I believe 343i will likely end up having a special Halo Championship Series (HCS) Ranked playlist; in other words, a playlist that's geared specifically for the HCS such as the current HCS Summer Preview playlist. I may not fully agree with that decision, but I don't hate it either as long as a corresponding change is made with it by replacing Team Arena with a Team Objective playlist. What I lay out below is the overall breakdown that I'd like to see for Halo 5 as well as most future titles.

RANKED ARENA: Characteristics - Core competitive modes and a scoring system that's focused on the competitive objective only; in other words, in a slayer match earning a kill only nets a single point toward the total score goal and in a CTF match a flag capture only nets a single point toward the total score goal, etc. No JiP whatsoever unless it's integrated in a way to only allow players re-entry into active matches they perhaps accidentally got removed from. A surrender feature that becomes available after the score differential becomes significant. Friendly Fire is on for all modes with shields along with "boot" options for continuous betrayals; non-shielded modes (aka SWAT) involve ricochet effects when performing Friendly Fire. Visual Competitive Skill Ranks (CSRs) are team-based performance driven (FFA is the obvious exception). Skill-based matchmaking (SBMM) in Ranked playlists have match-make rating (MMR) caps.
  • HCS (4v4; HCS modes and settings)
  1. Slayer
  2. CTF
  3. Strongholds
  • Doubles (2v2; mixed-bag)
  1. Slayer
  2. *Extraction (1-Site)
  • SWAT (4v4; minor weapon variants)
  • Slayer (4v4)
  • Lone Wolf (6)
  • Grifball (4v4)
  • Objective (4v4) [Seasonal Rotation?] - offsets seasonally with Snipers; however, if Objective proves to be a lot more popular than Grifball then Grifball should replace this playlist in the seasonal rotation with Snipers
  1. CTF
  2. Strongholds
  3. *Extraction (1-Site)
  • Snipers (4v4) [Seasonal Rotation] - offsets seasonally with Objective... or Grifball?
SOCIAL ARENA: Characteristics - Diverse thematic playlists and a scoring system that will typically reward points based on positive actions; in other words, in a slayer-based match earning a kill would net the most amount of points towards a total point goal, but assistive actions (regarding the objective) would also earn players some points toward that total goal too. A point-based scoring system (similar to Halo 4, but simpler) is meant to acknowledge and reward contributions toward the match objective(s), but this type of scoring system may not work for every Social mode. A limited JiP is a must, but getting JiP'd into a losing match should not cause the loss to get recorded against the JIP'd player's statistics unless the team took the lead at some point after they joined before going on to lose. Friendly Fire should be off for most modes or limit it to only affecting shields (not health). No CSR and the SBMM in Social playlists has no MMR caps.

  • Slayer (5v5; mixed-bag of slayer-based only objectives)
  1. Slayer Variant [Weekly Rotational] - Example: Covenant Slayer and Promethean Slayer rotate
  2. Super Fiesta
  3. *Regicide
  4. *Headhunters (modified)
  5. Shotty Snips [Weekly Rotational] - Example: Shotty Snips and Mythic Shotty Snips rotate
  • Skirmish (5v5; mixed-bag of non-slayer-based only objectives)
  1. CTF
  2. Strongholds
  3. *Extraction (1-Site)
  4. Ricochet
  5. Oddball
  • Big Team Battle (8v8; mixed-bag of modes) - forge-able Warzone maps made available for use within this mode without the REQ system and AI influence -- a potential Halo 6 capability?
  1. Slayer
  2. CTF
  3. Strongholds
  4. *Regicide
  5. Assault (Neutral Bomb)
  6. KotH
  7. DMRSWAT
  • Breakout (4v4; mixed-bag of round-based game-play modes)
  1. Extermination
  2. Elimination v1 (1-life slayer w/ secondary objective)
  3. Elimination v2 (1-life slayer w/ secondary objective)
  4. *1-Flag CTF (1-sided non-elimination retrieval)
  5. *1-Bomb Assault (1-sided non-elimination infiltrate)
  • Action Sack (variable; mixed-bag of wacky customs & mini-games)
  • Infection (variable?; mixed-bag of infection variants)
  • Multi-Team [Weekend Rotational] (variable; multi-team modes) - Weekend rotational playlists rotate amongst themselves.
  • Featured [Weekend Rotational] - a particular mode gets featured; maybe something new?
WARZONE: Characteristics - REQ system and AI involvement on top of most of the Social environmental characteristics. It'd be nice to see the REQ system include base fortifications -- including the AI Marines that get called in to help defend/attack. Between the PvE only modes (Invasion, Firefight, & Survival) each week there'd be one Heroic, Legendary, and Mythic difficulty option to choose from (they rotate).

  • *Dominion (12v12; PvP & minor PvE) - Base capture is the primary objective of this mode (scoring a la Strongholds) as well as possibly achieving an early victory by core destruction. Base defenses or fortifications should be the extent of the AI aspect of this mode. A potential [Weekend Rotational] mode "Warlords" allows Fireteams of 6 and 12 players only; otherwise, the playlist is capped at Fireteam sizes of 6.
  • Warzone (12v12; PvP & heavy PvE) - Similar to the current H5 version, but with some AI Boss scoring modifications such as this or by giving AI Boss' individual health bars associated to each team; plus, in future titles it'd be nice to see REQ-based fortification aspect. Two potential [Weekend Rotational] modes "Turbo" and "Warlords". Side note: I wouldn't necessarily miss this mode if it got outright replaced by the Dominion mode, but figured having two PvP modes makes sense as long as the population can handle it.
  • *Invasion (6-12?; PvE) - A linear progressive core assault mode that's strictly against enemy AI. Start from your HQ base and progressively gain access to AI controlled bases before reaching the AI HQ base. Each AI controlled base has an extraction/conversion-like feature to it that needs to be activated by you or your team and then protected (including base fortification aspects) from AI counter-attack waves while it attempts to provide access into the next progressive AI controlled base and map section. The goal is to eventually unlock access to the AI HQ base and its' core. The mode would be a race against the clock to complete the individual stages (aka base related unlocking tasks) as well as to accomplish the final goal (core destruction) -- perhaps the overall time count could stack based on how quickly a team managed to achieve the individual tasks leading up to the final goal which would provide extra time for achieving the final goal. Weekly rotational Heroic, Legendary, and Mythic versions.
  • Firefight (8; PvE) - The Halo 5-styled Firefight with no base defenses or fortification aspects. Weekly rotational Heroic, Legendary, & Mythic versions.
  • *Survival (4; PvE) - Classic Firefight mode where you've got a limited amount of total lives (team pool) and you're attempting to survive all the enemy waves/rounds from a defensive position. This mode could get tied to a core defense goal if it was decided that the base you spawned and were mostly held-up in was a HQ base instead of a central garage base. Including the base fortification aspect through the REQ system could be a helpful addition to this mode too. Weekly rotational Herioc, Legendary, & Mythic versions.
CUSTOM BROWSER: Characteristics - Drop-in, Drop-out system and allows multi-person Fireteams to join as a group.

MATCHMAKING CO-OP CAMPAIGN: Halo 6?

* Requires or may require developer involvement to create in Halo 5.
quick question, why lone wolf says 1v5? isn't 8 man ffa better?
NOLEX4 wrote:
quick question, why lone wolf says 1v5?
Because that's what it is, is it not? It's 6 total players with you being one of them; in other words, it's you verse 5 other players.
Well, the 5 in "1v5" usually assumes that five people are on a team against one person. So perhaps just saying "6 players" (or 8, as NOLEX4 was inquiring about) next to Lone Wolves avoids possible confusion, though I'm pretty sure most people get what you mean.
Well, the 5 in "1v5" usually assumes that five people are on a team against one person. So perhaps just saying "6 players" (or 8, as NOLEX4 was inquiring about) next to Lone Wolves avoids possible confusion, though I'm pretty sure most people get what you mean.
I updated it in hopes of there being less confusion.
NOLEX4 wrote:
isn't 8 man ffa better?
I've always thought that for most Halo FFA maps 8 players was just too chaotic, but I'd be interested in perhaps seeing a 7 player FFA since awarding the top 3 players would be an acknowledgement of those who were better than just 50% of the competition as a 6 person FFA ends up being; though, to be honest I still fear the mode would feel too chaotic at spawn.
Anyway.. Josh just said that individual changes to playlist take weeks, and he also said that this is for the most popular playlist (TA-HCS and Warzone I'd assume). Least popular ones receive less attention, therefore it takes more time to bring any changes (think Breakout-Swat maybe)

Even though you post seems very well planned and certainly sounds very fun and it provides variety, it would take months-year to provide the attention that each playlist would need to bring the necessary changes and create the new game modes.

Maybe, if 343 doesn't pull another 343, we'll see decent settings for competitive, social, etc when Halo 6 launches, and I pray that the necessary changes after launch in order to provide a fun and engaging competitive/social experience don't take 1.5 years to see the light.

*Rant*

Because I'm tired of buying my favorite game franchise and receive a completely different/changed, cookiecutter, CoD copy (Halo 4) or a non-functional game (Broken Chief Collection) or wait so long to get decent settings in what could've been a great Halo (Halo 5).

*Rant over*
NOLEX4 wrote:
Anyway.. Josh just said that individual changes to playlist take weeks, and he also said that this is for the most popular playlist (TA-HCS and Warzone I'd assume). Least popular ones receive less attention, therefore it takes more time to bring any changes (think Breakout-Swat maybe)

Even though you post seems very well planned and certainly sounds very fun and it provides variety, it would take months-year to provide the attention that each playlist would need to bring the necessary changes and create the new game modes.
Yeah, I'm aware. It's why I posted this under the April 24th Matchmaking Feedback Update. Also, thank you for your comment about my layout being well planned in how it provides variety and sounds fun. The modes, playlists, and MM environments are certainly areas that I feel passionate about and areas where I think improvement is highly desired.
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Maybe, if 343 doesn't pull another 343, we'll see decent settings for competitive, social, etc when Halo 6 launches, and I pray that the necessary changes after launch in order to provide a fun and engaging competitive/social experience don't take 1.5 years to see the light.
I do think 343i have shown continued improvement in their ability to provide content for the widely diverse Halo community. It is disappointing though that some aspects either take forever or are not seen as being worthwhile, but obviously people carry different opinions on particular decisions and priorities so my disappointment and excitement may be different from someone else's.
I agree with your layout 100% and am not sure why that's not the layout we got at launch seeing as it's pretty much what we've had in previous Halos. My main issue with the current layout is that it feels way too Slayer heavy. I mean look at the current playlists:

Team Arena- 4v4Objective + Slayer
Slayer- 4v4 Slayer (obviously)
Doubles- 2v2 Slayer
Breakout- Basically round-based Slayer although there is a flag
SWAT- 4v4 Slayer with reduced shields
FFA- 6 persons slayer
HCS Summer Preview- 4v4 Objective + Slayer with competitive settings

I don't see this happening for Halo 5, but I wish they could do something similar to Halo 3 and include objective games in playlists like Doubles and FFA. I don't know that the current objective games would work for this, I mean imagine FFA Strongholds, yikes. So there'd probably need to be some other game modes created that would work better for these playlists (a-gem Oddball and KOTH). This is kind of ironic considering that I was definitely a Slayer kid during H3 and actually hated having to play Oddball or KOTH in Lone Wolves, but since I've started following the competitive scene and have gotten more interested in that side of Halo, I've grown to prefer objective modes with a Slayer here and there. I just wish there was something to break up the monotony of Slayer.

I personally would want Snipers to be permanent rather than seasonal, but if there aren't enough players to keep the population up, I'd rather have a seasonal playlist than no playlist at all like we have now. Well done on your suggested layout, I really hope 343 will take it into consideration at least for Halo 6.
I agree with your layout 100% and am not sure why that's not the layout we got at launch seeing as it's pretty much what we've had in previous Halos.
Thank you. I was quite disappointed in Halo 4 and 5's release or launch playlist breakdown. I get that development constraints may cause some things to not be fully ready come day 1, but I think there should be more prioritization on having a very generous and healthy playlist breakdown at release. If that requires extending the developmental timeline then IMO so be it, but of course I don't have corporate pressure dictating what I'd like to see the decisions driven by.
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My main issue with the current layout is that it feels way too Slayer heavy. I mean look at the current playlists:

Team Arena- 4v4Objective + Slayer
Slayer- 4v4 Slayer (obviously)
Doubles- 2v2 Slayer
Breakout- Basically round-based Slayer although there is a flag
SWAT- 4v4 Slayer with reduced shields
FFA- 6 persons slayer
HCS Summer Preview- 4v4 Objective + Slayer with competitive settings
Yeah, it is very Slayer heavy, but breaking it down the way I did I think helps alevate some of that. I always thought that Doubles (1-Site) Extraction proved to be the best competitive 2v2 non-slayer based objective mode and I'd love to see it make its way back into Halo's core offerings. Plus, if there's going to be a mixed bagged HCS specific playlist I'd love to see Team Arena transformed into a non-slayer based only objective playlist that either proves worthy of part-time appearances or earns it right to be a permanent option to play.
Quote:
I don't see this happening for Halo 5, but I wish they could do something similar to Halo 3 and include objective games in playlists like Doubles and FFA. I don't know that the current objective games would work for this, I mean imagine FFA Strongholds, yikes. So there'd probably need to be some other game modes created that would work better for these playlists (a-gem Oddball and KOTH). This is kind of ironic considering that I was definitely a Slayer kid during H3 and actually hated having to play Oddball or KOTH in Lone Wolves, but since I've started following the competitive scene and have gotten more interested in that side of Halo, I've grown to prefer objective modes with a Slayer here and there. I just wish there was something to break up the monotony of Slayer.
While as I mentioned 1-Site Extraction proved to play well competitively in 2v2 and 4v4 settings I can't really recall any non-slayer based objective that played well competitively in FFA which is why that playlist is probably best being left as Slayer only. Sure Oddball and KotH plus numerious variants on those two modes as well as a few other strange modes getting mixed-in have appeared within a social FFA Rumble Pit playlist over the years, but I wouldn't say they were really dialed-in to be all that balanced or fair within the competitive scene.
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I personally would want Snipers to be permanent rather than seasonal, but if there aren't enough players to keep the population up, I'd rather have a seasonal playlist than no playlist at all like we have now. Well done on your suggested layout, I really hope 343 will take it into consideration at least for Halo 6.
Thanks again. And I too would like to see a permanent Snipers playlist until population numbers dictated change such as going to a seasonal rotation with a couple less populated playlists such as Snipers ended up proving to be in Halo 5.
So I've been thinking that perhaps an easier option for Halo 5 on the Social and Rank side of things for 343i would be to do something more like this...

RANKED ARENA: 7 Active Playlists
  • HCS Arena (4v4; HCS modes, settings, and maps)
  1. Slayer
  2. CTF
  3. Strongholds
  • Doubles (2v2; mixed-bag)
  1. Slayer
  2. *Extraction
  • Slayer (4v4)
  • SWAT (4v4; minor weapon variants)
  • FFA (6) [Seasonal Rotation] - offsets seasonally with HCS FFA
  • HCS FFA (66; HCS settings and maps) [Seasonal Rotation] - offsets seasonally with FFA
  • CTF (4v4) [Seasonal Rotation] - offsets seasonally with Strongholds
  • Strongholds (4v4) [Seasonal Rotation] - offsets seasonally with CTF
  • Grifball (4v4) [Seasonal Rotation] - offsets seasonally with Snipers
  • Snipers (4v4) [Seasonal Rotation] - offsets seasonally with Grifball
SOCIAL ARENA: 7 Active Playlists
  • Super Fiesta (5v5)
  • Skirmish (4v4; mixed-bag)
  1. Slayer
  2. CTF
  3. Strongholds
  4. *Extraction
  • Big Team Battle (8v8; mixed-bag of modes)
  1. Slayer
  2. CTF
  3. Assault (Neutral Bomb)
  4. Strongholds
  • Breakout (4v4; mixed-bag of round-based game-play modes)
  1. Extermination
  2. Elimination (1-life slayer w/ secondary objective)
  3. *1-Flag CTF (1-sided non-elimination retrieval)
  4. *1-Bomb Assault (1-sided non-elimination infiltrate)
  • Infection (variable?; mixed-bag of infection variants)
  • Featured [Weekly Rotational] - a particular mode gets featured; maybe something new?
  1. Social Slayer - Covenant Slayer, Promethean Slayer, and *Regicide.
  2. Team Objective - Ricochet, KotH, and Oddball
  3. Shotty Snips or Mythic Shotty Snipes or Rock n Rails
  4. Multi-Team
  5. Community or Classic
* Requires, or may require, developer involvement to create in Halo 5.

This breakdown means the primary changes needed are as follows: (1) turn the Team Arena playlist into a seasonal rotation playlist between CTF and Strongholds, (2) rotate a regular FFA playlist with an HCS FFA playlist seasonally, (3) introduce another seasonal rotation of two playlists (Grifball and Snipers) into the Ranked group, (4) introduce Extraction to the Ranked Doubles and Social Skirmish playlists, (5) transform the Breakout playlist into a social mixed-bag of round-based modes including a 1-sided objective mode(s), and (6) make the Featured playlist options mostly re-occurring modes -- these should include several past modes that would be appreciated by the community if they returned on a more regular basis.