The DLC Playlists need more maps and better Gametypes

The Core Problems

<mark>1.In regular, Non-DLC required playlists, it is incredibly unlikely that a DLC map will show up for voting.</mark>
<mark>2. DLC required playlists are duplicates on a small number of maps -lacking variety.</mark>

When you do get a DLC map show up in voting, it must still win the gauntlet of the voting process, perhaps against very popular stock maps with very popular gametypes. As the game sizes increase (6v6 and 8v8) and the number of players in a playlist decreases, (e.g Squad Slayer has only 1/10th the population of Team Slayer) this problem is exacerbated even more.

As an anecdotal example, I have had all the pieces of DLC since their respective launch dates. These are the amount of times I have played the various DLC maps in a non-DLC required playlist:

  • Breakpoint: 2
  • Tempest: 12
  • Condemned: 1
  • Highlands: 1
  • Penance: 1
  • Battle Canyon: 0
  • Ridgline: 0
  • Breakneck: 0
  • High Noon: 1
  • Solitary: 1

This is out of [1,270 games](http://www.bungie.net/Stats/Reach/default.aspx?player=Ultimate RC) - an average of 3 games a day since Reach’s release. This anecdote is repeated often enough, and 343i have even adjusted the DLC weighting, and then re-introduced Non-Anniversary DLC-only playlists, that we can conclude that not getting DLC maps in regular MM is a real and valid problem.

The games on Penance, High Noon, Solitary and one of the games on Tempest, for example, happened in the same session, in Team Slayer (a VERY populated playlist), going in with three other party members who also had all the DLC. Suggesting people party up with other DLC owners before entering MM to get DLC maps is to admit that MM has failed in one of it’s core functions, and is simply not a realistic solution for the general player base.

Currently, the paradigm for DLC required playlists is to only include DLC maps. This is fine when the map packs just launch and they are new and fresh, but soon a player will want a bit more variety than that - they will want to play the original maps as well, they will want to play in different sizes of teams and different gametypes. However, as we have just discussed, they are unlikely to get the DLC maps in regular playlists. So a player must choose between getting to play on the additional content they paid for, or getting the teamsize/gametypes and map variety they want.

Needless to say, this isn’t an ideal situation.

The Incentive for 343 Industries

The current DLC owners don’t get to play their content very often in a particularly wide variety of playlits, and the non-DLC owners have little incentive to become owners when they know they won’t get much play of their content in the playlists they already play, and the playlists they will get to play it in, lack in map variety and player size options, and gametype wise are the same or even more restrictive.

So this is not a question of simply maintenence like most of the playlist updates, but a real oppurtunity to make those who spent extra money on Reach - on the DLC - happier, and to give more reason to other players to spend some of their money on the DLC as well. In other words, if done well, DLC playlist updates have an opportunity to actually show themselves on the bottom line, not just in the online charts.

One could probably imagine a different MM paradigm altogether that attempted to address the problems of duplication, however, this is the MM forum, not the Halo 4, 5 or 6 forum and we have to assume we need to work with what we’ve got in Reach. With that in mind…

continued in the post below

The Ideas

With what we’ve just discussed, it should be obvious that we need more variety, and better gametypes in the DLC playlists. They can’t just be the same exact playlists on a tiny handful of maps. It’s been tried before, and those playlists have not performed well. You can’t just stick a single, usually popular gametype (slayer) on the DLC maps, in a novel teamsize for slayer (6v6), and expect it to be a run-away success. Look at the population of Squad DLC - it is not working.

Right so let’s get right on with the proposals:

1. Anniversary playlists should include both Defiant and Noble Map Pack maps, but not require them. This will give a much higher chance of getting Defiant and DLC maps compared to the regular playlists and improve map variety in the Anniversary playlists.

  • Anniversary BTB will gain: Breakpoint, Tempest & Highlands.
  • Anniversary FFA will gain: Anchor 9 & Condemned.
  • Anniversary Squad will gain: Anchor 9, Tempest & Condemned.
  • Anniversary Firefight will gain: Unearthed.

At least provisionally. Paired with the right gametypes or map variants, more maps could possibly be included. I’m assuming here that this is possible, and if not I’d appreciate 343i shooting it down. Obviously you can’t require any DLC other than Anniversary otherwise that would break compatibility with the HCEA. I’m also assuming you can’t include Reach Disc maps as that would also break compatibility since they are treated differently.

2. Noble/Defiant - create a 6v6 list that includes Slayer, choice Objective gametypes and Invasion. Noble & Defiant required ONLY. Include disc maps that support 6v6. Max 2 local players, include community maps.

With Anniversary covering Anniversary only maps more than amply, there is no reason to require it for this playlist. With Anniversary covering FFA, 4v4 and 8v8, the natural choice of teamsize is 6v6. At 6v6, the natural choice of gametype to include is Invasion since it is built for it in every way. Especially with getting to play on Breakpoint, which is primarily built for Invasion, this is a natural choice. With no worry about breaking compatibility with HCEA, you can include disc maps which will help solve map variety issues. This means you can also include Forge World and all the oppurtunites that opens up.

All of this means this playlist would not be a duplicate on a small number of maps like the necessary Anniversary playlists are. It would also not be a micro, slayer only BTB like the current awkward Squad DLC is, and it can be a more complex playlist than Invasion due to a wider variety of gametypes. If you made the local players 2, you could also include community maps designed for 6v6 - in particular, put out feelers for Invasion versions of DLC maps, and a couple of good Forge World Invasion maps. This means you don’t need to mess with the opportunites available for 4 player split in the main playlists, and give this DLC-required playlist something to really make it stand out.

When I say include Objective gametypes I’m not saying every non-slayer gametype ever. I’m talking about only the best gametypes on maps they really work on. So for Breakneck: 1 Flag, 1 Bomb.

Overall, you end up with a better playlist than what you currently have. Right now there is no point in Squad DLC because so few of the maps really work for the teamsize.

Summary - TL/DR

  1. Put Defiant and Noble Maps in Anniversary Playlists.
  2. Change the 6v6 DLC playlist to not require Anniversary.
  3. Include Invasion & objective gametypes in 6v6 DLC.
  4. Include Disc and community maps.

So, there you go. Critique and commentary is welcome. I might do a more detailed proposal for for the 6v6 DLC playlist after I’ve finished my one for Firefight.

Needs objective. Slayer is bad.

I really hope i didnt wast money on 5 bucks a map, has got to be bay far the fewest maps per dallor out of all FPS games, we should all feel like suckers. not good

Agreed OP, really good ideas you got :slight_smile:

I would say to also add the TU to the DLC hopper, at least as a voting option, and then phase out vanilla or TU based on the voting data.

Honestly I was fairly pleased with the DLC list we have, but I found myself bugged by it being vanilla and turning into a 6v6 team slayer with different maps. It says squad, so I should get squad.

I have zero interest in this playlist until they:

-Update to 1.1

-Use ALL appropriate maps, including the disc maps, with equal weighting.

-Add CTF and Assault.

I agree with OP completely, really good ideas. Thanks for taking the time to put all of that on the forums!

I have all the DLC and Anniversary, but rarely get to play those maps. Its a real bummer. Hopefully a solution will be put into play here soon.

-Thug

> 1. Anniversary playlists should include both Defiant and Noble Map Pack maps, but not require them. This will give a much higher chance of getting Defiant and DLC maps compared to the regular playlists and improve map variety in the Anniversary playlists.
>
> - Anniversary BTB will gain: Breakpoint, Tempest & Highlands.
> - Anniversary FFA will gain: Anchor 9 & Condemned.
> - Anniversary Squad will gain: Anchor 9, Tempest & Condemned.
> - Anniversary Firefight will gain: Unearthed.

I have three problems with this:

  1. Since the Noble and Defiant map packs won’t be required, the chances of Breakpoint, Tempest, or Highlands showing up in Anniversary BTB will probably be no better than their chances are for showing up currently in the standard BTB playlist, which in my experience is virtually zero. Though better, the chances for Anchor 9 and Condemned showing up more than sporadically in Anniversary Squad/FFA are not going to be very good either.
  2. I personally want to play BTB on the big maps using Reach 1.0.
  3. Why aren’t you including Temptation, Uplink, and Unanchored?

I would surmise that the reason for Noble/Defiant being optional for the Anniversary playlists is because the focus of the Anniversary playlists are the Anniversary maps. The Noble/Defiant maps are included for the sake of variety; the Anniversary playlists not supposed to be your go-to playlist for Noble/Defiant. That’s for the other playlist RC suggested.

> I would surmise that the reason for Noble/Defiant being optional for the Anniversary playlists is because the focus of the Anniversary playlists are the Anniversary maps. The Noble/Defiant maps are included for the sake of variety; the Anniversary playlists not supposed to be your go-to playlist for Noble/Defiant. That’s for the other playlist RC suggested.

I understood why the Noble and Defiant maps must be optional. Ultimate RC gives the reason for that in his first post; but I understood the need even without that explanation. My point is that the ideas in his second post do not sufficiently resolve the core problems discussed in his first post.

To understand you clearer, is the core problem not being able to play Breakpoint, Tempest, or Highlands in a 8v8 setting (as provided in BTB and Anniversary BTB) with “vanilla” settings?

> I have three problems with this:
> 1. Since the Noble and Defiant map packs won’t be required, the chances of Breakpoint, Tempest, or Highlands showing up in Anniversary BTB will probably be no better than their chances are for showing up currently in the standard BTB playlist, which in my experience is virtually zero. Though better, the chances for Anchor 9 and Condemned showing up more than sporadically in Anniversary Squad/FFA are not going to be very good either.

Maybe not, but I think it’s at least worth a try and people that have Anniversary are probably more likely to have at least one other map pack, compared to the general population. Plus with the greater incentive THERE, then maybe more people will pick up the packs.

If NOTHING else, full parties will get to experience the Anniversary gametypes on more maps…

> 2. I personally want to play BTB on the big maps using Reach 1.0.

Well so would I. But 343i is all but convinced that TU is the best option for BTB. Having a 3rd BTB playlist (in place of some other playlist which would have to die first) is a harder sell.

> 3. Why aren’t you including Temptation, Uplink, and Unanchored?

Because I forgot :stuck_out_tongue:

Is Temptation just Tempest with the extra tunnels?

> To understand you clearer, is the core problem not being able to play Breakpoint, Tempest, or Highlands in a 8v8 setting (as provided in BTB and Anniversary BTB) with “vanilla” settings?

To me, the core problem is being able to regularly play on ALL the DLC-required maps, and to do so with the optimal team size for those maps. At one time, I included being able to play them with vanilla settings as part of the core problem, but with BTB going over to the TU, that has become relegated to a personal preference/wish rather than part of the core problem; this is a result of being pragmatic about the situation.

When I say ALL the DLC-required maps, I mean ALL of them. I include Temptation, which is a map forged on Tempest, and is extremely rare to see. I also include Uplink, which keeps getting left out of 6v6 playlists, and both Anchor 9 and Unanchored (not just one variant).

When I say optimal team size, this means 8v8 for Highlands, Breakpoint, Tempest, Temptation, Ridgeline, Timberland, Breakneck, and Headlong. It means 4v4 or 5v5 for the rest, except that I think High Noon and Condemned can appear in an 8v8 playlist as well.

> > Is Temptation just Tempest with the extra tunnels?
>
> No. It’s forged on Tempest, but there are no extra tunnels (unfortunately). There are a lot of walkways and additional weapons, and two Banshees.
>
> See, it’s so rare that you apparently have never played on it despite your 1270+ games. That indicates its probability of showing up in a list not requiring the Noble map pack is unacceptably low.

> When I say optimal team size, this means 8v8 for Highlands, Breakpoint, Tempest, Temptation, Ridgeline, Timberland, Breakneck, and Headlong. It means 4v4 or 5v5 for the rest, except that I think High Noon and Condemned can appear in an 8v8 playlist as well.

Well what do you propose then? A 3rd BTB playlist and a new 5v5 list with mixed slayer/objective? Then you still never get to play Invsion Breakpoint and with an ALL DLC restriction it might take a long time to warm up in population, if ever.

Reach’s MM system was never built for the weird situation we currently face with the Anniversary lists and having to support those. Playlist cap is also a problem that was only revealed by Anniversary. What I’m suggesting is a compromise, to be sure, but I’m not really sure what you can do without seriously restructuring the rest of the playlists - and then of course you’d have to step on a lot of toes.

EDIT: I didn’t even know Temptation existed lmao!

> > When I say optimal team size, this means 8v8 for Highlands, Breakpoint, Tempest, Temptation, Ridgeline, Timberland, Breakneck, and Headlong. It means 4v4 or 5v5 for the rest, except that I think High Noon and Condemned can appear in an 8v8 playlist as well.
>
> Well what do you propose then? A 3rd BTB playlist and a new 5v5 list with mixed slayer/objective? Then you still never get to play Invsion Breakpoint and with an ALL DLC restriction it might take a long time to warm up in population, if ever.

My proposal, which has appeared in another thread, was two DLC-required playlists, one 8v8 and one either 4v4 or 5v5, with every DLC-required map that doesn’t use Anniversary settings being included in at least one of them (depending on which list is optimal, as I outlined earlier). I would also add Timberland and Headlong, but without the Anniversary mechanics and the power-ups (the maps and weapons on them would otherwise remain intact). I would recommend options for both Reach 1.0 and TU settings in the list (i.e., there could be Slayer and TU Slayer, just as there is Slayer, Slayer DMRs, Slayer Pro, and Elite Slayer in the Team Slayer playlist), with Reach 1.0 settings appearing more often. Along with Slayer, CTF and Assault games should be included. I also recommend that non-DLC maps appear with low frequency in the lists, so as to add more variety.

As for playing Invasion on Breakpoint, I think 343i should simply make the Noble Map Pack required for the Invasion playlist. Given that I think Breakpoint is the best Invasion map, this only makes sense. Playing Invasion without playing it on Breakpoint is like going to the movies to watch only the worst ones. I don’t like the idea of having a 6v6 playlist just to accommodate playing Invasion Breakpoint.

> My proposal, which has appeared in another thread, was two DLC-required playlists, one 8v8 and one either 4v4 or 5v5

Sounds nice. But, assuming Squad DLC goes, that still means you need to kill one more playlist. Which gets the cut?

4v4 would probably be ok population wise, but I’m not entirely sure 8v8 can support a third playlist.

> As for playing Invasion on Breakpoint, I think 343i should simply make the Noble Map Pack required for the Invasion playlist.

I had that thought too, but then Fyrewulff reminded me that as a matter of XBL policy, all achievements on Disc need to be achieveable without DLC - and Noble isn’t even free.

> Sounds nice. But, assuming Squad DLC goes, that still means you need to kill one more playlist. Which gets the cut?
>
> 4v4 would probably be ok population wise, but I’m not entirely sure 8v8 can support a third playlist.

I’d suggest that an additional 8v8 playlist be almost exclusively CTF. Gametypes suited to map (i.e. 2 Flag on Highlands, Tempest, 1 Flag on Breakpoint, Breakneck). Maybe some Assault, or limited Slayer (8v8 Slayer on High Noon). Call it “Thowback BTB”. Also, throw 8v8 Invasion on Breakpoint in there (I think that’s possible?). Use this playlist as a replacement for Team Objective, which I’m pretty sure is the lowest populated playlist.

Is 4v4 Objective really core gameplay? I would say that based on the population, not in its current incarnation. The settings in that playlist are less than optimal. Most players that are 4v4 Objective fanatics don’t like the settings, and end up moving on to something more refined, like MLG. I don’t remember too many stories about 4v4 Objective from Halo 1, but I do remember a ton of 8v8 CTF matches on Blood Gulch. If there’s any core objective playlist for Halo, it should be 8v8.

I suppose there might be some achievement problems with this, but I don’t remember them.

> > My proposal, which has appeared in another thread, was two DLC-required playlists, one 8v8 and one either 4v4 or 5v5
>
> Sounds nice. But, assuming Squad DLC goes, that still means you need to kill one more playlist. Which gets the cut?’’

I’d also already suggested in another thread that Squad Slayer and Team Objective be combined into one playlist.

> > As for playing Invasion on Breakpoint, I think 343i should simply make the Noble Map Pack required for the Invasion playlist.
>
> I had that thought too, but then Fyrewulff reminded me that as a matter of XBL policy, all achievements on Disc need to be achieveable without DLC - and Noble isn’t even free.

Do you have a source to verify that policy?