Randomness is Fair, but not in Competition

Let me start off by saying that I enjoy Halo 4, and I wish for everyone to enjoy such a great game. I am not a greatly competitive player and did not play Halo 3 multiplayer in its prime. I do, however, recognize the mechanics that exist in Halo games. There is one major point I’d like to make that applies to any potentially competitive game, not just Halo.

Randomness is fair, but not in the competitive sense.

Statistically, randomness is fair. In a lottery, each ticket has just as much of a chance to win as the next one, so that the only way to get a better chance is to buy more tickets. This is completely fair and unbiased. Assuming everyone has only one ticket, every person therefore has the same chance of winning. The problem is not that randomness isn’t fair, but that it skews the competitiveness of the game.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say that you are on a team that is in a competition to build a boat using the supplies given to you. Other teams in the competition are similar in skill to yours. Right before the competition begins, the organization holding the competition decides to have a random drawing, and whichever team wins this completely random, unbiased drawing, receives building materials superior to everyone else’s, including yours. One team wins the drawing, and ends up winning the building competition.

Why did they win? Were they better builders than you? Assuming they are equal in skill to your team, they should not be better builders, but we can’t say for sure. What we can say, however, is that having superior building materials gave that team a distinct advantage over all the other teams.

The random drawing gave that team an advantage over all the other teams. Assuming each team builds the best boat they possibly can, the team that wins the random drawing would win each time, not because they were better than the competition, but because they were given something better that the rest of competition didn’t have.

Now, this obviously doesn’t apply to the entirety of Halo 4’s multiplayer, but it does apply to parts of it. For example, during a team slayer game on Haven, the two teams are currently tied at 58-58. At this point in the map, random ordnance drops down at the red team’s current location. Unfortunately for the blue team, it is a binary rifle. Red team ends up winning that match 60-59 with 2 binary rifle kills. Now I ask you, which team is better?

We can’t say that red team is better than blue team. We can’t say that they won based on skill. We can’t decide which team was better in this match. The only thing we can say is that red team won because of the binary rifle. That ordnance could have spawned at any of the preset locations on the map, but it ends up spawning right next to red team. This principle applies to any random global ordnance drop, not just when the game is close.

This applies to personal ordnance as well. Is it fair that one person’s personal ordnance options are frags, needler, and speed boost, while another person’s options are pulse grenades, binary rifle, damage boost? It is random. Both players had the same chance at getting that superior ordnance drop. But that is the problem.

Chance.

Chance decided that one player would receive a superior ordnance drop, and in doing so decided which player would perform better, which then causes one player to win the match over another. The skills of the individual players didn’t decide that. Chance did. Randomness did. One player beating another wasn’t decided by him being better, but rather being given better tools than the competition.

Having power weapons does not make someone killing you unfair. In previous Halo’s, the power weapons were in set locations on set timers. Under those settings, assuming each team knew the spawn times and locations, the only reason you were being killed by power weapons was because your team was unable to be at the spawn location at the time the weapon would spawn. There was no chance involved. Both teams knew when and where they would spawn. As long as one team was there and stopped the other from being there, that team would be able to acquire the power weapons.

To sum up my post, randomness is bad as it causes encounters that normally would be decided by skill to instead be decided by who was luckier.

I want the game to be as fun and fair as it can, but to a player like me, getting killed by a binary rifle or incinerator cannon that spawned next to someone isn’t fun or fair.

Totally agree. Halo is the most pr0 l337 fps on the market and this “fun” stuff is just ridiculous. If you ain’t goin for the 360 nosc0pes then get out.

No ordinance, only DMRs, no shields, no vehicles, and the only map should be Final Destination from Smash Bros.

~MLG pr0 4 Lyf!~

It’s hard when the game gives you curve balls.

Somehow I think it will make you better as you have to deal with what you have instead of having everything be predictable.

I agree. Randomness isn’t good for competitive matches or MLG, and i’m not saying random events either like an explosion caused a random object to go flying across the map and kill somebody.

For me it would be ordinance drops. Ordinance is fine for social play but in competitive its not.

Here’s my example. It’s the final match of the MLG tournament, the final two teams are tied 3 to 3 in a best of 7. They are also tied in the last game with both teams only needing 10 more kills to win. Two players from each team get an ordinance. Team A gets a needler and scattershot, while Team B gets a binary rifle and rockets. It’s most likely that Team B would win due to being equal in skill all tournament but having better luck with the ordinance.

To me that’s not fair.

> It’s hard when the game gives you curve balls.
>
> Somehow I think it will make you better as you have to deal with what you have instead of having everything be predictable.

I understand what you’re saying, it’s just that in that scenario I can’t concretely say with 100% confidence that I had lost because I am a worse player than he is. Also, there are some scenarios that you can’t deal with, such as when the game is tied up with only a few kills left.

> I agree. Randomness isn’t good for competitive matches or MLG, and i’m not saying random events either like an explosion caused a random object to go flying across the map and kill somebody.
>
> For me it would be ordinance drops. Ordinance is fine for social play but in competitive its not.
>
> Here’s my example. It’s the final match of the MLG tournament, the final two teams are tied 3 to 3 in a best of 7. They are also tied in the last game with both teams only needing 10 more kills to win. Two players from each team get an ordinance. Team A gets a needler and scattershot, while Team B gets a binary rifle and rockets. It’s most likely that Team B would win due to being equal in skill all tournament but having better luck with the ordinance.
>
> To me that’s not fair.

That’s exactly what I mean.

> It’s hard when the game gives you curve balls.
>
> Somehow I think it will make you better as you have to deal with what you have instead of having everything be predictable.

Nothing was predictable in other Halo’s as well. This seems to be a common argument many people throw against those who stand on the other side of the line. Or like a Troll kid above you.

Simply saying “Well maybe you should play better and not be killed by it.” While the other side of the argument can go “Well, maybe you should stop being rewarded greater then me for doing the same thing.” It’s arguing little children, one kid gets an Action Toy for cleaning their room, while their Brother gets an Action Toy with Kung-Fu grip for doing the exact same thing.

His analogy of Randomness and Chance were spot on. See, what some people don’t seem to get is…lets just say you and the opposing player both open the game up on a killing spree, Ordinance drop, he gets something better. Why? Because that 20% chance of a Beam / Sniper / Binary dropping deemed so? Why should the other player be punished? He did everything right as well.

It’s as if you go into a 4v4v1 in Team Slayer, with the 1 being who the Random Ordinance Generator decided to favor at that given time. This scenario would fit perfectly, the team with greater skill would usually get the power weapons, or bait them. To get their kills, that was the unpredictable point in the previous Halos. Thinking to yourself “Is sniper watching my snipe spawn? Did they dirty my sniper time? Are Rockets dirty timed as well?” “Where’d custom go? Did anyone pay attention to Custom time? Should we setup there?”

This one its seems more deemed towards you HAVING to die to figure out WHAT he got in his Ordinance. You know 100% Incineration Cannon did not drop on the map, but you just died by one. “Ok, now I need to pay attention to this kid.” It lopsides the balance of a game, and gives someone an unequal advantage based on well…Chance.

That’s what set Halo apart from other Multiplayers for the past decade, many of other FPS’s have committed the sin of introducing chance and randomness to a game. Halo didn’t have that, Halo had every variable be accounted for, but every variable was constantly changing through 15 minutes.

Change is good so long as the balance of power is not consistently decided on a Russian Roulette type deal. Which is what this game has committed.

> Totally agree. Halo is the most pr0 l337 fps on the market and this “fun” stuff is just ridiculous. If you ain’t goin for the 360 nosc0pes then get out.
>
> No ordinance, only DMRs, no shields, no vehicles, and the only map should be Final Destination from Smash Bros.
>
> ~MLG pr0 4 Lyf!~

Such blind hate from a bad player, why am I not surprised on this forum.

I agree OP, if every ordinance was exactly the same then that would make things fair. Unfortunately I end up getting the crap ordinance while the other teams gets the good one. It doesn’t change the out come in most matches because the majority of Halo 4 players are bad. The only time it matters is in close games which I’ve only been apart of 3.

I think the randomness is good for MLG because it makes them have to adjust on the fly instead of just the same predictable gameplay. It might make them innovate and come up with strategy to counter act these senarios. Skill isn’t just about gun skill, it includes map knowledge and strategies designed for specific situations.

> Totally agree. Halo is the most pr0 l337 fps on the market and this “fun” stuff is just ridiculous. If you ain’t goin for the 360 nosc0pes then get out.
>
> No ordinance, only DMRs, no shields, no vehicles, and the only map should be Final Destination from Smash Bros.
>
> ~MLG pr0 4 Lyf!~

I could have just smashed my head into the keyboard and it would’ve resulted in a more relevant post than that…

> I think the randomness is good for MLG because it makes them have to adjust on the fly instead of just the same predictable gameplay. It might make them innovate and come up with strategy to counter act these senarios. Skill isn’t just about gun skill, it includes map knowledge and strategies designed for specific situations.

And when 100,000$ National Championships are on the line and you lose because of it you’ll be singing a different tune almost immediately. You cannot account for something random, no one can. Besides, MLG settings have already removed Ordinance Drops in games for players.

Do you know what was fair? When the weapons used to be on the map and everyone had an equal chance to fight for whatever weapon they were trying to get their hands on. Incineration cannons randomly popping up at your feet is not fair.

> I think the randomness is good for MLG because it makes them have to adjust on the fly instead of just the same predictable gameplay. It might make them innovate and come up with strategy to counter act these senarios. Skill isn’t just about gun skill, it includes map knowledge and strategies designed for specific situations.

Those last things you mentioned have been part of MLG since Halo 2. Randomness however isn’t good for competitive gameplay period. I’m sure right now MLG players are thanking god you don’t set the rules. I would hate to see someone loose money because the other team randomly got rockets and his team got needler.

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> Do you know what was fair? When the weapons used to be on the map and everyone had an equal chance to fight for whatever weapon they were trying to get their hands on. Incineration cannons randomly popping up at your feet is not fair.

I agree, but I think it is possible to make Halo 4 global ordnance both inviting to new players(as in previous Halo games if new players didn’t know the spawn locations they were at a huge disadvantage) and competitive. If a waypoint is placed at the location the ordnance will spawn 20-30 seconds before it spawns, then new players would be able to know where weapons spawn, but coordinated teams could still fight over the weapon itself like the previous Halo’s.

[deleted]

Literally couldn’t agree more. I posted recently about this, having lost a game 600 - 590 right about the time they got a sniper rifle (which I died to) and an overshield.

It’s not that randomness isn’t ‘fun’ or ‘funny’, and I don’t mind the concept of ordnance, but i get more enjoyment out of the competition side of multiplayer fps games. I play Halo because of the competitive feel of it, the winning, and the competition of others.

When I enter into that field of battle, I want it to be as fair as possible.

My request to 343i.
‘Classic’ playlists, if you will, without ordnance, and to a degree, without customisable loadouts and certainly without random ordnance drops.

Fully agreed, We need anyways a ranked playlist with no bloom, ordinances or other randomness. Also having ranked and social playlist separated is good because now you’re going to almost every game face the same skilled opponents because of the underlying skill system in H4 uses to find games in matchmaking. In social playlist the search could just be random, having better and worse players as you in the game.

Is it a fair fight if I randomly punch a guy in the nose and say “alright, now lets fight”?

> I think the randomness is good for MLG because it makes them have to adjust on the fly instead of just the same predictable gameplay. It might make them innovate and come up with strategy to counter act these senarios. Skill isn’t just about gun skill, it includes map knowledge and strategies designed for specific situations.

Halo 4 in it’s current guise would not last in MLG. I see your argument, but the ‘luck’ factor is just TOO big to be argued against. Imagine the finals where one team won the so many thousand dollar prize because of luck. The other team, the fans, everyone would call it a farse. And your MLG champion team? Arguably NOT the best team, at the time of the event. It’s a joke, I’m afraid.

Now, whether you agree or disagree with this topic, I’d like to explain it wouldn’t change your gameplay at all. The topic suggests another playlist for Halo 4, if you wouldn’t like it you wouldn’t have to play it. So what I’m implying here is that whether you do or don’t like this, randomness is in fact going to make the game worse for some people and you can not disagree with this. Adding a “Professional/Ranked/MLG/Whatever” playlist to the game wouldn’t change your gameplay experience at all but it would make the game better for those some people, increasing its longevity and you know you want Halo 4 to last long. Now go spam that thank button on the OP for actual chance of 343i seeing this!