When Winning Is Not Enough, Halo 2 Sucks

For most of the past few years the bulk of my attention has been on Halo's campaign play: story, characters, and settings. Partly it's my choice, since it is where my interest in Halo lies, but partly due to circumstances. For most of the past seven years, the Internet connections I had access to were unsuitable for online play.

Recent events, however, have conspired to bring my attention back to online play. The first is the upcoming Halo 3 multiplayer public beta. True to form, it appears that Bungie will have multiplayer ready to show the world before the campaign is finished; so between now and when the beta test ends, most Halo 3 discussion will probably focus on multiplayer aspects.

The second thing is that I finally have a reasonably priced Internet connection that makes it possible to participate in Halo 2 matches. While I still have more latency and less skill than a below-average Halo 2 player, for me, participation is the thing. I've already missed out on far too much.

The last thing was that during a discussion of an entirely different subject, my attention was drawn to Halo2sucks.com.

This is not normally a site I would pay much attention to. There's something incongruous about reading a site that labels Bungie "sellouts" and proudly (if largely incoherently) claims that Halo 1 is better than Halo 2 and this inevitably leads to the conclusion that Halo 2 sucks.

However, then I began to feel that simply dismissing all the points the site tries to make simply because of the presentation was prejudicial; and despite the fear of directing attention somewhere it's not warranted, I felt a need to address some of the points the site raised. Then I discovered what really bothered contributors to that site. More on that near the end.

Pistol Whore With A Heart Of Gold

Halo 1's pistol figures heavily into many of they "key points" that bolster the site's assertion that Halo 2 sucks. In fact, it's treated as a foregone conclusion that the absence of the pistol, or an equivalent weapon, is proof that the game sucks.

They do spend some time defusing counter-arguments defending Bungie's removal of the pistol. Chief among these are that the pistol overpowered for a sidearm. This is countered nicely by the fact that the pistol's appearance and nature as a pistol is entirely arbitrary; Bungie could have called it a bananagun for all anybody cared. All that is important are the technical specifications of the gun: accuracy, firepower, rate of fire, ammunition capacity. They argue that Bungie could have solved this issue just by reskinning the pistol as a rifle. Instead, they gave us the Battle Rifle, a very different gun than Halo 1's pistol; less accurate, less powerful.

An SMG For You And Me

Part of the objections of Halo2sucks.com isn't just that the pistol is gone. The Battle Rifle may be the pistol's closest equivalent, but for many gametypes, it's not the standard spawn weapon, as it was in Halo 1. That has changed over the years, as the matchmaking game types on XBL evolved over time. What was the default spawn weapon was the SMG: a weakened, but dual-wieldable, version of Halo 1's assault rifle. This weapon is what has led to criticisms of Halo 2 being a game for "noobs"; a weapon that sprays in a wide arc at short range and requires little or no skill to operate, and that encourages players to simply rush at each other immediately upon spawning and engage in close quarters combat. The one who firest first usually wins.

The SMG's role in various combinations does not impress the authors of Halo2sucks.com. The use of the plasma pistol (which drains the shields) and the SMG or magnum pistol to issue the coup de grace is discounted and reviled as the "noob combo" because it also allegedly requires no skill to execute. The plasma burst homes in on enemies, and the SMG's spread is so wide at close range that all you have to do is be there and pull the trigger to have a good chance of getting a kill. The same goes for the many variations on that technique. Using a grenade instead of the pistol seems to garner somewhat more respect given that the player must at least throw the grenade accurately; and the absolutely deterministic physics that Halo uses for grenade tosses seems to please them. Spartans always toss grenades at the same speed, so if you aim accurately at a given spot, the grenade will always go there. Above all, this predictability seems to be what is valued in Halo 1's weaponry as compared to Halo 2's.

It Was Self Defense

The powerful pistol as a spawn weapon was justified, say the authors, for newly spawned players to defend themselves against the power weapons: the sniper rifle and the rocket launcher. While they have respect for the sniper, since like the pistol, it requires precision aiming, the rocket launcher is another "noob weapon" that requires little skill to use. That it has tradeoffs: low ammunition capacity and long reloading time, seems not to matter.

What is ignored in this argument is that by providing the pistol as a default weapon-- a weapon that requires precision aiming (which also, incidentally, requires low latency to use effectively) any level of success in Halo 1 multiplayer all but required a minimum level of proficiency with it. You might have your other favorite weapons: sniper, rocket launcher, shotgun. But you don't spawn with it. You're going to have to go get it, and to defend yourself while you go get it all you have is your pistol. Everyone else has one, too, which for the authors of Halo2sucks.com, means it is fair. Fair the way showroom stock car races are supposed to be fair: a contest of driver against driver where the machinery is irrelevant because everybody has the same. That's one definition of fair and it's one way to play the game. I think if Bungie wanted that, though, there would have been only one weapon in Halo 1, and it would have been the pistol. It's not, and I don't think they did.

If you can't get a three-headshot kill on your opponents while you're on the way to pick up your shotgun, your sniper, or your rocket launcher, then chances are, you may hardly ever get those weapons. In the hands of a pistol expert, it is indeed an equalizer against those wielding power weapons, only one of which, the sniper, the pistol expert has any respect for whatsoever. Because the pistol is the pistol expert's favorite weapon, it would be unfair to make him traverse the map to get one while holding another, weaker weapon. If the pistol is your weaker weapon: suck it up, say the authors of Halo2sucks.

Jealousy

Halo 2 turned the tables on those pistol experts. They don't have a strong weapon to spawn with, and if someone else has gotten the power weapons already, they may possibly die before they get one back.

One argument against the pro-pistol, anti-Halo 2 crowd has been that they aren't good at the sequel and are therefore jealous. Not so, they say. We're also good at Halo 2. I'm inclined to believe them. I'm also inclined to wonder what the problem is, then. Part of it really is, I think, that for these players, the pistol was not just a solid spawn weapon and a decent counter against the power weapons. It was their favorite weapon. Since it gave you a decent chance against the power weapons, going for any other weapon was essentially optional: you could go it alone with the pistol and some grenades, and many players did. If you picked up a power weapon, you might choose not even to use it: at least it was out of your opponents' hands. If you're a pistol virtuoso and you've got the rocket launcher, anybody less skilled than you with the pistol is probably out of luck. If they can't aim a pistol, it's likely they can't use a sniper well, either, and in any case, a good player would also stay under cover. You'll never get close enough with a shotgun unless the pistolier gets careless.

Experiences like that are what I remember most from 2003, when after a long hiatus, I had a chance to play some Halo 1 multiplayer. I remember a lot of deaths. I remember 2 player games that went 50-1 against me because I couldn't get the three-headshot pistol kill with any reliability whatsoever. That was the game, says Halo2Sucks. Deal with it, and it's a shame Halo 2 isn't the same way.

Dressed To Skill

The word that comes up over and over again is "skill". Weapons that require skill, and a scoring system that rewards skill, are good. That is why Halo 1 is good and Halo 2... well, sucks.

Skill, in this case, almost exclusively means the ability to aim; specifically, the ability to aim a weapon that requires pinpoint accuracy, one that has a small reticle and very little spread over a long distance. A gun that does the same thing each and every time you pull the trigger. A gun that gives you deterministic control over the events in a game. A gun that gives the host most skilled player in the game his just reward.

That's when it hit me what Halo2Sucks is really about. I wondered why I hadn't seen it before. The site even has a graphic that they say explains exactly what is wrong with Halo 2, when what it really explains is why they're upset. This "skill comparison meter" illustrates the idea that the gap between the worst possible player and the best possible player in Halo 2 has been dramatically foreshortened. Since Halo 1 can't play on Xbox Live and there is no persistent, reliable store for Halo 1 multiplayer statistics, it is likely there will never be an objective way to test this assertion. Still, it seems reasonable to me and to many others, and I have never seen anyone object to it.

Staring at that picture, I thought about the implications, and where I fit into that-- squarely somewhere slightly above "noob" and probably far short of "intermediate". According to that graphic, in a Halo 1 game against "professionals", as they put it, I don't stand a chance. They're right about that. Even against fairly decent players, I never stood a chance. One on one, with pistols, on any map, I was dead to rights every time. Perhaps with practice that would have changed, but likely never enough to alter the end result, and probably not enough to change the score much.

Enter Halo 2. Everybody starts with a weak weapon in many matches. The BR is now, arguably, a "power weapon" but it takes one more headshot to kill, at best, and is less accurate at long distances than Halo 1's pistol was. That's enough to give players dual-wielding, or even with weapons like Halo 2's weakened shotgun a fair chance.

And chance is what is at the heart of Halo2sucks. Chance as the opposite of skill: introduction of elements other than the bare ability to focus a tiny reticle on a distant target consistently and repeatedly. A lucky grenade bounce. Getting in an early few shots with a pair of SMGs and doing the dance of death until somebody drops. Two shotguns going toe to toe, point blank range, and the seemingly random nature of the gun's spread, rather than precise aim, deciding the outcome.

Of course, these small differences wash out over the course of a game, or indeed over many games. These guys don't hate Halo 2 because they are bad at it. The best a player like me is going to get, even over the long haul, is a few kills. Instead of losing 50-1, I'll lose 25 to 10; and I often do.

After rereading the site, and staring at that graphic, and recollecting my own experiences online, I realized that is the problem. Although they never come out and say it, here is the essential complaint of Halo2Sucks.com:

Halo 2 insufficiently rewards, in terms of kills and kills to death ratio, confirmed superior skill.

By allowing inferior players to exploit random elements to gain a few kills and narrow the superior player's margin of victory, Halo 2 has destroyed the meritocracy of Halo 1 and become, in the minds of these players, unfair. Unfair because the final score is not indicative, proportionally, of how much better they are than you. If their score is 30 and yours is 10, then they win, but they don't win by enough, because they are more than three times better than you. They know this, because Halo 1 told them.

All's Fair In Love And Halo

What Bungie did was narrow the gap between the best and worst online players. The authors of Halo2Sucks.com bemoan this as ruining the game. It didn't ruin it. It made the game what it is. If Halo 2 online played like Halo 1, nobody on the "skill comparison meter" below the halfway point between "Professional" and "Intermediate" would even bother to play. There would be no point. The margin of victory within each individual encounter would be measured in terms of thousandths of a second, according to who lands that third crucial pistol headshot first. The timing required would be so precise that only the host would have any chance at all, all other things being equal. Even as it stands, I'm convinced that hosts win the cast majority of Halo 2 online matches. If Bungie, or anyone else, has data that refutes that, I'd love to see it.

Halo 2 creates conditions under which a lagged player, an inferior player, or both-- can get enough kills that they feel like they might be able to win. They probably won't ever win consistently enough to gain a high rank, or to threaten the superiority of the truly skilled; but enough to keep playing the game. I think Bungie recognized this. This is why Halo 2's weapons are the way they are. It's not perfect. I think Bungie itself knows that there are still some adjustments that could be made. I think they recognize that the bullet-hose as a spawn weapon is not the best answer; but they also know that a three-shot kill weapon as a default spawn is also not the answer. Halo 3's default weapon, the new Assault Rifle, will apparently not do headshots. Which means it will not appease Halo2Sucks.com and other Halo 1 pistol fans. I think that's a recognition, though, that whatever flaws there may have been in the execution of Halo 2's weapon balance, the philosophy was sound. Weapons should all have their uses, and allow for different playstyles and player choice. They should also give a fighting chance to inferior players-- a chance to at least feel as if they are participating.

Halo2Sucks calls that selling out: dumbing down the game for the masses to make more money.

I say: thank you, Bungie. Thank you for recognizing that most people have more fun playing games like Halo than they have any right to, given their level of skill; and there's nothing wrong with that at all.

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Comments

Im sure every time bungie makes a game, they are as interested as the rest of us to see what happens in the long run. Im sure anyone that made halo or halo 2 could have a discussion with a pro and not have a clue about the various strategies that they were describing, even though they created the game. I doubt during testing of halo 1 the testers ran around using the pistol everywhere. Nobody does that when they first pick up the game. A very limited number of testers in a limited amount of time are not going to find the best startegies. For one, it takes a lot of time for the millions of people that play the game to find them, and on top of that, the testers main concerns are much more important. Really any developer of a multiplayer game just has to make their best guess at what balanced gameplay is. The plasma br combo didn't become popular until about a year into halo 2s life. Odds are bungie didn't expect it to be one of the most often used weapon combos in the game.

Im sure the inventor of basketball didn't invent all of the plays people use today.

Bungie gives us a playground that they believe will be fun to play on. It is up to the players to do what they can with what they are given. Every weapon is just a way to defeat another player. You should probably use the ones that work best. Who cares if the smg is weak? You don't have to use them. Any spawn is only a short distance away from a better weapon, or at least one you can combo with.

Could one playground be better than the other? Of course. The emergent behaviours of players could end up being a bit more enjoyable. It can be someone's job to think about balance for 3 years straight, and they won't even approach the good that 2 million people can do in a minute. I don't think of halo 2 as dumbed down. I believe that it requires an entire different set of skills. Those people who relied on their speed and accuracy more than anything are obviously going to be upset, because where they once dominated, they will now fail. They either need to stop living in the past or go and live in the past. It is no good attempting to conform the present to their expectations.

Yeah, Bungie did a good job. The halo2sucks people are just upset that they didn't get a game completely based on aiming.

So, by your logic, Bungie should just let their product lay as it is? They shouldn't even try to fix some of the most blatantly obvious exploits in the game? Tell me; do you know of a basketball play that can win you the game in under two seconds? You'd think if there was, then the rules of basketball would have to be changed to compensate with the imbalance. Bungie did no such thing with BXR (and all those other lovely button combos) and the PP+BR combo. You can't simply deny these imbalances because "Bungie was just trying to make a game everyone to have fun in." I know I'm not always having fun if I spawn and two seconds later I'm dead because some kid PP+BR'ed me. What's even worse is when he runs around and says, "Har har, this is my first time playing."

That's one of our main complaints; how one can simply touch the controller for the first time and be just as big of a threat than any other player out there, despite the time spent with the game. Most FPS formulas have a steep learning curve so things never get boring as there's usually something to improve on. With Halo 2, all you needed to do was to know how to shoot, switch weapons, dual wield, and throw grenades. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I can see what Bungie was trying to do; they were trying to improve on the faults from Halo 1, but in the process they some how failed on many fronts to do so. It's like they improved on some and then screwed up even more on others. So you ask who cares the SMG is weak? I do. Any person with common sense should as well. If you spawn with it, I think I would care big time. But, what's this? Not use it? Ah, of course! This is always a simple solution to things we don't like in Halo 2. "Don't like the sword? Don't use it!" "Don't like the pistol? Don't use it!" Don't like being the only one who sees the many flaws of Halo 2? Stop playing!" Of course! Conform! I hear that's the way to go nowadays.

Excuse me if my sarcasm isn't to your liking, but it surely gets the point across. No gaming developer should make a weapon that should be ignored or considered "useless," such as the needler. One of our talking points was to let Bungie know that we weren't going to conform and just avert our eyes from the shining beacon of truth. Halo 2 could've been much better than it was, but it wasn't, and instead of improving on it in updates, Bungie found that the majority of the community was happy. Of course, when this community is over run by seven-year-olds screaming in their microphones (while crying at the same time) who are also modding, bridging, and standbying, and are also the same kids who exploit every bit of the game, then why would they change it? Majority rules, right? If they fixed the many faults then those kids would start complaining. "Hey! What happened here? I can't get head shots with the sniper any more! I actually have to aim now!"

To end this bit of rant, I will leave you with this; why is it when someone ever talks about fixing something or pointing out the faults of something they are somehow "longing for the past?" We are not all the same at halo2sucks.com; many of us just want a formula that works. We don't want our "precious pistols" back; we want a general weapon that you can spawn with and have a chance with, such as a rifle of some sorts (check out any other FPS out there like FEAR and the assault rifle to see what I mean). In all these years I still don't understand why we are labeled as "haters" simply because we want the game to shine brighter than any other FPS out there. Yes, Bungie wishes people to have fun while playing Halo, but you can also have skill and fun in the same game and make it work. It has been done before, after all. I only hope that anyone that comes across the site again doesn't just blatantly categorize all into one group without actually taking a look.

-Agamemnon, moderator and member at halo2sucks.com

[quote=Anonymous]

So, by your logic, Bungie should just let their product lay as it is? They shouldn't even try to fix some of the most blatantly obvious exploits in the game? Tell me; do you know of a basketball play that can win you the game in under two seconds? You'd think if there was, then the rules of basketball would have to be changed to compensate with the imbalance. Bungie did no such thing with BXR (and all those other lovely button combos) and the PP+BR combo. You can't simply deny these imbalances because "Bungie was just trying to make a game everyone to have fun in." I know I'm not always having fun if I spawn and two seconds later I'm dead because some kid PP+BR'ed me. What's even worse is when he runs around and says, "Har har, this is my first time playing."

That's one of our main complaints; how one can simply touch the controller for the first time and be just as big of a threat than any other player out there, despite the time spent with the game. Most FPS formulas have a steep learning curve so things never get boring as there's usually something to improve on. With Halo 2, all you needed to do was to know how to shoot, switch weapons, dual wield, and throw grenades. Lather, rinse, repeat.[/quote]

Wow. I must really suck then, because I've played at least two dozen games on XBL and somehow I'm not a level 40 yet.

One thing that seems to shine through in the H2S forum is a dislike of inexperienced players. Without them, who are you better than?

There seems to be an unshakeable belief that if the game was working properly, a superior player would hardly ever be killed by an inferior player. Why, then, would the inferior player waste his time playing?

[snip]

[quote=Anonymous]

To end this bit of rant, I will leave you with this; why is it when someone ever talks about fixing something or pointing out the faults of something they are somehow "longing for the past?" We are not all the same at halo2sucks.com; many of us just want a formula that works. We don't want our "precious pistols" back; we want a general weapon that you can spawn with and have a chance with, such as a rifle of some sorts (check out any other FPS out there like FEAR and the assault rifle to see what I mean). In all these years I still don't understand why we are labeled as "haters" simply because we want the game to shine brighter than any other FPS out there. Yes, Bungie wishes people to have fun while playing Halo, but you can also have skill and fun in the same game and make it work. It has been done before, after all. I only hope that anyone that comes across the site again doesn't just blatantly categorize all into one group without actually taking a look.

-Agamemnon, moderator and member at halo2sucks.com[/quote]

You're moderating the forum at a site called "Halo2Sucks" and then you wonder why you're labeled "haters"?

The front page, the forum index, and a large number of user sigs proudly proclaim the slogan "H1 > H2" and yet you feel that to say you're living in the past is somehow an unfair characterization?

You say "you can also have skill and fun in the same game and make it work" as if that is not what Halo 2 is.

If skill played no part in Halo 2, then sooner or later everyone's matchmaking levels would flatten out. If the outcome was truly random, then you could say skill has no role.

Skill-- in particular, the ability to get three consecutive headshots at range-- has less of a role in H2 than it did in H1.

Halo 2, while it has many flaws, is, at its base, a compromise between a game that requires skill but also has an element of chance.

A large number of the users don't seem to be looking for a compromise. They're rejecting the one they got, and they want a return to a deterministic model where the one who lines up the kill shots first wins, every time-- no chance involved.


Rampant for over se7en years.

I don't know really what to say to Agam. We lock heads so much it probably doesn't need to spill out in here. It just goes to show that even our members don't all agree.

I think I'll just respond to Narc.

[quote=narcogen]

A large number of the users don't seem to be looking for a compromise. They're rejecting the one they got, and they want a return to a deterministic model where the one who lines up the kill shots first wins, every time-- no chance involved.


Rampant for over se7en years.[/quote]

That may be a little unfair to draw that conclusion. Like I have stated earlier Agam is probably even in the minority with the whole "Balance weapon" theory. With me it's a point that I really don't think exists. A game doesn't have to have a balance weapon like the pistol to work. There are probably more people that think my way at H2S then those that think Agams. The pistol was in essence broken and it was only good because it brought balance to the game.

Because of this I would much rather Halo 3 not have the pistol or the like but instead make weaponry more equal and therefore not allow the "rock, paper, scissors" scenario of Halo 2 to continue.

Louis Wu brings up a good point that I missed:

Personally, I think he missed a critical piece of the puzzle - the fact that Halo multiplayer rewarded individual skill far more than teamplay, and Halo 2 was the reverse - but it all boils down to the same argument in the end, I think.)

If not the same argument, then perhaps another facet of the same argument. The H2S guys might allege that any increased focus on teamwork in Halo 2 was, as is many of the other changes in the game, unintentional. I think that unlikely. Given the lengths that Bungie went to in creating its party system-- something not yet replicated in any Xbox or even Xbox 360 game to date, something Microsoft execs themselves lament-- I think it likely Bungie wanted and expected players to prefer playing together rather than separately, and this informed some of the gameplay changes they made.

If anything, I think perhaps some of those changes need to be pushed further instead of rolled back. Too many players seem to go into team games, especially objective team games, with getting the highest number of individual kills foremost in their minds. While this certainly can contribute to achieving objectives, it is often emphasized at the exclusion of all else. Perhaps changes could be made to the way statistics are reported and scores are recorded to discourage this; placing more emphasis on objective-related kills (killing flag/ball carriers and hill kings, but not counting other kills at all) or perhaps inventing some new stats.

Everybody's experienced having a teammate save you by taking down a guy who was about to kill you. Perhaps the engine can somehow track that under "saves" and reward teammates who stick together and help each other out over those who are trying to freelance, Halo 1-style.


Rampant for over se7en years.

I'd really like to have carrier-saves (and saves of snipers, rocketmen, hill-holders, tankers, etc) in my post-game stats. I too often find myself going 5 and 18 in objective games, but if my 5 kills were crucial game-saving kills, my ego might feel be a bit less bruised.

Hey, maybe a Distraction medal - occupying half the other team away from their base while our guy gets the flag. Because my mid-field deaths are all part of an intricate plan. ... Yeah, I wish.

Why is it that so many of these self-proclaimed "professionals" don't have any professionalism?

Tiger Woods is a professional golfer but you don't see him frothing at the mouth on PebbleBeachSucks.com or accusing the Titleist golf ball company of being "sellout faggots."

Anyway, kudos on another spot-on rant. Pity that people who ought to read it probably never will.

-Matt

PS: "Tiger Woods," "Titleist" and "Pebble Beach" are the only three golf-related proper nouns I know.

[quote=Matt]

Anyway, kudos on another spot-on rant. Pity that people who ought to read it probably never will.

-Matt

PS: "Tiger Woods," "Titleist" and "Pebble Beach" are the only three golf-related proper nouns I know. [/quote]

Thanks. And I can add one to the list: "handicap".


Rampant for over se7en years.

Nobody's frothing at the mouth about anything, and hardly anybody's calling anybody a faggot. Also, if the people who should be reading this the most never will be reading this, then there wouldn't be so many responses that disagree with the main points of the article.

Actually, where is the disagreement with the main point?

Nobody seems to have even picked out the main point, despite the fact that I put it in bold italics.

Here it is again, a one-sentence summary of the old, outdated content I found at H2S:

Halo 2 insufficiently rewards, in terms of kills and kills to death ratio, confirmed superior skill.

The primary point of my disagreement is that any injustices H2 does create are:

For the purpose of making sure inexperienced players are not so thoroughly humiliated that playing is no longer fun;
Tend to be canceled out over time

In short, people who used to win 50-1 in H1 are winning 30-10 because noobs are getting ten free kills on them due to lag, spray and pray, unpredictable weapons etc. This pisses some people off.

I've seen that same idea, rephrased, not only in the H2S forum, but right here in this thread!

Am I still mischaracterizing?


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote=Matt]When H2S first came to my attention, the forum was an echo chamber in which a handful of people repeated three words - noob, sellout, and fag - ad infinitum. If things have gotten better, congratulations! It only took you guys two years to catch up to the rest of the Halo fan community in terms of basic decency.[/quote]
Actually, I joined about a year after Halo 2 came out, and even by then, I think that almost everybody was quite respectful of Bungie, or at least they weren't calling them really vulgar terms. By the way, if you compared the community of Halo2Sucks.com forum members to the rest of the Halo community, the Halo2Sucks.com would win by a long shot. I can't even begin to count the amount of racism and vulgarity that I've heard on Halo 2 on Xbox Live.

[quote=Matt]There aren't that many. They just seem more numerous than they are because they're unsigned.[/quote]
At least six of the twelve people who posted a reply from this are those that disagreed with some of what was in this article, and at least five of them are actually from Halo2Sucks.com.

[quote=narcogen]Actually, where is the disagreement with the main point?

Nobody seems to have even picked out the main point, despite the fact that I put it in bold italics.

Here it is again, a one-sentence summary of the old, outdated content I found at H2S:

Halo 2 insufficiently rewards, in terms of kills and kills to death ratio, confirmed superior skill.
[/quote]
That's not even my point. The point is that at least half of the people who actually replied to this article disagree with much of it, and five of them are members of Halo2Sucks.com, and so many of the people who are reading this article should be reading it according to the first person to whom I was replying.

[quote]Actually, I joined about a year after Halo 2 came out, and even by then, I think that almost everybody was quite respectful of Bungie, or at least they weren't calling them really vulgar terms.[/quote]
I don't believe this at all, but I'm not going to waste any time digging through the archives for evidence.

[quote]if you compared the community of Halo2Sucks.com forum members to the rest of the Halo community, the Halo2Sucks.com would win by a long shot. I can't even begin to count the amount of racism and vulgarity that I've heard on Halo 2 on Xbox Live.[/quote]

That must be why I said "the Halo fan community" and not "every knuckle-dragger on Live." I was talking about sites like this one and HBO, where the signal-to-noise ratio has historically been much higher than at H2S.

[quote]At least six of the twelve people who posted a reply...[/quote]

Why do you assume that every anonymous post is from a different person?

-Matt

[quote=Matt]I don't believe this at all, but I'm not going to waste any time digging through the archives for evidence.[/quote]
There were a few people here and there that were pretty rude to Bungie, but there are people like that in every fan community and so on.

[quote=Matt]That must be why I said "the Halo fan community" and not "every knuckle-dragger on Live." I was talking about sites like this one and HBO, where the signal-to-noise ratio has historically been much higher than at H2S.[/quote]
I see now, and I'm inclined to agree that the communities at these fan sites were better than what the community of Halo2Sucks.com used to be before I joined, but right now, the community at Halo2Sucks.com is as good or is at least about as good as the communities at the other Bungie fansites.

[quote=Matt]Why do you assume that every anonymous post is from a different person?[/quote]
I'm not doing that. That's why I said that at least six of the twelve people disagreed with this article. I'm one anonymous poster, there's another anonymous poster that posted significantly differently from everybody else here, and then the other anonymous posters signed their names at the bottom of their posts so that I could see that they were different people. Then, the rest of the people who disagreed with it signed on as something other than anonymous.

[quote=Anonymous]
Actually, I joined about a year after Halo 2 came out, and even by then, I think that almost everybody was quite respectful of Bungie, or at least they weren't calling them really vulgar terms. By the way, if you compared the community of Halo2Sucks.com forum members to the rest of the Halo community, the Halo2Sucks.com would win by a long shot. I can't even begin to count the amount of racism and vulgarity that I've heard on Halo 2 on Xbox Live.
[/quote]

From the H2S forum today:

Frankeis a ho ,he cant even write intersting articles.

Yup. No vulgar language towards Bungie there. No sirree. No spelling, either, but hey...


Rampant for over se7en years.

There may not be a perfect community, and bungie.net has its fair share of immature members as well. But did you really have to point that out? If you want, how about also pointing out some of the more common posts on our site that display our good side, rather than the one post that probably shows up every 2 weeks.

You know, I write a rather moderate critique, if I do say so myself, based on the content of Halo2Sucks.com, and I get taken to task for somehow not already knowing that the site was old and out of control, and that I should, instead, have visited the forum, which I am told is better, and more updated.

A former Bungie employee posts in the thread that H2S' input into the process of making the Halo games was minimal, and insinuates that this was due, at least in part, to rude treatment of Bungie and Bungie employees at that site.

Some posters deny that this is true; they say that since they've been members Bungie is treated respectfully, and that same person casts doubt on the veracity of the Bungie employee, saying they don't ever believe things were really that bad.

Then I click the "posts since last visit" and notice that of the three posts since I last looked yesterday, one of them says Frankie is a ho who can't write articles. If that's only written once every two weeks I guess I got awful lucky it was posted less than 12 hours since I last browsed the forum. If that's so, then I'll see, because I intend to be a regular reader.

I'm sure Frankie's literary ability is a topic up for grabs like any other, but since the topic in that part of the thread was civility, or the lack of it, I thought it quite relevant.

So, what am I missing now? Is there some double-super-secret forum behind the curtain where all the polite discourse happens?

I'm no prude. I brought it up because Bungie personnel were told, right here, that they were liars for saying H2S forum members were rude.

As for Bungie.net... with all due respect, is that what you want to compare yourself to?


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote=narcogen]Then I click the "posts since last visit" and notice that of the three posts since I last looked yesterday, one of them says Frankie is a ho who can't write articles. If that's only written once every two weeks I guess I got awful lucky it was posted less than 12 hours since I last browsed the forum. If that's so, then I'll see, because I intend to be a regular reader.[/quote]
I don't usually feel very comfortable interrupting other people's arguments, but for the record, I did do a search of certain terms on Halo2Sucks.com and, while you may find it hard to believe, that really literally was pretty much the only thing that anybody said negatively about Bungie for a few weeks. I even searched the word "Bungie" and nothing came up. You can see for yourself if you're curious or if you don't believe me. The list of the other words for which I searched included the words bitch, bitches, homo, gay, ass, asshole, jackass, sucks, Frankie, Shishka, and, finally, Bungie.

That reminds me, I have to turn the word filter module back on... :)


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote=narcogen]
A former Bungie employee posts in the thread that H2S' input into the process of making the Halo games was minimal, and insinuates that this was due, at least in part, to rude treatment of Bungie and Bungie employees at that site.

Then I click the "posts since last visit" and notice that of the three posts since I last looked yesterday, one of them says Frankie is a ho who can't write articles. If that's only written once every two weeks I guess I got awful lucky it was posted less than 12 hours since I last browsed the forum. If that's so, then I'll see, because I intend to be a regular reader.


Rampant for over se7en years.[/quote]

Memebers in all forums are rude. I need not remind you of all the rudeness at Bungies forums to prove my point. Unfortunately the consequence of an open forum is not lost on me. Is it lost on you?

As for our input. It would be highly unlikely that Bungie would ever admit a great amount of input of recognition of Halo2sucks in regards to improving their product. However a small amount of recognition by this person you are referring to is a sure sign that our time and effort is not wasted.

There has been many things wrong with the way some of our members have conducted themselves however not nearly as much as members of Bungies own forum. I'll search from that post and take appropriate action. I didn't see it today.

That's good to hear. Perhaps it was just a coincidence that it popped up today, then.

As far as Bungie forums go-- well, those forums are huge, and pretty much open to anybody. Even given the number of people they attempt to remove for bad behavior, that still leaves a lot left over.

The HBO forum, though, is something else. While the signal to noise ratio sometimes does drop because of its size and the numbers of new users coming in over the years, it tends to assimilate people fairly quickly and produce generally polite, if sometimes contentious, discussions.

I'd also think that the smaller a community is, the easier it would be to moderate, and thus the fewer such problems it would have.


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote]As for our input. It would be highly unlikely that Bungie would ever admit a great amount of input of recognition of Halo2sucks in regards to improving their product.[/quote]
It's also highly unlikely they would admit the involvement of Smokey the Bear or the ghost of Walt Disney. The amount of actual help they received from all three sources is probably about the same.

[quote]However a small amount of recognition by this person you are referring to is a sure sign that our time and effort is not wasted.[/quote]
Recognition? I said your contributions were negligible at best. Do you know what "negligible" means?

-Matt

[quote=Matt][quote]As for our input. It would be highly unlikely that Bungie would ever admit a great amount of input of recognition of Halo2sucks in regards to improving their product.[/quote]
It's also highly unlikely they would admit the involvement of Smokey the Bear or the ghost of Walt Disney. The amount of actual help they received from all three sources is probably about the same.[/quote]
Indeed, I have a superior claim on influencing Bungie; I asked for a horn on the Warthog when playing on a HaloPC BungieCTF server after running over the nth teammate to run out in front of me that night. That was in November '03, if I recall correctly. A year later, we received hornage.

Bow before my might, puny mortals.

-- Steve is of course fully aware of the meaning of negligible, and how it applies to his influence upon game design.

[quote=Matt][quote]As for our input. It would be highly unlikely that Bungie would ever admit a great amount of input of recognition of Halo2sucks in regards to improving their product.[/quote]
It's also highly unlikely they would admit the involvement of Smokey the Bear or the ghost of Walt Disney. The amount of actual help they received from all three sources is probably about the same.

[quote]However a small amount of recognition by this person you are referring to is a sure sign that our time and effort is not wasted.[/quote]
Recognition? I said your contributions were negligible at best. Do you know what "negligible" means?

-Matt
[/quote]
I normally don't reply or even acknowledge people like yourself. Your attitude has not gone unnoticed on me. If you would read me comment again it might give you a clearer understanding of who I was talking about.

[quote=VVV]

I normally don't reply or even acknowledge people like yourself. Your attitude has not gone unnoticed on me. If you would read me comment again it might give you a clearer understanding of who I was talking about.[/quote]

Which people? Developers?


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote=narcogen][quote=VVV]

I normally don't reply or even acknowledge people like yourself. Your attitude has not gone unnoticed on me. If you would read me comment again it might give you a clearer understanding of who I was talking about.[/quote]

Which people? Developers?


Rampant for over se7en years.[/quote]

I was referring to this. Is Matt this "former employee"?

"A former Bungie employee posts in the thread that H2S' input into the process of making the Halo games was minimal, and insinuates that this was due, at least in part, to rude treatment of Bungie and Bungie employees at that site."

[quote=VVV]Is Matt this "former employee"?[/quote]
Yes. Matt worked at Bungie before going to Wideload... for a while he did the Bungie Updates, like Frankie does now.

I'm inclined to trust his judgement as to what influenced Bungie's design decisions.

-- Steve saw the earlier post, but was literally at a loss for words on how to respond until now.

[quote=Anton P Nym][quote=VVV]Is Matt this "former employee"?[/quote]
Yes. Matt worked at Bungie before going to Wideload... for a while he did the Bungie Updates, like Frankie does now.

I'm inclined to trust his judgement as to what influenced Bungie's design decisions.

-- Steve saw the earlier post, but was literally at a loss for words on how to respond until now.[/quote]

Well that answers as many questions as it raises. No wonder H2S seemed to strike a nerve with him. I could sense hostility from the start.

"Negligable" you say Matt. You may very well call it that, and yes I know what the word means. However since you're a former employee the question should be raised. When did you stop working for them? Not that the answer really means anything anyway. As a matter a fact don't worry about it. It needs no reply.

For you see the simple fact that Bungie knows of us, recognizes us and is aware of our grievances is enough for me. We're there in the back of their heads. YOU KNOW IT!!!

Oh and as for all that talk about how we've treated them. Yes, I TOTALLY agree with you. However it pales in significance to how their very own members have and continue to treat them at their own forum.

[quote=narcogen]From the H2S forum today:

Frankeis a ho ,he cant even write intersting articles.

Yup. No vulgar language towards Bungie there. No sirree. No spelling, either, but hey...


Rampant for over se7en years.[/quote]
Nothing's perfect, and one rude, poorly constructed post once in a blue moon hardly shines a whole new light in front of the community for Halo 2 on Xbox Live. Notice how I said that almost everybody was quite respectful of Bungie and that almost everybody wasn't calling them really vulgar names.

As Matt asked... is the rallying cry you want to use "we're better than XBL"? Wouldn't it make more sense to use some other basis for comparison?

Once in a blue moon? I don't know.. after reading a lot of recent threads, I'm not sure I entirely agree. It's not a big issue, of course. But at some point it was brought up that the site didn't exist just to vent bile at Bungie, but to constructively criticize the game. I'm not really sure what part of that goal is served by posts like this.

If it really is just venting.. well, that's fine, that's part of what the Internet is for. I thought the site was supposed to be about more than that, though.


Rampant for over se7en years.

I know that saying that we're better than Xbox Live isn't really saying much, but my point is more that we're a lot better than the community of Halo 2 on Xbox Live, and about as good as the rest of the Halo community. Also, that really was the first vulgar thing that was said negatively about Bungie for quite a while.

[quote]Nobody's frothing at the mouth about anything[/quote]
Not at R.net, no. I was speaking of my general experience with H2S, from the days when people (including myself) still visited it from time to time.

[quote]hardly anybody's calling anybody a faggot.[/quote]
Hardly anybody visits the site anymore, so that's not much of an argument.

When H2S first came to my attention, the forum was an echo chamber in which a handful of people repeated three words - noob, sellout, and fag - ad infinitum. If things have gotten better, congratulations! It only took you guys two years to catch up to the rest of the Halo fan community in terms of basic decency.

[quote]Also, if the people who should be reading this the most never will be reading this, then there wouldn't be so many responses that disagree with the main points of the article.[/quote]
There aren't that many. They just seem more numerous than they are because they're unsigned.

-Matt

Wow. Great post Narc.

I'd already sort-of figured this a while back, that the gap between average and awesome players is much shorter in Halo 2 than 1, but really forgot about it all. Thank you for putting it so well.

Many of you have said that Halo 2 has a much smaller divide between "professional" and "intermediate" players. This may have been true on the game's release, but is that a good thing? I think not. The large blurring of skill in Halo 2 means that the starter players can win against much more experience players by luck alone. This really frustrates the more experience players due to the simple fact that their 1 year of game play means nothing against someone who has only been playing for 2 months.

Now, the current XBL has a much different kind of divide, and that divide is made by one of the flaws of Halo 2. Glitches. Super-Bouncing and Button Glitching make a very thin and defined line between good and bad players. There is literally a wall you hit in how high a level you can achieve without learning those glitches. A game should never require someone to use such methods to get better at the game, and that is exactly what halo 2's current online community requires.

I also invite you, as a long time member of Halo2sucks.com, to visit our community and interact with them. They will welcome you and discuss with you in a coherent and intelligent fashion. I find you will see the experience as enlightening.

Emn1ty - Halo2sucks.com member

[quote=Emn1ty]Many of you have said that Halo 2 has a much smaller divide between "professional" and "intermediate" players. This may have been true on the game's release, but is that a good thing? I think not. The large blurring of skill in Halo 2 means that the starter players can win against much more experience players by luck alone. This really frustrates the more experience players due to the simple fact that their 1 year of game play means nothing against someone who has only been playing for 2 months.[/quote]

You have, essentially, made my point for me. We don't disagree on the facts. We differ in the interpretation. That little bit of randomness that sometimes works in the favor of the less skilled player makes it possible for someone who is losing at the game to at least feel like they are not being utterly dominated. Any sizeable population will always have more average or below average players than elite players.

My point was that if Halo 2's online combat was entirely deterministic, and if some of the changes I saw suggested in those pages were made, especially regarding the pistol, then it is very likely that a great number of beginners would give up before improving much, and that furthermore, players of limited ability, having advanced to a low or average rank in matchmaking, would find the experience of rising to the level of their own limits so unpleasant that they might very well quit, also. What you'd have then would be only the intermediate or better players (and especially those with the least latency).

Those who remain might find that game more enjoyable than they find Halo 2 currently, but my point was, I think there would be fewer of them.

[quote=Emn1ty]Now, the current XBL has a much different kind of divide, and that divide is made by one of the flaws of Halo 2. Glitches. Super-Bouncing and Button Glitching make a very thin and defined line between good and bad players. There is literally a wall you hit in how high a level you can achieve without learning those glitches. A game should never require someone to use such methods to get better at the game, and that is exactly what halo 2's current online community requires.[/quote]

You'll get no argument from me there. Those are major flaws, and I'm hoping Bungie does everything possible so that those kinds of problems aren't re-created in Halo 3. I doubt it'll be perfect; I'm sure someone, at sometime, will find something to exploit that others find unfair.

[quote=Emn1ty]I also invite you, as a long time member of Halo2sucks.com, to visit our community and interact with them. They will welcome you and discuss with you in a coherent and intelligent fashion. I find you will see the experience as enlightening.

Emn1ty - Halo2sucks.com member[/quote]

I'm working on that-- I've registered but the system doesn't seem to let me login. Hopefully that glitch, too, can be rectified soon :)


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote=Emn1ty]The large blurring of skill in Halo 2 means that the starter players can win against much more experience players by luck alone. This really frustrates the more experience players due to the simple fact that their 1 year of game play means nothing against someone who has only been playing for 2 months.[/quote]
This, in my head, translates to, "I can't pwn n00bs. Therefor it sucks."

Pfeh.

Setting aside the idea that the ranking system is expressly designed to prevent such big mismatches in skill level, and that ranks aren't readings from an e-testaclometer, it's still in my opinion a very petty reason to dislike a game.

It's also, frankly, flat-out wrong that experience means "nothing". Margins of victory may possibly be narrower in a particular game, and this may lead to the occasional upset in a game, but overall knowledge and experience WILL be reflected in a player's overall win-loss record. Just as it is in poker. Just as it is in golf. Just as it is in football.

If some players get frustrated that they can't enter a game and be confident of winning by a wide margin against other players with lower rank numbers in that particular game, then in my opinion the flaw is in those players and not the game.

-- Steve would hold this "meritocracy" point of view in more sympathy if he hadn't seen it displayed so often by those who gained more enjoyment out of humiliating other players than from the gameplay itself.

[quote=Anton P Nym]
This, in my head, translates to, "I can't pwn n00bs. Therefor it sucks."

Pfeh.

Setting aside the idea that the ranking system is expressly designed to prevent such big mismatches in skill level, and that ranks aren't readings from an e-testaclometer, it's still in my opinion a very petty reason to dislike a game.

It's also, frankly, flat-out wrong that experience means "nothing". Margins of victory may possibly be narrower in a particular game, and this may lead to the occasional upset in a game, but overall knowledge and experience WILL be reflected in a player's overall win-loss record. Just as it is in poker. Just as it is in golf. Just as it is in football.

If some players get frustrated that they can't enter a game and be confident of winning by a wide margin against other players with lower rank numbers in that particular game, then in my opinion the flaw is in those players and not the game.

-- Steve would hold this "meritocracy" point of view in more sympathy if he hadn't seen it displayed so often by those who gained more enjoyment out of humiliating other players than from the gameplay itself.[/quote]
It seems to me that whenever someone talks of losing to a newer player or talks about something they don't like about a game, there is always at least one person who assumes that we just complain because we aren't good at the game. That is not true at all, and is a poor argument against what I am trying to say.

The sheer amount of assistance halo 2 gives to the newer players can defeat any plan a more experienced player may put out. I may be able to come up behind a player, but due to the large amount of lunge and homing abilities I may just fly past him and slide off, thus making me incredibly vulnerable despite my previous advantage. This has happened to me countless times. Other things of this sort is the Aim Assist. If you are trying to shoot a guy with no shields on the other team, and another more oblivious player walks but two feet in front of you, your aim is thrown off by the incredible magnetism given to your weapon, allowing the other player to regain shields, and now you are outnumbered 2 to 1.

The game is made so simplistic and easy that it throws off advanced tactics and supports more straightforward ones, meaning newer players can at times play better than the more experienced ones due to the fact that their plans can have a wrench easily thrown into them out of no fault of the either team, just from mechanics alone. These random factors create such an unpredictable game that it really isn't possible to separate a level 30 from a level 18, because the 30 most likely got luckier than the 18, but is just as good at the game.

[quote=Emn1ty][quote=Anton P Nym]
This, in my head, translates to, "I can't pwn n00bs. Therefor it sucks."

Pfeh.

Setting aside the idea that the ranking system is expressly designed to prevent such big mismatches in skill level, and that ranks aren't readings from an e-testaclometer, it's still in my opinion a very petty reason to dislike a game.

It's also, frankly, flat-out wrong that experience means "nothing". Margins of victory may possibly be narrower in a particular game, and this may lead to the occasional upset in a game, but overall knowledge and experience WILL be reflected in a player's overall win-loss record. Just as it is in poker. Just as it is in golf. Just as it is in football.

If some players get frustrated that they can't enter a game and be confident of winning by a wide margin against other players with lower rank numbers in that particular game, then in my opinion the flaw is in those players and not the game.

-- Steve would hold this "meritocracy" point of view in more sympathy if he hadn't seen it displayed so often by those who gained more enjoyment out of humiliating other players than from the gameplay itself.[/quote]

It seems to me that whenever someone talks of losing to a newer player or talks about something they don't like about a game, there is always at least one person who assumes that we just complain because we aren't good at the game. That is not true at all, and is a poor argument against what I am trying to say.[/quote]

You have quite completely, and perhaps intentionally, misconstrued Steve's argument by replacing a relative statement with an absolute one.

He is not saying you are not good at the game. I am not saying you are not good at the game. I am not saying that people who want the return of the pistol and believe H1>H2 are not all better than me by a large margin.

The question is this: to what degree do you want the game to recognize your superiority? Must that superior skill be recognized every time, in every situation? Must the universe of Halo 2 be so completely different from the real world that accidents and luck do not ever occur?

[quote=Emn1ty]The sheer amount of assistance halo 2 gives to the newer players can defeat any plan a more experienced player may put out. I may be able to come up behind a player, but due to the large amount of lunge and homing abilities I may just fly past him and slide off, thus making me incredibly vulnerable despite my previous advantage.[/quote]

This needs adjustment. First, as an inexperienced, lesser-skilled player, I can say this: Halo 2 gives me no such assistance. If it did, I'd be a level 40, because I need all the help I can get.

What it does do is create certain circumstances in which an advantage, whether one of skill, position, or weapon superiority-- may be negated, either by random chance, or by the execution of a tactic or use of a weapon that requires less skill.

You've also failed to take into account that this is a two-way street; as a noob, if I am clever enough to manage to sneak up behind a very good player to attempt an assassination kill, I may also miss, for the same reasons you point out. Either both situations are unfair, or neither of them is. The relative skill of the players in question, in this scenario, is irrelevant. All that is being said is that certain actions, in practice, especially given factors such as latency, are not entirely deterministic; or, rather, do not appear to be entirely deterministic.

[quote=Emn1ty]This has happened to me countless times.[/quote]

Me, also. In fact, I'm betting it's happened to me more than it happens to you. In fact, almost every scenario where it is claimed a kill was gotten by luck, rather than skill, happens just about as often to bad players as to good ones. In fact, more often.

Your argument is coming down to be exactly what the thrust of my article was, and exactly what Steve said above: if you are of the opinion that you are of higher skill than your opponent, you will not be satisfied with the outcome unless the game recognizes your superior skill input in every situation and grants you a kill. Any situation where luck awards a kill to an inexperienced player seems to be unacceptable to you.

This game you want to play? It's not for me. It's not for the majority of Halo 2 players. They have games like that; games that are unforgiving, with steep learning curves, that are entirely deterministic.

I am not saying Halo 2's weapon balance is perfect. I believe it to be deeply flawed. What I disagree with is what I see as the end goal. Until latency can be completely eliminated, I don't think the element of chance should be, either.

[quote=Emn1ty]Other things of this sort is the Aim Assist. If you are trying to shoot a guy with no shields on the other team, and another more oblivious player walks but two feet in front of you, your aim is thrown off by the incredible magnetism given to your weapon, allowing the other player to regain shields, and now you are outnumbered 2 to 1.[/quote]

And how does this occur to skilled players more often than unskilled ones? Heck, this happens to me in campaign.

[quote=Emn1ty]The game is made so simplistic and easy that it throws off advanced tactics and supports more straightforward ones, meaning newer players can at times play better than the more experienced ones due to the fact that their plans can have a wrench easily thrown into them out of no fault of the either team, just from mechanics alone.[/quote]

Here's a newsflash for you: Halo is not a tactical shooter. It's not intended to be. Please do not try and make it one. There are tactical shooters; plenty of them. Feel free to play one.

Or, the flipside of the argument, which is that if simpler tactics work better than complex ones: use the simple ones. Are you playing to win, or to demonstrate your superior skill and tactics? If a team of highly skilled players with a complex plan are thwarted by the application of a simple and straightforward plan by lesser-skilled players, you cannot possily say they were defeated "of no fault of either team". It is not the mechanics of the game. It is player choice.

[quote=Emn1ty]These random factors create such an unpredictable game that it really isn't possible to separate a level 30 from a level 18, because the 30 most likely got luckier than the 18, but is just as good at the game.[/quote]

It creates enough unpredictability that you may not necessariliy be able to discern the difference between a level 18 and a level 30 within the context of a single game or group of games. Over a long period of time, it is possible to discern it. The game itself has made this determination.

If what you are trying to say is that two players of equal innate skill may be ranked 18 and another 30, and the difference is luck: I say, bull. Luck is just that; it affects everybody more or less equally. There's only one factor operating in the game that could conspire to make such a distinction: latency. Nothing else. If you're saying two identical twins could be separated at birth and one gets a 30 rank and the other 18, then the difference is who got host, not who got lucky. Unless we want to define "lucky" as "host", which I wouldn't object to. Host gets a working sword and a working shotgun. Unless H3 has a dedicated server system (which it won't) this is always going to operate as a factor; one player is playing on the server with no latency.


Rampant for over se7en years.

I was replying to his "I cant pwn noobs so the game sucks", which almost directly suggests that I'm complaining about not being able to win. He may not be saying Im not good at the game, but it could sure be taken in that way.

This isn't an argument that skilled players have more accidents, just that the amount of experience doesn't matter in this game because the only tactic you can use is a direct one. What good is playing the game if the same old tactic works every time, and the only thing that must be improved is your reaction time? Halo may not be a tactical shooter such as SOCOM or GRAW, but tactics are a large part of the game despite that. If you have ever played a single MLG tournament game, you can see how tactics come into play. There are teams that force spawn you to certain areas to gain more kills faster and render you immobile. There are teams that will take several sides of the map and have a near unbreakable offense and defense if they get any form of foothold.

Now when it comes to luck, I am not saying luck should be removed entirely, in fact, that is impossible to do because luck factors in just on the player's side rather than the game's mechanics. The main point is that Halo 2 is too random. When I can kill someone with a hit to the back, I expect that to happen every time if it is noticeably executed. To have the random chance of either killing them or sliding off (or even falling just inches short) is in no way fair, for experienced or inexperienced players.

I may have displayed my opinion in too extreme a fashion, but in no way do I want this to be implemented so absolutely as to deter newer players from playing. What I want is a game where I wont have to experience hitting a guy in the back six times only to fall short each time and fly past him on the last. These things happen much too consistently for the game to be a level playing field or even determine a players true skill. This line is even more blurred now that killing an opponent is as simple as pressing two buttons in a certain order. Skill has now diminished in Halo 2 to who can press a certain series of buttons faster than their opponent.

In any case, Halo 2 Online as it is today is a mess as I see it, and nothing can redeem it.

[quote=Emn1ty]I was replying to his "I cant pwn noobs so the game sucks", which almost directly suggests that I'm complaining about not being able to win. He may not be saying Im not good at the game, but it could sure be taken in that way.[/quote]

I think it says something that you consider the phrase "pwn noobs" to be synonymous with winning. Again, that's the point we're both making.

Steve probably considers it to mean something closer to "completely and consistently obliterate and humiliate a vastly inferior competitor". In fact, I think that is probably closer to the common usage.

To say "you can't pwn noobs" as an accusation that you cannot play the game well would be silly, as a simple exchange of gamertags could address that once and for all. The point is, how dominant do you need to be in the game before you are satisfied that things are fair?

Lets try and nail it down. Let's say your a 30 and I'm a rank amateur, a 1. We play slayer on lockout. How many kills am I allowed to get, and in what manner, before it crosses the threshold beyond what you consider fair?

[quote=Emn1ty]This isn't an argument that skilled players have more accidents, just that the amount of experience doesn't matter in this game because the only tactic you can use is a direct one. What good is playing the game if the same old tactic works every time, and the only thing that must be improved is your reaction time?[/quote]

What is the execution of skill in Halo 1, if not purely reflex? Aim at head, pull trigger, repeat. First to three hits wins. At mid-range there is no other tactic unless you have a sniper rifle; no other weapon can deliver enough damage at the same range as the pistol to counter it.

[quote=Emn1ty]Halo may not be a tactical shooter such as SOCOM or GRAW, but tactics are a large part of the game despite that. If you have ever played a single MLG tournament game, you can see how tactics come into play. There are teams that force spawn you to certain areas to gain more kills faster and render you immobile. There are teams that will take several sides of the map and have a near unbreakable offense and defense if they get any form of foothold.[/quote]

As they say, it's not how well the bear dances, it's that it does it at all. I've no doubt that at a high enough skill level Halo can be made into some sort of tactical shooter. I do not think the vast majority of players fall into this category. They have neither the talent, nor the inclination, to turn what is supposed to be an enjoyable pastime into a full-time profession.

[quote=Emn1ty]Now when it comes to luck, I am not saying luck should be removed entirely, in fact, that is impossible to do because luck factors in just on the player's side rather than the game's mechanics. The main point is that Halo 2 is too random. When I can kill someone with a hit to the back, I expect that to happen every time if it is noticeably executed. To have the random chance of either killing them or sliding off (or even falling just inches short) is in no way fair, for experienced or inexperienced players.[/quote]

Every time. Deterministic. No luck. To have random events affect all players equally is fair-- just as the pistol is "balanced" so long as everyone gets one. The exception, as I pointed out, is host, since bad luck affects them significantly less often.

[quote=Emn1ty]I may have displayed my opinion in too extreme a fashion, but in no way do I want this to be implemented so absolutely as to deter newer players from playing. What I want is a game where I wont have to experience hitting a guy in the back six times only to fall short each time and fly past him on the last. These things happen much too consistently for the game to be a level playing field or even determine a players true skill. This line is even more blurred now that killing an opponent is as simple as pressing two buttons in a certain order. Skill has now diminished in Halo 2 to who can press a certain series of buttons faster than their opponent. [/quote]

Honestly, I think it's in your imagination-- not that it has diminished to that point, but that it was ever anything but that to start with. There seems to be this perception that whatever rank a person has, it is not a true reflection of the user's skill. The reason for this, is kills lost to inferior players due to dumb luck and faulty game mechanics. I think there is only one person in the game who can actually say this truthfully, though, and that would be the single highest ranked player in the game.

There's a cognitive dissonance here somewhere. You are skilled, and able to play the game. You have a rank higher than mine. However, your rank is not reflective of your skill, because Halo 2 rewards players without skill with kills that they do not deserve. I also have a rank. It is low. Perhaps none of the kills I got were deserved; I stole them from players above me by exploiting Halo 2's nondeterministic physics, faulty gameplay mechanics, and shallow tactical depth.

What is the factor that prevents me from doing so and achieving the same rank as you? What is the factor that prevents you from doing so and achieving an even higher ranking than you have, assuming you are not personally the highest ranked player? What is that factor if it is not skill? If that factor is not skill, and the rate at which unskillful kills can be had by the use of simplistic tactics, imbalanced weapons, or sheer dumb luck is equal for all players, then what is it? If those opportunities exist, then every player of every rank is a "noob" compared to someone else, who is exploiting these flaws in the game and accruing unearned kills and unfair ranks.

[quote=Emn1ty]In any case, Halo 2 Online as it is today is a mess as I see it, and nothing can redeem it.[/quote]

Actually, I don't say it's not a mess either. It's a question of what needs to be done to change that, and what is a desirable result. While not claiming that you have the intent to drive me and other less-skilled, less-experienced players from the game, what I can say is that you seem to be driven from a desire not just to enjoy the game, but to create a set of circumstances in which it would be impossible for me to enjoy the game without being significantly more skilled than I am, and by the impression that a game that allows me to enjoy myself at a lower level of skill because Halo 2 throws me (and indeed everyone) a bit of good or bad fortune at random makes you so irretrievably happy that you also enjoy the game.

The difference here is that with Halo 2, I'm enjoying losing the game, while you're not enjoying winning it.

Let's turn that "you can't pwn noobs" thing around. I understand that what most people understand that to mean is that the players who want a return to H1 style play are sore losers.

They aren't. Because they aren't losing.

They are sore winners. No matter how much they win, they believe they ought to be winning more; more often, more decisively, more completely. Seemingly random events that steal a kill here or there sometimes, in the short term, prevent that.

Is it really that worth getting upset over? If we play a 1x1 and you beat me, which you would do, is a 25-0 victory with all sniper headshots all that would make you happy? If we do an SMG dance in the middle of the map and through some freak chance I land my melee and you miss yours, and I kill you once-- is the game unfair?

Because that, to be honest, is my experience of Xbox Live. Not so much sore losers. Sore winners. Lots of them.

You seem like a nice guy. I wouldn't have thought you'd be one of them; you don't strike me as being one of them. But the things you say are very, very close to the very point I made in the article: that merely winning is not enough for you. You are winning more than less-skilled players... just not winning by enough to please you.


Rampant for over se7en years.

The question isn't the number of kills, but how they are achieved. If I cant kill someone with 5 hits to the back, yet he can kill me every single time with the same maneuver, is that fair. Regardless of level or skill, this is not fair. I am one of those who don't care about winning, but play for the challenge. If I cant kill someone after 5 tries, I get a little frustrated, not that I am not winning, but because a legitimate kill was denied to me. But, i do see what you are saying and i see your point of view. I just dont think I am accurately describing what I think.

[quote=Emn1ty]The question isn't the number of kills, but how they are achieved. If I cant kill someone with 5 hits to the back, yet he can kill me every single time with the same maneuver, is that fair.[/quote]

Aren't you exaggerating? I realize that's how it feels when it happens. Sometimes I feel like the weapon people use against me is somehow magically more effective than the gun I'm holding, even when it's the same gun.

But unless he's host, that player is having the exact same experience with regards to other players.

You're saying that the mechanics of Halo 2 are such that an inferior player can kill you every time with one maneuver, and you can never do so?

I see only three possible responses to this:

  • You are never host.
  • Bungie knows who you are and has hacked your Xbox.
  • The above statement is not true.

[quote=Emn1ty]Regardless of level or skill, this is not fair. I am one of those who don't care about winning, but play for the challenge. If I cant kill someone after 5 tries, I get a little frustrated, not that I am not winning, but because a legitimate kill was denied to me.[/quote]

That's it again. We're describing the exact same thing, just in different words.

Your words:
[quote=Emn1ty]
I get a little frustrated, not that I am not winning, but because a legitimate kill was denied to me.
[/quote]

My words:
[quote=narcogen]
Halo 2 insufficiently rewards, in terms of kills and kills to death ratio, confirmed superior skill.[/quote]

In other words, you are winning, but not by enough kills, since some kills you decided the game owed you were not forthcoming.

You are winning... but winning is not enough.

[quote=Emn1ty]
But, i do see what you are saying and i see your point of view. I just dont think I am accurately describing what I think.
[/quote]

Actually, I think you are-- I think it's just a question that I think what you think isn't the way things should be. ;)


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote=Emn1ty]It seems to me that whenever someone talks of losing to a newer player or talks about something they don't like about a game, there is always at least one person who assumes that we just complain because we aren't good at the game. That is not true at all, and is a poor argument against what I am trying to say.[/quote]
You completely misunderstood my point.

What I said was that the statement translates in my head to "I can't pwn n00bs"... the intended meaning of my translation was "the game does not allow me to beat up on less-experienced players to my satisfaction." It's the implied complaint that Halo 2 doesn't allow the gameplay equivalent of 6th-graders beating up on kindergarteners because it grants the kindergarteners a chance at landing a lucky punch or two, and therefor doesn't allow certain hypercompetitive types to derive pleasure from this "superiority".

I wasn't impuning your game-playing skill; I was impuning your motives for complaining. That you interpreted my post as slighting your "skillz" is a telling point of projection, indeed.

-- Steve will reiterate; Halo 2 is a game, and not a slightly more advanced version of Bonobos flashing their testes at each other.

Nice article. Well written and interesting. However it was disappointing to see you bookmark the members of Halo2sucks.com like you did, inaccurately and unfair. I would like to offer you an invitation to actually visit the forum at Halo2sucks.com. Come in past the front page and delve into the debate and minds of those you have cast judgment upon.

It’s worth noting for your reference that just about the entire front page was written by one man. The creator of the site who has since left us. We’ve made advances to the new owner (who has not shown himself) to change much of it but still no luck.

I’ll give you a little bit of feed back that may make interesting reading to you. The majority of Halo2sucks.com members consider the pistol as being “over powered” and flawed in Halo 1. Hell, it’s just about most of us actually. We consider the first Halo installment to have many faults. I guess that is something unique about us that is sometimes lost on those peering in from the outside. You would be hard pressed to find a Halo site or a gaming one for the matter that is as candid and forthright in its opinions. The members are intelligent and know a great deal about all topics of gaming on all platforms and genre.

You have also unfairly tried to sum the site up in a way which is inaccurate. You have unsuccessfully tried to wrap up its purpose and the gripes of the members in a neat little summation. What you failed to touch on is the MANY things that give us the opinion of Halo 2 “sucking”. I’m sure the limit on this comment wouldn’t give me time to lay out a more accurate summary for your benefit.

It’s also a very good thing to note that Halo2sucks.com has its fair share of “pro” Halo 1 players (and Halo 2). However it also has its fair share of crap players. I for one suck at Halo 1. I’m terrible. I would go to my weekly LAN and play dreadfully and lose. I still get on XBC and can’t even remember the last game I won off host.

I still play however. A game is NOT about winning. I won far more of my online encounters in Halo 2 then I lost. Probably around 70% win margin. I didn’t enjoy it however and consider the game to have too many problems that don’t include this “pistol” one you refer to.

You wrote:

“What Bungie did was narrow the gap between the best and worst online players. The authors of Halo2Sucks.com bemoan this as ruining the game. It didn't ruin it. It made the game what it is. If Halo 2 online played like Halo 1, nobody on the "skill comparison meter" below the halfway point between "Professional" and "Intermediate" would even bother to play.”

Wrong. If Halo 2 was what it should have been it would be twice as successful as it is today. Its success comes from lack of competition. A very deflating thing to acknowledge in the gaming industry. Its success comes from trading off the success of Halo 1. It comes from being one of the early pace setters from XBL game play. Even if Bungie did get “Optimatch” wrong. For everything Bungie has done well in Halo 2 there are 2 things it has done wrong. We at Halo2sucks.com have made it our mission to highlight these shortcomings and mistakes to Bungie and give them the appropriate feed back to get Halo 3 right. We’ve already seen much of this come to fruition in changes to Halo 2. Starting with the AU1.1. Carrying through to the information about Halo 3 we’re starting to get.

No need to thank us.

VVV – Halo2sucks.com member and moderator.

[quote=VVV]Nice article. Well written and interesting. However it was disappointing to see you bookmark the members of Halo2sucks.com like you did, inaccurately and unfair. I would like to offer you an invitation to actually visit the forum at Halo2sucks.com. Come in past the front page and delve into the debate and minds of those you have cast judgment upon.[/quote]

Thanks VVV! Glad you found it of interest. Just to be clear, though, and to respond to some of your later remarks, when I refer to Halo2Sucks.com, I was referring solely to the static pages that exist there, some of which I linked to, and not to any users of the forum there. I realize that just because people participate in the forum of a particular site, that doesn't mean they endorse everything written there, so my characterizations are directed at the articles I mentioned, not all the forumgoers of the site.

On the other hand, one might wonder-- why, if the original author and registrant is long gone, and no one can change the existing texts-- why stay at that site? Why not make one like.. improvinghalo.org to make it clear the intent isn't to say Bungie is a sellout that makes terrible games, but to improve the game through constructive criticism?

[snip]

[quote=VVV]You wrote:

“What Bungie did was narrow the gap between the best and worst online players. The authors of Halo2Sucks.com bemoan this as ruining the game. It didn't ruin it. It made the game what it is. If Halo 2 online played like Halo 1, nobody on the "skill comparison meter" below the halfway point between "Professional" and "Intermediate" would even bother to play.”

Wrong. If Halo 2 was what it should have been it would be twice as successful as it is today. Its success comes from lack of competition. A very deflating thing to acknowledge in the gaming industry. Its success comes from trading off the success of Halo 1. It comes from being one of the early pace setters from XBL game play. Even if Bungie did get “Optimatch” wrong. For everything Bungie has done well in Halo 2 there are 2 things it has done wrong. We at Halo2sucks.com have made it our mission to highlight these shortcomings and mistakes to Bungie and give them the appropriate feed back to get Halo 3 right. We’ve already seen much of this come to fruition in changes to Halo 2. Starting with the AU1.1. Carrying through to the information about Halo 3 we’re starting to get.

No need to thank us.

VVV – Halo2sucks.com member and moderator.
[/quote]

We're just going to have to agree to disagree there. I don't see how the success of a six-year-old shooter with no online component (Halo 1) translates into two years of dominance at the top of the XBL leaderboard. Are you saying there were no other competent online shooters for the Xbox?

Bungie got Optimatch wrong? The system Microsoft wishes was part of every XBL game? The system missing from Gears of War, one of the only complaints about that game?

Halo 2 twice as successful? How is that even possible? The attach rate for Halo 2 (the percentage of Xbox owners who have the game) is phenomenal. For Halo 2 to be "twice as successful" then nearly person who owns an Xbox would have to own it. That never happens. Even for the consoles that are highly associated with a particular franchise, as the PlayStation is with Final Fantasy, and as Nintendo is with Mario.

It may be true a dearth of better games has contributed to Halo 2 remaining the top XBL game for so long-- from its launch until the launch of Gears of War. And while some may be giving Bungie too much credit for that, to say that the reign of Halo 2 on XBL from November 2004 to the end of 2006 was solely due to the reputation of Halo 1-- I don't really think that makes much sense at all.

I'll certainly take you up on the invitation to poke around the forum; but just so there's no misunderstanding, I was responding to the main texts on the article-- not the opinions of users in the forum, which may be different.


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote=narcogen] Thanks VVV! Glad you found it of interest. Just to be clear, though, and to respond to some of your later remarks, when I refer to Halo2Sucks.com, I was referring solely to the static pages that exist there, some of which I linked to, and not to any users of the forum there. I realize that just because people participate in the forum of a particular site, that doesn't mean they endorse everything written there, so my characterizations are directed at the articles I mentioned, not all the forumgoers of the site. On the other hand, one might wonder-- why, if the original author and registrant is long gone, and no one can change the existing texts-- why stay at that site? Why not make one like.. improvinghalo.org to make it clear the intent isn't to say Bungie is a sellout that makes terrible games, but to improve the game through constructive criticism? [/quote] I am DeadSight, current Head-Administrator of Halo2sucks.com. I would like to say that your article is well written but for something so current there are some errors with your information. You may refer to the static pages if you would like, but the most current up to date information is in the forum. I encourage you to come visit when you have a chance. Our community has put forth many ideas which we will believe will improve the game. However most people around the internet believe that we are just a website for whiny kids who play halo 2 only to complain. Our website has evolved from dissecting Halo 2, to general video game discussion as well as preparing for Halo 3. The original owner is gone for reasons unrelated to Halo 2 or video gaming. The website is sold to another owner who is not connected to video games and thus rarely around to update the website. The reason why we stay at this website is because we have a small community of friends and people who can have proper discussions. We wouldnt leave to move somewhere else or start up a new community under a different name. We are known for being Halo2sucks.com and its the shocking nature of the URL name that defines as. ImprovingHalo.org just doesnt have the same ring to it as Halo2sucks.com. Drawing in people with a catchy phrase. Our community respects each other and we put forth countless discussions. Thanks to the forum rules, our discussions are free of trolls, flamers, spammers, etc. A safe haven of the internet if you will. Again, I invite you to come understand our way of thinking and the present information we discuss with. The front of the website is no where near updated when compared to the forums.

[quote=Anonymous]

I am DeadSight, current Head-Administrator of Halo2sucks.com. I would like to say that your article is well written but for something so current there are some errors with your information. You may refer to the static pages if you would like, but the most current up to date information is in the forum.[/quote]

Errors? I'm not sure what you mean. I was referred to a website, which I read, paraphrased, and responded to. People from the forum may have their own opinions, but like it or not, the expressed opinion of "Halo2Sucks.com" is the static pages that exist at that address, and not the forumgoers. If people tried to divine my opinion by simply reading the forums here, that would be incorrect.

Simply because members of the forum have gone on to espouse opinions different from those I responded to doesn't make that response an error; it just means it's not directed at you. If people confuse "Halo 2 Sucks: The Site" with "Halo 2 Sucks: The Forum" that's hardly surprising, and it seems you'll probably have to live with it until you can alter or remove the site.

[quote=Anonymous]

I encourage you to come visit when you have a chance. Our community has put forth many ideas which we will believe will improve the game. However most people around the internet believe that we are just a website for whiny kids who play halo 2 only to complain. Our website has evolved from dissecting Halo 2, to general video game discussion as well as preparing for Halo 3. [/quote]

As I mentioned to VVV, I will go and poke around this week.

[quote=Anonymous]The original owner is gone for reasons unrelated to Halo 2 or video gaming. The website is sold to another owner who is not connected to video games and thus rarely around to update the website. The reason why we stay at this website is because we have a small community of friends and people who can have proper discussions. We wouldnt leave to move somewhere else or start up a new community under a different name. We are known for being Halo2sucks.com and its the shocking nature of the URL name that defines as. ImprovingHalo.org just doesnt have the same ring to it as Halo2sucks.com. Drawing in people with a catchy phrase. Our community respects each other and we put forth countless discussions. Thanks to the forum rules, our discussions are free of trolls, flamers, spammers, etc. A safe haven of the internet if you will.[/quote]

It sounds to me as if you are voluntarily choosing to be associated with the static content of Halo2Sucks.com, including its URL, and then desire to call such association an error. You can't have it both ways. If you want to stick with that URL for its shock value, then you get what comes with it-- the site itself-- until it changes.

[quote=Anonymous]
Again, I invite you to come understand our way of thinking and the present information we discuss with. The front of the website is no where near updated when compared to the forums.
[/quote]

That's not really the point, though. I was responding to the static pages, not the forum. If I were going to do a review of A Tale Of Two Cities, I'd read the book-- despite the fact that Dickens is dead as a doornail. I wouldn't visit ATaleOfTwoCities.com and browse the forum, which is more updated.


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote=narcogen] Errors? I'm not sure what you mean. I was referred to a website, which I read, paraphrased, and responded to. People from the forum may have their own opinions, but like it or not, the expressed opinion of "Halo2Sucks.com" is the static pages that exist at that address, and not the forumgoers. If people tried to divine my opinion by simply reading the forums here, that would be incorrect. Simply because members of the forum have gone on to espouse opinions different from those I responded to doesn't make that response an error; it just means it's not directed at you. If people confuse "Halo 2 Sucks: The Site" with "Halo 2 Sucks: The Forum" that's hardly surprising, and it seems you'll probably have to live with it until you can alter or remove the site.[\quote] Perhaps you don't understand. Refer to the website, paraphrase it, quote it, cite it, do what you want. However the website has since been sold for over a year. The front page has then devoid of updates since then. Your 'divine option' should seek the updated opinions and arguments. No one argues a recent topic with outdated information. The forum is very much part of the website. The website encompases both the forum and the front page as a site of pages on the web. Our opinions and arguments had fueled the front page before the website was sold. Unfortunately we lost the chance to update it when it was sold. Therefore the most up to date information is on the forums because of that reason. If you wish to cite the front page and static pages, do what you want but you are citing wrong misinformation which is definitly why some of your arguments are false in your paper. Our website is not just the opinions of some people, but information. I hope you take VVV and my offer up and look around.

Let's put it this way. A guy who lives next door to me builds a house. He constructs it, decorates as he likes, and lives in it for awhile.

Then, for his own reasons, he decides to leave. He sells the house. He sells it to a guy that doesn't want to live there. In fact, the new guy never even actually shows up at the house.

In the meantime, seeing the house standing empty, some people start living in the house. They change the decor to suit their own tastes.

I'm talking about the original house and the original owner. Not the current residents, who do not own the house.

To put it another way: George Lucas re-released Star Wars, and put in a scene that shows Greedo shooting at Han Solo first, to justify Solo's killing him. It softened the character of Solo.

If I were to write about Star Wars, I'd refer the original version because that is the one that interests me. At least, in that case, the "updated" version was done by the original author.

Whatever you've got in the forum is not "updated" unless you've got the involvement of the original author of the pages at Halo2Sucks.com. What you've got is something else, something different.

You might be living in the guy's basement but that doesn't mean people want you opening his mail.

Just to say it over again: This article is not about you guys. I'll write another one about you guys, I promise ;)


Rampant for over se7en years.

Alright, go ahead.

[quote=VVV]
Even if Bungie did get “Optimatch” wrong. For everything Bungie has done well in Halo 2 there are 2 things it has done wrong.
[/quote]

So long as we're going on unsupported opinion, then I think I'm entitled to claim you've reversed the proportions. Halo 2 is far from perfect, but it's still an excellent game by at least one objective measure; two and a quarter years after its release and after the roll-out of an entire new generation of consoles, it's the game that people come back to after trying the competition.

-- Steve's thinking that, if Halo 2 indeed sucks, then it's a matter of sucking the least of all the real alternatives. There's no fair comparison between an existing product and an ideal imagining of what might have been... especially since we've yet to see any test results from these imaginings.

PS: By all means, hold dissenting opinions. That's what makes the Internet (despite it's multiple failings) great. Just don't assume that I am inferior or ignorant if I don't share them, or that these opinions are based on anything other than personal preference, please.

[quote=Anton P Nym]
PS: By all means, hold dissenting opinions. That's what makes the Internet (despite it's multiple failings) great. Just don't assume that I am inferior or ignorant if I don't share them, or that these opinions are based on anything other than personal preference, please.
[/quote]

Dude, didn't you hear? The Internet sucks. And if we don't make it clear to everybody how much it sucks, then it'll continue to suck. The Internet needs us!


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote=VVV]No need to thank us.[/quote]

That's true. Your contributions were negligible at best.

-Matt

[quote=VVV]Nice article. Well written and interesting. However it was disappointing to see you bookmark the members of Halo2sucks.com like you did, inaccurately and unfair. I would like to offer you an invitation to actually visit the forum at Halo2sucks.com. Come in past the front page and delve into the debate and minds of those you have cast judgment upon.[/quote]

Just to repeat, since it seems most of the replies seem to be in this vein-- if you are not the author of the pages I've referred to, then I am not casting judgment on you :)

Now, for the forum-- I have registered and received my confirmation email, but when I attempt to login at this url:

http://halo2sucks.com/forum2/login.php

I get a blank page. No error message, no forum, no nothing. I read the note regarding proxies, and I am not using one; at least, not personally-- my ISP might well be using a transparent proxy as far as I know.

Can anything be done so that I can post?

Are you sure you clicked on the confirmation URL in the e-mail? You must confirm the email by clicking that link before logging in.

I guess I hadn't actually gotten the confirmation message yet. But it just showed up, and now everything's working.


Rampant for over se7en years.

I saw a few logical fallacies in your article, and while I can't be bothered to list and explain all of them, I'll just explain some problems with your main thesis statements, and then a few problems with some of your less significant statements. First of all, your main thesis statement is probably the one that states that it's good that those who shouldn't be winning are either having fun or winning; your own words were the following: "Thank you for recognizing that most people have more fun playing games like Halo than they have any right to, given their level of skill; and there's nothing wrong with that at all." This is wrong because it either literally and directly contradicts itself, or it assumes something that is incorrect. It states that we think that those who are bad at Halo 2 should not have fun with it. This is not true; I don't think that anybody thinks that inexperienced players shouldn't have fun with Halo 2 (after all, even when I was really bad at many games such as Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, or even Halo 1, I could still have plenty of fun with them). You also may have meant that it's good that those who have little right to be winning at Halo 2 are winning at Halo 2. This is a contradiction because it states that those who should not be winning at Halo 2 are winning at it or, in other words, that it's good that something that shouldn't be happening is happening. Now, it would be okay if the skill gap in Halo 2 allowed players to come close winning, but when they actually start to win many more games than they should, then it becomes a problem in things like competitive tournaments (it doesn't really matter in Matchmaking, though, since you're not fighting for anything important there). However, in competitive tournaments, where one or two games determine who moves on to the next set of rounds, one group of people may actually recieve a cash prize or some other physical thing as a reward for being better than another group of people, even though those people are worse. Other small logical fallacies were that if you have a Rocket Launcher or a Sniper Rifle in Halo 1, then you may not even use it because then at least your enemies wouldn't have it, but this is wrong because, unlike in Halo 2, powerful weapons respawn on a regular timer in Halo 1 and so even if you have a very strong weapon, you would have to constantly defend its spawn point (as well as the spawn points of any other powerful weapons on the map) throughout the entire game to make sure that your enemies never get to use those weapons. Also, you stated that the Rocket Launcher is a skilled weapon because, although it has a large blast radius, it is still skilled because it has long reload times and limited ammunition. However, these things do not make the Rocket Launcher more skilled; they simply make it less effective. It doesn't really mean that you have to be great at using it; long reload times and limited ammunition usually don't matter if you're going to kill you opponent in one or two hits almost every time, anyway.

[quote]However, in competitive tournaments, where one or two games determine who moves on to the next set of rounds, one group of people may actually recieve a cash prize or some other physical thing as a reward for being better than another group of people, even though those people are worse.[/quote]

This is absurd.

Every sport on the planet works this way, sir. There is no such thing as 'never having a bad day' - there are tons of championship games in football, baseball, soccer, you name it, where the winning team went into the game as the underdog; by any statistical measurement technique, they were the 'worse' team, and yet they won.

People play above their level sometimes. Sports in general would be pretty frickin' boring to watch if that weren't true, in fact. To suggest that Halo 2 is somehow unusable as a competitive game because sometimes a lower-ranked team beats a higher-ranked one in a money game... bah. I don't even know why I'm reading the rest of your argument.

[quote=Claude Errera]This is absurd.

Every sport on the planet works this way, sir. There is no such thing as 'never having a bad day' - there are tons of championship games in football, baseball, soccer, you name it, where the winning team went into the game as the underdog; by any statistical measurement technique, they were the 'worse' team, and yet they won.

People play above their level sometimes. Sports in general would be pretty frickin' boring to watch if that weren't true, in fact. To suggest that Halo 2 is somehow unusable as a competitive game because sometimes a lower-ranked team beats a higher-ranked one in a money game... bah. I don't even know why I'm reading the rest of your argument.[/quote]
I know that people sometimes (and, in fact, often) play above their general level of skill, just like how they sometimes play below their level of skill in various ways. This is true for all sports, but there are usually ways to prevent this brief increase in skill level from heavily determining the outcome of a tournament. In Halo 2, on the other hand, there could have been ways to prevent people who often play above or below their skill level to get many permament rewards or punishments for this, but it doesn't happen. There's a very small skill gap in Halo 2, unlike in most sports that have large learning curves, and so people play above or below their average skill level much more than they would in something like Halo 1. There's pretty much no way to prevent people from ever playing at a variety of skill levels, and in fact that would be pretty boring, but there are ways to at least reduce the variation in performance, and it's usually pretty boring to watch a game in which so many things are so random.

If your argument had merit, the same 8 teams wouldn't be at the top of the MLG leaderboard year after year. (Yes, there are some shakeups - but by and large, the best players stay on top; if the gap between great and good were as small as you suggest it is, this wouldn't be true.)

Why is Karma unbeaten in solo play, if chance plays such a huge role? He's not THAT much better than everyone else who plays competitively - so how come nobody can beat him? I mean... if skill were as unimportant as you suggest, he'd lose SOMETIMES, right?

Never mind. I concede the argument to you; you're entirely correct. Halo 2 is a game for noobs, Halo is the last great competitive video game. I'm done here.

[quote=Claude Errera]If your argument had merit, the same 8 teams wouldn't be at the top of the MLG leaderboard year after year. (Yes, there are some shakeups - but by and large, the best players stay on top; if the gap between great and good were as small as you suggest it is, this wouldn't be true.)

Why is Karma unbeaten in solo play, if chance plays such a huge role? He's not THAT much better than everyone else who plays competitively - so how come nobody can beat him? I mean... if skill were as unimportant as you suggest, he'd lose SOMETIMES, right?

Never mind. I concede the argument to you; you're entirely correct. Halo 2 is a game for noobs, Halo is the last great competitive video game. I'm done here.[/quote]
No; that's not the point. I'm not referring to the skill levels of entire teams for things like teamwork, communication, and so on and neither am I referring to how strategic players are. Those teams, for the most part, have amazing teamwork more than anything, but even so, they have pretty much identical skills to each other in things like aiming. I'm saying that in games amongst people with different skill levels, especially those that have players spawn with Submachine Guns or Plasma Rifles, outcomes of games will vary widely and constantly. Besides, there weren't even a huge amount of MLG tournaments yet, but if there were, then the results would have varied somewhat between teams.

[quote=Anonymous]I saw a few logical fallacies in your article, and while I can't be bothered to list and explain all of them, I'll just explain some problems with your main thesis statements, and then a few problems with some of your less significant statements. First of all, your main thesis statement is probably the one that states that it's good that those who shouldn't be winning are either having fun or winning; your own words were the following: "Thank you for recognizing that most people have more fun playing games like Halo than they have any right to, given their level of skill; and there's nothing wrong with that at all." This is wrong because it either literally and directly contradicts itself, or it assumes something that is incorrect.[/quote]

That's not my thesis statement. A thesis statement usually occurs in the first quarter of an article. I think the word you're looking for is "conclusion".

There's also a word for a debating technique that uses such phrases as "I can't be bothered to actually respond to all your statements." I think if you look hard enough, you'll find it.

Aside from that I think you've misread the article in a couple of key places:

[quote=Anonymous]It states that we think that those who are bad at Halo 2 should not have fun with it. This is not true; I don't think that anybody thinks that inexperienced players shouldn't have fun with Halo 2 (after all, even when I was really bad at many games such as Splinter Cell, Rainbow Six, or even Halo 1, I could still have plenty of fun with them).[/quote]

No, those are not things contained within the article. In fact, it's pretty much the opposite of what I wrote.

If you want to examine the underlying assumption of the statement that people enjoy Halo 2 more than they deserve to, it is this: that generally speaking, people enjoy an activity, especially a competetive activity, to a degree that is directly proportional to how good they are at it. This is not to say that I am ascribing to people a belief that this should, or should not, be the case.

[quote=Anonymous]You also may have meant that it's good that those who have little right to be winning at Halo 2 are winning at Halo 2. This is a contradiction because it states that those who should not be winning at Halo 2 are winning at it or, in other words, that it's good that something that shouldn't be happening is happening.[/quote]

You're a bit closer there, until the end. I'm saying that, in comparison to how Halo 1 multiplayer works, it is a good thing that those who lose in Halo 2 do not lose so utterly and completely as they would in Halo 1. As demonstrated by the graph I cited, showing that the gap between the best and worst players is narrower in Halo 2 than it is in Halo 1.

You've set up a false conclusion after that, however. Just because I say that lesser skilled players do comparatively better at Halo 2 than at Halo 1, does not mean I am saying that more highly skilled players should not be winning. That's not contained in my article, and doesn't make any sense anyway, so I'm not sure why you bring it up. The skill gap is narrower in Halo 2-- it's not reversed in some way that puts bad players on the top and good players on the bottom.

[quote=Anonymous]
Now, it would be okay if the skill gap in Halo 2 allowed players to come close winning, but when they actually start to win many more games than they should, then it becomes a problem in things like competitive tournaments (it doesn't really matter in Matchmaking, though, since you're not fighting for anything important there). However, in competitive tournaments, where one or two games determine who moves on to the next set of rounds, one group of people may actually recieve a cash prize or some other physical thing as a reward for being better than another group of people, even though those people are worse.

Other small logical fallacies were that if you have a Rocket Launcher or a Sniper Rifle in Halo 1, then you may not even use it because then at least your enemies wouldn't have it, but this is wrong because, unlike in Halo 2, powerful weapons respawn on a regular timer in Halo 1 and so even if you have a very strong weapon, you would have to constantly defend its spawn point (as well as the spawn points of any other powerful weapons on the map) throughout the entire game to make sure that your enemies never get to use those weapons.[/quote]

Yes, to keep that weapon away you'd have to camp its spawn point. People have done this. Some consider it a legitimate strategy. Others do not.

[quote=Anonymous]Also, you stated that the Rocket Launcher is a skilled weapon because, although it has a large blast radius, it is still skilled because it has long reload times and limited ammunition. However, these things do not make the Rocket Launcher more skilled; they simply make it less effective. It doesn't really mean that you have to be great at using it; long reload times and limited ammunition usually don't matter if you're going to kill you opponent in one or two hits almost every time, anyway.[/quote]

I didn't say it was a skill weapon. I said that because it requires no skill, players who focus only on skill deride its use and consider players who use it to be noobs, and believe that a kill gotten with it is worth less than a three-shot kill with the pistol.

What I am saying is that Halo is, and is right to be, a game that is about more than aiming. When a player accepts the tradeoffs that come with a power weapon (less ammunition, slower reloading) in order to get more damage and a larger blast radius, the game itself enforces that tradeoff. Unless enemies foolishly cluster around each other when the RL is present, a fully-loaded RL has fewer kills in it than a fully loaded BR, for example. As such, the game itself is enforcing its own rules, and it is not necessary or valid to rate kills gotten with another weapon more highly. Yes, you will kill your opponent in one hit. But you will kill fewer opponents.


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote=narcogen]That's not my thesis statement. A thesis statement usually occurs in the first quarter of an article. I think the word you're looking for is "conclusion".[/quote]
A thesis can mean a lot of things, and while I'm using more of a localism than a dictionary definition, a thesis is basically just a main point.

[quote=narcogen]If you want to examine the underlying assumption of the statement that people enjoy Halo 2 more than they deserve to, it is this: that generally speaking, people enjoy an activity, especially a competetive activity, to a degree that is directly proportional to how good they are at it. This is not to say that I am ascribing to people a belief that this should, or should not, be the case.[/quote]
I agree, but people don't have to constantly win to have a lot of fun with a game, and inexperienced players would even sometimes beat more experienced players if they got a few lucky kills or if they spawned next to a Rocket Launcher or something like that a couple of times or, as it has been described earlier, they simply had a good day and their opponent had a bad day.

[quote=narcogen]You're a bit closer there, until the end. I'm saying that, in comparison to how Halo 1 multiplayer works, it is a good thing that those who lose in Halo 2 do not lose so utterly and completely as they would in Halo 1. As demonstrated by the graph I cited, showing that the gap between the best and worst players is narrower in Halo 2 than it is in Halo 1.

You've set up a false conclusion after that, however. Just because I say that lesser skilled players do comparatively better at Halo 2 than at Halo 1, does not mean I am saying that more highly skilled players should not be winning. That's not contained in my article, and doesn't make any sense anyway, so I'm not sure why you bring it up. The skill gap is narrower in Halo 2-- it's not reversed in some way that puts bad players on the top and good players on the bottom.[/[/quote]
That graph itself is a little bit messed up seeing as how it pretty much demonstrates how aim assistance, bullet magnetism, and other skill factors affect Halo 2 in comparison to Halo 1, but in reality, unskilled players do often win against skilled players in Halo 2 (especially in games in which players spawn with a Submachine Gun or a Plasma Rifle) due to imbalances in the game, and those unskilled players may get a few lucky kills at the beginning of the game while they secure strong weapons.

[quote=narcogen]Yes, to keep that weapon away you'd have to camp its spawn point. People have done this. Some consider it a legitimate strategy. Others do not.[/quote]
I understand that people do this, but this is usually fairly difficult because there are many spawn points for powerful weapons in most of the maps in Halo 1, and so players would be limited in their mobility because they would have to be careful that players can almost never get a strong weapon.

[quote=narcogen]I didn't say it was a skill weapon. I said that because it requires no skill, players who focus only on skill deride its use and consider players who use it to be noobs, and believe that a kill gotten with it is worth less than a three-shot kill with the pistol.

What I am saying is that Halo is, and is right to be, a game that is about more than aiming. When a player accepts the tradeoffs that come with a power weapon (less ammunition, slower reloading) in order to get more damage and a larger blast radius, the game itself enforces that tradeoff. Unless enemies foolishly cluster around each other when the RL is present, a fully-loaded RL has fewer kills in it than a fully loaded BR, for example. As such, the game itself is enforcing its own rules, and it is not necessary or valid to rate kills gotten with another weapon more highly. Yes, you will kill your opponent in one hit. But you will kill fewer opponents.[/quote]
That wasn't my point. What I meant was that while the actual amount of skill that either weapon takes compared to the other one is arguable, the Rocket Launcher simply isn't as skilled as the Pistol in most situations (unless the players with the Rocket Launchers are shooting people who are very far away and so those players have to lead their shots accurately), and while they may be getting less kills, it was easier to get those kills. They aren't worth any more or any less; they were just easier to get them.

I'm really tired of hearing these ridiculous arguments about how the game is not about winning! Ofcourse the game is about winning. Who plays a game with the intention of losing? All i've heard from anti-pistoliers is how bungie did a great job and we pistol lovers need to stop living in the past...Rubbish! We pistol lovers are what made bungie and halo what they are. If it were not for us Firts(keyword) playing Halo 1 the halo series would not nearly have had this much success! Here's a fact for you; a vast majority of the idiots who love Halo 2 had not even played Halo 1 before jumping into the Halo universe. As for us ORIGINAL Halo players we LEARNED how to use the pistol and play a skilled game with accurate shots. I wokred my ass off for the better portion of a year to gain the skill i have with the pistol and it is offensive to me that some noob idiot that never even played Halo 1 can just waltz right in and get the kill ratio they do off of dumb luck! Here's another FACT for you; The vast majority of the idiots who support the retirement of the pistol and its 3shot kill have low ranks on Halo2. Anyone that says we pro-pistoliers are just angry that the table have turned on us is an idiot as well. In preparetion for the coming of Halo 3 i recently decided to jump on and play Halo 2 to see how the noob community games. In 2 short weeks my rank in team slayer went from 1 - 24 and my Rumble Pit went from 1 - 19 and if Anyone doubts this My gamertag is The War Kami27 i invite you noobs to try your luck against me! So there should be no argument that we pistol experts indeed do play well in Halo 2 online play. In conclusion all those that argue that the game is now fair for all are hypocrits. The game is fair for the inexperienced because it gives them a fighting chance wich they DONT deserve and takes away from the true skill of those who accurately aim their shots I.E. those who First played Halo Classic.

So, the Halo 1 pistol lovers made Halo 2 successful, yet the majority of Halo 2 players have never played Halo 1?

You made Bungie? I'm sorry. Bungie was made long before Halo. Halo brought Bungie a much larger audience, but that's not the same thing.

So, those who support the retirement of the pistol have low ranks, and yet Halo 2 allows noobs to get kills through dumb luck?

You, sir, are the very embodiment of what I was arguing against. You're winning, but you're not winning by enough to be happy. You begrudge lesser-skilled players the few kills they might opportunistically get, that keep them from giving up entirely.

There is a parable about a man who owns a vineyard. He goes out to find workers in the morning, and promises them a sum of money for the rest of the day's work. He goes out at lunch and offers more men the same sum. Then he goes out in the early evening, and offers still more men the same sum.

Some of the men hired in the morning object, saying they were paid that sum for a full day's work, and it's not fair, while those who came to work in the evening had a shorter day, but got the same pay.

To which the man says "stfu noob it's my money".

You brag that you increased your rank quite quickly. So you won games. The problem is not that the game failed to reward your skill. You have a problem with the idea that the losers in those games got more kills than you think they deserve because in your opinion, they were less skilled than you.

Here's a newsflash: a gaming community, in order to be popular, needs players at all skill levels, not just the elite. If you had your way, Halo would be an online competitive game with a smaller, but more highly skilled, audience. It would have been off the XBL leaderboard after six months.

Who would you be killing then to get your rank? What would a 30 be worth if nobody with a lower rank was playing?


Rampant for over se7en years.

It would be worth everything in the world! And when i say we made Bungie i'm reffering to their success in the gaming market! I'm well aware they've been around longer than Halo. I could care less wether or not some noob not willing to work at his or her skill doesn't have fun playing the game. To be good at something requires practice! Wayne Gretzky, Michael Jordan, and the likes did not get to where they are without practice! So if noobs aren't willing to work on their skill wether they have fun playing the game makes no difference to me! I have just as much fun losing to a more skilled player as i do winning against a noob! As long as the game is played with skill.

You, sir, whomever you may be, are the embodiment of my argument. Except for a select few, within the constructs of special events, Halo playing is not a profession. These comparisons to professional athletes are unwarranted. The majority of people who play these games online do so to have fun; not to treat it like work, put in hours to hone precise skills, and have the score at the end reflect who put in more work or who has more talent. They want to have fun.

We know you don't care. We just don't care that you don't care :)


Rampant for over se7en years.

You Sir, are the embodiment of my argument! You are noob that does not deserve to even be on the server! The only respect that i have for you is the fact that you at least realize that you suck. All games video or live are designed to be competative! I dont know if you know what that means but that means there must be a winner and if you dont want me to compare Halo2 to professional sports then maybe you should write a letter to Game network and USA Network and tell them to stop sponsoring Halo Tournaments with cash prizes!

[quote=Anonymous]You Sir, are the embodiment of my argument! You are noob that does not deserve to even be on the server![/quote]

Who are you to decide who deserves to be on a server? Especially since Halo has no servers.

Xbox Live is an economic proposition. If I buy a console, and a subscription, and a game, then I deserve to be on the server. No other criteria apply. Players are not removed or banned for failing to achieve a minimum gamerscore. They are removed or banned for failing to be courteous and respectful.

[quote=Anonymous]The only respect that i have for you is the fact that you at least realize that you suck. All games video or live are designed to be competative![/quote]

Let me be clear about this:

No, they are not.

Halo and Halo 2 are clearly not designed to be competetive. Look at the recent interview with CliffyB about Gears of War; he was asked if that game was appropriate for competition, and he said, in no uncertain terms, that it was not: that this is what Unreal Tournament was designed for. And look at the popular games now: Gears, another non-competetive game, has taken the top spot at Xbox Live from Halo 2, another non-competetive game. CliffyB was actually quite clear about the fact that elements of chance that diminish the role of skill were intentionally put into the design of Gears to make the game more fun.

F-U-N.

[quote=Anonymous]I dont know if you know what that means but that means there must be a winner and if you dont want me to compare Halo2 to professional sports then maybe you should write a letter to Game network and USA Network and tell them to stop sponsoring Halo Tournaments with cash prizes![/quote]

That doesn't have any bearing on this discussion at all. USA can sponsor tiddlywinks tournaments for all I care, it doesn't change the nature of the game. Halo 2 tournaments are not played on Xbox Live. Discussions of what is done within professional events that use Halo 2 are not necessarily relevant to a discussion of what is appropriate in terms of game design for use on Live by the general public, the vast majority of which are not professional gamers and have no desire to be.


Rampant for over se7en years.

Why not give "bad" players a chance? You're saying that people don't deserve to get better at the game at all? That's unfair. The game is for the community, not for just a few people who are insanely good at the game. The weapon choice that Bungie made for Halo 2 supports new players by giving them a chance so they gain confidence and are able to get better. Thats what happened to the precious pistol. And don't get me wrong, I liked the pistol too. I play Halo 1 just as much as I play H2 just because of the pistol. Also, get some evidence for your "facts." It would make your argument slightly more credible and believable.

[quote=Anton P Nym]
So long as we're going on unsupported opinion, then I think I'm entitled to claim you've reversed the proportions. Halo 2 is far from perfect, but it's still an excellent game by at least one objective measure; two and a quarter years after its release and after the roll-out of an entire new generation of consoles, it's the game that people come back to after trying the competition.

-- Steve's thinking that, if Halo 2 indeed sucks, then it's a matter of sucking the least of all the real alternatives. There's no fair comparison between an existing product and an ideal imagining of what might have been... especially since we've yet to see any test results from these imaginings.

PS: By all means, hold dissenting opinions. That's what makes the Internet (despite its multiple failings) great. Just don't assume that I am inferior or ignorant if I don't share them, or that these opinions are based on anything other than personal preference, please.[/quote]

You’re far from ignorant Steve. As a matter a fact I hold your input and those of other Bungie moderators (primarily GJJ and TGP of whom I have varying degrees of correspondence with through H2S, Bungie.net and MSN) in high regard.

We’re all entitled to our opinion. What you will find with all web sites is that there is a great deal of diversity in members of Halo2sucks and how they go about communicating their points on the game. Some do it better then others and with respect.

I’ll touch briefly on the impact of Halo 2 and its sales to answer a point that both you and Narc have raised.

[quote=narcogen]
Halo 2 twice as successful? How is that even possible? The attach rate for Halo 2 (the percentage of Xbox owners who have the game) is phenomenal. For Halo 2 to be "twice as successful" then nearly person who owns an Xbox would have to own it. That never happens. Even for the consoles that are highly associated with a particular franchise, as the PlayStation is with Final Fantasy, and as Nintendo is with Mario.

It may be true a dearth of better games has contributed to Halo 2 remaining the top XBL game for so long-- from its launch until the launch of Gears of War. And while some may be giving Bungie too much credit for that, to say that the reign of Halo 2 on XBL from November 2004 to the end of 2006 was solely due to the reputation of Halo 1-- I don't really think that makes much sense at all.

[/quote]

Consider the facts of exactly what has transpired in the past 2 years. Here we have a game that grossed more money in the first 3 days of release then any movie ever has. In 24 hours Halo 2 grossed over $125mil compared to the highest grossing movie of Spiderman 2 ($77mil). That's insane and I have no doubt that back then many a back was slapped at Bungie and MS.

Then consider the other facts. Pre-orders of Halo 2 were 1.5mil units. First day sales were 2.38 mil units. 5mil in 3 weeks and more copies of Halo 2 sold then Halo 1 by the 20th of January 2005 (6.4mil).

These are cold hard facts. Comments are fair on the outside about Halo 2 sales. However looking at the figures it’s astounding to me that a game can make an extremely high amount of it’s sales in the first 2 months (largely thanks to Halo 1. This cannot be denied). 6.4 mil units when the game has sold about 7 mil, maybe 8 by now. It’s quite a different story with Halo 1. That game grew in volume and picked up speed in sales over a long period of time. It’s therefore easy to see what impact Halo 1 made upon Halo 2 sales.

I like most of my friends bought an XBOX because of Halo 1. How many XBOXs did Halo 2 sell? The percentage of Halo 2 owners (attachment rate) says perhaps more about the other games and franchises on XBOX then it does about how good Halo 2 is.

It’s not a bad game. It’s certainly above average when it comes to XBOX titles. However Halo2sucks.com exists because of what Bungie didn’t do. What it got wrong and took out that its predecessor did so well. I could stay here for hours and rant on about the problems with Halo 2. However I’m sure that the readers would either not agree, not care or already be aware of them. H2S is there to remind Bungie of the mistakes they made when they took the Halo name and attached it to an inferior sequel. This is our opinion that’s true. However we have the right to voice this opinion and we use that right.

Just to touch on what Bungie did wrong in Optimatch, wait and see the new Optimatch setting Bungie has phrased as “XBL Public” to see what Bungie should have done in the first place. You (Narc) mentioned that bringing the skill levels closer together was necessary to some point to keep people interested. If Optimatch was how XBL Public will be this is a mute point. Apart from that I played years with people far better then me at Halo 1. Never worried me or deterred me from playing. Only made me enjoy trying to get better.

[quote=Claude Errera]If your argument had merit, the same 8 teams wouldn't be at the top of the MLG leader board year after year. (Yes, there are some shakeups - but by and large, the best players stay on top; if the gap between great and good were as small as you suggest it is, this wouldn't be true.)

Why is Karma unbeaten in solo play, if chance plays such a huge role? He's not THAT much better than everyone else who plays competitively - so how come nobody can beat him? I mean... if skill were as unimportant as you suggest, he'd lose SOMETIMES, right?

[/quote]

That’s an interesting point you raise. However consider a couple of things. MLGs solo tournament has existed with perhaps the tightest rules ever applied to one game. Because of the flaws of Halo 2s weapon respawn system most maps and game types are unfair. Yes, and you know it. Isn’t it interesting to see the solo play of MLG degenerate into a game of rifles only on a Halo 1 map?!?!?!?!?

In closing Narc, thanks again for the read and comments from you and others. Also thanks for stopping by at Halo2sucks.com. How ever long you stick around I’m sure you will have great input.

This has all come about because of our (H2S) own fault. The front page of our site is truly outdated and does reflect the thoughts of a few and not the general consensus of the greater majority. That’s our fault and we are making steps to try and gain control of the front page and rectify it.

It’s been interesting to watch the web site evolve over time and gone are the days of the outright, rude Bungie bashers that we are known for (unfortunately). We’re now a mature (for the most part) group of Bungie fans just trying to help Bungie get things right.

[quote=VVV]

[quote=narcogen]
Halo 2 twice as successful? How is that even possible? The attach rate for Halo 2 (the percentage of Xbox owners who have the game) is phenomenal. For Halo 2 to be "twice as successful" then nearly person who owns an Xbox would have to own it. That never happens. Even for the consoles that are highly associated with a particular franchise, as the PlayStation is with Final Fantasy, and as Nintendo is with Mario.

It may be true a dearth of better games has contributed to Halo 2 remaining the top XBL game for so long-- from its launch until the launch of Gears of War. And while some may be giving Bungie too much credit for that, to say that the reign of Halo 2 on XBL from November 2004 to the end of 2006 was solely due to the reputation of Halo 1-- I don't really think that makes much sense at all.

[/quote]

Consider the facts of exactly what has transpired in the past 2 years. Here we have a game that grossed more money in the first 3 days of release then any movie ever has. In 24 hours Halo 2 grossed over $125mil compared to the highest grossing movie of Spiderman 2 ($77mil). That's insane and I have no doubt that back then many a back was slapped at Bungie and MS.

Then consider the other facts. Pre-orders of Halo 2 were 1.5mil units. First day sales were 2.38 mil units. 5mil in 3 weeks and more copies of Halo 2 sold then Halo 1 by the 20th of January 2005 (6.4mil).

These are cold hard facts. Comments are fair on the outside about Halo 2 sales. However looking at the figures it’s astounding to me that a game can make an extremely high amount of it’s sales in the first 2 months (largely thanks to Halo 1. This cannot be denied). 6.4 mil units when the game has sold about 7 mil, maybe 8 by now. It’s quite a different story with Halo 1. That game grew in volume and picked up speed in sales over a long period of time. It’s therefore easy to see what impact Halo 1 made upon Halo 2 sales.[/quote]

I see the way you are reasoning, but I think you are proceeding from a false assumption. The assumptions are that Halo 2's early sales are the baseline to which you can compare its later sales; and that Halo 1's sales trend is a baseline to which you can compare Halo 2's sales.

I think there are a number of problems with this.

Bungie, while a respectable Mac/PC developer, was not in the same kind of category, sales-wise, as other top-flight PC and console developers. They were not selling ten million copies of a title prior to Halo. While there certainly was some buzz preceding Halo 1, it was not on the same level as Halo 2 at all. In fact, after the buyout, a lot of long-time Bungie fans drifted away. They were Mac gamers and PC gamers. They weren't interested in a console-- least of all, a console by Microsoft! It was not at all a foregone conclusion that the Xbox would be a success, and I've had conversations with people that strongly indicate that even Microsoft itself did not know that Halo would become the platform's system-selling franchise.

Bungie were those guys that did Myth, that Mac RTS games with no unit building. Lot of people knew them. A lot of people didn't. A lot of people didn't know they had already done a trilogy of sci-fi shooters, because only one of those games, Marathon 2, ever came out for Windows, and it was not particularly successful.

Take these factors into account, as well as constrained supplies of the Xbox console at launch in late 2001, and one can easily see that a sales trend that starts out a bit slow, and grows and grows over the years, is entirely sensible and predictable. As more consoles became available, more people would get the game. As word of mouth and critical response grew, more people would want the game. Community and media response to the game combined with increased availability to create a virtuous cycle around Halo 1, where the game actually sold better the older it got.

That situation is not comparable at all to the situation surrounding the launch of Halo 2.

Because H2 was an Xbox, and not an Xbox 360 title, console availability was not an issue. There was a built-in audience that already had the console; their only decision was whether or not they wanted to buy the game.

By the time H2 was halfway through its 36 month development time, Microsoft knew the score. They knew Halo was their system-selling franchise. Having never experienced a profitable quarter, and knowing the Xbox 360 was due out in 2005, with all the attendant costs associated with a launch, Christmas 2004 was their last chance. More was spent promoting Halo 2 than any other Xbox game ever. Probably more was spent promoting it than will be spent on Halo 3.

The single-day figures are due entirely to preorders. Preordering a game is a pretty safe bet, compared to preordering a console. Partially because less money is at risk. Partially because once the game actually comes out, it is unlikely that supplies will be seriously constrained-- manufacturing discs and boxes is a pretty well-understood, straightforward task. Plenty of people who preorder consoles end up not getting theirs when it comes out because a retailer oversells their launch stock, or they get less launch stock than they expect. Then you've got to either decide if you want to wait it out, or bite the bullet, get your money back, and go across the street to where they've got some in stock. When it comes to games, though-- just preorder wherever you like. The retailer will likely get all the copies they ask for preordering clients, plus some for the store shelves. You'll probably get your game.

The campaign capitalized on the idea of preordering the game to make sure you had a copy, because store copies would sell quickly. Again, it created a virtuous circle. The record revenue figure, for all the mention it gets, isn't really important at all. They compared single-day total sales revenue figures for a $60 videogame to a $10 movie ticket. Basically, Six times more people have to see a movie to generate the same revenue as the game sale; and after that, there's a good chance that if you liked the movie that much, you'll see it again, and then perhaps buy it on DVD. Short of scratching your game disc, once you've bought it, you're done. So the record revenue figure is extremely misleading.

Given the increased emphasis on preorders of Halo 2 compared to Halo 1, to expect the sales trends to continue to increase is just silly. Most of the people who wanted Halo 2 either got it preordered or bought it on store shelves within a few weeks of launch. There was no reason to wait.

In fact, Halo 2 sales probably caused a surge in Halo 1 sales; people who had heard the Halo 2 hype and bought an Xbox sometime between 2001 and 2004 might not have played the original game. If they played Halo 2's campaign and liked it, and wanted to know how the story started, they might have bought Halo 1, further contributing to the flat but steady sales of Halo 1, compared to the boom-and-bust sales trend of Halo 2.

To try and make a correlation between the sales trend data and gameplay mechanics is, I think, an absolutely huge stretch. Especially where online and multiplayer gameplay mechanics are concerned. The majority of Xbox owners were not online, did not attend LANs, and primarily played campaign. They aren't online. They aren't on your website, and they aren't on mine. They don't know if the pistol is overpowered, or if it is, if that affects gameplay balance, and they don't care: they just bought a pair of cool games.

[quote=VVV]
I like most of my friends bought an XBOX because of Halo 1. How many XBOXs did Halo 2 sell? The percentage of Halo 2 owners (attachment rate) says perhaps more about the other games and franchises on XBOX then it does about how good Halo 2 is.[/quote]

There's no way to make a meaningful comparison here. What you are trying to suggest is that if there was some way to wind back time and make Halo 2 an Xbox launch title, compare how many systems it would have sold, compared to Halo 1. Halo 2 was not in a position to be a system-seller; it was released three years after the console, the holiday season before the Xbox was retired in favor of the next-generation model.

At that point in the console's lifetime, you're looking at people who buy it because of a price drop, or because they are replacing an out-of-warranty box. Very few people would buy an Xbox to play Halo 2; they either already had one, or weren't going to be interested no matter what game you're talking about.

However, even if we try to imagine this scenario, it's likely Halo 2 would have sold just as many consoles in 2001 as Halo 1 did, at the very worst. In fact, given that people tend to buy games based on reviews and feature lists, rather than gameplay mechanics, I'd say that the inclusion of XBL play, the more detailed graphics, and the enhanced vehicle features, would have meant more sales, not less.

Without the shadow of Halo 1's pistol behind it, I think Halo 2 would have far fewer haters.

If there was no Halo 1, I think very few people would be wondering aloud why Halo 2 doesn't have a mid-range TSK weapon.

[quote=VVV]
It’s not a bad game. [/quote]

I thought it sucked? Am I that old? Does "suck" mean something good now, like "sick"? I mean, besides the obvious?

[quote=VVV]
It’s certainly above average when it comes to XBOX titles. However Halo2sucks.com exists because of what Bungie didn’t do. What it got wrong and took out that its predecessor did so well. I could stay here for hours and rant on about the problems with Halo 2. However I’m sure that the readers would either not agree, not care or already be aware of them. H2S is there to remind Bungie of the mistakes they made when they took the Halo name and attached it to an inferior sequel. This is our opinion that’s true. However we have the right to voice this opinion and we use that right.[/quote]

Maybe the site should be xboxgamessuck.com then?

I also think that Halo 2 fixed some things that were not broken, and achieves some things less well than its predecessor. I've written at length about many of those things.

Somehow, I was able to do it without using the word "sucks". While the use of this word certainly attracted certain people to the site that might not otherwise have bothered, and generated controversy and attention, I think ultimately it was self-defeating. Anything the site has to say about the games has become secondary to whether or not the mantras "Halo 2 Sucks" and "H1 > H2" and "bring back the pistol" are true, and to some extent, the schism between the forum and the main site, which is now present but inaccessible.

It seems to me that rather than attempting to improve the Halo franchise, the name "Halo2Sucks.com" was chosen to be controversial and to set up a self-fulfilling prophecy. If Bungie makes changes that are inline with your suggestions, then the site is partly responsible for the improvement. If they do not, then obviously the reason they failed to do so was not because the suggestion itself was inappropriate, but because they could not bear the criticism. It's highly disingenuous.

It strikes me that any correlation between suggestions made at H2S over the years and changes actually made, either in H2 or in H3, is very likely coincidental.

[quote=VVV]Just to touch on what Bungie did wrong in Optimatch, wait and see the new Optimatch setting Bungie has phrased as “XBL Public” to see what Bungie should have done in the first place. You (Narc) mentioned that bringing the skill levels closer together was necessary to some point to keep people interested. If Optimatch was how XBL Public will be this is a mute point. Apart from that I played years with people far better then me at Halo 1. Never worried me or deterred me from playing. Only made me enjoy trying to get better.[/quote]

I think you may be misapprehending what XBL Public is.

http://www.1up.com/do/newsStory?cId=3155452

Optimatch is used for finding both ranked and unranked games. XBL Public is for customs-- which are always unranked. It's not a return to a server-browser system, which I know a lot of PC gamers would prefer to see.

By itself, I don't think XBL Public is going to address the issue; what it is designed to do is fill out custom games between XBL friends when they don't have enough online friends to play a particular gametype. Allowing the general public into a custom match on Halo 2 XBL doesn't solve this, because many of those custom games have rules that cannot be enforced by the game engine. I don't want XBL randoms in my Zombies game until the game can enforce all the rules of that gametype. So that's the new feature I'm looking forward to.

It's not a replacement for Optimatch. XBL Public is for Customs; I don't depend on randoms for Customs play, and I don't think most people do, either. It'll be a useful feature, but it is not an attempt to fix Optimatch. If you're thinking that it will be a way for players to selectively play over and over the maps and gametypes they like, you're probably going to be disappointed-- especially if you are referring to ranked play.

[quote=VVV]

In closing Narc, thanks again for the read and comments from you and others. Also thanks for stopping by at Halo2sucks.com. How ever long you stick around I’m sure you will have great input.

This has all come about because of our (H2S) own fault. The front page of our site is truly outdated and does reflect the thoughts of a few and not the general consensus of the greater majority. That’s our fault and we are making steps to try and gain control of the front page and rectify it.

It’s been interesting to watch the web site evolve over time and gone are the days of the outright, rude Bungie bashers that we are known for (unfortunately). We’re now a mature (for the most part) group of Bungie fans just trying to help Bungie get things right.
[/quote]

Best of luck with the site. My advice, though? The name is an albatross around your neck now; however much it may have helped in gaining attention for a small site, is now more than outweighed by the factors you cite: the old front page, the impressions that the site is populated by rude Bungie bashers.

If that's what Bungie thinks, what's more important-- having your feedback heard, or calling them to task for their errors?

Sure, I suppose they could do some detective work as well, drop in on the forum, look around, and see that there are reasonably-minded people there now. On the other hand, I think they just might be a bit busy at the moment... ;-)


Rampant for over se7en years.

This anti-Halo:CE pistol article makes the argument that if Halo2 (or Halo3) started every game with the powerful Halo:CE pistol, that only the best players would enjoy the game. He also seems to think that an SMG as a starting weapon is more fair to casual players, and gives them a chance to get some kills. But this logic works only if ALL the weapons on the map are short-range guns. (And also fails to mention that with Bungie's matchmaking system, soon enough everyone would be playing with/against people of their own skill level anyway.) He didn't comment much on the fact that the SMG is really only effective at very close range. He mentions players dual-wielding having a fair chance, but doesn't paint a picture of what happens when they can't get to another weapon. Starts of a match are always the same with SMGs - an initial rush. You and your enemies run for another weapon to dual wield, or for a power weapon. If you and your enemy meet trying to grab the same weapon, combat devolves into thowing whatever grenades you have, then charging each other spraying your SMGs. Many times you'll have to finish your opponent off with a melee attack, just to finish the job. Whoever wins from that point, instantly gets the upper hand. They take that contested weapon, and use it against you while heading for the next powerful weapon. Let's get to the heart of the matter, and illustrate through a little scenario how bad this can get: The author is playing a 1-versus-1 on LOCKOUT, with Bungie's SMG-start default setting and motion detector on. At the start of the match, he and his opponent both run for the sniper rifle, and battle near its spawn point, SMGs spray wildly, but the author is killed (because his opponent has host, lol.) The opponent takes the sniper and runs towards the "library". By the time the author respawns (near the sniper tower), his opponent now has the Energy Sword in his hands. The author realizes the sniper is gone and has to quickly think of the closest other weapon he can find. (And if he is indeed a noob, he'll be running around aimlessly like a chicken with his head cut off, not knowing where the weapons are.) Even if he knew where he was going, by the time he got halfway there, his opponent is now situated in the BattleRifle tower, with access to 3 powerful weapons (long range, medium range, uber short range) versus the author's weak bullethose SMG. It's already GAME OVER, at this point, unless he gets lucky. Think he can make it to that BR at the top of the jumppad? Doubtful. Even if he gets the shotty, it doesn't stand much of a chance against the lock-on lunging infinite-energy sword, unless he's really sneaky. An ugly scenario, indeed. BR starts change up the game entirely, right from the start. Even if you still die first, this time you don't panic when you respawn, because you're not defenseless with a weak spray gun. You feel secure knowing you can unscope an opponent with a sniper rifle from a distance with the BR, and you can easily kill him if he rushes across the center glass to kill you with the Sword. You can instantly be "in the game", returning fire with a capable weapon in your hands; not hiding or at the mercy of bigger guns. So you see, unless the only weapons on the map are SMGs or comparible weapons, the first person killed in a game (the casual player, typically) is going to actually be at a greater disadvantage with his SMG. I'm sure that's why Bungie changed the default starting weapon on maps like Coag, Waterworks, Containment to BR starts - where starting with an SMG was practically a death sentence. Anyway, for Halo3, the Assualt Rifle as the default starting weapon on small maps is a much better deal, you have to agree. They should keep the BR start on large maps though. Peace. Schultz.

Actually, I didn't refer to the SMG at all, which is uniformly a terrible gun. To say that if the start isn't the CE pistol, you have to take the SMG, is a false dichotomy.

I don't object to the BR start. But then again, the BR is not as powerful as the CE pistol.

I think Bungie not only recognizes that, but recognizes that when the default weapon does head shots, head shots become the entire game.

There is a huge H1 pistol thread at H2S that I just got done reading, and after a dozen pages or so that same conclusion comes around, perhaps best expressed by System-J: that just because the pistol is the default spawn, doesn't make it not overpowered. Just because it is overpowered, does not make it unbalanced as long as everyone gets one.

BUT...

Since it is a power weapon unmatched by all but two guns, and those are only effective at certain ranges and have certain drawbacks the pistol does not have, the pistol and being effective with it comes to dominate the game in a way that no single weapon should. That the weapon is so dominant while also being, cosmetically, a sidearm, merely adds insult to injury.

I'm intrigued to see what Bungie comes up with for the new AR: a weapon that should have the "fighting chance at spawn" factor that the CE pistol has, but without the dominate-most-other weapons at midrange flaw, and without the overemphasis on headshots.


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote=narcogen]Actually, I didn't refer to the SMG at all, which is uniformly a terrible gun. To say that if the start isn't the CE pistol, you have to take the SMG, is a false dichotomy.

I don't object to the BR start. But then again, the BR is not as powerful as the CE pistol.

I think Bungie not only recognizes that, but recognizes that when the default weapon does head shots, head shots become the entire game.

There is a huge H1 pistol thread at H2S that I just got done reading, and after a dozen pages or so that same conclusion comes around, perhaps best expressed by System-J: that just because the pistol is the default spawn, doesn't make it not overpowered. Just because it is overpowered, does not make it unbalanced as long as everyone gets one.

BUT...

Since it is a power weapon unmatched by all but two guns, and those are only effective at certain ranges and have certain drawbacks the pistol does not have, the pistol and being effective with it comes to dominate the game in a way that no single weapon should. That the weapon is so dominant while also being, cosmetically, a sidearm, merely adds insult to injury.

I'm intrigued to see what Bungie comes up with for the new AR: a weapon that should have the "fighting chance at spawn" factor that the CE pistol has, but without the dominate-most-other weapons at midrange flaw, and without the overemphasis on headshots.


Rampant for over se7en years.[/quote]

You should check out the 'Halo 3 pistol' thread in the Halo 3 folder.

Don't get me started on the pistol being a "side arm". As for System-J I think he best summed up the Halo 1 pistol as such:

"It is entirely possible for an overpowered weapon to exist in a balanced game mode."

It took me a long time to understand his argument and acknowledge the pistol as being over powered because I like a lot of people who defend Halo 1 consider the statement of the pistol being "over powered" as an attack on the game. It's also a common occurance for people to take this statement as meaning the game is not balanced.

Or perhaps it took me a long time to understand because I'm not entirely fond of System-J.

Actually I did read that one, and the H1 pistol thread. I wasn't trying to bring up the sidearm/realism part of the discussion; to me, that's a sideline, really, and not the main event.

It does occur to me, especially after the pistol thread, that one primary problem was that everyone in the thread was using words like "overpowered" and "balanced" without actually having any general agreement with each other over what those words meant.

System-J did, I think, hit the nail on the head, as you mentioned, and defused one major point of the pro-pistol camp: the idea that a weapon cannot, by definition, be "overpowered" if it exists in a "balanced" system; even if that balancing is achieved by making it the default spawn weapon.

At the risk of pureeing a dead horse and drinking it for breakfast with raw eggs, I think there might be a piece in it; perhaps not about the pistol per se, but about how the discussions that surround the weapon lead to a more general discussion about things like-- what is weapon balance? What is desirable about it? How is it achieved?


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote=Anonymous]

Let's get to the heart of the matter, and illustrate through a little scenario how bad this can get:[/quote]

Keeping in mind that the plural of anecdote is not data, let's take a look :)

[quote=Anonymous]The author is playing a 1-versus-1 on LOCKOUT, with Bungie's SMG-start default setting and motion detector on. At the start of the match, he and his opponent both run for the sniper rifle, and battle near its spawn point, SMGs spray wildly, but the author is killed (because his opponent has host, lol.) [/quote]

Couple of questions: if it's a 1x1 on Lockout, why run for the sniper first unless you know you're host? At the start of the game, you're tied at zero kills apiece, and unless you know you're closer to the sniper than your opponent, risking the entirety of the match on getting that first kill in so you can claim the sniper may not be worth the risk.

As it is, you are correct-- you've created the worst possible scenario. Since it's a 1x1 and not an FFA, once you are one kill behind, you need to press the attack, and you've put into the hands of your enemy one of the weapons best suited for handling distant moving targets.

Go grab the sword or the shotty first, or one of the BRs. If you swap your SMG out for either of the BRs, instead of running headlong for the sniper, then you just recreate step two in your scenario below, except that instead of being down a kill and having to press the attack, you're still tied at zero!

[quote=Anonymous]The opponent takes the sniper and runs towards the "library". By the time the author respawns (near the sniper tower), his opponent now has the Energy Sword in his hands. The author realizes the sniper is gone and has to quickly think of the closest other weapon he can find. (And if he is indeed a noob, he'll be running around aimlessly like a chicken with his head cut off, not knowing where the weapons are.) Even if he knew where he was going, by the time he got halfway there, his opponent is now situated in the BattleRifle tower, with access to 3 powerful weapons (long range, medium range, uber short range) versus the author's weak bullethose SMG.[/quote]

I hear what you're saying: the SMG is weak. No argument there. I'm just not sure why you picked a head to head game and suggested some of the poorest possible decisionmaking in order to illustrate it. An FFA game is a much better example.

Think about this: you enter a full Rumble Pit game. There are several important weapons around the map: shotty, sniper, two BRs, and the sword. The rest are assorted dual-wielding weapons. That's five. Regardless of where they go, what they do, or who wins the first few battles, three players are going to be stuck, at best, with a combination involving a dual wield: SMG and another SMG, or SMG and a needler or a plasma rifle; if they're lucky, the plasma pistol so they can do the noob combo.

Since any kill is worth the same number of points as any other, there will be a tendency over the course of the game for smart players to attack the weak more often than the strong. If I've got a sword and I waltz into a room and there's a guy with a shotgun and a guy with an SMG and a Needler, who am I going to attack first? If the shotgun guy has host, he just might get the drop on me. The dual wielder? Highly unlikely unless he's extremely canny. I'll take that kill first, and then see what I can do against the other. Depending on player positioning, the lunge towards the dual wielder might very well save me from the guy with the shotty. Plus, there's a 50% chance that he's gunning for the other guy, too!

[quote=Anonymous]
It's already GAME OVER, at this point, unless he gets lucky.
Think he can make it to that BR at the top of the jumppad? Doubtful. Even if he gets the shotty, it doesn't stand much of a chance against the lock-on lunging infinite-energy sword, unless he's really sneaky.
An ugly scenario, indeed.[/quote]

You've also made one of my points for me: unless he's lucky.

One might say that Halo 1 makes no room for luck, and therefore requires none.

Halo 2 makes room for it, but creates situations where you need it.

Again, though... over a long enough timeframe, these moments of "luck" drop out. It's a straw man argument from the start, though-- I'm not a big fan of the SMG start. I don't say anything as insane as "Halo 2 has perfectly balanced weapons" or "Halo 2 has no overpowered weapons." Probably the best I can say is that I think I have a pretty good idea about why Bungie made the changes they did, and what they were hoping to achieve, and I'm optimistic, from what's been said so far, that they will come closer to achieving that with Halo 3.

[quote=Anonymous]

BR starts change up the game entirely, right from the start.
Even if you still die first, this time you don't panic when you respawn, because you're not defenseless with a weak spray gun. You feel secure knowing you can unscope an opponent with a sniper rifle from a distance with the BR, and you can easily kill him if he rushes across the center glass to kill you with the Sword. You can instantly be "in the game", returning fire with a capable weapon in your hands; not hiding or at the mercy of bigger guns.[/quote]

I think you're exaggerating the abilities of the BR; especially in a head to head game with a sniper. Lockout is not a big map; the ability to unscope an opponent on it, I think, is not a huge advantage. Players routinely perform noscopes against targets all over that map.

Even so: I don't have a beef with the BR as such, nor am I a huge SMG fan.

[quote=Anonymous]
So you see, unless the only weapons on the map are SMGs or comparible weapons, the first person killed in a game (the casual player, typically) is going to actually be at a greater disadvantage with his SMG.
I'm sure that's why Bungie changed the default starting weapon on maps like Coag, Waterworks, Containment to BR starts - where starting with an SMG was practically a death sentence.[/quote]

I agree. All of those maps, though, are much bigger than Lockout, which I think puts the SMG at a comparatively larger disadvantage.

[quote=Anonymous]
Anyway, for Halo3, the Assualt Rifle as the default starting weapon on small maps is a much better deal, you have to agree. They should keep the BR start on large maps though.

Peace.
Schultz.[/quote]

Well, we'll have to wait and see.


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote=narcogen] Couple of questions: if it's a 1x1 on Lockout, why run for the sniper first unless you know you're host? Unless you know you're closer to the sniper than your opponent, risking the entirety of the match on getting that first kill in so you can claim the sniper may not be worth the risk.[/quote] Well, the premise for your article was about casual players being able to get some kills in Halo2. I'm guessing a casual player might know the locations of the sniper and RL on some maps. But I would guess most casual players have no knowledge about what host advantage is in online games. And you have probably heard this announcement from squeeky teenies on XBL as much as I have at the start of a match: "I CALL SNIPER!" I don't think it's too uncommon for 2 people to run to the the same power weapon at the start of a match. Admittedly, I don't know all the exact spawn locations and distances apart from weapon spawns, so my little anecdote about starting the game and going for the same thing is probably flawed. But I've definitely had it happen in games many times - myself and an opponent wielding our default weapons and both heading for the same weapon drop: Burial Mounds RL, Colossus Beam Rifle, Zanzibar sniper tower, Coagulation RL, Waterworks Sword.) [quote=narcogen] One might say that Halo 1 makes no room for luck, and therefore requires none. Halo 2 makes room for it, but creates situations where you need it. [/quote] Can you list a few instances of luck in Halo2? Not sure what you mean. Something like the melee lunges? I think most people have seen the YouTube video of Halo:CE>Halo2 using the Pink Floyd song. Me and a friend, over XBL (just us, custom game, on opposing teams), experimented with just the melees. The angle at which you can move your reticule (sniper, for instance) away from your opponent, and still get in a lunging melee hit, is way too much. It seems like 45 degrees at times. You don't even have control over the lunge itself - it's automatic, whether you want to or not. I think it would be better to have the option of double-tapping your left stick forward if you wanted to lunge. I don't always want to lunge, and risk exposing my back if I miss. [quote=narcogen] Lockout is not a big map; the ability to unscope an opponent on it, I think, is not a huge advantage. Players routinely perform noscopes against targets all over that map. [/quote] ? So is no-scoping not a huge advantage, or is it a routine occurance? Not sure what you mean here. Myself, hardly ever use no-scopes . Imo: A. I think they are risky B. They should be only used in a pinch C. I suck at them. :D So if I'm being bum-rushed with an SMG, and there's no time to switch weapons, I will try a no-scope. Most anxious players will close the gap and go for the melee finishing attack. I hope for this, and try to use my "Boxer" control setting to my advantage, and attempt a sidestep/circle strafe assasination as they lunge by me. Which brings me back to what I, and you might have, said above - luck will permit them to kill me because the odds of me sidestepping their lunge is pretty low, considering the amount of "auto aim" the melee lunge has. [quote=narcogen] Even so: I don't have a beef with the BR as such, nor am I a huge SMG fan. [/quote] Can you describe a weapon that could be a "jack of all trades" starting weapon? Maybe the H3 Assault Rifle, with a 2X zoom capability, but can't perform headshots? Thanks for the reply. Schultz

That was probably the best counter argument I have read on the subject. I can't really disagree with you to a good enough degree to continue the argument in vain hope.

I understand where you're coming from but as much as you picked apart my somewhat faulty summary of the sales topic there would be those that would do likewise to yours. I'll agree with it but there are other things in my post that truely affected the sales of Halo 2. Not the least the over whelming success of Halo 1 and the undoubted influence it had on the magnitude of pre orders. The subject can not really be argued one way or another in the end. Largely due to when the games were introduced. As you suggested. One at the start of the consoles life and one at the end.

As for "Optimatch". I use that term as I expect it to used. A way in which a player gets to choose his/her field of battle and game type. This is what I mean by Optimatch being flawed in Halo 2.

Perception means a lot and server based game play is basically what people expect out of a game these days. It's the way most games played online. With this described as 'XBL public' for Halo 3.

I understand what you're getting at, but I don't think you're going to get want you want from XBL Public. Those games most likely won't be ranked; in ranked rooms you're still going to get a smorgasbord of game types. Bungie wants to allow for player specialization in weapons, but require player versatility in terms of maps and gametypes.

If you've got a map/gametype you like, XBL Public might bring you some players. However, for there to be players to give you, they're going to have to enter a more general pool where they specify some, but not all, of the variables.

Let's say, for instance, that I like FAE: a custom Oddball variant on Lockout, fiesta weapons, etc etc. I don't think XBL Public is going to put up my specific FAE game up for everyone to see. That's not how it is going to work.

What XBL Public will most likely do is allow a player to specify "give me an oddball game" or "give me a Lockout game" but not more than that. If it did, then everybody would be sitting in their own little custom game, waiting for players that will never come.


Rampant for over se7en years.

[quote=narcogen]I understand what you're getting at, but I don't think you're going to get want you want from XBL Public. Those games most likely won't be ranked; in ranked rooms you're still going to get a smorgasbord of game types. Bungie wants to allow for player specialization in weapons, but require player versatility in terms of maps and gametypes.

If you've got a map/gametype you like, XBL Public might bring you some players. However, for there to be players to give you, they're going to have to enter a more general pool where they specify some, but not all, of the variables.

Let's say, for instance, that I like FAE: a custom Oddball variant on Lockout, fiesta weapons, etc etc. I don't think XBL Public is going to put up my specific FAE game up for everyone to see. That's not how it is going to work.

What XBL Public will most likely do is allow a player to specify "give me an oddball game" or "give me a Lockout game" but not more than that. If it did, then everybody would be sitting in their own little custom game, waiting for players that will never come.


Rampant for over se7en years.[/quote]

Don't make to many conclusions on exactly what this XBL public is going to be. I was not exactly clear on the problems with Optimatch and Halo 2s Match making before. What you describe is something that improves very little on what is already in place. A system flawed because of focus on ranked game lists and not enough player selection in game types.

It's flawed because Bungie tried to throw the majority of players into matchmaking thinking it's what we wanted. Sure, a lot do. However it's certainly apparent to us all now that most players want more control. A friends list of 100 players does not give enough control in terms of playing people from your own region. In game types you prefer.

What I'm hoping XBP will do is to try and introduce a server type (I'm being general here) menu where certain boxes or such can be checked to find game types close to what you want. Maybe region, amount of players etc. You know the drill. I realise that nothing can be perfect, especially when dealing with the sheer weight of numbers expected. However I'll keep my fingers crossed.

I hate MM and especially ranked games. If it's decent I won't play another ranked game again.

I find your example of players all sitting in their own room waiting for others to join to be completely unrealistic and how you have deduced that as happening I have no idea. Ever played on XBC?? Host has a huge advantage (esp H1) and that doesn't happen. There are those that like to be host and those that just want to jump in a game without waiting or setting it up. That problem will not exist.

[quote=narcogen]One argument against the pro-pistol, anti-Halo 2 crowd has been that they aren't good at the sequel and are therefore jealous. Not so, they say. We're also good at Halo 2. I'm inclined to believe them. I'm also inclined to wonder what the problem is, then. [/quote] Well in this case you believe completly wrong. The best of the Halo 2 players, who are competing at the MLG Pro Circuit, are in fact the biggest Halo CE fans and disagree with most of the changes made in Halo 2.

He said that he's inclined to believe them or, in other words, that he's inclined to believe that they are indeed good at Halo 2.

i dont know about halo 2, but i don know that in halo, practically anyone who is seen using the rocket launcher, or, ANYONE seen using the fuel rod cannon, are dubbed as noobs. now you tell me this then. would you consider using a nuke in a war noob, if you answer is yes. then you are correct. yay one point to you. however, rocket launchers and f cannons are not nukes. they are heavy support weaponry. designed for taking out vehicles and heavy infantry. now, i may be wrong *eherm* but wouldnt you consider a SPARTAN TO BE HEAVY INFANTRY. when in tha hands of a 'noob' yes, a spartan is heavy infantry. but to a person with any ammount of skill, a spartan IS an army. if youve finished halo ce then thats tesimony to that. if youve finished it without dieing, then joo are teh haxor god kid. but thats not the point. the point is, that all these weapons are in the game on purpose and if you have noticed multyplayer halo is about killing each other. you do this in the best way you can (not including spawn killing) if you use heavy weaponry and are good at it, and kill lots of people then i would hardly classify you as a noob. "if im a noob, and you are far superior to me and can boom double tap me with your pistol then how come im beating you? no dont blame it on the heavy weps. they have low ammo capacity(or overheat to compensate), long reload time, and are scarce. they also take a long time to reach the target in which time if you are so superior to me then why dont you just move out of the way? i dont know about launchers in halo 2 or f cannons but from what ive heard the launcher only has one round at a time now? good for multi player but for single they should have kept the double barrel. it has nothing to do with fairness, but enginuity. think about it. the unsc descided one day, wouldnt it be great if we had launchers which fired TWO shots. makes perfect sence to me. more effective. thererfore better. however, perhaps 8 rounds is a tad overkill. thats 3 bags over your shoulder containing 2 rockets each. so are rage/hate halo2sucks people complaining about the limitations to the launcher now? oh noos, we have alreadie nubsed your teh haxor pistol with-a-scope and a way to large magazine and ammo carrying capability. and made it all realistic. get over it. if anyone are noobs its HALO2SUCKS because they are weak without their boom headshot device. The idea of being a Spartan, or any member of the UNSC is to be able to adapt to whatever is thrown at you. are you so noob that you need your pistol of +1 to survive? you kill the enemy tactics, and whatever weapons are avaleable to you Learn to skill and learn to kill, noobs

Wow this guy has to be the biggest idiot in the world. Why should anyone listen to your point? Half of that entire post was grammatically incorrect and your spelling;! oh my god! Multiplayer is not designed so an idiot like you can sit there all day and camp the rocket launcher and blow up someone before they even know your there! I dont mind someone using a rocket launcher every once in a while but when your whoring the damn thing as your primary weapon because you lack the skill to take someone on headsup you are a NOOB! NOOB - someone annoying and inexperienced.

You're not really in any position to be critiquing anyone's grammar or spelling; I hope you know that.

What about playing to win? I'm sorry, if there is a weapon in the game that is powerful enough to give you an advantage, and nothing prevents you from using it and preventing others from using it-- then you are playing to win. To not do so is not to play to win. I thought you were the one only interested in winning, no?


Rampant for over se7en years.

Yes i approve of winning but doing so with skill!!! How can i make that point any clearer?! So i guess you think Al Quaeda and the Insurgents that sucker punch US troops with IED's and panzy ass roadside attacks are awesome! I also think i'm in a perfect position to critique someones spelling and grammar simply because my posts are not loaded to the rim with them.

I think it's coming to the point now where there is no point in debating anymore. I do not think that bungie is going to bring a mid-range weapon capable of TSK in Halo 3 leaving the halo series to the noobs. If Bungie wants to go ahead and make a noob game let them. I will not waste my money buying it but the least they could do is make Halo 1 playable on XBL. It's not fair that we went out and bought a game that was great and fine the way it was and now have to stomach these monstrocities! Making Halo 1 playable on XBL would finally solve the problem of skill vs. noobs and we at H2S would simply fade away into our heaven of skill. I think this is something that both noobs and pistol experts can agree on.

[quote=Anonymous]I think it's coming to the point now where there is no point in debating anymore. I do not think that bungie is going to bring a mid-range weapon capable of TSK in Halo 3 leaving the halo series to the noobs. If Bungie wants to go ahead and make a noob game let them. I will not waste my money buying it but the least they could do is make Halo 1 playable on XBL. It's not fair that we went out and bought a game that was great and fine the way it was and now have to stomach these monstrocities! Making Halo 1 playable on XBL would finally solve the problem of skill vs. noobs and we at H2S would simply fade away into our heaven of skill. I think this is something that both noobs and pistol experts can agree on.[/quote]

I think we can agree that a lot of us won't be sorry to see you fade away. You might want to check on whether or not you speak for H2S, though. After all, this whole thing started with them inviting me to check the forum because they said the H2S community is not nearly as obnoxious as it is reputed to be, and that the ideas on the static pages were not representative of that community as it exists today.

Yet, here you are; immature, insulting, and obnoxious.


Rampant for over se7en years.

Narcogen your an idiot and a poor halo player. I doubt that most of the players on halo 2 would not be sorry to see a noob like you that most likely does not play the game often fade into nothingness. You probably suck at life also in that your most like 30 years old still living at home with your parents. If your ever in miami i hope your nerdiness is recognizable so that your time in our city will be physically unpleasant. Have a nice day.

I've already stated I'm a poor Halo player, which is easily visible in the statistics anyway, so I'm not sure why you bother to say that. Do you imagine it to be an insult?

Also, anyone who knows me knows I've lived overseas for the past seven years. If anyone is still in the basement, it's you-- after all, nothing else to do down there but improve your matchmaking rank.


Rampant for over se7en years.

Living overseas does not include a trip across the bay! And if by basement you mean two floor 4 bedroom 3 bath house then you are correct i do spend much of my time there as i suspect most people spend much of their time at their homes. Since you admit you are a poor Halo player and rarely play, what consideration should anyone give to your opinions about a game that you admit you RARELY play? And before you poorly reply with "why should anyone care what I think?" while halo is not my life i do try to play it at least every other day ensuring its stay on the XBL leaderboard.

Iv'e never seen any body take this game that seriously I suggest a muscle relaxer and anger managment beacause dude if this is how you take out anger you have got some serious misplaced aggresion.

[quote=Anonymous]Iv'e never seen any body take this game that seriously I suggest a muscle relaxer and anger managment beacause dude if this is how you take out anger you have got some serious misplaced aggresion.[/quote] by the way this was a reply to foolishness

[quote=narcogen][quote=Anonymous]I think it's coming to the point now where there is no point in debating anymore. I do not think that bungie is going to bring a mid-range weapon capable of TSK in Halo 3 leaving the halo series to the noobs. If Bungie wants to go ahead and make a noob game let them. I will not waste my money buying it but the least they could do is make Halo 1 playable on XBL. It's not fair that we went out and bought a game that was great and fine the way it was and now have to stomach these monstrocities! Making Halo 1 playable on XBL would finally solve the problem of skill vs. noobs and we at H2S would simply fade away into our heaven of skill. I think this is something that both noobs and pistol experts can agree on.[/quote]

I think we can agree that a lot of us won't be sorry to see you fade away. You might want to check on whether or not you speak for H2S, though. After all, this whole thing started with them inviting me to check the forum because they said the H2S community is not nearly as obnoxious as it is reputed to be, and that the ideas on the static pages were not representative of that community as it exists today.

Yet, here you are; immature, insulting, and obnoxious.


Rampant for over se7en years.[/quote]

Narcogen, whoever that is doesn't speak for us, unless they say who they are and we can confirm it. For all I know it could be some anonymous dolt purposefully portraying that image.

As for the PISTOL debate. Oh well, as long as there is mid-ranged impact. The BR auto-aim is down now, which is good. Now, if only we could convince BUNGIE to do away with this "spread" business. It's not realistic anyway. If you want to simulate kick, at least make the bullet trail perfectly vertical. At least then, those with control of their weapon could predict the affect of the kicks, and account for them. How to you circumvent the limitations of a scattering triangle? It's both unrealistic AND bad gameplay.

In fact, you want a happy Hzqi? Make the BR similar to the Sniper Rifle. Make it kick slightly, but perfectly, with every shot, but actually kick up and stay there. Stay in the sense of requiring you to re-aim between shots. This way you could control the kick with skill, and it would be a subtle thing to "wrestle" with. You'd have to re-aim, or manage the kick with vertical "pressure". W00T! Stuff it, make all the human weapons kick. Make it their thing. Maybe the carbine would actually be enticing with the alien benefit of no kick. Humans get the kicks, Aliens get the heat.

-Hzqi

[quote=Anonymous]

Narcogen, whoever that is doesn't speak for us, unless they say who they are and we can confirm it. For all I know it could be some anonymous dolt purposefully portraying that image.[/quote]

I don't know either, which is why I made a point of separating my reply to him from my other comments on the substance of H2S.

[quote=Anonymous]As for the PISTOL debate. Oh well, as long as there is mid-ranged impact. The BR auto-aim is down now, which is good. Now, if only we could convince BUNGIE to do away with this "spread" business. It's not realistic anyway. If you want to simulate kick, at least make the bullet trail perfectly vertical. At least then, those with control of their weapon could predict the affect of the kicks, and account for them. How to you circumvent the limitations of a scattering triangle? It's both unrealistic AND bad gameplay.[/quote]

I agree that the amount of spread is unrealistic (even thought that's now always the #1 concern) but it's not necessarily "bad gameplay". It can encourage or permit "bad gameplay" by allowing for situations in which a shot that should be a clean miss lands some hits. Likewise it can create situations where the reverse is true.

[quote=Anonymous]In fact, you want a happy Hzqi? Make the BR similar to the Sniper Rifle. Make it kick slightly, but perfectly, with every shot, but actually kick up and stay there. Stay in the sense of requiring you to re-aim between shots. This way you could control the kick with skill, and it would be a subtle thing to "wrestle" with. You'd have to re-aim, or manage the kick with vertical "pressure". W00T! Stuff it, make all the human weapons kick. Make it their thing. Maybe the carbine would actually be enticing with the alien benefit of no kick. Humans get the kicks, Aliens get the heat.

-Hzqi[/quote]

As a design tradeoff, I'd agree that recoil vs. overheating seems like a good idea in theory. However, as a design factor recoil just does more to widen the gap between skilled players and the rest, as it can ONLY generate a miss, whereas spread just increases general uncertainty.

I know you think that's a good thing, that's just where we disagree.

In fact, in the interest of that, I'd probably be willing (if it were in my hands, which of course it isn't) to concede nearly every one of the suggestions that makes gameplay deeper and more realistic IF there was an entire area of matchmaking play (say, every single social hopper) that scored on the the basis of a level-dependent handicap within the context of each game-- meaning that the handicap affected the results, not merely the impact on your rank if you win.


Rampant for over se7en years.

Check me out Narc. You persuaded me, so I bought a Rampancy uniform.

I'm a willing compromiser.

If meant that we could incorporate the kind of deepening that I endorse, I'd be perfectly willing to advocate the kind of handicap that you envision.

On three grounds though.

Firstly: As long as the handicaps were subtle, not silly. Something "like"- every Ranking point seperation accounted for 1 percentage point of damage lessening? Or maybe something more affecting? "LESSENING" of damage, or more available shield only though. I don't agree with making the handicappee more resistant, AND empowering their ammunition. That exponentially flips the scenario against the handicapper. It also makes retaliation inordinantly short of opportunity, and is just about impossible to "indicate" as a warning (see next stipulation). No, the more resistant shield is plenty. You also wouldn't actually have incrimental handicaps. Just stages of handicap. If it was rated by percentages, it would only register as, say, no more than three stages of handicap. Or, even simpler, just put apply stages to the ranks as well. 10 ranks at a time. Players within 10 ranking range of the highest have no handicap. 10 - 20 get level one cap. 20 - 30 difference get level two. 30 + get a level three handicap. If you have it in stages, it clarifies the next point about indication, and means that it's something palpable you can deal with. If it were percentages, you could never assert PRECISELY the degree of what you're dealing with. Three stages of handicap however, is a process you can familiarise with, with accurate planning.

Secondly: As long as the handicaps were clearly indicated and easily identified. Both during and pre-game. I can't think of anything more unfair, than a higher ranked player being expected to enter a fray with a player, without any means of knowing the requirement to dispatch them. It should be rated in the pre-game lobby against the highest rank player, who obviously is the benchmark for the distributed handicaps, so has no marker next to their name. Then the handicapped players could have a grading next to their name, displayed kind of like connection quality is displayed, in three grades and colours of bar.

While still in the spirit of CLEARLY DISPLAYED, the players running around need to be "flaunting" their cap. The best and easiest way is to not affect the other players at all. And also, to avoid damage resistance for the cappees. Use the automatic overshield, which colours itself to suit different grades. The three grades of handicap could corrolate to another layer of the three overshield layers available. To outline the obvious: Level 1 has the standard HALO 3 overshield. Level 2 has the HALO 2 like double overshield. Level 3 has the extra triple boost only made available in HALO 3 customs. It may sound extreme, but I do agree with Narcogen about the disparities in skill. I can attest to experiments at LANs with beginners, where, with almost the highest level of HALO 2 handicap set on, a player who was capable enough to roam and shoot but still not terribly sophisticated as a player, was a mince-meal, even with the handicap. A legitimate level 50, really ought to be "capable" of eliminating a legitimate level 5, with a triple overshield. Sticky, plus shots, plus evasion, plus melee, plus shots? Frag, two no-scopes and a beat-down? If you're handicapping things in the interests of relative fairness, it ought to require the high rank to perform something exceptional (they are a level 50, right? They die if they don't act like it) to win, just as it's probably going to require the low rank to perform something relatively exceptional (by their standard) if they hope to pull through. As Narcogen likes to say, All other things being equal. Apart from aiding the lessers, if anything, it should be more grounds for the self-proclaimed elite to gloat if they surmount the handicap.

My third stipulation is: As long as this idea is retained in SOCIAL matches only. Ranks can still dictate the handicaps, but can be used to make SOCIAL exactly that. A less oppressive environment for those less veteren and hostile souls that really would like to enjoy themselves while getting to know the game. In fact, it would lend more distinction to the Social settings. It would act as more encouragement for people to continue playing, BUT, with the awareness of the assistance and in turn, encouragement to sever the umbilical and join in the Ranked matches, if they want the "logistically fair" setting. It would build a more reverent aura about the realm of ranked matches for those non-veterens to contemplate stepping into the "big-pond" to tackle their rank. Yes, ranked matches should be there to weed out the rankings in cold light, not comfort.

I'm not against playing nice and accomodating newcomers with a helping hand, Narcogen. Just as long as there is a place to suit both breeds, and the placation doesn't monopolise. I'd welcome it in general, but if it were to gain me access to my preference in the spirit of design, I'd head the committee. Since you like the Golf analogies, SOCIAL should be that way, like "Amateur Tournaments" are. RANKED should be "scratch" play. Ranked can't be played with a handicap, or it entirely undermines the pursuit of it. What would happen? Lesser players get up to ranks equivilent to better players, with the aid of their handicap (also at the expense of the rank of better players). Only now, they can't compete without it, and they trend down. Get the handicap back, and recycle the process. No. No need to reiterate the above, just pretend I did.

-Hzqi

Bungie know more about what we want, than we do.

Just ask them.

[quote=Hzqi]Check me out Narc. You persuaded me, so I bought a Rampancy uniform.[/quote]

Very dapper. It suits you.

[quote=Hzqi]I'm a willing compromiser.

If meant that we could incorporate the kind of deepening that I endorse, I'd be perfectly willing to advocate the kind of handicap that you envision.

On three grounds though.

Firstly: As long as the handicaps were subtle, not silly. Something "like"- every Ranking point seperation accounted for 1 percentage point of damage lessening? Or maybe something more affecting? "LESSENING" of damage, or more available shield only though. I don't agree with making the handicappee more resistant, AND empowering their ammunition.
[/quote]

Actually I'd go with something far simpler and less drastic. I think it would cause a furor if the handicap actually worked on the level of the damage model. If one considers the possibility that weapon inaccuracy is intentionally designed in as a playfield-leveller, then that at least works better than varying damage based on ranks. Yes, it may sometimes happen that a high ranking player gets a miss on a headshot attempt because of spread, while a noob with a bullet hose scores a kill with bad aim for the same reason, it's just as likely (and over time more likely) that the converse will happen.

If it worked on the level of the damage model, it would always happen. It would always take high ranking players more headshots to kill than for lower ranks. Some might prefer the consistency of this model, but I think it goes too far.

No, I think merely altering the victory conditions and the points awarded for kills is sufficient. That preservers as much information as possible about the match in the post-game statistics. The only thing to do would be to work out the ratios.

If the ranking system goes from 1 to 50, then a player ranked 40 is 80% of his way to the highest possible rank. A 20 is only 40% of his way to the highest possible rank. Score every match on points instead of kills, and award points based on a comparison of relative player skills. Pick some sort of baseline (assign 1 the value of the highest skilled player in the game getting a kill on the least skilled) and then make everything proportional from there.

For the sake of argument, in the above sitution, make it worth 1 point when the 40 kills the 20, but 2 points when the 20 kills the 40, on the assumption that it represents more of an accomplishment for him or her to do so. It rewards players for playing at a level above their performance to date would suggest they can play.

This way, you still can see who killed who and how many times, but based on the handicaps you can see how points were apportioned. I suppose the problem with my idea here is that you can reverse engineer skill ranks from the handicaps, which is apparently not what Bungie wants in Social hoppers. Although frankly if skill rankings are used in matchmaking then I think they should be displayed. However, since there won't be a big rank number next to players names (only a handicap indicating the ratio between their skill level and the lowest level opponent) I still think true rankwhores will stay away from the purely "social" players, which is the point.

[snip]

[quote=Hzqi]Secondly: As long as the handicaps were clearly indicated and easily identified. Both during and pre-game. I can't think of anything more unfair, than a higher ranked player being expected to enter a fray with a player, without any means of knowing the requirement to dispatch them. It should be rated in the pre-game lobby against the highest rank player, who obviously is the benchmark for the distributed handicaps, so has no marker next to their name. Then the handicapped players could have a grading next to their name, displayed kind of like connection quality is displayed, in three grades and colours of bar. [/quote]

I'd agree to that. In fact, in the model above, where damage is unaffected but points are, it's imperative that the handicap be displayed. Players have to understand why they lost despite being tops in kills; it's because they failed to perform as well against their own baseline compared to their opponents.

I'm giving players a chance to win by "beating the spread" so to speak.

[snip]

[quote=Hzqi]My third stipulation is: As long as this idea is retained in SOCIAL matches only. Ranks can still dictate the handicaps, but can be used to make SOCIAL exactly that. A less oppressive environment for those less veteren and hostile souls that really would like to enjoy themselves while getting to know the game. In fact, it would lend more distinction to the Social settings. It would act as more encouragement for people to continue playing, BUT, with the awareness of the assistance and in turn, encouragement to sever the umbilical and join in the Ranked matches, if they want the "logistically fair" setting. It would build a more reverent aura about the realm of ranked matches for those non-veterens to contemplate stepping into the "big-pond" to tackle their rank. Yes, ranked matches should be there to weed out the rankings in cold light, not comfort.[/quote]

Again, I'd have no objection to that. I do think the idea of altering scoring rather than damage is better, though-- I think many, if not most, players will end up bouncing between Ranked and Social matches at some point, and it's best if the damage model is fairly consistent so that basic assumptions aren't challenged.

-Hzqi

[quote=Hzqi]
Bungie know more about what we want, than we do.

Just ask them.

[/quote]

I realize you're taking a jab there. But lots of times people either don't know what they want, or don't adequately express what it is they want, or profess to want what they think they want or what they think others think they should want.

Also, what happened to design first? Is Bungie supposed to care what we want, or be true to the pure ideal of Halo's best possible design?

I do think there's a valid comparison to make between the way Bungie designs games and the way Apple makes most of its products. They keep things simple and elegant where possible, going for models that will make the most sense to most people. Things that are easy work flawlessly. Things that are hard are impossible.

That's what Halo 3 is. An FPS for "the rest of us" :)


Rampant for over se7en years.

That's actually my signiture...

I know you know it's not meant to envoke a literal attitude from me. It's just derived of someone elses observations about an article BUNGIE wrote once. It came across very holy about "what people want" and seemed very flimsy about reasoning or sources to confirm it (just as I am about the article...) I do believe in "design first". But BUNGIE has seems to put the cart before the horse at times, dictating what they think we want. It's like when you're running low on undies, and planning to buy some wicked new boxers, and your mum notices a shortage and decides to buy you undies, because she thought you'd be wanting them soon, and they're a size too small and Y-fronts (note: story is hypothetical!!).

My old signiture was-

BUNGIE took a game that wasn't broken, and broke it while trying to fix it.

Your idea of a points handicap would be a far more discrete implementation than my own. Those were my own theorisings on roughly what I thought another was suggesting though.

In ranking the reward is that you don't lose much rank if you lose to a much higher rank, and you gain a lot, if you beat them.

No, your model is better, and would be a laudable function for Social. No argument.

PS, I have an account, and still get asked for CAPTCHA

-Hzqi

Bungie know more about what we want, than we do.

Just ask them.

[quote=Hzqi]
In ranking the reward is that you don't lose much rank if you lose to a much higher rank, and you gain a lot, if you beat them.
[/quote]

Right. What I'd be suggesting for Social, at least, is to take that out.

In other words, instead of the current situation, where the game between uneven skills is evened by weapon inaccuracy, and a lower ranked player is rewarded for a hard fought victory by a comparatively larger gain in skill, I'd make the game easier for the lower ranked player to win.

What is done with player ranks at that point is more about what creates equal matches more often and less about giving the player a sense of accomplishment, since social doesn't have visible ranks.

[quote=Hzqi]

PS, I have an account, and still get asked for CAPTCHA

-Hzqi

[/quote]

I've sent you a PM about that, I'll figure out what is causing you to always get captchas and make sure it's addressed.


Rampant for over se7en years.

come on guys you peaple are taking this thing way to seriously I mean you guys are acting like your being cheated or something. listen every body has got there speacialty's some it's demolition some it's sniping some it's close range but don't get mad just your getting killed left and right by rockets and if you are I suggest talk to your team stalk up and take care of the problem some times I think pealpe are forgeting It's just a game.

Anonymous wrote: what consideration should anyone give to your opinions about a game that you admit you RARELY play? What consideration should he give you? A faggot who insults people just because that person disagrees with you isn't going to get you much consideration either. This is his opinion and your not presenting much of an argument. -_-

halo2sucks.com= People who hate change People who use the pistol model for halo 1 as their vibrator People who want the same game over and over and over and over and over again People who think Bungie owes them because they apparently think that Bungie was created because of their loyalty People who are elitist pricks who think that being over the age of 40 warrants superior gaming knowledge Gay People who ought to, in their own words, suck it up that Halo 2 wasn't a exact copy of Halo 1's gameplay/weapon mechanics retarded :3

halo2sucks.com= People who hate change People who use the pistol model for halo 1 as their vibrator People who want the same game over and over and over and over and over again People who think Bungie owes them because they apparently think that Bungie was created because of their loyalty People who are elitist pricks who think that being over the age of 40 warrants superior gaming knowledge Gay People who ought to, in their own words, suck it up that Halo 2 wasn't a exact copy of Halo 1's gameplay/weapon mechanics retarded :3

that was the worst reading of my life...HALO2 SUCKKKSSSSS the author should go back to kickball or making love to his dog

[quote=Anonymous]halo2sucks.com=

People who hate change

People who use the pistol model for halo 1 as their vibrator

People who want the same game over and over and over and over and over again

People who think Bungie owes them because they apparently think that Bungie was created because of their loyalty

People who are elitist pricks who think that being over the age of 40 warrants superior gaming knowledge

Gay

People who ought to, in their own words, suck it up that Halo 2 wasn't a exact copy of Halo 1's gameplay/weapon mechanics
retarded :3[/quote]

Wow man. You totally have me pegged. Being that I maintain a huge stance in favour of progressiveness, you've totally got me pegged. There's no arguing with conclusive morons is there.

Yes, while I was mouth-watering at the prospect of advancements of HALO's mechanics with things like Boarding, Dualling, I totally made my mind up about HALO 2 sucking because it wasn't identical.

It had nothing to do with;

Gay Lock-on rockets

Idiotic Auto-aim rocket, that causes to attract to targets, hence miss where you aimed.
(Idiocy which persists in HALO 3)

Ultra-Homing PP

Plasma-Rifle "dead-zone"

20 degree lunge auto-aim

15 foot lunge range

6 hit melee (1.0)

*sword*

RANDOM Shotgun

13 hit Magnum

Completely defective physics, allowing noone but host to nade jump, or... get flipped in a hog

You don't even need to get into technical quanries like DRASTIC variations in hit consistency, because of lag.

The obnoxious shape of the game, from technical defects and designs disasters, is totally adequate.

Thanks, it's like I don't even have to think anymore with retards like you doing it for me and informing me about my own mind.

By the way Narcogen.

I said the CAPTCHA thing was spastic because it wouldn't let me post. I'd provide the right answer and it kept rejecting it. Not because it's there.

-Hzqi

[quote=Anonymous]

By the way Narcogen.

I said the CAPTCHA thing was spastic because it wouldn't let me post. I'd provide the right answer and it kept rejecting it. Not because it's there.

-Hzqi

[/quote]

I'm well aware of the fact that sometimes, some people have a problem with the CAPTCHA. Some people do, and some people don't. I have the same problem on other sites that use it. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don't. Unfortunately, the problem of allowing anonymous comments to be posted with the captcha turned off are such that this is the way it has to be. The alternative is switching off anonymous posting, which I find to be too drastic a move to take permamently.

What I suggested is that if you registered, you'd avoid the CAPTCHA entirely.

Don't worry, I won't consider it in any way an endorsement of this site or any of my opinions on it. I don't sell or give user information to anyone, and the site doesn't send messages to your email unless you request it. If you're interested enough to persist past the captcha when it doesn't work reliably for you, certainly you can take less time and fill out the registration form, no?


Rampant for over se7en yeaars.