My brother, the social Halo player.

Just before I start I’ve always preferred playing ranked.

My brother however back in the day used to play Halo 2 & 3 social playlists all day and night, he’d never play ranked and he liked it that way. He’d come online I’d leave ranked Lone Wolves and we’d play social playlist’s all night screwing around, having fun just playing Halo for fun.

Now apart from the following month after November 6th my brother pretty much has only played Fifa 13 and Black Ops 2 in the last few months. Not because he didn’t like Halo 4 but because Fifa 13 and Black Ops 2 are just easier options, after a hard day’s work he doesn’t want to sit there and try really hard to win every match he wants to just game and have fun.

I told him there had been an update since he last played (boltshot nerf) and that there was a new map pack coming out on Monday so he got excited and we logged online for a Halo session.

Needless to say every game we got in was full of kill stealers, people treating a random game of Infinity Slayer like it was an MLG final, people only going for kills and not going for the objective, boosters, AFK’ers and laggy Germans. (Or Germans with astonishingly good connections).

After about two hours of all that ^ it led my brother to dashboard and say “I’m never playing this again” I asked why he said…

“It’s not Halo anymore, you start a fight with someone and they just sprint around the corner (and he mentioned these new maps only make this worse because they are so small for a feature like sprint), the AA’s make it so random it’s not fun guessing what magic power the Spartan you are fighting is going to pull out next. People also take it so seriously it ruins it, I can’t be bothered trying really hard to win, I just want to have fun. I’m going back on Fifa mate”

So doesn’t this ring any alarm bells for 343? My brother, a guy who used to love his Social Halo now hates Halo, Halo 4 343i’s first entry in the series.

Do you (343) not see the flipside of not having a clear divide of ranked and social playlists? With Halo 4 and Reach for that matter we are all forced to play together and social guys hate having to play against competitive guys and competitive guys hate having to play against social guys.

Halo 4 as it stands right now is one big mess and it’s a big mess myself and my brother don’t really want to be a part of.

If you had launched with social and ranked playlists then everyone would have a home, I could play socially with my brother and have FUN and the people we see putting a high price on K/D could have a real skill related rank to shoot for instead of making everyone that’s not as good as them hate the game in Matchmaking.

Before any Waypoint guys say it, the supposed true skill matchmaking in this game is completely non-existent. Or maybe it is but because hardly anyone is playing Halo 4 anymore there isn’t enough players to pick from when matchmaking, so the only people left playing are god-like, I don’t know.

That’ll do from me, love the Halo community, both social and otherwise.

> …If you had launched with social and ranked playlists then everyone would have a home…

I am a so-called causal/random player but, I agree with you on the above.

Your brother sounds like a sore looser, what do you want people to do? Not try and win?

> Your brother sounds like a sore loser, what do you want people to do? Not try to win?

Exactly my thoughts.

And I fixed your spelling

Unbalanced random gameplay makes us all sore, win or lose.

> Your brother sounds like a sour looser, what do you want people to do? Not try and win?

Of-course not, but Halo 2 and 3 had it perfect with ranked and social playlists, people kicked back and had fun in social and played to win in ranked. Halo 4 however is one big social playlist except there is no reward for winning, so what do semi-competitive players do ? they play for k/d and attempt to dominate lesser players. The whole thing is just messed up.

> Your brother sounds like a sour looser, what do you want people to do? Not try and win?

i dont care anymore about my teams score aslong as i do good it really doesnt matter how dumb my team is, if they cant keep up then they are just good decoys to me.

> Now apart from the following month after November 6th my brother pretty much has only played Fifa 13 and Black Ops 2 in the last few months. Not because he didn’t like Halo 4 but because Fifa 13 and Black Ops 2 are just easier options, after a hard day’s work he doesn’t want to sit there and try really hard to win every match he wants to just game and have fun.

So you’re saying in Fifa and Black Ops noone tries to win, they just screw around every match? I haven’t played either, but somehow I doubt that.

In my experience with previous Halos and every other online game that divides social and ranked playlists, all that happens is we end up with a giant mess. I’ve seen ridiculously good players in Social who have no interest in playing Ranked because they just want to play for fun and don’t care about numbers. I’ve seen full teams and clans who are tired of being beat up in Ranked play Social and ruin the experience for everyone. I’ve seen boosters, derankers, and second accounts destroy any legitimacy Ranked playlists offer.

Having every game ranked by trueskill like we have now is really the best option. If anyone really wants to just screw around there’s always custom games.

I’m a casual gamer, however I find that there is no need for a definition between ranked and social because there is no ranking. If only there was ranking; I am tired of playing with horrible people when I actually want to play a challenging game. It’s like Halo 2 all over again, I can easily be paired up with complete noobs and supreme gods in the same match; not to mention that rank is just given away rather than earned.

> > Now apart from the following month after November 6th my brother pretty much has only played Fifa 13 and Black Ops 2 in the last few months. Not because he didn’t like Halo 4 but because Fifa 13 and Black Ops 2 are just easier options, after a hard day’s work he doesn’t want to sit there and try really hard to win every match he wants to just game and have fun.
>
> So you’re saying in Fifa and Black Ops noone tries to win, they just screw around every match? I haven’t played either, but somehow I doubt that.
>
> In my experience with previous Halos and every other online game that divides social and ranked playlists, all that happens is we end up with a giant mess. I’ve seen ridiculously good players in Social who have no interest in playing Ranked because they just want to play for fun and don’t care about numbers. I’ve seen full teams and clans who are tired of being beat up in Ranked play Social and ruin the experience for everyone. I’ve seen boosters, derankers, and second accounts destroy any legitimacy Ranked playlists offer.
>
> Having every game ranked by trueskill like we have now is really the best option. If anyone really wants to just screw around there’s always custom games.

No, im not saying that at all, of-course they try to win in those games, but those games he finds and I would agree are fundamentally easier to play than Halo. You do raise a good point here:

“In my experience with previous Halos and every other online game that divides social and ranked playlists, all that happens is we end up with a giant mess. I’ve seen ridiculously good players in Social who have no interest in playing Ranked because they just want to play for fun and don’t care about numbers. I’ve seen full teams and clans who are tired of being beat up in Ranked play Social and ruin the experience for everyone. I’ve seen boosters, derankers, and second accounts destroy any legitimacy Ranked playlists offer.”

and I would agree but I would swap today’s Halo problems for yesteryears Halo problems in a heartbeat…

People stuck around with Halo 2 and 3 (sure I know there wasn’t much competition back then especially with Halo 2) and I think it was purely down to a clear divide of ranked and social playlists.

> People stuck around with Halo 2 and 3 (sure I know there wasn’t much competition back then especially with Halo 2) and I think it was purely down to a clear divide of ranked and social playlists.

The gaming landscape was completely different back when Halo 2 and 3 released. I think it’s impossible to point to one or two factors as the reason one game did better or worse than the other. Advertising, brand recogntion, consumer confidence, and the global economy probably have more effect on a game’s success than it’s quality or features.

I also don’t think splitting up the pool of players any more than is absolutely necessary is good for anyone. I’m not saying “the game iz dyingz!!!1” or anything, I just mean going forward it will be better to have a unified community rather than ranked/social/competitive/casual cliques.

> > People stuck around with Halo 2 and 3 (sure I know there wasn’t much competition back then especially with Halo 2) and I think it was purely down to a clear divide of ranked and social playlists.
>
> The gaming landscape was completely different back when Halo 2 and 3 released. I think it’s impossible to point to one or two factors as the reason one game did better or worse than the other. Advertising, brand recogntion, consumer confidence, and the global economy probably have more effect on a game’s success than it’s quality or features.
>
> I also don’t think splitting up the pool of players any more than is absolutely necessary is good for anyone. I’m not saying “the game iz dyingz!!!1” or anything, I just mean going forward it will be better to have a unified community rather than ranked/social/competitive/casual cliques.

Again you raise excellent points and I agree with

“The gaming landscape was completely different back when Halo 2 and 3 released. I think it’s impossible to point to one or two factors as the reason one game did better or worse than the other. Advertising, brand recogntion, consumer confidence, and the global economy probably have more effect on a game’s success than it’s quality or features.”

And I’m not saying a return of ranks will make Halo 4 no 1 on Xbox Live again or anything, but it might help a little…

I remember in a Ready Up Live video last year one of the dudes over there said something like “the reason the competitive community isn’t the focus of halo is it’s not that big”, and that is entirely true. However he was referring to the then current state of Reach. Saying that there was around 1000 each in the Arena and MLG playlists, and if you look at it like that the competitive community barely deserves much of anything.

But then if you look back to Halo 3 there were hundred of thousands of people playing years after its release. Why ? I’ll leave that up to you.

Last Halo game to have ranks maintained the no3 spot on Xbox Live for three years, that has to mean something.

“Reach’s gameplay is too slow! Make it faster paced!”

“Halo 4’s Default Sprint makes gameplay too slow! Make it slower paced!”

Wait… What?

I played Halo 3 today, and it’s pace is much slower than Halo 4’s that I couldn’t even believe it. And I thought Halo 3’s was fast back then. I’m glad for Default Sprint. It makes gameplay faster paced, and quicker to get into engagements. And in Halo 4, if someone’s sprinting away, just shoot them. It slows them down.

As for AA’s making the game random: Yes, because AA’s on the map Shutout makes the game so random… AA’s in Halo 4 (except for Jetpack, sorry, I gave it a second chance, and while it’s better than Reach’s, it just does not work) don’t make the game any more random than Halo 3’s Equipment.

“But Halo Man, the Hardlight Shield makes gameplay random and slows it down!”

“But people, you’ve only been asking for the Jackal Shield since Yoinking CE!”

“But what about Regen Field? Boom, insta shield recharge!”

“Yes, but Regen Field in Halo 3 was so much better… Sure you couldn’t spawn with it in Halo 3, but the one in Halo 4 isn’t even that bad. Just keep shooting, or throw a nade, or both. Ain’t that hard. While in Halo 3, it was either complete domination, or just a melee fest.”

“But what about Perks? They change up gameplay too much!”

“Yes, because the map Shutout doesn’t play like Lockout/Blackout from Halo 2/3 anymore because of them… The only one’s that really affect gameplay are Dexterity and Explosives, and even then barely. Rest of them are fine.”

“But Halo Man, even if all those are true, Custom Classes changes up the game too much! It’s too inconsistent!”

“How? It isn’t like someone can spawn with a Sniper Rifle? Each weapon has it’s own benefits (DMR excluded). And it can’t be inconsistent, at all. If you’re at close range, expect a close range weapon. If you’re at mid range, expect a mid range weapon. If you’re at long range, expect a long range weapon. And if what you were expecting isn’t what the other player is using, then use that too your advantage. If you’re at mid range, and expect a mid range weapon, but instead met a close range weapon, then destroy that guy!”

“But Halo Man, I’m sticking with my beliefs!”

“Then play Team Throwdown!”

“But the Competitive community in Halo 4 is dead! Throwdown is one of the least populated playlist in Halo 4 because Halo 4 isn’t competitive!”

“Halo 3 MLG and Reach MLG had low populations too. Are you saying Halo 3 wasn’t competitive?”

“Well, Halo 3 had 1-50 playlists, and were quite popular.”

“True; There was motivation to reach higher ranks, so that helped out a lot. People were more competitive, wanted to win, and didn’t care as much about their K/D… Back then. But don’t ever tell me Team Slayer had more population than Social Slayer.”

“Now what about the Casual Halo players? There isn’t a Casual Throwback playlist in Halo 4!”

“You got me there.”

I’m seeing people complain about stuff that’s just too stupid to complain about. Sure, there are some legit reasons (1-50, DMR, Random Ordnance, Jetpack), but overall, I see more complaints about stupid stuff…

Brother complaigns about not being fun about guessing what special power a spartan has even with its little niche and drawbacks goes to play black ops that does the same thing times 9000 and has no drawbacks whatsoever unless you count not having something else a drawback. AA’s add to the game and are the sole reason why i was able to survive this long against the DMR. The way he makes it sound its like spartans have freaking powers from the DC universe or something when its just simple thruster packs or other abilities tha if you didnt know stops your opponent if used. Really the main issue is probably your brother isnt trying. While everyone else is causing him not to enjoy himself really. Theres always grifball and stuff but really this is more of a personal problem then a game problem.

> Brother complaigns about not being fun about guessing what special power a spartan has even with its little niche and drawbacks goes to play black ops that does the same thing times 9000 and has no drawbacks whatsoever unless you count not having something else a drawback. AA’s add to the game and are the sole reason why i was able to survive this long against the DMR. The way he makes it sound its like spartans have freaking powers from the DC universe or something when its just simple thruster packs or other abilities tha if you didnt know stops your opponent if used. Really the main issue is probably your brother isnt trying. While everyone else is causing him not to enjoy himself really. Theres always grifball and stuff but really this is more of a personal problem then a game problem.

No, its a “joining games full of try hards” problem. Its not a case of my brother not trying its a case of us getting unfairly put against teams of 4 treating a random game of infinity slayer like its an MLG match final.

again…a result of not having social and ranked divided.

When I was younger, I cared more about trying and playing “hardcore” competitive stuff. As time went on, I found the social playlists so much more appealing and stress-free. I like not having the feeling of “try hard or get stomped.”

H3 Social playlists were nice, as were whatever Halo: Reach did to keep things relaxed. I have lost over half my matches in H4, and I really hate having to try anymore since I keep getting paired against what seems like halo professionals.