Umm . . . wat???

343i:

I am not a 343i hater. If you go back through my posts, you will see a common theme: I like H4 and I believe you tried to make a great game, and when it fell short of expectations, you have tried hard to make the game better (albeit belatedly). However, some of the decisions you made in pursuit of that goal are truly mystifying.

I say this not as a Halo veteran. H4 is my first Halo. Now, you can take one of two things away from that admission:

  1. I am a n00b and don’t know my nether regions from a hole in the ground . . . and thus can be safely ignored.

  2. Some of the criticisms you dismiss as senseless paroxysms of a “nostalgia-blinded vocal minority” are, in reality, shared by a wider pool of players.

If you choose #1, feel free to stop reading now.


While just about every aspect of the game has been crucified by someone on these forums, there are a few popular themes:

  1. POD + random ordnance + static ordnance + 2 spare clips for each places too many power weapons in play during a game and make it possible for an entirely random event to determine the outcome of a match.

  2. Some AAs (specifically AC, Jetpack, and perhaps PV) result in gameplay that is less enjoyable than were those AAs removed.

  3. Some perks either removed features that were expected to be a normal part of the game (i.e., resupply) or obviate a tradeoff deliberately included for balance (i.e., awareness).

  4. Some loadout options (PP, stickies) make vehicular combat less enjoyable than were those options not available.

  5. Sprint and descope.


I used to have a group of other causal gamers I played with on Thursdays. These guys are not competitive gamers by any stretch of the imagination - they just play for fun. Anyway, for various reasons (including frustration at the game), that no longer happens. Though they have never posted on Waypoint, I can confirm that they were frustrated with #1 - #4. So it’s not just a vocal minority - there are an unknown number of nonvocal players who share the same complaints.

Based on #1 - 5 above, several of us here proposed some potential fixes. Nearly all of these fixes - some of which were well-received by other posters - involved creating a hybrid gametype that included some Infinity elements but dumped the most objectionable ones. I note that at least one of these was included in the GC version of Infinity. This means there must be some recognition on your part that the default POD handling is one of the most objectionable aspects of Infinity.

Moreover, many of these proposals wanted Infinity + Hybrid and Hybrid + Vanilla as 2 separate 4v4 playlists - one to satisfy the more casual crowd, and the other to satisfy the more competitive crowd, with Hybrid being the common gametype to serve as a bridge between the two.

So while this assertion is not beyond question, I think it is reasonable to state that a hybrid gametype for inclusion into Infinity would have met with the largest amount of approval.


This is where things get mystifying. Instead of providing some kind of middle-of-the-road gametype, you decided to provide Slayer Pro without motion tracking for both 4v4 and BTB. Who was objecting to motion tracking in the Infinity playlists? No one. I do not know why this was thought to be a good idea. Fortunately, BTB was rectified - but lack of motion tracking in 4v4 guarantees that the other benefits of Pro will be infrequently experienced because most casuals do not want to play without motion tracking.

So instead of providing a gametype that removes some of the most frustrating aspects of Infinity while retaining basic functionality to which casuals and many semi-competitive players do not object, you removed a feature that guaranteed most casuals would avoid the gametype.

Then you followed that up with Legendary. Originally billed as a hybrid gametype, what came out was anything but. The restrictive settings combined with the need to either study the maps in Forge or get trounced multiple times while trying to figure out weapon locations sealed the doom of this playlist from the beginning. I understand that there are merits to the style of play in Legendary and that there are a group of players who really enjoy playing it. But who thought that this playlist had any chance of having a broad appeal? How many casuals are willing to work through tens of 600-210 slaughterings before simply walking away?

If we didn’t know the answer before, we know it now: Not many.

And if that weren’t enough, the easily foreseeable failure of Legendary is being followed by an even worse decision to incorporate it into the Infinity playlists. Casuals will not enjoy being forced to play it - many of them already hate Pro, and Pro is light-years closer to Infinity than Legendary is. We already have too many issues with JIP / quits. What’s going to happen when a full team who wants to play Legendary meets a team of randoms? Well, if the full team wins the vote, then the game will be played as a full team vs. one or two poor fools who didn’t dashboard in time, one of whom goes AFK after 3 minutes. And if you want to play Legendary - but you don’t have a full team - you’re pretty much S.O.L. Good luck collecting more votes than your own. Great fun to be had by all.


I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but this chain of events would not be difficult to spin as follows:

  1. You want to prove that the complaints by the vocal minority are exactly that and do not reflect the larger player pool as a whole.

  2. You take the suggestions of the vocal minority and deliberately implement them in such a way as to guarantee an unpopular result.

  3. You point to said results to prove that the vocal minority does not reflect the opinions of the larger player pool as a whole.


I cannot imagine that is actually what you are doing (at least, I sincerely hope not), but quite a convincing argument could be made that you are. And it really is puzzling, given the amount of effort you spent on the weapon retune and similar items, which were much appreciated by many. I do not understand.

It’s not just Legendary, either. Who wanted more perks - especially one that saves drivers from Splasers, Fuel Rod Cannons, and all turret-mounted weapons except rockets? The complaints about vehicular combat in Infinity are that the ubiquitous PPs and PGs make vehicular combat less fun - so you turn around and implement a perk that eliminates the ability to kill the driver by almost every other means? What sense does it make to give people a perk that makes the most frustrating behavior even more lucrative to do?

Please. Just stop, listen, and seriously think about what you are doing. Give us:

  1. Team 4v4 Slayer playlist with Infinity and Hybrid options
  2. Team 4v4 Slayer playlist with Hybrid and Classic (i.e., BR starts) options
  3. All objective playlists with Hybrid & Classic (and maybe Infinity)

Please stop giving us what we don’t want.

This has to be one of the most well thought out objective examinations of the failures of 343’s matchmaking system, and it gives credit where credit is due to both classic and infinity minded members of the community.

You have laid it all out in a way that I could have trouble finding anyone to disagree with you.

In another thread I made a similar less eloquent post which lays out a potential model for implementing what you suggest and I’ll post it here for further discussion.

> This is the problem with Halo 4. Instead of having a spectrum defined by core features that flow through all gamemodes, we have completely fragmented matchmaking offering that neither exists on a spectrum or has a defined core.
>
> a better way using the fragments that Halo has become:
>
> Each non-thowdown playlist should feature two gametypes that form a spectrum between all three playlists:
>
> Infinity Slayer:
> 1. Infinity Slayer as it currently exists.
> 2. Infinity Arena (or something?), loadouts (with weapon spawns matching IS and motion tracker enabled and PO as just grenades or perhaps the other AA):
> - DMR / AR / 2xFrag / Thruster Pack / Resupply / Explosives
> - LR / Suppressor / 1xPulse / Hardlight Shield / Resupply / Explosives
> - Carbine / SR / 2xPlasma / Hologram / Resupply / Explosives
>
> legendary should be changed to Team Slayer (disable sprint please):
> 1. Team Slayer, loadouts (with weapon spawns matching Throwdown and motion tracker enabled and PO matching Throwdown):
> - DMR / AR / 2xFrag / Resupply / Explosives
> - LR / Suppressor / 1xPulse / Resupply / Explosives
> - Carbine / SR / 2xPlasma / Resupply / Explosives
> 2. Team BRs (all setting match Throwdown exept for an AR secondary and an enabled motion tracker)
>
> Throwdown is throwdown (disable sprint please).
>
>
> something like that. You need to start treating Halo 4 as a single game when it comes to the mainline slayer and objective playlists is my main point. Maybe my suggestion isn’t great but I think it’s better than your current offering, and with sprint disabled Team BRs in Team Slayer would mimic Halo 3 team slayer pretty well for classic fans. I also don’t think they would mind the loadouts that much as it would still be a core halo arena experience more or less. Just my two cents.
>
> p.s. as for big team, just merge the two Playlists into one, call it BTB and be done with it.

Thank you so much for stating this so sanely and plainly, a way that in my recent frustration I could not. I hope this leads to a health debate about settings gametypes and matchmaking, that eventually leads to a consesus in the entire community. More so I hope 343 listens because my lungs are beginning to burn for how much I’ve been trying to yell for the past months what you’ve put so delicately now.

Well said.

While I personally have pretty much given up on these forums, I have to say you’ve worded one of the major issues going on with Halo in a spectacular manner. I do hope that someone from 343 responds to this adequately, so that this post may not go to waste like so many others have.

I agree with the TC.I mentioned something similar awhile ago, but I said to add the GC infinity settings to the rumble playlist instead.Send a twit to bs angel or bravo with your suggestion TC.

I enjoyed reading this post. Awesome job on this post OP well put and in NO way disrespectful. FInally a well put wall of text that lays out what happened with Halo 4. I REALLY HOPE 343i sees this and maybe acknowledges it.

Wow great post OP. Very constructive criticism along with valid points to help improve halo 4 matchmaking.

Twitter is beyond me*, but if someone thinks this is worthwhile to tweet to 343i, feel free. I’d been half-thinking about posting something like this for awhile. This week’s bulletin finally moved me to action. It’s difficult to understand how they could get something as complex as the weapons tuning so right (maybe a few misses, but not many) but something like this so wrong.

*Don’t call me an idiot; call me “technologically impaired”.

Great post, well thought out and easy to read through. I gotta say that I can’t find myself disagreeing with what you said. It’s a totally different perspective that I really hadn’t taken before, and is something to think about. We always talk about how the competitives are stuffed with all of the changes that were made, but now we get to see some of the new changes from the casual’s point of view. I also hadn’t thought about how we’ll now run into the coordinated teams of four in Infinity that will always vote legendary. Maybe I should avoid that playlist now. I originally didn’t think it would be a big deal, but your post is making me think differently.

You get +1 internets… or you would if I could give it out…

> 343i:
> It’s not just Legendary, either. Who wanted more perks - especially one that saves drivers from Splasers, Fuel Rod Cannons, and all turret-mounted weapons except rockets? The complaints about vehicular combat in Infinity are that the ubiquitous PPs and PGs make vehicular combat less fun - so you turn around and implement a perk that eliminates the ability to kill the driver by almost every other means? What sense does it make to give people a perk that makes the most frustrating behavior even more lucrative to do?

For a visual demonstration of what needed fixing in BTB, please see the following video.

Thank you for posting this - It amazes me that week after week goes by with no mention on the halo bulletin of the issues that players have brought up. What happened to Rocket Hog Race or Mongoose Race? What happened to fixing custom game type issues to at least allow for players to build race maps? What happened to giving players a NONE OF THE ABOVE option for map voting?

This game was meant by 343 to be a stepping stone - otherwise why ignore the MASS AMOUNT OF PLAYERS that either left entirely or have gone back to H3 or Reach?

> *Don’t call me an idiot; call me “technologically impaired”.

I just tweeted it bravo, Quinn, and BSangel. Don’t know if they’ll read it, but what the hey…

as for your impairment: I wouldn’t worry about it. I find twitter pretty useless personally, except for occasions such as these.

I must say this has to be one of the most full featured posts I have ever read on the threads. To the point and filled with just about every issue that needed to be addressed. Very well done and much appreciated.

The only thing off is the title :slight_smile:
You worded your post quite well, it fully informs everyone of the problems from a perspective they can understand.

Although it’s no secret that 343 isn’t listening to the community, that they are doing whatever the -Yoink- they want to Halo 4.

> Although it’s no secret that 343 isn’t listening to the community, that they are doing whatever the -Yoink!- they want to Halo 4.

Listening, obeying, and satisfying are three different things. I think they are clearly listening to the community.

Things like legendary slayer, weapon tuning, and the adjustment of map ordinance a couple months back show me that they are listening. It only took them one or two weeks to replace the much maligned splasers on Adrift with snipers. Obviously some of the changes have been misguided, ineffective, straight up backwards, or some combination of the three… but they are listening.

Good read OP.

Going to bump for 343, they need to see this.

Great read, this was a very intelligent post OP. This is a crazy long wall of text, I’m sure you spent a ton of time on it.

I also agree with almost all of your points. Bravo!

This post has been edited by a moderator. Please do not bump.

*Original post. Click at your own discretion.

Bump.
Well said, OP. 343i need to read this.

> Bump.
> Well said, OP. 343i need to read this.

> Please do not spam. Spam includes but is not limited to commercial posts, single word responses, petitions, non-English posts, posts containing all-caps, necroposts and bumps (replies purposely made to move the thread to the top of the active thread list).

Anyway, nice post OP :]

> > *Don’t call me an idiot; call me “technologically impaired”.
>
> I just tweeted it bravo, Quinn, and BSangel. Don’t know if they’ll read it, but what the hey…
>
> as for your impairment: I wouldn’t worry about it. I find twitter pretty useless personally, except for occasions such as these.

Thanks. Given my propensity for walls of text, #plzreed is a poor fit.

> Obviously some of the changes have been misguided, ineffective, straight up backwards, or some combination of the three… but they are listening.

Yes. People malign 343i too much in this regard. Without a doubt, they listen. Like any business, however, they have to take what the customer says he wants and translate it into what the customer actually wants. Those are normally two different things.

It’s not the listening part that’s the problem. Its the interpretation part.

In the end, were they to properly interpret (in my opinion, at least), they would realize something they might find surprising. The “community” (whatever that means) by and large does not reject the new gameplay concepts in H4 (even if the “community” thinks it does). The “community” actually only rejects the default implementation of those concepts.

Had POD been implemented as a grenades-ammo-alternate secondaries bonus, how many would have objected? Had AAs been restricted to TP, Hologram, AS, and Hardlight, how much butthurt would there have been? Had SAs been limited to ammo, gunner, sensor, stealth, and Tac Packs limited to shield, FP, wheelman, and AA efficiency, how many would have complained? And if loadout grenades were always frags, then grenadier could be added as well, without much more than a whimper.

Everyone complains that POD + loadouts ruins BTB, but it’s not the concepts that do so - it’s the implementation. Just imagine how much cooler BTB would have been from the beginning if loadouts allowed you to choose primary + Magnum (or another primary, with FP), and you could call down a PP or PGs with your ordnance only after you got a few kills.

Or consider the [post-nerf] BS in 4v4. How many would have stormed off in rage about the BS (or loadouts in general in 4v4) if it were not a loadout item, but rather one of only 2 weapons (the other being the PP) that could be called down in POD?

POD, loadouts, and perks do not destroy Halo. They are different than past Halos, but they can be implemented in a way that adds to depth and replay value without diluting the skill required to play and without wholesale changing the gameplay itself. 343i actually had good ideas. They just took those ideas too far.

Along with the new ideas, they failed to recognize the need for gameplay options that do not include them - but not ones that hark all the way back to CE. H3 with BR starts is far enough. It gives those players with a strong attachment to legacy Halo a way to start enjoying H4 . . . and as they dabble with the newer features, perhaps they come to enjoy those even more. In a franchise that engenders as much loyalty and nostalgia as Halo does, throwback gametypes are a necessity.

For some of the other things, less can be said by me. The descope question is binary: either it is or is not better mechanic than flinch; they are fundamentally different. There is not an obvious middle ground between them. I’ve not played previous Halos, so I do not have a personal opinion. The “community” seems to prefer descope.

As for sprint, it is more of an H5 question. The maps in H4 are simply too large for no-sprint. While exclusively Forge playlists could be implemented for NS settings, NS settings + Certain Affinity maps is a pre-determined fail. The long cross-map transit times will guarantee limited popularity. However, unlike descope, this is not a binary question. 343i already created the solution - but they have yet to realize it.

> wall #2

I agree with the general premise of this statement and I’m not going to nitpick. I just wanted to say that a lot of the things you suggest in this second wall sound like a good way to fix H4, but I think H5 should not simply scale back things that went to far in H4. I think they should approach H5 in a whole new light, reflecting the criticisms of H4. I plan on making a super post of my own in the near future addressing many of the same things you have addressed but with an eye focused on the future title, and how I think 343 should move forward with everything that came along with Infinity.