Some Ideas to Improve Halo Multiplayer (Long)

Hello,

Before I start, I would like to point out that these are only opinions and these don’t represent anyone but myself. I am a competitive player, and I feel left out of the Halo community for 4 years now. I have respect for casual players, so I will list these ideas with both parties in mind.

If you believe you can add or improve any of these ideas, or even add your own, chime in.

I am also using these examples for future Halo titles and not Halo 4.

I believe 343 doesn’t think they can cater to both sides but here are some ideas

1-50 in game with Persistent Leveling

Explanation

Ranked and Social playlists can be used to allow players to achieve a “highest skill” while allowing persistent leveling to unlock different armors, emblems, visors, weapon skins and more. This allows players to get into a niche that they enjoy.

I met most of my online friends in Halo 3 social myself, and in Reach/Halo 4 most people were mute banned anyway, which is a disappointment.

I personally think Halo 2 had a more balanced ranking system, but 343 could feel free to create their own. I haven’t tried CSR yet, but many people complain it doesn’t work right, but it may just need to be explained.

One does not just screw up Custom Game Options

Explanation

Now I am not sure as to whether or not 343 realized just how large the Custom community was. Back when I first started my Halo “online” career in 08, I played customs from the moment I got home to the moment I went to bed. Infected, Slayer, Grifball, you name it. You totally removed much of the fun to be had. I really don’t know what you were thinking with that one.

If you can’t think of anything new to add, definitely don’t start removing things.

Removing Create a Class

Explanation

I know most people enjoy this option but it hurts Halo’s gameplay for a lot of reasons. Many people would argue that DMRs on Ragnorak for example, removes the fun they used to have in H3. Now, I don’t want DMR removed completely, but I think 343 should implement DMR,Br, and AR gametypes. For example, Team Slayer on Haven, could be AR starts on Haven and so on. I am not asking this for nostalgia, I just believe Halo is more balanced when everyone starts the same. This way 343 doesn’t have to worry so much about “This class is OP”, because of my next idea.

Weapon Spawns on Map

Explanation

If weapons spawn on the map, players no longer run out of ammo, and they are able to switch up their playstyle when they are alive. For example, I can find an Assualt Rifle spawn and use it for CQC if I need to. This allows players to analyze opponents playstyles and format their own, while still able to help their team.I no longer kill a guy across the map, run to him (away from my team mind you) and see his gun sunk into the ground. I know why this is, but I have another idea to combat this as well.

But first, I have to mention power weapons. In order to cater to casual players, while allowing competitive players to be competitive I have an idea to incorporate us both:

If ordinance drops in the same spot (For power weapons such as sniper) which it does on some maps, players can learn weapon spawns, while being able to see when and where it is dropped. This can allow players to make moves towards ordinance and even learn spawn times on these weapons.

I personally am not a fan of “random” drops because instead of playing Halo as it’s been played for a decade and more, where you hold an area for the goodies it has, you now run around like a headless chicken shooting anything that gets in your way. That just doesn’t say “Halo” to me.

Either Remove or properly balance “Kill Streak” Ordinance Drops

Explanation

Keep in mind I am using “Kill Streak” type Ordinance and not Initial Spawns as I explained an idea earlier. It isn’t quite fair that a guy could go 20 and 2 and be rewarded with two stickies and another could go 2 and 20 and get a Binary Rifle. I don’t see the balance here.
When used properly, it can be very useful. By properly, I can give you an example:

I am on Ragnorak and my team doesn’t rush laser, our banshee and car have been taken down, and I am doing the best on my team. I spawn my own laser (Keep in mind this isn’t fair to the better team) and balance the game out again.

I can only give a couple of ideas, which are poor ones at that to combat this:

You can:

  1. Make every map have a set of 3 different ordinances (or 4 I don’t know how many you have now)
  2. You can have better players be rewarded with better kill streak rewards.

Just remove JIP (Join in Progress
Explanation

There are people who say “Just add an option to whether or not you want to join in progress”, but really who would answer yes to going single into a 700 to -1 game? I wouldn’t, you wouldn’t and that is a fact.

On paper it was a fantastic idea, I am sure of that. But when push comes to shove “On paper” isn’t the same. I am pretty sure you need an Open Beta for community feedback next time.

In closing,

I still like 343, and I respect them, but I can’t take much more of them alienating their own community, to try to get more money and steal other fans from other games. It isn’t about that, I just hope you realize that before it is too late.

If you actually read all this, thank you again.

Completely disagree on JIP. Everything else is just a rehash of what everyone else has already said.

> Completely disagree on JIP. Everything else is just a rehash of what everyone else has already said.

Essentially, but why would you disagree?

There are two points of view when it comes to JIP.

JIP is bad. I hate getting JIP’d and I’d rather not get JIP’d ever whilst accepting that if someone on my team quits they will not be replaced.

JIP is good. I hate getting JIP’d but I’m glad that when someone on my team quits they get replaced even if it does mean I get JIP’d sometimes.

My point of view is the second

Also ‘1-50 in game with Persistent Leveling’ is there with the introduction of CSR, its just not visible in game.

Everything else you mentioned are genuine concerns but theres much more detailed threads on each of those points.

> > Completely disagree on JIP. Everything else is just a rehash of what everyone else has already said.
>
> Essentially, but why would you disagree?

Like him i agree with everything but the comment you made about Who would choose to.

Obviously there are tons of casuals who really do not care about joining in a game late and just want to shoot things so having an option to NOT join games late would have made JOS an Improvement to halo, imo.

Ranked and Social Lists
I think this is wholly unnecessary unless you’re trying to force the treatment Bungie gave skill ranks.

Most of the problems skill ranks created in Halo 3 can be attributed to Bungie expanding the data TrueSkill required to gauge a player’s level. They did this to create a “hill-climbing” experience. However, that was not what TrueSkill was conceived to do. TrueSkill is a purely utility tool designed to match players of like skill. Most people don’t know TrueSkill actually can accurately diagnose a player’s skill in as few as 5 games. Halo 3 took about 50.

Using TrueSkill as it was designed would solve many of the boosting and multi-account problems.

More to the social issue, many players just want a place to relax. While Matchmaking could offer some unranked lists (such as Team Actionsack), the goal should be to eliminate redundancy so as not to split populations. Simply changing whether a slayer list is ranked or unranked doesn’t change the fact that you’re providing two slayer lists. Further, with a much more dynamic TrueSkill, players would not have to worry about “rank lock,” and if they’re having an off night or just want to run-and-gun, that’s fine. They can make it up tomorrow.

Without the “hill-climbing” experience, for which SR ranks and specializations provide, TrueSkill is more able to show you your skill right now, as opposed to an aggregate of your entire career, which created its own problems. Many players complained they would have achieved a higher rank if they didn’t suck when they started playing the game. That’s sort of a misconception of how TrueSkill works, but it doesn’t change the fact that what players really want in a skill rating system is to know how good they are right now, not 50 games ago. The investment is in seeing the number increase and know you are getting more successful.

Many players also say they don’t want skill represented in game because they don’t want to worry about it and that is why they would want social lists. This type of thinking has fallen into the rut of Bungie’s past games, which assumes skill will be displayed on the name plate or Spartan card. It doesn’t have to be. It can be on the service record, where you can ignore it or look at it in a convenient place.

Ultimately, a skill rating is just another stat. If 343 treats it as such and uses it as it was intended to be used, the benefits will far outweigh the drawbacks, and there will be no need to separate populations.

Custom Game Options
No argument here. It’s clear 343 took a very practical approach in development, concentrating on what it thought would pay the most dividends. The problem is it seems as though they didn’t regard player retention or game longevity, and custom game options are one of the big reasons players stick around. In one sense, they’re good for players, but they’re also great for developers who manage the matchmaking experience. Being able to tweak gametype settings post launch would be hugely beneficial for the game’s support, and it’s something they should have planned for.

Weapons Spawn on Map
This is another aspect that fails due to conventional thought. We assume weapons spawning on the map per legacy was optimal because it worked in the past, but the truth is there were weaknesses to that system.

That said, I wholeheartedly agree that random ordnance needlessly leveled a part of the game’s deep and rich gameplay. Resource management is a staple of Halo gameplay, and incorporating an unlearnable, undynamic, and unintelligent system is bad design in any game. Further, random drops decide the outcome of games, essentially adding a ninth player to the game that has the power of God.

It’s not that this doesn’t say “Halo.” It’s that this was just a bad idea.

Respawning initial ordnance accomplishes everything random ordnance does, but it also provides a more fair, learnable system, which is good for everyone.

Personal Ordnance
Inherently, this wasn’t a bad idea, but it was poorly executed. I absolutely share your concerns. The best way to address personal ordnance, however (if it’s to remain), is to change it from a “roll the dice” feature to a “wager” feature. In more direct terms, give players the ability to choose ahead of time what personal ordnance they will work toward, and make the point requirement commensurate with the reward. For example, you want a choice of frag grenades, a needler, and an overshield in your personal ordnance? You need to accumulate 100 points. You want a choice of damage boost, a Saw, or a sniper rifle? You need to accumulate 400 points.

The points requirements should be handled carefully, but this treatment would not only be more fair and consistent, but also it would give players more power and influence over their experience, making it deeper and more open for strategizing. In short, you replace a relatively uninteresting mechanic with a more interesting version, simultaneously supporting balance and bolstering the game’s depth.

Bonus: designed and balanced correctly, personal ordnance could be implemented globally, meaning weapon spawns will be more consistent throughout the matchmaking experience as a whole.

Join In Progress
JIPs biggest problem is it starts matches with unfair teams. That is an obvious no-no in a game like this. Not only are disparate numbers very influential on the outcome of games, but with weapon drops, the opening rush is also one of the most important moments of any game.

Other than that, JIP is a mostly good thing. However, its biggest drawback is an inherent increase in quitting. I don’t advocate punishing players for quitting. After all, this is a game. The intent is to create fun. If a player doesn’t want to play something, we shouldn’t force him.

Instead, we should make it worth his while. Give players more incentive to stick with games. Global skill ratings is one way to do this, but other positive incentives could also help. 343 could get really creative here and really needs to because not much has been done in gaming to positively reinforce sticking with games.

Conversely, to address the “I’ve dropped into a losing scenario” issue, positive reinforcement may also be a very big asset. For example, a “Hero” commendation, which measures the times you’ve dropped into a game that was in progress and then won could go a long way. A match bonus that awards players immediately could be even more effective. This absolutely is an issue, and 343 could gain a lot (not only in its games but in its reputation in the industry) by innovating a solution for it.

Conversely, to address the “I’ve dropped into a losing scenario” issue, positive reinforcement may also be a very big asset. For example, a “Hero” commendation, which measures the times you’ve dropped into a game that was in progress and then won could go a long way. A match bonus that awards players immediately could be even more effective. This absolutely is an issue, and 343 could gain a lot (not only in its games but in its reputation in the industry) by innovating a solution for it

This is the perfect way to handle it.

Additionally, if you JIP, the W/L for CSR should be calculated based on how your team does from that point forward. Whenever you join, for CSR purposes, the game should start at 0-0.

OP you forgot “Add Elites back in Multiplayer.”

> > > Completely disagree on JIP. Everything else is just a rehash of what everyone else has already said.
> >
> > Essentially, but why would you disagree?
>
> Like him i agree with everything but the comment you made about Who would choose to.
>
> Obviously there are tons of casuals who really do not care about joining in a game late and just want to shoot things so having an option to NOT join games late would have made JOS an Improvement to halo, imo.

Just to clarify, I do agree with OP that making JIP an option you can disable is definitely not an option.

If the option is there it will inevitably be turned off by everyone. I’m not going to help teams out by JIPing into their games if other people are refusing to JIP into mine.