Below is a letter I’ve written for 343 about Halo 4. I’ve sent this via mail to them care of Microsoft, but since I haven’t seen an official address specifically for 343, I’m posting it here in hopes someone involved with the game will see it. Considering this is likely to be met with disagreement on this forum, I have no intention of returning to this thread. Of course there are bound to be inane responses to this thread by people who are part of the problem. People for whom ‘honor’ is a foreign concept. These imbeciles are likely to assume I am just angry that I lose a lot. For one, I win more games than I lose, and two, I really don’t care whether I win or lose. I care whether an inferior player wins. If the game is set up to consistently reward lesser players, the entire concept of true competition is abandoned. I hope just hope 343 will read and take my message into consideration.
Hello. As a big fan of both the Halo single player and multiplayer experiences, I’d like to point out a few problems that have plagued the online Halo experience in one form or another through each of Halo’s online titles.
First; crouching. There is no need for it in multiplayer. Any player making use of the crouch is doing one of two things. The first possibility is sneaking around to avoid appearing on radar or getting into some position that the player feels will give them a tactical advantage. This is simple cowardice. It’s possible to be still or walk very slowly to avoid appearing on radar. No crouching required. Sneaking around is cowardly and shouldn’t be encouraged. Save it for Splinter Cell. That being said, we all know the real reason people crouch is, of course, humping dead opponents. Also known as “t-bagging” by morons and idiots. This is a silly, juvenile taunt, not a valid celebration. It also gives morons who use it a feeling of dominance, even though they are frequently inferior players overall. These problems can be most simply solved by eliminating the crouch feature from multiplayer. It could be used in single player to get under obstacles or take cover, but it is not really needed in multiplayer. If you must include it, add some kind of penalty for misuse. For example, if Player A kills Player B, and Player A crouches near Player B’s corpse within the respawn time, he dies instantly with a 20 second respawn penalty (in the case of a normal 5 second respawn time). Whatever the solution you choose, the practice of humping has no place in an M-rated title. Troublingly, Bungie seemed to at least partially embrace this idiocy. I hope you’ll be more mature in your approach.
Second are a few different weapons. The rocket launcher has no place in any game type without vehicles. The energy sword has no place in any game whatsoever. While Halo Reach’s armor lock ability was helpful in thwarting the effect of these weapons, they were still included in game types where no armor lock was available. They’ve literally provided millions of underserved kills to undeserving players. Please be a little more thoughtful when placing weapons like these in multiplayer maps. If I’m not mistaken, the humans and Covenant have no major animosity at this point in the story, so the removal of the energy sword would make a great deal of sense. Save the rocket launcher for matches involving vehicles.
Next is yellow-bellied tactics. Most of this involves running together in a cowardly group. A game mode should be implemented that penalizes proximity to one’s teammates. For example, if a player decides to be a coward and hang around one of his teammates during the game (for the simple reason that he’s not good enough on his own), both teammates should suffer a 25% shield drain. If the player is within a certain distance of two of his teammates, all three will suffer a 50% shield drain. This way, players are encouraged to traverse the level looking for opponents on their own without gathering together for a cheap win, and a team’s final score is more representative of their abilities as players. A simple glance at heatmaps for any level in Halo: Reach or Halo 3 will reveal certain areas that have high kill concentrations because of the common strategy of gaining control of an area and camping there as a team. My solution discourages this.
These are just brief summaries of a few problems that I’m sure you’ve noticed yourselves when playing Halo games online. You’ll notice that the common thread shared by all of these problems is cowardice. I hope as you develop the next game in the Halo series, you will do your best to punish cowardice (and immaturity) and reward honorable, respectable play.