The fear of not being liked - Halo 4

Viewer direction is advised 18

http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/jimquisition/6377-Resident-Evil-6-Is-the-Epitome-of-Survival-Horror

[First bit is unrelated but it does begin to relate to Halo 4 be patient]. Please notify me if the link is not suitable for the forums and I will remove it.

Watch this and discuss about how this relates to Halo 4 (and Reach). You should consider:

-CoD styled loadouts

-Quick time events

-Release date

-Lack of competitive elements

-Focus on the casual community

-The removal of firefight and the introduction of Spartan Ops

-The falling population and increasing demographic

-The changes in core gameplay

-The changes in colour scheme

-The increase in customisation

-The shortening of the campaign

-The introduction of sprint

-Ordinance

-Anything else you can think of

Better to be red, than dead

Oh no I think I have had my most fun experiences in Halo 3. I liked Reach and ODST but Halo 4 was just too different. The art and visuals were nice but the core gameplay is meh. Too many armor abilities, killstreaks (calling down weapons for you), etc

I am just waiting till Bungie unveils Destiny

> Oh no I think I have had my most fun experiences in Halo 3. I liked Reach and ODST but Halo 4 was just too different. The art and visuals were nice but the core gameplay is meh. Too many armor abilities, killstreaks (calling down weapons for you), etc
>
> I am just waiting till Bungie unveils Destiny

Watch the video then reply with discussion please.

> > Oh no I think I have had my most fun experiences in Halo 3. I liked Reach and ODST but Halo 4 was just too different. The art and visuals were nice but the core gameplay is meh. Too many armor abilities, killstreaks (calling down weapons for you), etc
> >
> > I am just waiting till Bungie unveils Destiny
>
> Watch the video then reply with discussion please.

I understand exactly what the video said, it talked about how Gimmicky RE6 was just as how Gimmicky Halo 4 was. That is why I liked Halo 3 because it was a unique experience.

> > > Oh no I think I have had my most fun experiences in Halo 3. I liked Reach and ODST but Halo 4 was just too different. The art and visuals were nice but the core gameplay is meh. Too many armor abilities, killstreaks (calling down weapons for you), etc
> > >
> > > I am just waiting till Bungie unveils Destiny
> >
> > Watch the video then reply with discussion please.
>
> I understand exactly what the video said, it talked about how Gimmicky RE6 was just as how Gimmicky Halo 4 was. That is why I liked Halo 3 because it was a unique experience.

Not exactly. Halo 4 put loadouts - a core game mechanic not a gimmick - into the game it did this to appeal to a fanbase outside of its own franchise. At what point does a game loose its own identity to appeal to as many target audiences as possible? What effect will targeting several target audiences and widening the demographic have on Halo’s development? What is Microsoft pressuring 343 to do to appeal to modern shooter fans?

These are more than just gimmicks.

> > > > Oh no I think I have had my most fun experiences in Halo 3. I liked Reach and ODST but Halo 4 was just too different. The art and visuals were nice but the core gameplay is meh. Too many armor abilities, killstreaks (calling down weapons for you), etc
> > > >
> > > > I am just waiting till Bungie unveils Destiny
> > >
> > > Watch the video then reply with discussion please.
> >
> > I understand exactly what the video said, it talked about how Gimmicky RE6 was just as how Gimmicky Halo 4 was. That is why I liked Halo 3 because it was a unique experience.
>
> Not exactly. Halo 4 put loadouts - a core game mechanic not a gimmick - into the game it did this to appeal to a fanbase outside of its own franchise. At what point does a game loose its own identity to appeal to as many target audiences as possible? What effect will targeting several target audiences and widening the demographic have on Halo’s development? What is Microsoft pressuring 343 to do to appeal to modern shooter fans?
>
> These are more than just gimmicks.

You have reached the core of the problem. You have to understand Bungie and 343i are 2 totally different companies.

Bungie has been around for over 20 years, their slogan is “We make games we want to play”, they actually have shown they care about what they make and crafting new and unique experiences. That is why they left Halo to work on their new game Destiny which hopefully will be far superior to Halo.

343i is a company founded by Microsoft to emulate Bungie’s success and make as much money possible. If it wasn’t about money, 343i wouldn’t exist right now. (I am not saying Bungie wasn’t for making money, but they hate being controlled and forced to make something they don’t want to). 343i then does not have the safeguards Bungie had being an independent studio and thus they make the game more and more generic to make more money and appeal to casuals as they desecrate the Halo formula. I fear Halo may eventually lose it’s unique appeal one day, but Halo had a good 10 year run.

But Halo 4 is not really a bad game, it just doesn’t feel like a true/good halo game in some ways.

I can see it. 110% when I really think about it. It feels like 343 tried too hard and now that they know its not working, they’re desperately trying to piece together what’s left to appeal to the people who remain on their game and on these forums (me being one of them mostly on the forum than the game because I can’t stand that POS).

When I think about Halo 4, Cortana and Chiefs relationship, and the general direction its taking, it makes me think fear drove them to apply to the demographic of teens/kids (as mommy and daddy would be paying for this stuff anyway). There are a few mature fans who like it, but a good majority is of the younger audience whose first Halo game was Reach and/or this title.

Unfortunately, as -Yoink- as this all is, that’s the way of the world of business in the Gaming Industry. You always have to appeal to the next generation of demographics (if anyone’s ever played Kairosoft’s Game Dev Story, you’d understand immediately what I mean) and find a way to keep them latched on. For this generation of young guys and gals, it’s COD and Halo 4 had to mimick COD in order to compete, but SOLELY out of fear it seems.

We were sold garbage just as RE 6 fans were sold garbage as well. It’s not hard to see it, some of us just aren’t very happy with what’s happened and although these guys are trying to make some changes it just makes you wonder why they wouldn’t initially do those things to begin with, rather than leave them out and suffer the consequences and then rush to try to put it all back together.

Yes, both games did this, to different extents. The question is, how well did their final product fit together once all the new implementations are in place?

I am a HARDCORE fan of both series, they’re my top 2 to be specific. RE 6 was a phenomenal game. Yes, the series has changed a lot, but the final product they dished out felt great, the campaigns were very extensive and Mercenary’s was one hell of a treat. Even though the game changed a quite a bit it felt good, and they threw tons of love to old RE fans, weather they realize it or not.

Halo 4 on the other hand just wasn’t developed enough. The concepts I can live with, but the lack of proper implementation on a AAA title is sad to say the least.

Broken sandbox mechanics leave an uneven playing field.
Progressive rank leaves many feeling a shallow multiplayer experience.
Lack of decent maps, especially when playlists restrict map size. (Ex. slayer needs small.)
Extreme lack of communication to player-base.
Various technical issues.

My point, can a game be good if it adapts to new or different playing styles/mechanics? Absolutely.
However, it depends on if the developer implements them correctly… and Halo 4 did not.

> Yes, both games did this, to different extents. The question is, how well did their final product fit together once all the new implementations are in place?
>
> I am a HARDCORE fan of both series, they’re my top 2 to be specific. RE 6 was a phenomenal game. Yes, the series has changed a lot, but the final product they dished out felt great, the campaigns were very extensive and Mercenary’s was one hell of a treat. Even though the game changed a quite a bit it felt good, and they threw tons of love to old RE fans, weather they realize it or not.
>
> Halo 4 on the other hand just wasn’t developed enough. The concepts I can live with, but the lack of proper implementation on a AAA title is sad to say the least.
>
> Broken sandbox mechanics leave an uneven playing field.
> Progressive rank leaves many feeling a shallow multiplayer experience.
> Lack of decent maps, especially when playlists restrict map size. (Ex. slayer needs small.)
> Extreme lack of communication to player-base.
> Various technical issues.
>
> My point, can a game be good if it adapts to new or different playing styles/mechanics? Absolutely.
> However, it depends on if the developer implements them correctly… and Halo 4 did not.

But don’t you agree that when RE6 stretched its demographic it alienated massive amounts of its fanbase? - http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/resident-evil-6

->And isn’t that the same with Halo? http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/halo-4

I think it’s almost unfair how easy it is for someone with a[n often mis-informed] fan perspective to make claims like this. Unless you’ve got superhuman powers that allow you to read the minds of others, you don’t know what someone else is thinking. And if you do, please stay away from me!

Let’s look at the subject with a less condescending fan approach.

Devs are afraid they “won’t be liked” and that "people will look elsewhere."

I’m not sure it should be called fear. I think it would be more appropriate to acknowledge that game studios are in fact, businesses. Businesses need to make money to, you know, exist - to make more games for you to play. This does not mean that I’m “for” someone completely “selling out” or sacrificing artistic integrity. What this does mean is that I can understand why games generally follow certain trends.

Nothing in Halo 4, or any other game, is ripped straight from another game. Ideas are used in the context of different games and each dev puts their own twist on features to be used in a way that fits.

Currently one thing that’s big right now is investment systems. Gamers need a reason to keep playing games and it has a lot to do with the instant gratification you get from seeing a little number go up or having something to change how your character looks. You need a reason to be invested to play. Often times, people want to have Halo 2s ranking system back. Halo 2s ranking system was a primitive investment system that was linear and did not accurately paint a picture of how “good” a player really was. Having good team mates certainly helped and not getting matched with cheaters was a plus. It was good for its time but after removing the nostalgia glasses, you will find it lacking. This isn’t me knocking Halo 2’s ranking system either. What Bungie was able to do with Halo 2 is what laid the guideline for most of how XBL is run today.

Without rambling too much, because I’ve gone on a huge tangent, games do follow certain trends. I don’t think it has much to do with fear and a need to be “popular” - rather, I think it has more to do with devs wanting to capture a large audience and giving them a product that they would enjoy.

"________________ would be a successful game because it’s _______________"

This is also a difficult assumption to make or take seriously if it’s made. If game devs didn’t make changes to each installment in a series, games may grow stale and they’d lose business, which isn’t good for any of us. Let’s compare two battle-hardened old 8-bit warriors.

The Red Plumber vs The Blue Bomber

One of these guys is still working while the memories of the other hang bittersweet over the heads and hearts of gamers who wish he’d return. Want to know the big difference?

With each Mario installment comes changes. Nintendo’s got it pretty down pat on how to implement changes that their fanbase loves but I would argue that Nintendo fans seem less fickle than fans of competitive FPS games. However, that’s an unfair claim to make and it cheapens their achievement. I’m a huge fan of older Mega Man games but each installment of the series is pretty much a clone of the previous installment. It wasn’t until Mega Man 3 that you were given the ability to slide (which isn’t a huge addition, aside from how much it changed the game) and it wasn’t until Mega Man X that you could climb walls. I think they tried going 3D for X7 but it lost my attention by then.

Going back to the subject at hand: if games do not change and are just repackaged installments of their predecessor, people will lose interest.

I know this sounds like I’m almost agreeing with the guy but calling it “fear” is an insult to game developers. It’s condescending. It’s designed to get people worked up. It misinforms people and is all around bad. Following gaming trends is not a bad thing. They’re trends because people like them.

When most gamers say “oh they’re greedy” or “they’re just out for your money,” it’s a little disappointing to see. Devs are in business to make products that you like but in the interest of self-preservation, they of course need to make money so they can keep making games (and making AAA titles isn’t cheap). We’re all complex creatures with different tastes, so it makes things like player investment and incorporating new changes a huge challenge for devs. Personally, I would say that 343 has done a great job on that front. Really enjoy Halo 4, lookin’ forward to Halo 5.

Also, edit: Ohai Skenny, I see you.

> > Yes, both games did this, to different extents. The question is, how well did their final product fit together once all the new implementations are in place?
> >
> > I am a HARDCORE fan of both series, they’re my top 2 to be specific. RE 6 was a phenomenal game. Yes, the series has changed a lot, but the final product they dished out felt great, the campaigns were very extensive and Mercenary’s was one hell of a treat. Even though the game changed a quite a bit it felt good, and they threw tons of love to old RE fans, weather they realize it or not.
> >
> > Halo 4 on the other hand just wasn’t developed enough. The concepts I can live with, but the lack of proper implementation on a AAA title is sad to say the least.
> >
> > Broken sandbox mechanics leave an uneven playing field.
> > Progressive rank leaves many feeling a shallow multiplayer experience.
> > Lack of decent maps, especially when playlists restrict map size. (Ex. slayer needs small.)
> > Extreme lack of communication to player-base.
> > Various technical issues.
> >
> > My point, can a game be good if it adapts to new or different playing styles/mechanics? Absolutely.
> > However, it depends on if the developer implements them correctly… and Halo 4 did not.
>
> But don’t you agree that when RE6 stretched its demographic it alienated massive amounts of its fanbase? - http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/resident-evil-6
>
> ->And isn’t that the same with Halo? http://www.metacritic.com/game/xbox-360/halo-4

As far as fan-base goes, yes. Many felt neglected for both series. However, I felt the revisions in RE6 fit the game. Yes it’s different, hopefully the developer will bring and older-style RE to the table soon, but it’s still a damn good game. They’ve had to make minor revisions and tweeks here and their for the newest title, but at least it was truly fit to be released when it was.

You will always have unhappy fans with a sequal, and it will only get more severe with the more changes implemented. But, if we were to just look at these two games and pretend they didn’t have a predecessor to live up to, just to rate how well they play in their category and function as a game, I’d say RE6 did well and Halo 4 did not.

> I think it’s almost unfair how easy it is for someone with a[n often mis-informed] fan perspective to make claims like this. Unless you’ve got superhuman powers that allow you to read the minds of others, you don’t know what someone else is thinking. And if you do, please stay away from me!
>
> Let’s look at the subject with a less condescending fan approach.
>
> Devs are afraid they “won’t be liked” and that "people will look elsewhere."
>
> I’m not sure it should be called fear. I think it would be more appropriate to acknowledge that game studios are in fact, businesses. Businesses need to make money to, you know, exist - to make more games for you to play. This does not mean that I’m “for” someone completely “selling out” or sacrificing artistic integrity. What this does mean is that I can understand why games generally follow certain trends.
>
> Nothing in Halo 4, or any other game, is ripped straight from another game. Ideas are used in the context of different games and each dev puts their own twist on features to be used in a way that fits.
>
> Currently one thing that’s big right now is investment systems. Gamers need a reason to keep playing games and it has a lot to do with the instant gratification you get from seeing a little number go up or having something to change how your character looks. You need a reason to be invested to play. Often times, people want to have Halo 2s ranking system back. Halo 2s ranking system was a primitive investment system that was linear and did not accurately paint a picture of how “good” a player really was. Having good team mates certainly helped and not getting matched with cheaters was a plus. It was good for its time but after removing the nostalgia glasses, you will find it lacking. This isn’t me knocking Halo 2’s ranking system either. What Bungie was able to do with Halo 2 is what laid the guideline for most of how XBL is run today.
>
> Without rambling too much, because I’ve gone on a huge tangent, games do follow certain trends. I don’t think it has much to do with fear and a need to be “popular” - rather, I think it has more to do with devs wanting to capture a large audience and giving them a product that they would enjoy.
>
> "________________ would be a successful game because it’s _______________"
>
> This is also a difficult assumption to make or take seriously if it’s made. If game devs didn’t make changes to each installment in a series, games may grow stale and they’d lose business, which isn’t good for any of us. Let’s compare two battle-hardened old 8-bit warriors.
>
> The Red Plumber vs The Blue Bomber
>
> One of these guys is still working while the memories of the other hang bittersweet over the heads and hearts of gamers who wish he’d return. Want to know the big difference?
>
> With each Mario installment comes changes. Nintendo’s got it pretty down pat on how to implement changes that their fanbase loves but I would argue that Nintendo fans seem less fickle than fans of competitive FPS games. However, that’s an unfair claim to make and it cheapens their achievement. I’m a huge fan of older Mega Man games but each installment of the series is pretty much a clone of the previous installment. It wasn’t until Mega Man 3 that you were given the ability to slide (which isn’t a huge addition, aside from how much it changed the game) and it wasn’t until Mega Man X that you could climb walls. I think they tried going 3D for X7 but it lost my attention by then.
>
> Going back to the subject at hand: if games do not change and are just repackaged installments of their predecessor, people will lose interest.
>
> I know this sounds like I’m almost agreeing with the guy but calling it “fear” is an insult to game developers. It’s condescending. It’s designed to get people worked up. It misinforms people and is all around bad. Following gaming trends is not a bad thing. They’re trends because people like them.
>
> When most gamers say “oh they’re greedy” or “they’re just out for your money,” it’s a little disappointing to see. Devs are in business to make products that you like but in the interest of self-preservation, they of course need to make money so they can keep making games (and making AAA titles isn’t cheap). We’re all complex creatures with different tastes, so it makes things like player investment and incorporating new changes a huge challenge for devs. Personally, I would say that 343 has done a great job on that front. Really enjoy Halo 4, lookin’ forward to Halo 5.
>
> Also, edit: Ohai Skenny, I see you.

Logical change which keeps the original fans of the series happy whilst not changing core gameplay mechanics is fine. Implementing change which edits the core gameplay will only ever cause trouble. Microsoft basically used Halo’s name as a springboard to sell a new game which uses loadouts, point-streaks and Halo enemies in the campaign. Halo 4 could have been a logical development from Halo 3 instead Microsoft created a game specifically designed to fight with Call of Duty by trying to steal their fanbase - and so-far no game has been able to do that.

I am by no means saying that change or ‘competitor inspired inspiration’ (copying) is bad but Halo should have held its ground.

Thanks for the long thought out response btw - that goes to all of you.

What’s “logical change” then? I’ve always seen people make the claim that the game has been changed too much (and that goes with each Halo installment) but they never propose ideas they’d like to see that isn’t a radical change in itself or doesn’t change the game at all.

Implementing deeper investment systems seems like a logical change to me. Halo 2 had a primitive investment system that was a number. Halo 3 did a little of both and added in armor pieces to show off in-game achievements that someone has completed. Halo: Reach did this even moreso. Halo 4 has followed the natural progression. Loadouts and specializations stem from that. People invest themselves in a play-style that they like.

Loadouts can be tailored for custom games (and playlists) to lend themselves to hypercompetitive styles of play.

> What’s “logical change” then? I’ve always seen people make the claim that the game has been changed too much (and that goes with each Halo installment) but they never propose ideas they’d like to see that isn’t a radical change in itself or doesn’t change the game at all.
>
> Implementing deeper investment systems seems like a logical change to me. Halo 2 had a primitive investment system that was a number. Halo 3 did a little of both and added in armor pieces to show off in-game achievements that someone has completed. Halo: Reach did this even moreso. Halo 4 has followed the natural progression. Loadouts and specializations stem from that. People invest themselves in a play-style that they like.
>
> Loadouts can be tailored for custom games (and playlists) to lend themselves to hypercompetitive styles of play.

A development of pick-ups (something Halo 4 touched on)

A development in interactive maps including destructo-physics

A development in playlists (invasion is a good one)

Fixing previous imbalances/bugs (dual wield weapons like double SMGs should be made)(Also fixing 1-50 or introducing something else which works)

Armour customisation development (something 343 did do right)

Larger variety in forge (certain infinity did close to nothing with this)

Developing theatre (special effects like nova available in theatre?)

All whilst retaining the core gameplay and not alienating fans.

btw loadouts can never be hyper competitive - competitive maybe but never hyper/halo competitive

I agree that it stinks that some of the things in previous games got left out but such is the dev cycle with its deadlines. Other things you suggested seem to be small things that would result in what amounts to a repackaged game.

To clarify what I meant when I said loadouts can be tailored for hypercompetitive play: I meant that you could use loadouts to give everyone the same starting weapons and armor ability, effectively nullifying loadouts. Sorry for the miscommunication.

I appreciate your points though; we just disagree on some things. Thanks for the fun discussion.