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[Locked] MATCHMAKING FEEDBACK UPDATE – November 5

OP ZaedynFel

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Heaviies wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
Heaviies wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
I disagree. Read my last comment.

BTB has never been strong in H5, regardless of its place in past Halos. We have to look at the audience it has now vs. the past. The average bulk H5 player isn't that interested in BTB and never has been. Not in the presence of Warzone and now BTB SF.

That doesn't mean there isn't a group of folks playing H5 who love it, but that group isn't a core part of H5.

I feel more like the core pop has moved on, and the leftover BTB enthusiast community isn't large enough to sustain the list without changes that invite folks currently happy in other playlists back, as well as the enthusiasts.

Also, I disgrew on the BR. The original BR scared off more of that original pop than it did invite them. Weakening the BR actually resulted in an increase in BTB's pop a year ago that was sustained up until BTB SF.
This just keeps getting better!

BTB has never been strong in H5? That's a product of decisions that 343 made. Not the community. You guys didn't even have developed BTB maps for the launch of H5. Despite how much people LOVED BTB in the previous Halos, you guys didn't even have it as a playlist for H5. It's obvious that your team at 343 assumed that the Warzone playlist would just take its place and people would be okay with it. Given the fact that you gave us a warzone gametype that was specifically designed for REQ packs, insane amount of DLC, 12-man teams, skins, commendations, company commendations,etc... Warzone was designed to be a stacked advantage vs. ANY other playlist in H5. So of course an overwhelming amount of people would play that playlist.

But when a large portion of the community wanted BTB, you provided us with Forge maps. These were wonderfully made maps by community members, but these maps were complete with frame-rate issues, flawed mechanics, and overall quality < developer made warzone and arena maps. You can't deny that a professionally developed map is much preferred over a community-made forge map.

AND HELLO TO 343...PSA... YOU STILL HAVENT ADDRESSED THE 15/16 PREGAME LOBBY GLITCH THAT CAUSES US AN ENDLESS WAIT TO GET A GAME...AT A:: SKILL LEVELS. At this point, it feels like a kick in the nuts when trying to search. People legitimately will get bored if they are sitting in the pre-game lobby for 5 minutes, only to have to research and cross their fingers that they'll be able to get a match the next time they search.

And if you truly believe that the BTB population before the August 2017 tuning update was lower or less sustained than the population right before BTB SF was released, why weren't we talking about making BTB a rotational playlist a year ago?
I can't speak to the history since I wasn't around for it, but from my POV, regardless of how we got to where we are, we have to make decisions based on the current population and situation. Making historical arguments aren't going to help the list at present, and we aren't going to get dev support at this stage in H5's history vs. what needs to get done for Infinite.

So instead, we look at the type of refresh that we CAN do, and see how it turns out.

But either way, a list needs to stand on its own merits, not on what should or could have been done in the past.
If you guys take anything from the feedback so far here please prioritize the following.

1 fix the mm freezing issue where 1 player drops and the matchmaking sits idle for 5 minutes then repeats the next time a search has begun. This has been going on for way too long.

2. Adjust mmr settings so everyone actually gets to play the game mode they love.

Before a refresh which is much needed these 2 steps will do wonders to increase the population. I’ve seen on these population rankings you’ve released btb Much higher in the list. The fact that btb is still even going with the current disaster that is matchmaking is a testament to the populations love for the gamemode.
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This is ridiculous, 343 bends over backwards to sabotage BTB and now you're going to remove it due to population.

People have been telling 343 for years now what needs to be fixed, and we have been ignored every time. Removing it shouldn't even be a remote consideration before actually listening to the feedback coming from the people who are literally telling you exactly how to get them playing again.

Fix the 15/16 glitch, fix the BR, fix the banshee, fix the maps -- none of these issues are news -- for once in the entire history of H5 actually try to give the playlist some love.

What's most sad is that this is all just a repeat of what already happened with regular social -- of course people are going to prefer the "random" fiesta gametypes when the default settings are somehow worse than random.

The fundamental problem that pushes people to favor random gametypes is that Halo 5 never got to experience a real social playlist (BTB or even regular TS) and now one of the most iconic game modes in video game history is being considered to get axed due to the lack of popularity that has been brought on by constant neglect in the first place.

Stop the cycle of abuse before you end up with no playlists left to axe, this isn't sustainable.
How does 343 expect the launch of Infinity to go over when people start writing articles about how, "hey you know all those matchmaking glitches that made H5 a terrible experience 3 years ago? Yeah, they never got fixed."

Consumer trust doesn't get reset just by pointing the finger at some unknown employee that came before and tossing away what little progress actually was made, it comes from taking responsibility and actually finishing the original product that was promised.
ZaedynFel wrote:
Heaviies wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
Heaviies wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
I disagree. Read my last comment.

BTB has never been strong in H5, regardless of its place in past Halos. We have to look at the audience it has now vs. the past. The average bulk H5 player isn't that interested in BTB and never has been. Not in the presence of Warzone and now BTB SF.

That doesn't mean there isn't a group of folks playing H5 who love it, but that group isn't a core part of H5.

I feel more like the core pop has moved on, and the leftover BTB enthusiast community isn't large enough to sustain the list without changes that invite folks currently happy in other playlists back, as well as the enthusiasts.

Also, I disgrew on the BR. The original BR scared off more of that original pop than it did invite them. Weakening the BR actually resulted in an increase in BTB's pop a year ago that was sustained up until BTB SF.
This just keeps getting better!

BTB has never been strong in H5? That's a product of decisions that 343 made. Not the community. You guys didn't even have developed BTB maps for the launch of H5. Despite how much people LOVED BTB in the previous Halos, you guys didn't even have it as a playlist for H5. It's obvious that your team at 343 assumed that the Warzone playlist would just take its place and people would be okay with it. Given the fact that you gave us a warzone gametype that was specifically designed for REQ packs, insane amount of DLC, 12-man teams, skins, commendations, company commendations,etc... Warzone was designed to be a stacked advantage vs. ANY other playlist in H5. So of course an overwhelming amount of people would play that playlist.

But when a large portion of the community wanted BTB, you provided us with Forge maps. These were wonderfully made maps by community members, but these maps were complete with frame-rate issues, flawed mechanics, and overall quality < developer made warzone and arena maps. You can't deny that a professionally developed map is much preferred over a community-made forge map.

AND HELLO TO 343...PSA... YOU STILL HAVENT ADDRESSED THE 15/16 PREGAME LOBBY GLITCH THAT CAUSES US AN ENDLESS WAIT TO GET A GAME...AT A:: SKILL LEVELS. At this point, it feels like a kick in the nuts when trying to search. People legitimately will get bored if they are sitting in the pre-game lobby for 5 minutes, only to have to research and cross their fingers that they'll be able to get a match the next time they search.

And if you truly believe that the BTB population before the August 2017 tuning update was lower or less sustained than the population right before BTB SF was released, why weren't we talking about making BTB a rotational playlist a year ago?
I can't speak to the history since I wasn't around for it, but from my POV, regardless of how we got to where we are, we have to make decisions based on the current population and situation. Making historical arguments aren't going to help the list at present, and we aren't going to get dev support at this stage in H5's history vs. what needs to get done for Infinite.

So instead, we look at the type of refresh that we CAN do, and see how it turns out.

But either way, a list needs to stand on its own merits, not on what should or could have been done in the past.
So are you saying you CANT fix the 15/16 pregame lobby glitch? Because that is enough to drive the population away. Fix this and people will come back.

Also rotate maps back. Get rid of Dispelled or decrease the chance of playing it. This will get people to play.

And dont say that SBMM was removed from BTB when full teams still can’t find games now. Maybe it’s another glitch you aren’t aware of then.

Part of of the problem is that the population has got you working on it. Since your focus is the current population and not the population that’s been lost I get it - you’re the one who is responsible for pleasing the population still here. When the main issue with the dip in population in BTB were decisions made in the past that you were and were not responsible for.
ZaedynFel wrote:
Skirmish wrote:
The search times for btb are not because of lack of interest in the playlist lmao. It has everything to do with the mmr parameters you guys set in place to make it "fair". I don't get how you guys don't see that.
BTB hasn't been using MMR for awhile. It hasn't helped.
This just blew my mind. Why then can I find a game solo when it’s sometimes near impossible to find one with a larger team? You would think with the larger numbers in the lobby it would be easier.
Because we still have a team picker in place that prevents unfair team vs. team odds. The matchmaker can throw any 16 players into a match now regardless of skill, but then the team picker verifies that there exists a team balance that won't be unfair.

Without that, we lose pop a lot faster.
Heaviies wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
Heaviies wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
Heaviies wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
I disagree. Read my last comment.

BTB has never been strong in H5, regardless of its place in past Halos. We have to look at the audience it has now vs. the past. The average bulk H5 player isn't that interested in BTB and never has been. Not in the presence of Warzone and now BTB SF.

That doesn't mean there isn't a group of folks playing H5 who love it, but that group isn't a core part of H5.

I feel more like the core pop has moved on, and the leftover BTB enthusiast community isn't large enough to sustain the list without changes that invite folks currently happy in other playlists back, as well as the enthusiasts.

Also, I disgrew on the BR. The original BR scared off more of that original pop than it did invite them. Weakening the BR actually resulted in an increase in BTB's pop a year ago that was sustained up until BTB SF.
This just keeps getting better!

BTB has never been strong in H5? That's a product of decisions that 343 made. Not the community. You guys didn't even have developed BTB maps for the launch of H5. Despite how much people LOVED BTB in the previous Halos, you guys didn't even have it as a playlist for H5. It's obvious that your team at 343 assumed that the Warzone playlist would just take its place and people would be okay with it. Given the fact that you gave us a warzone gametype that was specifically designed for REQ packs, insane amount of DLC, 12-man teams, skins, commendations, company commendations,etc... Warzone was designed to be a stacked advantage vs. ANY other playlist in H5. So of course an overwhelming amount of people would play that playlist.

But when a large portion of the community wanted BTB, you provided us with Forge maps. These were wonderfully made maps by community members, but these maps were complete with frame-rate issues, flawed mechanics, and overall quality < developer made warzone and arena maps. You can't deny that a professionally developed map is much preferred over a community-made forge map.

AND HELLO TO 343...PSA... YOU STILL HAVENT ADDRESSED THE 15/16 PREGAME LOBBY GLITCH THAT CAUSES US AN ENDLESS WAIT TO GET A GAME...AT A:: SKILL LEVELS. At this point, it feels like a kick in the nuts when trying to search. People legitimately will get bored if they are sitting in the pre-game lobby for 5 minutes, only to have to research and cross their fingers that they'll be able to get a match the next time they search.

And if you truly believe that the BTB population before the August 2017 tuning update was lower or less sustained than the population right before BTB SF was released, why weren't we talking about making BTB a rotational playlist a year ago?
I can't speak to the history since I wasn't around for it, but from my POV, regardless of how we got to where we are, we have to make decisions based on the current population and situation. Making historical arguments aren't going to help the list at present, and we aren't going to get dev support at this stage in H5's history vs. what needs to get done for Infinite.

So instead, we look at the type of refresh that we CAN do, and see how it turns out.

But either way, a list needs to stand on its own merits, not on what should or could have been done in the past.
So are you saying you CANT fix the 15/16 pregame lobby glitch? Because that is enough to drive the population away. Fix this and people will come back.

Also rotate maps back. Get rid of Dispelled or decrease the chance of playing it. This will get people to play.

And dont say that SBMM was removed from BTB when full teams still can’t find games now. Maybe it’s another glitch you aren’t aware of then.

Part of of the problem is that the population has got you working on it. Since your focus is the current population and not the population that’s been lost I get it - you’re the one who is responsible for pleasing the population still here. When the main issue with the dip in population in BTB were decisions made in the past that you were and were not responsible for.
The 15/16 glitch is in every playlist, not specific to BTB, but the other lists do fine because they have larger pop. It's worse in BTB BECAUSE of the pop, not the other way around.

SBMM does very little in BTB, but there's still a team balaance audit that doesn't allow matches where the best team balance results in one team getting destroyed. We've seen that lead to faster churn than without it.
This is ridiculous, 343 bends over backwards to sabotage BTB and now you're going to remove it due to population.

People have been telling 343 for years now what needs to be fixed, and we have been ignored every time. Removing it shouldn't even be a remote consideration before actually listening to the feedback coming from the people who are literally telling you exactly how to get them playing again.

Fix the 15/16 glitch, fix the BR, fix the banshee, fix the maps -- none of these issues are news -- for once in the entire history of H5 actually try to give the playlist some love.

What's most sad is that this is all just a repeat of what already happened with regular social -- of course people are going to prefer the "random" fiesta gametypes when the default settings are somehow worse than random.

The fundamental problem that pushes people to favor random gametypes is that Halo 5 never got to experience a real social playlist (BTB or even regular TS) and now one of the most iconic game modes in video game history is being considered to get axed due to the lack of popularity that has been brought on by constant neglect in the first place.
Again, historical arguments aren't going to help what we need to do at present, and saying "default is worse than random" is a straw man. There's a lot more to it than that.

We'll work with what we have available at this time, but regardless of history, the list has to stand on its own.
ZaedynFel wrote:
This is ridiculous, 343 bends over backwards to sabotage BTB and now you're going to remove it due to population.

People have been telling 343 for years now what needs to be fixed, and we have been ignored every time. Removing it shouldn't even be a remote consideration before actually listening to the feedback coming from the people who are literally telling you exactly how to get them playing again.

Fix the 15/16 glitch, fix the BR, fix the banshee, fix the maps -- none of these issues are news -- for once in the entire history of H5 actually try to give the playlist some love.

What's most sad is that this is all just a repeat of what already happened with regular social -- of course people are going to prefer the "random" fiesta gametypes when the default settings are somehow worse than random.

The fundamental problem that pushes people to favor random gametypes is that Halo 5 never got to experience a real social playlist (BTB or even regular TS) and now one of the most iconic game modes in video game history is being considered to get axed due to the lack of popularity that has been brought on by constant neglect in the first place.
Again, historical arguments aren't going to help what we need to do at present, and saying "default is worse than random" is a straw man. There's a lot more to it than that.

We'll work with what we have available at this time, but regardless of history, the list has to stand on its own.
I'm not making a historical argument, I'm saying that the solution is to finish the original product rather than sweep the half-finished one under the rug, at least as long as 343 cares about rebuilding consumer trust before launching the next title.

"Default is worse than random," isn't a straw man, it's a "statement backed by statistical evidence" as you would put it. I'm not stating an opinion, "that's just what the numbers show."
It's too late.
Halo5's best player has left the building.
Ispartan said he's done with "halo to".
ZaedynFel wrote:
Heaviies wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
Heaviies wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
I disagree. Read my last comment.

BTB has never been strong in H5, regardless of its place in past Halos. We have to look at the audience it has now vs. the past. The average bulk H5 player isn't that interested in BTB and never has been. Not in the presence of Warzone and now BTB SF.

That doesn't mean there isn't a group of folks playing H5 who love it, but that group isn't a core part of H5.

I feel more like the core pop has moved on, and the leftover BTB enthusiast community isn't large enough to sustain the list without changes that invite folks currently happy in other playlists back, as well as the enthusiasts.

Also, I disgrew on the BR. The original BR scared off more of that original pop than it did invite them. Weakening the BR actually resulted in an increase in BTB's pop a year ago that was sustained up until BTB SF.
This just keeps getting better!

BTB has never been strong in H5? That's a product of decisions that 343 made. Not the community. You guys didn't even have developed BTB maps for the launch of H5. Despite how much people LOVED BTB in the previous Halos, you guys didn't even have it as a playlist for H5. It's obvious that your team at 343 assumed that the Warzone playlist would just take its place and people would be okay with it. Given the fact that you gave us a warzone gametype that was specifically designed for REQ packs, insane amount of DLC, 12-man teams, skins, commendations, company commendations,etc... Warzone was designed to be a stacked advantage vs. ANY other playlist in H5. So of course an overwhelming amount of people would play that playlist.

But when a large portion of the community wanted BTB, you provided us with Forge maps. These were wonderfully made maps by community members, but these maps were complete with frame-rate issues, flawed mechanics, and overall quality < developer made warzone and arena maps. You can't deny that a professionally developed map is much preferred over a community-made forge map.

AND HELLO TO 343...PSA... YOU STILL HAVENT ADDRESSED THE 15/16 PREGAME LOBBY GLITCH THAT CAUSES US AN ENDLESS WAIT TO GET A GAME...AT A:: SKILL LEVELS. At this point, it feels like a kick in the nuts when trying to search. People legitimately will get bored if they are sitting in the pre-game lobby for 5 minutes, only to have to research and cross their fingers that they'll be able to get a match the next time they search.

And if you truly believe that the BTB population before the August 2017 tuning update was lower or less sustained than the population right before BTB SF was released, why weren't we talking about making BTB a rotational playlist a year ago?
I can't speak to the history since I wasn't around for it, but from my POV, regardless of how we got to where we are, we have to make decisions based on the current population and situation. Making historical arguments aren't going to help the list at present, and we aren't going to get dev support at this stage in H5's history vs. what needs to get done for Infinite.

So instead, we look at the type of refresh that we CAN do, and see how it turns out.

But either way, a list needs to stand on its own merits, not on what should or could have been done in the past.
How about trying these decisions:

  • Don't double down on the Super Fiesta mode. If there's a tactical experience difference between BTSF and regular 5v5 SF as the reason for supporting both at the same time as permanent playlists then simply consider adding some bigger maps to regular 5v5 SF with REQ vehicles as a means to provide that different tactical experience without creating redundancy that ends up directly harming a core Halo experience. By removing the 8v8 aspect perhaps it wouldn't draw too heavily from the Big Team crowd.
  • Refresh the BTB playlist with more than just a general map overhaul by replacing the default loadout Recon H5BR with the Long-Barrel H5BR as it provides some real niche areas of strength to the BR against other precision weapons without making it a cross-map laser. Don't double weight any of the maps, but going forward do rotate in-and-out some of the maps that prove less popular with past maps on a quarterly basis as it'll help keep the playlist somewhat fresh going forward.
  • Ask for some resources from the Legacy Team or an outside source to help address the bug that's referred to as the 15/16 in BTB (I understand it plagues all of MMing) and any other on-going bugs as necessary rest-of-life improvements. H5 is still the newest Halo title and at this point it should not be plagued by bugs like this.
EDIT:

  • Perhaps consider combining a Heavies variant with BTB that provides access to more REQ variants, but making BTB rotational shouldn't even enter the discussion. Finding ways to improve its pop should indeed be part of your goal because it is a core experience of the Halo franchise.
ZaedynFel wrote:
This is ridiculous, 343 bends over backwards to sabotage BTB and now you're going to remove it due to population.

People have been telling 343 for years now what needs to be fixed, and we have been ignored every time. Removing it shouldn't even be a remote consideration before actually listening to the feedback coming from the people who are literally telling you exactly how to get them playing again.

Fix the 15/16 glitch, fix the BR, fix the banshee, fix the maps -- none of these issues are news -- for once in the entire history of H5 actually try to give the playlist some love.

What's most sad is that this is all just a repeat of what already happened with regular social -- of course people are going to prefer the "random" fiesta gametypes when the default settings are somehow worse than random.

The fundamental problem that pushes people to favor random gametypes is that Halo 5 never got to experience a real social playlist (BTB or even regular TS) and now one of the most iconic game modes in video game history is being considered to get axed due to the lack of popularity that has been brought on by constant neglect in the first place.
Again, historical arguments aren't going to help what we need to do at present, and saying "default is worse than random" is a straw man. There's a lot more to it than that.

We'll work with what we have available at this time, but regardless of history, the list has to stand on its own.
I'm not making a historical argument, I'm saying that the solution is to finish the original product rather than sweep the half-finished one under the rug.

"Default is worse than random," isn't a straw man, it's a "statement backed by statistical evidence" as you would put it. I'm not stating an opinion, "that's just what the numbers show."
No, it's a straw man because you are ignoring all of the other, non-weapon tuning / setting related benefits of the randomness and reducing it to just a 1:1 settings comparison, which is classic straw man.

The random aspect itself is fun. The fact you don't have to fight over getting a great weapon, and the fact that you can blame losses on randomness so they don't sting as hard. The massive spread top to bottom in weapon power.

There's a lot more going on here than "oh, the default settings are so bad that random is better"

Especially given that SF doesn't randomize the settings, just the loadout.
One reason why I never got into warzone was i thought the maps were too small for the population size. 2) It would take forever to get your level 7 or 8 reqs available. 3) I'm literally getting spawn killed. If I didn't want that to happen, I'd have to start at the core. When you finally earned my way to these higher reqs, your joy is short lived cause you step out of north or south garbage then boom! Some jerk nails you with a sniper rifle, one of the opposing team members saw you dropped The Answer, run over and take cause it takes 20 yrs to respawn. Or you're like "Yuss. Gonna come out shredding fools with my ONI tank." Then.....FIRE THE LAZER!!! Or someone is camping next to the garage or core exit and plants a grenade on you. I loved heavies playlist on H4 cause it was truly social. That's when I really got my start playing online halo was 4. I played CE OG Xbox splitscreen back in the day. I was NOT good competitively on 4. Check my stats. But heavies was fun for me cause you didn't have to be good to have fun. It was too crazy. And super fiesta now, is the new competitive BTB. I've noticed in the past month or so that some people, they came to play. They came to kick -Yoink- and chew bubblegum. And they out of bubblegum.
343 should mix things up. They have nothing to lose. Like I always thought Eagle Square should be regular 4v4 slayer with one Mantis and two hogs or ghosts. Things like that. Mix and match. Or put The Battle of Noctus in BTB with a tank and a banshee in the spawn at your base, then throw a Phateon or ONI Wasp in a covered area middle of the map so you can't shoot it with your tank or banshee to spoil it for everyone. Anyone else have similar ideas or thoughts they can add?
Man it's a sad day to hear this is even being considered... Of course BTSF split the BTB population and pulled people away from standard BTB. It's new and fresh. Fun for a game or two before I want to stick needles in my eyes. This whole time I've been waiting for BTSF to go off of rotation and reunite the BTB population. So what I'm gathering now is that it's a permanent list now? BTB getting screwed again.
I can't believe a core playlist since H2 is possibly getting removed for a bloated Fiesta playlist. Do you realize how bad that sounds? Now if I wanna play a traditional objective gametype, I have to wait one, two, three or maybe even four months because social doesn't have any permanent objective playlists, but I can play Slayer with REQ weapons though. Oh, joy!

While we're at it, why don't we replace everything with Super Fiesta since it's obviously the most popular gametype. Fiesta Infection, Fiesta SWAT, Fiesta Team Arena, Fiesta Doubles, Fiesta FFA, Fiesta Elimination, etc etc.. I mean who cares about core playlists in Halo when we can just shoot each other with REQ weapons. Sometimes data shouldn't determine every decision being made.
LUKEPOWA wrote:
I can't believe a core playlist since H2 is possibly getting removed for a bloated Fiesta playlist. Do you realize how bad that sounds? Now if I wanna play a traditional objective gametype, I have to wait one, two, three or maybe even four months because social doesn't have any permanent objective playlists, but I can play Slayer with REQ weapons though. Oh, joy!

While we're at it, why don't we replace everything with Super Fiesta since it's obviously the most popular gametype. Fiesta Infection, Fiesta SWAT, Fiesta Team Arena, Fiesta Doubles, Fiesta FFA, Fiesta Elimination, etc etc.. I mean who cares about core playlists in Halo when we can just shoot each other with REQ weapons. Sometimes data shouldn't determine every decision being made.
Exactly.

I kind of expected Josh to have understood this.
eLantern wrote:
LUKEPOWA wrote:
I can't believe a core playlist since H2 is possibly getting removed for a bloated Fiesta playlist. Do you realize how bad that sounds? Now if I wanna play a traditional objective gametype, I have to wait one, two, three or maybe even four months because social doesn't have any permanent objective playlists, but I can play Slayer with REQ weapons though. Oh, joy!

While we're at it, why don't we replace everything with Super Fiesta since it's obviously the most popular gametype. Fiesta Infection, Fiesta SWAT, Fiesta Team Arena, Fiesta Doubles, Fiesta FFA, Fiesta Elimination, etc etc.. I mean who cares about core playlists in Halo when we can just shoot each other with REQ weapons. Sometimes data shouldn't determine every decision being made.
Exactly.

I kind of expected Josh to have understood this.
There's a difference between making everything SF, which we're not doing, and making something obvious SF after careful consideration and suggestions from our larger SF player base.

Whether we keep a playlist up or not has to be judged on the merits of the playlist though, and whether or not there's enough people playing it to keep it active.

We're not talking about a small difference in pop between BTB and BTSF either, we're talking about orders of magnitude, as in the outcry would be much larger and the effect on retention a lot more negative in removing BTSF vs. BTB, so that's not really an option.

Also, BTSF is not behaving like a rotational. Rotationals, even super popular ones like Castle Wars, always have huge drops in pop after the first few weeks. BTSF hasn't had that.

Again, we wouldn't take down a wildly successful list like BTSF to save a list that wasn't even half as popular even WITHOUT BTSF.

The list has to survive on its own merits once it's in that position.
Ya I have to agree with what people are saying here big time. This is sad....really, really sad, but what do you expect from a mode that 343I didn't want in in the first place 😔

I think people are also forgetting a couple things though that I haven't seen mentioned yet that are important, Well in my opinion they are.

  1. Playlists that have double XP always get high player counts. Might be only for a week or so, but they do and,
  2. A ton of people play Fiesta (any version) purely to finish weapon commendations and that's IT! And seeing is how fiesta is the easiest way to do that by a country mile!!!! people will play it. I would bet anything that if Halo 5 didn't have weapon commendations, fiesta playlists wouldn't be anywhere near as popular as they are now.
This said, I don't know how much can be done honestly :( Ya making the playlist double XP sometimes would help a bit (personally I think all of them should be double XP at some point) and so would a playlist refresh... but I firmly believe that as long as weapon commendations are a thing, which they are, fiesta will be super popular. I hear it all too often from young players and low level players that they are trying to finish x weapon commendation. To me this is a big part of the problem for BTB demise.

I do disagree with you ZaedynFel about the BR issue. The BR is just absolutely terrible now (I'm sorry but it is... sounds awful too but i digress here) I agree with others that it hurt BTB not help it. Yes you don't want to start with an OP weapon, but you need to have something that can actually hit something at a decent range though and the default BR is not that.

So again, all said I'm not sure what can REALLY be done as I feel BTB was set up to fail from the get go unfortunately :( which probably explains why 343I didn't want to have it in the first place because they wanted Warzone to be the new BTB. Problem is, warzone plays nothing like Halo 😒 (can't stand Warzone personally)
ZaedynFel wrote:
Warzone AssaultWarzone Assault has long been behaving more like a rotational than like a permanent playlist. It has also gone several days at a time without any matches played at all because the number of players we see trying to play at peak times is not enough to form a complete match. To make it easier to get matches in Warzone Assault, as I mentioned before the weekend, we are going to start running it as a rotational the first weekend of each month. We have noticed in our data that when we take less popular lists and run them periodically instead of permanently, they receive orders of magnitude more players.
This is good; I was basically at the point where I wasn't even going to try to find a game in WZA anymore. Rotational at least lets me know when I should try to find a game. Also maybe if you made it triple XP or something it could help? IDK lol.

ZaedynFel wrote:
Also, I disgrew on the BR. The original BR scared off more of that original pop than it did invite them. Weakening the BR actually resulted in an increase in BTB's pop a year ago that was sustained up until BTB SF.
Wow. I can't stand playing BTB with the new BR, so that is surprising to me. I know there was a lot of backlash at the time of the weapon tuning as well - and most of it was specifically about the BR. Even within the past few months there has been a serious push to replace the standard BR with a different version of the weapon.

How can you tell that the original BR "scared off more of the original pop than it did invite them"? Couldn't it have been other things as well (like the framerates on the maps, the matchmaking, etc.). How can you tell that the BR as a starting weapon was driving players away and it wasn't other factors?

I know there were complaints about the original BR, but I think a lot of people just wanted the range/magnetism nerfed a little or to have pistol starts. I don't think anyone asked for the changes we got - and whatever feedback we gave during the weapon tuning was largely ignored, IMO.

ZaedynFel wrote:
Because we still have a team picker in place that prevents unfair team vs. team odds. The matchmaker can throw any 16 players into a match now regardless of skill, but then the team picker verifies that there exists a team balance that won't be unfair.
Without that, we lose pop a lot faster.
I absolutely think the restrictions are great - there is nothing worse than playing full teams in a "social" BTB or WZA game and getting destroyed for 10 minutes. I'd rather not find a game than have an experience that makes me not want to play anymore. That is worse for Halo IMO.

ZaedynFel wrote:
The 15/16 glitch is in every playlist, not specific to BTB, but the other lists do fine because they have larger pop. It's worse in BTB BECAUSE of the pop, not the other way around.
This glitch is terrible for my enjoyment of the game, and ultimately that has to lead to a drop in population (although you can hit me with numbers that dispute that). I've seen a few variations:
  1. Start a search, find a match, screen freezes (can't do anything), have to kill the game and restart.
  2. Start a search, find a match, one player's emblem drops from the list (probably due to #1), so you wait until the next player is found - sometimes fast (not so bad), sometimes slow (super annoying).
  3. Weird freezing in the countdown screen after playing your last game - maybe something to do with viewing the PGCR? Sometimes it "unfreezes", sometimes it doesn't. If it doesn't, kill the game and restart.
  4. Start a search, find a match (I think) - get a message that you've lost connection to the server and get kicked to the main menu - start the search again, get a second message that was related to the first search and not your current search - and then usually I'll find a game. This just started happening to me recently, and I haven't seen anyone else report it - so maybe it's just me.
My guess is that the radio-silence about fixing these issues (at least 1-3) means that either they can't be fixed or they won't be fixed - but I really think fixing these issues should be priority 1.
ZaedynFel wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
This is ridiculous, 343 bends over backwards to sabotage BTB and now you're going to remove it due to population.

People have been telling 343 for years now what needs to be fixed, and we have been ignored every time. Removing it shouldn't even be a remote consideration before actually listening to the feedback coming from the people who are literally telling you exactly how to get them playing again.

Fix the 15/16 glitch, fix the BR, fix the banshee, fix the maps -- none of these issues are news -- for once in the entire history of H5 actually try to give the playlist some love.

What's most sad is that this is all just a repeat of what already happened with regular social -- of course people are going to prefer the "random" fiesta gametypes when the default settings are somehow worse than random.

The fundamental problem that pushes people to favor random gametypes is that Halo 5 never got to experience a real social playlist (BTB or even regular TS) and now one of the most iconic game modes in video game history is being considered to get axed due to the lack of popularity that has been brought on by constant neglect in the first place.
Again, historical arguments aren't going to help what we need to do at present, and saying "default is worse than random" is a straw man. There's a lot more to it than that.

We'll work with what we have available at this time, but regardless of history, the list has to stand on its own.
I'm not making a historical argument, I'm saying that the solution is to finish the original product rather than sweep the half-finished one under the rug.

"Default is worse than random," isn't a straw man, it's a "statement backed by statistical evidence" as you would put it. I'm not stating an opinion, "that's just what the numbers show."
No, it's a straw man because you are ignoring all of the other, non-weapon tuning / setting related benefits of the randomness and reducing it to just a 1:1 settings comparison, which is classic straw man.

The random aspect itself is fun. The fact you don't have to fight over getting a great weapon, and the fact that you can blame losses on randomness so they don't sting as hard. The massive spread top to bottom in weapon power.

There's a lot more going on here than "oh, the default settings are so bad that random is better"

Especially given that SF doesn't randomize the settings, just the loadout.
At no point did I "ignore" any of the issues that you just stated, nor did imply any such reductionist 1:1 comparison -- I just didn't state them explicitly because they're always assumed as a baseline consideration -- it goes without saying. The points that I stated were the ones that are specific to the context: long-standing, repeatedly-ignored issues that contribute to the lack of popularity in this playlist in particular -- I did not say that they alone define it, that is your strawman.

And the reason for focusing on those issues is because many playlists have the considerations that you mentioned, but no other playlists have received the level of disregard for quality that BTB has (even FFA eventually got tuning) and no other playlist has seen quite as large of a simultaneous drop-off in popularity between titles. If we are discussing BTB in particular, the forefront of the discussion should be first to address the fundamental issues of quality that are unique to it and are constantly being pointed out as top concerns among the people who play it the most.

The fact that BTB has even survived this long under such neglect is a testament to just how loved it is, not a reason for dismissal. If someone continues to cherish their bike for years after all the "bells and whistles" were stolen, you don't throw out the bike just because a noisy tricycle strolls by -- you track down the person who stole your bells & whistles, you put them back on and then you ask if the noisy tricycle actually performs better.

Do you not see the irony in stating "there's more to it" while simultaneously disregarding the history that lead to this point?

H5's disastrous launch was a repeat of same lessons that H4's launch taught us -- and now just like H4's long-term support, H5's long-term support is doubling down on the mistakes that got to this point in the first place rather than even trying to fix the issues first.

How will Infinity's marketing team defend the fact that basic matchmaking bugs and weapon balance issues were never finished as was promised following H5's disastrous launch? Will fans believe the same narrative told last time, that "the 3/10 score on metacritic isn't accurate, we plan to address those concerns" -- then after years of fans patiently waiting for those promises to be fulfilled, just point the finger and say, "well that was before my time" and bury those promises?

How many more core gametypes will be axed in favor of novelties before 343 takes responsibility for finishing the basic functionality that was promised 3 years ago? Doubling down just isn't sustainable indefinitely, eventually you run out of chips to play -- no doubt the rise and fall of the Halo franchise will be heralded as a fantastic case study of this in the future.
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