Rank System : Breaking down what went wrong

Now I know we all disagree on what the best rank system is,
the 1-50 Halo2/3 system was great and a fan favorite, but flawed because of the boosting.
Halo reach system took a crack at quantifying the over performance of each playe quite vigilantly.
I don’t hate or love either system, and am a firm believer that a perfect system has not been made.
I’m not suggesting some perfect system, or ingeniousness formula, just pointing out what I think went wrong with Halo Reach ranking system.

  1. Variety:
    The big charm of the 1-50 ranking system, was the separate ranks for different playlist. This allowed us to play different playlists with different groups of friends, some you cared for about than others, but ALWAYS felt like winning mattered, putting your best effort forward. Without the variety in ranked playlists, players may quickly get bored in the arena, and take themselves elsewhere.

  2. Winning:
    Halo is a team based game, and if the teams overall goal isn’t to win, then game play suffers. In past matchmaking systems, it didn’t matter how much you hated the guy on your team, you would snipe a guy off his back for the better of the team. Your rank was directly tied to others, so there was no killing someone for the rocket launcher, or other power weapons.

  3. Death vs Kill: In halo reach, it takes 3 deaths to even out one kill. Because of this, you can continue to raise your rating going negative, as long as both numbers are large. This is obviously flawed, rewarding a player for being overly aggressive, even if they are throwing away the win, to raise their score.

  4. Display: In past halo’s, the rating was displayed with one click on the persons name. This way you could quickly see each players top rating, before a game started. This was a fun way to size up your competition while you waited for the map to load. In reach, you have to dig through plenty of screens to see the arena placement… many have never even been placed…

These are just some thoughts I had. If anyone wants to add to the discussion, please feel free.

I agree. 100%

If 343i concerntrated on stopping Boosting and Deranking, then Trueskill 1-50 is the:
“Most efficient way of accurately providing a players skill.”

I can not stress this point enough! Please read into the system before complaining.

As stated, if 343i can fix the Deranking and Boosting, then this Ranking system is undeniably the best!

What do you mean, please read into the system before complaining?
I didn’t complain about the 1-50 system much at all, and nothing was really a complaint, just what was flawed with the reach system.

> If 343i concerntrated on stopping Boosting and Deranking, then Trueskill 1-50 is the:
> “Most efficient way of accurately providing a players skill.”
>
> I can not stress this point enough! Please read into the system before complaining.
>
> As stated, if 343i can fix the Deranking and Boosting, then this Ranking system is undeniably the best!

Sure, some think so but not all, 1-50 is broken and Halo 4 could use a new and improved system. Instead of trying to fix something already broken forever, it’s better to start over and make something new and better. 343i got possibilities, both when it comes to hardware and software, that bungie never ever could dream of back when they made 1-50, learn from history, don’t live it.

See, this is what i’m talking about. I’m not here saying they should go back to the 1-50 system! I’m just saying specifically what was wrong with the reach system. As long as this new system addressed my points, it probably will be the best system.

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Wait… People really believe the only thing wrong with Halo 2 or Halo 3’s 1-50 systems is the fact there were de-rankers and boosters?!

Wow, that’s insane!

Ok, first of all, Halo 2’s system was complete junk. It was designed to test 1v1 skill, and didn’t take teams into account. It was terrible. So bad that they had to completely retool it and reset everyone with a slightly improved version. It was a terrible way to rank people and with the right parameters, could cause someone to lose a level for winning. Yes, it was that bad.

However, it did have a slight quality about its flaws… It was actually strict enough so that anyone level 30+ was damn good.

Halo 3’s system comes along and it’s much improved. So much so that it made me enjoy Ranked Halo player again. However, over time you can see the glaring flaws.

It just wasn’t strict enough. You would constantly get teammates who were level 40+ who were absolutely horrible. I’ve played against enough 50’s to see how bad they can be… Not to mention, the entire issue with teams against individuals. No 4 person teams should play against 4 individual players.

Halo: Reach improved quite a bit, but also introduced some problems.

Time playing = the most cR. Now to anyone who just likes to game, this means nothing. But to those who want a high cR count to make them look “awesome” would drag out games and spawn kill just because they would get hardly any cR if they just finished the damn thing.

It was said that it was made purposefully not as strict, which is a big problem in itself. Sometimes, I want to be able to be matched with players of around the same skill level. None of that, “Oh, you’re a 40? Here’s an 80 to play with to even out the skill levels!”.

Everyone should be around the same. Either plus/minus 5 levels from yourself. Period.

Games played = Much higher Trueskill value. This needs to be changed. In the beginning, I actually got matched up very well. No teams (With Skill Restriction on), no teams higher than 2 people together! For playing only Big Team Battle, this was a godsend compared to Halo 2/3.

But, once I got to 500 or so games played in the Big Team Battle playlist, it all progressively stopped. First it was teams of 3 popping up. No big deal. Then a team of 3 and a team of 4, what?! Now I was getting teams of 3-4, even teams of 8!

It needs to be consistent. My Trueskill level should have been pretty high, but not so much that I was expected to lead a team of completely new players against an 8 person team. Hell no.

What Halo 4 needs to do is take the best of all the systems.

Strict as hell if I want it to be. If I want to play a game of Ranked Big Team Battle, I better have all of my teammates within 5 levels of my own. No excuses. And I better not play any teams of more than 2.

1-100 system, that as I mentioned, is strict as hell. Anything level 90+ means you are a god at the game and can dominate anyone fairly easily. Level 100 shouldn’t even be possible to get for 99.9999% of the population. Anything above level 95 should be professionals. Etc.

If they can find the right balance between the strict, 10 minutes to find a game (But it’s a damn good, competitive game) to jumping into a match randomly and as quick as possible to just play, it will be perfect.

> TRUE HALO FANS BEYOND THIS POINTPREPARE TO DROP READ: The following is a Mature discussion on the multiplayer direction of Halo 4. This thread contains intelligent, well-developed ideas and advanced theories not everyone will understand. This is a progressive halo thread, everyone is welcome, questions, comments, and input encouraged. You have been warned we are watching.
> This Message was brought to you by the Superintendent reminding you to KEEP IT CLEAN
>
> Now Back to Your Regularly Scheduled Programming
> The following thread will explain benefit the a 1-50 ranking system. My argument is that the lack of a 1-50 ranking system in Reach made it so that every playlist became the equivalent a Halo 3 type social playlist. This meant that competitive players could not get the competitive games they wanted. As a result competitive players steam rolled through matchmaking and as they got bored, they lost incentive to continue playing, the competitive side of Halo suffered, and ultimately the Halo community as a whole suffered.
>
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> Incentives and the Player Spiral Theory
> The premise is that Halo has a player base and naturally, overtime the game will gain some players and lose others. This is an attempt to explain the determinants of population in order to understand what affects it. Knowing this 343 can hopefully make better decisions and extend the longevity of the game. First off, this is an analysis of what people in general will do. Furthermore, I am presenting an issue that considers more than the actions of you or I because frankly nobody cares whether you or I will play or not play given a situation. So justify through the means of saying I will buy, not buy, play or not play is a mistake. Instead, we must ask what people do as a whole and what affects their actions have.
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> The foundation of the theory is that population is determined by incentives. The biggest incentive of course is core gameplay or how fun the game is at its core. Unfortunately, people get bored over time, fun will diminish and they will stop playing. So what can we do about this? Well, we can offer more incentives like new maps to masters. It is easier to retain players than to draw players in (has to do with push vs. pull) so it is important that players do not lose incentive early on.
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> The basis of the player spiral theory is the idea that incentives and population have a curricular relationship. Idea is that large populations give players an incentive to play a game and smaller populations give players less incentives to play a game. The reason may not be initially obvious but my explanation is yes people can play are more likely to be able to play with more of their friends on games with larger populations, but also people want to be where the party is at and if everyone plays Halo then they want to play it to. So what does this all means? Well, it increases the importance of player retention and therefore increases the importance of incentives
>
> Take an example where one person loses incentive to continue playing so they quit playing. The immediate effect is on the people on that person’s friend’s list whom they play the game with. These people have one less player that they can play with so all them play slightly less, I will call these people tier one. Tier one then impacts tier 2 with a slightly less effect and so on. However it does not end there because, there is nothing stopping someone tier 3 being friends with some else on that same tier or any previous or later tiers. This can lead to a spiraling effect where tier 3 effects tier 1 again. This is the spiraling effect of one’s immediately sphere of influence, but it affects everyone in the form of matchmaking times as well.
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> Now what does this mean? This means people with larger spheres of influence are more valuable to the community than those with not so large spheres. Because I would suspect competitive players to have the largest spheres of influence, I can say that a typical competitive player is worth more to the community than a single noncompetitive player is. However, it would be a mistake for me to assume that all competitive players combined are worth more than all noncompetitive players combined because obviously the population of noncompetitive players is larger. What I can say though is that it would be in the best interest of 343 to encourage people to have larger spheres to achieve a sort of upward spiral and what better way than encouraging competitive play. Enter the ranking system.
>
> Rank was without a doubt served as one of the biggest incentives in Halo 2 and 3. Naturally, it encourages competitive play and sucks people in. It does this by giving people a reason to care about their gameplay, try harder, and get better, and link up with others and play more. Obviously ranks creates the problem of cheating but incentives that ranking system creates far exceeds the incentives that cheaters take away from other players therefore it is only logical that a ranking system be included. Without a ranking system, the game will not benefit from the upward spiral and may even be subject to a downward spiral. Ultimately, the lack of a ranking system will mean lower population and player retention.
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> What does this mean for 343? Obviously better player retention means more money for them. Therefore, when analyzing game decisions one of the most important factors to consider is what impact it may have on incentives for players. In other words, who ever came up with the brilliant plan to cut the ranking system deserves to be fired. Hell, hire me at least I know the intricacies of halo and my methodologies are infinitely better.
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> Examples of the Incentive Spiral at Work
> Halo 2: Ranks in Halo 2 reset several times during the life of the game. I contend that people having after having their ranks reset, people had less incentive to go through the ranks a second time, and after a third ranks reset even less incentive to go through the ranks a third time. In other words with each subsequent reset or start-over scenario people have less incentive and therefore with each reset the game would lose a significant amount of players.

Halo 3: The genius of double experience weekends in Halo 3 was that they had the opposite effect, creating an upward spiral of players. These playlist included incentives for those, looking to level up faster, improve the look of their service record, and those looking to play limited time oddball gametypes (i.e. zombies, griffball, etc.). As a result, people went out of their way to play during these events and thus encouraged friends to do so as well.

Reach: Halo Reach suffered from the rank reset problems as Halo 2 but to a far worse extent. This difference is due to expectations. In Halo 2 there were no announced plans to reset ranks whereas in Reach there were plans to reset ranks at predetermined intervals. If people can expect the fruits of their labor to be erased at a predetermined date sometime in the future they will have less incentive to play today. On the contrary, if people do not have this expectation, they will have more incentive to play today. In other words, expectations play a key role in people’s decision-making. This is by far the biggest reason the Arena failed.[/size]
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For me, Reach wasn’t a riveting multiplayer experience. I can’t say whether or not this was because of the ranking system, but it certainly didn’t help. There was zero incentive for me to keep playing. Yeah, I could get credits and buy things, but the excitement of that lasted a few weeks and then died out. Sure, the 1-50 system was broken. But it was less broken than Reach’s ranking system was.

It’s sad that every single FPS that comes out in the post-CoD video game world has to emulate its multiplayer progression on some level. I have fun with CoD, but keep its mechanics out of Halo. They are vastly different games.

Matt,
Your post is just all kinds of wrong. Yeah, the rank system was flawed… but it was also the best console online ranking system ever made. Half of your complaints about the big team battle playlist are just unrealistic. There aren’t that many people playing it, to where they can have full games of groups of 1 and 2, because you don’t have any friends online at the time… 1-50 is better than the arena any day. They just stripped the competitive nature out, and streamlined it into 1 playlist, and the formula is still very flawed.

> Now I know we all disagree on what the best rank system is,
> the 1-50 Halo2/3 system was great and a fan favorite, but flawed because of the boosting.

1-50 was flawed because by it’s design it doesn’t allow everyone to finish it.

A perfect ranking system would be one that is based on the amount of Wins you have.

You rank up based on how many times you have won, but don’t lose that rank like in Halo 3.

I think the 1-50 ranking was good… yes you had boosters but still gives the non boosters a good challenge… i think a good addition to the 1-50 rank would be… to have random team and arranged team (if you search in team slayer by your self you have a separate rank and then every person you are teamed with b4 you search should give you a separate rank, eg.i play with someone called… Betty in doubles and we are 37 but then i play with another friend called bob and we are 46.) this gives it more variety and you get a chance to play with different people and have a complete separate rank altogether. but apart from that i like the 1-50 rating system much better… i actually felt like i had something to achieve with it as you were always trying to get it up where in reach i didn’t really care on rating and personally didn’t play reach much at all because of it. i would be happy with just halo 3 with a graphics update personally haha in my opinion… reach ruined halo!
including things like load outs. i don’t mind sprint being in halo but the rest are silly. just my opinion though!

In Halo 3 Rank = Skill + games one / nothing for losing a game

In Halo Reach Rank = time played / doesn’t matter if you wins or lose only about 1000 credits difference / not skill

Halo 4 needs to have something for everyone / as different people enjoy different game types and playlists

& a 50/50 mix of Ranked and social playlists is perfect …

In my mind

Yeah exactly. The problem with Reach, is that everyone hated the arena so much everyone ditched at. It was supposed to match up with the 1-50 system, not the credit system. Arena for hardcore players, credit system for casual. They pulled through for the casual fans, but not for the competitive ones imo.