The 'Competitive' Element

Remember the 1-50 ranking system in Halo 2 and 3? Awesome, right? The day you reached (pun intended?) your first 50 was one of your shining moments in your Halo career. After pwning endlessly and tiring attempts, you finally made it to the top of competitive stardom in the Halo community. Unless, of course, you ‘bought’ a 50. Then you’re just sleazy.

Anyways, what happened to this competitiveness in Reach? Earilier today I listened to a podcast with MLG CEO Sundance DiGiovanni (, skip to about 22 minutes in), where he talks about the decline of competitive play in Reach and how is currently in danger of dropping from the circuit. It is the least popular on the circuit behind Black Ops and Starcraft 2, yet still having the highest monetary payouts, losing audiences to other games. Whether you’re a fan of MLG or not, he has a legitimate point. Halo is losing its competitive edge.

Is it possible to bring competitive play back? Wait, it was never gone! You say “How About the Arena?!” The Arena is great, but it doesn’t replace the 1-50 ranking system. I’d say less than half of the Reach community plays Arena; it’s not a popular playlist and the idea never really took off. Remember when you’d talk to friends about Halo 3, and the first thing they’d ask is “What rank are you?”, and you’d respond with “I’m a (insert number here)!”. Now, in Reach, whenever I’m discussing Reach with friends, it’s always “What rank are you”… “I’m a Hero”… “Oh, you must play a lot”. I’m never asked “What Arena Division and Percentage are you ranked in?”

Your rank in Reach is more dependant on how much you play, rather than how skilled you are. I believe (as well as a lot of community members) that this should be different. In Reach, just because you face a team of Forerunners in BTB doesn’t mean they’re better than you and going to leave you ashamed of your skills, however it doesn’t necessarily mean they’re bad, it just means they’ve played Reach more than you, given you’re a lower rank then them. You could argue that the more time you spend playing Reach, the more skilled you are. This could be true, but in previous Halo’s you had to be skilled to go up in rank. In Reach, you just need to play. Good or bad, you’re still earning credits and moving up in rank.

Will the Reach TU bring a return to the ranking system of Halo past? Will Anniversary incorporate it? How about Halo 4? Only time will tell, however I feel the current competitive play isn’t what it should be and needs changing.

Please give me your thoughts!

Sundance: “North America has had a lack of premiere competitve titles”

100 percent correct.