Whose the Majority?

Whenever people talk about improving Halo, the argument about casual vs competitive always comes into play. Some argue that the competitive fanbase is a negligible minority and players need to adapt. Other’s argue that this game is slowly turning into a Call of Duty hybrid and needs changes to make it more competitive. Who should 343 listen to?

Disclaimer:
The following is MY TAKE on the issue. I don’t speak on behalf of anyone but myself. Although I was late to get involved with Halo (got Halo 2 in '06 got H3 in '07 and played the -Yoink- out of it), I have had much experience with the franchise and I have developed my own expectations for it.

From my experience, many people will conclude that the competitive community is a minority by comparing the number of MLG players and enthusiasts to total game sales. However, total game sales has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the longevity of the game. Rather than grouping by “casual vs competitive,” a better alternative would be to group players as either “dedicated or fair-weather” fans of the series. If you plan on playing the campaign once and a few multiplayer games, then frankly, your opinion shouldn’t count as much as someone who will be playing this game 6+ months from now. Having said that, the opinions of dedicated players should be holding more ground than they currently are.

Most dedicated players have some sense of competition. There isn’t a need to force a skill-based ranking system on players, but having the option to is always appreciated. When 343 wanted to give its own influence on the series, its innovations should be options rather than forced upon the consumer. New features are always appreciated unless they are simultaneously restricting us. I feel this game has plenty of potential with the right fixes.

Like any other business, profit is the ultimate goal, but that doesn’t mean that game developers don’t care about their fanbase. I’d expect that the a big percentage of Halo 4 total game sales have already happened by now. 343/Microsoft made their money. Now, they are sending us DLC rapid-fire immediately after releasing the game, which will bring in some more profit. After that, what pays for the game?
Does anyone have any ideas on how we can give incentive for 343 to make positive change? What if a percentage of your Xbox live subscription fee was distributed among game developers based on playtime? Game developers would be better motivated to improve upon an existing game rather than developing the next one. (Valve does it with TF2, and they make BANK off it. have you seen how much money must be spent on keys and hats?)This would allow longer term players to decide how they want to play the game, especially since Halo doesn’t (and shouldn’t) get released every single year.

I’d take the time to post my own expected changes if anyone was interested, but this has been time and time again in every single thread. If 343 shows an interest in appealing to the long-term majority rather than the players who leave Halo on their shelves in favor of the next big game, there could be plenty of positive change.

I think the Majority would be the Rocks of the world, they even formed the EOFRA

thanks for your input

I don’t say that the competitive community is a minority because of the MLG playlist. I say it’s a minority because of how tiny the MLG and any “competitive” playlist catered to them has been. Arena, Slayer Pro, etc. Ignoring that, the people clamouring on the forums for pure competitive no-randomness games are a minority. They are a minority to the forum population which is a minority to the player population at any given time.

On the topic of new additions being options only and giving us both ways to play the game: Subdividing the population down and down is a bad idea and arguably only puts the carrot tantalizing out of reach in that the perfect competitive settings are there to be played, but nobody is playing it so the people who want it, can’t have it. There’s no way to have your cake and eat it too though. I just rank being able to play any game at all, even if it’s not perfect, higher than not playing the perfect game at all.

rocks are important, do all kinds of things people can’t

> thanks for your input

You’re welcome, It will be interesting to see what changes 343 makes in the future

> the people clamouring on the forums for pure competitive no-randomness games are a minority

I’d have to disagree with that. Sure, at this point, competitive players are definitely a minority. However, they are the people who will stick with the game provided it is good enough. I’m not claiming to be some elitist competitive freak. Hell, I love going on a mongoose splattering rampage as much as anyone else. But the OPTION should be there.

As the game ages, its more dedicated fan-base will stick with it. These people have grown to love the Halo games of the past. Basically, I’m asking that not ever game is a crazy power weapon fest with no sense of map control. Only SOME games should be like that.

Anything that eliminates randomness promotes competition and the option to play that way is always appreciated.

EDIT:

PLEASE don’t use Halo Reach statistics as justification. You said that Arena and Slayer Pro populations were more of a minority. Maybe that’s because they weren’t the slightest bit competitive. I love Bungie, but Halo Reach didn’t turn out so hot.
Go back to Halo 2 or Halo 3 to see some real examples of Halo competition. The Halo 3 MLG playlist has been one of the more popular hoppers and competition doesn’t always have to be linked to MLG. You can be a casual dedicated player that prefers clean competition over randomness.

> I’d have to disagree with that.

You’re entitled to disagree, but I don’t see competitive players being the majority.

I don’t see the forums in an immediate uproar over the changes much like how the Gears forums were after that tweet dropped that DBNO was being removed from all MP gametypes in Gears of War: Judgement.

> Sure, at this point, competitive players are definitely a minority. However, they are the people who will stick with the game provided it is good enough.

Good is a subjective terminology.

What you’re actually saying with good is “to their liking.” And to me those types of players are just a different but no less equal kind of fairweather player: Staying with Halo not for love of the franchise but only because it has their wants out of a MP game. Should the game not provide those settings, they drop the game.

Is that any different than the players who drop Halo for the next shiny AAA title that graces the XBox?

> But the OPTION should be there.

And, like I said, subdividing down the population further and further is just going to hurt players. It’s also creates a dichotomy in the game instead of a unifying theme. You have Multiplayer A and Multiplayer B. It’s arguably one of the reasons why Halo was/is getting dropped from MLG prime time: The game they are playing doesn’t play like the Halo game that everyone else is playing.

> As the game ages, its more dedicated fan-base will stick with it.

You’re implying that those that remain will be competitive players and stand with the competitive issues so we should make the game more competitive.

I’m still here. I’m hardly what one would call competitive.

> PLEASE don’t use Halo Reach statistics as justification. You said that Arena and Slayer Pro populations were more of a minority. Maybe that’s because they weren’t the slightest bit competitive. I love Bungie, but Halo Reach didn’t turn out so hot.
> Go back to Halo 2 or Halo 3 to see some real examples of Halo competition. The Halo 3 MLG playlist has been one of the more popular hoppers and competition doesn’t always have to be linked to MLG. You can be a casual dedicated player that prefers clean competition over randomness.

Arena was dead on arrival and nothing that Bungie did in their numerous playlist tweaks ever “fixed” it. I would think that if players wanted a competitive playlist, they would support it, despite what flaws it may have.

Concerning the MLG playlist: I don’t recall it being particularly popular and unless we can get an objective viewpoint: It boils down to ‘he said, she said’ with nostalgia, rose tinted goggles and time possibly warping both of our viewpoints.

Even though I don’t really agree with it given the result of Halo 4 I’d say the casual community is the majority.

> Like any other business, profit is the ultimate goal, but that doesn’t mean that game developers don’t care about their fanbase. I’d expect that the a big percentage of Halo 4 total game sales have already happened by now. 343/Microsoft made their money. Now, they are sending us DLC rapid-fire immediately after releasing the game, which will bring in some more profit. After that, what pays for the game?
> Does anyone have any ideas on how we can give incentive for 343 to make positive change? What if a percentage of your Xbox live subscription fee was distributed among game developers based on playtime? Game developers would be better motivated to improve upon an existing game rather than developing the next one. (Valve does it with TF2, and they make BANK off it. have you seen how much money must be spent on keys and hats?)This would allow longer term players to decide how they want to play the game, especially since Halo doesn’t (and shouldn’t) get released every single year.
> quote]
>
> I think your incentive percentage plan is a good idea. This would make an incentive for those who make the games to be in tune with their customers and provide a bit of monetary support to help churn out higher quality DLC.
>
> However, i do not like having to pay a subscription for playing a game. I understand paying a subscription for Xbox live as it offers mores services than just playing a game, but I don’t like paying for the console/computer, the game, the internet service, and then a monthly fee for playing the game. I’m fine with paying for DLC, because that’s more than what was in the product I originally payed payed for. What got me going on this tangent is your mention of paying for keys and hats. I’m not familiar with the game you mentioned, but it sounded like keys and hats were necessary to play the game. I would be fine paying for DLC or having some of my subscription diverted to the game i play, but paying a fee for continually playing a game is a deal breaker for me.

The majority are the people who stopped playing.

> Staying with Halo not for love of the franchise but only because it has their wants out of a MP game

These wants stem from what has already been established in the Halo franchise. I’m not promoting a new agenda, just looking for a return to the status quo. Love of a franchise seems like an unjustified claim. Of course I love the Halo franchise, but my love is earned, not unconditional…

> Is that any different than the players who drop Halo for the next shiny AAA title that graces the XBox?

Yes, yes it is. First, I’m not that quick to drop the game. I’m here on the forums trying to catalyze some form of change before I drop the game. Better yet, I probably won’t drop the game. I’m simply trying to optimize my experience on the game, but I can “deal with it” if worse comes to worst.

> And, like I said, subdividing down the population further and further is just going to hurt players. It’s also creates a dichotomy in the game instead of a unifying theme. You have Multiplayer A and Multiplayer B. It’s arguably one of the reasons why Halo was/is getting dropped from MLG prime time: The game they are playing doesn’t play like the Halo game that everyone else is playing.

Please explain how this hurts players. You aren’t required to designate one over the other and you are free to alternate between a more or less competitive playlist. Being grudgingly forced to play the same exact game with everyone else doesn’t create a unified theme. Fairweather players and competitive players have fundamentally different expectations when it comes to playing Halo. I can’t force you to play competitively and I don’t have the right to. But I still would like to play competitively sometimes- give me a better solution (please don’t just say “everyone plays casual! then we are united!”)

Your Multiplayer A and Multiplayer B argument falls flat on its face. The reason the game is getting dropped is FIRSTLY because Microsoft is prioritizing -Yoink!- Gaming over MLG. Secondly, MLG won’t exist BECAUSE Multiplayer B doesn’t exist. The options to create a competitive playlist don’t even currently exist.
And the Halo game that “everyone else is playing” is being played for lack of a better option. Don’t get me wrong, I LIKE THE GAME. But by arguing that everyone is perfectly content with the current settings, you are fooling yourself.

Basically, this boils down to the fact that you feel fine just blindly defending a game that you play because you are a self-proclaimed longtime fan and love the franchise. You have no valid reason why a dichotomy is “bad” or why the options can’t exist to create a more competitive atmosphere without eliminating the settings that already exist.

Competitive players have always been the minority. What reason is that to ignore them?

Halo 3 split the playlists between Ranked and social.

Thats all 343 has to do here but they seem to just leave competitive players out in the cold and alienated.

I’m a casual player so any game will satisfy me.

> The majority are the people who stopped playing.

I stopped playing Reach way before they put in Arena. I’m not sure it would have held my attention like Halo 3 or Halo 2 did, but I wish I would have known about it because I had no idea it existed until I got Halo 4 and started perusing these forums.

> The majority are the people who stopped playing.

I’d like to see some proof. You keep saying this stuff but you keep getting proved wrong…

> I’m not familiar with the game you mentioned, but it sounded like keys and hats were necessary to play the game. I would be fine paying for DLC or having some of my subscription diverted to the game i play, but paying a fee for continually playing a game is a deal breaker for me.

That’s the beauty of it. The hats were purely aesthetic and had absolutely no effect on gameplay. The keys were there to unlock randomly obtained chests that contained more hats. These items could be obtained by a random drop system or traded for. The buy it now option was only for impatient players, but you would not be missing out on anything if you chose not to buy anything. This was all profit to the developers and that is why a game that predates Halo 3 is still being updated and highly populated.

The Majority are people who don’t come to the forums, who just play the game every now and then.

I wouldn’t call the forums or any forums the “vocal minority” as the majority doesn’t have much of a unified voice to begin with.

The only thing that acutually represents the majority and minority is data.

> The majority are the people who stopped playing.

I agree to a point. There are a lot of people who still play but share the same views as the people who stopped.