PLAYER FEEDBACK: Long-time squad stepping away from Halo

Every Thursday for the last 7 years (originally started 16 years ago) our Halo squad has come together to put aside work, family, and real-world obligations to lose track for a few hours of our week, crack open a couple of ice-cold Dews, pop some fresh corn, and share a few laughs while we played Halo. Over the years we have added a few more to our squad when we needed subs for when people took vacations or had other obligations pop up, leaving us with a good group of 8-10 guys in our mid-30s to mid-40s. Our occupations range from political advisor to pharmacist, and orthodontist/dentist to professor. The majority of us have played Halo since 2001 and have a collection of Halo memorabilia cluttering our homes. We all have disposable income and would LOVE to spend money on the franchise we center our friendship on, but unfortunately Infinite is tearing us from Halo.

Last night, after an attempt to encourage some of the guys to keep playing the game with me, the last of them broke down and are fed up trying to find the fun in Infinite. I have talked with them all to try and figure out WHAT is wrong with Infinite compared to all the other titles in the franchise. And for context, Halo 5 is our collective favorite multiplayer of all of them.

I love the game, and have a lot of fun playing it. But that’s just me. Not to be a braggart, but I am the best player of our squad in Infinite. I am in no way skilled enough to compete, but for our group I have the best stats. But I also put in more time with the game, practice in the range, against bots, and am invested in getting better. Everyone else wants to play Infinite for the same reason we have played Halo for the past 20 years - TO HAVE FUN!

We identified four main points to the game that cause frustration and why they are having a hard time having fun with the game:

  1. Matchmaking

  2. Gunplay

  3. No Casual Modes

  4. Lack of Content

I will elaborate on each point based on the feedback from my squad-mates.

Matchmaking

  • Game mode selection: There is no option to play the game modes we want to play. We are forced to play the maps and modes chosen for us. We love playing objective based modes, but even in quick play we are often forced into slayer matches. We want to be able to select CTF & Oddball only matches, or whatever game mode we WANT to play.
  • MMR is too sweaty, no balance: Since I play more and am a statistically better player than my squad, when we play together we are playing against others at my skill level, and then it becomes a sweat fest even in the modes we enjoy playing. Why isn’t there an option like in Halo 5 to choose balance, expanded, or focused for our search preferences?
  • Server selection: We all live in different states and we notice we all get thrown into a west coast server where my connection is stronger than everyone else, so they experience more lag and connection errors than I do. Even if someone else is party leader, we still seem to connect to west coast as opposed to something closer to them.
  • Forced cross-platform: We all choose to play on Xbox because that is what we are accustomed to and what we feel comfortable playing on. But in every other franchise you can choose to turn off. Why can’t we choose this when playing non-ranked? This would help with people complaining about cheaters as most of the cheating comes from PC players.

Gunplay

  • Can’t casually pick up any weapon: It feels like you have to master each weapon or it’s useless. The mechanics of each weapon are so different and unique that if you don’t spend time in the shooting range or play hundreds of hours, you can’t control the weapon.
  • What happened to my shot?!: Hit box size seems smaller, bullet magnetism seems less, and shot registration seems to be inconsistent.
  • Close combat weapons: Sword is inconsistent, hammer takes forever to swing and often feels like it does personal damage when hitting someone, and why are there no close-combat weapons you can kill an enemy without having to do a melee combo?

No Casual Play

  • Every mode and match feels competitive: Why can’t we play casually? Infinite feels like you need to play daily to keep up with skill level. The reason Halo 2, Halo 3, and even Halo 4 are games people remember is that you can miss playing for 5 year, and still have fun and play like you never stopped. I stopped playing Infinite for 4 days, and I felt like I needed to play bot matches just to remember how to shoot each weapon!
  • Vehicles feel useless: Warthogs bounce around everywhere and have no control, wasps and banshees are made out of paper, tanks and wraiths are seldom seen and when they are, how can you maneuver through the 3 maps we have that have narrow roads and just stuff everywhere?
  • Challenge system doesn’t allow player freedom: We understand the need for challenges, but when I am supposed to play/win a certain number of CTF/Oddball/Strongholds games, but I can’t CHOOSE to play those, I am getting forced to play the games the way YOU want me to play. I don’t get to have the player freedom to play what I want and be rewarded for playing.
  • Custom games are basic and broken: We can’t even create a favorite mode of our squad, even if we tried. Husky Raid. We can’t even create a simple Fiesta CTF game. What is wrong with creating games we want to play, be able to save the settings, and be lined up for next time we get together? Instead, we have limited functions to what we can do, and then we have to spend 45 minutes putting together the settings again because they won’t save.

Lack of content

  • Core game modes missing: King of the Hill, Infection, Fiesta CTF (Husky Raid), Speed Flag, Griffball (although this wouldn’t be as fun with how the hammer currently swings), One Flag, Rockets Only/Rock & Rails, Team Snipers. Are we just supposed to wait for future updates to have these modes we have grown to love, but won’t be able to find matches since the player pool will be so small when they finally come?
  • Limited “sandbox”: We understand this is a live service game, and new maps, weapons, and equipment will come, but it just feels like there are 5-6 guns worth anything to shoot. What about the saw, fuel rod cannon, Spartan laser/rail gun, smg, dmr, Covenant Beam Rifle, classic shotgun, or a plasma pistol that actually works on vehicles?
  • Events aren’t rewarding: The “Limited Time Offer” on event modes and rewards isn’t appealing. Not when we have others things going on in life that doesn’t allow us the opportunity to play Halo daily, login daily, or complete the list of activities that are only available for a limited time. What happened to commendations for achieving something (i.e. 500 headshots for this visor, 100 back smacks for this emblem, etc.)?
  • UI is confusing to navigate: Why is everything in a horizontal line to look at? There is so much to scroll through and so much empty space on the screen. Can’t this be utilized better?

This was long winded, but is something that needed to be said from this small group of friends trying to cling onto the fun and spirit of Halo! The game FEELS like Halo, but it just isn’t keeping our attention. The FUN isn’t there. We are well established in our careers and aren’t trying to make it professional in Halo Esports or becoming streamers.

Since these aspects we laid out are what we think are missing, my friends are choosing to go play other games that have these features, create those casual gamer feelings (Fortnite, Rocket League, Call of Duty) or are just hanging up their controller to retire.

We just want to get together once a week as a group of friends, have some dumb fun and laugh at the crazy rag doll effects from some crazy shot we hit! Halo is for creating memories and visiting another universe with your friends to have a moment to leave the troubles of this one behind. I hope this feedback is seen and is helpful.

12 Likes

Sounds pretty much just like myself and my group of friends. I’m the last man standing of a group 8 players and even I’m starting to lose interest.

Your list of reasons also matches with what my friends have said, but the number one reason is lack of content, maps, game types and playlists…it’s just boring for them. As a group of 8 we mostly played BTB or customs, and with both of them broken for so long they just lost interest and moved back to other games…I can’t even get a group of 4 together now and have had to post in the recruitment section for ppl to play with.

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It seems you and I are on this path together. I am doing everything I can to remain optimistic and update my squad, but most of them are over being patient and have moved on. It’s very disheartening as I believe Infinite will be the best Halo…eventually.

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I’m in the same boat. Waited 3 months for my favorite game type to come out on infinite which is “tactical slayer” AKA SWAT which has been my favorite game type since I believe either halo 3 or 4 came out with it. But I’m stuck in a boat of not being able to use my mic because of bugs in their system and having to deal with only using a battle rifle which is my least favorite gun instead of how halo 5 has it where it’s a bunch of different maps and a bunch of different gun types all in one specific playlist. I can tell you I’ve only been on halo 5 for about 6 months prior to infinite coming out and when infinite came out I spent a whole month just playing it and now I’ve got probably 5 times as much time invested into halo 5 than I do in halo infinite and now it feels like 343 knows that people are going back to halo 5 and are deliberately making online play on halo 5 almost impossible to enjoy because as of now since infinite has come out they have done 0 specialty playlists like rock and rail and others and they pretty much have completely disregarded the selection of balanced and focused when loading into multiplayer playlists. Absolutely ridiculous for a company as big as them and as widely popular as they are to have made as big of a failure as infinite has turned out to be. I’m not in my thirty’s barely in my 20’s but I have played halo for as long as I can remember and have absolutely loved every single one to come out until now.

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Incredibly well written Rover. I’m still hoping that at some point the magic will return and we will squad up on some Infinie raid or king of the hill or just some random hilarious action sack mode like mongoose sumo. So many belly laughs.

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One more note that we have been waiting 5 (FIVE!!!) years for this including many false starts and dashed hopes. And the letdown is perhaps magnified due to the incredibly long wait.

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I knew it. From the first sentence. I knew that you guys had a better time on Halo 5.

It did so many things right and people refuse to see it

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This! Way too many people are blinded by nostalgia nowadays and it’s a huge problem.

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Halo infinite game play and scoring system makes no sense to me.

I’ve played multiple control matches and my team will have a longer control time, more captures, equal kills, and we lose the match. But there is no statistics that would point to why we lost.

Additionally, when playing Fiesta. I’ve played multiple matches where one team will receive swords, rockets, and hammers. Yet I will receive double pistol every drop.

I’ve back slapped multiple people that don’t die. Which may be due to cheaters, I feel like this game is infested with them.

I want to enjoy this game but it seems so halfway put together. Even if you do somehow make it to top tier ranks you only receive a sticker for your gun. I hope they’ve taken the time to actually get season 2 together before release. (I have pictures of the control loses but this form will not allow me to upload them)

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They removed this because they think it will help with gamemode health and population.
Many people have asked for the match composer from MCC but (in a recent blog update) they basically just said," F you, we know better and it is not coming."

They are trying to push the competitive scene in Infinite, and in their eyes and competitive player’s eyes (for the most part) tight, sweat matches=fun.

No idea why this wasn’t here at launch, but they have said that they are working on a server selection feature.

Yet another form of," ‘healthy matchmaking’, F you, we know better than you."

I’m not sure I agree with that.
Some weapons require some getting used to (pulse rifle, disrupter, and ravager were those for me) but overall, I feel like all the weapons are easy to get used to.

This is most likely caused by the desync plaguing this game

I haven’t really had issues with the sword, but the hammer was definitely nerfed from previous games.
Combine that with the desync and it makes for a pretty dull experience with the hammer.

As for the close-combat weapons, I’m not sure what you mean.
The needler is a great CqC weapon, as well as the sword, hammer, Bulldog, Heatwave.

This is because of the tight SBMM in the game that makes every match as tight and balanced as possible.
Again, lots of people have complained about this and they said," F you, we know better." (not really, but that is basically the gist)

The BtB maps are not made like prior BtB maps.
They are made to be tight-playing maps and to yet again push a competitive feel to the game (imo)

All the vehicles also take a lot of bump damage.
You can bump a wall with a banshee and it feels like you just got shot.

They have said that they are working on performance based progression but as of right now, we are stuck with the challenges.
Which, the challenge system in theory is fine, MCC does it quite well.
It is the way they implemented it, forcing you to play certain modes to get XP.

A workaround is to select a default mode, save it, and then load your saved mode.
Now that mode will save any changes you add to it.

Kind of sad that you need to find the workaround to actually get something to work, but that’s how it is until they fix it.

Welcome to “live-service”
Launch the bare minimum and then keep adding stuff in to keep players coming back.
Except, 343 forgot the “service” part, and didn’t bother to add any new content to the game for basically the entirety of Season 1 (6 months)
And even season 2 is the bare minimum, adding 1 BtB map, 1 arena map, 2 gamemodes, KOTH and Attrition, then 3 other modes, Elimination, Land grab, Last Spartan Standing.

There are quite a bit of good guns, but a lot of them are pretty situational.
More weapon will come, but probably not at a fast rate since (as far as we know) we aren’t even getting 1 new weapon for Season 2.
There are weapons in the game’s files that dataminers have found, a lot in fact, but I don’t think any of them are in a launchable, ready-to-ship state.

This is to produce FOMO, the store is like it as well.
Imo, events would be a lot better if they added stuff to the game permanently.

After the event is over, the event mode/playlist would become a rotational playlist that comes in every other week or weekend.

The event rewards/cosmetics would be added onto the end of the season pass, increasing the level count.

They are going to work on improving it, with some QOL updates coming soon.

Lack of co-op really ruined the launch of this game for me and my best Halo buddy. We met on Halo 2 and have been playing Halo ever since. The last game we really enjoyed playing together was Halo Reach. I made a figure of my Reach character, and one of his for him.
We have plans to start another legendary run of Reach on Friday.

Infinite just doesn’t do it for us on any level. He hasn’t even finished the campaign.
The player controls feel good, but everything else is a big meh for me. The new guns are very boring IMO. Like they were designed without even thinking about whether they would be fun to use or not, only focusing on if they would be balanced.

Being around when Infection started showing up in custom game lobbies in Halo 2, it makes me so disappointed that it isn’t treated as a launch staple game mode. That alone may have distracted me enough to ignore a lot of issues in Infinite.

I feel your pain bro. I don’t understand how people are enjoying themselves with this game. Good for them, glad it’s fun for someone. Not me or my buddy though.

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