What makes a competitive game - part I

So this is going to be a two part thread due to me still have too low a forum rank to link sites to tie into this read, and this one is more the Halo related one.

Since 2007 the Halo community have divided their playlist choices into two catgories - ranked, and social.
But, what makes a playlist ‘ranked’ and what makes a playlist ‘social’?
To be totally honest, I only feel the game is fair in a place where there is an Elo ranking next to your name deciding who you’re going to be playing, and I’m very happy to see Halo 5 reintroducing the Arena-styled Iron to Onyx + the two new pro ranks.
For those who don’t know, every rank from Iron to Onyx has 3 stages, therefore practically creating 17 ranks. What’s good about this is that although it’s a lot less than the 50 rank scale, it’s probably much better to have now due to Halo 5’s smaller community and if the communty inflates again in popularity, it’ll broaden the amount of people we’ll be able to play that are our skill level.

Now, what actually makes a playlist social?
Too much chaos, too many variables?

You see, there’s a bone I’ve got to pick with BTB being considered a ‘social’ playlist. But the BTB I’m talking about isn’t the BTB where we make a V-line for Scorpion and Banshee and pull a Paradiso-style spawn kill. No. That’s probably the reason it’s social.
I’m talking about the maps that have Warthogs and Ghosts as their big artillery that are more the focus on map control with heavy utility weapon usage and a Rocket or Propipe or Sniper that spawns on occasion. Maps like Standoff, Blood Gulch (not it’s successors, the original), Wayont, Trident and sighs with disgust and under his breath Complex.
To put it simply, what makes it so different from Team Slayer besides the fact the maps are bigger and there’s 8 more players there all of a sudden make it undeserving of a having an Elo system for it?
Like, there’s even a Big Team Battle competitive scene (s/o BTB.net) that have there own league factoring in 8v8 gameplay.

Another gametype that I’ll get weird looks at for listing but falls under the same catergory is Grifball.
Now, in Halo 5, I highly don’t expect the Gravity Hammer to see the light of day. But, Like BTB, Grifball’s got it’s own competitive scene (s/o Grifballhub) that has been booming since it’s inception. The only thing that held the gametype back was host. Now that’s not really a problem, having an Elo system would dramatically help the competitive scene for it.

Yeah kick us some thoughts community!

This is a great question and I’d love to go into great detail about it sometime.

But to quickly summarize what the core of competitive play is, I’d say it’s to make a game where it’s fair and player skill is the greatest factor in winning.

> 2533274882454373;1:
> So this is going to be a two part thread due to me still have too low a forum rank to link sites to tie into this read, and this one is more the Halo related one.
>
> Since 2007 the Halo community have divided their playlist choices into two catgories - ranked, and social.
> But, what makes a playlist ‘ranked’ and what makes a playlist ‘social’?
> To be totally honest, I only feel the game is fair in a place where there is an Elo ranking next to your name deciding who you’re going to be playing, and I’m very happy to see Halo 5 reintroducing the Arena-styled Iron to Onyx + the two new pro ranks.
> For those who don’t know, every rank from Iron to Onyx has 3 stages, therefore practically creating 17 ranks. What’s good about this is that although it’s a lot less than the 50 rank scale, it’s probably much better to have now due to Halo 5’s smaller community and if the communty inflates again in popularity, it’ll broaden the amount of people we’ll be able to play that are our skill level.
>
> Now, what actually makes a playlist social?
> Too much chaos, too many variables?
>
> You see, there’s a bone I’ve got to pick with BTB being considered a ‘social’ playlist. But the BTB I’m talking about isn’t the BTB where we make a V-line for Scorpion and Banshee and pull a Paradiso-style spawn kill. No. That’s probably the reason it’s social.
> I’m talking about the maps that have Warthogs and Ghosts as their big artillery that are more the focus on map control with heavy utility weapon usage and a Rocket or Propipe or Sniper that spawns on occasion. Maps like Standoff, Blood Gulch (not it’s successors, the original), Wayont, Trident and sighs with disgust and under his breath Complex.
> To put it simply, what makes it so different from Team Slayer besides the fact the maps are bigger and there’s 8 more players there all of a sudden make it undeserving of a having an Elo system for it?
> Like, there’s even a Big Team Battle competitive scene (s/o BTB.net) that have there own league factoring in 8v8 gameplay.
>
> Another gametype that I’ll get weird looks at for listing but falls under the same catergory is Grifball.
> Now, in Halo 5, I highly don’t expect the Gravity Hammer to see the light of day. But, Like BTB, Grifball’s got it’s own competitive scene (s/o Grifballhub) that has been booming since it’s inception. The only thing that held the gametype back was host. Now that’s not really a problem, having an Elo system would dramatically help the competitive scene for it.
>
> Yeah kick us some thoughts community!

You can put the links in and I am sure some nice person will linkify them. I would but I am getting off soon.

As to the thread…
Competitive should stay 4v4. Its…A better fit in my mind. While most BTB games are far too crazy to be placed in that list some do. Its true and you mentioned it. Maybe they could add a community competitive playlist. Where every week,month, or so the community will vote (in game) which playlist or gametype they’d like to see as a competitive match?

quick and dirty sum of what is and what is not competitive in a game

competitve - needs to be 100% fair no gimmicks your preformance matters (hence the prefered low player count)
social - everything else

> 2533274870591903;4:
> quick and dirty sum of what is and what is not competitive in a game
>
> competitve - needs to be 100% fair no gimmicks your preformance matters (hence the prefered low player count)
> social - everything else

Mmm… that’s a very short sighted approach to this.
I’m going to touch on one of the video games I’m going to talk about in Part II - Pokemon.
Pokemon’s competitive scene has got gimmicks coming out of it’s ears and it’s got a tiny 700+ different Pokemon you can use with 50-60 being very common in the main gametype for it - Doubles, pick 4 out of 6 Pokemon, best of 3 games wins.
But the thing is, there’s still 500+ people coming out to every National tournament that happens for it. It’s bigger than one would expect.

A competitive game in my opinion is a game in which both teams want to win a whole lot.

Im tired of people referring to certain playlists as “casual” and others “competitive.”

Even though people call Warzone “casual”, I’m sure if you got two 12 person teams, and each team is a clan or group of people that really want to win, it’ll get interesting and competitive fast.

It depends who is playing.

There’s ‘competitive’ poker…but that’s mostly based on chance. For some reason people hold tournaments for all kinds of things that aren’t entirely dependent on user skill.

Not going to get into the debate about what is and isn’t competitive. What this topic is really about is ranks anyways.

I don’t think someone goes into Action Sack with their tryhard pants on. Making something like that ranked would be pointless because no one wants to fight for ranks and the ranks would be largely meaningless anyways.

BTB isn’t quite Action Sack but it’s still widely considered to be a fun casual gametype instead of a serious head to head one. I’m not saying BTB can’t be competitive but it’s generally not played that way or viewed in that light. Most matches generally are some guy betraying for the Sniper or rushing to the Banshee and getting a running riot against uncoordinated opponents.

TLDR the important thing here is the attitude of the players of the specific playlists. BTB is social because the majority of people playing it are social players.

> The only thing that held the gametype back was host.

That and the constant betraying and spawn-betraying.

I’ve played a lot of social games and I’ve played a good share of ranked games and the main differences I’ve noticed between the two is that, in the latter, there’s less quitters, less betrayals, less afk’ers, and the games usually end with scores being much closer. Therefore I don’t see a reason why most playlists shouldn’t be ranked. BTB especially. On the few occasions I’ve been in a close game in BTB, they have gotten -Yoinking!- intense. More intense than any 4v4 game I’ve ever been a part of.

This one time on Reach, in the BTB CE Anniversary playlist, me and a few friends got into a game of Anniversary Slayer on Headlong. It was a close game the whole way through. Eventually both teams tied at 96/100. I and a few others are holding our position at the “Office 3rd Floor” when I hear a Gauss Hog start shooting… And it ain’t one of my teammates shooting it. The vehicle had respawned and the enemy team had grabbed it. I figured then that we had just lost the game.

Sure enough, the enemy team’s score climbs up to 98 in a blink. There’s 40 seconds left in the game. Somehow we managed to tie it again. Shortly thereafter, I hear that Gauss Hog fire once again from outside. “Lost the lead,” says the announcer. Enemy team is at 99. Then, “Tied the leader,” followed immediately by: “Thirty seconds remaining… Game over.” And I look down at the score. Enemy team: still at 99. My team: 100. Of course, that’s when me and my friends start shouting and laughing hysterically (keep in mind that this is in a -Yoinking!- social playlist where winning isn’t supposed to mean -Yoink-) and I immediately start asking, “Who got the last kill?”

Turned out it was one of my best friends, who’d been AFK for most of the game. He came back just in time to get the final kill… On the guy that was running the Gauss Hog turret. At least that’s what he had told me–I didn’t actually believe him, not until I went back into theater and saw it for myself. He had charged out like the crazy, reckless -Yoink- he is and gunned that turret-riding -Yoink- down with just his pistol, not even realizing it was to be the winning kill of the game.

I saved the video footage of that entire game.

Because scenarios like that would happen far more often in a ranked BTB than they would in social, I’ve always wanted BTB to be a ranked playlist.

It’s pretty obvious to me what makes a gametype competitive. People do. And if enough people take it seriously, so will the developer.

> 2533274819302824;7:
> There’s ‘competitive’ poker…but that’s mostly based on chance. For some reason people hold tournaments for all kinds of things that aren’t entirely dependent on user skill.
>
> Not going to get into the debate about what is and isn’t competitive. What this topic is really about is ranks anyways.
>
> I don’t think someone goes into Action Sack with their tryhard pants on. Making something like that ranked would be pointless because no one wants to fight for ranks and the ranks would be largely meaningless anyways.
>
> BTB isn’t quite Action Sack but it’s still widely considered to be a fun casual gametype instead of a serious head to head one. I’m not saying BTB can’t be competitive but it’s generally not played that way or viewed in that light. Most matches generally are some guy betraying for the Sniper or rushing to the Banshee and getting a running riot against uncoordinated opponents.
>
> TLDR the important thing here is the attitude of the players of the specific playlists. BTB is social because the majority of people playing it are social players.
>
>
>
>
> > The only thing that held the gametype back was host.
>
>
> That and the constant betraying and spawn-betraying.

You’ve pretty much nailed it with this post as a response.
See, I think it’s the rush people get from have a win from anything. Pokemon and Poker, as I speak from experience, both have this element of playing some really serious mind games. There’ll be times in competitive Poker where they actually have sunglasses on to prevent their opponent from seeing their eye movements. It could even be for the money or freebies they get from the win as a driving force. That’s what makes it competitive.

I disagree about it only just being about ranks. Although, ranks are an important part of the discussion though. With the ranks we now have, they can determine the quality of a game. Let’s say spectate mode can let us watch any game, there’s two available to watch. The first is a game full of Iron ranked players. The second has semi-pros and Onyx G3’s. Which game would be more entertaining to watch?

However, I can agree with you on this. This is the one gametype I can vouch for to be a social playlist. I’d feel awkward have this stellar rank because I went like a prison riot in Husky Raid or Lightning Flag.

Lastly, that’s the reason having BTB with a Elo system would greatly increase it’s playablity. You see, If people actually wanted to get serious about getting a good position all they would need to do is focus on the game, get kills and win rather than betraying or trolling. In that sense, it would divide the good eggs from the bad.

The more players you have, the less emphasis is placed on individual player skill. This is why BTB matches aren’t considered competitive. There has to be some kind of balance of teamwork and individual skill, in order for a gametype to be considered competitive.

There is no difference between 4v4 or 8v8 or 2v2 if we look at it as competitive.
The less players the more it depends on individual skill. An extremly good pair of two can win almost every doubles game, but as good as they are, they wont affect a 8v8 as much as a 2v2 with their skill.

Competitive is competitive, but there is a difference between high competive and competitive imo.

+ More skill involved = Higher competitive: (fair teams of same skill,longer kill times, fair starts, less auto aim, less handholding additions like weapon timers or clamber etc.)
- More luck and randomnes involved = Less competitive: (unfair teams with a huge skill gap between them, ordonance drops, loadouts, bloom etc.)

Some modes need more teamplay and others need more individual skill. I would call them different and not more or less competitive.

The thing is, not every gametype should or has to be high competitive. The casual crowd is probably bigger, thats why we need playlists to goof around and have a good time. I want to be able to play and have fun with friends, that are not high tier Halo players. Without worry that I lose my hard earned rank.
The social and ranked split is needed and imo one of the main reasons for H3s succes. Sucks that reach and H4 couldnt understand that.

Hope I explained it understandable. Just my view of it.

> 2533274818521550;11:
> There is no difference between 4v4 or 8v8 or 2v2 if we look at it as competitive.
> The less players the more it depends on individual skill. An extremly good pair of two can win almost every doubles game, but as good as they are, they wont affect a 8v8 as much as a 2v2 with their skill.
>
> Competitive is competitive, but there is a difference between high competive and competitive imo.
>
> + More skill involved = Higher competitive: (fair teams of same skill,longer kill times, fair starts, less auto aim, less handholding additions like weapon timers or clamber etc.)
> - More luck and randomnes involved = Less competitive: (unfair teams with a huge skill gap between them, ordonance drops, loadouts, bloom etc.)
>
> Some modes need more teamplay and others need more individual skill. I would call them different and not more or less competitive.
>
> The thing is, not every gametype should or has to be high competitive. The casual crowd is probably bigger, thats why we need playlists to goof around and have a good time. I want to be able to play and have fun with friends, that are not high tier Halo players. Without worry that I lose my hard earned rank.
> The social and ranked split is needed and imo one of the main reasons for H3s succes. Sucks that reach and H4 couldnt understand that.
>
> Hope I explained it understandable. Just my view of it.

unless you’re a 1 man army ;). i love BTB, 8’s is great, unfortunately we can’t live in a perfect world where any playlist can have a large pop, but i felt 6v6 really lent itself to serious BTB competition. the NZ/AU BTB scene was really big in reach, unfortunately that was in part due to the spawn killing, BTB accommodates imo the biggest skill disparity in any playlist, it would be nice to at least see it ranked. halo 2 had ranked BTB and it was fine, under a halo 3 ranking system, one broken and abused, i could see why there shouldn’t be ranked BTB, but not with a good ranking system, if there will be one.

Just make sure there’s no lag and the servers are up and running. BTW, I like Complex.

Please no not another thread like this. We have done this before guys.

We all know the gravity hammer will be in. 4 had it and brutes never even made an appearance

> 2533274822026756;14:
> Please no not another thread like this. We have done this before guys.

oh no not a discussion, lets just pack it in. there are a lot of threads discussing competition, it is productive though, unlike your comment.

> 2533274822026756;14:
> Please no not another thread like this. We have done this before guys.

Thing is though man, it’s a question I’ve really pondered for a good while and it’s seems like a really good question. I knew that there’s the chance someone’s made a similar post, it’s been a topic since 2006.

I can’t think of a good reason not to include ranks in all playlist with the exception of Action Sack and Infection. I don’t see any reason why the general MM experience wouldn’t be improved by keeping player matched with other at a similar skill level.

At the end of the day I like BTB for the same reasons I like 4v4 which is why I haven’t really cared for suggestions that would separate BTB(I would have been really annoyed if Warzone replaced BTB completely) from the Arena aspect. The only real difference is that I would say that BTB plays more fast and loose with the weapons and vehicles available on a map. So I would say BTB is only slightly more ‘social’ that 4v4 if only for the fact that as you increase player counts your influence as an individual starts to wane, but it is not a large enough difference to justify leaving it unranked by any means.

Thats a good question.

I think all it takes is a large group of people whi care deeply about winning to care about winning at it.

> 2533274819446242;18:
> I can’t think of a good reason not to include ranks in all playlist with the exception of Action Sack and Infection. I don’t see any reason why the general MM experience wouldn’t be improved by keeping player matched with other at a similar skill level.
>
> At the end of the day I like BTB for the same reasons I like 4v4 which is why I haven’t really cared for suggestions that would separate BTB(I would have been really annoyed if Warzone replaced BTB completely) from the Arena aspect. The only real difference is that I would say that BTB plays more fast and loose with the weapons and vehicles available on a map. So I would say BTB is only slightly more ‘social’ that 4v4 if only for the fact that as you increase player counts your influence as an individual starts to wane, but it is not a large enough difference to justify leaving it unranked by any means.

Ranks are great if you are searching alone or with a group of similiarly skilled players. Ranks are not great if you are playing with a mixed skilled group.

Ranks also increase search times and add a general feel of competitivness. Some people do not like these things.