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This is just the tip of the iceberg

OP ran and shai

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Yesterday, 343i confirmed the community's fears that color customization will be replaced by a shader system that mimics Destiny 2. That confirmation comes after they let us fester in a sea of ambiguity not just regarding armor customization but regarding every single feature in the game. The removal of color customization is just the tip of the iceberg that is Halo Infinite.

The game was in development for five years, which is two years longer than most Halo games. These five years were completely, worryingly silent. Big statements were made after the game was revealed. "It's a soft reboot", they said. "It has a brand new, next gen engine" they said. Remarks were made that implied but did not confirm that this game is open world (a matter which they have not cleared up to this day). And then, silence.

Where are the days that 343i promised fans will help shape future titles? Where are the days 343i promised that every game of theirs will have a Beta test?

The gameplay demo is revealed in the Xbox Showcase and, big surprise, people don't like it. It's not just that the graphics felt several years old when we were expecting to see the next generation, it's that there was nothing truly spectacular about that demo. It kind of looked like Halo, a weirder, graphically unimpressive Halo, but nothing about the demo got the fans excited. Does that mean the game is a complete failure? Hell no. It still looked okay.

343i, you chose to show us a boring section of the game, and that was a mistake. Showing us gameplay was *not* a mistake. You should have shown us gameplay a long time ago. We should have had a Beta by now, and you know this. Instead we had bottled-up silence.

So people don't like the demo, and 343i retreat back into their silent state. Do you know what this looks like? It looks like even you don't believe in your game anymore. It looks like you think that whatever it is you have been doing for five years is an embarrassment not just to yourself and your fans but to the entire Xbox brand. Show some initiative, for God's sake! Show us the game you created. Yes, we'll judge it. Yes, if it's full of more bad decisions like these shaders, we will complain - because that's how it's got to be. A dialogue.

The less you show, the more concerned the fans get. The less you show, the more embarrassing the reveal will be in the end (let's not wait for a promotion to reveal your hand again, shall we?). You knew the fans wouldn't like that you removed the customizable colors, you even said as much in yesterday's update. So why did you keep it to yourself for so long? Why not release a video that explains exactly how customization works in Halo Infinite, the good and the bad? Now all we have is the bad, we don't know any of the good features you added to customization.

Stop waiting for the last possible moment. Stop making choices that you know most of the fandom won't appreciate. And, for the love of all things Halo, start communicating.

For your convenience, I'll add a list of the community's most pressing concerns. If anyone wants to add something to the list, leave a reply here.

1. What are we actually paying for? 60 dollars just for the campaign?
2. Is the Campaign open world or not? No ambiguous answers.
3. Elaborate on the meaning of Free to Play Halo multiplayer. Are we getting a similar offering to what we've seen before, or will it be completely different?
4. Microtransactions. We want to know exactly how you plan to monetize this Free to Play multiplayer.
5. What do you mean when you say Infinite is a platform that will last ten years? Please, answer without useless adjectives and just explain what it means.
6. Release a video that shows how customization works in Halo Infinite. Prove to us that, despite stripping away the most basic feature, we should still be excited about Infinite's armor customization.
7. Set a date for the Beta and flighting programs. Forget the release date.

Added per request:
8. Why is Halo now rated T? Is it no longer targeted at a mature audience?

Lastly, 343i, it's important that you'll understand we ALL want you to succeed. We all want to love Infinite. But we're not fools. We know there has been trouble in the game's development, that's painfully clear. Help us help you make this the game it needs to be. All we need from you is clarity and good will.

With love,
The Halo Community
I absolutely second this
Also, 343, consider making a game that plays like classic halo please.
What's baffling to me is that while it's been crickets about Infinite, they're being incredibly transparent about the process and challenges involved with MCC. Infinite could use some of that. I get not wanting to spoil the game, but we need some answers. Real answers, not PR doublespeak.
In response to Bioshockalic after their post about continuous locks and referrals got locked...

Admittedly if I get redirected to a post even that’s over 2 pages I tend to not even post. I know my post will just be lost among the masses. Not to mention if there’s an offical response it would be hard to find on a 20+ page post. Not that I really see official responses here. Surprised they haven’t gone into damage control, they should have opened up hours ago.
Good post OP. I feel like Microsoft/343i has a big marketing plan and that's what's keeping them from just giving us the info we want now. The way that armour coating post they gave us the other day is worded, it sounded like they were just giving us some info because we caught wind of the word "coating" from these promotional skins and they're going to fully explain it at the time their plan says to.

As far as the coatings themselves, it's not surprising to me at all. To me, 343 is famous for moving a step forward and a step back at the same time. We have more colour customization than we've ever had in Halo via these coatings... but at the same time they're supposedly set in stone so you can't pick and choose which colours go where. They basically gave us more customization while at the same time giving us less customization lol
Celestis wrote:
sniper945 wrote:
At least what we saw wasn't fake or polished to be prettier than the actual game like every other E3 reveal.
How do you know it wasn't?
For all we know, this is prettier than the final game is going to be...
There were some keen eyes that noticed that one of the trailers that came after the reveal had slightly better textures on some of the weapons, mainly the Brute Nail Gun Looking Thing (Cannot remember for the life of me what it was called). Unless they intend to downgrade graphics further after two trailers clearly showing some sort of advancement, it's a safe bet to assume we are seeing at least the very least of what we will get.
Well said OP. 👍👏👍 I don't really have much to say now, as you said alot of how I felt. If I may add to this, the 10 year plan is my largest concern about the game itself. I think more clarification here would be nice.
I'm as flabbergasted as the next fan is about the content drought. It's mind-numbingly silly... and only leads to growing discontent amongst the fan base.

1. What are we actually paying for? 60 dollars just for the campaign?
I imagine so. Not that Microsoft or 343 want your $60 specifically. They want you to buy Game Pass. This is their end game.

2. Is the Campaign open world or not? No ambiguous answers.
Probably need to prepare yourself for a vague answer here. Open world is such a vague definition in itself. What game truly allows you to go anywhere? Either on a small scale (can you go in very building, every room, and then open every cupboard or drawer?) or the larger (can you cross that river or scale that cliff).

The game needs (epic) set pieces to keep the story flowing... so 'fully open world' (whatever that really means) is not likely.

3. Elaborate on the meaning of Free to Play Halo multiplayer. Are we getting a similar offering to what we've seen before, or will it be completely different?
Clearly the game will be free to play. In that you can pick up the controller and play. I assume you mean the breadth of the experience (eg. customisations). That will surely involve MTX... which leads us into...

4. Microtransactions. We want to know exactly how you plan to monetize this Free to Play multiplayer.
I think everyone is keen to know. As long as it's nothing that gives you an advantage in game I can live with it. I'm actually all for it as either I spend the $$$ on something I deem worthwhile... or I sit back and let others fund the cost of DLC and servers etc.

5. What do you mean when you say Infinite is a platform that will last ten years? Please, answer without useless adjectives and just explain what it means.
There may be some unknown here... as the game will also fit into the framework of Game Pass. It will just always be there to download and play. Upgraded versions and DLC will just flow with the 'service' or life span of the game. They are just saying there won't be another 'release' - just continual updates and additions.

How much could they tell you Halo 8 or 9 right now? About as much as they could tell you about Halo Infinite in 4 or 5 years.

6. Release a video that shows how customization works in Halo Infinite. Prove to us that, despite stripping away the most basic feature, we should still be excited about Infinite's armor customization.
If ever there has been an example of how the content drought is fuelling discontent it's this. They need to put out these fires...

7. Set a date for the Beta and flighting programs. Forget the release date.
I strongly suspect such things were originally squashed by COVID. Whether they are back on the table will depend entirely on the release date. But anyways, I agree, we need to know.

8. Why is Halo now rated T? Is it no longer targeted at a mature audience?
Do we know it's a T? I thought that was just a 'place holder' rating
Entropy91 wrote:
What's baffling to me is that while it's been crickets about Infinite, they're being incredibly transparent about the process and challenges involved with MCC. Infinite could use some of that. I get not wanting to spoil the game, but we need some answers. Real answers, not PR doublespeak.
I agree. Ever since MS decided to FINALLY fix the laughing stock called MCC, 343I have been very forthcoming and transparent about what they want to do ideas and all that.

Where as Infinite, they're saying absolutely nothing!!!! Personally, I think it's because they are changing so much of what people have know for years (talking multiplayer here) due to it being free to play, that they know there's going to be a a lot of negative press and a big backlash especially from a lot of the original/older fans and as mean as it sounds, I really think they don't care about that. They know they will get new casual fans to come in and spend a few dollars here and there in there game because that's what a lot of the younger generation plays now is free to play games. Any other game would have shown us so many things by now this close to release to build up hype and what not. Honestly, what other explanation can there be.... It's not like this game is years away from being released or anything.

I agree with what ran and shai is saying in the opening post. 343I really need to be a little more open with their ideas and when they reveal something they need to explain it in detail and if that involves a video or something then they better do it. I understand them wanting to keep gameplay secret but they could be showing so many things. Anything from playlists that are going to be in the game, the UI, armor customization and so forth.... But instead they've shown nothing and when they do show something it's so vague and they don't explain anything, and that just leads to rumors and a lot of negative press. To me Halo infinite has had basically nothing but negative press since their game demo and that is not a good thing....like at all! This needs to change!

I wish I could say I'm surprised from what I've heard and seen so far but I'm not. As this is the typical model for free to play microtransactions games. I'm sure there will be stuff that can be unlocked by playing but you know all the good, cool stuff is going to be behind a paywall. I can already see it now.... "for $10 join ranked Team Slayer this season and see where you stack. You'll also get this exclusive weapon skin" It sounds crazy, but It honestly wouldn't shock me if to play ranked mode you had to buy in every season. It makes sense from a business point of view. They will just justify it by saying we're giving you exclusive stuff at the end of the season or something. I just hate free to play games. Even if they start off good they always end up costing you way more money than what it would have been if they weren't.

Like so many other people I'm a big halo fan. I've been playing since CE. Also like so many other people, my interest in Halo Infinite just keeps getting less and less and less all the time. It just seems more like this game is becoming something along the lines of Destiny or something all the time. If I wanted to play that type of game I would play those games. I don't understand why 343 can't make a Halo game, a Halo game....it really makes me sad. 343 haven't earned the right I'm sorry to say to be so vague about what they're doing and expect the community to just accept it and not ask questions.

It legit makes me sad to see where Halo is today and what has become of it when it could be so good!! They literally have the formula right in front of them. Yeah maybe it wouldn't be number one in sales and yeah maybe it wouldn't be the most played game on Xbox but it would be a excellent, profitable, well made game with a devoted community that loves its developer and it's relevant!

Instead, Halo is basically a laughing stock today, It's not relevant at all!!!! and most of its community is not happy with It's developer and where they have taken the series. It's so sad... 😔
I do not agree with a majority of the sentiment being expressed on this thread. I largely think that reacting so vehemently to what was essentially just more information on the color of armor of all things is such an overreaction on the part of the community. Everyone is acting like 343 blatantly came out and remarked that they specifically bad mouthed Reach's armor customization or something.
I mean, maybe it's just something to say about the assumption that we "deserve" to know what they're working on at all times. I personally hate this kind of sentiment already, because it isn't even derived from anything. The devs really don't have to do anything. You haven't paid any money yet, so I don't understand why people are acting like they have.
You want to know why they don't update you about Infinite more often? I would bet money that the biggest reason is that it's because the community takes every little bit of information they get and extrapolates it to wild degrees. Case in point with coatings. How are they supposed to make everyone feel comfortable with what they're doing when the only way to prevent wild conjecture is to simply release all the details ahead of schedule, which they can't do anyways? It's a catch 22, and you're asking 343 to put out fires that you started, when that's just not their job. Their job is to make the game. I don't know about y'all, but I would much prefer that 343 spend time building and perfecting the game, not matter how long that takes, than spend time dealing with overblown drama that was started by the "fans".
I respectfully disagree. As someone who has been a fan of the series for upwards of fifteen years, I began 343i's era defending them for every bad decision they made. At the end of the day, however, they kept making bad decisions and I understood that there's no reason to defend them anymore. Now I'll address your points one at a time.

"I largely think that reacting so vehemently to what was essentially just more information on the color of armor of all things is such an overreaction on the part of the community."

As the title of this post suggests, the armor coatings are just the tip of the iceberg. If there was positive news about Infinite before Colorgate, I guarantee that people would not have been as angry about it. The problem is that every morsel of news 343i release to the fans (most of the time either accidentally or because of some brand marketing campaign) is negative news. For the community, it's a matter of principle. 343i have released three games that were quickly abandonned by their respective communities for various reasons and Infinite was considered by many as their last chance. So far, it's safe to say it's not going well.

"I mean, maybe it's just something to say about the assumption that we "deserve" to know what they're working on at all times. I personally hate this kind of sentiment already, because it isn't even derived from anything. The devs really don't have to do anything. You haven't paid any money yet, so I don't understand why people are acting like they have."

Correct, 343i don't owe us anything but we don't owe them anything either. If they have forums, we have every right to complain on these forums per the forum rules. More importantly though, I don't intend to pay 343i for this game until they stop with the mixed messages and ambiguous remarks. The point of this thread, unlike others that focus on armor coatings, is actually to help 343i bridge the divide they have created between themselves and the fandom.

I listed a few things which people seem to agree on, matters which are completely basic and should be known by now (many of which could be clarified without any new gameplay footage). Regarding the Beta, sure, they don't owe us a Beta despite promising to do one, but this thread is merely a suggestion. If they want the fandom to love their game, we'll have to see it (warts and all) and give feedback. We're definitely not going to appreciate those warts if we find out about them too late for 343i to do anything.

"You want to know why they don't update you about Infinite more often? I would bet money that the biggest reason is that it's because the community takes every little bit of information they get and extrapolates it to wild degrees."

I agree, but I also think it's a really flawed outlook. Eventually, they will have to reveal these things, and hiding them under an air of ambiguity clearly only serves to frustrate the community. A frustrated community will react very badly to bad news (which they should have known would reach us given their marketing plans, but that's another matter). 343i need to stop doing damage control and enter offensive maneuvers. They should start showing us why Infinite is such a good game, rather than keeping silent until something like Infinite being Free to Play or Colorgate gets leaked. They need to control the story, because right now their marketing has only driven people away.

"It's a catch 22, and you're asking 343 to put out fires that you started, when that's just not their job. Their job is to make the game. I don't know about y'all, but I would much prefer that 343 spend time building and perfecting the game, not matter how long that takes, than spend time dealing with overblown drama that was started by the "fans"."

Congratulations, your post would have felt incomplete without a derogatory remark on the fandom, or "fans" as you call them. The fires you believe we started were started by 343i, who have proven time and time again that they prefer to go for easy money by copying popular trends rather than building off of the core Halo formula. It began with Halo 4's multiplayer, then Halo 5's campaign and the multiplayer's lack of launch content, then MCC which was a broken mess at launch. Before 343i, the Halo community was divided and toxic at times, but we all loved Halo and believed in its future. I can't speak for everyone, but I'm losing my faith in the franchise now. For the first time in Halo history (barring Wars), I'm quite certain I'm not going to buy the next game in the series.

I want 343i to prove me wrong. I want to believe in them and their franchise again because I've been here for over 15 years and would love to stay, but at this stage they don't deserve blind faith. At the very least, they should make sure their marketing connects with the fans, which so far hasn't happened.
Top tier post here, it was smooth sailing for a while but with this shader announcement I'm suddenly a little deflated on the whole thing. If they just broke silence and gave a straight answer to even some of these, hopefully it comes soon.......
Top tier post here, it was smooth sailing for a while but with this shader announcement I'm suddenly a little deflated on the whole thing. If they just broke silence and gave a straight answer to even some of these, hopefully it comes soon.......
I think people give more respect to those who may not give the answer you (generalized not actually you) want but are honest in the answer they give.
The moment they revealed Infinite would be free to play, any remaining hope of this being a high quality Halo game died.

Free to play games are, without exception, designed to maximize "recurrent user spending", not to maximize the quality of their game.

They need to hit a "good enough" quality bar on the game design, so that there's a player base to exploit, but after that bar is reached, all effort goes into psychological manipulation of players - particularly those who are younger or with addictive tendencies - to milk them for far more than $60 over the course of the game's active cycle.

Even if it's done in a manner considered ethical by the gaming community, it remains predatory design, it's not good for the game, and it won't result in anything positive for Halo. The current debate over customization was inevitable - 343 will come as close to the unethical monetization line as they can without inciting mass revolt among the player base.

The T rating, the constant refusal to commit fully either to classic or "modern" gameplay design, all this - it shows they're going for a bland, generic, catch-all game design approach that will offend the fewest possible people in the hopes of maximizing the amount of exploitable players to drive "engagement" and "recurrent user spending" in the interest of maximizing profitability. If EA, Activision, and Ubisoft are anything to go by, we know this will make them a LOT of money.

I miss the days when games cost $60 one time and the only financial incentive developers had was to make the best game possible.
mr taco47 wrote:
Great post OP. A major concern of mine and many others is the sanitization of the violence in the franchise. Blood is nonexistent, bodies disappear after mere seconds post mortem, and the God forsaken Teen rating for Violence alone makes for a cheap attempt to capitalize on a younger audience who will play a Mature rated game regardless of who buys it. This only serves to further alienate long time fans from the revolutionary shooter we had years ago.
Sadly, as a relatively new fan (first game was halo 4 in 2014) It's really disheartening to see the community divide like this, and I feel like people are supporting this game out of desperation because they "need" it to be good, and I'm just really hoping the series doesn't go down the drain because it's something that means a lot to people, and really is special.
Letdown after letdown, that's all I keep experiencing with 343. They botched the OG (360) Halo: CE Anniversary using the inferior Gearbox PC port instead of the OG Xbox port, they botched MCC at launch (granted it's now vastly improved in comparison to what it was before), they botched the Halo 5 campaign plot/story, and they botched Halo Wars 2 with the frustrating lost save progress issue. How can I have faith in Halo Infinite if they can't even fix their existing games?

The Halo series is in such a weird optimistic/pessimistic phase right now.
I don’t know why anyone is surprised. It’s free to play. The free to play model has always been trash and results in subpar experiences. Get ready for a slow drip feed of FOMO content during this game’s lifecycle with most customization behind a battle pass. Oh and since it will be crossplay and free to play expect and influx of cheaters barring a way to completely disable PC to Xbox matchmaking.

if you think idea that free to play or games as a service has had any positive impact on multiplayer gaming than you’re just delusional.

whatever happens to just you paying a fair price for a quality complete game and quality DLC maps? I can’t think of a single game that was better off in content support with free updates.
T-rating,sprint,hitmarkers,grappling hook,armor coating.Wouldn't be surprised if it will have dances and battle royal.Those are all things taken from other games,what is left of Halo in 343 Halo anymore?
mr taco47 wrote:
Great post OP. A major concern of mine and many others is the sanitization of the violence in the franchise. Blood is nonexistent, bodies disappear after mere seconds post mortem, and the God forsaken Teen rating for Violence alone makes for a cheap attempt to capitalize on a younger audience who will play a Mature rated game regardless of who buys it. This only serves to further alienate long time fans from the revolutionary shooter we had years ago.
Sadly, as a relatively new fan (first game was halo 4 in 2014) It's really disheartening to see the community divide like this, and I feel like people are supporting this game out of desperation because they "need" it to be good, and I'm just really hoping the series doesn't go down the drain because it's something that means a lot to people, and really is special.
since you’re a newer player I’m not sure if you realize how massive halo was prior to halo reach/4. The franchise has been on life support for a very long time. A lot of people don’t really recognize it but the truth is the community is so small now. Halo as a brand still has clout but it’s a niche game now.

The real issue is that the community is mostly completely gone and moved on already. And it’s largely due to the abysmal failures of halo 4 the MCC and H5. I’m not faulting you if you really like H4-5, but the truth is 343’s continued attempts to attract casual FPS players hasn’t paid off in terms of sales or sustaining a player base for about a decade now.

the franchise has already fallen into the drain, now it remains to be seen if it can ever climb out of it.
What is most disappointing for me is that 343 should be the best developer for Xbox,they have been around for over 10 years now and have over 400 employees.And they still can't make a decent Halo game.
What is most disappointing for me is that 343 should be the best developer for Xbox,they have been around for over 10 years now and have over 400 employees.And they still can't make a decent Halo game.
Game studios aren’t made equal. You can throw all the money in the world at a project but if you don’t have the talent in the first place the game will never be great. With the exception of Staten returning this year the Most influential people from bungie that made halo never joined 343. Some heavy weights left bungie before Reach and H3 as well.

The fact is not one visionary from the old halo remained to develop the new stuff. 343 looked everywhere but the past for inspiration
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