Progression/Monetization IS NOT the biggest issue of this title

While everyone and their mother is raising a big stink about surface level issues that can be resolved in time about features that don’t have any impact on gameplay experience (Halo isn’t a dress up simulator), there are bigger monsters swimming just under the waves that have much bigger implications if left unaddressed.

Let’s get real, while everyone wants to look great in their Mjolnir combat armor when dropping overkills in Ranked, it’s kinda hard to do so when you drop connection due to a packet issue, your game crashes, or your PC freezes and you can’t reconnect to your match because it’s not a feature that was included in that playlist.

Ladies and gentlemen my friends and their friends are actively dropping this title for this reason, not because they don’t want to pay $20 for the color white, but because the game mode they enjoy playing punishes them for issues out of their control and doesn’t offer them the ability to rejoin, a feature already included in the QP/BTB playlist. It’s demoralizing to be in this position, knowing it was an accident, letting your friends down because the game actively bars you from correcting the mistake, something nearly every competitive title offers in 2021 and before.

While I understand the frustration with some of the cosmetic tertiary features related to the legacy of this franchise, there are a plethora of gameplay related that should be addressed that aren’t gaining any traction because everyone wants to share their opinion on financial decisions of virtual items and offer up ways to optimize an obsessive compulsive grind.

200,000+ players didn’t pick up this title to glamoflauge their 26th century super soldier, and I’m not losing friends to a grindy progression system they have access to in the 20 other titles they play. My friends (a representative slice of the player population) are leaving due to placing in Gold after getting stiffed on the ability to rejoin the match they got kicked from. They’re dropping it because they’re tired of getting a sweaty CTF lobby when they just want to play some casual Slayer and unwind after a busy day working Holiday hours. They’re getting bored of the same 6 maps with preset game modes.

We can ride out the progression/monetization wave, it’s clear as day that the vocality of players show they’re not going anywhere because of the pricing. However the undertow current of the gameplay, mechanics, features, and quality of life aspects is what’s going to drag us down. It’s what we aren’t talking about, the topics that are directly affecting the gameplay experience that are getting buried in favor of over stated objections that should take precedent.

I had a blast and am continuing to do so with this title. At 28 I’ve reconnected with long lost friends and family over a game in a franchise that we’ve been playing since 2004, and it honestly pains me that in a week 25%-30% of them have dropped this title not because of the hot button skin deep topics about monetization and progression but due to issues revolving around the core ability to actually play the game. With constant disappointments and let downs over the last decade (MW reboot, Borderlands 3 fizzle, Destiny crash) Halo is the game that brought everyone in my circle and their circle and their extended circles back around as busy adults, and I’m not going to let that slip through my fingers due to some petty heavily opinionated stance on monetization or grind if I there’s even a sliver of a chance I can help it.

For goodness sake guys, the top forum posts are all carbon copies of parroting the same thing about progression, cosmetics and microtransactions when the core mechanics, gameplay and key features omitted are actively causing players to say “nope, I’m done”. A good majority of you have the priorities backwards, a game is going to last only as long as the gameplay stays fun. We’re still in the honeymoon phase despite what people like to think, and it’ll be a real wake up call when players can’t reconnect to matches or find friends because they decided arguing over having a cheaper silver samurai Spartan with two swords was more important than being able to play with their friends if they lost connection to a match.

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Yeah. A rejoin feature after being dc’d by the servers would be pretty cool. Especially now with the servers overloaded. The game has issues that need to be worked on at the core too in addition to the monetization ones. Some guns are practically useless on PC, you mentioned the rejoin issue, more often than not players seem to desync and kill each other through walls, there’s like 4 game modes (temporarily 5 now), and the custom games browser forge are MIA at the moment. 343 is by no means small, so they probably have people listening out for even this feedback over the “fix the battle pass” thing.

Most people are just complaining now about the progression system because it’s the most in-your-face issue, and it really does break the sense of progression there that has been present from 3 until now. That matters because a lot of the players want to look good & work to do it. The battle pass pretty much shuts all that down in its current state

I don’t know, player engagement and moneymaking are pretty big things to screw up, but gameplay issues are 100% worth bringing attention to. Good post, OP.

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To address 90% of your points at once:
This is the beta, or “beta,” and still being tweaked.

To translate:
They bulk gametypes to maximize testing potential. Is it seemingly bias on objective types, sure, but the tech tests didn’t have half of those.

As for ranked, I’m 50/50. I’m glad people can’t rejoin to exploit rank boosting (high friend) or smurfs. But having a 3v4 permanently sucks. That’s really not a make or break issue. Forbid you place low and able to climb higher.
I placed gold 4 and 90% to plat after 3 bad games of said 3v4. 2 good matches and I’m plat at 25%. Not hard.

The progression issue IS a major game breaking problem.
No progress = no drive = no play = Anthem.
Once I knocked out my weekly list, I couldn’t get myself to keep going since there is literally no point. I don’t want to drag through 20 matches for just 1 rank.
Furthermore, it encourages laziness and absenteeism. Why actually play when you have challenges or get rewarded just for being there?

Also, as for crash issues, My crew is on Xbox series X and S and have had zero issues so far. Might be a personal end issue?

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To that extent, just bare with the monetization and progression a bit longer, the game’s just in beta. Those cosmetics are just being tweaked.

This I totally get, and I’m aware of the reasoning behind it. To others, it’s a little less obvious. But I digress, it would still be good to get a dedicated playlist for just casual experiences even if it is separate from the rest of the options. You can still run stability tests, but it gives players one more choice.

You say it’s not a make or break issue, yet it has already broken it for many of my friends. It’s a huge issue when coming from CS, Overwatch, LoL, and a multitude of other competitive titles that not only allow for this to happen, but recognize the inherent nature of errors and the disproportionate nature of a lost teammate.

Players at the very least should be granted one chance to get back into a match especially when they’re in a stacked group. This is a quality of life standard in today’s multiplayer gaming industry to the point it’s already included in damn near every major competitive title on the market.

Anthem was a looter shooter, it tied progression to the loot to the gameplay. Get loot → level up → access to more gameplay → repeat. I understand where you’re coming from, progression has come a long way since the days of Halo Reach (and other early shooters with this model) to the point it’s taught people to need some sort of hamster wheel to enjoy their gaming experience, but it’s a false equivalency to compare ‘gameplay mechanics tied to gameplay progression’ to ‘optional cosmetics tied to optional challenges that have no impact on unlocking gameplay related features’.

I have friends who just discovered the cosmetic options, 60% of my friends are still rocking the default Spartan. They keep coming back and playing because they enjoy playing the game with their friends and experiencing the wins and the gameplay. They don’t quit (I didn’t quit) after I hit my weekly cap, I kept playing because, “I got Downey and Fishy for a ranked stack, hop on you’re our fourth”. If you need a carrot dangling in front of your nose to keep you interested in a title, you’re not interested in that title brother.

Consoles are going to have less issues than PC due to the standardization of the hardware, especially newer consoles. That doesn’t mean you won’t experience issues, and when you do have issues due to bugs within a patch, I hope you don’t get a response like “well tough luck, maybe you should switch to PC, that issue doesn’t seem to be happening there”. Because your console of choice is not what’s the issue here.

A buddy of mine is stuck on original Xbox One hardware, and had no idea his experience was actually subpar at best when he saw my game running at 120fps. Yet he’s played every night since launch.

It doesn’t matter if the end issues are personal or not, it never has ever in the PC or console world. Whether your game crashed due to a driver error, hard drive crash, hardware failure, poor optimization, power or internet service outage, packet loss: I’m not blaming the dropped match on 343 or this title, I’m blaming the inability to rejoin on 343 and this title. There’s going to issues, there’s going to be crashes, there’s going to factors that cause matches to disconnect players especially in Beta, if that player can rally to rejoin and get back into the match that player should be granted to ability to do so, it’s an industry standard feature and already included in QP.

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