Trimming the Fat: Matchmaking Needs a Diet

__WARNING: LONG READ AHEAD. There will be no TL:DR either.__

After taking a look through the Reach playlists again last night, and I’ve seen the same thing I’ve seen for quite some time; under populated playlists, some idiotic decisions (three Slayer-only playlists?) and some things that could definitely be cleaned up. So I thought about what could be done to make it better. And this is what I came up with. Keep in mind that while coming up with these ideas; I favor no particular playlist and care about it all, even if it means removing or severely modifying it. Also keep in mind I was thinking of these changes at about the same time as the Title Update, since it is fairly significant and would make a good switch-over time.

General Notes

  • Due to the -at best- lukewarm reception of Community Maps (not to mention some of them are just outright bad or unbalanced), Community Maps will be removed from all playlists excluding Action Sack, BTB and a playlist detailed later in this post

  • DLC playlists will only play DLC maps, period. No two ways about this.

  • If every player in a game has similar DLC, at least 1 DLC map will appear in both Rounds of Voting

  • By “Party Restrictions” I mean how hard to game tries to match similar-sized parties

Competitive Playlists

The Arena - 4v4 Team Slayer - Arena Rankings
Loadouts
Sprint - DMR, Magnum, 1 Frag
Sprint - NR, Magnum, 1 Frag
Hologram - DMR, Magnum, 1 Frag
Hologram - NR, Magnum, 1 Frag

Notes
- Motion Tracker - 25m - Friendlies Only

  • Strong Party Restrictions
  • No Guests
  • 2 Player Splitscreen

Squad Slayer - 5v5 Team Slayer
Gametypes
Slayer
Slayer DMRs
Slayer Pro - Same as Arena Slayer, but with no Radar
Elite Slayer - Low Weighting, Covenant-Only

Loadouts
Sprint - AR, Magnum, 2 Frag
Hologram - AR, Magnum, 2 Frag
Active Camo - AR, Magnum, 2 Frag
Jetpack - AR, Magnum, 2 Frag

Notes
- Loose Party Restrictions

  • Guests
  • 3 Player Splitscreen

Team Objective - 5v5 Objectives
Gametypes
Multi-Flag CTF
1 Flag CTF
Neutral Flag
Assault
One Bomb Assault
Neutral Bomb
Stockpile - Low Weighting
Oddball
Crazy King of the Hill
Territories - Low Weighting
3-Plot - Low Weighting

Loadouts
Sprint - DMR, AR, 2 Frags
Hologram - DMR, AR, 2 Frags
Active Camo - DMR, AR, 2 Frags
Armor Lock - DMR, AR, 1 Frag - Oddball, KotH, Territories, 3-Plot only
Drop Shield - DMR, AR, 2 Frags - Stockpile, Territories, 3-Plot only

Notes
- In Oddball and KotH loadouts will only have 1 Frag to start

  • Flag, Bomb settings will remain what they are now
  • Up to 4 players in party/splitscreen

Free for All - 8 Player FFA Slayer/Objective
Gametypes
Slayer
Slayer DMRs
3 Ball - Low Weighting
Crazy King of the Hill - Low Weighting
Juggernuat - Very Low Weighting

Loadouts
Sprint - AR, Magnum, 1 Frag
Hologram - AR, Magnum, 1 Frag
Active Camo - AR, Magnum, 1 Frag
Jetpack - AR, Magnum, 1 Frag
Armor Lock - AR, Magnum 1 Frag - 3-Ball, Crazy King only

Notes
- 2 player splitscreen

  • Max 8 Party

Big Team Battle - 8v8 Big Team Mixed
Gametypes
Multi-Flag CTF - High Weighting
Neutral Flag
Assault
Neutral Bomb
Invasion Slayer - Low Weighting
SPARTAN Skirmish - Low Weighting
Big Team Slayer - High Weighting

Loadouts
Sprint - DMR, AR, 2 Frags
Jetpack - DMR, AR, 2 Frags
Armor Lock - DMR, AR, 2 Frags
Active Camo - DMR, AR, 2 Frags
Hologram - DMR, AR, 2 Frags
Drop Shield - DMR, AR, 2 Frags - Objective Only

Notes

  • Max 8 player parties
  • 4 Player Splitscreen
  • Moderate Party Restrictions

Invasion - 6v6 Invasion Gametypes
Invason: Spire
Invasion: Boneyard
Invasion: Breakpoint
Invasion Slayer
SPARTAN Skirmish

Notes
- 6 Player Max Party

  • 4 Player Splitscreen
  • Moderate Party Restrictions

Premium Battle - 6v6 Team Mixed
Gametypes
Slayer
Slayer DMRs
Elite Slayer - Low Weighting
Multi-Flag CTF
One Flag CTF
Assault
One Bomb Assault
Neutral Bomb
Invasion: Breakpoint
Oddball
Crazy King of the Hill

Loadouts
Sprint - DMR, AR, 2 Frags
Hologram - DMR, AR, 2 Frags
Jetpack - DMR, AR, 2 Frags
Active Camp - DMR, AR, 2 Frags
Armor Lock - DMR, AR, 2 Frags - Slayer Only

Notes

  • Max 4 Player Splitscreen
  • Max 6 Players Party

CONTINUED NEXT POST

Community Playlists

Team SWAT - 4v4 Mixed Gametypes
Gametypes
Team SWAT
SWAT Magnums
SWAT Ball
SWATguns
SWAT EOD (SWAT One Bomb Assault)

Notes
- Max 4 Player Splitscreen

MLG - 4v4 MLG Gametypes
Content to be determined by MLG

Notes
- No Guests

  • Max 2 Player Splitscreen
  • Strong Party Restrictions
  • Max 4 Player Party

Action Sack - 4v4 Team Community Gametypes
Content will change and is subject to removal or additions at any time

Notes

  • Max 4 Player Splitscreen
  • Max 8 Player Party
  • Loose Search Restrictions

Multi-Team - 3v3v3v3 Mixed Gametypes
Gametypes
Multi-Flag CTF
3-Ball
Slayer
Slayer DMRs
Elite Slayer
Warthog Rocket Race
Crazy King of the Hill

Team Classic - 4v4 Mixed Games

Content and settings will be determined by 343I when the Title Update launches.

Of course, now many of you are up in arms. “Where is Grifball?!” "NO TEAM SNIPERS? “ “What about all those Community Maps?” and so on and so forth. Well, clam yourselves. I’m not finished yet. Rather than have all these playlists up all the time, we’ll put them to work doing something else; the Super Jackpot weekends.

Super Jackpot Weekends

Every week starting on Thursday two random, unique playlists will be put up in Matchmaking with the ability to earn large Jackpots once a day per playlist until Monday. These playlists include, but are not limited to:

Team Snipers
Grifball
Infection - Infection gametypes on both Reach and Community Maps
Rocket Race
Race - 8 Player Races on Community Race Maps
Community Slayer - 4v4 Team Slayer on Community Maps
Community Objective - 4v4 Team Objective on Community Maps
Elite Battle - 4v4 Team Mixed Gametypes with Covenant Only Settings
Defiant Brawl - 12 Player FFA on Defiant Maps
Noble Brawl - 12 Player FFA on Noble Maps

And many more. The only restriction is that the same playlist will not appear 3 times in the same month.

And this, I believe would help Reach a great if it happened. It keeps the core playlists and gives some of them a hand with trying to spread the population too thinly. And the more niche playlists (like Grifball) get to stick around, but they become something rarer and have more of an incentive to play them when they do appear and should attract more players when they are avalible, rather than letting many of them sit and flounder, or trying to force them to survive on their own.

I may have just mis-read but no Infection/Living Dead?

It’s the most popular Playlist in Reach w/o the Super Jackpot Weekend Playlist, its something casuals enjoy, I agree with the rest but simply removing Living Dead is a silly idea.

> I may have just mis-read but no Infection/Living Dead?
>
> It’s the most popular Playlist in Reach w/o the Super Jackpot Weekend Playlist, its something casuals enjoy, I agree with the rest but simply removing Living Dead is a silly idea.

Its not removed, it just comes back as a Super Jackpot playlist.

> some idiotic decisions (three Slayer-only playlists?)

Team Slayer is for Community Maps.
Squad Slayer is for Splitscreen Play.
Premium Slayer is for the DLC.

Redundant? Yes. But they serve a purpose.

> Due to the -at best- lukewarm reception of Community Maps (not to mention some of them are just outright bad or unbalanced), Community Maps will be removed from all playlists excluding Action Sack, BTB and a playlist detailed later in this post

That would be a real kick in the teeth for all the people who participated.

Not to mention that aside from a few threads saying they are tired of seeing grey all the time, I’ve heard nothing but positive about the Community maps.

Except for Joeski’s maps. Apparently they are all made out of cow patties instead of forge blocks.

> If every player in a game has similar DLC, at least 1 DLC map will appear in both Rounds of Voting

Agree.

As for your decision to remove other playlists like Grifball, Snipers, Infection from full time playlists to temporary playlists just for the Super Jackpot Weekends? I can’t support that. The only fruitful result I see coming of that would be to piss off a lot of people. For playlists like Grifball and Snipers the gain of only a few thousand, spread however unevenly across X number of playlists they go back to (if they go back to other playlists) doesn’t seem like it’s worth it.

And as much as I hate Infection, and I do hate Infection, with that many people playing it, why can’t they have their own full time playlist?

Way I see it, the number of playlists is fine. If anything a few more for FF VS and Rocket Race.

> > some idiotic decisions (three Slayer-only playlists?)
>
> Team Slayer is for Community Maps.
> Squad Slayer is for Splitscreen Play.
> Premium Slayer is for the DLC.
>
> Redundant? Yes. But they serve a purpose.
>
>
>
> > Due to the -at best- lukewarm reception of Community Maps (not to mention some of them are just outright bad or unbalanced), Community Maps will be removed from all playlists excluding Action Sack, BTB and a playlist detailed later in this post
>
> That would be a real kick in the teeth for all the people who participated.
>
> Not to mention that aside from a few threads saying they are tired of seeing grey all the time, I’ve heard nothing but positive about the Community maps.
>
> Except for Joeski’s maps. Apparently they are all made out of cow patties instead of forge blocks.
>
>
>
> > If every player in a game has similar DLC, at least 1 DLC map will appear in both Rounds of Voting
>
> Agree.
>
> As for your decision to remove other playlists like Grifball, Snipers, Infection from full time playlists to temporary playlists just for the Super Jackpot Weekends? I can’t support that. The only fruitful result I see coming of that would be to piss off a lot of people. For playlists like Grifball and Snipers the gain of only a few thousand, spread however unevenly across X number of playlists they go back to (if they go back to other playlists) doesn’t seem like it’s worth it.
>
> And as much as I hate Infection, and I do hate Infection, with that many people playing it, why can’t they have their own full time playlist?
>
> Way I see it, the number of playlists is fine. If anything a few more for FF VS and Rocket Race.

I was referring more to the The Arena - Team Slayer - Squad Slayer replication, but thanks for pointing out a 4th pure-Slayer playlist.

I’m not kicking them in the teeth. I’m just accepting what many other players and developers have come to realize over the years; that Community maps, while fun and interesting, generally do not belong in any sort of Competitive selection except through a rigorous and very long testing process. The only reason I make an exception for Action Sack and BTB is that BTB has far too few maps without the help of the Community maps, and Action Sack is completely based on Community gametypes.

However, that doesn’t mean that map makers shouldn’t get their time in spotlight; hence why they should be a major part of the weekly Jackpot weekends. Not only would it allow more Community maps to be showcased, but people would be more likely to play them because hey, you get rewarded for it. That, and if a few duds get in, it won’t really bother that many people, since it won’t be a permnant part of MM.

(And which maps were made by Joeski again? I can’t recall.)

Snipers gets removed because not only is it unfair for a certain weapon to have its own playlist, but it doesn’t make sense for a game with a moderate population like Reach to be even trying to split the population amongst specialty playlists when core playlists like Objective and The Arena suffer.

Grifball gets removed because its another “niche” playlist. A popular one at that, but still niche, in addition to it being a haven for stat--Yoink!- and griefing. That an its become so un-Grifball its not funny; seriously, I hope whomever thought of that Jetpack Grifball gametype was taken out back and put down. They’re a danger to intelligence everywhere.

What Reach definitely does not need is more playlists in addition to what it has. It honestly can’t afford to split population anymore.

> I’m not kicking them in the teeth. I’m just accepting what many other players and developers have come to realize over the years; that Community maps, while fun and interesting, generally do not belong in any sort of Competitive selection except through a rigorous and very long testing process. The only reason I make an exception for Action Sack and BTB is that BTB has far too few maps without the help of the Community maps, and Action Sack is completely based on Community gametypes.

I know that Godly, Goat and Sven put a lot of time, effort and thought into their maps, testing them thorougly. I’m certain the others have well.

I’m also left feeling this is a -Yoink!- if you do, -Yoink!- if you don’t. If we remove the maps people will complain about the lack of variety. Since not enough people are willing to pony up for the DLC maps ($10 for six maps and people still don’t have them?) the only way to interject more variety is through Forged creations.

And going from Team Slayer to weekend only for the Super Jackpot is a kick in the teeth for those that put up the effort.

> (And which maps were made by Joeski again? I can’t recall.)

Atom, Rebirth (Bungie removed it last playlist update) and one other I think.

> Snipers gets removed because not only is it unfair for a certain weapon to have its own playlist, but it doesn’t make sense for a game with a moderate population like Reach to be even trying to split the population amongst specialty playlists when core playlists like Objective and The Arena suffer.

What makes you think they would go to Objective or Arena?

> Grifball gets removed because its another “niche” playlist. A popular one at that, but still niche, in addition to it being a haven for stat--Yoink!- and griefing. That an its become so un-Grifball its not funny; seriously, I hope whomever thought of that Jetpack Grifball gametype was taken out back and put down. They’re a danger to intelligence everywhere.

To my knowledge the new maps and gametypes were authored by the Grifball community and were shipped to Bungie with their stamp of approval. You may not consider it Grifball but the Grifball people do.

> What Reach definitely does not need is more playlists in addition to what it has. It honestly can’t afford to split population anymore.

The logic that I’m getting from this is that you aim to remove all the playlists that other people play so they’ll be forced to play the ones that you want to play. If I was more of a dedicated Grifball or Snipers player I would be put off with someone else telling me that I can’t play what I want because they want me to get spawn killed in Team Objective for them.

And again, I can’t support that.

It seems fine, but Team Snipers needs to have it’s own permanent playlist.

I agree 100% with the changes to Arena, but come on, Team Snipers needs to be permanent.

I agree with everything else but the party restrictions of BTB. BTB should definitely have very strict party restrictions. Meaning that parties of eight should only match parties of eight. In BTB, any party that has at least five players shouldn’t be able to play against randoms in any case. It ruins the game for the randoms.

It should look like this:

Competitive:
Rumble Pit
The Arena
Squad Slayer
Big Team Battle
Invasion
Team Snipers

Halo Anniversary:
Team Classic

DLC:
Premiun Slayer
Premiun Battle

Community:
SWAT
MLG
Action Sack

Weekend Jackpot:
The ones you listed

Now it looks like every playlist will have a good population, therefore fast search times and quality games.

> It should look like this:
>
> Competitive:
> Rumble Pit
> The Arena
> Squad Slayer
> Big Team Battle
> Invasion
> Team Snipers
>
> Halo Anniversary:
> Team Classic
>
> DLC:
> Premiun Slayer
> Premiun Battle
>
> Community:
> SWAT
> MLG
> Action Sack
>
> Weekend Jackpot:
> The ones you listed
>
>
> Now it looks like every playlist will have a good population, therefore fast search times and quality games.

Needs doubles otherwise I agree.

do NOT remove all community maps. just remove uncaged or have a poll on which one to remove becuase most arent that bad.

I disagree with everything the OP Said, Sorry. But its bad. Try again

> It should look like this:
>
> Competitive:
> Rumble Pit
> The Arena
> Squad Slayer
> Big Team Battle
> Invasion
> Team Snipers
>
> Halo Anniversary:
> Team Classic
>
> DLC:
> Premiun Slayer
> Premiun Battle
>
> Community:
> SWAT
> MLG
> Action Sack
>
> Weekend Jackpot:
> The ones you listed
>
>
> Now it looks like every playlist will have a good population, therefore fast search times and quality games.

I really like this setup, doubles included.

> I’m not kicking them in the teeth. I’m just accepting what many other players and developers have come to realize over the years; that Community maps, while fun and interesting, generally do not belong in any sort of Competitive selection

Facepalm to the extreme!

The majority of good competitive maps are made by the community; the people who actually play it for insane amounts of time and know what makes a good map good. In fact, a lot of companies get their level designers from the community who’ve expressed talent through their community made maps. It’s just that Reach has such an easy to use map maker that you get a whole lot more -Yoink- to sort through before you get to the gems. Reach’s map maker is extremely limited, too. Making it hard to actually make a map at all.

Anyway, MM doesn’t need a diet.

> > I’m not kicking them in the teeth. I’m just accepting what many other players and developers have come to realize over the years; that Community maps, while fun and interesting, generally do not belong in any sort of Competitive selection
>
> Facepalm to the extreme!
>
> The majority of good competitive maps are made by the community; the people who actually play it for insane amounts of time and know what makes a good map good. In fact, a lot of companies get their level designers from the community who’ve expressed talent through their community made maps. It’s just that Reach has such an easy to use map maker that you get a whole lot more Yoink! to sort through before you get to the gems. Reach’s map maker is extremely limited, too. Making it hard to actually make a map at all.
>
> Anyway, MM doesn’t need a diet.

No, they’re not.

As a matter of fact, the only recent and still-relevant developer that incorporates community maps into a game full-time that I can think of is Valve, and that is after each map has undergone months of testing, balancing and fixing to make it sure it meets the standard set by Valve and the rest of the community.

Sure, a lot of other games let you make maps and put them up on a server, but the dev never endorses them, or even if they do they are left in Custom/Un-ranked section of the game where your stats and earnings don’t count.

> > I may have just mis-read but no Infection/Living Dead?
> >
> > It’s the most popular Playlist in Reach w/o the Super Jackpot Weekend Playlist, its something casuals enjoy, I agree with the rest but simply removing Living Dead is a silly idea.
>
> Its not removed, it just comes back as a Super Jackpot playlist.

But that’s a stupid idea, it’s the most popular playlist on Reach.

Grifball or whatever that isn’t in the Competitive Playlist but the most popular playlist removed for a Super Jackpot is just a flat out bad idea.

I can’t agree that this whole idea is about dieting and trimming the fat. It’s more of a manipulation to make things similar to Halo2’s playlists but with a bit of Halo3 ideology.

Loving the idea of weekend playlist… like Halo 3 when weekends were fun. Bring on the FFA Brawl !!!