We need to talk about Matchmaking.

I’m going to be obvious and blunt here guys, Halo 4 is dead. This is the population of Matchmaking since launch.

http://halocharts.com/2013/playlists_halo4.php

It looks like Halo ran out of hype, people that were there since launch are no longer playing and show no interest. Is this because of no support from 343i? Is it because of Halo simply not exciting or hyped as it used to be? The Halo reveal for Xbox One never stirred the crowds like the Halo 4 reveal did. Halo 4 did that bad MLG dropped it for Call Of Duty.

This can be fixed but the impression I get from 343i is that there is no attention or care to the needs of the wider community, the people that support this studio. Us.

If this trend continues Halo 5 is going to have it way worse than 4 is right now.

Well the guys I had on my friends list months back went to COD. I’m still playing Halo 4 though. There is also heaps of guys playing Reach and Halo 3.

Check the streamers out on Halotracker. Most of them are playing Halo 3. Due to popularity their plays of the week videos are from Halo 3 now too so go figure.

COD is definitely Halo 4s matchmakings biggest killer though.

First impressions are everything, and the state that Halo 4 released in wasn’t very good.

Call of duty keeps releasing new stuff too fast. But really, I don’t think the needs of the community happen as often as they used to. 343 took the game in their own direction(respectively) and they happen to “fail.”

I think the release of any halo game will be the same, almost half a million just because die hard halo fans are hoping halo changes. If it doesn’t change for the communities better than we will see the same trend, or worse trend.

why would people stick around 343 took so many months before this game was even playable for a competitive style many still think it isnt.

And btw halo was the definition of competitive gaming for console so when it started to disapear in reach this is what happens.
Anyway this game had no good playlists no good maps the weapons were a mess and there was alot of other really annoying things people just knew this game wasnt halo with all the new bs additions they have added(default sprint/no descope).

The games ranking system also turned alot of people off because of how easy it is to get the sr130 so your not even playing for anythng so it gets boring fast.
Then CSR comes out like 6 months later and its not in game and isnt all based of wins so who cares.

all in all if halo 5 wants to do good 343 really needs to drop h4 and restart and build off of h3/2 not reach. they need to get things that make people want to play and plug in those mics to have a good competitive gaming experience. stuff like in game ranks of some sort league play like cod. in game leader boards, divisions, seassons etc. developer supported tourneys. like global champ.

Halo is not a casuals game but should offer a different section like social for casual gamers unlike how this game just mix and matches everything together with 90% casual 10% competitive

> First impressions are everything, and the state that Halo 4 released in wasn’t very good.

If 343 learns anything from Halo 4, I hope it is that they need to release a polished, complete product.

Halo 4 appeared to be released in an unfinished state and suffered the consequences.

Halo Xbox One got monstrous fan support.

But yeah. Halo 4 blew it. When people fired up matchmaking and didn’t see…

double team
team slayer
big team battle
assault
team snipers

I’m sure others could list other play lists that were missing at launch. Fact of the matter is that people bought Halo 4 expecting a certain kind of product and getting one that looked significantly different.

I hope Halo 5 rights the ship, but they now have the problem of having three different expectations:

Halo 1-3
Halo Reach
Halo 4

Obviously it will be difficult to please all of them, although it looks like Ubisoft may have figured out how to resolve a similar problem with Splintercell Blacklist.

As long as people are playing and enjoying it, Halo 4 is not dead

> As long as people are playing and enjoying it, Halo 4 is not dead

That’s the thing though. When you look at the play list populations, its on life support.

I’m horribly disappointed (but not surprised) that Legendary slayer didn’t gain any more traction than it did.

In last few days I found that counter in Halo 4 is broken. There was like 200% population jumps and drops in just few minutes.

However is Halo 4 dead? Far from it. Most Halo 3 fans remembers when there was hundreds of thousand people in there, and with that perspective every other game nowadays is dead (or dying like BO2).

I think 343i has done a great job of supporting the game. The main reason the population hasn’t dropped to below Reach levels is that 343i has been monitoring community feedback and trying to give the majority of Halo 4 fans what they want.

True, they don’t have a “classic” playlist, but that’s because “classic” Halo fans make up the minority of Halo 4 players.

The problem is that the game wasn’t that great to begin with. Most of the people who would like Halo 4’s features are playing Call of Duty, and most of the people who like Halo 1-3’s gameplay simply aren’t playing anymore (who wants to play a 6+ year old game?).

I’m going to stick around to check out the Champion’s Bundle and Legendary BRs, but I don’t know after that. Halo 4 just doesn’t seem to have that staying power or retention ability that previous Halo games had.

> why would people stick around 343 took so many months before this game was even playable for a competitive style many still think it isnt.

Why would people stick around? Bungie took so many months before Halo 2/Reach was even playable for a competitive style; many still think it isn’t.

I agree with you about halo 4 failing, but I disagree about 343i not supporting their game. They definitely make changes like adding the legendary slayer playlist. But they just don’t listen to/ handle their community the way bungie does. Thus their downfall, they try to make the game more up to date, popular Esq. and kinda COD like, but bungie leans more to what their community asks for.

> > why would people stick around 343 took so many months before this game was even playable for a competitive style many still think it isnt.
>
> Why would people stick around? Bungie took so many months before Halo 2/Reach was even playable for a competitive style; many still think it isn’t.

Halo 2 had literally no competition. Halo 2 was the first big xbox live game. Completely different scenario. And Reach was a lot better than 4. Plus it had the benefit of being the successor to Halo 3, so people weren’t quite ready to give up just yet even if they were frustrated. What it took for that to happen was for CoD to knock up Reach and have Halo 4.

My top 2 reasons for not wanting to play H4 that much anymore:

  1. Map Variance - so in 4v4, I get to choose between 3-4 different maps for Infinity Slayer, and 4-5 maps for Slayer Pro. The same maps get boring quick. What happened to all the maps we used to be able to play?

  2. Warthogs - We need more original warthogs and less tanks (even less gauss and rocket hogs). Also, it should require at least 3 grenades to take down a hog/players in the hog. For one player to be able to destroy a hog with a plasma pistol and 2 plasma grenades is just too easy. The warthog needs to be more durable.

> However is Halo 4 dead? Far from it. Most Halo 3 fans remembers when there was hundreds of thousand people in there, and with that perspective every other game nowadays is dead (or dying like BO2).

When it takes five minutes to find a match and you end up against an experienced team of four with your team filled by three randoms that have very little experience…

Its not just perception. The game is on life support right now regardless of what you think the reasons are.

My friend and I went back to Reach last Friday, in no small part because:

  • I’ll be -Yoink!- if Halo 4 doesn’t lag more than Reach and probably has worse netcode, though some of this is from the lack of a “find good connection” option and the dying population
  • Halo 4 never overcame its horrid selection of default maps; nothing even approaching the flow/design of Boardwalk, Reflection, etc.
  • Rank system is stupid and meaningless; give me a title, for god’s sake
  • Emblem selection and combinations were significantly reduced for no apparent reason
  • Instead of nerfing DMR, 343 buffed the BR to be an unstoppable godweapon
  • It’s August 2013 and BoltShot is still a one-hit kill? Really?
  • Big Team Slayer minus custom loadouts has become a garbage gametype; first team to get all vehicles in Exile wins!
  • Action Sack variants were usually garbage, especially with the lag; Rockets & Rails became “host wins” because no one else’s railgun kills, despite bodyshotting (this is unencumbered cable internet, btw)
  • Challenges were laughable (kill 5,000 Spartans)
  • Armor variants, despite being more numerous, were actually less visually different from each other than those of Reach, and several of the cooler ones are only attainable through Commendations that take godlike levels of determination to get (in a world where DMR and BR dominate, am I really going to force myself to use Forerunner weapons for weeks so I can get a helmet)?
  • Camouflage buff & bugs leads to people constantly sniping from the back of the map on a level worse than Reach
  • Living Dead gametype just completely sucked for Halo 4 on the level of a Greek tragedy; bad maps, bad game design, nothing approaching Reach’s level of fun with Alpha Zombies
    [*]50%+ of maps in matchmaking are unplayable on splitscreen due to hardware lag

I’m sad because Reach definitely had its issues (it seems like EVERYONE is an armor lock coward on Team Slayer these days—so fun to toy with them), and Halo 4 had some good concepts. But it felt like 343 changed way too much for the sake of being different; that plus the bad maps, bad netcode, and weapon imbalances sunk it. At least the Halo 4 campaign was damn fun, and I did have some great times on CTF. Eliminating the stupid 1-flag gametype was a step up from past Halos.

All that said, Bungie still deserves to be punched for removing Reach Action Sack and for polluting Living Dead with that horrid Zombie Ghosts mode and those faddish, tired Halloween maps.

At this rate this is going to be another fiasco like what happened to Ensemble Studios, and Robot entertainment developing AoE: Online…
If you let this happen (whoever it is, MS, or 343i) i will never forgive you, and i will never buy another MS console

> When it takes five minutes to find a match and you end up against an experienced team of four with your team filled by three randoms that have very little experience…
>
> Its not just perception. The game is on life support right now regardless of what you think the reasons are.

These 5 minutes are rather sign that matchmaking system isn’t working as it should. Halo Anniversary population is much, much smaller, yet it takes faster to find a match in there. Finding matches in Halo 3 is much faster as well. There’s no JIP in there and lag-free matches are still more often than in Halo 4.

I’ve lately played online games that are either on life support or dead, and Halo 4 is as far from it as not-so-new-and-not-so-hyped game can get. If someone wants to compare Halo’s population to CoD’s population, then, unlike in “old times”, there is nothing to compare. CoD, even if it’s fragmented and even if it’s losing it’s hype, is still very, very strong. Even Battlefield, which is currently increasing, cannot match with it. In last few weeks I’ve played some Bad Company 2:Vietnam, and for most time there is like 4-5 people on the server. If someone thinks that Halo 4 is on life support, he should try other games (other than last 2 or 3 CoD games). That gives huge idea of what’s going on nowadays in online gaming.

> If someone thinks that Halo 4 is on life support, he should try other games (other than last 2 or 3 CoD games). That gives huge idea of what’s going on nowadays in online gaming.

I’m not interested in speaking comparatively with respects to other games. I was just making an objective statement that when the population has dipped far enough that matchmaking is not functioning properly, the game is on life support. Matchmaking’s job is to make reasonable balanced matches and right now it isn’t able to even approximate that.