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!
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…