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.