, have a 1-50 system which isn’t boostable or beeing able that rank up faster if you have little cR or rank slower if you have a lot.

Remember this, quality > quantity.

I don’t care of 343i make only 3 firefight maps, if they have a huge replay value, then it’s great (Example).

Halo Reach’s population isn’t low just because people don’t like it. That is probably one of the smallest reasons why. Halo Reach is selling even more than Halo 3 still, but so is BO. CoD is more popular now, and it has done this to the population of every single game.

> Bungie did what they thought would be best for Halo, making it noob friendly and having players always have something to unlock when playing online instead of beeing good at the game to unlock the highest rank.
>
> They thought that this was the best thing to do because lots of people never got their 50 and payed boosters to get them one, by removing this 1-50 system they lost lots of competitve players.
>
> The AAs sounded like a good idea when i first heard of them, however in the beta i could see how unbalanced some made the game.
>
> AL was 5 seconds (still is) of invinsibility with an EMP blast and a tiny bit of bonus shielding when used all (frosting), it made me see how much bungie wanted to make the game easier for the bad players.
>
> Sprint sounded like a good idea, even though i never wanted to be able to sprint in a halo game, but then i noticed that the melees no longer go through shields and sprinting at someone and hitting them 2 times had become the new AR rush melee noob tactic from Halo 3, but this one is worse, and having any AA exept for AL makes it impossoble to counter, it can also be done with evade…
>
>
> I won’t continue, i’ll just say shortly what i think made Halo die, it’s the fact that the whole game is such a quantity > quality game.
>
> The quality of the Halo 2 maps was the best and the quality of the HCE gameplay was the best, which was medium paced and not frustraiting, those 2 games were similar and simple, and that’s the key, if 343i can make the game simple and balanced it will have a good quality, qoing back to the roots of Halo, there was alway a way to counter your opponent (exept smg starts and button combos) it was like a chess game.
>
> Having 50/50 focus on casual and competitive players is something that will give the game a huge replay value, they should remake the 1-50 (competititve) system and the cR (casual) system, have a 1-50 system which isn’t boostable or beeing able that rank up faster if you have little cR or rank slower if you have a lot.
>
>
> Remember this, quality > quantity.
>
> I don’t care of 343i make only 3 firefight maps, if they have a huge replay value, then it’s great (Example).

Why do people like the 1-50 system so much, its really not a good system. All it tells you is how good you once were, and not nessicarily you, but your team. The new rating system takes so much more into the equation, including assists and team play aspect. The system now tells you how good you are at exactly that point in time.

Also how do you compare a 50 with another 50? With the new rating system, its far easier to tell what players and teams are better than others.

> Clearly you haven’t talked to a lot of veterans :wink: I love Halo Reach, and it feels as much as Halo as ever! I know that a lot are concerned for the population, but what is there to worry about? There are more than 900 000 unique players each day, and when we hit a low, there are still plenty of players that finding a mtach rarely is a problem, and when it is, it’s not related to population.
>
> And I don’t think 343i can really do much to remedy Halo Reach’s population, as they don’t control playlists, etc.

Again, you can’t really deny that it just isn’t the same anymore. The community is smaller and some of my best online friends that I’ve known for a very long time have given up gaming entirely. People I went to LANs with back in the Halo: CE days no longer care for Halo. They believe Bungie to be sellouts because of how Reach plays.

It’s not just a matter of competitive players being upset either. Another one of my IRL friends simply cannot play Reach. He is tired of all the armor locking, bloom spamming, trash talking idiots who suddenly believe they are good at Halo when either Reach is their first Halo game or they got knocked around in previous games.

I don’t know… I wish I could be ignorant to the changes that happened to Halo but I can’t “unsee” any of it. Halo is still Halo, but not the Halo I grew up on.

> > Clearly you haven’t talked to a lot of veterans :wink: I love Halo Reach, and it feels as much as Halo as ever! I know that a lot are concerned for the population, but what is there to worry about? There are more than 900 000 unique players each day, and when we hit a low, there are still plenty of players that finding a mtach rarely is a problem, and when it is, it’s not related to population.
> >
> > And I don’t think 343i can really do much to remedy Halo Reach’s population, as they don’t control playlists, etc.
>
> Again, you can’t really deny that it just isn’t the same anymore. The community is smaller and some of my best online friends that I’ve known for a very long time have given up gaming entirely. People I went to LANs with back in the Halo: CE days no longer care for Halo. They believe Bungie to be sellouts because of how Reach plays.
>
> It’s not just a matter of competitive players being upset either. Another one of my IRL friends simply cannot play Reach. He is tired of all the armor locking, bloom spamming, trash talking idiots who suddenly believe they are good at Halo when either Reach is their first Halo game or they got knocked around in previous games.
>
> I don’t know… I wish I could be ignorant to the changes that happened to Halo but I can’t “unsee” any of it. Halo is still Halo, but not the Halo I grew up on.

I would love some actual reasons you dont think Halo: Reach plays like halo, besides “(it doesnt feel the same)”. Ambiguous accusations are cool too though.

Reticule bloom new? Your telling me when you shot every gun in every halo game theres no recoil? Get out of here. At least the reticule now gives you a much better of idea of your current accuracy.

Trash talking new? Try every competetive multiplayer game ever. I probly talked my most trash in Halo: CE because not nearly as many people were good at it because multiplayer experience was hard to get.

I will agree that armor abilities do change the game slightly, but no more than powerups in Halo 3. Was it really any less annoying to have someone down to almost dead only to see a bubble shield or regen pop up, as compared to armor lock? Whats the difference? You still frustratingly lose the chance at a kill. Besides, only noobs use armor lock. So easy to kill some noob that locks down only to have you throw a nade at their feet as they come out.

Halo is just one franchise. It is no longer top dog. So what? It still makes tons of money. Are people really complaining when it doesn’t make up 80% of all FPS sales? Come on.

I don’t think it was the slight gameplay changes that caused the shift. The vast majority of players don’t care all that much and adapt. It’s the difference in gameplay with CoD. There are fads in gaming just like everything else. Right now the market has spoken, and it clearly prefers CoD slightly over Halo. I don’t think it’s due to mistakes made by Bungie. Maybe some people switched over from one to the other because some slight change really pissed them off (like the credit system, or the Armor abilities), but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that those people are rather fanatical (a demographic most fanbases have) and just don’t represent the majority of the market.

I think Halo can get back on top by focusing less on the arena melee style FPS gameplay and switch the focus to bigger battles on larger maps with more vehicles and more objective-based gametypes.

Are people really complaining that the game has less population because the gameplay was made to be less hardcore and more mainstream? How does that make sense? The really hardcore players only make up a small portion of the game’s population. All games are becoming easier because as the industry expands it needs to appeal to people who don’t have as much time to commit to it. Sorry, that’s just the truth. MS is in it to make money, not to create an artistic masterpiece of MLG gameplay. Look at what happened to modern art. It became all about pedantry that was inaccessible to the normal population so people stopped going to shows and now the government is cutting its funding. If you want something that is made for the very few, do not expect the many to invest in it.

To clarify, I’m not saying this is a good thing. We’re getting dumber and lazier with each passing second. There are intellectual achievements, but less and less people want to be intellectuals. Once many of the major problems are solved, funding will be cut across the board. Taxpayers would rather use that money on a new plasma-screen than to pay for a better particle accelerator. Don’t get me wrong, we’ll still persist for a long time, we just won’t be achieving anything great in science or culture. A lot of people will be fat, stupid and content. Who cares about knowledge, beauty or glory right? throws up in mouth a little

Well… there are also… different routes that can be taken… but some might see these as… well… put it this way… arguments about ‘improving human nature’ tended to lose popularity after the 1940’s.

cpk -

I’m not saying trash talking is new. But from my point of view it gets old seeing people trash talk for getting kills that would never have worked in any other Halo game.

I am also aware of the fact that bloom has been in previous Halo games but not to the extent of Reach. The Battle Rifle worked as intended. A DMR battle is really a gamble in that you never know who is going to come out as the winner provided both combatants started shooting at the same time. Even then, one could spam away and land a kill.

But now I’ll go into why I think it doesn’t feel the same anymore:

Reach is a different Halo game, that’s for sure. It just took a direction that didn’t fly with many fans. I know many (if not all) of the current users on this forum are fans of Halo lore but Reach betrayed well known and accepted canon. Gameplay is Halo, sure, but undeniably different. I know I could never take competitive Reach seriously. The gameplay mechanics allow anyone to excel.

I remember playing some Halo 2 on Sanctuary and getting dominated. I wondered what they did right and what I was doing wrong. Such a skill gap in Reach is no where to be seen. You have things like “they only won due to armor abilities, bloom, yada yada yada…”

But it’s not all blaming everyone else. Maybe that fire has simply died out for me and I’m not longer passionate about Halo. Maybe one day I’ll come back to that or perhaps I won’t. I have to accept the fact that I may just be looking for a scapegoat for my lack of enthusiasm.

Because when I stop and think about it… Reach really is the swan song to Halo. It embodies all of the good things from the previous titles and throws them into one title. The title happens to be the location of my favorite battle in Halo lore.

With every feature in Reach I can look at it and say, “Oh, they got that from ODST.” Or any of the other Halo games.

So maybe it is just me. But if it is that would not explain why most of my long-time Halo fan friends are all ditching Reach.

@Viper Skills

Like A 3 Legged Goat you seem to be very bipolar in your opinions. Sometimes you are all about Reach, then you grow sad about it, Rinse and Repeat. The game itself is very controversial in forums. Saying bungie are sell outs for what they did, betraying their fans, etc. I truly believe bungie never wanted to hurt their fans but embrace the game with new features to mix it up for their new game. The Halo Franchise as a whole has kind of dwindled, I mean if they made Halo Reach very like Halo 3, I believe the game would be even lower than it is right now. True Fans unfortunately represent a small portion of the game, bungie has provided these fans with things that they would like but, tried to give them new thing and switch up the game play with us so we can still have the same game. They try to add new features but don’t want to ruin your baby.

Certain things that would of made people happy, is if they made bloom have an on and off setting but, I’m going to to bet the producers thought that was redundant. Some really big fans of Reach were unhappy and some were happy with the Final product. I have played all Halo Games religiously and I turned to really like Reach for what it was.

> @Viper Skills
>
> Like A 3 Legged Goat you seem to be very bipolar in your opinions. Sometimes you are all about Reach, then you grow sad about it, Rinse and Repeat. The game itself is very controversial in forums. Saying bungie are sell outs for what they did, betraying their fans, etc. I truly believe bungie never wanted to hurt their fans but embrace the game with new features to mix it up for their new game. The Halo Franchise as a whole has kind of dwindled, I mean if they made Halo Reach very like Halo 3, I believe the game would be even lower than it is right now. True Fans unfortunately represent a small portion of the game, bungie has provided these fans with things that they would like but, tried to give them new thing and switch up the game play with us so we can still have the same game. They try to add new features but don’t want to ruin your baby.
>
> Certain things that would of made people happy, is if they made bloom have an on and off setting but, I’m going to to bet the producers thought that was redundant. Some really big fans of Reach were unhappy and some were happy with the Final product. I have played all Halo Games religiously and I turned to really like Reach for what it was.

Don’t get me wrong I love Reach and like I said I can see what they tried doing with everything in the game. But there are times when you just have to think about why it’s in the game. For example, every Halo game up until now had a reason for everything. If you died there was a reason why and you could better your gameplay to avoid it.

I’m keeping an open mind to some of the new things but things like armor lock I will never understand.

Halo Reach sales are still stronger than Halo 3’s sales, but Halo 3 didn’t have to deal with BO which is selling like 5 times as much as CoD 4 which was out at the same time as Halo 3.