I am so frustrated with Halo 4’s Multiplayer…there I said it.
Halo 4 as a Game is fantastic, the Campaign, Spartan Ops, Forge, Multiplayer and its overall feature set as a Triple A title are amongst the very best in the Gaming industry and in terms of value for money and what you are getting for your £40 investment you really can’t ask for more. BUT as a Hardcore fan of the series, someone that has been playing Halo now for well over 11 years, someone that has put in years of playtime into the series, and someone that normally doesn’t put down the current Halo title till the next one arises why is it that I haven’t played the game for more than a couple Games since early December?
Let me explain.
Since Halo 3 this series has not been the same. All of the aspects that made Halo interesting as a Multiplayer title have been ripped from it, and in there place stand half measured, poorly implemented and unnecessary features that do very little to add to the experience and do a lot more to hinder the core Gameplay than anything else.
Innovation, new ideas and moving on I am all for. Hell I don’t want to see a carbon copy of a Game I was playing back in 2007 and 2004, but the core basics of those Games, the reason I became a fan of the Multiplayer, the reason I continued to play hour after hour, day after day, week after week was because of the core Gameplay was near perfect.
Halo 4’s Multiplayer for me does nothing.
Since its launch like Halo Reach before it we have all been waiting, waiting for the time when Halo will finally be good again, finally will not have the issues that we have been mentioning since the launch of Reach. Before Halo 4 launched you didn’t have to look far to see what the fans wanted:
Solid Maps and a in Game Ranking System reminiscent of the 1 through 50 system
The Game launches with quite possibly the poorest array of Maps in the series to date and on top of that no Ranking System to boot. For the first month this is an issue that can be overlooked, this is an issue that you can put down to launch day or if you are feeling generous, launch window teething problems, but three almost four months into launch and we are still playing Haven? Give me a break…
The Map issue is an easy fix and the new Forge Testing playlist is a step in the right direction to remedying that, but why has it taken almost three months for this to be implemented and what was the point in the Game launching with three pre made maps on the disk and then not implementing them into Matchmaking? And why wasn’t or hasn’t forge been implemented at all into the core basics of Matchmaking? Are they scared of the possibility of creating the same mistakes that Reach made?
As I mentioned the Map issue is something that hopefully in the near future will be solved, and Map preference changes from one person to the next so I may be being picky/harsh on the Maps that are currently available on disk.
But the one thing you simply can not cover up is the lack of Ranking system, which was easily the number 1 most requested feature prior to the launch of Halo 4. Was THE reason Halo Reach, the Game that had 1 Million people playing it at one time was reduced to less than 150,000 recurring players within a couple months from launch.
CSR is going to be implemented from April 2013 on Halo Waypoint.
I know very little people that even go on Halo Waypoint at all, I only visit the site to check the weekly bulletin, and I certainly won’t be visiting the site Game after Game to keep checking to see if I have ranked up. For me this is a huge waste of time, effort, resources and is just another of the many things that have stacked up above and beyond as to why Halo 4’s Multiplayer experience is in the sorry state that it is.
The whole point in a Ranking system is to keep you playing
- Its there to encourage you to get better
- Its there to encourage you to play more to get that next rank
- its there for bragging rights
- Its there to correctly match up players based on Skill accurately
The system that is being implemented right now from what I can understand is no more than another BPR. The same system that I only realised existed on Halo Reach 3 months before Halo 4 launched.
If the Ranking system is not in Game it is pointless and will not offer the community anything, will not benefit the Game in any way and would just be a waste of your time, effort and resources.
So on top of that no beta, a poor array of maps, no spectator mode, plenty of glitches, badly implemented features, featherweight playlists, a poor forge Pallet and design capabilities and lacking Custom Game options are just a handful of Halo 4’s problems when it comes to its Multiplayer offering. As you can probably tell this game is not going to fix itself over night and again backs up numerous claims that in the modern era a Public Beta is essential to creating a balanced Multiplayer offering.
For Halo 4 to succeed so many features need tuning, features adding and core basics revising for it to truly meet its potential.
I want this game to succeed, I really do, I want to be playing this Game till 5 am in the morning, I want this Game to be the success it should have been from launch!
There are far too many issues and problems that need amending to make it the Game it should be, but in terms of core mechanics and basics these are my main gripes and issues:
1) Map variety - Three months into the Game lifespan and still all you seem to play is Haven. The forge test playlist is a good start but a Map cycle of 8-10 Maps per playlist would greatly improve the Map rotation issue, its not the fact people don’t want to play Haven, its that they don’t want to play it all the time.
2) Ranking System - This needs to be implemented in Game, there is no point wasting time and resources implementing it via the web, why? As there is no way of knowing your about to level up in Game, there is no visual representation in Game, will be no ranked playlist, and therefore the system will be pointless.
3) Playlists - The playlists right now are a farce if I am honest. We need multi tiered playlists, and where is the playlist for those that do not like Infinity Rules that was promised?
We need to see the return of:
Rumble Pit - Slayer, Infinity FFA Slayer, Crazy King, Oddball, Regicide.
- No Instant Respawns
- No personal Ordnance other than Infinity FFA rules.
- Remove Regicide stand alone playlist
Team Doubles - Slayer, Infinity Doubles, CTF, Oddball, Crazy King.
Team Snipers - Slayer.
Team Slayer - Slayer BR’s, Slayer DMR’s, Team Slayer Classic.
- Pure Team Slayer
- No Instant respawn
- No Ordnance
- Set Weapon Spawns
- No AA’s
- AA’s are pick-ups only
- Merge CTF, Oddball, KOTH, Dominion and Extraction into one playlist, solves all the population issues that are now becoming present with these playlists.
*If possible bring back Assault
Big Team Battle - Big Team Slayer, Big Team Infinity Slayer, CTF, Crazy King, Extraction
4) Bug fixes and Balance tweaks
- Boltshot and DMR
But most importantly we need more COMMUNICATION
BS Angel does her damn best, without her this Game would be far worse off and the fans would most likely be rioting right now…
There are 300+ members of 343 industries and to my knowledge the only people we ever hear about core Gameplay tweaks fixes and issues is through Jess and sometimes through David Ellis and now Bravo.
We need a more constant stream of information, the weekly bulletins are great, the job Jess does is fantastic but she needs help, the community is far far too big and segregated for one person to be able to answer and respond to each of the many communities within Halo.
Utilising Halo Council, MLG, Youtube, Twitter, facebook, all aspects of social media and reaching out to the community in the same way David Vonderhaar does for Treyarc would be the perfect model to follow.
If the fans know they have a voice and feel like they are getting listened too, even if it is a simple no, or a one word statement, or a witty comment on Twitter to provoke discussion over a proposed Gameplay enhancement/nerf, anything is better than nothing.
These are just a handful of the changes I would like to see and would need to see implemented if I want to get back to any state of playing Halo anything like I used to again.
I like 343 I really do, for there first Game for the most part the Campaign delivering a unique and personal tale far different from any of the previous Games, Spartan Ops though started slow has shown vast improvement, has been a success. But for me the Multiplayer has been a colossal failure and without these changes being implemented and quick with the overall population of the Game dropping by the day, massive Triple A titles launching such as Gears of War Judgement within a couple months and then the likelihood of the new Xbox come the fall of the year, Halo 4 could be dead and buried within a year, something I do not and can not allow to happen.
For the sake of the series, and the sake of the community please 343 address some of these issues and lets make this Game a success together!
Thanks for reading.