Halo Community Has TOO MUCH Say In The Game.


tbodgagnon

Only a minority, a small minority of any games community are so committed that they either run a podcast, blog, website or forum for their chose games community.

These people for me are well appreciated in the time they take. However it goes without saying that their passion for the game they are helping promote is well over the average player of that game. Of course, it’s a gimmie they normally have an extensive knowledge of the game that the average person doesn’t have. However while they might have insight on the history of the game and community they love to serve, it doesn’t mean they know anything better about the direction of the game, especially more than the professionals who make games.

But these community “leaders” (For the record I hate that term, community ‘media’ sounds even worse!) who in the Halo realm keep harping that 343 needs to listen more to the community, are NOT SPEAKING for the community as a whole.

Here are a few examples of terms they use and shouldn’t,

    -“The core Halo community didn’t like Halo 4” First of all you can’t definitely say what core community is. Secondly all you can’t say an entire community, likely in the thousands, all didn’t like Halo 4. In fact there is not a single poll or data array showing ANY sort of ‘vote’ on any group liking or not liking Halo 4.

    -“343 needs to focus on Competitive play.” Why? Are competitive players the majority of Halos players? No they aren’t.. so why then focus on that? What does a guy like me, an average at best player, who still logs plenty of hours playing Halo stand to gain from that?

    -“Halo 2 was more popular, with more active players a year and a half after release, unlike Halo 4.” This statement might be true on raw numbers, but it’s apples to oranges. How many games were out there in the same genre to compete with Halo 2 as opposed to Halo 4 now? How many other AAA titles in any genre to compete for your playing time? Halo 4 has to compete with OTHER VERSIONS of multiplayer Halo even! (Not to mention even Spartan Assault)

    -“Halo 4 doesn’t feel like ‘Real Halo’.” You mean you don’t feel the same way playing Halo 4 as you did when playing Halo 3? Well, they are different games. More importantly, please define what ‘Real Halo’ feels like. Is it soft like a babies bottom? Is it greasy like uncooked bacon? Does it give you butterflies in your stomach like your fist kiss? Oh wait.. those butterflies go away with each subsequent kiss… wow.. like the feeling you get playing Halo or any other game. You still enjoy it, but the new car smell is gone. This comment is just plain stupid.. ‘Real Halo’ doesn’t have a feeling. A feeling is an interpretive opinion.

    -“Halo 5 needs a community/open beta” By the time you beta test, the core gameplay/mechanics of a game are DONE. Only certain tweaks in variables like those around weapons damage, jump height and other things that get tweaked in subsequent post release updates anyhow are gained earlier on by beta. So what, you have a community beta so the first update is done earlier. Seems like a lot of time and money for 343 to spend to get a few tweak don’t ahead of time. I challenge anyone to give me a core gameplay mechanic that was changed with any game from community beta testing.

    -“343 Needs to listen to the community on the direction of Halo going forward.” STOP THE PRESSES! 343 HAS DONE THIS, AND IT COULD BE A PART OF THE PROBLEM A LOT OF PEOPLE BITCH ABOUT.

AND THIS LAST POINT NOW TAKES THE SPOTLIGHT.

343 have bent over backwards listening to community, and guess what? The community was wrong. In fact my point begins with Bungie trying to be even more community friendly as far as listening to input.

Example? How about MAP SELECTION?

Back in the Halo 3 days of course you COULD vote a map down, but once and then you played what they gave you. Now in between H3 and Reach one thing that quite a few forum threads in various ones across the Halo universe, including the Bungie forums, asked for more interactive map selection. Now while I am sure a few people might have disagreed with that idea, there was an overwhelming amount of people who wanted more selection. In fact many if not most threads went without people responding disliking the idea.

So Bungie (yeah was Bungie then) gave us a much more active selection in Reach. You had 3 different maps to choose from, not just a yes or no to a single selection. Because that’s what the mob wanted.

So what did the mob get?

ELITE SLAYER ON SWORD BASE. Over and ****ing over again.

Hell yeah, we got more say in what map/gametype we play, and we decided we apparently don’t like variety.

This transferred over to Halo 4, where were happy with being listened to, and continue to have a say in what maps we play, we collectively thought every second map should be either Haven or Ragnarok! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

So the ‘core classic Halo gameplay’ the Halo Media likes to talk about, included a single map yes or no then ‘this is your map then’ Halo 3 as a part of its description. Yet this changed in large part, DUE TO THE DEVS LISTENING TO US!

INSERT FACEPLAM PIC HERE.
fpsm

I read in a Titanfall forum people being upset about not being able to vote on what map you played. I responded telling them they should be thankful as all hell of this. We are able to play all the different Titanfall maps because of this and pointed to Halo and COD having issues with this voting system. Otherwise we would be playing Angel City OVER AND OVER AGAIN in Titanfall.

Also the whole loadout and ranking up to earn unlocks is also something that forums were screaming for between Halo 3 and Reach in very large numbers when asked “What do you want with Halo?”. (Again initiated by BUNGIE first)

Now I can honest to god understand that there is somewhere a core community of people who live and die Halo for the past 10 years. But no matter what criteria one can say makes a person part of this core, when you are serving the community, it includes ALL of your clients (That’s right boys & girls we are clients.) So by listening to the things the community wants, they (343) are trying to keep the majority of their clients happy. There is a plain fact that a lot of people playing Halo now are not veterans of all the Halo games and who play other games like COD. If they make multiple post about wanting more classes and earning ranks with unlocks that get a ton of support from other non ‘core’ members, 343 MUST then listen to them to truly do what they committed to listening to the community. Its majority rules when that’s the path you take. This is what has and is happening.

Why are we having rotating playlists in Halo 4? On recommendations of the community! To find new things for you to enjoy!

We even have votable playlists to be interactive! Yet, the best Halo Podcast out there, Podtacular (I am not being sarcastic, they are the best Halo Podcast out there) even criticizes the selections the community democratically elected into being! Here is one of many podcasts that ask for more community input, then dumped on the community decision!

WHAT DO YOU WANT HALO COMMUNITY? WE HAVE GIVEN YOU CHOICE! *Halo community then eats itself*

    Please don’t kid yourselves and forget this point: Games are made by companies. Companies make money to stay afloat. The more money they make the more successful the company is. In order to keep making money, and keeping your company open and employees employed you give the MAJORITY of your clients as happy as possible. Making video games is NOT a charity it is a business.

Lets revisit the whole “Must make Halo better to the competitive players as well.” 343 in fact made MULTIPLE updates targeting making these guys happy. When they whined their wants any tournaments they hosted the MASSIVE 500K tourney. They even invited a bunch of them to go to their studios, get wined and dined and played Halo in an environment many of us would pay to be in to get their feedback… but they still are uninterested. I think the competitive community are not a group that can be made happy, 343 has done everything they can to make them happy… to the degree I think is over the top. The competitive group has been pandered to enough. They don’t know what they want, 343 please screw them and keep up with the majority of us who aren’t these spoiled competitive players. You did everything you could and they are ungrateful and unable to even help despite what you have tried to do.

It’s also hypocritical that a lot of the Halo Media dumps on Call of Duty saying “It’s the same game every year with a new release.” I mean quite a few of the Halo Media then go back wanting ‘Classic Halo’. So basically saying they don’t want change, yet rag on COD for basically… NOT CHANGING!

Also what is the magical core game play they want? Define that! I hear repeatedly “Make some enhancements, but don’t change core game play”. OMG! Give us all an example of what that means. Is not adding loadouts an enhancement? Is not adding classes an enhancement? Is not rotating different gametypes to try new things an enhancement? I mean it’s what a lot of people asked for when 343 and even Bungie heard when asked what to put into Halo.

My point is that I think the Halo community has already been given too much say. It’s one reason why Halo isn’t riding as high as it could be.

ANALOGY TIME (Heh heh.. I just fit ‘Anal’ into my blog!)

    I am not a doctor. I trust doctors will do things as efficient and safely as possible. When I go to the doctor I expect to be treated properly.
    But I pay for the doctor. Whether it’s through insurance or universal health care like we have in Canada, I am a client to the healthcare system. How much say should I have?

    I was thinking, it a world where the environment is so important, I think it’s a good idea we be at one with the other creatures on this planet and train hamsters to feed off certain things. So If I need my appendix out, we insert a hamster trained to eat human appendixes in me who will chew away the organ. Then we use recycled duct tape to heal the wound. THIS IS WHAT I WANT!

Hmm… maybe the doctors and video game developers be left to make certain decisions to themselves.. right?

Not to mention the infamous ‘Halo Core Community’ can’t even define exactly what it really wants. Last time I checked they want Halo 2 repackaged every new release.. like COD.. but not like COD…but with enhancements… but without changes… and catering to the competitive community… but that competitive community isnt liking the changes tailor made for them… and with the biggie size and curly fries.. low carbs though… but tastes the same.. gotta FEEL LIKE HALO.. but we cant really say what Halo feels like… I need a Tylenol…

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22 thoughts on “Halo Community Has TOO MUCH Say In The Game.

  1. “People don’t know what they want most of the time until you show it to them.” (Yeah I’m just as shocked that I’m quoting Robocop 2014) At this point, it seems like a vicious cycle of people whinning about something, 343i acting on it, and then more whining.

  2. Game developers aren’t as knowledgeable and flawless as you think. In fact, I hate this mentality. It’s not exactly a bad thing that 343 aren’t very good at the game they made, and I don’t fault them for that; it’s just how things are. But due to them experiencing the game at a lower level, they either simply don’t experience or don’t understand what is and why something is broken or detrimental to gameplay.

    You’re also treating Halo players like they are a single person, which they obviously are not. Everyone has their own opinions, and you can’t put anyone at fault for wanting different things for the game.

  3. reiku, this entire article starts off saying the halo community has too much say in the game and then in the beginning it says that 343 doesn’t listen to the competitive or core community. How does that make sense? Also you say competitive like it’s a bad thing. Most people are competitive. If you have ever wanted to win, then you are competitive. The reason halo 1/2/3 multiplayer was a huge success was because it was based on competitive settings.

    • You don’t get the point. 343 has listened, yet the people they listened to, like the competitive flock at Team Beyond, complain like they never got an opportunity to put input into game. So they in fact are, as the definition says, hyppocrites. Alot of the things you complain about, are thanks to your input..

      • They listen, but they don’t necessarily understand. Sure, we got a 4SK BR, but it still has problems such as spread. Simply making an inherently random gun just kill faster doesn’t suddenly mean we’ve gotten everything we want.

        It’s akin to someone rear-ending you, then giving you an air freshener to say sorry as if everything is okay.

      • Funny, I made a similar comment last fall saying you can put a pig in a dress, its still a pig.. (but after a few beers who knows..) that was in reference to Reach by the way.

      • My point was that just because 343 did a bit of weapon tuning doesnt mean the competitive community got what they wanted. 343 did enough to save face but ultimately did nothing to fix the issue that is Halo 4. You are calling out the competitive community because they were given turd polish.

      • Im calling out the entire community, the competitive community partly to blame but others as well. Was easy to open a forum at one of many Halo community forums and see non pros asking for things like different loadouts. 343 listened to many people and tried to please too many of them. Yeah, that does include the ‘pros’ who apparently although minority of Halo players seem to think Halo MUST live and die for them.

      • Good lord man, people bitched for 2 YEARS about the stupidity of armor abilities and how they thought Halo was turning into COD.

        What does 343 do?

        Gives everybody one of armor abilities by default, most of the armor abilities comeback, give us shit that can SEE THRU WALLS, AND GIVE US COD LOADOUTS, AS WELL AS GIVING US RANDOM WEAPONS AFTER A COUPLE OF KILLS.

        They did the opposite of listen, Halo 4 pretty much was cod in super suits with no ADS. That is exactly what I personally least wanted, as well as countless others from Team Beyond.

  4. i lold. No srsly. Great article and interesting point of view. There is truth on both sides of wall. 343 DID some poor decisions, but comunity is overhyping and mystifying original trilogy too much. A simple copy wouldt work (sell) today. Halo needs to find its new face (not sayng cod clone mind you), a balance wich will please both old and new players. And that is some fking hard job 343i have.

  5. In 2008, the Halo community was used to logging onto Halo 3, and seeing that about half a million players were playing. Now? Well Halo 4 yesterday peaked at 15,547 players.

    So basically, the Halo community is just 3.11% of the size it was just 6 years ago. What was once of the largest, and influential communities in gaming (showcased by the remarkable amount of Halo content released on YouTube channels like Machinima during 2008), has now been reduced to mere niche in the general gaming community.

    How did this happen? Well quotes that you criticized are basically poor summaries of what many players have made essays about. “classic halo?”

    Well I define it as a combination of things:

    1) Equal Starts (No loadouts, or armor abilities that differentiate individual players, and everyone starts with the same guns, and grenades).

    2) Minimum randomness (A large amount of people, myself included, hated bloom in Reach. Why? Well medium distance fights that were once a skillful part in Halos 1-3, had now essentially been reduced to mindless spamming contests where players would merely hope their shots would randomly hit their opponent first.

    And other mechanics, like weapon spawning, should NEVER be randomized. Default Infinity Slayer had random weapon spawns when Halo 4 first came out; and it was AWFUL. Teams would be on the verge of winning, only to lose because an Incineration Cannon by the grace of god would spawn in front of the other team, allowing them to get easy kills to form a comeback that should’ve never happened.

    Randomness cheapens the outcome of individual games, which spells doom for any competitive community. No matter how much money 343 pumped into it, the competitive community would never take off due to sheer myriad of awful mechanics which make the gameplay worse. Getting rid of descope and replacing it with flinch, the addition of universal sprint, and the loss in the ability to drop the the flag are just a handful of the bad decisions made by 343.)

    3) Recharging Health (You know the drill, you survived an onslaught of bullets, and now you gotta keep your head down till your shields are fully charged.)

    4) Hip Firing and Scopes (Halo is the only modern, major FPS with no ADS “aim down sights”, this keeps Halo unique in the crowd of FPS games.)

    5) Map Control (Making sure your team controls areas where power weapons, or power ups spawn on a set timer; and controls powerful vantage points strewn across the map.)

    6) Guns, Grenades, and Melees (Your three main tools of destruction.)

    7) Longer kill times (You need to shoot someone in Halo for a relatively long time compared to games like COD, and Counter-strike.)

    8) A primary weapon (A gun that you spawn with like the Halo 4 Battle Rifle which is effective at a lot of tasks (baring very far distances), but is a master of none.)

    9) Difficulty to compensate for power (The Magnum in Halo CE can kill a fully shielded player in 0.6 seconds! But it is balanced. How? Well it is uncommon, and difficult to achieve a three shot kill in Halo CE due the low amount of aim assist it uses. The Sniper Rifle is allowed to as powerful as it because it is difficult to use (however in Halo 4 I think it’s too easy to use for it’s power), and you have to find it on the map assuming you’re not playing Team Snipers.

    But then this raises a question. Why are Rockets easy to use AND powerful? Well this is because they are intended to be one of the most important pickups on any map, if not the most important. Because of it’s importance, it is difficult to get your hands on it, and thus it is balanced for the role it has in the game.)

    10) Small scale games (2v2 and 4v4 are integral parts of Halo, if the game doesn’t support these kind of games at launch because the maps would all be huge, then I would have a hard time saying the game is “classic Halo” game. There needs to be maps at launch which can support 2v2 and 4v4, because frame rate issues on forge maps with guests has always been a huge issue.)

    11) Split-screen Multiplayer and LAN support (These things truly DEFINED Halo CE, and being able to play a game with a friend at home is just plain fun. They must ALWAYS be a part of Halo.)

  6. Yep, we don’t know most people didn’t like Halo 4– it’s not like we have access to population numbers or anything.

    Honestly, this argument is flawed and terrible. A competitive game can be played casually, but not the other way around. Do you honestly think a classic Halo without the gimmicks they’ve added won’t sell? That is ridiculous, of course it will; the numbers of these games have had great sales as well. No one bought Halo 4 thinking “oh, wow, cool Ordinance drops!” There is already a game that does THAT better, and it’s Call of Duty. People want to play Halo, not COD.

  7. You could just wrote “Adapt or GTFO” and saved yourself some time and effort. Halo 4 was so broken at launch and took nearly a full year to get a patch to take out some of the problems. Halo 4 was broken from the moment sprint and no de-scoping were implemented. That’s it in a nutshell. The community is not to blame for that game or Reach’s faults. 343 and Bungie trying to reinvent the wheel was the issue.

    • Good points, well summed up. And I love the reiventing the wheel point.. you are bang on in that one.

      Want to be clear, community is NOT all encompassing eveil to blame for end result that was Halo 4.. but when the community says more input from them will help make future Halo better, I think thats wrong.

  8. Only a minority, a small minority of any games community are so committed that they either run a podcast, blog, website or forum for their chose games community.

    So logically they would know more about the game, correct?

    it doesn’t mean they know anything better about the direction of the game, especially more than the professionals who make games.

    No that’s exactly what it means. I can guarantee any Halo pro has played the game more and knows more about it than any dev. Hell I bet quite a few competitive players know more.

    “The core Halo community didn’t like Halo 4” First of all you can’t definitely say what core community is. Secondly all you can’t say an entire community, likely in the thousands, all didn’t like Halo 4. In fact there is not a single poll or data array showing ANY sort of ‘vote’ on any group liking or not liking Halo 4.

    Is this really your opening example? Halo 4 was atrocious on release. They had numerous problems with map packs and the season passes. So many maps had soft walls and were way too glitchy. JiP, Sprint, Boltshot, Maps, shall I go on?

    “343 needs to focus on Competitive play.” Why? Are competitive players the majority of Halos players? No they aren’t.. so why then focus on that? What does a guy like me, an average at best player, who still logs plenty of hours playing Halo stand to gain from that?

    Competitive players have much more insight into the game as you previously stated so shouldn’t they get more say in what goes into the game? Just because uneducated masses enjoy elite slayer does that mean the whole game should be elite slayer? There is a reason we have electoral college in America because of uneducated masses. I could go on into a history lesson about the how scared the founding fathers were scared of uneducated masses for the country but I’ll move on to the next point. What you have to gain is a much better, balanced game that’s fun for everyone.

    “Halo 2 was more popular, with more active players a year and a half after release, unlike Halo 4.” This statement might be true on raw numbers, but it’s apples to oranges. How many games were out there in the same genre to compete with Halo 2 as opposed to Halo 4 now? How many other AAA titles in any genre to compete for your playing time? Halo 4 has to compete with OTHER VERSIONS of multiplayer Halo even! (Not to mention even Spartan Assault)

    While it did have to compete with other games, so did H3 and reach. Neither of them had a drop off in population as bad as H4 did.

    -“Halo 4 doesn’t feel like ‘Real Halo’.” You mean you don’t feel the same way playing Halo 4 as you did when playing Halo 3? Well, they are different games. More importantly, please define what ‘Real Halo’ feels like. Is it soft like a babies bottom? Is it greasy like uncooked bacon? Does it give you butterflies in your stomach like your fist kiss? Oh wait.. those butterflies go away with each subsequent kiss… wow.. like the feeling you get playing Halo or any other game. You still enjoy it, but the new car smell is gone. This comment is just plain stupid.. ‘Real Halo’ doesn’t have a feeling. A feeling is an interpretive opinion.


    While Halo has a different feeling for everyone, I’d like to think that they are pretty similar. Some kind of skillfull weapon (BR, CE Pistol), Equal starts for everyone, weapons on the map, good arena style maps. Those are just a few things that I like to think of core Halo as.

    -“Halo 5 needs a community/open beta” By the time you beta test, the core gameplay/mechanics of a game are DONE. Only certain tweaks in variables like those around weapons damage, jump height and other things that get tweaked in subsequent post release updates anyhow are gained earlier on by beta. So what, you have a community beta so the first update is done earlier. Seems like a lot of time and money for 343 to spend to get a few tweak don’t ahead of time. I challenge anyone to give me a core gameplay mechanic that was changed with any game from community beta testing.

    Reach nades? They changed quite a bit after the beta. On top of that betas test how people react to actually playing the game and usually are good advertisement for the game anyways. It usually is smalls things fixed that’s still one step closer to perfection before the game comes out.

    -“343 Needs to listen to the community on the direction of Halo going forward.” STOP THE PRESSES! 343 HAS DONE THIS, AND IT COULD BE A PART OF THE PROBLEM A LOT OF PEOPLE BITCH ABOUT.

    343i needs to bring in community members that aren’t yes men to test the game, even if it means no beta. People like Lxthul come to mind.

    343 have bent over backwards listening to community, and guess what? The community was wrong.

    Yeah and every time they do the exact opposite of what we want. Map voting seems fine, just play the playlist that have what you want to play in them. This is one of the issues that doesn’t really matter honestly. Either system of voting works fine.

    Why are we having rotating playlists in Halo 4?

    Because everyone likes something new to play, same reason CoD has double xp weekends. If gives people a “reason” to play.

    When they whined their wants any tournaments they hosted the MASSIVE 500K tourney. They even invited a bunch of them to go to their studios, get wined and dined and played Halo in an environment many of us would pay to be in to get their feedback… but they still are uninterested.

    200k and this was months after the game had pretty much died off. If they would have had this at launch or maybe sometime in early 2013 the competitive community would have been much happier plus it was a fucking free for all tourney. I know casuals like yourself probably don’t see the problem so I’ll explain it. Free for alls rarely show who’s truly better, they are based on luck of spawns and cleaning up one shots. The only person respected for ffa’s is Karma because he was undefeated for what like a year and a half? Kid was a monster.

    It’s also hypocritical that a lot of the Halo Media dumps on Call of Duty saying “It’s the same game every year with a new release.” I mean quite a few of the Halo Media then go back wanting ‘Classic Halo’. So basically saying they don’t want change, yet rag on COD for basically… NOT CHANGING!

    Lots of Halo kids don’t know enough about CoD honestly, every CoD is very different. Ask any CoD pros. I’d also like to mention that this is just a blog that should be held with a grain of salt. Lots of these points have been made and argued for the last ten years. Just remember that a competitive game can be played casually but a casual game can’t be played competitively.

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  10. Great post. Too much for me to get in to in a single comment, but there was 1 point in particular I wanted to address.

    You make an interesting point when you bring up the issue of voting for maps in a multiplayer game. You use Titanfall as an example of a game that says “I don’t care what you want, THIS is the map you’re playing on next”. I agree that in the case of Titanfall it works very well since you get to play through the complete rotation of maps on a regular basis.

    Here’s the rub: All the maps in Titanfall are GOOD.

    Respawn’s approach takes confidence in their own game and maps. It works because every single map is fun, exciting, and unique. Some are certainly better than others, and everyone will have their personal favorites, but they all work.

    Halo 4 is NOT that game. The majority of the maps are awful, I’m sorry to say. So while I agree that I would like to see map voting go away in future Halo titles, it is on the condition that the overall map quality is improved as well.

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