> Let’s take RuneScape as an example of a game which improved due to player feedback. Players stated what they wanted, and quit the game until they got what they wanted. They got a whole new set of servers up and running, and basically got a remade version of a past game they wanted due to the fact they demanded something.
So what do you think 343 and Bungie were doing? Making games to spite us? No, what it basically comes down to is that player feedback means a lot less here than it does in other cases because what we want and need are much more disconnected. Halo’s rise is almost entirely attributable to mob appeal and working with that mob takes the Halo devs into the uncharted realm of human group psychology, which has a logic entirely of its own. Rational thought, you may think, is universal but underscoring EVERTHING SAID, particularly here, is the establishing orientations and in-group powerplay that is the heart of the Halo community.
“Sack Armor Abilities” might have a pretty straightforward rational, “I don’t like that,” but consider carefully the subtext. “This isn’t the game I want, it’s for other people. Make the game I want.” What right do we have to impose taste onto a game enjoyed by millions? In what other context (art, architecture, literature, ect.) do we take such galling liberties? Simple, in every other context (ex. Politics, Sports, the Internet) where human groups are involved and where we, as individuals, can throw the unthinking might of “The Community” at problems of opinion simply for the exercise and what that might show to other, competing groups.
Why feed into that? Bungie learned early that making a statement could in itself piss people off if it didn’t align with the particular in-group pressure demographics were unwittingly exerting. “Why didn’t you do more to nerf X, why are you guys so silent about Y (when A-W were updated), Z is just empowering noobs/COD fans/casuals or whomever the other party may be,” The refrain “You guys simple don’t care enough about us” has echoed across the decade even when Bungie was at their most attentive. It’s a pointless game to enter because whatever else may be going on human groups will see their interests as being paramount.
“Never mind that our gameplay has become an anachronistic mess of BAD gameplay conventions, where’s our ranking system!”
Objective progress is moot if it doesn’t amount to relative gains within the community (as measured by the influence it has over the design of the game.) So the best way, as the developer at the heart of the mess, to handle the intertangled and self-perpetuating mess of in-group squabbling is simply to stay silent, and thus reduce as much as possible the impetus behind some of the worst aspects of the Halo community. I applaud 343 for taking the most sensible course of action available to them.
Take a step back and remember that 343 isn’t here to serve you, or the community you see yourself a part as. There’s no service, no servitude, just the objective matter of producer and consumer which in no way requires a platitudinous dialog.