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CyReN

Halo World Championship 2018 Teams, Seeds, and Discussion‏

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There is a clear and obvious blueprint for success in the gameplay and feature set of the original trilogy, and a clear dropoff in popularity the moment it deviated from that. And yet somehow this lesson remains unlearned at 343. It's insanely frustrating from our perspective. That's why you get jaded, toxic forum posting. Our favorite franchise plummeted from a 9 year stay at the mountaintop into the depths of obscurity, and despite years of us shining a light on the exact steps that need to be retraced, we watch this studio fumble in the dark and struggle to find their way. It freaking wears on you, man.

Very important and well written paragraph. It truly often seems as if 343 doesn't know that they are working with a franchise which used to be massive. They are content with the dropoff in popularity and shift blame elsewhere despite the timing of the drop off being so clearly linked with deviations from the original trilogy formula.

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I do get it, and I do hear you - likely much more than you might think. First off, I can't speak really to other folks in other positions and scenarios, and not necessarily from a "can't talk about that" position (there is naturally a little bit of that), but also because I genuinely don't have the insight into that particular situation to speak with any real accuracy or authority on it. I can reiterate a bit the unfortunate reality of "corporate speak," and the fact that sometimes roles just change and folks move on to different eras of their life and job, and sometimes it's easier than you think for certain things (like interacting with a specific community) to fall by the wayside. It's not intentional, and it can totally suck to be on the community side of it for sure, but it can easily happen unfortunately.

 

Also, I think that there are many times where various communities (certainly not just this one) can give off the strong vibe that "listening" = "do what we want." Which is not the case. There are probably far more times than fans realize that particular viewpoints and stances are indeed heard, and by more than just the Community Team, but for whatever reason (and there are tons of possibilities), the direction that that specific group of fans want was not followed/taken. Quite often that leads immediately to cries of "they don't listen!" which is not true at all. So while I can assure you that I pass along an immense amount of information from a large variety of community sources on various topics (probably annoying other devs along the way lol), what I ask of you is that you don't necessarily judge my level of listening by what does or doesn't get "accomplished." If that feels fair.

 

Okay, a lot to unpack here, a bit too much to try and address individually so I'm just going to largely go with Lemon's suggestion of "I get it, and I hear you." That being said, a couple of things:

 

Your entire post is an interesting journey from a bit of a civilized middle finger at the start to a rather balanced piece of prose by the middle and end. If I may give you a gentle heads up...

 

"This community has been home to the most knowledgeable group of players long before 343 was ever a thing. We've always known what made Halo gameplay good, what has made it bad, and been able to articulate it better than literally any other Halo community. We're an incredible resource that has been largely untapped by the developer. We've always been eager for developer interaction and extremely grateful on the rare occasions it comes around."

 

That's a really unhelpful way to start. There are a ton of assumptions made and a lot of immutable stakes in the ground placed here. You literally followed up an opening statement of "you don't know what makes a productive discussion because all you want is for people to just agree with you" with a statement that says "we know what's best and if only 343 would listen to everything we say and agree, everything would be solved." Do you see how ridiculously off-putting that might be to a developer or would be community liaison? You've got people working on the game who have been successfully making games longer than anyone here (including myself) have even been playing Halo period - you might not necessarily agree with a decision they make, but they have absolutely earned the right to have the careers respected and to have some benefit of the doubt given based on sheer experience. Statements like yours make a job like mine infinitely tougher, because I'm now charged with not just defending a community's suggestions, but also its sources. In the words of the great philosophizer Jerry Maguire, "help me help you."

 

That being said, I completely understand your point about it being easy to become jaded. Like, trust me, more than you think.

 

Also, I appreciate you pointing me towards your article. I actually just got done reading it before responding to this post, and I have to tell you, it was incredibly well done. Like, I literally write for a living and am wondering why you aren't looking to get into either game design or maybe game journalism, because your article was really well done, and I appreciate the time and effort you put into crafting it. I'll certainly try and figure out palatable ways to pass along some of the messaging contained within because I think there are a lot of valuable points brought up in it, and while it might not necessarily make a direct difference in design choices, I think it deserves to be passed around some if possible. So again, thanks for sharing that.

 

Alright, I need to get back to work - this Community Update isn't gonna finish writing itself lol. <3

I’m really glad to have you here!!! What exactly is your title currently, if you don’t mind my asking?
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I don't agree with everything you're saying Grim, but I'm glad you're here to say it anyway.

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I'm just here for rent and associated real estate advice.

2 bed/1 bath, okay condition house, great neighborhood, south jersey shore, $1400

 

also you can geat a really nice ROI if you build an above ground pool and surround it with a deck, people love that shit

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No, it has, if productive discussion is what you're actually after, and not someone to just agree with you.

 

This community has been home to the most knowledgeable group of players long before 343 was ever a thing. We've always known what made Halo gameplay good, what has made it bad, and been able to articulate it better than literally any other Halo community. We're an incredible resource that has been largely untapped by the developer. We've always been eager for developer interaction and extremely grateful on the rare occasions it comes around.

 

But our suggestions, explanations and desires have gone ignored for so long (going all the way back to 2004), that it understandably makes folks jaded. We watched sprint and armor abilities and bloom drive competitive Halo into the ground in 2010 and 2011. Countless users on sites like this one wrote literal essays explaining why sprint is not only unnecessary, but outright detrimental to the game. Then we saw this company and all the people in the Vidocs that gushed about being able to work on Halo, with their first crack at making a Halo game, produce a game that abandoned almost everything that made it unique. We watched this company not understand the value in their own IP, look elsewhere in the industry for tacky trends to rip off, and nose dive Halo's relevance into the dirt in 2012 and 2013. That was the year all of our friends stopped playing Halo. That was the first year where people kind of looked at you funny when you talked about Halo, as if to say "You still play that?"

 

Those of us that stuck around continued, like an Alzheimer's patient, to try to reach out to key decision makers and explain where they went wrong with the gameplay. To an extent it helped. The Turbo update for Halo 4 improved the game enormously and made it at least resemble a Halo game again. It was still a dead and irrelevant game, and for good reason, but it seemed like we were heading in the right direction. Maybe we were getting through. 343 was hiring loads of people that seemed like they would be able to explain why certain things need to revert to the way they were, back when, you know, Halo was actually popular. And I'm convinced some of that came to fruition. I don't think we'd have static weapon spawns or descope back if it weren't for that. But then we see a leaked gameplay trailer on bloated Midship where people are God damned sprinting, again, and we just have to throw our arms in the air and wonder what the hell is going on over there.

 

There is a clear and obvious blueprint for success in the gameplay and feature set of the original trilogy, and a clear dropoff in popularity the moment it deviated from that. And yet somehow this lesson remains unlearned at 343. It's insanely frustrating from our perspective. That's why you get jaded, toxic forum posting. Our favorite franchise plummeted from a 9 year stay at the mountaintop into the depths of obscurity, and despite years of us shining a light on the exact steps that need to be retraced, we watch this studio fumble in the dark and struggle to find their way. It freaking wears on you, man.

 

There's a lot of good stuff I see come out of 343 too though, and I do believe 343's gameplay's general trajectory is positive (unlike Bungie's). You guys have introduced some awesome stuff, like the Customs Browser, vehicle seat switching, recentering the damn crosshair, you've brought back static weapon times, flag juggling and weapon nading. You guys actually give a shit about competitive Halo, unlike Bungie. There are loads of positive instances I see being introduced (or reintroduced) that are welcome changes, and it's been enough to keep my hope in you guys alive. But man, the 2 steps forward 1 step back routine has been maddening to watch over the years. The big picture gameplay is still not where it needs to be, despite a bottomless well of knowledge in this community that is eager to be consulted.

 

If you're still reading this, Grim, I articulated my frustrations far better than this in an article I wrote for this very site in the spring of 2014. It's linked in my sig below. When I go back and read it now, it's truly unfortunate how little has changed.

 

Probably the most well read post I've seen on TB in a while.  Couldn't have said it better myself.

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"This community has been home to the most knowledgeable group of players long before 343 was ever a thing. We've always known what made Halo gameplay good, what has made it bad, and been able to articulate it better than literally any other Halo community. We're an incredible resource that has been largely untapped by the developer. We've always been eager for developer interaction and extremely grateful on the rare occasions it comes around."

 

That's a really unhelpful way to start. There are a ton of assumptions made and a lot of immutable stakes in the ground placed here. You literally followed up an opening statement of "you don't know what makes a productive discussion because all you want is for people to just agree with you" with a statement that says "we know what's best and if only 343 would listen to everything we say and agree, everything would be solved." Do you see how ridiculously off-putting that might be to a developer or would be community liaison? You've got people working on the game who have been successfully making games longer than anyone here (including myself) have even been playing Halo period - you might not necessarily agree with a decision they make, but they have absolutely earned the right to have the careers respected and to have some benefit of the doubt given based on sheer experience. Statements like yours make a job like mine infinitely tougher, because I'm now charged with not just defending a community's suggestions, but also its sources. In the words of the great philosophizer Jerry Maguire, "help me help you."

This part is really interesting in a lot of ways because it doesn't just touch on facts or numbers but instead it dips slightly into the realm of people's feeling of worth and accomplishment. People really get hung up here, myself included, because the game developer has years of experience and knowledge with their trade in making games but at the same time I have hundreds of thousands of games of Halo since 2001 between all of my XBL accounts and LANs. Literally years worth of time if I could somehow never sleep or do anything but play Halo to repeat it. Frankly its hard to stomach decisions like not being able to drop the flag in Halo 4 because as a player that was just a really obviously bad idea but to the veteran game designer it seemed like a change with reason and logic behind it. I don't know how you bridge the gap between those two people and let the designer create new and interesting things but still impart the experience that would give them the insight to understand the nuance of how people actually play Halo that would prevent them from making a really reasonable, logical, and bad change. That isn't to say the experienced player is always right either. People have to remember that game developers with zero Halo experience made Halo CE to begin with and to a lesser extent every other game in the series.

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I'm really, really glad you're here.

Opens PM, got an job offer from 343, stops posting on Beyond, H6 comes out and it's a battle royale hero shooter game.

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Feel free to keep an eye on on things here. :-) 

Main page of 343 jobs, Tashi with his dota tshirt on. 10/10

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You literally followed up an opening statement of "you don't know what makes a productive discussion because all you want is for people to just agree with you" with a statement that says "we know what's best and if only 343 would listen to everything we say and agree, everything would be solved." Do you see how ridiculously off-putting that might be to a developer or would be community liaison?

 

It's off-putting because 343 as whole doesn't understand they didn't just inherit a franchise. They didn't even just inherit this community. They inherited years of frustration in which Bungie didn't give a rat's ass about us. It may seem unfair and off-putting that you have to deal with our frustrations that didn't even begin with you, but think of it like this. If 343's first reaction to our blunt attitudes is to disappear and not speak to us, you're just doing same thing that Bungie did to cause the frustration you so dislike dealing with in the first place.

 

I don't doubt it's tough being a game developer. I also don't doubt that it's tough dealing with this community. I can tell you right now, we've been tired for a long time. To the point where a lot of us can't even filter our anger out of our criticisms properly. So I get it. We're difficult. But we're only difficult because we've never had a consistent dialogue with the main developer of Halo and it's not because WE didn't try. If 343 is more concerned with the tone of our criticisms rather than the actual criticisms themselves, then they still don't get it.

 

I can't promise you that we'll be nice every time we criticize 343's vision of Halo. Just like you can't promise us that anything we say will enact change. But if you're able to stick around, then you'd be the first. So, I welcome you.

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I hope for Halo 6 343 update us on patches as frequent as Epic Games with Fortnite. I swear there is a new patch update with notes for Fortnite every week and its awesome.

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I hope for Halo 6 343 update us on patches as frequent as Epic Games with Fortnite. I swear there is a new patch update with notes for Fortnite every week and its awesome.

 

I hope that some of the reason Halo 6 looks like it is going to have a longer development timeline is because they are re-architecting everything to be able to accept more frequent updates with less risk. The H5 engine is based off older versions of halo's engine (which were based off older versions) which can get squirrely.  I know where i work we deal with this all the time. We have some real legacy code that has to interact with modern .NET stuff all the time and anytime you make a change its risky as hell.  its often better to just rip out the legacy code and totally rewrite it, but that's also a lot of work.

 

Games as a Service are definitely the way forward for multiplayer games but the only way to do that is to be able to push out patches and content updates regularly ad infinitem.  I choose to believe that the recent addition of oddball, weapon tuning and the announced future weapon tuning are serving as a litmus test for Halo 6+.

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One thing I did really enjoy about Halo 3 (and its a very small thing), was the way the Spartans' you sniped would do backflips and whatnot in mid air. It was a small little addition, but it added to the theatricality of sniping.

This. It made it so satisfying. Did all headshots do this in either h1 or h2

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Main page of 343 jobs, Tashi with his dota tshirt on. 10/10

Why wouldn't he? DOTA 2 is godlike.

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This. It made it so satisfying. Did all headshots do this in either h1 or h2

You could backflip someone in H2 as well. H1 had the ballerina twirl animation, which was satisfying as hell in its own right.

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Fundamentally, there is no point in discussing anything else until 343 confirms that the aiming system will be normal for H6. 

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