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How to make Halo: Infinite a long-term success

OP Blainely

How to make Halo: Infinite a long-term success

Everyone wishes for a plethora of additions to the upcoming Halo: Infinite, and rightly so. Art styles, campaign elements and every little thing in-between will help toward keeping players coming back for more. But, long after a completed campaign; after the effects of a fresh Halo experience wears off, the long stretch of time until the next Halo begins: Where are all the players? In multiplayer.

There are tons of important features multiplayer need (specifically) to keep players coming back for more for years to come, and I hope some of you can respond with ideas on what those features are. I will focus on what is arguably the most important feature, the foundation; matchmaking; the function that decides which players you get on your team and which players you will play against. Every single game will be shaped by this function, and the difference between a good experience and a bad experience, largely is decided by it. Here are some important points that I think a great matchmaking system should have.

  1. Queue time vs focused skill-matching. There is always a trade-off between queue times and matching players of similar skill, and when Halo 5 still had a large population, matchmaking was leaning too heavily toward providing fast queue times. Players got into games very fast, and that’s great, but it came at the expense of providing a good experience for all players involved. Sure, players had the option to influence matchmaking toward closer skill-matching, but most players don’t bother. The baseline, pre-selected option needs to be more in favor of matching people of similar skill. Instead of having a queue time of 10 seconds and matching players that aren’t really similar in skill, maybe it should allow a queue time of 25 seconds if it means everyone having a better game experience. That will pay off in the long-term, keeping players coming back for more the next day. Instead, Halo 5’s focus on fast queue times helped lead to a fast decrease in population because players aren’t having good games, eventually forcing the matchmaking system to focus even more at keeping short queue times because there simply aren’t enough players searching.
  1. Pre-made teams vs all randoms. This is another function that pays off in the long-term; don’t allow pre-made teams to match all randoms. Sure, if searching as a full pre-made means you can only match against other full pre-mades, it also means longer queue times. This worked great in Halo 3, which kept a massive population for many years. You could possibly relax the rules a bit, allowing for example a 4-player pre-made to match a 3+1 or a 2+2, so as to not instead drive people away because of long queue times. But never a full team vs all randoms. This will increase the probability of everyone having a good experience, and by extension increase the probability that players want to play more.
  1. Quitting penalties and ‘stay-in-game’-rewards. A good penalty system is also important for a functioning matchmaking. I don’t think current penalties in Halo 5 are too soft, but they are only time-based. If you quit, and consequently ruin everyone else’s game, you should of course be penalized, at least for the second game it happens within a day (to allow for the odd disconnect etc.). But time-based penalties aren’t as effective as 343i seem to think, which is proven by how common quitting is currently. Penalties also need to be rank-based, dealing a marked blow to a quitters rank. Reversely are the arguably more important function of rewarding players to stay in games in the first place, instead of only focusing on penalizing players that don’t. Rewards could include a plethora of desirable items, points, etc. Incentivizing players to stay in games, and properly penalizing those who regularly don’t, increases the probability of a larger long-term playerbase. Remember, quitters are a minority that causes major problems. 1 quitter in a regular 4v4 ruins the game experience of 7 other players.
If anyone has ideas, specific to matchmaking, or pertaining to multiplayer in general, that will increase the probability of Halo: Infinite becoming a long-term success, please share them! :)
I (sadly) dont have any ideas to share right now, but you have some very good points. If 343i does the multiplayer right, then Halo: Infinite should be enjoyable for a long time.
How about fun factor. Thats probably the one major thing thats been missing since H3. You can have this and that and whatever. But is it fun?
1. Beg Marty O'Donnell and Joseph Staten to come back.

2. No micro-transactions. Tons of customization options.

3. Brilliant Theater Mode, Forge, File Share and Custom Games Browser.

4. Dedicated servers. Very fast and reliable match-making.

5. Crossplay with PC, for every mode.

6. Splitscreen.

7. Playable Elites.

8. The number of betrayals and quitting goes on your service record. Too many too fast and your medal chest and rank is reset. Plus suspensions but make sure they're actually warranted and not immediately dolled out as punishment for occasionally having to do something in real life or go to the bathroom.

9. Every MP map remade(except the ones from 4 and 5). Plus new maps that aren't soulless, forgettable, trash. Make them more unique and actually feel like Halo.

10. Playlists. This is my minimum expectation for multiplayer playlists, from release, not months or years later down the line like 343i don't even care.
-Lone Wolves(The only ranked playlist)=10 player FFA. Slayer. Snipers. KotH. Oddball. Elimination. Headhunter. VIP(powered up but has a waypoint over their head).
-Double Team=2v2. Slayer. One Flag. Rocket Race. Shotty Snipes. VIP(1 VIP on each side who is vulnerable but doesn't have a waypoint over their head)
-Red vs Blue=4v4. Slayer. CTF. Territories.
-Big Team Battle=16v16. Slayer. Snipers. Assault. Territories.
-Invasion(one team is covenant and the other team are UNSC. Flood are the wildcards on the map.)
-SWAT=SWAT. No shields or respawns.
-Infection=16 player FFA. The infected can reanimate corpses and direct flood forms to attack/distract the humans.
-Grifball=Grifball.
-Weekend Action Sack=Rotated playlist each weekend.

11. FireFight=4 players. Can play as any character in the series(even characters that can't necessarily use every weapon like Jackels and Grunts). Fighting off endless waves of enemies and bosses for highscores.

12. An awesome Campaign. Cortana has been corrupted by the Gravemind since Halo 2. Sarah Palmer, Lock etc die violently. Buck is back. It turns out Sgt Johnson was cloned by the UNSC and appears numerous times ala CE. The Arbiter is back. There's a new Elite character who is linked with the Heretic leader from Halo 2 who idolizes humanity and only uses UNSC gear. No more prometheans.

1. Return to a more classic gameplay style (doesn't have to be completely classic).

2. Release on the PC and Steam for a much larger playerbase.

3. Regular content updates and community interaction with devs.

4. Really expand on forge and custom games. Regularly rotate forge maps in to playlists and lots of rotational unique playlists as well.

5. We actually need a good story and campaign to bring a lot of players back.

6. Dev support for prominant community members such as youtubers, streamers, pro players, etc.
6. Dev support for prominant community members such as youtubers, streamers, pro players, etc.
What does that mean? Special treatment for these kinds of players?
Blainely wrote:
How to make Halo: Infinite a long-term successEveryone wishes for a plethora of additions to the upcoming Halo: Infinite, and rightly so. Art styles, campaign elements and every little thing in-between will help toward keeping players coming back for more. But, long after a completed campaign; after the effects of a fresh Halo experience wears off, the long stretch of time until the next Halo begins: Where are all the players? In multiplayer.There are tons of important features multiplayer need (specifically) to keep players coming back for more for years to come, and I hope some of you can respond with ideas on what those features are. I will focus on what is arguably the most important feature, the foundation; matchmaking; the function that decides which players you get on your team and which players you will play against. Every single game will be shaped by this function, and the difference between a good experience and a bad experience, largely is decided by it. Here are some important points that I think a great matchmaking system should have.

  1. Queue time vs focused skill-matching. There is always a trade-off between queue times and matching players of similar skill, and when Halo 5 still had a large population, matchmaking was leaning too heavily toward providing fast queue times. Players got into games very fast, and that’s great, but it came at the expense of providing a good experience for all players involved. Sure, players had the option to influence matchmaking toward closer skill-matching, but most players don’t bother. The baseline, pre-selected option needs to be more in favor of matching people of similar skill. Instead of having a queue time of 10 seconds and matching players that aren’t really similar in skill, maybe it should allow a queue time of 25 seconds if it means everyone having a better game experience. That will pay off in the long-term, keeping players coming back for more the next day. Instead, Halo 5’s focus on fast queue times helped lead to a fast decrease in population because players aren’t having good games, eventually forcing the matchmaking system to focus even more at keeping short queue times because there simply aren’t enough players searching.
  1. Pre-made teams vs all randoms. This is another function that pays off in the long-term; don’t allow pre-made teams to match all randoms. Sure, if searching as a full pre-made means you can only match against other full pre-mades, it also means longer queue times. This worked great in Halo 3, which kept a massive population for many years. You could possibly relax the rules a bit, allowing for example a 4-player pre-made to match a 3+1 or a 2+2, so as to not instead drive people away because of long queue times. But never a full team vs all randoms. This will increase the probability of everyone having a good experience, and by extension increase the probability that players want to play more.
  1. Quitting penalties and ‘stay-in-game’-rewards. A good penalty system is also important for a functioning matchmaking. I don’t think current penalties in Halo 5 are too soft, but they are only time-based. If you quit, and consequently ruin everyone else’s game, you should of course be penalized, at least for the second game it happens within a day (to allow for the odd disconnect etc.). But time-based penalties aren’t as effective as 343i seem to think, which is proven by how common quitting is currently. Penalties also need to be rank-based, dealing a marked blow to a quitters rank. Reversely are the arguably more important function of rewarding players to stay in games in the first place, instead of only focusing on penalizing players that don’t. Rewards could include a plethora of desirable items, points, etc. Incentivizing players to stay in games, and properly penalizing those who regularly don’t, increases the probability of a larger long-term playerbase. Remember, quitters are a minority that causes major problems. 1 quitter in a regular 4v4 ruins the game experience of 7 other players.
If anyone has ideas, specific to matchmaking, or pertaining to multiplayer in general, that will increase the probability of Halo: Infinite becoming a long-term success, please share them! :)
I had suggested into one of these topics, to put Dynamic Climate Change on the stages on campaing and multiplayer to make more immersive and beautiful. Maybe could be a separate mode if no one likes it. Bringing effects of rain drips over your helmet and body, or light effect of blurry on freeze areas, sandstorm to effect the windy of the sand, particles of sandstorm....
I had suggested too to make a game mode where does work low gravity, or combat under water.
I think if they will bring back loot boxes, they can do well. On Halo 5 Warzone it's very hard to get a airships, scorpios and wraths on the REQs. Some powerful weapons it's hard to get too.
It feels so unbalanced on Warzone. It's very strange see the weapons so weak on campaing and Warzone and too powerful on PvP.
They need to nerf greatly Halo energy sword and Hammer. With Spartan abilites, it's turns so easy to defeat the oponnents, making you almost invincible.
Listen to feedback from the customers. That is all.