> I didn’t read your entire composition (will do later, however), but I just want to comment now. I think your argument is inherently flawed. I’ve had many friends who play Halo games - even back in Halo 3, when I was in a good number of clans - and very, very few of them came and stayed for the ranks. And even still, these friends were on Halo 3 every day, playing social playlists or custom games to their heart’s content.
> The majority of the game’s population does not consist of the super-competitive community…There were many other reasons to keep playing Halo 3
Thanks for the criticism on the first section.
I think I over-exaggerated the emphasis on “achieving the rank,” as I was trying to make the point about how good it feels to win a game you’re trying really hard in. However, click on “Halo 4,” next to Halo Waypoint (basically backtrack out of this thread and back into the forum) and count how many people are ‘begging’ (used loosely) for a new ranking system. The current one is horrible, and doesn’t promote competitive play. Note: Not ‘hyper-competitive,’ but still competitive. This game has no incentive for winning or losing besides ~500 extra XP, and as a result (using the dopamine proof), it’s not nearly as satisfying.
True, I did use some personalization for that section, as I was trying to create a mental image for the people who haven’t played it since 4 years ago. If you look further, I cite scientific reasoning for why competitive gameplay is necessary for enjoyment.
Also, I cite custom games, and how a majority of the games we loved are now literally impossible to remake in halo 4, without the use of modified gametypes. (See this thread for a full review on the flaws of the current custom game architecture). For those who don’t play ranked matches (which the large majority of this forum, and virtually 90% of the people I personally knew and played with in halo 3 do), this also presents a huge issue. While it doesn’t relate necessarily to why Halo Reach failed, I figured that someone, such as yourself, would mention that there are numerous amounts of people who play customs and not ranked, and so I placed that segment there.
Personally, I love a custom game lobby with people I know IRL much more than ranked matches. Unfortunately it’s been since Halo 3, circa 2009 that it’s been that way.
> The bottom line for me is that I believe placing the blame for a declining population on any internal aspects of a game that isn’t truly broken is inherently flawed. Halo 4 is not an accepted failure just yet. Not everybody looks at the game and says “That’s broken”. The Halo old-timers sure do, but most of the people who have recently come on board find it a fine experience.
Actually, I blame the declining population on the fact that game is extremely tasteless to play after a few weeks. Thus the “I’ve actually fallen asleep during games” phrase, which is actually true (and no, it wasn’t after midnight). Not to mention, just like Reach, I find myself once again as the only person playing Halo 4 online (excluding those I’ve met on these forums). It’s not just me that finds Halo 4 boring. You can’t conclude that people don’t play halo because they enjoy playing it. While that’s not what you’re saying, it seems close. It sounds like you think people play other games because its a preference, which is sort of true. I believe that people play other, new games, because they quickly bore of the older ones. This should not be happening to Halo 4 this early in its launch. Rather, if they address the issues I mention in section 1, which is helping cause said boredom, then people have more to play for than mindless XP.
The flaws are just…flaws, I’m explaining why they’re there, what’s causing them, etc. I encourage you to read section two (it’s my favorite part! :D) to read up on some of these flaws. Granted, great maps will always make a game more fun to play, but really ranked matchmaking should help a lot with that.
> And besides, to place the blame for a decline purely on internal aspects of the game implies that people would not play the game, even if not offered a choice. If the lack of ranked playlists were really that large of a deciding factor, then people still would not play the game even if it was the only thing online. If the game’s flaws could be perceived as purely internal, then nobody would play the game, even if it was the only thing to play.
I still play Halo because I’m a fan of the series. However, matchmaking bores me to death and the people I used to play with said the same thing. They moved onto other games simply because it wasn’t entertaining enough, and I don’t blame them.
Ranked matchmaking is a large source of the High Risk/Reward dopamine effect I was describing. Dopamine is what creates the feeling of joy, success, euphoria, etc. When you have low risk/reward offerings (as cited in the TIME research study), people actively look for the costs of doing said activity, and they think of internal status indicators such as hunger, thirst, (i.e. more reasons to stop what they’re doing).
I think that’s a pretty good explanation of why more people are switching to other games, and while I’m not exactly sure what you mean by ‘internal factors,’ but I really don’t believe this explanation is “inherently flawed” as you claim.
> The point I’m making is that many of the people who I talk to don’t play Halo 4 as much as they played Halo 3 or Halo: Reach simply because they have better things to do; better games to play, even. That aspect - a wider market - has nothing to do with the quality of the game itself, but player preference, and people keep telling 343 Industries to stop trying to adhere to player preference. So do you see the irony there?
Let’s use some social psychology here: We’ll use concepts of relationships, and apply it to this situation (it actually works out pretty well, most of it falls along cost/benefit anyway).
Social Exchange Theory is defined as “The idea that a person’s feelings on their relationship are reliant on perception of reward vs. cost, the kind of relationship they deserve, and the chances for finding better one.”
Now, lets apply this to Halo 4. People, when looking for a game to play, use this implicitly. Fun vs. Frustration, what game they deserve, and the alternative games available.
Take out fun b/c of low amounts of high risk/reward options, leave the frustration of DMR/Boltshot and maps that taste stale. The game we deserve? Well, halo 3 was pretty darn good, 0 complaints ever for that game from me. And finally, available alternatives? Well, compare the cost/reward of playing H4 vs. playing BO2. BO2 has killstreaks, which enables that competitive nature which releases dopamine. Lots of people play, enjoy with friends. Sure, xp ranks suck, but it doesn’t outweigh the pros for BO2. And the cost/reward ratio for them is better for BO2 than h4.
If H4 was more entertaining for people, the alternatives would have been less attractive.
Sure, some people always choose one game vs. another, I know and practice that. But people had a week to judge halo 4, and judging by that, I think the decision was clear.