Halo 5: Guardians Beta (12/29/14 - 1/18/15)

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Mon, 08/18/2014 - 15:41 (Reply to #31)
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DEEP_NNN wrote:

My comments on CE not having competitive input and yet still being considered the best by 'some' players was a response to Dixon's comments including "get it in the hands of skilled players". I am suggesting that the lack of competitive input did not necessarily hurt CE and including competitive input for the following titles has not or may not necessarily help. The general public choose what they like. The most competitive Halo ever made, may still not be popular in today's world.

Seems like you're equating "getting input from competitive players" to "getting competitive input", which I don't think is the case.  I do think competitive players can give input that will lead to a "fairer" more balanced game.  And I think that's a good thing for all types of players.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 16:50 (Reply to #32)
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DCHaloJunkies wrote:

Seems like you're equating "getting input from competitive players" to "getting competitive input", which I don't think is the case.  I do think competitive players can give input that will lead to a "fairer" more balanced game.  And I think that's a good thing for all types of players.

Agreed. The main goal is to have a game that doesn't have cheap exploits that ruin the game. I think when you frame it like that, everyone can agree.

Tic Tac Toe is an example of a broken game. Only lower skilled players (read: kids) enjoy it, because it breaks down at higher levels. Wikipedia: "Players soon discover that best play from both parties leads to a draw. Hence, Tic-tac-toe is most often played by young children."

Basketball is a game that doesn't have cheap exploits that ruin it. People of all skill levels enjoy it.

As with Tic Tac Toe, cheap exploits will usually only be discovered by higher skilled players. If there are no cheap exploits at the highest level, then there are no cheap exploits period (including at the lower levels). Therefore basketball is fun for NBA players as well as for the weekend warrior types. But the reverse is not necessarily true; Tic Tac Toe is fun for kids but not adults.

This is why input from skilled players is important. Low level players just won't see the same cheap exploits as high level players. It takes the right kind of eyes to see the cheap exploits and fix them. Then, like basketball, the game will be fair and fun for all levels.

In Halo 2, Zanzibar Team Slayer was a flawed game like Tic Tac Toe. Thanks to Halo 2's poorly conceived weapon respawning system, the winning strategy at higher ranks was to get both sniper rifles and go camp the beach out in the water. The enemy has no counter to the snipers (which don't respawn until dropped) and has to fight across the wide open beach/water against two sniper rifles using weaker, short range weapons. The hog also spawned on the beach, so you had infinite support ammo. I've been on the giving and receiving end of this strategy. It's not fun, but at higher ranks, you either do it to the other team or they'll do it to you. Level 10 players and testers won't think to use this cheap exploit, just like kids don't see the problem with TTT. In the ranked 40s it's a different story.

I've played with a lot of Bungie employees over the years (when I was on Mrs. Doublefire's FL), and while they were nice guys, none of them seemed like the caliber of players who would be able to sniff out the kind of cheap flaws that players ranked >40 would start using. I'm glad they now have people like Neighbor and Ghostayame and Bravo to help find and fix broken gametypes like Zanzibar TS (and many others I won't list) before the game ships.

Mon, 08/18/2014 - 16:58
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Face palm!

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 11:03 (Reply to #34)
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DEEP_NNN wrote:

Face palm!

?

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 07:44
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What about the Halo 5 theme spaghetti O's is no one excited about that?

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 07:47 (Reply to #36)
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FreeRadikal wrote:

What about the Halo 5 theme spaghetti O's is no one excited about that?

Are they balanced and fair? Would casuals love them?laugh

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 11:32 (Reply to #37)
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DEEP_NNN wrote:

FreeRadikal wrote:

What about the Halo 5 theme spaghetti O's is no one excited about that?

Are they balanced and fair? Would casuals love them?laugh

So why is getting input from competitive players a bad thing?

Do you think a more fair and balanced game with more depth (assumming that's what it leads to) means it'll be a worse game for casuals or something?  That is pretty much the definition of a better game..

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 11:39 (Reply to #38)
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DCHaloJunkies wrote:

DEEP_NNN wrote:

FreeRadikal wrote:

What about the Halo 5 theme spaghetti O's is no one excited about that?

Are they balanced and fair? Would casuals love them?laugh

So why is getting input from competitive players a bad thing?

Do you think a more fair and balanced game with more depth (assumming that's what it leads to) means it'll be a worse game for casuals or something?  That is pretty much the definition of a better game..

 

Because it has the word 'competitive' in front of it.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 12:52 (Reply to #39)
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DCHaloJunkies wrote:

DEEP_NNN wrote:

FreeRadikal wrote:

What about the Halo 5 theme spaghetti O's is no one excited about that?

Are they balanced and fair? Would casuals love them?laugh

So why is getting input from competitive players a bad thing?

Do you think a more fair and balanced game with more depth (assumming that's what it leads to) means it'll be a worse game for casuals or something?  That is pretty much the definition of a better game..

We're on to Spagehetti O's.

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 07:29 (Reply to #40)
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DEEP_NNN wrote:

DCHaloJunkies wrote:

DEEP_NNN wrote:

FreeRadikal wrote:

What about the Halo 5 theme spaghetti O's is no one excited about that?

Are they balanced and fair? Would casuals love them?laugh

So why is getting input from competitive players a bad thing?

Do you think a more fair and balanced game with more depth (assumming that's what it leads to) means it'll be a worse game for casuals or something?  That is pretty much the definition of a better game..

We're on to Spagehetti O's.

I would love to see a comparison of eating spaghetti-o's competitively versus casually...

Wed, 08/20/2014 - 07:54 (Reply to #41)
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FreeRadikal wrote:

DEEP_NNN wrote:

DCHaloJunkies wrote:

DEEP_NNN wrote:

FreeRadikal wrote:

What about the Halo 5 theme spaghetti O's is no one excited about that?

Are they balanced and fair? Would casuals love them?laugh

So why is getting input from competitive players a bad thing?

Do you think a more fair and balanced game with more depth (assumming that's what it leads to) means it'll be a worse game for casuals or something?  That is pretty much the definition of a better game..

We're on to Spagehetti O's.

I would love to see a comparison of eating spaghetti-o's competitively versus casually...

Sauce must evenly coat each spahetti-o, the bowl or plates must be perfectly smooth and with authorized utensils. Casuals can eat face first without a bib while officially sanctioned competitors must use utensils that don't have button glitches and cannot spill a drop.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 11:12
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Interesting point about the tic-tac-toe and Zanzibar comparisons. It reminds me of a certain H4 all-gauss Hog Wars Ragnarok map/game that had to be modified (de-gaussed except for two) because a certain someone figured out all the best camping spots to consistently dominate the game.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 13:47
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Seriously awesome stuff, Tristan.  I got tired of fighting years ago and you said it better than I would have anyway, but I agree wholeheartedly.  For years now the Halo fans have known the game better than the developers do.  I sure hope Ghost and Bravo give us back a multiplayer with depth, a basketball not a tic-tac-toe.  It doesn't have to be complicated, or even new, to be good, and people who've been practicing for years *should* kick the butts of people who haven't, or otherwise there was nothing to learn so the game wasn't interesting.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 14:08
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I watched a Youtube video the other day of a really good H2 player showing how to make all these crazy jumps and grenade throws to control the power weapon/ability pickups on the map. I watched another video showing how all of the button combos can be used by a highly skilled player to get infinite ammo, instant reloads or double melee.

Competitive players whine about "equal starts" and "fairness" and that that is needed for "competitive" playlists, but they say absolutely nothing about skill matching. 

 

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 14:26 (Reply to #45)
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Minotaur wrote:

Competitive players whine about "equal starts" and "fairness" and that that is needed for "competitive" playlists, but they say absolutely nothing about skill matching. 

Maybe it depends on who you talk to, but the lack of a good ranking (or skill matching) system was one of the biggest complaints about Reach and H4 (pre-CSR) among competitive types. Most of the really good players want a challenge and got really bored matching against easy opponents in later Halos.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 14:55 (Reply to #46)
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Tristan wrote:

Minotaur wrote:

Competitive players whine about "equal starts" and "fairness" and that that is needed for "competitive" playlists, but they say absolutely nothing about skill matching. 

Maybe it depends on who you talk to, but the lack of a good ranking (or skill matching) system was one of the biggest complaints about Reach and H4 (pre-CSR) among competitive types. Most of the really good players want a challenge and got really bored matching against easy opponents in later Halos.

What I read time and time again in the Waypoint forums was how the competitive-skilled players hated-hated losing a fight to a noob with a lucky shot (bloom in HR) or a random weapon drop (in H4). "They deserved to die" is what they said. I don't remember any one of them blaming skill matching. 

On edit... There is a difference between skill matching and a good ranking system. For example, 50s should never go against 20s, even with a perfect ranking system.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 14:13
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skill matching works itself out, so there's not a lot to say.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 15:07
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How would skill matching be to blame when some guy gets an incinerator cannon ordnance drop and you get plasma grenades? Bad skill matching and bad game mechanics are two different problems.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 16:09 (Reply to #49)
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Tristan wrote:

How would skill matching be to blame when some guy gets an incinerator cannon ordnance drop and you get plasma grenades? Bad skill matching and bad game mechanics are two different problems.

This subject is a tough one, primarily because of how it is interpreted by either a skillful player or a noobish player. 

The skilled want map pickups and equal starts. What this winds up meaning is the best players get the best weapons (pickups) most of the time. They either beat the opposing team's noobs to them or they beat their own noobish teammates to them. The result is a lopsided K/D that is made even more lopsided because of the advantage of hogging the map pickups.

If all players are within a narrow range of skill, then it's equal. This is what I mean by good skill matching. I personally love equal start MM where all players have a more or less equal skill. On the other hand, if there's an unequal matchup in skill, I like the Infinity settings. No one likes losing, and no one likes losing because the game isn't fair. Infinity settings gives the noobs a chance - that's all (besides sometimes being fun). The skilled can always play the pro playlists.

I really enjoy the Halo nights hosted by DEEP. There's a mix of skill, and I want that. It makes me want to improve, and it's better to be beat by friends than elitist randoms who enjoy ruining Halo for noobs.

Thu, 08/21/2014 - 22:52 (Reply to #50)
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Minotaur wrote:

Tristan wrote:

How would skill matching be to blame when some guy gets an incinerator cannon ordnance drop and you get plasma grenades? Bad skill matching and bad game mechanics are two different problems.

This subject is a tough one, primarily because of how it is interpreted by either a skillful player or a noobish player. 

The skilled want map pickups and equal starts. What this winds up meaning is the best players get the best weapons (pickups) most of the time. They either beat the opposing team's noobs to them or they beat their own noobish teammates to them. The result is a lopsided K/D that is made even more lopsided because of the advantage of hogging the map pickups.

If all players are within a narrow range of skill, then it's equal. This is what I mean by good skill matching. I personally love equal start MM where all players have a more or less equal skill. On the other hand, if there's an unequal matchup in skill, I like the Infinity settings. No one likes losing, and no one likes losing because the game isn't fair. Infinity settings gives the noobs a chance - that's all (besides sometimes being fun). The skilled can always play the pro playlists.

I really enjoy the Halo nights hosted by DEEP. There's a mix of skill, and I want that. It makes me want to improve, and it's better to be beat by friends than elitist randoms who enjoy ruining Halo for noobs.

but the game IS fair.  If you suck, you should lose.  You get better over time and then you start winning.  That's how it should be.  That's how it was for me and it's how I got better.

Sun, 08/24/2014 - 09:22 (Reply to #51)
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Shadow wrote:

but the game IS fair.  If you suck, you should lose.  You get better over time and then you start winning.  That's how it should be.  That's how it was for me and it's how I got better.

This thread was slowing down a bit, so I thought this might help...

To answer you.... On average, the weaker players WILL always lose. Those with better skill will always win the averages. What I seem to hear from you and a few other skillful players is that you/they should NEVER EVER lose a single engagement with a weaker player.  

You said "You get better over time and then you start winning. That's how it should be."  With experience, I have gained in map knowledge, callouts and team strategy somewhat. But, I've been playing Halo long enough to know that I'm in this for the fun and a love of Halo, not achieving some superior level of skill. That ship sailed a long time ago. Give an old man his rocket. Don't jerk my cane out from under me.

BTW - Check out my H4 fileshare for the Shotty Snipers game I have there.... Equal starts, Snapshots and all... :)

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 12:22 (Reply to #52)
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Minotaur wrote:

To answer you.... On average, the weaker players WILL always lose. Those with better skill will always win the averages. What I seem to hear from you and a few other skillful players is that you/they should NEVER EVER lose a single engagement with a weaker player.  

Saying that random outcomes are okay because a better player will usually come out ahead in the long run doesn't make sense. Would you want to run or watch an Olympic race where random barriers popped up out of the race track? Sure, the faster guy will win more often in the long run, but what's the point? Just so that the slower guys can feel better by "winning" an occasional race that they don't deserve, just because the random obstacles were in their favor this one time?

The entire point of a game/sport/race/whatever is to have a structured environment within which you can try to out-wit the other player(s). That's the fun and challenge. Adding random things that are beyond either player's control only takes away from that fun, because the structure of the game environment is randomly changing so that the decisions and plays you make are meaningless. That's why I hate Infinity settings so much. You can't make smart decisions because any player could have any weapon and/or AA at any time and any place on the map. The only way it could be worse is if the map geometry randomly changed as well.

 

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 12:47 (Reply to #53)
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Tristan wrote:
The only way it could be worse is if the map geometry randomly changed as well.
That's coming in Halo 6. Just wait.
Mon, 08/25/2014 - 13:42 (Reply to #54)
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OMGaLaserPewPew wrote:
Tristan wrote:
The only way it could be worse is if the map geometry randomly changed as well.
That's coming in Halo 6. Just wait.

Didn't they show one of the map remakes for the MCC that has a button you can shoot that releases a waterfall that changes up the sightlines?

Wouldn't be surprised to see more maps with things like that. Press a button to raise or lower bits of cover.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 15:16 (Reply to #55)
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KamakazeTaco wrote:

Didn't they show one of the map remakes for the MCC that has a button you can shoot that releases a waterfall that changes up the sightlines?

Wouldn't be surprised to see more maps with things like that. Press a button to raise or lower bits of cover.

Ascension will also have a huge bubble shield in the middle dish that you press a button to activate. They said it was to "fix" the importance of long range weapons like the BR and sniper. Now everyone can run around in the center dish dual wielding their spray guns at point blank range, just like Bungie intended.

Sarcasm aside, though, stuff like that could be okay if they do it right. The gate switch and bridge lowering on Zanzibar/Last Resort CTF, or the switch to open the tunnel inside the bases on Stand Off were alright, IMO. Or the way you could activate the teleporter on Relic.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 23:07 (Reply to #56)
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KamakazeTaco wrote:

OMGaLaserPewPew wrote:
Tristan wrote:
The only way it could be worse is if the map geometry randomly changed as well.
That's coming in Halo 6. Just wait.

Didn't they show one of the map remakes for the MCC that has a button you can shoot that releases a waterfall that changes up the sightlines?

Wouldn't be surprised to see more maps with things like that. Press a button to raise or lower bits of cover.

High Ground and some other maps had stuff like that in H3.

Mon, 08/25/2014 - 14:20 (Reply to #57)
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Tristan wrote:

Saying that random outcomes are okay because a better player will usually come out ahead in the long run doesn't make sense. Would you want to run or watch an Olympic race where random barriers popped up out of the race track? 

Compare Halo to other venues? OK...

Halo is a FPS with sniper rifles. I've competed with real rifles at long range. I've completed the U.S. Army sniper training program. Random shit like wind gusts, dust devils, shade patterns from clouds , birds & animals on/near the target etc all happen during a match. Completely unpredictable - completely random. Winning matches requires great skill and really good luck. Some of the best shots fail to win on a given day because of random shit. But, the best usually win the series. 

Long range rifle competition could happen without random shit. Bring it all inside somehow or in tunnels. In real rifle competition, the random shit is part of the game - part of the fun.

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 17:05
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Telling the skilled players to play the pro playlists is akin to them telling the noobs or casuals to stick to griffball.  You're right in the sense that MM needs to refine their skill matching.  But how is that accomplished?  Considering Bungie abandoned that aspect in Reach and 343 didn't improve upon it in H4, we can only hope they do for H5.  But matching like skilled players requires decent population sizes in playlists.  That can't happen if the developer abandons a large chunk of their population by incorporating randomness into outcomes. 

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 17:44
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I'd never "tell" the skilled or anyone else what to do. What I did say was that "The skilled can always play the pro playlists."  

How is good skill matching accomplished?  I'd like the option of setting the limits for skill variability (i.e. +/-5%, +/- 10% or +/- 20%) while searching in matchmaking - no matter how long it takes to get a game. The current system is biased toward faster matching. 

Tue, 08/19/2014 - 21:28
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I agree that the skill matching system sucks and needs improvement.

The thing about the Infinity settings is that it makes outcomes even more lopsided. The better players, who are already getting more kills from the get-go, get their ordnance drops before the weaker players. So now not only are you down 10 kills, but you're suddenly fighting against Saws, Rockets, etc. Now you're down 15+ kills, and the better players' ordnance meters are already filling up again thanks to their Rocket and Saw kills.

Like Halo 2's weapon spawn system, Infinity ordnance is yet another example of the developers trying to fix what isn't broken and only making things worse because they don't think things through. At least the old way both teams had equal access to the weapons and it was learnable. All a weaker player needs to do is spend ten minutes in Forge to learn the weapon placements and timings. It's not that hard. I used to keep a list by my Xbox and just review the times before the game started. With Infinity ordnance, the winning team controls when and where the power weapons appear, and the losing team has no way to anticipate what weapons they'll be fighting against. It's just, "Surprise! You went around the corner and learned the hard way that they have a rocket launcher now. There's no way you could have anticipated that and avoided it or tricked him into wasting a rocket."

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