Jump to content
Infinity

CSR is Still Flawed: A Comprehensive Review of Halo 5's Ranking System

Recommended Posts

I'm not Infinity but I'll throw in my thoughts.

 

In my opinion, Halo was at it's most popular during Halo 3 because it was a jack of all trades. If you want a large scale vehicle based experience you have it in BTB, if you want a quick kill time twitch based style of gameplay you can play Swat, if you want wacky custom games you have it through Forge. You could play Grifball as some sort of pseudo sport. But in 2017 all of these niches experiences are pulled off better by other games because the developers can direct 100% of their resources to that particular experience. If I'm someone who can only afford one game and wanted a Warzone like experience I'd buy Battlefield. If I wanted twitchy gameplay I'd buy COD. If I wanted wacky sandbox gameplay I'd buy Minecraft. Instead of Grifball I'd play Rocket League. (Of course a lot of these games existed during Halo 3's heyday but were either not great on console or not yet popular)

 

The only experience truly unique to halo is its intense, not too fast; not too slow  4v4 arena combat. So nowadays I think that 343 should embrace and refine the arena gameplay above all else to provide a unique experience in the crowded shooter market. I  of course don't think 343 should completely kill the other communities but they should let the community develop those experiences through a strong Forge and a much better Custom Game Browser. 

This, the gaming industry is different now, 343 should focus on a single ranked experience and have a handfull of social experiences.

  • Upvote (+1) 3

Share this post


Link to post

Can we all agree that at the least SWAT, snipers and breakout have no business being ranked?

Retweet

  • Upvote (+1) 2

Share this post


Link to post

I'm not Infinity but I'll throw in my thoughts.

 

In my opinion, Halo was at it's most popular during Halo 3 because it was a jack of all trades. If you want a large scale vehicle based experience you have it in BTB. If you want a quick kill time twitch based style of gameplay you can play Swat. If you want wacky custom games you have it through Forge. You could play Grifball as some sort of pseudo sport. But in 2017 all of these niche experiences are pulled off better by other games because the developers can direct 100% of their resources to that particular experience. If I'm someone who can only afford one game and wanted a Warzone like experience I'd buy Battlefield. If I wanted twitchy gameplay I'd buy COD. If I wanted wacky sandbox gameplay I'd buy Minecraft. Instead of Grifball I'd play Rocket League. (Of course a lot of these games existed during Halo 3's heyday but were either not great on console or not yet popular)

 

The only experience truly unique to halo is its intense, not too fast; not too slow 4v4 arena combat. So nowadays I think that 343 should embrace and refine the arena gameplay above all else to provide a unique experience in the crowded shooter market. I of course don't think 343 should completely kill the other communities but they should let the community develop those experiences through a strong Forge and a much better Custom Game Browser.

Well put.

I could live with that. But that doesn't change the fact that versatility is key to halo's identity - it will likely always be Halo's propensity to be a jack of all trades.

 

But I agree giving the community the power to be the stewarts of Halo's social 'trades' is the way forward.

  • Upvote (+1) 3

Share this post


Link to post

Good post! 1 side note, personal preference and an unpopular one at that, I really like doing this ^

 

I actually loved and miss the grind from 1- 50 and one of the reasons I still enjoy levelling characters on wow and enjoyed levelling smurfs during H2/3.

100% agree with you, I think this is probably the main enjoyment of this ranking system for me, grinding through the levels to get to the highest rank with minimal loses. It adds to the experience of a ranking system for me.

 

If you didn't enjoy the stomping of playing against level 1's then you had the option to play with friends who were on higher accounts (50), making the leveling system quicker for yourself, the only problem with this was that the ranking system would add your ranks together and party the better players on your team.

  • Downvote (-1) 1

Share this post


Link to post

I was thinking about the breakdown of playlists in to Team Arena, Core, and Social lists and actually love this idea the more i think about it.

You go into Multiplayer and pick from one of the 3

 

- Team Arena is its own dedicated area with the strictest MM parameters, HCS gametypes only. This would be the only playlist with no CSR cap and where you could obtain Champion rank.

- Core is for Slayer, 2v2 and FFA.  Slightly looser MM parameters to emphasize speed. Maybe a more relaxed rank progression algorithm too but still gives you visible ranks and uses those to get you matches. No Champion ranks available and Onyx rank has a cap.

- Social is everything else.  very loose MM parameters where connection quality is 90% of the prioritization.

  • Upvote (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post

I was thinking about the breakdown of playlists in to Team Arena, Core, and Social lists and actually love this idea the more i think about it.

You go into Multiplayer and pick from one of the 3

 

- Team Arena is its own dedicated area with the strictest MM parameters, HCS gametypes only. This would be the only playlist with no CSR cap and where you could obtain Champion rank.

- Core is for Slayer, 2v2 and FFA. Slightly looser MM parameters to emphasize speed. Maybe a more relaxed rank progression algorithm too but still gives you visible ranks and uses those to get you matches. No Champion ranks available and Onyx rank has a cap.

- Social is everything else. very loose MM parameters where connection quality is 90% of the prioritization.

I also think that your Arena rank should be visible always like a border around your emblem,
  • Upvote (+1) 3

Share this post


Link to post

I was thinking about the breakdown of playlists in to Team Arena, Core, and Social lists and actually love this idea the more i think about it.

You go into Multiplayer and pick from one of the 3

 

- Team Arena is its own dedicated area with the strictest MM parameters, HCS gametypes only. This would be the only playlist with no CSR cap and where you could obtain Champion rank.

- Core is for Slayer, 2v2 and FFA. Slightly looser MM parameters to emphasize speed. Maybe a more relaxed rank progression algorithm too but still gives you visible ranks and uses those to get you matches. No Champion ranks available and Onyx rank has a cap.

- Social is everything else. very loose MM parameters where connection quality is 90% of the prioritization.

Glad you like it.

 

The idea would be to have a competively viable game without compromising the experience of those who,for whatever reason, dont like being bound by the constraints of an esports agenda.

 

I think there is a sizable chunk of halo players who would be disserviced by a strick competitive/social split. Maybe they simply dont like the Team Arena gameptypes, or the randomness of the social MM alorithm. Leaving these people out of the loop would be a mistake IMO. Thats where Core would come in.

 

I envision a revamped social experience as well. With all the tools at hand, we shouldnt have to rely in 343 to curate enjoyable social playlists. They are VERY SLOW at responding to the popular trends in the community. They need to take their game browser to the next level and offer a full fledged server rental system.

 

Imagine if forge hub could run a server that would spin up games on maps and gametypes they create. Or some random could set up 'a duckhunt all day' server if he wanted to.

 

Personalities, Pros and Orgs could set up exclusive servers for their fans and subs. Bringing the social and the competitive scene closer together.

 

343 could have official servers (btb, team skirmish etc) and featured servers- Like a playtesting server for potential tweaks to HCS gametypes and weapons.

 

Someone could setup an Evolved Settings playlist.

 

There's just so much 343 can do on the social side to allow this varied playerbase to coexist without being totally fractured. It would help the competitive scene grow in popularity amongst a group that ignores it.And 343 could get much better data on how people are enjoying the game than relying on forum feedback (which is always biased)

  • Upvote (+1) 2

Share this post


Link to post

But that isn't nor was it ever the reason Halo was popular. This became a popular game precisely because it offered so much and put it all on the forefront for people to experience.

 

You're very right. But modern games are simply very different to how games were back during the days of Halo 2/3/Reach. We see games like CS:GO and Overwatch gaining and maintaining massive popularity while games that don't particularly 'specialise' being given much praise for the variety that they offer but falling off the radar relatively quickly. Most certainly there are many factors that impact this trend, but one thing to note is that games which maintain a large following and maintains a playerbase for long periods of time almost always have a dedicated competitive experience and a core, premier game mode identical at all levels of play. 

 

The moment the playerbase begins to drop, it becomes a cycle of exponential losses as players see that popularity decreases and hence decide to stop playing the game themselves. 

 

I'm not saying that we should cut off everything other than the core experience of Halo - I know that's basically akin to killing off Halo entirely. But there's a reason why existing major competitive games are also the games which possess the largest and longest lasting player populations, and for Halo to succeed and to compete against them, it needs to find the key points of those games' successes and emulate them. 

 

As an additional note, I'd like to draw a parallel between Halo and CS:GO. CS:GO's premier game mode is it's 5v5, round based bomb defusal game mode. Basically all players know exactly what it is, how it works, and play it fairly regularly. However, there are many other modes of play (Which are not ranked modes) which are all very well populated - because the game has such a large following - much like Halo. There are tons of maps which are made by players - some of which are placed into official matchmaking during certain time periods - much like Halo. And there is a server browser with many, many player hosted servers, some of which are run to emulate the competitive game modes and some of which run wacky, player-made, non-competitive game modes as well - much like Halo, now that it has a custom game browser. In essence, it's proof that a FPS game can possess a premier, core game mode that is pushed by the developer to be the 'main' thing, yet still provide so many other different modes of play, some created by the developer and some run completely by players. This system works.

 

I'm going to say that this is the exact opposite of what 343 needs to do. Some amount of players enticed by a wide variety of casual offerings will drift into the competitive scene naturally. But if there's no reason for someone to pick up this game, then everyone loses.

 

See above: A developer can push for a single premier mode while still offering many different styles of play, casual and competitive.

 

Furthermore: I think competitive players are, in general, the ones who will most commonly play the longest and play the most - they're the ones who keep the player population count up, as they're the ones who will keep coming back and keep grinding. Of course there are exceptions, but it's part of the reason why I think having a really polished competitive game mode is so important - it hooks players. This prevents the problem I mentioned above where decreases in the player population encourages even more of the same to happen. In fact, it could lead to the opposite to happen - the more players who get hooked, the greater the population, and hence the more enticing the hook becomes.

 

All you need to do to realize that the majority of Halo fans aren't interested in competitive Halo is to browse Waypoint or /r/Halo and compare them to equivalent communities in LoL, CS, Dota, etc.

 

1) How does the comparison show this? Please explain.

 

2) I do agree that the communities of those games are more interested in the competitive aspect, but that's because the developers pushed for it to be so. The majority of fans being interested in the competitive aspect of the game isn't a reason to push for a core, premier game mode - rather, it is a consequence. Players are pushed and rewarded to play the exact same game mode as pro players in the competitive circuit and hence gain understanding as well as interest in the pro scenes themselves. 

 

Someone said earlier that the majority of LoL players do not play ranked but instead play normals. That's true - but nonetheless normals is identical to the core mode itself, and regardless of what the 'majority' plays, Riot (League's developer) continually pushes, refines, and incentivises the ranked game mode, because they know that doing so will only lead to a positive impact on the game in the long run.

 

Is it any surprise to anyone that competitive players feel their preferred mode has become to casualized and casual players believe theirs has become too competitive?

 

No. But that's what both sides want fixed! :)

  • Upvote (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post

Ok I think if we are going to try to draw parallels between Halo and other games we have to be sure that our conclusions are not informed by our biases.

 

Yes CS:GO, LoL are massively successful while having competitive play at the center of the experience.

 

But correlation does not neccisarily = causation. And attempts at emulation will not neccisarily yield the same results.

 

The biggest flaws in these comparisons are the completely different markets, audiences, and business models.

 

While discussing matters of population sustainability, we can't ignore the positive impact of being on PC, being f2p/cheap, and having low system requirements.

 

On consoles, there really aren't many examples of the competitive experience driving player retention. When you look at the games that remain at the top of the most played it's GTA, Minecraft, Destiny, Pro Sports and COD- all examples were the social experience reigns supreme

  • Upvote (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post

While discussing matters of population sustainability, we can't ignore the positive impact of being on PC, being f2p/cheap, and having low system requirements.

 

On consoles, there really aren't many examples of the competitive experience driving player retention. When you look at the games that remain at the top of the most played it's GTA, Minecraft, Destiny, Pro Sports and COD- all examples were the social experience reigns supreme

 

Was just about to post this. H5 is still closer to something like BF or CoD than LoL or CSGO: It's a full price AAA console shooter that is mostly played for fun in pubs with a comparatively small competitive community.

 

Competitive console FPS died when Halo stopped being good. Overwatch has a decent competitive following, but the highest level of play will be on PC and not consoles.

Share this post


Link to post

Was just about to post this. H5 is still closer to something like BF or CoD than LoL or CSGO: It's a full price AAA console shooter that is mostly played for fun in pubs with a comparatively small competitive community.

 

Competitive console FPS died when Halo stopped being good. Overwatch has a decent competitive following, but the highest level of play will be on PC and not consoles.

I'm very curious to see what kind of legs overwatch has. I don't think it will have the lasting appeal Destiny has on consoles.

 

I think the key to longevity in this space is being exemplary when it comes to social. Having a strong focus on competitive while stimultaneous knocking social out of the top is the path for halo to take a seat at the tip top.

 

We've got to get back to being best in class in all categories

Share this post


Link to post

Overwatch is a new franchise. Halo is wayyyyyy too developed at this point to go back to down to one ranked list.

  • Upvote (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post

Overwatch is a new franchise. Halo is wayyyyyy too developed at this point to go back to down to one ranked list.

One ranked list is more of an ideological idea to convey the message of competition. Isn't necessarily required for Halo.

 

Majority of us are in agreeance that 4v4, 2v2, and FFA should be the ranked lists, being Halo's core competitive modes.

Share this post


Link to post

One ranked list is more of an ideological idea to convey the message of competition. Isn't necessarily required for Halo.

 

Majority of us are in agreeance that 4v4, 2v2, and FFA should be the ranked lists, being Halo's core competitive modes.

I don't agree. H3 was the peak of halo's popularity and it's variety was a huge part of that.

 

Population and the literal mechanics of creating functional ranked/social lists should be the only deciding factor. Having ranked swat didn't negatively effect the MLG list.

Share this post


Link to post

Can we all agree that at the least SWAT, snipers and breakout have no business being ranked?

 

As a sniper kid at heart in H2/H3 this makes me sad but the snipers playlists have been garbage since then anyway so it wouldn't be much of a loss.

  • Upvote (+1) 3

Share this post


Link to post

I don't agree. H3 was the peak of halo's popularity and it's variety was a huge part of that.

 

Population and the literal mechanics of creating functional ranked/social lists should be the only deciding factor. Having ranked swat didn't negatively effect the MLG list.

This was just under a decade ago. Halo didn't really have competition then. It does now. 

  • Downvote (-1) 1

Share this post


Link to post

This was just under a decade ago. Halo didn't really have competition then. It does now.

Is not that much competition is that games evolved and now every game just focus on one experience and it's really good at it. You can't cruise on having decent variety.

Share this post


Link to post

This was just under a decade ago. Halo didn't really have competition then. It does now.

I think what he's saying is the presence of a ranked SWAT list (or any other playlist) doesnt prevent the game from offering a killer Competitive offering AND a killer social offering.

 

The concepts arent mutually exclusive. There are a TON of things 343 can do to highlight Team Arena as the true competitive experience without degrading the experience in other parts of the game.

Share this post


Link to post

Ranked SWAT did undermine the meaning of a 50, though. Then again everyone and their mother were buying 50s back then so I guess it didn't really matter.

  • Upvote (+1) 2

Share this post


Link to post

Ranked SWAT did undermine the meaning of a 50, though. Then again everyone and their mother were buying 50s back then so I guess it didn't really matter.

Not really. Getting a 50 in swat didn't carry the same esteem as getting in it hardcore slayer or objective

Share this post


Link to post

Not really. Getting a 50 in swat didn't carry the same esteem as getting in it hardcore slayer or objective

Well of course, but your service record displayed highest rank achieved with no mention of playlist. That can be corrected in H6 though.
  • Upvote (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post

Well of course, but your service record displayed highest rank achieved with no mention of playlist. That can be corrected in H6 though.

Oh I see. I didn't remember that

Share this post


Link to post

Oh I see. I didn't remember that

This is the whole point. We only need 1 ranked playlist that determines how good someone is. You can have other distinctions for the other playlists, but your rank or border should distinguish how good you are and it should be clear to everyone who sees it.
  • Upvote (+1) 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.