I'm very glad you created this thread (and in general "these" threads) Joshua, so thank you very much. There's so much ignorance amongst the community regarding how skill-based matchmaking works in Halo and to finally have one of the experts within 343i discussing it is very much appreciated.
By the way, I've always liked the idea of having both a Personal Ranking that moves based on individual in-game performance (Kills, Deaths, Assists, Headshots, Objectives, etc.) and one that is based on final match result (aka winning) with the "winning" one being visually prioritized and used primarily for team-based playlists. I look forward to hearing more about this topic in the future and whether or not you decide to do something that meshes both to a degree or provides both more or less separately.
Also, on a side note I'd really like to see Arena stat tracking separated between Social and Ranked, so that people can better gauge their performances and stat accumulation under the specific environments.
I'm really curious as to why you guys haven't seen the Social offering as a prime opportunity to provide playlists that are more specific in theme while more diverse in their actual offering of gametypes? In other words, I think the social playlist lineup is the ideal location for several mixed-bag playlists that satisfy particular so-called "itches" a player may have such as having a diverse lineup of (somewhat standard-ish) modes that focus solely on earning kills as the primary goal or perhaps a diverse lineup of (somewhat standard-ish) modes where the primary goal is to accomplish objectives that are not strictly slayer-based.
For example, I think turning the Social Fiesta Slayer Playlist into a mix-bag (Social) Team Slayer playlist that included all of these slayer-based modes:
- Slayer (medium high rotation)
- Super Fiesta (medium high rotation)
- Regicide (medium rotation)
- Shotty Snipers (medium low rotation)
- SWAT (medium low rotation)
...is an excellent method to maintain mode diversity (and perhaps bring back a past mode) under the social banner while fitting it all under a particular playlist theme (aka slayer-based objectives). It should work well with consolidation efforts while not necessarily taking away modes people may have interest in still being able to play within matchmaking.
Also, modifying the Skirmish Playlist so that it'd actually provide the community an option for playing ONLY non-slayer-based modes such as these:
- CTF (medium high rotation)
- Strongholds (medium high rotation)
- Assault (medium rotation)
- 1-Site Extraction (medium rotation)
- Oddball (medium low rotation)
- KotH (medium low rotation)
Lastly, I wanted to make a suggestion for all the game modes under the Social banner in that I believe a point scoring system (similar to Halo 4) would make a lot of sense here. Now, I doubt that it's something that could work out in Halo 5 at this point in time (maybe I'm wrong), but perhaps it's something that could be considered for Halo 6? Personally, I think a point system is fantastic way for all players to feel like they can contribute to the team's goal even if they're not racking up big KDA ratios or getting credit for scoring a non-slayer objective since even their minor efforts could be earning points towards the team's total point goal. Since the Social environment is suppose to be geared toward game-play enjoyment for all verses being super heavily influenced by the competitive spirit of the game I think the point system is helpful in accomplishing that. Anyways, just some thoughts.