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HaloWC X Games Invitational Feedback Thread (Event/Stream Criticism)

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I'd like to see the Breaking Down the Map videos actually be the upcoming map in a series, not some random Eden breakdown when Truth is next. This would really help out with new viewers learning a game they may not play themselves. Other than that and the bad selection of montages/forge map videos, XGames was awesome to watch.

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Its been said before but I will say it again

 

Get rid of that 360 spinning montage. There was no skill involved in getting those clips and its one of the worst montages I have ever watched. It is as bad as the Prophets bane montage, if not worse. There was literally a clip of him nading a power weapon to himself in a solo custom game. We don't need that.

 

Other than that minus a few sound errors I enjoyed the stream a lot!

Someone find that video so we can all report it for false advertisement

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In regards to videos in between games, why not contract out a few content creators to make some cool stuff? Contact a few people, let them know the deadline and the necessity to use copyright free music, and let them have at it. I can think of a few people off the top of my head who would be happy to do this for free (cough me cough).

 

What would really be cool would be to have montages of the teams actually playing. I think it would be pretty easy to make short 1-2 minute hype videos for each of the top 4 teams with their clips, prior event accomplishments, etc. That way people who get hyped up to watch the next two teams to play.

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Hey all, I hope you are recovering from the brain-melting series that was Evil Geniuses vs. CLG last night. The HWC thread is booming and we are hearing resounding positive things both on the forums, but also those watching on Twitch/ESPN, as well as other Halo and Xbox One fans. X Games Aspen was by far one of the best Halo events we've seen in a long time, especially with the incredible storylines and epic finale. 

 

So as always, we/I will be sharing some feedback regarding the event, stream, etc. Please feel free to not only post your feedback and criticism (along with your positive comments!) in this thread, but also feel free to share this with @@LenoxCG, @@Tashi, and the rest of the 343/HCS team so we can have the absolute best events and streams heading into NA Regionals, EMEA Regionals, and eventually the World Championship.

 

 

The Good

  • Group Play/Best of 5 Series: A major criticism of the streamed online qualifiers is the extremely harsh and punishing format with BO3 and Single-Elimination. X Games' Group Play allowed for an expected outcome (via seeding) but kept room open for upsets (Epsilon vs. Renegades was crazy!) We are definitely excited to see this format return at Regionals and Worlds, but you should be avoiding Best-of-3 Series at all costs. More gameplay to watch for spectators, and more room for crazy comebacks/sweeps by competitors. Double Elimination is no longer a necessity in this format, especially with what I'll discuss below.
  • Best of 7 Bracket: Wow, this could not have been a better decision! Halo has been running Best of 5's for a very long time and seeing Best of 7's for the main bracket was truly incredible. Allegiance sweeping Renegades 4-0 showed how dominant a team can be, Evil Geniuses going 4-2 against Allegiance showed tough competition, and of course, the incredible​ Game 7 series between EG and CLG showed the true potential of this format. Keep using longer series whenever available! Hell, let's make World Grand Finals Best of 9... no... Best of 11 :simms: ? 
  • Map/Gametype Variety: This is both another benefit of pool play (we saw a lot of variety in each Group Round) but also just great decision making from the TO's. I didn't realize until after the fact, but Grand Finals used seven different maps. I don't think I've ever seen more than five maps in a Halo series before. Keep doing this. I cannot stress how INCREDIBLE this is for spectators and commentators to experience action on different maps and modes. Literally every 15 minutes gameplay is refreshed into something new to watch or hear about. Keep up the variety.
  • Casting: Casting just keeps on getting better every event. We still have the redundancy sometimes where commentators like Walshy or Bravo get tunnel visioned on play-by-play, but I still enjoyed a lot of what I heard this weekend. Halo 5 has a lot of depth, so make sure to touch on that in game! There was a moment that felt so 'eSports' after a Truth CTF match where Bravo broke down a misplay by Cratos so well that I literally remember it word for word. The more we explore this game's depth, the more interesting we become as an eSport and the more intricate the experience becomes for spectators.

Individual Caster Feedback:

 

 

  • Bravo: You work at 343, you definitely have insight from chats/playtests with Pro Team that NONE of us have ever heard. Dip into some of that intel and let us know this game's secrets. I thoroughly believe that you could be one of the best analytical casters in the League, bring that Cratos/Truth analysis through into your commentary and you'll be fantastic heading into Regionals/Worlds
  • :simms: : I love you crumpet, but lets take a deep breath and slow down. You are by far the best hype man we have casting the game, and that energy should be brought in at the correct times. Take notes from Benson's play by play, he remains calm and collected during standard gameplay moments and gunfights, he hypes up big plays, and then during hectic team fights he goes in overdrive. Follow a similar pattern and you will fit right in with the analysts. In addition, make it a goal to have an ongoing dialogue with your co-commentator, talk to Walshy, ask questions about how he thinks certain setups and plays are affecting a teams performance in the game, let him answer, then role back into play by play. Just need to catch the right eb and flow. You and Walshy are still my favorite duo as is though.
  • Benson: Our community has mixed feelings about you, but your casting feels strangely natural. As I stated above, your play by play is calm and collected and you really understand when to speed it up, how to have a dialogue with your co-caster, and can definitely hype up certain moments. My only criticism is to learn a little bit more about the game and try to follow the players/scene a bit more. Due to a stream hiccup on Saturday, Ninja's player cam had Dream Team and TireIron as his player card, and you just read what was happening on the screen and rolled with it. Walsh corrected you, luckily, but obviously those are just quirks that will be ironed out with time. Keep it up, commentating is looking good.
  • Goldenboy: Similar casting to Benson, so my main complaint is to learn more about the game... callouts, weapons, etc. One of your strong suits is discussing and filling in viewers as to what happens OUTSIDE of the game throughout the season... Roster changes, organization info, player interviews etc. The only other thing I'd critique is your tendency to hype up things that are bit too much. Not every Double Kill needs to be celebrated. Looking forward to see how you work some magic towards Worlds.
  • Elamite: Slayed it. You and Towey were both killer analyst commentators. If anyone has feedback for you, read below, but I genuinely liked what I heard. Best of luck to Liquid, I'll be cheering you all on.
  • Walshy: Your commentating just keeps improving, without a doubt. In H2A you were incredible because you knew everything about the game and its intricacies. At the start of Halo 5, I didn't get that vibe and I felt that you had a lot to learn. The only thing I'd say is to work on your repetition of certain phrases and try to avoid running off-topic and hitting us with the corny jokes (we love em, though). Keep telling us what the things the players do MEAN. We want to know how decisions and setups are affecting the big picture of the game. Good work this weekend.
  • Strongside: I mean this with no insult (primarily because I know your potential), but your casting is barebones at best. You are a member of 343's Pro Team. You have cracked and broken this game to pieces, it wouldn't be so competitive if you and the other guys on Pro Team didn't do what you did. You know more about this game than anyone at 343, so please show us that. 70%+ of your casting is reading what a player is doing on stream and saying that its going to be good or bad. Follow the advice I gave to Walshy and Bravo and break down this casting. Make Halo 5 a true eSport by telling me what you know. I know you can do it.
  • European Casters: Follow all of the advice listed above. We need a lot more analysis from you guys and less wandering off-topic and joking.

 

 

 

  • Stream/Twitter Graphics: Graphics are looking better than ever, especially the matchup/result images tweeted out from @HCS. The only thing I might suggest is refreshing the theme of the overlays for Worlds. We've seen the same scoreboard/playercam/title cards/downtime overlay/etc. since HCS Season 1. A visual refresh is always a good thing for spectating and it would be cool to see the things I just listed receive the more neon/flashy theme that the HCS Account has been using as of late.

 

 

The Bad

  • REQ Packs (Good and Bad): The REQ Packs/Viewer Incentive are a MAJOR step in the right direction, but they still falter in a major way. We hit 40k viewership peak on Saturday, and one fan who is ready to mash is keyboard for a single Gold REQ pack is going to receive the incentive... seems redundant. There needs to be a global incentive for all HCS viewers. Since Halo 5 does not have a way to link your client to your Twitch account, this is difficult. So I present an idea: Universal Codes. I'm not sure this is within Xbox's Marketplace capability, but it would be incredible to see a code on stream that EVERYONE could redeem. Make it so the code is redeemable by ANYONE, but it expires within 30 minutes. A single Gold REQ pack isn't worth sweating over, but 5-10 Gold REQ Packs that are guaranteed? Damn right I'll be tuning in, I still need that H2 BR! You could even mix it up by offering the HCS Pack again, or the Vehicle Pack, etc. TL;DR: Introduce some sort of global incentive for viewers. Give us REQs.
  • Downtime Videos: This is pretty simple, the downtime videos are terrible. I love that you are trying to bring in community videos and content via the Halo Channel but playing it in a competitive eSport setting is just embarrassing. The chat cringes and gets mad, viewership drops (especially when you play a campaign recap for 45 minutes), etc. There is no reason someone should be running around a Warzone map getting Double Kills with the Prophets' Bane over dubstep music. A Killionaire, maybe, but not this barebones gameplay. Same goes for Forge features; these awesome creations are something that I'd love to see recapped on the monthly DLC Streams, but not in between games of Evil Geniuses vs. CLG.

 

 

 

GOOD:

  • Breaking Down The Map (or perhaps Beyond Quick Tips)
  • Microsoft Advertisements
  • Competitive, Well Produced Montages (Beyond's YouTube library of montages is fully available to you. If you have 45 minutes of dreadful downtime, throw up some Ace: The Montage bad-assery and go into cruise control. We have other montages as well, use them.)
  • DLC Trailers, I personally am NOT a fan of the short 10 second comedy bits, I find them cringe-worthy but if that is genuine part of 343's marketing, then include it to make people aware of the content updates. Playing the Infinity's Armory Trailer was a good choice, however.

 

BAD:

  • Campaign Lore Recaps
  • Forge Features, CLG just tied the series 3-3, we really don't want to hear Sean talk about Christmas Island (his content is actually really great though, please just feature it in other 343 streams). Oh, and please remove that McDonalds video.
  • Poorly Produced "Montages", as I said previously, someone running around Warzone with a Mythic Weapon isn't interesting. If it's a Killionaire in a Snipetality community montage, okay, but not a standalone 2 minute video. Handicapped Halo with people just spinning around and Ground Pounding is also far from interesting for eSports enthusiasts.

 

 

 

 

  • Stream Hiccups: There were times where we would be mid match and random graphics or videos would pop up and cut off gameplay. This happened numerous times, just a matter of refining and reducing human errors. The audio also went full robot mode (the Twitch chat surely made you aware of this), which took a while to be fixed on numerous occasions. Hopefully at the MLG.tv arena you guys aren't operating from an ice cold tent and can refine these issues. They weren't catastrophic, but they were a distraction.
  • (UPDATE) Player Cards: Please update the player cards so A) they all have new and updated pictures, B )they have the correct information. Lethul is not an H2 Pro! I also like the idea of having 'player roles' on the cards (as well as Players to Watch heading into each match, but don't make them whacky and nonsensical like 'Flex' or 'Hypeman' or 'The GOAT'. Talk to teams and ask them what they think each players most prominent role is on their team: Slayer, Support, Objective, Sniper/Anchor, or Shotcaller.

 

 

Minor things: MLG's Map Intros are better than all of the previous HCS-produced ones (assuming they are the ones who made these new intros). Let them handle it! In addition, for Regionals/Worlds and events with large crowds, make sure we can hear them! It adds to the hype for online spectators. Towards the end of Grand Finals we started to hear some noise and really put emphasis on the end of the series.

 

All in all, this was by far my favorite HCS Production since the Season 1 Finals. I'd just like to say that I'm extremely happy with how it turned out and I am beyond excited for future productions and collaborations between MLG and HCS.

I volunteer to help with pictures for updated player cards :P

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What would really be cool would be to have montages of the teams actually playing. I think it would be pretty easy to make short 1-2 minute hype videos for each of the top 4 teams with their clips, prior event accomplishments, etc. That way people who get hyped up to watch the next two teams to play.

 

I like this idea.Highlight clips from as many as the top teams there, you can have their best clips from online scrims/previous qualifiers/previous events to keep people hyped/interested. Showcase the clips of the 2 teams that are about to play each other/currently are in between matches.

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I'm still pushing for classic games from the H2 and H3 days. Or maybe people could submit clips and they could do a Rooster Teeth thing where they have fails and stuff.

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Quality was insanely high overall ... casting could use a bit of work (more polish/training should take care of that).  Too long between some matches, and the interstitial material was occasionally mediocre.  (And spectator mode shouldn't be used in the future unless it has a serious overhaul.)

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Maybe you could answer a question or two in between matches. People could use a hashtag and have the desk answer a few.

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The event's been stellar. I don't have much negative to say on a personal level. The removal of Breakout was a great decision and led to much more intense series overall, so I'm satisfied with that.

 

But I did notice some chatter about the broadcasts not respecting safe areas on TV... which should be a concern if other future events might be broadcasted on TV (which has good chances of happening with ESPN focusing on esports now). It's important for those broadcasts to be as perfect as possible on TV as TV exposure is MASSIVE for esports growth and is the main manner we'll get Halo (or esports in general) to grow among the general population.

 

Here's an example:

 

91c43cb79d743a33e77869d191032a94.png

If you look at the top left one you might see that some information contained with the overlay is outside of the white box; that's something that should be avoided. On some screens, it means the information is lost on the edges, which can lead to what looks like poor production/professionalism (which is untrue) to the eyes of people who don't know better. I understand that the Halo 5 HUD most likely won't be updated for this (though it should be or at least have such FOV/HUD zoom options; but going forward, something like this should be kept into consideration while developing the game!)

Putting the game itself aside, at least, the important information of the broadcast (series scores, player names, teams, etc.) should be kept on the safe area of the screen as much as possible. That's done on the production side and can easily changed. If you look at sports events, their production always makes sure the score and important information is far enough inside the screen rather than risk having something on the edge which someone might miss because of how their TV settings are set up.

Stuff like this will go a long way towards making the broadcasts look more professional and respectable to someone who's new to esports. 

 

That's all the feedback I have for now. Such a minor complain should prove that the rest has been amazing, so keep up the outstanding work. It was a very refreshing and much needed change from the past few years.

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I'm hitting F5 on this thread repeatedly.

 

Please do not use spectator mode. Whatever the set up was for this weekend was miles ahead of spectator mode.  

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I think there are some great points here but I will have to respectfully disagree about me "not knowing the game" the amount of time I put into watching streams, keeping up with stats, and putting in the time myself (anyone who watches my stream would know) has helped me become a better Halo caster.

 

I've put all my attention into Halo going into Worlds because I love the game and want to do the players, 343, and viewers justice. Hopefully this isn't viewed negatively and I always seek to improve whatever I do Sinai appreciate the feedback regardless.

 

I'm pumped for Regionals!

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I definitely agree about not seeing the player outlines in spectator mode, i've always found that to kinda suck surprise out of the game personally. It also clutters up the screen which I never liked. In CSGO there's outlines of guys everywhere and trails behind nades and player info on the sides sticking out...just so much stuff all over the screen it looks messy. 

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Player outlines could be used for standoffs if there isn't an overhead map. Other than that I don't like them for halo

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I understand the arguments behind outlines, but the positives outweigh the negatives in my opinion.

 

Imagine a situation where a player is in close proximity to another player behind a wall, the crowd anticipates action to occur, the commentators begin to discuss plays, and then they never encounter each other, it adds tension and talking points for casters. 

 

More information for commentators = more information for viewers, and I think that is a very important thing.

 

One thing that @@MaceX42 nailed was that he said this: "Outlines remove the illusion that the players know where the entire enemy team is at all times and that their communication is impeccable"

 

That's why I believe Outlines should remain on for MAJORITY of the match, and turned off at certain points. A listen in to show how well a team is actually communicating, turn them off. When a player has a Sniper, turn them off to see how his reactions and positioning are.

 

But in standard play to play gameplay, outlines should be on.

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I understand the arguments behind outlines, but the positives outweigh the negatives in my opinion.

 

Imagine a situation where a player is in close proximity to another player behind a wall, the crowd anticipates action to occur, the commentators begin to discuss plays, and then they never encounter each other, it adds tension and talking points for casters. 

 

More information for commentators = more information for viewers, and I think that is a very important thing.

 

One thing that @@MaceX42 nailed was that he said this: "Outlines remove the illusion that the players know where the entire enemy team is at all times and that their communication is impeccable"

 

That's why I believe Outlines should remain on for MAJORITY of the match, and turned off at certain points. A listen in to show how well a team is actually communicating, turn them off. When a player has a Sniper, turn them off to see how his reactions and positioning are.

 

But in standard play to play gameplay, outlines should be on.

 

Yeah but I feel like they would constantly try to build up hype around 2 players meeting at a corner only to have to back off it constantly or be like OH THEY MET! 

 

CSGO it works cuz it's an S&D gametype all the time, makes more sense. For Halo where it's constantly rushing into situations anyways it's not needed and takes away from those plethora of surprise moments we get involving people getting sniped when coming around corners/etc. Royal 2's triple for instance would have been way less dramatic had we know they were both gonna pop out, and if we saw the triple before he even did. Idk I guess this is a place where people have very differing opinions. 

 

This is also the first Halo 5 tournament I was truly excited to watch every minute of, almost jumping out of my seat for entire games. I would assume removal of Breakout and no outlines from spectator mode had something to do with that. 

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I'd be willing to sit through montages and map breakdowns to help find stuff worthy of being a filler for time and to help bump the variety up a lot. For free. Seriously I'd do anything to help make sure you guys never get another 360 montage where he spins then stops then aims and then shoots (lmfao what?) or McDonalds or Christmas after its over video. For the love of God I'd do anything to never experience that again.

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I think there are some great points here but I will have to respectfully disagree about me "not knowing the game" the amount of time I put into watching streams, keeping up with stats, and putting in the time myself (anyone who watches my stream would know) has helped me become a better Halo caster.

 

I've put all my attention into Halo going into Worlds because I love the game and want to do the players, 343, and viewers justice. Hopefully this isn't viewed negatively and I always seek to improve whatever I do Sinai appreciate the feedback regardless.

 

I'm pumped for Regionals!

I think you're a great caster, I believe the complaints are towards Benson. No offense to Benson, but he just doesn't seem to have a very strong grasp of the game. There will be incredible plays that he won't recognize (Frosty got a triple kill on Rig Strongholds and he had no idea what was happening till a bit after the Overkill medal popped up) and sometimes he'll lose his shit over nothing. I just personally think he needs to get a better understanding of the game to be an effective caster caster, especially with Halo 5 considering how fast the gameplay is. 

 

But alas this is from a guy who's never casted a major professional event, so yes I know its easier said than done.

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I think there are some great points here but I will have to respectfully disagree about me "not knowing the game" the amount of time I put into watching streams, keeping up with stats, and putting in the time myself (anyone who watches my stream would know) has helped me become a better Halo caster.

Whoever said that doesn't know what they are talking about, your game knowledge has improved tremendously and now you offer great insight into matches.

 

You've come a long way baby!

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Let me preface my post with the following: I've been watching competitive Halo since 2004~, this weekends X-Game event gave me the same feeling I had when watching Final Boss back in 2008 in Halo 3 at Meadowlands right after Final Boss dropped Walshy. This event was INSANE! The game-play, the commentating, the team change drama, the bantering between Lethul and Snipedown. Wow, I kept on thinking WEFINALLYBACK!  Honestly this was the best Halo event I've watched in probably 5 years. 

 

And remember, they did this in a tent on the side of a mountain...

 

Awesome Stuff:

  • The booths looked sweet, very professional looking, awesome stuff.
  • Glad I didn't have to watch any breakout games.
  • Commentators were all amazing in my opinion. I'm not one to nitpick, but I do agree that Bravo should add some more "343 insight" about some behind the scenes stuff people would appreciate. (more pro team insights, how the map was created, sandbox discussions, etc..)
  • Very little technical difficulties. Yes there were some in the first match with CLG vs EG, but I remember watching H2A and having to wait hours for a match to start after a reset. 
  • The pre-game interviews with the players were awesome, I especially liked it when they had 1 player from each team up there. (snipedown & lethul)
  • Walshy's SMILE  :D

Can Improve:

  • Can we get some Jump montages?? Player interviews?? (Just like NBA and Football games put up on the jumbtron.) 
  • THE POLLS: Okay... here's my thought about the Polls. While they were a great idea, I thought they were executed poorly. I think you should get rid of the voting via #hashtag and just do something like TeamBeyond did. Just make a voting tweet where people can vote on the team they think will win. I was confused who I was supposed to tweet something to, what was the hashtag? #EG or #evilgeniuses? Just my 2 cents.  
  • More crowd scenes! I get it that you're in a tent and there's not much room, but I hope in future events they do some pan overs of the crowd cheering. Make sure you throw some tshirts out to the crowd to get them cheering louder. Maybe have a mic out there to collect the noise when the crowd screams after a crazy play. It's always fun to hear the crowd on twitch in the background after an insane play.
  • This is for @@LenoxCG you should tell your marketing department to look into buying some ads on Reddit to promote the HCS tournament in Feb and March. You'll get a lot more viewers on twitch imo. Just make sure the ads go in /r/halo /r/gaming  /r/globaloffensive  etc..

 

Overall I was very impressed with how X-Games went. It was very professional for being in a tent on a mountain. I can't wait to see what NA Finals and World champs look like. Speaking of World champs.. where are those going to be? Can you buy a spectator pass yet?

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Of course I am incredibly biased but some things that I do for UMG broadcasts and sometimes MLG are filming and editing daily event recaps, interviews, bumpers, and team intros. That kind of stuff would be better canned content than the community videos.

 

I like the idea of community videos but they get pretty old when they are recycled a few times.

 

Overall, the broadcast was superb. Hats off to everyone involved!

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Spectator mode needs to be improved before NA Regionals.   If they are going to use it then it needs to be accurate and responsive.  Watching X-Games and being able to see live feeds of the players facial expressions and seeing them erupt when they won a game was just like the glory days.  Spectator mode is to be honest awful and ruins the experience.  

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