Matchmaking - Failures & Empty Promises

> TL;DR version
>
> I bought Halo 4 expecting it to be a sequel to Halo 3, not Halo: Reach.
>
> Since Halo 4’s release we have seen a close to 80%'ish population drop, roughly 360,000 people stopped playing.
>
> Halo’s formula, it’s specific taste has been completely changed; comparison would be like Five Guys Burger and Fries switching to all beef to tofu burgers.
>
> - Shift from balanced spawns and weapon placements forced chaotic imbalanced gameplay.
> - Fully customizable loadouts are not balanced; distrupts vehicle and slayer gameplay.
> - Personal ordinance alters map movement, with no static weapon spawns there is no encouragement for map movement thus making camping easier.
> - Changes of objectives, now KoTH, Oddball and regicide don’t play the same anymore and avoided like the plague.
>
> Prior to H4’s launch, the lead designers of Halo 4 stated Halo was being brought back to it’s roots, that they were using Halo 1 and Halo 3 as reference points; personally speaking, it does not look or feel like that at all. It feels like it’s a sequel to Halo: Reach.

Now please read the full version :slight_smile:

Firstly, I bought Halo 4 expecting it to be a sequel to Halo 3, statements from 343i, specifically from Frankie; “We are bringing Halo back to it’s roots”, and that they were using Halo 1 and Halo 3 as reference points for Halo 4.

Well, to me, it does not feel like that at all. It feels like they made a sequel of Halo Reach and nothing else.

Personally speaking, I did not like Reach as much as Halo 3 because the weapon sandboxes weren’t very precise and very slow to use, the AA’s were far to disruptive and bogged gameplay down.

But now 343i has fundamentally changed the Halo Formula with barely any proper research. All research done was through internal tests and through companies that are hired out to play test games 8 hours a day. None of them were from their actual community.

Halo used to be an Arena style shooter, meaning everyone spawned on equal terms, nearly everything was always balanced; whether it be weapon placements, vehicles, spawns and what you spawn with. Now we have:

  • Random and definitively not neutral weapon spawns on map.
  • Loadouts distrupting core Halo gameplay, not balanced for Halo.
  • Personal Ordinance giving everyone power weapons 2-4 times a game.
  • Shift from balanced gameplay to chaotic gameplay.
  • Fundamental changes to objectives.

Every game excels at something specific. Call of Duty is extremely casual friendly, Battlefield excels at huge battles and objectives, and Halo was king of 4v4 small balanced game play, and 343i changed it up to try and draw in players that don’t play to often. And judging from the population statistics, it didn’t pan out.

Roughly 368,000 populace of the peak 410,000 people have stopped playing. Right now, there are less people playing Halo 4 on a daily average than there were people playing near the end of Halo Reach.

And right now my point here what I would like to discuss is Matchmaking and 343i in general.

Buying Halo 4 I would expect that it would show some reflections of it’s predecessor, but the game literally shows no resemblance to it’s heritage.

It did not ship with anything that supported any bit of old play style.

Any changes 343i had made have always been too little too late for me and many of us. It took such a long time for a boltshot nerf, which still should not be a one shot kill.

Armour abilities should not have been a priority for the main stage of Halo’s matchmaking, especially coupled with fully customizatble loadouts.

And at this stage I don’t think 343i truly has a grasp of what their community desires; just look at all the objectives. Team Objective has always fared fairly well in Halo right up to Halo 4 where it has one of the worst playlist populations in matchmaking.

I don’t want to sound harsh and to offensive to 343i, but they are driving so many things straight into the ground every time they do something. Almost everything. And this truly saddens me because I love Halo so much.

I wish I could make a real difference for Halo, I wish I had enough skills to be able to apply for a job and actually make a difference for our game.

I love Halo, but Halo 4 is pushing me away, but before I go, I want to reiterate a fact for me. I have played Halo for 5 years with a very tight knit group of friends of about 8 players, and of those 8, 3 months after Halo 4’s launch, 3 of them don’t play Halo 4 anymore and the rest of us play about 30-70% less, and it’s not due to time schedules, it’s due to the lack of enjoyment.

I agree 100% its sad to see one of the best video games in history dumbed down to another COD clone,i personally despise COD and loved the fact that halo was fair and took actual skill to play. 343 is turning out to be a money machine and destroyed a truly good game.Its like watching a really good loyal friend on life support in the hospital and theres nothing you can do about it to help. And from there responses to the real issues there satisfied because there pockets are filled.We couldnt even get dedicated servers this time around. Halo made me an xbox fan period,now theres NOTHING keeping me from going back to SONY products.HALO was THE game. Now its just COD with beautiful halo textures. RIP HALO

Halo was the reason I purchased an xbox as well. The only reason in fact.

And don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate CoD, I am beginning to with having to buy a CoD game every year which is why I haven’t bought the last one and probably will never.

> Halo was the reason I purchased an xbox as well. The only reason in fact.
>
> And don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate CoD, I am beginning to with having to buy a CoD game every year which is why I haven’t bought the last one and probably will never.

This could be the very reason I have to think about what system I buy next. The next PlayStation looks better and I think I’m done with Halo, so what does the Xbox really have anymore?

> > Halo was the reason I purchased an xbox as well. The only reason in fact.
> >
> > And don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate CoD, I am beginning to with having to buy a CoD game every year which is why I haven’t bought the last one and probably will never.
>
> This could be the very reason I have to think about what system I buy next. The next PlayStation looks better and I think I’m done with Halo, so what does the Xbox really have anymore?

It’s sad to see everyone put halo up on the shelf ):

the only thing that stood out to me was the lack of both quantity, and quality of vehicles in H4

but i do agree, Halo 4 didn’t hold its title up very well

> the only thing that stood out to me was the lack of both quantity, and quality of vehicles in H4
>
> but i do agree, Halo 4 didn’t hold its title up very well

Who honestly cares about vehicles? This is a FPS, the core gameplay based around FPS and Halo is the problem which is why the majority have stopped playing.

> > Halo was the reason I purchased an xbox as well. The only reason in fact.
> >
> > And don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate CoD, I am beginning to with having to buy a CoD game every year which is why I haven’t bought the last one and probably will never.
>
> This could be the very reason I have to think about what system I buy next. The next PlayStation looks better and I think I’m done with Halo, so what does the Xbox really have anymore?

You can’t really say the PS4 looks better without a proper comparison of the next xbox. Currently we know nothing about 720’s exclusives and specs.

The hardware will likely be nearly identical, hopefully 720 gets more and better exclusives.

I would likely flat out buy 720 on day one if it launched with a proper Halo 2 remake.

BUT, what might prevent me from buying the next gen xbox is this always on feature. I live in Canada and in my area internet can go out every now and then, so I often play campaign and offline minecraft; if I can’t do that anymore I may switch to PC or PS4.

But I’m thinking the always on feature may be limited to the payment based “subscription” console. I hope so.

Same.

I do like Halo 4, though. I’m not as negative as most of the people who post here. In fact, I already have far more playing time on Halo than I do virtually every other game I’ve ever played.

With that said, I do think some things need to change for the next Halo:

  1. There are too many armor abilities. Those need to be cut down. I think camo, jet packs, promethean, firepower should be map items.

  2. Personal ordinance needs to be changed or eliminated. Big weapons (most of the one-shot, one-kill guys . . . incineration cannons, rocket launchers, railguns, swords, sniper, beam, grav hammer, fuel rod cannon, shotgun, laser, binary) definitely need to be map items only. If they want to keep personal ordinance, it should work differently. Rather than random, players should have to set up personal ordinance “loadouts” . . . powerup, armor ability, and medium weapon (like needler, saw, sticky detonator, scattershot). Again, the big items can’t be on there. Then when you earn ordinance, you know what you’re going to get.

  3. Can’t have a repeat of the DMR dominating at every range. And if we don’t want Halo to be an instant kill game, then this must come by nerfing the DMR (or whatever follows it) rather than buffing the other weapons.

  4. There has to be something worth striving for. I don’t care if it’s customizations or CSR or whatever . . . but I really suck at Halo and I got to SR130 in very little time. Maybe its new maps that don’t cost $$ to download or something. But unless there is something that changes as you play, it will get stale.

Anyway.

My 2 cents.

> > the only thing that stood out to me was the lack of both quantity, and quality of vehicles in H4
> >
> > but i do agree, Halo 4 didn’t hold its title up very well
>
> Who honestly cares about vehicles? This is a FPS, the core gameplay based around FPS and Halo is the problem which is why the majority have stopped playing.

well, obviously i care

Vehicles are one of the things that make halo unique
i don’t see very many other FPSs that have vehicles in it

and also, the big team battle playlist is and has been one of the most popular playlists of Halo history, that can’t be just because there are more people to kill

H2/H3 - group of around 18 friends that played

H: Reach - To4 (team) that played often

H4 - To2 which rarely plays

I honestly couldn’t enjoy any game besides halo, even reach (for the most part). Now I either don’t play or play CoD with everyone who left

> > > the only thing that stood out to me was the lack of both quantity, and quality of vehicles in H4
> > >
> > > but i do agree, Halo 4 didn’t hold its title up very well
> >
> > Who honestly cares about vehicles? This is a FPS, the core gameplay based around FPS and Halo is the problem which is why the majority have stopped playing.
>
> well, obviously i care
>
> Vehicles are one of the things that make halo unique
> i don’t see very many other FPSs that have vehicles in it
>
>
> and also, the big team battle playlist is and has been one of the most popular playlists of Halo history, that can’t be just because there are more people to kill

Agreed. I too care.

In my opinion, Halo is equally about games featuring large teams with vehicular battles as it is small team infantry only arena-like battles. However, Halo did basically breath life into the competitive FPS scene and grew it significantly thanks mostly to the attention and popularity that the game had generated through it’s massively successful original single player story as well as the incredibly smooth and intuitive control scheme for a console. I believe this is why many community members think that the core of Halo’s multiplayer should be a focus catered specifically, or even only, around the competitive aspect of the game (complete arena settings). This side of the community is the most involved and outspoken aspect of the community, so unfortunately many are also left with the impression that they’re the majority of the full player base. Now, while I don’t disagree that a good amount of attention needs to be spent on the competitive arena aspect of the multiplayer, especially for sandbox balancing purposes, I still believe that it’s the large team based games with vehicular battles that truly defines Halo’s core fun factor for the majority of the player base and an equal amount of attention should be acknowledge for that aspect of the community.

To play devil’s advocate to your (Twizzsted) point about the Big Team playlist having the most popular playlist historically… There’s no fair argument to be made here. A big reason why it has been the most popular is that there’s usually only one, maybe two, playlists that cover that team size, where as there are many playlists that cater to the smaller teams. Now, there are several reasons why Halo restricts the amount of bigger team playlist, but I won’t get into the details of them at this point in time, instead I will simply mention that adding up the population numbers for the smaller playlists in order to compare it to the population in the big team playlist is equally unfair in that there isn’t as many gametype options under the bigger team playlist(s) to fairly judge or compare the majority’s desires. I will say that I do hope that we get a true Big Team Objective Playlist soon to go along with a Slayer playlist and not just an Infinity Slayer playlist. Personally I’d like to see this as the playlist offering in that it caters to more aspects of the community, covering many gamemodes, group sizes, and allows for better optimizing of the maps. All that and it doesn’t drastically dilute the overall population numbers, instead it might actually grow the overall population by presenting better offerings to keep people interested or bring people back who lost interest.

> > the only thing that stood out to me was the lack of both quantity, and quality of vehicles in H4
> >
> > but i do agree, Halo 4 didn’t hold its title up very well
>
> Who honestly cares about vehicles? This is a FPS, the core gameplay based around FPS and Halo is the problem which is why the majority have stopped playing.

The sandbox which house vehicles and weapons made Halo very unique. Now Halo is conforming more into a style closer to CoD and BattleField. Which is a slippery slope when already three hundred and sixty thousand people have stopped playing.

There obviously would be a population drop, but… Going from a peak 410,000 people to a meager 30-50k people, averaging in the high 30k people a day. That’s down right insane, that should ring bells and sirens.

At this rate Halo 4 will be dead before it gets it’s first birthday in November later this year.

Right now 343i really needs to hire some people who have had a long standing matchmaking relationship and are capable of advising the matchmaking developers, because it feels like there is a disconnect between the Halo gaming community and the developers.

> This could be the very reason I have to think about what system I buy next. The next PlayStation looks better and I think I’m done with Halo, so what does the Xbox really have anymore?

+1.

Unless Microsoft pull something else out of their hat I doubt I’ll buy the next Xbox for Halo: COD evolved. Nothing else announced or likely interests me at all.

Kinect blah.

> > > the only thing that stood out to me was the lack of both quantity, and quality of vehicles in H4
> > >
> > > but i do agree, Halo 4 didn’t hold its title up very well
> >
> > Who honestly cares about vehicles? This is a FPS, the core gameplay based around FPS and Halo is the problem which is why the majority have stopped playing.
>
> well, obviously i care
>
> Vehicles are one of the things that make halo unique
> i don’t see very many other FPSs that have vehicles in it
>
>
> and also, the big team battle playlist is and has been one of the most popular playlists of Halo history, that can’t be just because there are more people to kill

Indeed, and why would they have heavies and covie slayer? Which were nearly always voted on as well.

The simple problem with the matchmaking is that it isn’t competitive at all. Literally, at all. I have issues with it for that aspect.

If this game shipped with a stripped down, bare bones, competitive playlist from day 1. I’m talking Halo 2/3 MLG settings and Reach ZB/NS settings, I would have been happy. And really, wouldn’t they have thought about that? Isn’t that asked for in every single game since Halo 2? Think about it.

I don’t play anything but Throwdown, because it’s the only part of this game that doesn’t suck eggs. It’s not even that awesome because it doesn’t give me a damn ranking system, so there’s hardly any incentive to care. But it’s worth it in some aspects.

But, in my mind, Halo is pretty much over. Halo 5 will not bring Halo back to it’s roots because it would be admitting 343i was wrong and screwed up. And if there’s anything they have shown us, it’s that they are “Never wrong”.

> H2/H3 - group of around 18 friends that played
>
> H: Reach - To4 (team) that played often
>
> H4 - To2 which rarely plays
>
> I honestly couldn’t enjoy any game besides halo, even reach (for the most part). Now I either don’t play or play CoD with everyone who left

I have been playing other games. Bioshock, Minecraft, Dead Space and some BattleField 3 (even though I extremely suck at it).

Even though I was disappointed with Halo 4…I will still probably buy Halo 5. I mean this was 343i first time making a full game and they were left in charge with one of the most important and influential video game series in history. There is a lot of pressure to satisfy everyone, try to add something new and different to the Halo series, and make a profit. Personally I would not like Halo to have gone out with a whimper instead of, in the words Sgt. Avery Junior Johnson, “…with a bang!” We should at least give 343i one more chance…and I mean ONCE MORE CHANCE to fix and/ improve on what they have done. They should stop trying to bring in the Call of Duty crowd because it makes the most money and instead focus on what made Halo great. I do not think Halo is dead…I think Halo is in a coma and we need to keep hoping it will come out of that coma.

Also: They should totally add more vehicles, we got alot of them in Halo 3 so what’s so hard about putting them in?

Just some random thoughts.

HCE 2001, H2 2004, H3 2007, ODST 2009, HR 2010, H4 2012 (and yes Wars is in there somewhere and I still own it but it isn’t an FPS). It’s now 12 years. Can’t people’s tastes and desires change? Why isn’t Doom still around? Duke Nukem? How long do you want Halo to be top or near top? 20 years? Forever? Do you really want the COD crowd here?

Now that FFA is there I am playing this game more. I don’t mind the changes that have happened TBH. If others don’t like it, so what? The game sold 8 million copies and if they don’t play MM that much it hasn’t affected my ability to get a match. If your friends don’t play anymore, well there’s 30 to 40,000 people online at any one time who can be your new friends. It’s not like Halo 5 won’t be made and sell loads. Hell I can get matches in H3 and there must only be 1,000 online for that.

I know you love the franchise Boobington but you make these threads every day. Lord man you are wasting your time. There’s so many more options than even 2007 on XBL and other platforms too.