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Does Elitism Halt Growth?

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When I talk about "elitism", I may also mean the "competitiveness spirit" of the game that is dividing the Halo community as a whole. The Halo scene has always had a die-hard competitive scene, despite it's current size, however our die-hard competitive scene has been diminishing over years, at a faster rate than we have been adding people to get interested in it. This may have to do with the fact past Halo's we have seen people leave, and a lack of interest in the current players in the scene to try to hype up newer players. A lot of people here, are fans from Halo 1, 2 and possibly 3...but how many people have started competitive Halo in Halo Reach or Halo 4? Me personally, I started following the scene in 2005.

 

The most beneficial part of our scene in the peak years was that the game was so popular world-wide.No matter how marginal our competitive scene was, it was still large enough to self-sustain itself as a competitive gaming scene that had it's own scenes all over, all watching MLG, rather it be from East Coast, West Coast, UK, Australia, Poland, Mexico, et cetera. 

 

For years, there has been decline and while [we] always try to stress that Halo competitive's scene is not dying, we have others who, rather then saying it's dying are blaming the competitive scene for it's own decline. 

 

To point to some points for reference, I took a look at recent (as of a day or so ago) and as far back as a few months ago to show what I mean in the disconnect between current player opinions and the rivaling ideas that has halted people from maybe watching the game. If I must say myself, I think Call of Duty has done a better job with getting players more involved in their competitive scene. I think seeing an upward of 70-80k viewers for Call of Duty (with averages of 20k for smaller events), is something that should be noticed, because I do not even think that would've been possible with Halo 4.

 

The stigma of elitism is hurting the community a lot, and a community divided is not on it's way to gaining support from the developer, if we can't even peak the interest of other people who play Halo. 

 

Anyway, the proof is in the pudding: 

 

Suppressor Needs a Buff

 

Indecision on which precision rifle should be the strongest in one thing, but when one looks into the whole ecosystem of weapons in the game, some may find that a lot of the playerbase use a lot of different weapons for a lot of different game modes that may not be as stripped down and unwelcoming. A lot of that comes into play when you see posts that say:

 

Example4_zps92f25254.jpg

 

I mean, being put out of our comfort zone or playing a "certain" way is a stigma that has been stuck with us for years. The fact that we love the precision weapons, a certain movement speed, no vehicles. All these things are part of the "well I don't want Halo to be like that". I feel as if the people who feel this way are a lot more than the competitive set, just due to two main reasons:

 

1) The competitive community has supported the game less and less, with each new iteration.

 

2) The casual community, while moves on to other games faster, buy the game in larger numbers and thus, have a bit more of a say in the way the game is played.

 

 

Recently, though we have seen that the game has been altered in ways that have changed the meta game, with the BR being nerfed into the ground and all of that jazz. However, a lot of people don't even like that and point to [that] as a fact for the decline.

 

Example1_zps937d26fd.png

 

Then we get to the Campaign and all the other aspects of Halo. While we have a certain affinity for wanting spectator mode, better ranked mode, we see others who want to focus on the single player of the game.  Then we get threads like the following:

 

https://forums.halowaypoint.com/yaf_postst222801_Armor-attachments.aspx

 

A thread, that has recently been created that wants Halo 5 to have armor abilities. Just a search of the more popular forum, and the newer addition of Halo Xbox One, you can find a lot of similar threads:

 

https://forums.halowaypoint.com/yaf_postst222646_What-needs-to-come-back.aspx

 

 

If that is not enough examples of why, maybe Halo 5 might not even be better, but may even be more clouded, or most of the game, we can see from people who give genuine opinions about the competitiveness of the game and how they feel about what makes you good at the game:

 

Example2_zps3742d09b.png

 

 

 

Example3_zps0b08faf3.jpg

 

I feel like, we are so focused on making the most competitive shooter, we, as a community, are overlooking the fact that there are a lot more voices, in a lot more communities of Halo, hell just look at this Halo Facebook Group: click

 

We can see that a lot of people, from all over the world have these different focuses and while we are being told to "have faith" and things are getting done to help maintain the small Halo scene, we see very little done to expand, grow and nurture the scene.

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The thing that baffles me is how drastic they've changed the game. There's just been way too many negative additions to the game, while taking away some phenomenal aspects of the game (flag juggling, descope, camo, etc).

 

Obviously, everyone has their way they enjoy playing Halo now with AA's and what not, but those people would be having just as much fun if they never changed the game so drastically in Reach/4.

 

To me, it's not even making a game that's as competitive as can be out of the box. It's making a game that I'm used to and have played for years (CE-3) and not feel like I'm playing a new shooter that I'm unfamiliar with. We can make the game much more competitive by editing the settings and whatnot, but the out of the box game needs to be good. It needs to be fun. It needs to be Halo.

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What starts at the top, will trickle to the bottom - lets take a look.

 

IT started with the Halo we were given becoming worse.

 

MLG lowering prize $$

 

Then MLG dropped Halo

 

Which made well known players not care to play as much.

 

With that lack of motivation in combination with the terrible game we were given in H4, I completely can see how the decline has taken place.  

 

The one thing that "well known" players fail to realize is the trickle effect that they have caused with their own actions.

For YEARS (and I have been around since H1) top players have acted in a way that they were better than the rest of the community.  This sense of entitlement that we speak of, or "elitism" was birthed and passed on by upper echelon players. 

It started with charging for lessons and game time, then social media takes off and its all about how many followers they can have, how many retweets, subscribers etc etc..  They stopped showing up at the smaller events because, well there was no more big $$ prize pools, no more pro status, no pro lounge, no flight/hotel stipend. 

All in all if riding the coat tails of their own MLG placings did not yield them any type of personal reward or gratification, then they did not care about it.

 

This in turn has led to the rest of the (lets call them) amateur scene, thinking this is the way it is supposed to be.  Let me go to an event show up, make LBR3 and then act like I am Gods gift to Halo.  Do you see top "Pro's" or "Former Pro's" here on the forums on a frequent occasion?  Advocating for the community?  No...  because what is there to gain for them by being a part of the community.

 

In my opinion, this here, in these forums IS the Halo community - and to be honest I care more about what JakeDaSnake45 thinks who takes time out of his day to be a part of this community than I do some former Pro who thinks he is too good to be a part of it. 

 

Prime example: 27 mins ago - Matt Piper @F0RMAL

Want to hit 10k followers, it'd be awesome! Please RT I'd love you all

Expand

 

Oh and here is another good one from who else? A sud..

 

"If the whole world was listening to you, what would you say?

follow me on twitter ‎@suddoth1"

 

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Like the people who make the game, most of those people on Waypoint simply have no understanding of Halo and cannot logically back up any of their ludicrous opinions. Anyone who's ever tried to debate with any of those guys will know that it really is just a game of going around in circles and smashing your head against a brick wall. You can't tell them. They can't open their minds.

 

People do this all the time in all aspects of life but it's also particularly apparent in Halo and on the Waypoint forums - picking out an opinion, and instantly going on the defensive and refusing to give it up, rather than actually opening your mind and thinking about if it's right, wrong, logical or illogical.

 

Has the elitism of top players held us back? Somewhat - the people of Waypoint tend to use the stigma of "all players who are good at the game are elitists" as a sort of defence mechanism to try and prove that they're right, and an excuse to not open their minds to a more competitive side of Halo.

 

Ultimately though, we've watched the decline of Halo - it's no coincidence that Halo has become vastly less popular the less competitive it has become - but people just don't understand that.

 

It's not about how good you are, it's about your understanding. I've seen some pro's have some pretty stupid opinions which frankly shock me - just because you're good at something doesn't mean you've taken the time out to think about how the game plays, you could just be talented. Not all sports players make good sports coaches, if you see what I mean.

 

And, going back to the whole elitism thing, the way some pro's and other good players behave is despicable sometimes. Professional Halo will never be taken seriously until the professionals themselves start actually acting...like professionals. But it's all dead in the water now. Halo is at at all time low and I struggle to see it making much of a comeback with the next Halo. As long as Waypoint continues to be as moronic as it is, and we have Microsoft shafting 343i into making Halo like Cod, Halo has no chance of being as popular as it once was - and no popularity = tiny competitive scene, as we know all too well.

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I started halo in 2001 but competitive halo in reach mlg v7. Im a lot more 'progressive' than the majority of ppl here and even still I hate sprint/flinch/bad randomness. From my experiences, especially on THC the rampant elitism even on forums drove me away a few times. Whats worse is the conservative nature of these elitists; it was either you conform to their picture perfect idea of halo or you're 'posting like a waypointer'.

 

So in conclusion, I can say from personal experience that elitism even in implicit forms antagonises the wider community and stagnates growth.

 

 

The trick to uniting all communities is a} extensive custom game options or b} balancing gimmicks in a discreet manner that still pertains to the core (but again u'll get players that just say like "nope AAs will never work in any shape or form").

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I started halo in 2001 but competitive halo in reach mlg v7. Im a lot more 'progressive' than the majority of ppl here and even still I hate sprint/flinch/bad randomness. From my experiences, especially on THC the rampant elitism even on forums drove me away a few times. Whats worse is the conservative nature of these elitists; it was either you conform to their picture perfect idea of halo or you're 'posting like a waypointer'.

 

So in conclusion, I can say from personal experience that elitism even in implicit forms antagonises the wider community and stagnates growth.

 

 

The trick to uniting all communities is a} extensive custom game options or b} balancing gimmicks in a discreet manner that still pertains to the core (but again u'll get players that just say like "nope AAs will never work in any shape or form").

 

If everyone got equal representation (through custom games/playlists), there would be a lot less complaining on all sides. The lack of a sprint option was a punch in the face to competitive players. The lack of Flood options was a punch in the face to Infection players. The lack of Race in general drove out Race players, or forced them to adapt to something they don't want to play as much. SWAT stompers hate the way their CSR is set up. The only consistently well-treated community was for people, who in general, have less interest or experience in Halo, and that's bound to make people start generalizing.

 

I feel like the comp community has humbled after the 2 ton weight labeled "Reach" dropped on our heads, and Bungie pretty much said " f*** you" with a smile on their face.

 

For example, nobody would be this critical these days, even of BTB maps. 

http://www.majorleaguegaming.com/news/map-pack-pro-review

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I believe the divide happened when Halo 3 MLG kids went to bungie and started talking down to those kids. Saying that their preferred settings took more skill.

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There will always be elitism in community's, some worse than others. It depends on the demographic of the players in said community. In Halo, there's quite a big chunk that are probably between the ages of 13-16 who are still immature. There's not much we can really do about that.

 

I agree that elitism does prevent growth HOWEVER, I feel it's gotten worse in Halo 4 due to there being no divide between casuals and competitive players in MM. 

 

If H5 brings back that divide, where players can either play socially, for fun with no care about ranks, or players can play to win and try their ass off each game, then I think we'll see elitism towards others diminish slightly.  

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There will always be elitism in community's, some worse than others. It depends on the demographic of the players in said community. In Halo, there's quite a big chunk that are probably between the ages of 13-16 who are still immature. There's not much we can really do about that.

 

I agree that elitism does prevent growth HOWEVER, I feel it's gotten worse in Halo 4 due to there being no divide between casuals and competitive players in MM. 

 

If H5 brings back that divide, where players can either play socially, for fun with no care about ranks or players can play to win and try their ass off each game, then I think we'll see elitism towards others diminish slightly.  

Completely agree. I truly miss the ranked/social divide in Halo, because it just made the game that much more fun for everyone.

 

There are days I'm either playing bad, or with a friend who isn't the best but every time I go into Infinity Slayer. I'm facing decent people and I can never really just relax on the game.

 

Because of that, I play less and it ultimately makes the MM experience worse for everyone. If we bring back those divides, there will still be that small minority of elitists but not as drastic as it is now. 

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Elitism has been a problem in Halo 2, 3, and Reach.

 

The dilemma of whether to be a Spartan or Elite has seriously divided the community.

 

Not what you were expecting, hm?

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It's never been about the competitive community. The competitive community and MLG playlists have always been smaller than the social/casual playlists. People point to h4s shortcomings because it wasnt competitive enough, they're simply wrong, its because the social playlists werent fun (random personal ordinance, bad/limited maps, AAs like camo, boltshot, lack of loadout diversity over DMR/boltshot before weapon update TU). granted, a lot of those affect the competitive community as well, but many don't (just edit ordinance, remove boltshot, control what weapons/loadouts are on maps). but it doesnt work vice versa. You can add nosprint, descope, throw in BxR into TTD, you'll get a +200 population increase lol

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It's never been about the competitive community. The competitive community and MLG playlists have always been smaller than the social/casual playlists. People point to h4s shortcomings because it wasnt competitive enough, they're simply wrong, its because the social playlists werent fun (random personal ordinance, bad/limited maps, AAs like camo, boltshot, lack of loadout diversity over DMR/boltshot before weapon update TU). granted, a lot of those affect the competitive community as well, but many don't (just edit ordinance, remove boltshot, control what weapons/loadouts are on maps). but it doesnt work vice versa. You can add nosprint, descope, throw in BxR into TTD, you'll get a +200 population increase lol

 

The biggest problem is the game wasn't Halo at launch IMO just like Reach, then on top of that it was a poor quality MP experience almost universally. 

 

There was a huge number of competitive-casuals in the Halo community with H2+H3 that were lost in Reach+H4 with no ranked/clan play-lists and the bastardization of Arena-style Halo game-types like TS and CTF. These were the people that played Halo frequently but played a variety of game-types competitively,  with Reach and H4 there was only like one or two play-lists that were good for comp play thus the default comp Halo fan was alienated. I would say that the hardcore and comp-casual community being alienated is the biggest reason why H4's population dropped so fast and drastically.

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I think it absolutely does.

One of the quickest eays to turn people off of an online multiplayer game is when the community is extremely unwelcoming to those who do not share their viewpoint, or match up to their level of skill.

 

Dont agree with their opinion? You suck and your opinion is invalid.
Have a different opinion? You suck and your opinion is invalid.

Rank/skill not as high as theirs? You suck and your opinion is invalid.

Havent played the game as long as them? You suck and your opinion is invalid.

Etc, etc.

Many of the venom-spewing individuals dont seem to understand that by alienating others in such a way, you are effectively halting or slowing down the potential growth of the community you claim is "dying."

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I think it absolutely does.

 

One of the quickest eays to turn people off of an online multiplayer game is when the community is extremely unwelcoming to those who do not share their viewpoint, or match up to their level of skill.

 

Dont agree with their opinion? You suck and your opinion is invalid.

Have a different opinion? You suck and your opinion is invalid.

Rank/skill not as high as theirs? You suck and your opinion is invalid.

Havent played the game as long as them? You suck and your opinion is invalid.

Etc, etc.

 

Many of the venom-spewing individuals dont seem to understand that by alienating others in such a way, you are effectively halting or slowing down the potential growth of the community you claim is "dying."

 

Then why is LoL the most popular game in the world with one of the most notoriously unfriendly/troll communities ever? Why is DOTA 2 also so popular having one of the most elitist communities and  being one of the most un-accessible games out there? Why was H2's "voice proximity" abuse and rampant community of cheaters at high skill ranks able to hold a more consistent population than H4? 

 

Because real MP gamers LOVE  highly competitive gaming environments/high-stake games.

 

Welcome to MP video-games, where player skill and prestige matters and always will.

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Then why is LoL the most popular game in the world with one of the most notoriously unfriendly/troll communities ever? Why is DOTA 2 also so popular having one of the most elitist communities and  being one of the most un-accessible games out there?

 

Welcome to MP video-games, player skill and prestige matters and always will.

 

True, but isn't the LoL and DOTA demographic are little bit older as well?  This is pure speculation as I don't have any numbers to look at.  I imagine the younger "casual" demographic of the Halo community might take things said on forums and in other social media a bit differently.  Just a thought.

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Then why is LoL the most popular game in the world with one of the most notoriously unfriendly/troll communities ever?

 

Actually if you want to use LoL as an example, there are way more casuals than competitive players.

Bronze - 505,328 (45-99%) 55%

 

Silver - 300k (10-44%) 34%

Gold - 65k (2-9%) 7%

Platinum - 13k (.51-1.9%) 1.39%

Diamond - 4.6k (.01-.46%) .45%

 

So yeah, the bad attitude doesn't have to do with competitiveness or elitism, it has more to do with the age/maturity of the players playing LoL :apk:

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True, but isn't the LoL and DOTA demographic are little bit older as well?  This is pure speculation as I don't have any numbers to look at.  I imagine the younger "casual" demographic of the Halo community might take things said on forums and in other social media a bit differently.  Just a thought.

 

What do you consider "young" and what does that have to do with elitism? People of any age can be elitists in video-games, and I doubt the age demographic between Halo and LoL is significant.

 

The biggest difference between the games comes from Halo having many different various communities with different game-types/maps and LoL only having a couple ranked/unranked game modes on 2 maps which makes for a larger core community. Imagine if for example there a Halo game with 75 percent of people playing MLG settings and its variations it would be much easier to build a core community around that game.

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The biggest problem is the game wasn't Halo at launch IMO just like Reach, then on top of that it was a poor quality MP experience almost universally. 

 

There was a huge number of competitive-casuals in the Halo community with H2+H3 that were lost in Reach+H4 with no ranked/clan play-lists and the bastardization of Arena-style Halo game-types like TS and CTF. These were the people that played Halo frequently but played a variety of game-types competitively,  with Reach and H4 there was only like one or two play-lists that were good for comp play thus the default comp Halo fan was alienated. I would say that the hardcore and comp-casual community being alienated is the biggest reason why H4's population dropped so fast and drastically.

 

Agreed. This, IMO is the main reason for the downfall of Halo, the population drop, etc. There isn't a true "Team Slayer" playlist that plays like old Halo games. We may finally get that in Legendary BR's but it's been 10 months! Infinity Slayer may be the second highest playlist in population, but it still isn't as populated as previous Team Slayer gametypes.

 

People like to bash CoD for being the same thing year in and year out. I applaud them for that. It's why they've become so big. Could you imagine how many people would be pissed off if CoD started fooling around with the Team Deathmatch settings? Or completely removing it for a new "Infinity" Deathmatch. You can't alter your most played and popular playlist so dramatically and then be surprised when the majority leave and don't like your game.

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What do you consider "young" and what does that have to do with elitism? People of any age can be elitists in video-games, and I doubt the age demographic between Halo and LoL is significant.

 

The biggest difference between the games comes from Halo having many different various communities with different game-types/maps and LoL only having a couple ranked/unranked game modes on 2 maps which makes for a larger core community. Imagine if for example there a Halo game with 75 percent of people playing MLG settings and its variations it would be much easier to build a core community around that game

 

I would consider 15 and below to be young and my speculation in regards to elitism is purely on how someone whose a bit less mature might react negatively to an Elitist attitude.     

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Elitism has become a huge problem if you ask me. I've witnessed it because I'm a Halo Reach kid, and all the players that have played halo 3 and older have this idea that they're 'better' than me and all of a sudden I don't have the right to an opinion. It's bullcrap because I can say that I'm better than alot of the Halo 3/2/1 kids. 

 

Thats just my 2 cents though, use it, don't use it. 

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I think this is a good dialogue that should be kept up because the fact that a lot of people of our own small competitive community feel left or or judged because of what game they started with, especially since we are trying to grow the scene is something that is putting a strain on our numbers, viewers, attendance, teams, et cetera. 

 

*I'm not saying it's the main problem, but it is a problem

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Halo is losing to COD and other major eSports because Halo is Xbox-exclusive. Not everyone owns an Xbox; few that do can even get into the idea of Halo. Without the classic campaign: "Man all alone on an alien world must face zombies and aliens simultaneously, plus the aliens are religious," what do we have? A multiplayer experience that uses the same manipulations of human reward systems as hundreds of other games do today. 

 

Halos through Halo 3 rode the wave that the first Halo's campaign and MP created. The competitive scene rode the wave of Halo 1 LAN into Halo 2 online, which crescendoed into a bigger wave in Halo 2 and Halo 3 as we saw the rise of MLG. Meanwhile, behind the scenes MLG was just hoping that Halo would blow up even bigger so they could start actually making money off of it. Then, Reach came out and flopped. MLG saw that Halo wasn't going to explode like they had hoped, and saw an opportunity with SC2 and COD instead. So they dropped Halo and picked up the other games.

 

But in reality, it was partially the campaign of Halo 3 that guaranteed the decline of the Halo series. The grand story arc came to an end. What did we have left? A spinoff in the form of Reach that was released as a major Halo title, with a downgraded multiplayer from previous Halos in the name of "giving the new title its own voice." If that's the analogy at hand, then we're comparing Pavoratti to Nicki Minaj. With so many issues that we've managed to entertain ourselves for 2 years simply by arguing over them--and we'd rather do that than actually play the game--is it any wonder that populations dwindled?

 

Halo no longer has staying power. COD has the prestige system. We, however, get capped at 130 and can only then progress if we find it in our hearts to go online and check our CSR constantly. Does the average gamer do that? Hell no. So why did they think it would matter? O.o

 

The actions of the competitive community have had little to no bearing on the course of Halo. We are simply a derivation of the overall sustained multiplayer population, which in turn is a function of the game's power to motivate people to play it. A ranking system played a large part in this motivating through Halo 2 and 3. Now we have the 1-130 system (which caps quickly) and the 1-50 system (hard to access and not an improvement over the 1-50 Trueskill system, which was good but not perfect.)

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"The dislike for Terminal was unrelenting as I asked Gandhi for his thoughts on it. “It should be erased,” he said emphatically."

 

LOL i read that in his voice with extra emphasis on "erased" and instantly died of laughter.

 

 

 

MOVING FORWARD  :gandhi:

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