Halo

We need communication from 343, stat.

Let me just start by saying that in my personal opinion, this is the best feeling halo game we’ve had in a decade. The game itself feels fantastic to play. There are definitely some issues, don’t get me wrong, but they all seem fixable. I think with a few small tweaks (ahem, player collision) this could easily be the best halo MP we’ve had.

That said, there are a few glaring issues we need to hear from 343 on. To 343, you all have built the bones of a beautiful and fantastic game, and I think I can speak for most people when I say we desperately want this game to succeed. Halo is a very special franchise to a lot of people, myself included, and we all want this game to come out on top. I think for that to happen there needs to be an open dialogue with your player base. I think we need to see or hear how you’re planning on addressing some of the issues we’re seeing in the beta.

Gameplay wise, I see the following points being pointed to most often.

  • Player collision.
  • Weapon balance, specifically the ravager and the commando.
  • Radar range (I personally like it the way it is, but a lot of people don't, it seems.)
  • Foot step noise level.

All of these points just need a quick bit of clarification on when/if changes are coming. Now, if these things are going to be kept as is, I think a lot of people could benefit from hearing WHY these design choices were made, and how you as the developers see these things fitting into the game.

Systems wise, I see the following points being discussed most often.

  • Playlists. While I appreciate what is here, there are some great maps/modes available, I think we need greater visibility on when we're getting the other standard Halo playlists/modes that we've come to expect. We NEED a dedicated slayer playlist for people who don't want to play objectives. No disrespect to those people, they should be able to play how they want. We as a community have come to love SWAT, Infection, and Grifball as much as the core modes, and I think we'd all like to know when we will be able to play these modes/playlists.

  • Ranked. For a lot of people, the competitive aspect is what keeps these FPS games alive. I myself am LOVING the ranked experience. I think we could definitely see some improvements here, though. First of all, I think the system could use some clarity. I'm Plat IV right now, and I would like to know where in the player pool that puts me. Sure, I'm higher than all the ranks below me, but I have no idea where I stand as far as player distribution goes. Also, I think having dedicated pools for the various inputs in open que needs to be a priority as well. I personally don't mind playing against controller players, but I've seen a lot of people pointing to this as a disadvantage, and it'd be an easy enough fix to give them their own pool to quell these complaints.

  • Stats. I think we all want to see our stats displayed in game rather than through a third party website. K/D, win %, accuracy, etc.

And finally, the big one, monetization.

Would a lot of us have preferred to just pay the $60 for a full featured MP suite without micro transactions? Yes, myself included. Is going F2P with micro transactions probably the right move to bring in new players, and expand your player base? Also yes. Is there a happy medium here, where you can both satisfy your longtime fans, and expand your player base? Hopefully, also yes.

Now, I understand how expensive AAA games are to make. I understand that for development to continue, money needs to be made. I understand that Halo is the poster child franchise for Microsoft, and not only does this game need to turn a profit, but it needs to turn a large profit. That said, I think the vast majority of your player base has been entirely turned off by the customization and battle pass systems.

If the system is left as is, I'm sure 343 has done the research to show that whales will spend enough money for this game to still be a financial success. That said, I think the systems at play need to be looked at again for the sake of the games health long term. We, the fans of this franchise, want to love this game. We want to spend hundreds of hours consuming this excellent MP suite you have built. However, when things as basic as the color of our armor are locked behind a paywall, there's no other way to say this, it just feels bad. Real bad. I can understand having some things behind pay walls. I'll gladly pay $10 for a cool suit of armor here and there. But things like cross-core parts locking, paying for color schemes that have been free for 15+ years, paying for individual parts of armor sets that we unlock the whole of in the BP, all just feel really, REALLY, bad.

There are a few things you could do to alleviate the vast majority of your players concerns, and frankly I think that good will from the player base is integral to this games success. I can't say what the right decisions are from a business stand point, but we NEED communication here or players are going to start leaving in droves and we don't want that! I want to see this game alive and healthy with thousands of players. I think we're all waiting on the edge of our seats to hear how this system is going to be changed.

A few great ideas I've seen floated about the community:

  • Just let us change the colors on our armor as we see fit. Maybe lock cool textures or effects behind a paywall, but having something locked down SO tightly that has been free since it's conceptual inception is a giant slap to the player.

  • Let us use parts across armor cores. This is a needless barrier to customization. You want Spartans to look unique? This is a simple fix. It's already enabled for the bots, so it's not like this is an immense undertaking of systematic change.

  • There needs to be things that are unlocked by skill and skill alone. Personal achievement leading to standout armor pieces incentivizes the grind, and we as a community would love to see that.

  • Something something battlepass.

In closing, I think I can speak for the majority of this community when I say we want this game, desperately, to be a big winner. You have built a WONDERFUL game, and with a few tweaks I think this can be an all-time great Halo game. I really believe in the core of this title. A line of communication needs to be opened with the community. We need to see when/if/how some of these complaints are going to be addressed. We're rooting for you, 343. We want this thing to work as much as you do. Sure, there are a number of people here on reddit who get off on doom-saying and talking bad about anything and everything, including this game, but that is not the Halo community I know and love. We want to see this game succeed. We want it to be great, and we know you do too. Be the studio that talks to your players openly and honestly, break the mold. Help us help you.

(Fellow Spartans, please comment and voice your concerns as well. I think it’d be best if we kept things respectful and tried to treat this as a dialogue rather than a witch hunt. Sure there are things this game could be doing better, but it is in beta, there is time. Also, devs are human beings and they deserve respect even if you disagree with them.)

EDIT: Forgot to mention that releasing the game into open beta early, though this was almost certainly planned ahead of time, was still largely a really cool move. Shouts out 343 for the welcome surprise. I wouldn't be suprised if a lot of issues are shored up by the games official launch, but a lot of us are playing this like a launch title already. We just want to hear what changes we can expect by Dec 8.

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