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Dave_Easily

My Passion is Dwindling - An Open Letter to the Halo Community

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Thanks for your efforts Dave

 

I've heard of many big time halo players getting "daved" and now I know what that means!

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I'd have to say more about this (also being a 10-12 year veteran) but in short, here are my thoughts:

 

1. This community HAS in fact made an effort to move Halo 5 into the right direction. Kurtiz the Kiwi guy started a document called "need 5 for Halo 5". signed/supported by 100s of players. This I believe was last October or November. One of these 5 things was removing sprint. I'd actually like to see the other four and compare it to the present Halo 5. So there.

 

Then you have Team Beyond like Saucey constantly saying before the release of the Beta "yea, 343 really gets us, they really do listen". It would be unfair to say they don't listen at all, but look at this Halo 4.5 version of Halo that we're gonna get now. It's nowhere close to Halo 1/2/3 but a lot closer to Halo 4.

It's hard for me to believe we have that much to say here but I keep trying and we all do.

 

2. The crowd that matters are the new 14 - 19 year old COD/Halo Reach/Halo 4/Battlefield kids. I said this before, it's all about fast action with lots of rewards and not having to think much anymore. This is where the money is and they will be the ones who 343 will cater do. Whether it's in the form of sprint, the ranking system, automatic weapons and so on.

 

3. As for tournaments I will say that I was actually very impressed by the last IronGaming tournament in December. If they continue that way and in light of the "Championship Series" I feel like the tourney scene is in fact in a good state. The problem here is not the host imo, but the game: 3 maps are not enough for Halo 2 long term, and Halo 5 will be similar to Halo 4. We'll see if 343 decides to give us more maps but I doubt it as they want to push sales for Halo 5.

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We're all a captive audience to the slow-motion death of the Halo franchise. Halo is a giant ship to steer and so far 343 is hitting every single iceberg in its path and eventually it'll just be too much to take. Honestly that is the thing I actually to be find the most immersive, having a front row seat to the destruction of something I used to love more than anything else. The epic reversal of our collective initial faith in 343 is a tale for the ages and we're probably somewhere in the middle right now holding out on the final strings of hope that they'll get their shit together or quit the game now to hand it over to a more competent studio.

 

The first Halo was about selling consoles so it had to be good and stand out, Halo now is about pulling in money from the audience of a completely different franchise by mimicking how its games play (the novel compensation mechanisms 343 employs to reconcile the gameplay mechanics of two opposing FPS genres into their new titles are certainly a wonder to behold and will be laughed at for years by the competitive community, you never know what 343 will do next to balance whatever features they choose to import from other games!). You now have new players to the series being drawn in by the massive hype of Halo's legendary appeal but no prior experience with the original titles to compare against. They then find away to enjoy Halo 2, 3, reach, 4, 5, or whatever and you now have a legion of fans who missed the depth of Halo CE having a strong opinion on what future Halos should play like, without any appreciation for why Halo was initially good. Some of you won't enjoy that conclusion and that's fine. I lanned Halo CE all the time growing up but didn't really get into competitive play until I found out about MLG during Halo 2, which makes me a Halo 2 kid.

 

Upon learning about how CE plays through cT, missingno, lemon, patch, and other contributors to this forum (as well as Hardy Lebel's blog), I began to really dislike what Halo 2 was even though I cared about it more than anything else I had going on from '05-'07. This is because it finally sank in what had happened to Halo's gameplay where Bungie decided to dull it down for soccer moms to pick up and immediately do well. I remember the first time I heard that quote when I was digging the internet during '04 for every scrap of H2 information I could find. I didn't recognize that quote as a bad thing because I had no true understanding of Halo CE and the precedent its multiplayer created. I was a casual player and a fanboy to the core, but I didn't know the spawn system, how to strafe and pistol well, I knew maybe 2 nade points, buying a timer? (yeah right lol)... When I found out about those things over the MLG forums, THC, and this forum, it completely changed how I viewed my competitive H2 experience (I went to many tournaments, scrimmed online all the time with a lot of top semi-pros, and disregarded everything else in my life). It's like I had the most fun 3 years ever with a subpar game that is a complete let-down skillwise compared to its predecessor (I knew that initially but not the magnitude).

 

Now I submit myself to joining all the OGs here who are waiting patiently and likely eternally for a real Halo sequel (disregarding the story, if you hadn't noticed up to this point) that pays true homage to what Halo CE brought to console shooters, a sequel that takes the emergent meta gameplay of the original and thoughtfully expands on it in new and interesting ways, something 343 simply isn't ever going to be capable of. This is as immersive a story as I can think of because it is the reality of the situation and exists in the minds of many in this community. All we do is sit and we wait because failure and redemption at the speed of AAA game development is a tediously long process that includes forums like this to enlighten the minds of fans of the franchise to what they're missing out on. I know I won't adapt because when you know what you want you don't accept anything less and when it comes to Halo, I am absolutely and passionately unwilling to spend any of my cognitive dissonance on it. Neither should you.

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Does any other game franchise have people posting this kind of stuff? I'm completely serious. I've never heard of any franchise with so many people writing up their tearful goodbyes. This is ridiculous and never needed to happen. 

 

Agreed, kind of ridiculous huh?  Its not like the players grew up and out of the game.  Some did, but there are still a lot of passionate players from H1-3 days that are still here and hoping things get better.  They are still here lingering.  We now have a game that semi works, but instead of the MCC feeling like an homage to the games of past, its more of a send off, see ya later cause we're going a different direction from the games that got us where we're at.  Thing is too as you browse more than just Team Beyond, these posts are everywhere.  Lots of fans don't like the direction things are headed. 

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Most game devs are not clueless and understand how to build their game. Why is GTA so popular? It followed the same formula every single time, refining it, adding more without breaking the core of the game. If 343 was in charge of GTA they would add immersive elements. Run a red light in San Andreas? Get a ticket! Punch someone in the face on the street? Get 6 months in jail, no probation! Also, make sure to pay your electric bill on time or you get a fine!

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Agreed, kind of ridiculous huh? Its not like the players grew up and out of the game. Some did, but there are still a lot of passionate players from H1-3 days that are still here and hoping things get better. They are still here lingering. We now have a game that semi works, but instead of the MCC feeling like an homage to the games of past, its more of a send off, see ya later cause we're going a different direction from the games that got us where we're at. Thing is too as you browse more than just Team Beyond, these posts are everywhere. Lots of fans don't like the direction things are headed.

Hey hey hey, remember http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-selection_bias

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It wasn't until 2 weeks ago my feelings on Halo shifted. Up until that moment, I felt like 343 had put Halo on the right path. Announcing HCS, working around the clock to fix MCC, and focusing on arena gameplay for future Halo titles seemed like a great blueprint for success. The future went from being auspicious to remarkably despairing, fast. I think the future of Halo is still salvageable, but the more I read some of the 343 developers' tweets the more I worry. I won't post the tweets or the culprits but I've seen multiple mentions that heavily implied things such as AR starts being viable for competitive Halo (HCS) and BR starts being too hardcore for the average player. I understand that a game has to appeal to casual players while also making as few changes possible for it's competitive settings. This allows casuals to follow competitive gameplay and ultimately leads to longevity and viewership. However, changing the default controls to a CODesque scheme just for this purpose is an undisguised betrayal to the long time Halo fan. It's this one simple change that tells the biggest story, in my opinion. They are 100% committed to capturing a new audience. Yes, Halo needs new players but this just doesn't seem like Halo anymore. If 343 had added all the new mobility features for any reason other than trying to capture the casual players and COD market, I'd accept it. The fact that some of these changes are being pushed just to appeal to other market shooter fans is simply depressing, though. Natural evolution of a game's core features is important. For me, though, none of these changes feel natural. I hope the beta feedback they receive helps them realize some of the problems with the game. The game is close to greatness but some things need to change. If they only take 2 things away from this beta it needs to be that BR starts are a must for competitive play and sprint in it's current form is unacceptable.

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I think it would be wise for us, as a community, to unify our voice and become something the developers can't ignore, much like Fox News can fucking get half the country out to vote and change policy. I know this is a forum, I know there are differentiating opinions, and I know the Beyond staff is probably weary of speaking in 'we', but I think real change can happen if we push out "No Sprint" like Fox New's pushes out its ideology. (These comparison's with Fox News aren't meant to be an insult in anyway, it's just to show the power of rallying behind a single idea, pushing it to the max, and acting as single entity around it). Maybe it's time to take out the old bat and fucking beat the shit out of the dead horse?

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You can only speak so much to deaf ears.

Sure you can gain some fans with your gimmicks and flashy nonsense, but the fact is that at the core of the Halo series lies with the hardcore and competitive players, players that will put hours upon hours into this game and learn everything about it and try to improve it.

 

343i has smashed this community by feeding us lies that it will cater to us for once, allowing us to have a true voice, and we believed that a competitive arena core would save this franchise from the dark depths that it has fallen in to by allowing us to seamlessly interact with the causal community (LoL for instance) and actually have a good game we can all play and sell as competitive (see games like counterstrike)

 

They are going to drive us away because weve been let down so many times, they are disentigrating the integrity of the Halo name, and they will fail if they do not listen to the people who care about this franchise the most, I dont buy Halo and throw it away for the next hot title, I play these games because I love them to the very core. Halo 1-3 have a special place in my heart and I replayed the campaigns and had just as much fun as I did the first time I played them.

343 needs to admit that they do not have what it takes to produce bungie games that affect you like this, and LISTEN to the people who want this new trilogy to succeed.

(they also need to fix MCC, and change their way of thinking from xbox titles to long running PC titles that I mentioned before)

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And to think #weback was trending in complete sincerity little over two months ago. Just goes to show that the community really, really, really was trying to give 343 the benefit of the doubt. Let no one say we never gave 343 the chance to make things right.

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Halo 5 isn't a bad game but I have no desire to play it. I boot up my xbox out of habit and realize I don't want to play h5 and even if I would want to play the MCC it would take forever to find a game that would probably be 2v4 and there's only 3 maps in h2a.  The Halo 1 playlist is garbage because they used the PC port and the netcode is awful.  They did the same for the h2c playlist.  I can't find anybody in half the playlists.  I think it's over for me.  Never have I felt so defeated and powerless.  Talking to 343 about the game is like helping my grandmother with her computer problems.  "Yeah, yeah, go to the start menu.  Yeah, it's in the bottom left.  The thing that says start.  Yeah click it.  Left click.  No, not there.  No, click it.  Left click.  Ok, click control panel.  Ok, just go back to the start menu.  Yeah.  Ok, do you see control panel?  Ok click that"  I used to give them the benefit of the doubt, and I thought maybe it was their first game so they would have some trouble.  But I'm beyond that now (no pun intended) and you know what?  343 sucks.  They suck.  They can't tell their left shoe from their right.  They're incompetent.  They don't care what anybody says, they're gonna do things their way.  And when you point out that their way sucks and they made a shit game, they have a million excuses.  They're all so damn defensive about their game that you can't even have a decent conversation with them.  It's as if the only Halo game they ever played was Halo 4, and they have no idea how to even shoot a fucking BR.  They don't understand spawns, map movement, power weapon control, or anything about the core Halo mechanics.  

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Thank you to Dave and to the good people who run this site for keeping Halo alive for this long.  Unfortunately I've come to the fifth stage of grief and have accepted Halo's fate.  Not with a bang but a whimper.

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Does any other game franchise have people posting this kind of stuff? I'm completely serious. I've never heard of any franchise with so many people writing up their tearful goodbyes. This is ridiculous and never needed to happen. 

 

Sadly, I have experienced it before with RS and Unreal to varying degrees. This is usually what happens when a game franchise is dying or has sold out and has completely lost the faith of its core fan-base. I didn't move on to UT3 like many because it had a terrible launch and was basically a glorified tech demo. I stuck to Utk4 for many years(even though some still hate Utk3/Utk4 and prefer UT 99' much like some HCE players hate the changes made in H2) and I still prefer it over UT3.

 

Its still a huge point of contention on the Epic forums for UT4 between the varying communities of UT that dont agree on movement/weapons/HUD and some of UT4's new features its pretty much an ongoing war and getting very political right now as some believe certain segments of the community are being listened too over all others. But at least Halo fans will always have the original Halo trilogy to play when MCC gets fixed, because sadly H5 is not trying to be a great Halo game but the best "new" Halo game it can be for a modern audience which has been 343's strategy since H4 and is bound to fail in tight-knit gaming communities.

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It's saddens me that players who play halo for two weeks and move on to the newest titanfall or Cod is what this game is being designed for.

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Awesome thread, and I can relate completely.

 

I'm having my own personal struggle as a Halo fan. Halo 5 multilayer doesn't excite me in any way whatsoever; I'm just here because there is Halo in the title, and Halo gets me excited because the first three Halo games made me feel like a little kid on Christmas for the first time since, well... I was a little kid on Christmas.

Every time a 343 employee says something questionable - every time I see footage of Halo 5 and feel more like I'm watching a generic modern shooter than an exiting Halo game - I really think to myself that maybe it's time to just give up on it. It's such a shame because this didn't have to be the natural progression of Halo. There was still room left for the franchise to grow and continue being incredibly exciting and recognisable as a Halo game. But it hasn't happened, and that's the saddest part about it all.

 

Your talk show idea sounds really good and I'd love to see that become a reality. If you can, definitely try and make it happen.

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I can 100% guarantee you that Halo 5 is not going to remove sprint. 

A toggle. we need toggle. At the very fucking least. Any hope we have rests on toggle for everything we hate about this game, we might have a chance. Itd be far from ideal but i think thats the only way we might be able to keep competetive play going.

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