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Halo 5: Guardians Discussion

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A solid competitive game is fun for players of all skill levels. A casual game is for for no one.

Tell that to Halo 2,3, And the entire COD franchise. Casual first, with sizeable competitive niches carved out of that.

 

Go look at MKX sales, then go compare them to SFV. How'd that competitive focus pay off?

 

A game needs to first be a hit, then flexible enough to appeal to an audience of differing tastes.

 

The thing about halo is its flexible enough to be a competitive game AND a casual game, and everything in between, all on one disc. That's why it was a massive success. There's no need to choose one or the other. And there's certainly no reason the try to find a middle ground that pleases no one (ie H5)

 

Simply put, If your game can't appeal to the masses, your competitive focus is worthless.

 

Games need to be mindful of their DNA. It was never competitive settings that propelled Halo to the top of the video game industry.

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Trying to compromise and please everyone usually ends up pleasing no one, Halos success was based on the variety it offered it was never strictly one thing.

 

This has been a problem from the games launch, completely neglecting sections of the fanbase or asking them to compromise on what they want from the game and how they want to play it,no social playlists, no BTB, no griffball, no infection, no firefight at launch etc

And then we wonder why the population is as it is.

 

Best advice i can offer to 343 is to start delaying your games if you can't release a game that covers all the sections of your fanbase or at least give them the opportunity and the tools at launch with Forge and custom games browser to create the spaces they want to play in.

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And SMG/AR starts are the cause of Halo's success, I take it? I'm of the opinion that Halo was successful in general as a party game and its flexibility is an asset, but a lot of absolutely stupid bullshit has been associated with "core Halo" by a bunch of people utterly incapable of intelligently articulating why. And continuing to appeal to people with neither the competence nor the knowledge required to understand the impacts of these things does nothing particularly good for the franchise. It's just fostering a larger rift and the resentment of "competitive kids" that we can see very clearly today. And now we have 343 trying to compromise between people who think staring at your radar and crouching with a bullet hose is a skillful, essential part of Halo and people who are actually decent at Halo. Good lord.

Would split settings be better than what we have right now? Sure, but that doesn't mean that the legacy of H2 SMG starts has to be treated like anything but clearly bad design decisions from Bungie. ​A good competitive game is capable of appealing at all levels (CE), while a casual-focused clusterfuck gets progressively worse as the player gets better. I see no reason why the core experience needs to be compromised to appeal to the kind of idiot who thinks Team Duels was a meaningfully competitive experience. Associating casual game types with poorly balanced/trash variants of respectably competitive game types was never a good idea to begin with, so now we're left with a situation where little Timmy with his duel SMGs expects a bunch of stupid garbage in his Halo game and thinks sprint is the most immersive mechanic ever conceived.

 

Custom settings like SWAT, Griffball, Infection, snipers, and even BTB are a hell of a lot different from having "core" playlists that are basically the same thing as competitive settings with a bunch of additional stupid bullshit and worse maps that are treated as if they are equally valid representations of the Halo experience. It sure is damn hard to convince random casuals on r/Halo that SMG/AR starts are awful (despite the obvious, demonstrable reasons for this) when Halo developers keep putting that kind of trash right up next to the game types that aren't horrible. Maybe they should... stop doing that?

 

I also think appealing to trash cans with core MM would be less of a factor with the competitive scene on PC (and ideally with a real customs/server browser), but we know how that has turned out so far...

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A part of what problem? You think H5 didn't sell as well as previous entries because the default settings aren't competitive enough? No that's because the story blew, and the MP content was barebones at launch.

 

I say that Waypoint and r/halo are part of the "shitty decision making" problem, since 343 caters to them.

Halo 5 didn't sell well because it was in the wake of travesties like Halo 4, the MCC disaster and showcased game play that was largely unrecognizable to the overall Halo audience. The lack of content and and poor excuse of a campaign were just cherries on top for everyone else who DID buy the game.

 

So what if a casual can't articulate why they like radar. If they like the shit they like the shit. They bought the game, they should be able to play how they want.

 

I'm going to clarify something with you since I think you very much misunderstand me; I'm a casual player who has next to no interest in playing competitive Halo. But I fundamentally understand that a competitively designed game that forms a casual community around it with their own niches is a hell of a lot better than the other way around. I'm not saying trash the radar and fuck the casuals who like it, I'm saying stop fucking over the default settings and let the casuals get their radar fill from a niche of that instead, while we get a competitively sound game from the get go.

 

If Halo was geared exclusively towards the competitive crowd, it would sell like hot dog shit. They waypoint-r/halo-casual crowd dwarf the competitive crowd. The size and spending power of the casual crowd is the only reason the franchise ever had enough penetration to even have a competitive scene.

Abandoning the experience they want in favor of what is inarguably a niche community is suicide. It would be a terrible business decision. It's not even worth considering.

The only reason we have to "compromise" is because someone thinks settings need to be unified. It's impossible to unify settings without someone having to compromise. Your looking at it from your perspective only: both sides have had to compromise their values due to this approach.

 

And how the hell do you know it wouldn't sell? We are a niche community because of poor handling of a decade and a half old franchise. As far as I'm concerned getting casuals to buy/play the game is to simply trick them to do so by not blatantly telling them the game is competitive by default. They'll fall in line with it as they always do and, god forbid, might actually learn to like Halo without all the bullshit. As long they get their corner with radar added on top, we'll all get what we want and we can skip the whole bullshit "compromise" part. Im looking at it from a very clear point of view, thanks. I agree with your assessment of unified settings.

 

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There was no compromise in H3 when there was an MLG playlist, a Team Objective Playlist, and a Team Slayer playlist. Everyone got exactly what they wanted, and neither part of the community has ever been happier. If H5 had that split since launch the population would have faired so much better.

I'm in the boat where if H3 ws properly designed from the start, MLG wouldn't have had to step in and fix everything that was wrong with it. Fixing problems devs bring to the table in their own games is definitely better than playing second fiddle in the unified settings option, but I'm genuinely tired of everyone but the devs taking steps to improve the game.I really, really hope you understand that I'm not trying to take away anything from anyone and hope you understand the difference between polishing a turd for the umpteenth time vs just getting a refined competitive game from the very beginning.
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I say that Waypoint and r/halo are part of the "shitty decision making" problem, since 343 caters to them.

Halo 5 didn't sell well because it was in the wake of travesties like Halo 4, the MCC disaster and showcased game play that was largely unrecognizable to the overall Halo audience. The lack of content and and poor excuse of a campaign were just cherries on top for everyone else who DID buy the game.

 

I'm going to clarify something with you since I think you very much misunderstand me; I'm a casual player who has next to no interest in playing competitive Halo. But I fundamentally understand that a competitively designed game that forms a casual community around it with their own niches is a hell of a lot better than the other way around. I'm not saying trash the radar and fuck the casuals who like it, I'm saying stop fucking over the default settings and let the casuals get their radar fill from a niche of that instead, while we get a competitively sound game from the get go.

 

And how the hell do you know it wouldn't sell? We are a niche community because of poor handling of a decade and a half old franchise. As far as I'm concerned getting casuals to buy/play the game is to simply trick them to do so by not blatantly telling them the game is competitive by default. They'll fall in line with it as they always do and, god forbid, might actually learn to like Halo without all the bullshit. As long they get their corner with radar added on top, we'll all get what we want and we can skip the whole bullshit "compromise" part. Im looking at it from a very clear point of view, thanks. I agree with your assessment of unified settings.

 

I'm in the boat where if H3 ws properly designed from the start, MLG wouldn't have had to step in and fix everything that was wrong with it. Fixing problems devs bring to the table in their own games is definitely better than playing second fiddle in the unified settings option, but I'm genuinely tired of everyone but the devs taking steps to improve the game.I really, really hope you understand that I'm not trying to take away anything from anyone and hope you understand the difference between polishing a turd for the umpteenth time vs just getting a refined competitive game from the very beginning.

The casual settings ARE the default settings... thats how its been since Halo CE. Halo became a record setting franchise based on this dynamic. Competitive Halo is the niche.

 

Casual players have had 15 years of opportunity to prefer competitive settings. It never happened. Why? Because more people like their radar, their OP powerweapons, and their gimicks (dual wield, equipment etc) than dislike it.

Devs need to know their bases and cater to them.

 

Casuals wont 'fall in line' if you take away what they like. Nobody works like that. H4s MP didnt fail because it wasnt competitive enough. It failed because casuals didnt like that shit either.

 

In the eyes of most MLG didnt 'fix' anything. H3 would have been a long-lasting, monumental critical and commercial success even if MLG never existed. MLG recognized that there was a sizable (but relatively small) niche within the halo audience that wanted a more competitively balanced experience, and the game had the tools to allow them to cater to that audience. That's really all thats needed.

 

I'm all for a competitively balanced mode (team arena with actual competitive settings). I'm also for presenting that mode as the premier halo experience. I'm all for a suite of competitively balanced maps, and base weapons (power weopons that require skill, utility weapons that allow you to compete with anything off spawn).

 

But in Halo, a playlist that caters exclusively to the sensibilities of competitive Halo players WILL NEVER be an adequate substitute in the eyes of the audience the loves default Halo- the people who make up the vast majority of the audience. The settings, maps, gametypes, and weapons layouts of other playlists need to recognize that.

 

And please dont tell me those people should go to social. Because casuals (like myself) like ranked too. Many more casuals play ranked than there ever were players in the MLG playlists.

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Tell that to Halo 2,3, And the entire COD franchise. Casual first, with sizeable competitive niches carved out of that.

 

Go look at MKX sales, then go compare them to SFV. How'd that competitive focus pay off?

 

A game needs to first be a hit, then flexible enough to appeal to an audience of differing tastes.

 

The thing about halo is its flexible enough to be a competitive game AND a casual game, and everything in between, all on one disc. That's why it was a massive success. There's no need to choose one or the other. And there's certainly no reason the try to find a middle ground that pleases no one (ie H5)

 

Simply put, If your game can't appeal to the masses, your competitive focus is worthless.

 

Games need to be mindful of their DNA. It was never competitive settings that propelled Halo to the top of the video game industry.

I look at games like CE, OW, and CSGO as competitive games from the ground up that are fun to play casually as well. I don't look at COD as competitive. That's at least how I perceive their success. When CSGO launched a few years ago it was a flaming pile of shit. Through years of feedback to now it's become a pretty solid successor and a great game. Do you think the game would've continued to thrive if if continued the same way it launched? I don't, I think once it was fixed to have a competitively solid core then people picked up on it and it gained traction, or would've died if it wasn't touched. I believe people even if they're not competitive per se, ENJOY a competitive game. Because it's fair, balanced.

 

As Halo games dumbed down with Reach even the causals dropped it, people know bullshit when it happens. It doesn't take elite knowledge of game design to get frustrated when someone armor locks. Same reason melee is a much more popular game than Brawl despite its gimmicks.

 

That's why I say a solid competitive game will always do better than one that's built for bullshit. Everyone deep down wants an even playing field.

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A competitive game that has a low skill floor and a high skill ceiling coupled with great social/custom/etc. game options is a better choice than making a game all about being noncompetitive with a competitive community carved out of it. A good example right now is IW, it's casually centered and the pros think it's terrible. 

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I look at games like CE, OW, and CSGO as competitive games from the ground up that are fun to play casually as well. I don't look at COD as competitive. That's at least how I perceive their success. When CSGO launched a few years ago it was a flaming pile of shit. Through years of feedback to now it's become a pretty solid successor and a great game. Do you think the game would've continued to thrive if if continued the same way it launched? I don't, I think once it was fixed to have a competitively solid core then people picked up on it and it gained traction, or would've died if it wasn't touched. I believe people even if they're not competitive per se, ENJOY a competitive game. Because it's fair, balanced.

 

As Halo games dumbed down with Reach even the causals dropped it, people know bullshit when it happens. It doesn't take elite knowledge of game design to get frustrated when someone armor locks. Same reason melee is a much more popular game than Brawl despite its gimmicks.

 

That's why I say a solid competitive game will always do better than one that's built for bullshit. Everyone deep down wants an even playing field.

Halo CEs competitive community decided what competitive halo should look like. The developer had no idea what that should look like... if that was even the goal. Much of what we now see as a golden standard was a happy accident.

 

I also dont think its objectively fair to write COD off as a game that isn't competitive.

 

Halo 2s design was a massive departure from CE, tailoring it to a much more casual audience. Health regen, melee lunge, weak utility, no fall damage, heavy aim assists etc. But halo 2 was much more popular than CE was. And Halo 3 much more popular than it- thanks to designs and features that appealed to specifically to the casual audience. As the core audience of this franchise grew, so did the competitive audience - because the game provided the tools to allow that niche to thrive. A rising tide raises all ships.

 

I feel like the OW, CSGO comparisons are invalid, because the the audiences expectations are different. If a games core audience appreciates what is considered "competitive sensibilities" then by all means that what the devs should cater to, because thats what People are paying for.

 

But thats not what most people are buying into when they by Halo games. To try to change the approach 15 years later would be to alienate the core franchise- and thats suicide.

 

There's a difference between what Bungie did with Reach and what Bungie did with Halo 2. Both games are "dumbed down", but H2 streamlined the halo formula, making it more casual friendly. Reach attempted to apply characteristics that were completely un-halo in attempt to draw in casuals from other franchises. What happened with Reach is a totally different topic.

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IW is terrible competitive or casual

Black Ops 2 was the only good Call of Duty game.

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A competitive game that has a low skill floor and a high skill ceiling coupled with great social/custom/etc. game options is a better choice than making a game all about being noncompetitive with a competitive community carved out of it. A good example right now is IW, it's casually centered and the pros think it's terrible.

I'm not arguing that a game should be 'uncompetitive.'

 

A developer needs to know their audience.

 

People have been playing this game for 16 years. And only a tiny fraction of those people value competitive sensibilities. So when they 343 is deciding on playlist settings, they need to be mindful of what their core audience expects and finds fun.

 

If ranked slayer with auto starts and radar is that expected experience, then so be it.

 

The problems arise when competitive players are also expected to play those settings and/or casuals are expected to play settings they've actively avoided for 1.5 decades.

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I kind of wish that 343 would set up a month long playtest with no radar at all and see how the game plays out.  I feel that there's enough audio cues in the game to allow players to track one another, radar is not necessarily needed.

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The playlist is up, but doesn't actually work. Gives you an error as soon as you start searching.

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Halo CEs competitive community decided what competitive halo should look like. The developer had no idea what that should look like... if that was even the goal. Much of what we now see as a golden standard was a happy accident.

 

I also dont think its objectively to write COD off as a game that isn't competitive.

 

Halo 2s design was a massive departure from CE, tailoring it to a much more casual audience. Health regen, melee lunge, weak utility, no fall damage, heavy aim assists etc. But halo 2 was much more popular than CE was. And Halo 3 much more popular than it- thanks to designs and features that appealed to the specifically to the casual audience. As the core audience of this franchise grew, so did the competitive audience - because the game provided the tools to allow that niche to thrive. A rising tide raises all ships.

 

I feel like the OW, CSGO comparisons are invalid, because the the audiences expectations are different. If a games core audience appreciates what is considered "competitive sensibilities, then by all means that what the devs should cater to, because thats what

People are paying for.

 

But thats not what most people are buying into when they by Halo games. To try to change the approach 15 years later would be to alienate the core franchise- and thats suicide.

 

There's a difference between what Bungie did with Reach and what Bungie did with Halo 2. Both games are "dumbed down", but H2 streamlined the halo formula, making it more casual friendly. Reach attempted to apply characteristics that were completely un-halo in attempt to draw in casuals from other franchises. What happened with Reach is a totally different topic.

Fair response. I can respect that.

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I believe people even if they're not competitive per se, ENJOY a competitive game. Because it's fair, balanced.

 

That's the crux of it and i think its a hard conversation to have with more casual players because they think you are talking down to them but, a competitively fair and balanced game will translate to all skill levels better.  I think a lot of casual players will give up on things that they perceive as being unfair even if they dont understand "why" its unfair.  And that's not to say that casual players couldnt figure out why its unfair and they feel that way, its just that they have better things to do with their time.  If you are going to take the time to dissect the balance and fairness of all aspects of the game to figure out why it feels icky, then i would say that you're not really a casual player anymore.

 

 

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I don't get the obsession with radar.  I'd say half the games I play don't have it in any form at all, and the other half have it extremely limited.  Even Overwatch doesn't have radar and it has a gigantic casual following.  Maybe, MAYBE you can make the case for Halo 5 given how frenetic it is and how limited controllers are to cope with it, but I'm still skeptical of that case.  For any other Halo game though it's just like...fucking git gud damn...

 

Most competitive games also have split settings between standard and competitive.  That's nothing new at all.  CSGO raises the money limit to 16k and forces you to buy things like armor and helmets, as well as restricting team sizes to 5v5.  TF2 has 6v6 and highlander modes with item bans.  Melee has stage bans and no item drops.  I could go on.  The problem with 343i is the base game is so uncompetitive that the competitive settings are pretty much forced to be radically different to be respectable, and the only way that can be rectified is on 343i's end.

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Black Ops 2 was the only good Call of Duty game.

 

Nah, i like MW, MW2, Black ops 1 and 2 quite a bit. the rest are anywhere from "meh" to "bleggggggghhhhcaaa" (thats vomit btw).

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Halo CEs competitive community decided what competitive halo should look like. The developer had no idea what that should look like... if that was even the goal. Much of what we now see as a golden standard was a happy accident.

 

I also dont think its objectively to write COD off as a game that isn't competitive.

 

Halo 2s design was a massive departure from CE, tailoring it to a much more casual audience. Health regen, melee lunge, weak utility, no fall damage, heavy aim assists etc. But halo 2 was much more popular than CE was. And Halo 3 much more popular than it- thanks to designs and features that appealed to the specifically to the casual audience. As the core audience of this franchise grew, so did the competitive audience - because the game provided the tools to allow that niche to thrive. A rising tide raises all ships.

 

I feel like the OW, CSGO comparisons are invalid, because the the audiences expectations are different. If a games core audience appreciates what is considered "competitive sensibilities, then by all means that what the devs should cater to, because thats what

People are paying for.

 

But thats not what most people are buying into when they by Halo games. To try to change the approach 15 years later would be to alienate the core franchise- and thats suicide.

 

There's a difference between what Bungie did with Reach and what Bungie did with Halo 2. Both games are "dumbed down", but H2 streamlined the halo formula, making it more casual friendly. Reach attempted to apply characteristics that were completely un-halo in attempt to draw in casuals from other franchises. What happened with Reach is a totally different topic.

 

Halo CE shipped with Slayer Pro settings.

 

​Every game is "competitive." CoD does have a significantly and intentionally compressed skill gap, though.

 

Correlation is not causation. Halo 2 was absolutely dumbed down and made easier compared to CE. We are all aware of this. The question of how much that contributed to its being "much more popular than CE" is not so clear cut. Sequels almost ALWAYS do better than the original, but not just that, Halo 2's far more significant change was the addition of its matchmaking and ranking features. I think you are VASTLY overestimating the impact that the core game type settings have and have had on the experience of casual players that are usually pretty terrible at the game. I highly doubt many people are remembering H2 fondly for the specific experience of smg starts with motion sensor enabled. Likewise, with Halo 3, that game is not the most popular Halo title of all time because you started with a garbage tier AR in vanilla settings. It had an incredibly good community experience and a feature set to go with it. It also had a variety of custom game modes that weren't just bad variants of core modes.

 

Hell, now we have some of the most effective bullet hoses in the history of the franchise, one of which you spawn with, and a casual community that either engages in impressive mental gymnastics to justify every, uh, innovation 343 makes or thinks Halo 5 is the most sweaty game in the history of the franchise and was ruined by those pesky MLG kids. Casual players don't know what they want or why they want it. They simultaneous hate all changes and want new shit. They will play the playlist at the top of the menu. They will defend SMG starts but rage like anyone else would when the enemy team grabs the BRs first and spawn fucks them all game. Hell, you can look at MCC for a perfect example of how absolutely oblivious these people are.

 

​Vote starts.

​H3 option wins overwhelmingly regardless of starting weapon or a bunch of people quit because they didn't get H3.

Get destroyed in AR starts by the guys who voted BR starts.

​Most of one team (that voted for AR starts) quits.

Rinse.

Repeat.

 

Again, I am totally fine with having a large variety of casual modes available in match-making and I think it's important, but Halo's legacy of fucking awful vanilla core settings does not need to be respected and the arbitrary expectation from casual players that bad ideas continue in core playlists is something that developers are enabling instead of correcting. At the very least, I think Halo needs uncompromised core settings in at least one playlist that are CLEARLY delineated as such with no confusion. Playlists like Team Slayer or Team Skirmish should have roughly the same status as TDM in CS: a not particularly great, casual warm-up game type with slightly more casual-friendly settings.

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I don't get the obsession with radar.  I'd say half the games I play don't have it in any form at all, and the other half have it extremely limited.  Even Overwatch doesn't have radar and it has a gigantic casual following.  Maybe, MAYBE you can make the case for Halo 5 given how frenetic it is and how limited controllers are to cope with it, but I'm still skeptical of that case.  For any other Halo game though it's just like...fucking git gud damn...

 

I'm with you.  Whenever the radar debate comes up i think, "if Radar had never existed, would people be asking for it to be added to the game?"

 

And of course the answer would be "No".

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I'm with you.  Whenever the radar debate comes up i think, "if Radar had never existed, would people be asking for it to be added to the game?"

 

And of course the answer would be "No".

I remember the first time I was ever annoyed with radar. It was a 16-man CTF game on Blood Gulch, I was one of the people set to "Offense", and going up to the base just knowing they had guys camped inside the base knowing exactly where I was coming from and when. 

 

I was a casual then, and even I knew radar was bad. 

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