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  1. What scares me the most is that it seems like 343's rationalization for trying to alter core Halo gameplay goes beyond trying to cater to a more general audience. Its now about pride. Their goal is to now leave their stamp on Halo. They are willing to continue to throw stuff against the wall to see what sticks. A similar situation can be seen in how Don Mattrick treated the XBox One development. He became so obsessed with trying to push his vision of the XBox One involving different policies/requirements and trying to make the Kinect (his "baby") a focal point of the console that the team was willing to undermine the hardware and still charge a premium. In this case, pride came before the fall. I hope 343 doesn't become as short-sighted. Casual gamers want a Halo that has an actual purpose, whether they realize it or not. Halo CE, 2 and 3 all played differently from each other, but the game's foundation was built on the same basic principles. This actually shows that it is possible to design a Halo game with the traditional formula and there is enough potential to create something that is not a carbon-copy of a predecessor. We can see 343's track record with Halo 4 and Halo 5. They have been trying to integrate mechanisms from the trendiest of trendy console shooters. This is where they have been looking for their inspiration. Unfortunately they are catering to an audience that doesn't exist. Casuals are being turned off by gameplay that vaguely feels similar to the alternatives, but there is also an even higher level of complexity in the gunplay that causes an awkwardness due to these mechanisms coming from a different style of shooter. There is even less incentive for them to return because the think the can get a comparable experience elsewhere. Many committed gamers to the franchise have been walking away as well. 343's decisions are making them work with even less than ever before. A Halo with purpose is a Halo game that is designed to be the best Halo game it can be. Its not a game that is designed to be the best modern and trendy console shooter. Its not a Halo game that says, "we do it better than how they do it." Its not a Frankenstein shooter. Halo is a game that has a purpose and has its own role. As others have said, traditional Halo is a franchise that was built on arena inspirations. The gameplay has much more variety than the typical PC arena shooter, but that was Halo's inspiration and style. A traditional style Halo game would give the average casual and dabbler even more reason to return to the game. It makes Halo in to a true console seller because its providing an experience that is unique. This makes casual gamers value the game. This makes casual gamers want to return and dabble, even if they aren't good at it or if they consider it challenging. There is a level of respect that Halo attains in gaming circles. Halo has the potential to be a torch-carrier and light bearer for the arena style shooter. This could have been the case now more than ever before as this subdivision of shooter is not at the pinnacle it once was. Halo gameplay has enough variety to the point that it can welcome casuals as well as the hardcore crowd, unlike its PC counterparts that make it really difficult for a dabbler to feel at ease. Halo still has this potential. Its just a matter of 343 forgetting about their pride and trying to make a Halo the best Halo game it can be.
  2. I haven't been checking the Most Played list lately and my XBox One is currently off. Has Halo 5 been ahead of Battlefront since Christmas? From what I remember, it seemed like Battlefront received an instant and substantial holiday bump in population....similar to what some were hoping Halo would get (and maybe it did).
  3. As a matter of principle, ADS is an actual issue. Just ignore for a moment how it can encourage stop and pop gameplay in casuals (not faithful to arena shooters) and the accuracy bump in automatics. What it does expose is 343's overarching philosophical approach to Halo. The track record can be seen with Halo 4 and now Halo 5. There was no reason to change the traditional zooming mechanism in Halo. We always took it for granted, but it was just another one of those small details that separated Halo from the herd of generic shooters being released on console. The thought-process behind the implementation of the ADS zooming animation on some of the weapons is what should make you feel nauseous. The only reasoning to include it is to make Halo provide an experience that is similar to the alternatives. Its a small and subtle way to homogenize Halo and to give casual gamers a feeling of familiarity. Is this needed? Absolutely not. Sometimes it can be refreshing to play a game that doesn't give you the same sensation that you just got playing a different game. Casuals don't want that. 343's mentality is actually causing casual gamers to not return because they are burned out from the generic experience of many other games. Not only have others argued that the ADS mechanism violates lore, but it actually hinders the immersion on some of the weapons. Traditional zoom really felt like you were focusing. Now on some of the weapons the iron sights or weapon are clunky and block the view. As you insinuate, its not a total game-breaking issue. But when you look at 343's direction in Halo 4 and now in Halo 5, there is a definite trend of genericness. ADS is a small subtle attempt at homogenizing Halo. One that wasn't needed and won't succeed in doing anything. The mentality and thought-process behind the decision of something like this is what we all should object to.
  4. Opinions are subjective. But raising awareness about mechanisms and design decisions that break gameplay is actually an objective issue. If someone doesn't care about the style of shooter that Halo traditionally has been then that is fine. But their opinion will be subjective. When others debate various design decisions that alter gameplay on a fundamental level then that is objective. Most of the complaints on here go beyond mere preference. Its easy to use that as an excuse to attack them when jumping into the discussion (not you, generally speaking), but there has been plenty of lengthy dialogue to explain the why and how.
  5. Its really discouraging to see all the awesome maps the community is creating, especially ones posted in this thread. It just makes you keep thinking about what could have been. Keep up the great work.
  6. Its more about the general sentiment behind the comment, not the actual meaning or intent of the claim. Casuals and non-attached gamers from afar are noticing a similarity between Halo and other console shooters that once wasn't really there. If casuals feel as if Halo has lost some of its uniqueness then there is less reason for them to return as they expect to get a comparable experience elsewhere (rightly or wrongly). Non-attached gamers will simply shrug the franchise off. These gamers notice a direction that contributes to the singularity of FPS gaming, especially on console. That is why @@NavG123 mentioned that whether it is true or not is irrelevant, but the perception that is most concerning. Its not like 343 is the only guilty party in contributing to this perception. Of course COD developers played their part as well due to focusing on "futuristic warfare."
  7. You make many good points and its discouraging that 343 hasn't planned for this with any common sense ideas. This is a video game. A game. What should be the #1 priority in online matchmaking? Finding games. Not waiting 10 minutes, 20 minutes, 1 hour, 2 hours or 3 hours. This is a video game. The fact that this has gone over the heads of 343 is very discouraging. The Halo 5 player population online at launch is the smallest its ever been. Yet the matchmaking seems to be using very narrow parameters. What does this lead to? Long match-making times for some due to rank and others due to location. One idea that may or may not be possible: If the population is so desolate at a certain time and location to the point where there is a high-ranking TO4 taking on low-ranking randoms in an applicable playlist, then split up the party temporarily to make "even" teams in that lobby (and possibly suspend the recording of stats that match). If anyone else has any ideas, feel free to shout them out.
  8. For some reason there does seem to be an agenda to force-feed this kind of elimination game type into the competitive arena playlist. So Arena Breakout may be a better fit in that sense because the gameplay and gunplay is consistent (for the actual players). But should it belong? Does it give less moments of hype compared to traditional Breakout? That is up for debate. All that being said, traditional Breakout is more unique as a stand-alone playlist. It feels more like a quick few rounds of "paintball" (as I have seen the game type described by others). It may even be less intimidating for a dabbler to acquaint themselves with Halo due to the style of maps, simplistic and minimalist gameplay/gunplay. Its an intimate experience, but not an overwhelming one. It just feels like you are in and out more quickly. So if someone only has 30 minutes to play, they might be able to squeeze a couple extra matches in.
  9. Some people like ketchup on their ice cream. There is a reason why in a genre of music such as black metal, you don't get R&B and rap mixed in. Its about structure and compatibility. There is something to say about the clashing effects on gameplay from 343's direction in both Halo 4 and Halo 5 on an objective level. We can see a trend with their original vision for both games. They want to leave their stamp on Halo. That stamp involves integrating generic mechanisms and elements from a different style of shooter into Halo. This causes a clash in gameplay on a fundamental level. 343 is then forced to try and compensate for the unnatural feeling and there is a domino effect across all of gameplay. In Halo 5 this can be seen in bullet magnetism, map design, overly-powered autos, grenade damage, etc (objective). This turns Halo into a Frankenstein shooter. A shooter that is designed around contributing to the singularity of FPS games on console. A game designed to be 343's version of the "best modern console shooter." What we want instead is for 343 to make the best Halo game they can. Halo can't be described as solely an arena-style shooter. But traditional Halo was built on a foundation that was based on arena principles. Gameplay flowed in a certain way thanks to these principles. Halo CE was as close to an arena experience you will find on console. Halo 2 and Halo 3 each felt different, but the foundation and overarching principles were the same. This shows that people wanting an original/classic experience don't need a clone of any of the trilogy games. It is still possible to make a Halo game that feels different while not violating the principles traditional Halo gameplay was built on. 343's problem is that they tried to integrate mechanisms that are not fundamentally compatible with Halo gameplay. This compromises the game's foundation. Halo has a devout player-base that sticks around and continues to play. It has been Microsoft's most transcendent franchise. But if 343 continues to try and stick with their direction of genericness then this player-base will continue to drop over time. Some people can defend 343's direction just like some people like ketchup on top of their ice cream. Just don't wonder why you see more and more gamers walk away from the franchise because the overarching direction seems to be of imitation and genericness. Please read the following post about why 343's direction is turning casuals off from the franchise: http://teambeyond.net/forum/topic/5443-halo-5-guardians-discussion/?view=findpost&p=620188
  10. Please read this post and feel free to PM me or respond here. http://teambeyond.net/forum/topic/5443-halo-5-guardians-discussion/?view=findpost&p=620188 The post discusses how 343's direction has actually backfired and turned off casual gamers.
  11. XBox One had a an install for Halo 5 that was relatively similar to what Halo 3 did with XBox 360. There are other factors involved here that go beyond install base.
  12. You are looking at @@Cooper's point too narrowly. What the population numbers show is that Halo has a a strong support base that plays the game because Halo is in the title. This is also why the idea that 343 had to homogenize Halo to make sure it sold well is misguided. Unfortunately what it also shows is that 343 is not succeeding in their goal. 343 has a vision that focuses on leaving their stamp on the franchise. Look at the track record from Halo 4 to Halo 5. Look at the amount of generic elements and mechanisms that were added to these games to basically cater to the casual (nonexistent) gamer who is a fan of other trendy console shooters. 343 thought this could be their stamp to send the franchise in a different direction. Those gamers are not sticking around and still playing. The devout Halo gamers that 343 has taken for granted are still playing. But many fans have also left the franchise and maybe even left XBox because they didn't feel Halo did enough for them to stick around. Even casuals and dabblers want a reason to play a game. If they feel it is unique then they will place a higher value on it and return. To many, Halo 5 feels like 343's attempt at contributing to the singularity of FPS games on console. They are trying to give their version of the best "modern console shooter." And that just rings hollow.
  13. Hopefully its a trend that can continue. But I do want add one thing. Battlefront has been consistently charting higher than Halo and its only during a small-window during the day that Halo jumps ahead (up to now anyway). Been the same way for a couple weeks. We will see if Halo can take back gamers who are still dabbling in other recently released games. edit: didn't see @@Cooper's response in time.
  14. The lack of consistency is really hurting aspects of community-building, especially to casuals. Its not a problem that there is no voting this week and instead 343 might be cooking us a treat. The problem is that there has been no official update (in-game and on the website) about what was tweeted to you. This leaves casuals in the dark about what is going on. Choose a day and time that the polls open for weekend playlists voting and stick to it. If there is no voting this week then announce it on the same day and time as usual and give us the update about what is planned. Consistency breeds community-building. It keeps casuals engaged and they feel connected to the sphere of Halo. A lack of consistency fractures the bond and attachment a gamer might make into a community. Where is the leadership? This is very simple and basic. Its something that should be common sense.
  15. Numerous posts the past couple of days about the lack of weekend playlist voting have really caught my attention. This is a major gripe right now. Consistency fosters community-building. Something so basic and simple seem to be lacking with 343 at the moment. It is making 343 look like they are running an amateur operation over there. Where is the leadership? We should have settled into a routine by now since the game was launched on October 28th. Consistency would allow gamers to look forward to something and to stay engaged. Pick a day and stick with it. Example: Every Tuesday, at the same time, post an update to notify the polls are open. Give gamers something to look forward to. Give them something to stay engaged and keep them interacting within the Halo sphere. This gives them incentive to keep coming back. If there is no weekend playlist, similar to when Big Team Battle was launched, then announce it on the same day the polls usually open on. Don't keep casuals wondering and in the dark. Consistency breeds a bond, a trust of sorts. Don't disappear, stay silent, or jumble voting days around. Stay consistent so the community can thrive. Inconsistently leads to a fracturing of that bond.
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