The Failure of Reach's MM & How to Avoid it in Halo 4

We all know that Reach is pretty much a failure, especially when in comparison to previous Halo’s. Matchmaking is a shell of what it used to be, each playlist can barely support itself and Reach hasn’t even been out for 2 years yet. At this point in both Halo 2 & 3, the population was still booming, almost every playlist had tons of players and the world was in love with Halo. The community was generally on the same page, and all of the different fans were generally happy. The same cannot be said with Reach.

I am not going to explain in depth each of what I consider the main issues, because the forum has been on fire with these issues since day one, instead I will just list them.

Armor Abilities
Bloom
Terrible Maps (that shipped with the game and added as map packs)
Bad Physics (slow player speed, low jump height)
Lack of Any Viable Ranked Playlists
Non-Existant TrueSkill Matchups

Now, none of these issues are 343’s fault, this is all Bungie’s doing, so don’t be mad at 343. However, I am disappointed at how little the TU did to address these issues AND at how slowly they have been to implement the TU in general.

Now, I understand why 343 has been so reluctant to make more drastic changes, and to implement the changes they have made. By creating such a mess of a game, Bungie alienated one of its main customer demographics, the ‘hardcore’. Seeing as this demographic is no longer a big portion of the players of Reach, 343 tried to slightly appease them, while not alienating the rest of their players.

The true problem in Reach now lies in the player demographics, it is too late at this point, but the problem can be avoided for Halo 4. These different groups are important because this is who 343 will think about when creating Halo 4. These groups are what I believe to be the main player types that make up the population of a Halo title, and in these examples, Reach.

The ‘Competitive’
These players are why Halo 2 & 3 was a success and a large reason how Bungie was able to change console FPS for the better. These players prefer a ranked playlist, but also enjoy some social with friends. Generally, these players understand the game mechanics more than other types of players, and have mastered (or are at least very good) with all of the weapons available to them in the sandbox, especially precision weaponry. These players are not just ‘mlgpros’, they are anybody who is above average and plays to win. Most of these players have left Reach, because there is no legitimate ranked playlist, and they simply cannot cope with the ridiculous additions that Bungie put into Reach. That is not to say they couldn’t adapt, because they probably have higher k/d and win ratio’s than the people who are telling them to adapt. They simply just don’t like the way the game plays. Because these players are now a minority in Reach (see Reach’s poor population), 343 did not drastically change the game to suit their playstyle because they did not want to further alienate the remaining player base. The changes in Reach that they would need to see would lead to a higher skill gap. This change would only increase everybody’s enjoyment of the game, because it would give everybody a chance to increase their skills.

The ‘Noob’
This player is just happy to be playing a video game. Reach might be their first Halo title, or they may have played them all. This player generally doesn’t understand game mechanics, or at least not in halo. They simply just have fun whether they are winning or losing. They are not seeking to do better, they just want to hop into a social playlist with their friends, and AR and AL all night long. They were also happy dual wielding SMG’s in Halo 2 and Jim Dandy ripping turrets off of the sniper tower on The Pit and running around in Halo 3. The bottom line is, they don’t care whether the game is balanced or not, because they don’t think into it that much. If Reach was balanced and fair and had a real ranking system, it would make no difference to them. Pleasing the ‘hardcore’ crowd would only make them happier, because they would have more people to play with and they would get matched up with other casuals more often, instead of getting matched up with the ‘hardcore’ and getting destroyed.

The ‘Fanboy’
I don’t really like this term, but it’s the best I can think of. These players can be considered the ‘HaloReachDefenseForce”. They hate the TU, not because it somewhat balanced the game out more, but because it is different than what Bungie originally released. They will blindly and adamantly defend Vanilla Reach to their death, only because that is the way Bungie intended the game to be played. In their eyes, the creator of the game can do no wrong, unless they change the original game. These people don’t really see too much into the game mechanics. They may say they do, but their general lack of skill speaks more volumes into their understanding of the mechanics of the game then any of their words could ever do. The ‘Tryhard’ has even convinced themselves that bloom was a good idea because precision weapons should not shoot precisely. They will say, “I don’t want 343 to re-release Halo 2/3 and call it Halo 4”. I don’t really want them to either, but I damn sure don’t want them to release Halo Reach 2 and call it Halo 4. The bottom line is this, whatever Halo 4 is, be it Halo 3.5 or Halo Reach 2 or even a really good title that stands on its own feet, they will blindly defend it anyway. If Halo 4 is made to appease the ‘hardcore’ crowd, then the ‘tryhard’ crowd will be happy too.

In conclusion, I would just like to say I hope that Halo 4 is a well balanced, truly fun and complete Halo. I hope we can all have the opportunity to play a ranked game and a social game and that everyone can enjoy it. I hope Halo 4 will re-uinite the community and we can all find something new to hate each other for.

TL:DR – Bungie alienated most of their gamer population with Reach, and 343 didn’t want to drastically change anything out of fear of alienating the remaining players. These are the mistakes they made, and above is the solution to make everybody happy.

I had this long reply written out then decided to make it more simple:

Hardcore=Tryhard

Casual=actual gamer.

didn’t read, but what they should do is ignore the community as I have done with your post since what people want and what the game needs are two different things. Chasing the community could be compared with Chasing Amy.

P.S, yeah I’m a total hypocrite and I’m ok.

> I had this long reply written out then decided to make it more simple:
>
>
> Hardcore=Tryhard
>
> Casual=actual gamer.

i needed more of a division in the demographics, besides the tryhards are really trying hard to fight any change in reach anyways.

> didn’t read, but what they should do is ignore the community as I have done with your post since what people want and what the game needs are two different things. Chasing the community could be compared with Chasing Amy.
>
> P.S, yeah I’m a total hypocrite and I’m ok.

I didn’t write my issues (and most of the community’s for that matter) with the game, but more of how Bungie’s lack of foresight killed off matchmaking. It is more about what 343 should keep in mind while building halo 4.

I would say “try-hards” can fall into any category. The term simply means people who play super seriously and are usually total D-bags when it comes to dealing with team mates.

I play competitively and take the game seriously but I NEVER chew out teammates for not being up to par with my skill level meaning im competitive but not a “try-hard”. I usually encourage and give helpful suggestions. That being said there are just as many who love the TU and despise vanilla who fall into the try-hard category and are absolutely awful people to play with.

> > didn’t read, but what they should do is ignore the community as I have done with your post since what people want and what the game needs are two different things. Chasing the community could be compared with Chasing Amy.
> >
> > P.S, yeah I’m a total hypocrite and I’m ok.
>
> I didn’t write my issues (and most of the community’s for that matter) with the game, but more of how Bungie’s lack of foresight killed off matchmaking. It is more about what 343 should keep in mind while building halo 4.

My apoligies, I really should have bothered to read it. A demographic bashfest isn’t chasing the community, at all. Or maybe it is, just in a literal sense of chasing the “core” demographic which you think have all but abandoned Reach due to it’s various alterations to the Halo formula.

Changes which I think they kinda asked for.

When what they really wanted were things like a shiny badge to show everyone their skills over a seasonal badge they would have to earn again and again and could not show off in other playlists and a heightened skill gap in their favour instead of allowing the trigger spammer a chance as long as their luck with the bloom system allows it.

you’re confusing tryhard with noob.

tryhard is generally a person who tries there hardest to get kills or is just a good player and the word is used as an attack.

> > > didn’t read, but what they should do is ignore the community as I have done with your post since what people want and what the game needs are two different things. Chasing the community could be compared with Chasing Amy.
> > >
> > > P.S, yeah I’m a total hypocrite and I’m ok.
> >
> > I didn’t write my issues (and most of the community’s for that matter) with the game, but more of how Bungie’s lack of foresight killed off matchmaking. It is more about what 343 should keep in mind while building halo 4.
>
> My apoligies, I really should have bothered to read it. A demographic bashfest isn’t chasing the community, at all. Or maybe it is, just in a literal sense of chasing the “core” demographic which you think have all but abandoned Reach due to it’s various alterations to the Halo formula.
>
> Changes which I think they kinda asked for.
>
> When what they really wanted were things like a shiny badge to show everyone their skills over a seasonal badge they would have to earn again and again and could not show off in other playlists and a heightened skill gap in their favour instead of allowing the trigger spammer a chance as long as their luck with the bloom system allows it.

I’m not a fan of the “Well you asked for the change and you got it” sentiment. I never asked for a change, I would have been ecstatic for a game that played more similar to halo 2 or 3 with some shiny new weapons, maps and vehicles to play with.

anyways thanks for reading

> you’re confusing tryhard with noob.
>
> tryhard is generally a person who tries there hardest to get kills or is just a good player and the word is used as an attack.

like a said in the original post, i didn’t like the word, but it fit the best in my mind. also i think a casual is closer to the noob, they are more likely to charge you with a turret than the ‘tryhard’.

> > you’re confusing tryhard with noob.
> >
> > tryhard is generally a person who tries there hardest to get kills or is just a good player and the word is used as an attack.
>
> like a said in the original post, i didn’t like the word, but it fit the best in my mind. also i think a casual is closer to the noob, they are more likely to charge you with a turret than the ‘tryhard’.

haha nope, a casual can actually be a good player, he just lacks the dedication to be a hardcore player.

i don’t think there is a set definition, but don’t let that throw you off from the topic at hand. i really hope 343 has thought of this on their own, or we may be going down a road none of us really want to travel on…

I’ll be honest, when the Doubles playlist had the new TU it was like a revelation to me, Halo was fun again! Serious gamers, the guys who make more than one account and obsessively learn every detail of every map, hate randomness. And thats what the bloom implemented.

More importantly, the person who is in charge of matchmaking should have a strong understanding that MM is an ongoing series of sales transactions, with each game played being a “purchase” by a gamer. They need someone with a business background or MBA background running matchmaking, not a programmer or computer guy.

The fact is that Halo is an awesome universe, one opposite of COD because it does not try to mimic the real world. It will always have a dedicated fan base.

The H2/H3 ranking system was good because it provided immediate feedback; this is a basic principle of marketing and consumer behavior. Its like eating a tasty piece of chocolate: you get the pleasure of eating it immediately. The current Arena system is like telling someone to each a bunch of tasteless fat, and the next morning when they wake up they will get a good taste in their mouth for a few seconds. BACKWARDS.

There are different population segments who are after different things. It is possible to satisfy them all; however, a big part of Halo’s attraction is there is a large skill segment. If you are better than someone, you should be able to beat them. If someone is better than you, you need to increase your team work or skill. One of my favorite feelings in H3 was beating better players because of superior teamwork. One of the worst feelings was losing to worse players, but it was never because of luck, it was because we got outplayed.

The quest for a 50 or for Recon was in many respects like the quest for the holy grail. I’m sure everyone is familiar with it. The essence of the story is that it is not about the end result, which was unattainable, it was about the journey. Thats what was so crazy and kept people addicted. The quest for a fifty, and once you got one, you went after another fifty in another playlist. Or you went after recon or montages. Now, the only result from a game is a pile of credits, and a good part of the credits are from the Jackpot, which is RANDOM, and again people don’t like randomness because it means the results are not controllable.

A superior credit system would be an ever graduating amount of credits given out as a “bonus” for getting a huge streak of games played without quitting out. In that respect, once a player had played fifty games consecutively without quitting, they would be getting a huge bonus for each game, and make it so they would never ever want to quit out of a game. As it is, there is currently NO punishment for quitting several games a day. Simple fact. No credits, no exp, nothing.

The completed games streak factor, which continues to increase with every game played without a quit out, boot, or lag out, which be CRAZY and keep people playing in games no matter what.

I will make this title for your use in the future,

The failure of Halo 4’s MM & How to Avoid it in Halo 5

Haters gonna hate

> We all know that Reach is pretty much a failure, especially when in comparison to previous Halo’s. Matchmaking is a shell of what it used to be, each playlist can barely support itself and Reach hasn’t even been out for 2 years yet. At this point in both Halo 2 & 3, the population was still booming, almost every playlist had tons of players and the world was in love with Halo. The community was generally on the same page, and all of the different fans were generally happy. The same cannot be said with Reach.

Comparing apples to oranges while ignoring contrary evidence.

I will say, if H4 pulls Reach level populations, it’ll be hilarious to see the Reach haters try to defend it.

> I had this long reply written out then decided to make it more simple:
>
>
> Hardcore=Tryhard
>
> Casual=actual gamer.

Hardcore is not always a try hard. It could be a person who has dedicated a lot of time to the game, and takes pleasure in winning. You saying that is a bad thing is stupid.

I have qualifications on many of these things that the OP proposes are broken, but I can wholeheartedly agree that movement speed and jump height need to be increased dramatically. This should have been done to ALL playlists after the first playlist update.

only one problem the causal gamer like myself also enjoy to win and not walk aimlessly around the map but on the most part u are right

> i don’t think there is a set definition, but don’t let that throw you off from the topic at hand. i really hope 343 has thought of this on their own, or we may be going down a road none of us really want to travel on…

casual is a very broad term, to put it simply, a casual is a person who doesn’t have a strong interest.

a noob is a person who sucks at everything and refuses to accept this and learn from his mistakes, instead, he keeps doing the same stuff time and time again.

> I had this long reply written out then decided to make it more simple:
>
>
> Hardcore=Tryhard
>
> Casual=actual gamer.

No, they are both demographics of the same thing. We are all gamers despite the differences in skill, dedication, and understanding of any game. That’s it really but in the end we are all the same thing; Gamers. Don’t even argue this or i will back hand you for being silly.

I don’t know if anyone likes getting ROFLstomped or backpacked every single game but i never understood why being a try hard is a bad thing when you get positive k/ds, W/L, and better understanding of the game. Guess people are mad AND jealous. :stuck_out_tongue:

@OP: I wouldn’t label those who defend Reach’s Bungie as “Try hards” as that is more fitting for those of us who actually like to win and not get ROFLstomped. It’s much mor appropriate to label them as fanboys.