Hello 343 staff, how are you today?
(First of all, my first language is french, so please excuse any mistakes I may include here… Secondo, this post is only about the matchmaking side of Halo, not the campaigns)
So, I checked your vid about the Halo 5 multiplayer gameplay (since you said you were listening to the Halo community), and just after the vid, I said to myself : what is so hard to understand? Why can’t they grasp the simple concepts that made the Halo 2 & 3 multiplayers as addictive as heroin?
Lot’s of player’s told you what to do (that is, to keep it simple), but since “the Halo community” is not something that actually exist (Player “A” says to add “X”, but player “B” says that it’s a bad idea and that we should remove “X”…), therefore I think we should just look at how great human games (not just video games) works, from historical facts and not from personal opinions… So, let’s have a very simplified history class about games…
Let’s take a quick look at the immense success of the Chess game.
In it’s earliest form, around the 6th century (and earlier), there were 4 divisions of military, instead of the 2 sides we have right now (important note here ; see, it eventually EVOLVED by having LESS STUFF, so yeah, its possible to do that and not feeling ashamed, on the contrary, seeing the immense success of the Chess game)…). When it arrived in Russia and Europe, the game EVOLVED (in the 15th century), by making the game simpler in appearance (like I said, having 2 sides attacking each other, instead of 4), but since the game was simpler, some minor changes were welcomed to add to the strategic side of the game (things like “pawns” gained the option of advancing two squares on their first move etc…).
When Chess reached THE MATURITY AND THE IMMENSE SUCCESS WE NOW KNOW (in the 15th-16th century), the game was considered to be solid, credible and replayable. So, THEY STOPPED MESSING AROUND WITH THE FOUNDATION OF THE GAME, and they let THE PLAYER’S be brilliant and good at the game, inside it’s “proven, solid, credible and replayable” parameters.
“Proven, solid, credible and replayable parameters”, just sound like the Halo 2 & 3 matchmakings, no? With their hundreds of thousands of players, each one playing thousands of matches every years, during several years and never growing tired of those games, we can clearly CONFIRM that there were “proven, solid, credible and replayable parameters” in those games.
Now, what happened with Halo Reach & Halo 4? Hype at first, so, good sales, build from the Halo 2 & 3 multiplayer legacies, high number of players in the first months after release, and after that? A rapidly declining population.
So, what happened?
The developers though that since those were newer games, they should have MORE crazy stuffs than the previous ones.
The big mistake was right there.
Armor abilities, jet packs, THRUSTER PACKS (hello, Halo 5!), sprint, almost infinite invisibility etc… Those are the things that didn’t RESPECT the “Proven, solid, credible and replayable parameters” of Halo 2 & 3.
Because it’s too much annoying stuffs, and people don’t play games to be consistently annoyed, they play games to accomplish things and to get better inside “Proven, solid, credible and replayable parameters”, just like the chess players do.
In the years after the Chess game reached it’s successful “proven, solid, credible and replayable parameters” state (just like Halo 2 & 3 did), great Chess player’s didn’t want the game to have MORE STUFF, (exactly like the H2 & H3 player’s didn’t ask for more gimmicks) they simply wanted to get better at this great, successful, credible game. People didn’t ask the game to be changed by including more "Queen’s, more knight’s, more rooks, more bishops, dragon’s & meteorites destroying the other side in one shot. People felt the game had an awesome mechanic and they were INTERESTED in GETTING BETTER inside THIS GREAT, SIMPLE (IN APPEARANCE ONLY) MECHANIC.
"GREAT, SIMPLE (IN APPEARANCE ONLY) MECHANIC. Sounds like Halo 2 & 3.
When I was playing high level Lone wolves players (45 to 50) in H3, I can tell you that the SIMPLE (IN APPEARANCE ONLY) MECHANICS of Halo 3 was COMPLICATED ENOUGH, by HAVING TO DEAL WITH THE HIGH INTELLIGENCE & SKILLS OF THE GREAT PLAYERS I WAS FACING. It was awesome, because I was killed mostly by the skill and the intelligence of a player, not by annoying, stupid gimmicks. I had to get better and be more intelligent than my opponents, if not, I would loose. The LAST THING I NEEDED (important note here, THE LAST THING) was to deal with 50s that were in… Jet packs, sometimes constantly invisible, sometimes constantly deploying a shield or constantly seeing through walls.
This is where the “Proven, solid, credible and replayable parameters” of Halo 2 & 3 were completely crushed in halo Reach & Halo 4.
This is also when the matchmaking population of Halo dropped.
Now, I’m the millionth player telling you this (I just did it my way), but I felt the need to look in the past of games, to see what make a game great & replayable, so that the franchise that brought me back to gaming, Halo, can have a bright future again…
Now, 343, you can give thruster packs, sprint and the “earthquake jump” to everyone in the halo 5 matchmaking if you want too, but those are exactly the things that will make your game less credible, that will “turn off” your elite player’s (and even some casual ones).
Your elite player’s are your foundation.
Like Hockey is based on the NHL, not on the junior leagues.
Like the official basketball rules are made by the NBA, not by the college leagues.
Casual player’s also like to play by the rules of the professionals. Because they feel they play in something that has shown his credibility and that they can be proud of themselves if they do well in those boundaries.
Pro player’s, on the other hands, don’t like to play by casual, approximate standards.
I’m not a pro Halo player, but I like playing by the pro standards, because I know that when I get better, I get better in a CREDIBLE FRAMEWORK.
And that’s where true satisfaction come from.
And true satisfaction is fun.
… And fun is why we play games.
Thank you, and if I made you think, my mission is completed.
- A passionate, classic Halo matchmaking player.