Forums / Community / Matchmaking Feedback & Discussion

[Locked] Matchmaking Feedback Update – November 21

OP ZaedynFel

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After trying the new weapons update settings up until now, I'd like everything to go back to the way it was except for camo and autos. Although the smg has too short of a range. I'd go into more detail if I knew this would even be seen by 343 but I have no idea if it would be and going into great detail for it to go unseen would be a waste of my time. If 343 really does read these posts I'd like to see some confirmation and maybe I'll put in the future. Please for the love of mooster chef get a server in Ottawa Canada for H6. It's hard to be good when you're almost a second behind everyone else.
TryHardFan wrote:
You guys are gathering information from statistics and pro players that represent less than .01 %of the population. Listen to the guys that are still playing your game, the ones that come on to your site to share their opinion becuase they love halo, The ones that love your game. You're going to wreck what is a pretty good mp in the franchise. Leave the magnum alone, I can't say it enough.
Your wording implies that the competitive/pro community completely supports the retuned BR. That’s completely false. If you read the TB forums, almost none of the pros who post there, nor do the competitive community members like this BR. They still play the game as much as others do, so their opinion is still as valid.

Please, do not unnecessarily shift blame at the community who clearly doesn’t have 343’s back in this balance update and the decision to remove the magnum from HCS settings. None of them asked for something like this.
The pro community is not the competitive community. Almost everyone who plays halo is a part of the competitive community. Competitive is a mindset, skill has nothing to do with it. I'm very competitive, not the most skilled.

"For those who are curious, we have collected our first round of Pro player feedback"

^Directly from OP.

This is isnt me shifting blame to competitive players. It's once again 343 using pro player feedback and ineffective stats like player quit rates to base their decisions on. There is a huge gap between what 343 is currently implementing or talking of implementing with what the community wants. There is something very wrong with the way theyre either gathering or interpreting data.

I simply do not agree with putting more emphasis on the opinions of a very small portion of the community than the majority. Regardless of what their opinion is and weather or not I agree with it (quite often I do) . I hear that term way to often "pro player feedback", when I should be hearing "community feedback".

Im not blaming the players for this one TryHardFan. I'm blaming 343 and their refusal to listen to the gamers who still play their game almost nightly.
Snakebite (considered the best H5 player by many pros) has said many times the past couple weeks on stream that he doesn't know of even 1 single example of a pro suggestion that 343 has listened to.
Spartan, Frosty & some other pros have been saying the same thing basically since the game came out.

Even something as obvious as the AR and Breakout removal came down to fan/player complaints rather than the pros.
The pros let 343 know about it since Beta. If 343 cared what they had to say, they would have dealt with it then.
But it wasn't until many months (or full year for AR) later that they finally realised that the fans weren't going to let it go, and it looked really bad on 343 to have the entire chat openly mocking them for it from start to finish of every single pro league stream.

And even Stasis wasn't removed by feedback, only after pros forced 343's hand by agreeing to openly boycott it.
In the end, 343 only removed it because the situation looked bad on them.
Same thing there: the pros let 343 know very early that stasis didn't work in competitive play, but it wasn't until months later that 343 finally realised how bad it looked to have thousands of viewers openly mocking them for forcing the pros into such a ridiculous situation.

None of the changes have ever directly followed pro feedback, no matter how unanimous or not.
The metrics like the overwhelming agreement on sprint don't matter, the only numbers that matter are sales.
Look at radar: little pro agreement, but action was made because it's a popular talking point in the more mainstream communities.
Conversely, smaller details like spawn points have been the same since launch, because those things don't end up "trending."
Heck, even weapon tuning: 343 did not even contact a single pro to ask for input before just forcing it in.

It's only months later if/when 343 needs to save face that the changes finally get made, since face value is what drives sales.
If the feedback on a particular issue doesn't go mainstream enough to turn into trolling, no change is ever made.
Since the launch of H5, 343 has literally listened to trolls on twitch & twitter more often than the pros.

They only say they are "collecting data" from pros in order to fool the people who don't actually follow the pro scene.
(And it has worked fantastically for them, the majority of waypoint users blame the current state of the game on pros).
343 only "cares" about pros when it comes to words, not actions.

Edit:
Btw, I agree with what you're saying about their language & listening to more than just pros -- I'm just elaborating on what others have pointed out in that the pros aren't actually listened to either, not even in their own playlist. There's no greater emphasis in reality, it's all lip service.
Is 343 aware that the laggy fordge maps, especially those in breakout and btb, are unplayable in their current state?

Is 343 aware that lobbies are laggy and people are lagging out of mm prior to the game even loading?

how about the ghost melees?

something about this 4K update broke a whole lot of stuff.
i personally think that 343needs to listen to the top tear players (champions) in the game. we are the ones that put more time into playing or wasting our valued time waiting to play a game we all played 17 years. im no pro. but i am a champion in multiple playlist. i play h5 loyal like, im smart enough to realize a problem when there is one, and there's one here,this can effect SALES of your next game. wake up john! please stop breaking HALO 5 and its greatness
Crow3112 wrote:
i personally think that 343needs to listen to the top tear players (champions) in the game. we are the ones that put more time into playing or wasting our valued time waiting to play a game we all played 17 years.
There are plenty of people who put just as much if not more time into the game that aren't top tier players, but I get what you're saying.
I know there has been a ton of backlash on the update, and I'm not trying to pile on, but I wanted to put in my 2 cents.

I'm going to quote some things from a previous topic:
ZaedynFel wrote:
The issue with the magnum at this point is that it is over-powered with respect to the rest of the sandbox so there would be no need to pick up anything on the map, which I guess I don't see as a good thing.
Before the changes, every tier 1 precision weapon (except for the boltshot) was an unquestionable upgrade to the magnum – but people still loved the magnum because it is super satisfying to shoot. So making the magnum “go away” just doesn’t make sense to a lot of us, and really was not something anyone was asking for (AFAIK). And I’m assuming by "sandbox" you mean the tier 1 weapons, because obviously the tier 2 and 3 weapons have value and are worth picking up.

ZaedynFel wrote:
The BR does have more spread now than it did before the tuning, but keep in mind that it still has some of the lowest spread of any BR in the history of Halo. All previous Halo's have had a spread on the BR bullets, and H5's was just a historical low until the tuning. This made it a great pickup weapon, but over-powered as a primary. The new tuning brings it in line with what a primary weapon should be able to do, and brings its range in line with previous Halos.
What we don’t understand is why spread was a solution. Spread probably isn’t the biggest problem with the BR right now, but it is not a positive – and the “feeling” that something is random/inconsistent is just as important as the reality of how it works. Also H5 is not other Halos, the movement capabilities in H5 make gunfights/escaping gunfights very different from previous games. And “it has always been this way” is never really a good argument IMO.

ZaedynFel wrote:
But the entire sandbox was built around AR/Pistol.
I don’t understand this. Both of these weapons were pretty much the worst of their type. It was built around them in the sense that you would drop them the first chance you got? (Serious question but sort of trying to be funny.)

ZaedynFel wrote:
So we needed to rebalance a lot of the sandbox with fixing the AR issues.
There are absolutely things that could have been balanced differently – but just changing the AR to be a bullet hose with a longer time to kill would have been a fine single change. No pro (or high level player) should have a reason to use the AR, IMO. And that’s fine. It should be an easy to use weapon for people at lower skill levels. If the desire is to make it a “skillful” weapon then the elements of “luck” should be removed. Halo needs weapons with low skill floors, and I think the AR can fill that role.

ZaedynFel wrote:
Also, those are two entirely different teams here (map team vs. weapon tuning team). They interact, but they don't affect each other in terms of resources. We can make changes with a few weapon guys without ever touching the map guys.
Here’s a question – I have seen some incredible maps and gametypes produced in Forge by members of the community, many used in matchmaking – so would the ability to tune/balance weapons (as a feature in Forge or some other mode) be out of the realm of possibility in a future Halo title? It seems like a natural extension of Forge and I think would be beneficial for the game/community. If we have a robust custom game capability I could see a feature like that driving sandbox changes in a meaningful way.

ZaedynFel wrote:
I want the best of both worlds. I want settings that maintain the precision gameplay the comp scene likes, while also not losing players that come over from Slayer. Then we can merge Team Arena and HCS on those settings. Right off the bat this would triple the pop going into matchmaking on our comp settings. More people playing our core comp mode means more people understanding it, means more people watching it, and more people coming out to events. It also, of course, makes it much easier to matchmake for streamers, etc.

…at first, everyone went over and tried HCS, but they didn't stay. That means that initially, the competition was of the same "stiffness" as Team Arena when HCS released, so that shouldn't have driven them away
A few things here:
  1. I think if both Arena and HCS had the same settings Arena would still have more players. The “HCS” name scares some people off, just like the MLG playlist used to.
  2. When the HCS playlist debuted, I don’t think any rankings carried over. I saw HCS pros qualify as platinum while going like 25-5 in every game. Anyone who played that playlist in the first month or so was bound to have some bad experiences until the ranks stabilized. I understood what was happening, but I’m sure a lot of players didn’t and it drove people away. First impressions are sometimes hard to overcome. If something similar was to happen again, would it not be better to carry over the Arena ranks or something?
  3. The settings absolutely matter – and I think the two most problematic settings in HCS are no auto starts/pickups and the ability-only radar. Those things are barriers to entry for some players – and while I think the ability-only radar is necessary for competitive play, I think adding ARs back in would help the population. (I don't think the AR should be a viable weapon at high-level play, but we can't just consider high-level play.)
And I have two questions to end with:
  1. What is the definition of sandbox "balance" at 343? Is the actual goal to have the player drop their spawn weapons the first chance they get? Is lethality vs. "skill to use" a metric used when discussing balance? I think some insight into this would help us give better feedback.
  2. And a theory question – what exactly does giving tier 1 weapons different ranges add to the fun or competitiveness of the game? IMO range as a variable only makes sense if you’re playing a role – like in Warzone or BTB on super large maps I could see people playing different roles as a part of a team set-up and wanting weapons with different ranges – but in arena-style Halo it just doesn’t make sense to me. You can’t predict your engagements, and even if you could, map sizes should not be so huge that you need a ton of different weapon ranges. I feel like if all of the rifles had the exact same range as the pistol the sandbox would be improved just through simplification.
Again Josh I just want to say I appreciate the effort to communicate with us.
The battle rifle was overpowered before because it had too much aim assist, magnetism, and a long ranged red reticle. Its current state isn't very satisfying or consistent. The battle rifle needs to kill just as fast as the magnum and have the same range so that we have a reason to pick it up outside of BR start playlists. These changes along with the current shot projectile might make the BR more viable but I'd honestly prefer Hitscan with less magnetism and red reticle. I'll say this again. We need a reason to use the battle rifle. It needs to kill as quickly as the magnum.
One of the most frustrating elements to BTB match making this past month was not only failing to get games. We have since adjusted our group strategy on that for those that stuck around. What is frustrating now is the que shows 16/16 players...start the countdown..loses one player to DC/unplug/who knows. It spins forever until it crashes 15 people out...then you que again and hope it doesn't happen again. This has happened 9 times in the last week. BTB is Social...people will drop in game on occasion so it simply needs to just start the game with 15 and then pull a JIP within the 1st min if it can. The amount of failing to match is staggering now.

My newest total:
First 2 years of Halo 5 (between 3 to 5 failures total)
This last month up to 57 total failures now. The last week I have hit 4 failures because the gametype didn't have enough people (WZA and BTB). That 16/16 then loses 1 then fails has been the most common lately. I have gone in solo and with 2, 4, and 5. Plenty of space for the system to work it's MMR magic. But it just gets stumped if it loses a person and can't find a solo player to fill the slot or can't resort the teams to ease the make the solo addition more efficient. It simply spins until we all fail 3 to 4 min later.

Now I understand there were complaints of people getting rolled in BTB on occasion but matching 50% less games a night must not ease that. It definitely needs improvements. It needs to lossen criteria a little and perhaps just start games with 15/16 on occasion (when one drops last minute) and try to fill the last spot via JIP. My friends list are leaving in droves. The OT Matchmaking and weapon tweaks are the 1-2 punch that knocked them out.
If something similar was to happen again, would it not be better to carry over the Arena ranks or something?
First off, thanks for putting a lot of time into that post. Very well done.

Josh has already stated something like this already happens (now, or soon). When starting a new playlist for the very first time (ever, not per season), the MM system calculates where it thinks you should be based on the billions of data points the system has now. For example, if the newly played playlist is SWAT, it will take your Platinum Slayer rank and go, okay, based on all the data we have, someone with a Platinum in Slayer should have a Gold in SWAT, so that's where we're going to start you at.

Keep in mind, I don't know what the actual comparison/generalization is.

For brand new playlists, there isn't any actual data points to compare with, so for a while, all the ranks will be messed up, until they have enough data points to make generalizations like that.
ZaedynFel wrote:
When the HCS playlist debuted, I don’t think any rankings carried over. I saw HCS pros qualify as platinum while going like 25-5 in every game. Anyone who played that playlist in the first month or so was bound to have some bad experiences until the ranks stabilized. I understood what was happening, but I’m sure a lot of players didn’t and it drove people away. First impressions are sometimes hard to overcome. If something similar was to happen again, would it not be better to carry over the Arena ranks or something?
You raise a really interesting point I've thought about recently. ZaedynFel has brought up the point that the data shows HCS is NOT a popular playlist, compared to slayer and Team Arena. 343 apparently believes this is because people don't like these HCS settings, and that's a possibility. BUT there's another factor that may play a role: psychology and player egos about rank may lower the HCS playlist population. The data clearly show that ranks are depressed in the HCS playlist - someone ranked plat in Team Arena is probably gold or lower in HCS, because the player base is higher-skilled. But people like being high ranks, so they don't play HCS, because they don't want to see that "lower" rank on their records.

There's a fairly simple way around this! Simply set the CSR values to be calibrated across playlists (don't change MMR at all). In other words, someone who is plat 4 skill in Team Arena will likely sit around plat 4 in HCS as well, and they won't be motivated by ego to avoid the HCS playlist. This doesn't "cheapen" or "inflate" ranks, it simply makes a given rank mean roughly the same skill across all playlists. To achieve this, simply use the data of all players who have played in two playlists to determine the average CSR adjustments needed.
Ok so here's the issue. Now that the search parameters have been changed I am forced to use expanded to get any games. Still having long search times. Also, living where I do and playing on expanded is not very fun. Lopsided connections and more blowouts.
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