Official statement from Ske7ch

The employees are probably pretty bummed with a lot of the feedback when it relates to something they were passionate about and did for appropriate reasons. Particularly disheartening to read how painfully aware they are of the negative feedback and harsh comments that offer nothing constructive. I just think this is important for people to read. You can see they care and a lot of reasoning as to why decisions were made that have ultimately upset some users. It comes from a good place, of course they want to make the best game possible.

I can’t reply to every person yelling at me/343 here so want to just share a few final things to take or leave as you see fit. When we have some updates to share I’ll be back.

First, I’m going to stress again that I 100% understand and generally agree with the frustrations most are expressing even if I don’t agree with the attacks and ways in which some choose to express those feelings. Call me a shill, a liar, corp speak, etc. as you want, but I’ve never lied to this community and never will. And I’m not saying myself are 343 are a ‘victim’ in any way - that’s yet another narrative some folks here have chosen to apply. It’s my job to come in here, listen, franky take it on the chin, and despite personally being very put off by the way in which many are expressing themselves, still ensure that we are advocating for players internally. We do that regardless of it being positive or negative and always will.

As for Slayer itself - we’re still having discussions around feasibility. Yes this is absolutely a hot topic and something the team is aware of. We would love to have modes and experiences that meet player expectations vs. the backlash situation we’re in today. I don’t believe anyone at 343 thought not having Slayer was a ‘good idea.’

I don’t personally agree we ‘owe’ folks a detailed dissertation on ‘what 343 has been doing the last 6 years’ or ‘who ever thought this was a good idea’, etc… We have had people working their -Yoink!- off for years to try and deliver the best Halo game they can amidst very challenging circumstances. But, I will try to at least provide some context for those who are interested.

The launch playlists were setup as they were to take a measured approach. We have UI limitations with the game right now in the way and number of playlists that are exposed. We have complex and not-ideal progression and challenge systems intertwined in playlists and modes that are not necessarily trivial to de-couple and change. (yes the entire challenge/progression system needs a lot of work - something the team is acutely aware of and prioritizing).

The team’s plans for a Slayer playlist, I think, are more robust than what might ‘suffice’ for an interim solution. I love the ideas and some of the variants they’re working on - those all require tuning and most importantly - testing. QA is a huge dependency and it’s a critical part of the development pipeline that has been running nonstop for months to launch this game.

We are re-evaluating what it would take to potentially just start with a ‘vanilla Slayer’ playlist as a shorter term addition until the more robust offering is ready. I think the main hurdle that needs to be addressed and may require more time than is feasible before the holiday break is the knock on effect to challenges and needing to also re-assess ‘quick play’ and what that becomes. Historically, a Slayer only playlist and an Objective only playlist has always resulted in the Obj playlist quickly becoming unhealthy - but maybe we inevitably have no choice but to go down that route until more robust systems are available (note I am not a MP or systems designer).

It’s just not quite as trivial as ‘pushing a button.’ And at the scale and complexity of this game - any and every change could have monumental impact in a negative way without extensive testing. Triaging these feedback issues and finding ‘what CAN we do now’ is what the team is already doing and will continue doing. Everything has to be tested. Everything has downstream dependencies and knock on effects. And, we’re 4 days from a global launch with holidays right after.

As far as the notion of this all being a ploy to force challenge swaps - it just isn’t. I don’t expect everyone to believe that, but while we may not agree with the playlist selections and approach, I’m just going to say again “making players have no control and have to use swaps” has never once been a thing I’ve heard. Ever. And again, we know this entire challenge system is not ideal and while I’m glad they’ve been able to make some interim tweaks to progression pace and remove some of the more frustrating RNG challenges, there is absolutely more work to be done and this is not the ideal vision the Live team has in mind. (though, more challenge tweaks are coming with the playlist update, details to come soon) I did not really enjoy having to grind through 20+ games of Quick Play to hopefully get Oddball so I could hopefully win 3 times to complete a challenge. Or, , having to get 10 Ravager kills. Is this week’s Ultimate Reward of just an emblem really worth the grind? There’s a lot of work to do - we are all in agreement there. A few more changes are coming this month and I hope we can start to lay out more robust plans after the break.

Not everyone likes that Infinite is a F2P game and thus has a new business model based on monetization of customization. I understand where you’re coming from, especially with a 20 year established franchise with a longstanding legacy. F2P has been a huge boost to growing the player base and we’ve seen a huge amount of new players entering the franchise for the first time ever. But this is a business - the servers you play on cost money to operate. The studio that develops and maintains the game costs money. Battlepass and premium customization is the model for this game today. Is there room to continue assessing the overall economy and value for players? Absolutely and that’s also an area the team is constantly monitoring and learning. The creation of cosmetics and the battlepass have absolutely nothing to do with something like a playlist. That content was created ages ago, is static, and wasn’t done ‘instead of playlists.’ Was it a priority to make sure that this game could in fact generate revenue? Of course.

I’m starting to ramble here but the main TLDR is, for what it’s worth, we’re going to do what we can as soon as we can. If things today do not meet your expectations then I’m sorry you’ve been disappointed. I’m confident this game will continue to get better and better and all of these issues are fixable. I also realize that some players are just going to not play anymore - maybe they come back, maybe they don’t. I also know - and want to be very up front and honest - that the pace at which bigger changes are brought to bear will absolutely not be as fast as many want. We have some problems, for sure, but I’m really proud of the foundation the team was able to deliver.

Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. It’s your prerogative to play or not play. I’d rather have people who are so passionate they’re yelling at us than nobody caring at all. But I just ask that people please take a breath here, understand there are human beings behind this who put years of their lives into just trying to make the best experiences they can, and do not rush to judge or assume you’ve got it all figured out.

And with that, I fully expect to be blasted from here out, but hopefully for some, this post helps provide a bit more context. Have a great weekend everyone.

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This was a good read.

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Where did he post this?

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Good question, it’s nowhere to be found so idk where this comes from or how legit it is

Where did you find this? I’d love to read it from the source

I think your missing something here: source where was this founded?

It’s from a reddit thread in r/halo called “Unyshek gives an update on playlists”

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Love Ske7ch.
I do feel bad that they are getting such negative feedback and for the human element.
However, I don’t think references to 343i’s mistakes are targeting anyone in particular (unless there’s one person responsible for each of the problems). We just don’t have anyone to talk to and all we can do is scream into the void.

While I am not surprised to learn that they didn’t design the game to FORCE challenge swaps, I think they definitely had a lot of conversations about how they could design the BP such that players would be able to pay to progress. I don’t think there was malicious intent but I do think it was a money-first approach, not player-first. Like, any change they considered to the system, they had to ask themselves if they could still monetize it, and if not then the idea was scrapped.

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In short we kinda gaslight ourselves most of the time as we don’t have any one at 343 on here to talk to

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im suprised he touched on the money side of things at all, props to him for that, and he possibly made an insinuation the money side could change, we dont know how much, but he did seems to give a passing comment on it by using the word economeny

keep the pressure on folks and we will learn more, just dont go throwing de@th threats or doxxing the devs, thats wrong.

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They build a whole system that makes it impossible for them to easily add staple playlists that have been in every halo ever and then expect sympathy when people are mad about it?

Also- frankly I just don’t believe it’s that difficult to add a slayer only playlists. And if OBJ game modes suffer that’s because people WANT SLAYER! So what’s the harm in giving people what they want?? Lame. Sob story.

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Sorry should have mentioned in the OP, I’ll update but as demigod rightly said it was posted to Reddit on a popular post.

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Player segmentation hurts the game in the long-term, which is why many modern live-service games have very few game modes on offer. All of the game modes players want is usually in the form of player-hosted temporary servers via a server browser or invite-only system.

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Honestly, that did nothing to ease my concerns or complaints. I don’t care if you feel bad and are trying. The prices on that shop and lack of actual content show EXACTLY where your priorities are. The shop prices are ridiculous. The excuse of F2P is not acceptable. I can go find plenty of F2P games that offer way more than what we have been given.

Devs did great on gameplay. The monetization and lack of valuable and reasonably accessible cosmetic content will be the death of this game. This new big player base you have will die when people find the next new toy to play with. Your business model is around attracting people who like shiny new things, not people who genuinely love and enjoy Halo. The former will leave high and dry when the next new thing comes. The latter would have been loyal and more long term.

Halo was monetized to take advantage of being a fad, that was perpetuated by a fan base that’s loyal when they really and honestly have every reason to not be. Majority still don’t realize they are defending something indefensible… but sooner or later they will realize they were duped and distracted with the ache for nostalgia.

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The last part kinda hard as some folks are real keen on that I get it we want this fixed but threatening them isn’t the way to do it

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Yeah I’ve been saying this a bunch and most of the time have just been dismissed for it. Splitting the playerbase too much negatively affects the game quality in a number of ways which ultimately leads to the game being unsuccessful.

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The shiny new things new gamers want are cosmetics, and it doesn’t matter what game it’s in. If people dropped games because they were fads, people wouldn’t still be playing Fortnite, Apex Legends, or Call of Duty Warzone.

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Did you even read it or just read the parts that make up your statement

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I hope they understand one of the biggest reasons some long term fans feel betrayed by customization is because it feels like a slap in the face to have brand loyalty for 20 years and then have them tell you that you can have the honor to give them disproportionate profit for a cosmetic marked up over 1000%+ from previous renditions. I hope they can see fan perspective on this.

If you comment negatively towards me for having this opinion good for you I guess. Its part of game immersion I enjoy. If you don’t care then I’m glad you don’t care. But its enough to lose me as a 20 year fan if some serious changes aren’t made; or at least acknowledged relatively soon that tangible intents to change are coming.

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Right, so if player segmentation hurts objective playlists that means that more people want to play slayer than want to play obj. So why force the majority of players into obj playlists that they don’t want to play?

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