Infinity Multiplayer, Analysis So Far.

Well, it’s been almost a week into the game and I am loving every playable moment of it (not including the moments I realized I’ve been XP limited for that given day and then stop playing). I just wanted to take the time to summarize everything I’ve seen and felt; the good and the bad.

The Good:

  • Infinity’s net code
  • This is definitely the cleanest connection I’ve seen in any shooter, hands down. Even in games that are “laggy” It’s smoother than some other games better matches, latency wise. From Spartan Ops to War Games, O’Connor definitely deserved to be humbly confident in their lack of dedicated servers.
  • Core Mechanics
  • Apart from my mild aggravation of frequent mutual kills in Flood mode and the feeling of DMR carrying the title of best utility weapon, I really can’t conjure up a list of reasons why the game play is anything short of spectacular. The guns are, for the most part, exceptionally balanced and the natural bleed-through has every kill or not kill making sense. 343i even made bloom a non-factor and that’s a huge gripe I had about Reach. Armor Abilities are another equally corrected feature that allows every ability to feel useful, yet not one that really stands out as annoying overused or glorified.
  • Progression System
  • I’ll be the first to admit that I was the happiest person for that first moment of hearing that competitive 1-50 ranks were returning in a post-launch patch. But I’ll also admit that the progression ranks are very well done. The initial SR 1-50 allows for constant unlocks and spartan points so it didn’t feel as such a grind. Being SR 53 via the Wetwork specialization (Yes, I am currently capped at that :[ ) I am very satisfied with how 343i carried their progression system for Halo 4.
  • War Games Maps
  • Many seem unhappy with the maps thus far; I am not one of these people. Being a halo fan since Halo: CE, I can see a good arena map apart from a bad arena map. I can see a fun and entertaining large scale map apart from a boring and/or confusing large scale map. I also have a clean eye for a map that designed for competitive play apart from frantic fun. Halo 4 has a great blend of competitive and fun in most of their maps. Haven is a perfect example; the map is a new Guardian in my mind. I always vote for it (unless it’s up for it’s fourth consecutive vote and solace is also in the running :D). Every map has it’s qualities as to why they are fun to play apart from my personal disdain for Vortex and Complex, those can go away.
  • Spartan Ops layout
  • Apart from Spartan Ops feeling very quick to complete, even on Legendary, I had a blast joining Crimson Team. For five chapters that were only encapsulated into one episode I felt very involved as a unique story for my spartan. Just as 343i promised, I felt like Spartan Ops offered a story beyond John that my unique spartan would carry out. Not to mention, the lady that gave orders seemed eager to make our objective to “shoot anything that moves”, which is always my favorite kind of objective.

I’m sure there are more things to add, but these are the main topics I wanted to touch on for why this game is going to have me hooked as long as the proceeding elements can be seen as negative to more than just myself and hopefully be adjusted or removed. Now – On to something every game comes equipped with:

The Bad:

  • Drop-In/Drop-Out
  • Yes, this is a great fix to casual play when someone quits because their friend invited them or they’re doing awful, stat wise, but for the love of God is it far from perfect at the current standing. For one, 343i seems very confident in this system. So confident, in fact, that they begin a match that is clearly unbalanced (i.e., 4-2, 5-3, etc.) and quite often, it stays like that for the duration of the match. That, or until the entire other team quits. Now, this is expected, given the format the matchmaking is designed but queuing the match until more people join is not more detrimental than forcing people to be a spartan down.
  • War Games Modes
  • Nothing too severe, but I wouldn’t call them a part of the good. When I’m getting annoyed with Infinity Slayer, Slayer Pro is a great alternative and vice versa. On the other hand, the separation of objective game modes spreads the community too thin. I know this was an attempt to “plump” the list of game modes to choose from but this could of been fixed with truly different modes like S.W.A.T., Snipers, mutli-team, and also the lack of Double Team has left a lot of people unhappy. Not me, personally, I hate Doubles. I just know many others are.
  • XP Limit!
  • You know this is going to be in here, if not for the masses of angry Mountain Dew and Doritos patrons, that for me. Because restricting people from playing is just dumb, I’m sorry just it is. Yes, people should go do their daily routine and not waste it playing video games, or so they say… snears But I for one, simply stop and play something else, and that is not helping your games population, 343i, because I know I’m not alone there. Especially that people, such as myself, bought into the Double XP promotion are being no more than restricted rather than enhanced makes me feel like I wasted money. (I still have a pantry full of Spicy Enchilada to prove it, yes I feel foolish). Not to compare because I love Halo, but there is no restrictions for leveling/prestige in a 24-hour time frame like OTHER games. I just feel like this really has no place in the game, as people that want to are simply losing out on the experience while others that are never reaching the limit I would assume not be concerned with others progression speed. /rant
  • Specialization Unlocks
  • This is rather trivial but I want it to be expressed since I have reached a specialization. You unlock the specialization, which in turn lets you apply a new support upgrade if so desired. I thought these were purely passive and to find out I’m giving up Dexterity for it takes away from their worth in my opinion. You unlock a new emblem background and foreground as well as the armor and visor variant. The problem, is all of these, apart from the emblems are not usable until level 4+ into the specialization. The armor slots, the visor variant, even the actual upgrade itself are locked after unlocking them through progression. At the very least I would of enjoyed obtaining the upgrade immediately, rather than the emblems.

This is basically all I got so far, I’m sure not everything I have listed is 100% accurate but I wanted to post my thoughts on Halo 4 Infinity so far, which is good 343i! I hope the negative is looked at meticulously and the good be taken proudly, because this game seems like it can only improve, which is a great thing indeed considering how great it already is. Thoughts?

All good points. I fear 343 have done their thing with the XP cap for the ‘integrity of the progression’ but Microsoft’s marketing department don’t understand that word and have their own agenda. (Sadly I keep seeing posts of how well their agenda worked as junk food fills fridges and shelves).

Where’s the integrity when only 1 or 2 countries can just buy double XP as much as they want to but nobody else can? Also, the Rewards thing of offering points if you play 6 hours a day for the first month, it’s impossible to do that and not get capped each day and it encourages people to start idling. Very conflicting messages, but I lay the blame at MS which 343 don’t have control over.

As far as people just stopping playing as soon as they hit an XP cap, I know it’s become a main hook of most games now, but the actual gameplay of playing with friends and beating other teams is what should decide whether you enjoy playing or not. It’s like you choose to go on strike if you aren’t being paid in XP, only it’s a game not a job.

For me the gameplay is a lot of fun and I hope when they add more playlists it will get even better. I found it a bit of a low move locking away basic emblems until you get to high ranks. People have identities built up over the Halo series and can’t use them in 4 until they reach a certain level.

I’m starting to Love the OP…

Yah, I just feel with all the effort put into allowing Double XP flow as smoothly into the post carnage reports as they did, they should of foresaw the issue of people hitting that 100,000 xp limit really, really fast. I get an average 5,600 xp across a six to ten minute match. factoring in up to 5 minutes to find a match and such, that’s only about four and a half hours of game play if I really get lost having fun in war games. And as fun as the game is, I still don’t trust their double XP token eating issue that they claimed as “fixed” enough to play after I get my limit. Especially when they made no official announcement of reimbursement that I know of, that is… and atop that, I’m reaching close to some of my Master commendations, for anyone that hasn’t hit one yet that’s 10,000 XP! If the XP limit ate that, I’d be livid.

> On the other hand, the separation of objective game modes spreads the community too thin.

I love this. It means I can play the game I want to play instead of hoping for a chance to play it. I can play King of the Hill without having to play five games of CTF, for example. Don’t begrudge others having what you have, a dedicated list for their favorite games.

> > On the other hand, the separation of objective game modes spreads the community too thin.
>
> I love this. It means I can play the game I want to play instead of hoping for a chance to play it. I can play King of the Hill without having to play five games of CTF, for example. Don’t begrudge others having what you have, a dedicated list for their favorite games.

I mean, you’re not wrong. I just feel like the playlist populations are spread rather thin when it comes to Objective type game modes. And what were to happen when they do add more playlists? To me, it seems like it will be really overpopulated to choose a playlist from.

> The Good:
> - Infinity’s net code
> - This is definitely the cleanest connection I’ve seen in any shooter, hands down. Even in games that are “laggy” It’s smoother than some other games better matches, latency wise. From Spartan Ops to War Games, O’Connor definitely deserved to be humbly confident in their lack of dedicated servers.
>
[/quote]
No way. This is one of the worst parts about MP. Reach was more consistent when I’d play with my friends in Australia for example. No when I come on to play with them, I get black screen while they play or we all get dropped altogether. Once, I was with one friend in Australia, and another friend in my state (I’m in the US), and the screen went to black, my Australian friend lagged out and my US friend and I got put into different games on different maps. Doesn’t sound like very good netcoding to me.
>
> Plus, I’m directly connected with the highest connection my ISP allows. I get a lot of games where I get out shot or I have to use a full clip with the BR to take someone down. To me, it sounds like you just pull host a lot.

Well I know SWAT is coming this week and Grifball not to long after it but otherwise great review that is the same way I feel abou the game minus the specialization part as I am not SR50 yet but still.

> > The Good:
> > - Infinity’s net code
> > - This is definitely the cleanest connection I’ve seen in any shooter, hands down. Even in games that are “laggy” It’s smoother than some other games better matches, latency wise. From Spartan Ops to War Games, O’Connor definitely deserved to be humbly confident in their lack of dedicated servers.
> >
[/quote]
No way. This is one of the worst parts about MP. Reach was more consistent when I’d play with my friends in Australia for example. No when I come on to play with them, I get black screen while they play or we all get dropped altogether. Once, I was with one friend in Australia, and another friend in my state (I’m in the US), and the screen went to black, my Australian friend lagged out and my US friend and I got put into different games on different maps. Doesn’t sound like very good netcoding to me.
> >
> > Plus, I’m directly connected with the highest connection my ISP allows. I get a lot of games where I get out shot or I have to use a full clip with the BR to take someone down. To me, it sounds like you just pull host a lot.
[/quote]
Dude, I wish. I have a 5 mbps Download and a .5 mbps upload. I also play with a friend from Switzerland frequently. From the sound of your experience, it makes me think those experiences were from the first two days of server issues. To add onto the net code, there’s almost no fixing Australian connection when you live anywhere else. Reach’s netcode was great, but Halo 4’s is superior in a lot of ways. Maybe it’s the way the game feels in general, because there are times where I feel like I should get the kill and I don’t, but Reach was much worse on a “bad” connection as opposed to my only few experiences with a “bad” connection on Halo 4. And “good” connections are much more fluent on Halo 4 as opposed to Reach when I play with all people within my country. Maybe difference of opinions. Compared to other games, there’s nothing wrong with this games netcode in my opinion.