We've experimented with that in the past and found removing MMR makes it worse. Reducing the tightness from MMR makes it easier for good players to rack up the kills, but much harder for them to win. It also makes below average players quit the game, which isn't great.
Removing Team Skirmish As you may have already read, we are removing Team Skirmish this Thursday. We're doing this for a few reasons, among them:Most all "social" playlist feel that way because of MMR. Is there any chance that social could do away with MMR or at least have reduced MMR for a season just to see how it works? I understand you guys are trying to provide a better experience for lower level players, but it kinda ruins it for the rest of us trying to relax.
We’ll be monitoring the health of HCS and Team Arena after the change to see if it had the intended benefit.
- We have an overall goal to increase matchmaking quality across all lists.
- Team Skirmish overlapped significantly with Team Arena and to a lesser extent, HCS, drawing players away from those playlists, causing lower quality across all 3 lists.
- Of the three playlists, Team Skirmish was the least “healthy” in population and match quality.
- Team Skirmish wasn’t that “Social”, and still “sweaty” in feel, despite being called “Social,” so it wasn’t really serving enough of a purpose in that position.
We understand that Team Skirmish did have some variety that both Team Arena and HCS lacked, and so we are also discussing ways to increase variety in Team Arena. We don’t have additional details on that yet though.
So the data suggests it's not MMR.
On my design side of things, I also don't think it's MMR, I think it's the nature of the H5's gameplay. The arena game modes are more competitive than, e.g., Super Fiesta, or maybe even Slayer, and just don't feel super casual.
Also, I think H5 in general is more of a team game. ***It's harder for one good player to take on, e.g., 2 other players at a time*** unless the skill gap is way bigger than maybe past games.
Keep in mind that the way MMR is used in Social today is pretty much the same way it's always been used, so again, I believe it's a gameplay perception, not a skill-related one.
It is almost certainly this. Halo 5 is quite possibly the least individually empowering Halo game to date.
The average number of major map pick ups (tier 2 or higher and power ups). In Halo 5 is 2.5 pick ups. In the past the average has been treble that number in some titles.
A side note on my part here, what is the bloody point in being a pick up based shooter when the vast majority of your maps have only have 2 power weapons/power ups to pick up every 2/3 minutes?
Anyway, The Pistol (which is supposed to be our utility weapon) is so weak vs the rest of your sandbox to the point 343 have had to continue removing weapons from maps to balance the game and now the vast majority of maps have only 2 major pick ups. The magnum is doing a bad job as the utility weapon, but what is even more frustrating is that's it is still the best option compared due to the monsterous magnetism and aim assist of any the other utility rifles which would make them far to forgiving as a spawn weapon.
Furthermore, Halo 5 has massive maps and seperates movement and shooting so heavily it frequently punishes players for moving. They either use the abilities and potentially get caught unable to shoot or they don't sprint and take to long to move. It's hard enough for a team to make those pushes in Halo 5, forget about an individual doing it. But the map pick ups force movement. The core gameplay is punishing players for playing Halo as Halo should be played.
Halo should be played as a
movement incentivizing pick up based shooter.
It causes the power of the individual to plummet as a lone player usually cannot overcome the games movement punishing gameplay.
"unless the skill gap is way bigger than maybe past games."
Think about how many buttons a player has to press just to make simple movements around a map. Move forward, Sprint, Clamber, Thrust, Slide, Crouch stabilise and so on. It's alot of buttons. Think about how players are slowed down and punished for sprinting unlike other games. Halo 5 has so many complicated (in comparison to past Halos) intricacies in it's game play and a lot of those intricacies are NECESSARY knowledge to play the game.
Not knowing when how to make certain crouch jumps and other skillful movements or how to BXR in past Halos's is relatively insignificant to a casual enjoyment of the game, he can move around, pick up a cool weapon and shoot people just fine. Halo 5 removes virtually all of that.
You are right, Halo 5's game play is the problem, but it is not that Halo 5 has a high skill gap, it's that it has a high skill floor brought upon by over-complicated base game play and abysmal individual empowerment.
The subject is so complicated this post alone cannot cover it all. These are just what consider the largest contributions to the problem.