Rethinking Kill times in Multiplayer

I was browsing through the Xbox Live Activity Charts when I noticed something interesting. With the exception of the first few weeks after a new game is released, the top spot has always been occupied by games with short multiplayer kill times.

Starting with Xbox Connect for the original xbox, the most popular game was Halo 1. Melee battles in this game generally took about 1 second to complete and pistol battles were often over in less than 5. When Xbox Live launched, the most popular game was Halo 2. With button combinations like BxR, melee battles also took about 1 second and BR battles were still less than 10 seconds. Eventually Halo 2 is surpassed by Gears of War which included 1-button melee kills (chainsaw), default spawning with a 1 hit kill shotgun and fairly quick Lancer battles. While it’s true that GoW is a separate entity from Halo as it is both a 3rd person shooter and round-based, it still follows the quicker-kills principle. Then we move on to Halo 3. The kill times in both melee and BR battles increased drastically. This was also the first Halo game not to occupy the top spot for the entirety of its run (I’m not really counting Gears taking over Halo 2 as it was on a different console. Halo 2 still held the top spot on the original Xbox Live until it was shut down). The 4 games that would take down Halo 3 all had faster kill times. 3 of these games are Call of Duty (Cod4, World at War and Modern Warfare 2). These games all have 1-button melee kills and extremely fast kill times with guns. The final game that helped remove Halo 3 from 1st was Gears of War 2, which had similar characteristics to its predecessor mentioned above. Then we move on to 2010. Halo Reach brings the slowest kill times of any Halo game yet. The melee battles (in a system i still believe is broken) generally take between 4 and 8 seconds. The average times for DMR battles are pretty difficult to figure out. Armor Abilities and the bloom make it much easier for you to escape fire fights. Regardless of the actual per-fight time of a DMR battle, when you take the aspects of it into account (minimum 5 shots, bloom armor abilities, ease of running away etc.) you are left with a game that has the slowest kill times yet.

Halo Reach is currently in 3rd on the activity charts after Call of Duty Black Ops (quick kill times similar to the other CoD games) and Modern Warfare 2 (which was released about a year before Reach) and will probably fall again as Gears of War 3, Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 are all coming out in the next few months. I know it may sound like I’m urging 343i to make Halo 4 more like CoD, but in actuality, I’m suggesting a return to the roots of Halo multiplayer gaming. There may be more games on the market today, but there is NO REASON why Halo 4 can’t occupy the top spot. Make a game that it is competitive and it will also be fun.

TL;DR. The most popular multiplayer games are ones with very quick kill times.

EDIT: I forgot to mention this during the original post but I thought I would add it in now. One of the biggest reasons that a faster-kill time is essential with spawn weapons like the DMR is balance, specifically with the Power Weapons. Weapons such as the Rockets, Sniper and Sword, have not seen an increase in kill time. Now the player with one of these weapons is less of a target, as it is considerably more difficult to kill him. A good sniper still only needs (at most) 2 bullets to kill you, a player with rockets still needs only one rocket, but now a player who was not fortunate enough to get a power weapon, is at an inherent disadvantage. While it’s true that the nature of power weapons is to give an advantage to the team that gets one, I believe the imbalance created is far too great.

Reach is Reach, it won’t be change or at least the core gameplay won’t.

Custom Games & Team Classic is always there for those who want fast kill times.

Halo CE took 1 second with a perfect three shot of the pistol.

Bungie made kill times long to help new players have a chance against skillful players, which is terrible in my eyes.

> Halo CE took 1 second with a perfect three shot of the pistol.
>
> Bungie made kill times long to help new players have a chance against skillful players, which is terrible in my eyes.

But is having kill times that are slower than one second really that bad? Part of what makes Halo unique is that whoever gets the first shot doesn’t necessarily get the kill. If kill times are that fast, and if you get shot in the back, you won’t nearly have enough time to turn around and outshoot your opponent, even if you’re the better player.

Personally, I think a balance between H3 and Reach kill times would be ideal.

Yes I agree, But what mainly seperated Halo from the rest.

Was the fact you can kill someone incredibly quickly… if you practice and aquire skills, Nowadays its all about giving everybody a level playing field regardless of how much they practice, I.e Everybody kills fast in call of duty and now in Halo: Reach, " everybody kills eachother equally as slow ".

To be honest this is what is making me bored of game nowadays, it doesn’t matter if you practice it or not, it won’t make that much of a difference… which is why I kind of got bored of call of duty and Reach really quickly theres just nothing there to put effort into really, and Reach’s gameplay isn;t worth hanging around for imo.

> Halo CE took 1 second with a perfect three shot of the pistol.
>
> Bungie made kill times long to help new players have a chance against skillful players, which is terrible in my eyes.

Exactly! The idea of dumb-ing a game down so that people don’t feel left out is ridiculous.

BTW, only said “less than 5 (seconds)” for Halo 1 pistol to better include long distance kills on maps like Hang 'em.

> > Halo CE took 1 second with a perfect three shot of the pistol.
> >
> > Bungie made kill times long to help new players have a chance against skillful players, which is terrible in my eyes.
>
> But is having kill times that are slower than one second really that bad? Part of what makes Halo unique is that whoever gets the first shot doesn’t necessarily get the kill. If kill times are that fast, and if you get shot in the back, you won’t nearly have enough time to turn around and outshoot your opponent, even if you’re the better player.
>
> Personally, I think a balance between H3 and Reach kill times would be ideal.

I thought Halo 2 was perfect in terms of kill times.

H3 is abit meh and Reach is like using Nerf guns.

> > Halo CE took 1 second with a perfect three shot of the pistol.
> >
> > Bungie made kill times long to help new players have a chance against skillful players, which is terrible in my eyes.
>
> But is having kill times that are slower than one second really that bad? Part of what makes Halo unique is that whoever gets the first shot doesn’t necessarily get the kill. If kill times are that fast, and if you get shot in the back, you won’t nearly have enough time to turn around and outshoot your opponent, even if you’re the better player.
>
> Personally, I think a balance between H3 and Reach kill times would be ideal.

To be able to kill someone with 3 pistol shots in 1 second takes a lot of practice. Most player could not do it.

> When Xbox Live launched, the most popular game was Halo 2. With button combinations like BxR, melee battles also took about 1 second and BR battles were still less than 10 seconds. Eventually Halo 2 is surpassed by Gears of War which included 1-button melee kills (chainsaw), default spawning with a 1 hit kill shotgun and fairly quick Lancer battles. While it’s true that GoW is a separate entity from Halo as it is both a 3rd person shooter and round-based, it still follows the quicker-kills principle. Then we move on to Halo 3. The kill times in both melee and BR battles increased drastically. This was also the first Halo game not to occupy the top spot for the entirety of its run (I’m not really counting Gears taking over Halo 2 as it was on a different console. Halo 2 still held the top spot on the original Xbox Live until it was shut down). The 4 games that would take down Halo 3 all had faster kill times. 3 of these games are Call of Duty (Cod4, World at War and Modern Warfare 2). These games all have 1-button melee kills and extremely fast kill times with guns. The final game that helped remove Halo 3 from 1st was Gears of War 2, which had similar characteristics to its predecessor mentioned above.

A major part of why both H3 and Reach didn’t occupy the top of the charts is because competition was growing. More games were coming in, and new aspects of games were being tapped. The fanbase was also expanding, bringing in those underage gamers (~12 years of age). What did the expanded fanbase want? They wanted quick and easy kills with little to no teamwork to account for. That’s why Call of Duty gained popularity. That’s why H3 and CoD4 were facing off. The modern-era genre of games was also expanding in popularity quite a bit at this time.

But why did Reach fall to 3rd and H3 retained, for the most part, its 1st ranking? Because at the time of CoD4’s release, CoD as a series was only beginning to gain popularity. By the release of MW2, CoD’s fanbase had increased so much that it overtook Reach. Although you can say that part of that reason was because of Reach’s “mediocrity,” you still have to look at why else two CoD games would be at the top of the leaderboards. Two, not one, two CoD games are there because, quite simply, CoD is the more popular series now, regardless of how good competitively Halo is.

> > > Halo CE took 1 second with a perfect three shot of the pistol.
> > >
> > > Bungie made kill times long to help new players have a chance against skillful players, which is terrible in my eyes.
> >
> > But is having kill times that are slower than one second really that bad? Part of what makes Halo unique is that whoever gets the first shot doesn’t necessarily get the kill. If kill times are that fast, and if you get shot in the back, you won’t nearly have enough time to turn around and outshoot your opponent, even if you’re the better player.
> >
> > Personally, I think a balance between H3 and Reach kill times would be ideal.
>
> To be able to kill someone with 3 pistol shots in 1 second takes a lot of practice. Most player could not do it.

But that was in CE. Most console games today have varying amounts of factors that help the player to aim because of the inaccuracy of the sticks. Sticky reticle, bullet magnetism, etc. For lag to be less of a factor, I think that H4 will also have hitscan on the main precision weapons. If you take these into account, making a 3 shot won’t nearly be as difficult.

> I was browsing through the Xbox Live Activity Charts when I noticed something interesting. With the exception of the first few weeks after a new game is released, the top spot has always been occupied by games with short multiplayer kill times.
>
> Starting with Xbox Connect for the original xbox, the most popular game was Halo 1. Melee battles in this game generally took about 1 second to complete and pistol battles were often over in less than 5. When Xbox Live launched, the most popular game was Halo 2. With button combinations like BxR, melee battles also took about 1 second and BR battles were still less than 10 seconds. Eventually Halo 2 is surpassed by Gears of War which included 1-button melee kills (chainsaw), default spawning with a 1 hit kill shotgun and fairly quick Lancer battles. While it’s true that GoW is a separate entity from Halo as it is both a 3rd person shooter and round-based, it still follows the quicker-kills principle. Then we move on to Halo 3. The kill times in both melee and BR battles increased drastically. This was also the first Halo game not to occupy the top spot for the entirety of its run (I’m not really counting Gears taking over Halo 2 as it was on a different console. Halo 2 still held the top spot on the original Xbox Live until it was shut down). The 4 games that would take down Halo 3 all had faster kill times. 3 of these games are Call of Duty (Cod4, World at War and Modern Warfare 2). These games all have 1-button melee kills and extremely fast kill times with guns. The final game that helped remove Halo 3 from 1st was Gears of War 2, which had similar characteristics to its predecessor mentioned above. Then we move on to 2010. Halo Reach brings the slowest kill times of any Halo game yet. The melee battles (in a system i still believe is broken) generally take between 4 and 8 seconds. The average times for DMR battles are pretty difficult to figure out. Armor Abilities and the bloom make it much easier for you to escape fire fights. Regardless of the actual per-fight time of a DMR battle, when you take the aspects of it into account (minimum 5 shots, bloom armor abilities, ease of running away etc.) you are left with a game that has the slowest kill times yet.
>
> Halo Reach is currently in 3rd on the activity charts after Call of Duty Black Ops (quick kill times similar to the other CoD games) and Modern Warfare 2 (which was released about a year before Reach) and will probably fall again as Gears of War 3, Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 are all coming out in the next few months. I know it may sound like I’m urging 343i to make Halo 4 more like CoD, but in actuality, I’m suggesting a return to the roots of Halo multiplayer gaming. There may be more games on the market today, but there is NO REASON why Halo 4 can’t occupy the top spot. Make a game that it is competitive and it will also be fun.
>
> TL;DR. The most popular multiplayer games are ones with very quick kill times.

Well said.

100% true.

I support. Go back the HCE kill times.

> I was browsing through the Xbox Live Activity Charts when I noticed something interesting. With the exception of the first few weeks after a new game is released, the top spot has always been occupied by games with short multiplayer kill times.
>
> Starting with Xbox Connect for the original xbox, the most popular game was Halo 1. Melee battles in this game generally took about 1 second to complete and pistol battles were often over in less than 5. When Xbox Live launched, the most popular game was Halo 2. With button combinations like BxR, melee battles also took about 1 second and BR battles were still less than 10 seconds. Eventually Halo 2 is surpassed by Gears of War which included 1-button melee kills (chainsaw), default spawning with a 1 hit kill shotgun and fairly quick Lancer battles. While it’s true that GoW is a separate entity from Halo as it is both a 3rd person shooter and round-based, it still follows the quicker-kills principle. Then we move on to Halo 3. The kill times in both melee and BR battles increased drastically. This was also the first Halo game not to occupy the top spot for the entirety of its run (I’m not really counting Gears taking over Halo 2 as it was on a different console. Halo 2 still held the top spot on the original Xbox Live until it was shut down). The 4 games that would take down Halo 3 all had faster kill times. 3 of these games are Call of Duty (Cod4, World at War and Modern Warfare 2). These games all have 1-button melee kills and extremely fast kill times with guns. The final game that helped remove Halo 3 from 1st was Gears of War 2, which had similar characteristics to its predecessor mentioned above. Then we move on to 2010. Halo Reach brings the slowest kill times of any Halo game yet. The melee battles (in a system i still believe is broken) generally take between 4 and 8 seconds. The average times for DMR battles are pretty difficult to figure out. Armor Abilities and the bloom make it much easier for you to escape fire fights. Regardless of the actual per-fight time of a DMR battle, when you take the aspects of it into account (minimum 5 shots, bloom armor abilities, ease of running away etc.) you are left with a game that has the slowest kill times yet.
>
> Halo Reach is currently in 3rd on the activity charts after Call of Duty Black Ops (quick kill times similar to the other CoD games) and Modern Warfare 2 (which was released about a year before Reach) and will probably fall again as Gears of War 3, Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 are all coming out in the next few months. I know it may sound like I’m urging 343i to make Halo 4 more like CoD, but in actuality, I’m suggesting a return to the roots of Halo multiplayer gaming. There may be more games on the market today, but there is NO REASON why Halo 4 can’t occupy the top spot. Make a game that it is competitive and it will also be fun.
>
> TL;DR. The most popular multiplayer games are ones with very quick kill times.

Absolutley agree with OP. Halo 1 and 2 were ultra fast FPS’s that made you feel like an Overpowered badass…

Why someone at Bungie thought it was a good idea to make the gameplay drag on longer and weaken overall sandbox gameplay is beyond me. That is a bad BAD idea!

The slower the game gets, the less exciting it gets, and the less people play it in the long run…

I think Halo 2 had it perfect. I like both Halo 2 and 3’s kill times.

> Reach is Reach, it won’t be change or at least the core gameplay won’t.
>
> Custom Games & Team Classic is always there for those who want fast kill times.

Why do you say that? Do you work for 343? You shouldn’t state your opinion or point of view as fact. Now I’m not saying you’re wrong either but you can’t say thing will or won’t happen based on what you want.

> > I was browsing through the Xbox Live Activity Charts when I noticed something interesting. With the exception of the first few weeks after a new game is released, the top spot has always been occupied by games with short multiplayer kill times.
> >
> > Starting with Xbox Connect for the original xbox, the most popular game was Halo 1. Melee battles in this game generally took about 1 second to complete and pistol battles were often over in less than 5. When Xbox Live launched, the most popular game was Halo 2. With button combinations like BxR, melee battles also took about 1 second and BR battles were still less than 10 seconds. Eventually Halo 2 is surpassed by Gears of War which included 1-button melee kills (chainsaw), default spawning with a 1 hit kill shotgun and fairly quick Lancer battles. While it’s true that GoW is a separate entity from Halo as it is both a 3rd person shooter and round-based, it still follows the quicker-kills principle. Then we move on to Halo 3. The kill times in both melee and BR battles increased drastically. This was also the first Halo game not to occupy the top spot for the entirety of its run (I’m not really counting Gears taking over Halo 2 as it was on a different console. Halo 2 still held the top spot on the original Xbox Live until it was shut down). The 4 games that would take down Halo 3 all had faster kill times. 3 of these games are Call of Duty (Cod4, World at War and Modern Warfare 2). These games all have 1-button melee kills and extremely fast kill times with guns. The final game that helped remove Halo 3 from 1st was Gears of War 2, which had similar characteristics to its predecessor mentioned above. Then we move on to 2010. Halo Reach brings the slowest kill times of any Halo game yet. The melee battles (in a system i still believe is broken) generally take between 4 and 8 seconds. The average times for DMR battles are pretty difficult to figure out. Armor Abilities and the bloom make it much easier for you to escape fire fights. Regardless of the actual per-fight time of a DMR battle, when you take the aspects of it into account (minimum 5 shots, bloom armor abilities, ease of running away etc.) you are left with a game that has the slowest kill times yet.
> >
> > Halo Reach is currently in 3rd on the activity charts after Call of Duty Black Ops (quick kill times similar to the other CoD games) and Modern Warfare 2 (which was released about a year before Reach) and will probably fall again as Gears of War 3, Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3 are all coming out in the next few months. I know it may sound like I’m urging 343i to make Halo 4 more like CoD, but in actuality, I’m suggesting a return to the roots of Halo multiplayer gaming. There may be more games on the market today, but there is NO REASON why Halo 4 can’t occupy the top spot. Make a game that it is competitive and it will also be fun.
> >
> > TL;DR. The most popular multiplayer games are ones with very quick kill times.
>
> Well said.
>
> 100% true.
>
> I support. Go back the HCE kill times.

That is what we hope the title update will do

> > When Xbox Live launched, the most popular game was Halo 2. With button combinations like BxR, melee battles also took about 1 second and BR battles were still less than 10 seconds. Eventually Halo 2 is surpassed by Gears of War which included 1-button melee kills (chainsaw), default spawning with a 1 hit kill shotgun and fairly quick Lancer battles. While it’s true that GoW is a separate entity from Halo as it is both a 3rd person shooter and round-based, it still follows the quicker-kills principle. Then we move on to Halo 3. The kill times in both melee and BR battles increased drastically. This was also the first Halo game not to occupy the top spot for the entirety of its run (I’m not really counting Gears taking over Halo 2 as it was on a different console. Halo 2 still held the top spot on the original Xbox Live until it was shut down). The 4 games that would take down Halo 3 all had faster kill times. 3 of these games are Call of Duty (Cod4, World at War and Modern Warfare 2). These games all have 1-button melee kills and extremely fast kill times with guns. The final game that helped remove Halo 3 from 1st was Gears of War 2, which had similar characteristics to its predecessor mentioned above.
>
> A major part of why both H3 and Reach didn’t occupy the top of the charts is because competition was growing. More games were coming in, and new aspects of games were being tapped. The fanbase was also expanding, bringing in those underage gamers (~12 years of age). What did the expanded fanbase want? They wanted quick and easy kills with little to no teamwork to account for. That’s why Call of Duty gained popularity. That’s why H3 and CoD4 were facing off. The modern-era genre of games was also expanding in popularity quite a bit at this time.
>
> But why did Reach fall to 3rd and H3 retained, for the most part, its 1st ranking? Because at the time of CoD4’s release, CoD as a series was only beginning to gain popularity. By the release of MW2, CoD’s fanbase had increased so much that it overtook Reach. Although you can say that part of that reason was because of Reach’s “mediocrity,” you still have to look at why else two CoD games would be at the top of the leaderboards. Two, not one, two CoD games are there because, quite simply, CoD is the more popular series now, regardless of how good competitively Halo is.

I completely agree that the increased competition from other shooters has hurt Halo’s popularity but I think we have a misunderstanding. If you look at the timeline, Call of Duty 2 and 3 came out before Halo 3, but had little-to-no-effect on Halo 2’s popularity. I think this is a reflection on Activision’s/Infinty Ward’s desire to make a more popular game. While they experimented correctly, Bungie was making bad decisions from a multiplayer perspective.

There has to be a reason that CoD became more popular than Halo. Either Halo doesn’t retain its players as well as CoD does or Halo can’t attract new gamers the same was CoD can. Whichever one is true, 343i needs to address it.

> > Halo CE took 1 second with a perfect three shot of the pistol.
> >
> > Bungie made kill times long to help new players have a chance against skillful players, which is terrible in my eyes.
>
> But is having kill times that are slower than one second really that bad? Part of what makes Halo unique is that whoever gets the first shot doesn’t necessarily get the kill. If kill times are that fast, and if you get shot in the back, you won’t nearly have enough time to turn around and outshoot your opponent, even if you’re the better player.
>
> Personally, I think a balance between H3 and Reach kill times would be ideal.

Your right. Between H3 kill times and Reach kill times would be the perfect balance for gameplay. All that needs to be done is quicker bloom reset to never reward spammers and only skilled pacers get kills. With 5 shot kills still applied, multi kills will be quick and possible, but still allow a window to allow various skilled outcomes in gunplay.

I’m so stoked for the Title Update it’s not even funny.

(Post TU) LAN at mah place!!! BYOB!!!

> Halo CE took 1 second with a perfect three shot of the pistol.
>
> Bungie made kill times long to help new players have a chance against skillful players, which is terrible in my eyes.

New players shouldn’t play against skillful players, but like you said Bungie decided to help less skilled players out and make a bunch of weapons that are incredibly easy to use. I think it’s important to remember that the CE pistol had a potential kill time of 1 second. Since movement speed was faster, however, most players were unable to consistently get perfect 3sk. Ideally future Halo games will have faster potential kill times that require skill to achieve.

i agree. the kill times in halo shouldnt be so incredibly long like they currently are in reach. even the lucky 5 shot spammed kill is a 1.7 second kill. this is too long, especially considering at mid range you shouldnt be spamming in the first place.

the kill time for the utility weapon (DMR / BR / Pistol) should be 1.5 seconds, and no more.

the kill time for the AR should be about 1.4 to 1.45 seconds, but be niched at close to close mid range (so its a BIT faster, but not completely overpowering versus the utility weapon, so you can still compete if you land your shots with your utility weapon and dodge some of theirs.

> > Halo CE took 1 second with a perfect three shot of the pistol.
> >
> > Bungie made kill times long to help new players have a chance against skillful players, which is terrible in my eyes.
>
> New players shouldn’t play against skillful players, but like you said Bungie decided to help less skilled players out and make a bunch of weapons that are incredibly easy to use. I think it’s important to remember that the CE pistol had a potential kill time of 1 second. Since movement speed was faster, however, most players were unable to consistently get perfect 3sk. Ideally future Halo games will have faster potential kill times that require skill to achieve.

Exactly, this is why I’d like the see 4 shots to kill with fastest potential kill times somewhere between 1 and 1.5 seconds. This combined with fast movement speed and acceleration would provide gameplay where good players get quick kills, but regular players still get the kills around 3-4 seconds.