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Infinity

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

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When you have to put a TL;DR as a separate post....

 

This may take me a while to get through but i probably agree lol

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It's too much to respond to in pieces so I'll just try to sum it up. I feel so much of it is directly compared to other competitive games, most of which offer nowhere near the variety of game play that Halo can offer, so forcing ranked into just one or two modes might fit your preference but alienate a larger portion of players. I think we disagreed on MCC's playlist management before, although that's a different beast. I 100% felt that combining the games in playlists absolutely killed the population for those who bought the game specifically to play their favorite version, where I believe you felt that it would spread the playerbase to thin.

 

I just can't get behind the idea of only one ranked playlist. Imagine if bungie released Halo 2 and only Team Hardcore was ranked. While that sounds completely awesome to me that everyone would now be forced to play the competitive mode for a competitive rank, it just alienates so many others. I had tried my ass off to get high up in the head to head playlist, minor and major clan match, I ended up with like a 37 in BTB. 

 

I think the divisions and stuff were a good idea in Halo but implemented poorly. Part of my lack of motivation stems beyond the ranking system and comes from just a core gameplay standpoint, but the divisons/CSR/SR do nothing to keep me interested or engaged. So I agree with I guess the overall majority of your post.

 

I feel like you put too much work into this to include a few small snarky comments that might prevent them from responding.

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It's too much to respond to in pieces so I'll just try to sum it up. I feel so much of it is directly compared to other competitive games, most of which offer nowhere near the variety of game play that Halo can offer, so forcing ranked into just one or two modes might fit your preference but alienate a larger portion of players. I think we disagreed on MCC's playlist management before, although that's a different beast. I 100% felt that combining the games in playlists absolutely killed the population for those who bought the game specifically to play their favorite version, where I believe you felt that it would spread the playerbase to thin.

 

I just can't get behind the idea of only one ranked playlist. Imagine if bungie released Halo 2 and only Team Hardcore was ranked. While that sounds completely awesome to me that everyone would now be forced to play the competitive mode for a competitive rank, it just alienates so many others. I had tried my ass off to get high up in the head to head playlist, minor and major clan match, I ended up with like a 37 in BTB.

 

I think the divisions and stuff were a good idea in Halo but implemented poorly. Part of my lack of motivation stems beyond the ranking system and comes from just a core gameplay standpoint, but the divisons/CSR/SR do nothing to keep me interested or engaged. So I agree with I guess the overall majority of your post.

 

I feel like you put too much work into this to include a few small snarky comments that might prevent them from responding.

 

I appreciate you coming in with counterpoints. I've actually got to head to work right now but I'll be responding to literally everyone who posts in this thread during my lunch break. I'll respond to your points then :)

 

Edit: However I will address one thing you said right now. I don't necessarily think Halo ever will or should have only one ranked list. I only mentioned that as an ideological note. My perfect ranked selection for Halo 5 has always been Team Arena, FFA, and Doubles.

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Good write ups, the same thing was talking the other day with a few friends. We got demolished by a Team with Onyx 2500+ , that is like me matching silver players and destroying them.

I have played multiple ranked games (LoL, Starcraft2, HeroesoftheStorm, etc) and I was never matched with someone 2 tiers above or below me.

Edit: and Heroes have really long match times 5-10 minutes, and I prefer that to get an unfair match.

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@@Teapot - i think the comparison to other competitive games is warranted, especially given that the ones being quoted are killing us right now.  Maybe not LoL so much since its a different audience, but Overwatch for sure.  Lots of people here love Halo but play Overwatch instead because its has a better MM experience overall, including ranking.

 

To your point about the BTB grind.  If that had never been an option in the first place, would you have noticed or missed it?  I don't mean BTB as playlist period, just the ranked aspect of it.  Impossible to tell after the fact, but I would guess no.  343 needs to pay a lot of attention to social, BTB included (some dev-maps that dont have shit framerate would be nice for starters....) but ranking it isn't necessary.  BTB is just an example that could be applied to anything not 4v4, 2v2 or FFA.

 

@@Infinity - i agree with pretty much everything here.  I really just have a couple of additions/tweaks i wanted to throw out there:

 

Social Progression Ranking - The implementation of proper per-playlist social ranks like the military ranks in Halo 3 would help to bridge the gap for people that might feel slighted when their favorite playlist is removed from ranked. They could still say, "i have XXXX xp in this list out of YYYY games" etc. And lets be honest, the reason someone would be upset with that is most likely due to the fact that it was the list they were able to get the highest rank in to show off, not because they are actually convinced it's more competitive.  Plus, this little detail is just kinda nice, dotcha think?  Double XP weekends used to be a great way to get people to play, why not again?

 

Ranked Party Searching Restrictions - Instead of restricting parties from even searching for a game if their ranks are too far apart, just "pull" the lower level players up to an acceptable level.  If for example, you decide that 1 rank up or down is appropriate for matching parties and you have a Silver partied up with a Diamond, the system should make that Silver search like they are a Platinum.  The backend could be a little more complicated and take their actual numerical CSRs into account, especially at higher ranks, but on the front end that's how it could be explained to the player.  

 

And thats another point, ALL OF THIS NEEDS TO BE EXPLAINED TO THE PLAYERS.  In a succinct manner, in real-time so people can inform themselves how they are getting matched and ranking up while they are actually playing the game and not have to come to some forums or a Waypoint article to try to piece everything together.

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TL;DR

 

M0SKTmF.jpg

Ok I'm not following you on problem number one. All available data indicates that the CSR Rankings are deliberately set so that the population distribution follows the standard deviation curve. This makes sense because it curves the ranking so that most players are considered average (golds/plat). Few players are silver, few players are so mechanically bad that they can't get promoted. Similarly, few people actually make it into onyx.

 

The reason that the onxy rank has a wide net is likely because of the skill gap amongst the top few percent of players is artificially inflated by a lack of consideration for the impact of playing in a party. The wide net isn't actually catching more onxy players than it should. Only A tiny portion of the playerbase qualifies for onyx

 

7Jq2Nas.jpg

Note: the curve should be more rounded now that they allow demotion between divisions.

 

 

When the game first launched it followed an even distribution curve. I.e. the divisions were setup so that there would be a similar amount of people in each.

 

This didn't work well, especially at the ends of the spectrum because most people are actually average or close to it, but everyone had to be destributed evenly throughout the spectrum. This mean if you were in the bottom or top of the skill spectrum, your division was likely to be filled with people way worse or way better than you.

 

It also meant that progessing through the middle ranks was a chore because everyone placed between gold and diamond was actually very close in true skill.

 

Everything else you said makes sense though.

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Long time lurker here, great write up @@Infinity.

I think your ideas would be great changes, I don't necessarily agree with one playlist being the only ranked competitive play in halo just because halo has always had that diversity.

My biggest issues.
1. Solo Queue vs Teams.
2. The gap of Onyx 1500- Champ is a grind that just gets reset, so as someone who plays a moderate amount say 10 hours a week and know even if I consistently beat a champ I still won't be able to climb to champ because of the time it takes to grind.
3. Not enough reward for beating higher ranks teams/opponents. Our team of majority diamonds beats 4 Onyx 1800s and we get minimal rank increase, typically not a noticeable difference vs beating opponents that are below our ranks.
4. The ELO distribution in H5 makes every division below diamond pointless. I can't even tell you the division order between the lowest division up to diamond because I rarely see them. Why is there an ELO range of 4500 in the Onyx division but only 300 between others?

I think our ranking system also suffers due to decreased player population which in and of itself was because of the botched ranking system. A progressive division based ranking system needs a player base to allow for clear distinct levels of players between divisions.

In halo 5 I think majority of players below platinum play warzone or social now because you can just match against ranks two tiers above you (or smurfs) and get shit on. How is that any fun?

I don't know the exact fix to our issues but I do know the tweaks and balances you suggested would be a great start.

I've been around since beginning of H2 and have typed my fair share of novels regarding fixes and halo and at this point have simply become pessimistic about any post-launch fixes. The only ranking based post launch fixes we generally see are game breaking issues that simply have to be fixed for the game to work. Other ranking fixes post-launch are typically dealing with quitters or idle players, they spend more time fixing issues regarding the .1% of bad players and don't spend any time fixing issues that 99.9% of players would truly benefit from.

Good stuff, I really really wish 343 would consider your input.

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I agree with most of this, but if 343 were to implement these things, I could only imagine mountains of negative feedback. People had to fight tooth and nail to get ranked doubles/snipes and it kinda sucks they'll have it taken away. But like you said, it's a tough pill to swallow.

 

I think we should have 3 ranked playlists:

 

Arena

Doubles

FFA

 

Obviously they need to be done right and I'd argue that none of them have been done decently in H5. 

 

Come to think of it, would you be cool if I wrote my own response to this within the next week or so? 

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Hey all! Loving the discussion so far. Like I said to Teapot, I'm going to respond to EVERYONE on my lunch break that is in a few hours, regardless of whether we agree or disagree. I really want this to be a back and forth between everyone—the community AND 343.

 

Additionally, some people on r/Halo critiqued the closing of the post for being a bit harsh and unprofessional, but I deemed it warranted considering the amount of time and thought I put into the rest of the essay. Thanks to everyone who had my back, hopefully the occasional 'shit' and 'fuck' aren't enough to deter 343 from having a conversation with us.

 

I agree with most of this, but if 343 were to implement these things, I could only imagine mountains of negative feedback. People had to fight tooth and nail to get ranked doubles/snipes and it kinda sucks they'll have it taken away. But like you said, it's a tough pill to swallow.

 

I think we should have 3 ranked playlists:

 

Arena

Doubles

FFA

 

Obviously they need to be done right and I'd argue that none of them have been done decently in H5.

 

Come to think of it, would you be cool if I wrote my own response to this within the next week or so?

I agree with that lineup, and I would love to read your write up as well!

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Ok I'm not following you on problem number one. All available data indicates that the CSR Rankings are deliberately set so that the population distribution follows the standard deviation curve. This makes sense because it curves the ranking so that most players agree considered average (golds/plat) Few players are silver, because 1 year in few players are so mechanically bad that they can't get promoted. Similarly, few people actually make it into onyx.

 

The reason that the onxy rank has a wide net is likely because of the skill amongst the top few percent of players is artificially inflated by a lack of consideration for the impact of playing in a party. The wide net isn't actually catching more onxy players than it should. A tiny portion of the playerbase qualifies.

 

7Jq2Nas.jpg

 

 

When the game first launched it followed an even distribution curve. I.e. the divisions were setup so that there would be a similar amount of people in each.

 

This didn't work well, especially at the lower ends of the spectrum because most people are actually average or close to it, but everyone had to be destributed evenly throughout the spectrum. This mean unless you were right in 50th percentile of skill, your division was likely to filled with people way worse or way better than you.

 

We would need a newer graph from the end of a longer season after the change they made that allows players to drop levels to really make any conclusions about the true distribution of player skill.  That graph is only from 1 month and it was before they made the change that allows players that were placed too high to drop down levels.  And that graph should probably cull out any players that only played to get their rank, then never played again that season.  There are just too many issues with its creation to be able to rely on it to draw firm conclusions.

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Sorry for double post haha

 

Just want to clarify once again that I don't actually think having STRICTLY one ranked playlist is the correct route. It strongly depends on the competitive viability of certain modes/lists as well as the resources 343 chooses to allocate to maintain them. Very few resources have been put into Doubles and FFA, for example.

 

Ok I'm not following you on problem number one. All available data indicates that the CSR Rankings are deliberately set so that the population distribution follows the standard deviation curve. This makes sense because it curves the ranking so that most players are considered average (golds/plat). Few players are silver, few players are so mechanically bad that they can't get promoted. Similarly, few people actually make it into onyx.

 

The reason that the onxy rank has a wide net is likely because of the skill gap amongst the top few percent of players is artificially inflated by a lack of consideration for the impact of playing in a party. The wide net isn't actually catching more onxy players than it should. Only A tiny portion of the playerbase qualifies for onyx

 

7Jq2Nas.jpg

Note: the curve should be more rounded now that they allow demotion between divisions.

 

 

When the game first launched it followed an even distribution curve. I.e. the divisions were setup so that there would be a similar amount of people in each.

 

This didn't work well, especially at the ends of the spectrum because most people are actually average or close to it, but everyone had to be destributed evenly throughout the spectrum. This mean if you were in the bottom or top of the skill spectrum, your division was likely to be filled with people way worse or way better than you.

 

It also meant that progessing through the middle ranks was a chore because everyone placed between gold and diamond was actually very close in true skill.

 

Everything else you said makes sense though.

I'm going to respond to this in full later because I agree, that is the one segment that might have had some inaccuracies! However, the April 2016 ELO range was a lot different than it is now. Talk soon!

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I think you're going way to far calling players cowards/babies for playing the Slayer playlist. People aren't going to gauge your intent well when you proceed to insult them.

 

Other than that paragraph, the rest was an enlightening, enjoyable read.

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Great write up.

 

My number one gripe with the ranking system is the fact that it doesn't tell me where I rank as a Halo player and makes ranks seems more like a grind meter than a measure of skill. I start a new season out and get placed Plat I or II almost every season. I play inconsistently throughout and eventually get my aim back up so I'm playing Diamond and even Onyx players and winning some of those matches. But I'm still Plat II or III when I play these guys because I haven't been grinding out a bunch of consecutive wins, I've been playing solo and erratically and lose a good 40% of my games.

 

So when I'm Plat and beating these Diamond and Onyx players I'm matched against is it because I've reach a higher level of skill that my rank isn't reflecting? When people see that I'm Plat are they thinking that I must be worse than all Diamond players even though I beat Diamond players? Am I properly in Plat but those players don't deserve their ranks and they just haven't been demoted yet?

 

In other games like Starcraft, when you start playing better your MMR adjusts so you start playing people with similar MMRs, regardless of leagues, and if you maintain that MRR you get promoted to that league, even if that means you're skipping a league (I once got promoted from Bronze to Gold in SC2). H5 makes you keep your league and grind out wins to get into the new league even when you're already there it seems. It's hard to tell where you rank and isn't telling you that you're making progress (and thereby encouraging you to keep playing).

 

 

As a side note, I would love to see a 1v1 playlist in H5. If we can't keep solo queue players from matching against To4s, it's a great alternative solo ranked experience to FFA. H5 could be one of the better 1v1 Halo games given the mechanics and the great Forge mode in the game to design maps specifically for 1v1s. I know that making a good playlist would involve having to have map makers make those maps and people to test them and the 1v1 interest is probably low, which is a shame because I think it could be higher and support a playlist if it already existed. If we could make good maps it'd have interest, but because good maps aren't going to be made because we don't have the interest there already. Such a conundrum.

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I think you're going way to far calling players cowards/babies for playing the Slayer playlist. People aren't going to gauge your intent well when you proceed to insult them.

 

Other than that paragraph, the rest was an enlightening, enjoyable read.

That wasn't meant as a jab to people who play slayer. It's more of an underlying psychological issue (343 creating artificial excuses for players to not play Team Arena).

 

Cowards way out is just an expression I used, I didn't necessarily mean those players are cowards.

 

Thanks for reading :)

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Hey all! Loving the discussion so far. Like I said to Teapot, I'm going to respond to EVERYONE on my lunch break that is in a few hours, regardless of whether we agree or disagree. I really want this to be a back and forth between everyone—the community AND 343.

 

Additionally, some people on r/Halo critiqued the closing of the post for being a bit harsh and unprofessional, but I deemed it warranted considering the amount of time and thought I put into the rest of the essay. Thanks to everyone who had my back, hopefully the occasional 'shit' and 'fuck' aren't enough to deter 343 from having a conversation with us.

 

 

I agree with that lineup, and I would love to read your write up as well!

Maybe if you weren't so negative we would actually have a discussion :kappa:

 

Great post btw.

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"Cowards way of playing 4v4"

 

Yea man fuck people for playing what they want to play.

 

All in all good post but comments like this aren't really helping your case

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That wasn't meant as a jab to people who play slayer. It's more of an underlying psychological issue (343 creating artificial excuses for players to not play Team Arena).

 

Cowards way out is just an expression I used, I didn't necessarily mean those players are cowards.

 

Thanks for reading :)

I know that's not what you meant, but damn. As a Slayer player, I felt incredibly disrespected by that.

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We would need a newer graph from the end of a longer season after the change they made that allows players to drop levels to really make any conclusions about the true distribution of player skill. That graph is only from 1 month and it was before they made the change that allows players that were placed too high to drop down levels. And that graph should probably cull out any players that only played to get their rank, then never played again that season. There are just too many issues with its creation to be able to rely on it to draw firm conclusions.

Allowing people to drop ranks would only make it MORE of a normal standard deviatiom curve.

 

We know enough with thia data to know that the system is DESIGNED to have a Standart deviation. Not to make the onyx division top heavy. Longer seasons wouldnt change that. In fact they would make it more accurate.

 

There's also no statistical reason to cull players who stopped after getting their rank... it's a standard deviation, you'd have a graph that looks similar, but has fewer data points.

 

Sure you can criticize my decision to challenge is conclusion based on the data set being old, but you should also criticize his for having no supporting data set at all, and for it actual running counter to how we know the system is weighted.

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I understand the argument against having too many playlists, but I...

 

1) enjoy collecting top tier ranks across playlists, whether they be 50s, onyxs, etc.

2) also don't want to go through another Halo w/ unranked 2v2 or FFA, so don't give anyone any ideas (even if you backed away from that extreme)

 

Give a solo queue and offer some rank incentive bling and I'd be perfectly happy despite what other warts remain.

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If Halo had longer seasons eventually top champions would get to 10 000 Onyx . We need to change the CSR distribution of all tiers.

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I barely play or even never play halo arena anymore Cuz... Time/solo and other factors.. All I gotta to say is... Eli decay is a must.. I don't wanna be in diamond anymore... I need plat. And I don't wanna play like crap on purpose and keep losing just to be in the same or skill bracket

 

It's freaking infuriating..

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It's too much to respond to in pieces so I'll just try to sum it up. I feel so much of it is directly compared to other competitive games, most of which offer nowhere near the variety of game play that Halo can offer, so forcing ranked into just one or two modes might fit your preference but alienate a larger portion of players. I think we disagreed on MCC's playlist management before, although that's a different beast. I 100% felt that combining the games in playlists absolutely killed the population for those who bought the game specifically to play their favorite version, where I believe you felt that it would spread the playerbase to thin.

 

I just can't get behind the idea of only one ranked playlist. Imagine if bungie released Halo 2 and only Team Hardcore was ranked. While that sounds completely awesome to me that everyone would now be forced to play the competitive mode for a competitive rank, it just alienates so many others. I had tried my ass off to get high up in the head to head playlist, minor and major clan match, I ended up with like a 37 in BTB. 

 

Variety isn't a bad thing, but Halo's version of variety is very toxic for its long-standing image. Because of Halo's lack of a centralized image, it makes implementing a ranking system extremely difficult. Hence why I'm not actually pushing for them to go with one ranked playlist. I think the first steps that need to be taken are utilizing the ranking system to highlight the core modes that are deemed competitive, because that is what a ranking system is intended for in the first place. For Halo 5, this would be Team Arena, Doubles, and FFA.

 

When Halo 5 launched, Halo had the most streamlined vision/image it ever had. Features were missing, obviously, but it was the first time a Halo developer seemed to have a clear vision for what they wanted the game to be.

 

@@Teapot - i think the comparison to other competitive games is warranted, especially given that the ones being quoted are killing us right now.  Maybe not LoL so much since its a different audience, but Overwatch for sure.  Lots of people here love Halo but play Overwatch instead because its has a better MM experience overall, including ranking.

 

This. If we want a ranking system to have an influence on Halo's future success, we should observe how other systems are successful in other games.

 

 

Ok I'm not following you on problem number one. All available data indicates that the CSR Rankings are deliberately set so that the population distribution follows the standard deviation curve. This makes sense because it curves the ranking so that most players are considered average (golds/plat). Few players are silver, few players are so mechanically bad that they can't get promoted. Similarly, few people actually make it into onyx.

 

The reason that the onxy rank has a wide net is likely because of the skill gap amongst the top few percent of players is artificially inflated by a lack of consideration for the impact of playing in a party. The wide net isn't actually catching more onxy players than it should. Only A tiny portion of the playerbase qualifies for onyx

 

7Jq2Nas.jpg

Note: the curve should be more rounded now that they allow demotion between divisions.

 

 

When the game first launched it followed an even distribution curve. I.e. the divisions were setup so that there would be a similar amount of people in each.

 

This is not true. The distribution curve has always had a higher peak around Gold/Platinum/Diamond, even since launch.

This didn't work well, especially at the ends of the spectrum because most people are actually average or close to it, but everyone had to be destributed evenly throughout the spectrum. This mean if you were in the bottom or top of the skill spectrum, your division was likely to be filled with people way worse or way better than you.

 

It also meant that progessing through the middle ranks was a chore because everyone placed between gold and diamond was actually very close in true skill.

 

Everything else you said makes sense though.

 

Red for a quick note.

 

That April distribution actually looks pretty solid, but as I discussed, the current disparity of CSR within Onyx/Champion is seriously bad, and that is affected by matchmaking, CSR gains/losses, and the global distribution.

 

As of this post, Onyx is comprised of over 12% of the Team Arena population, and Silver/Bronze only hold 5.6%. I'm not saying a dramatic shift is in order, but multiple factors affecting the current curve need to be addressed.

 

"Cowards way of playing 4v4"

 

Yea man fuck people for playing what they want to play.

 

All in all good post but comments like this aren't really helping your case

 

I'm going to edit the wording of that paragraph now, but people are grossly misinterpreting what my intentions were.

 

I play Slayer all the time. Players have the right to play what they want.

 

I once saw a post from a player on r/Halo that was asking for assistance on improving their Halo skill, citing their Slayer CSR for feedback. Moments like this frustrate me because there is virtually no reason to assess players skill in a playlist that is objectively easier than what is considered the "core" of Halo 5 (Team Arena). Having a static benchmark or a more condensed avenue to earn a skill assessment raises familiarity and synonymity between players.

 

I wasn't at all trying to insinuate that people who enjoy players are cowards.

 

I know that's not what you meant, but damn. As a Slayer player, I felt incredibly disrespected by that.

 

Read above. I play Slayer all the time and in no way was that my intention.

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