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[Locked] MATCHMAKING FEEDBACK UPDATE – November 5

OP ZaedynFel

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While I overall agree with 343 on how they are approaching this, I do agree that mistakes from the past did have a direct impact on the now of BTB. While I haven't play H5 in a little bit, so take what I say knowing its not super up to date, Halo 5 BTB was definitely the most lack luster version of BTB to date. Looking at BTB alone, it just left... bare? slow? It didn't have the same energy that Halo 4 BTB, the feeling of "just one more game". I do think that Warzone played a part in this, but they are too different for one to replace the other. In the end, for a game that is over 3 years old with no date for its sequel, removing dying lists to curtail the population for smaller MM times makes sense.

The last two things I will say is that I hope the state of H5 as of now are not play a huge role in multiplayer for Infinite, that would seem like a small scale to base on, also while its just an idea from one random player in the fan-base, I mode that combines the likes of Warzone and BTB could work. I don't really know how REQ's would work (if they are even in Infinite). 24 player BTB like mode could be interesting. Or, if we really wanna get crazy with ideas, a 24 player invasion mode of spartan vs (insert evil faction) where they can get REQ's of their faction and take command points like classic Battlefront.

All I can say is, if Halo 5 really is in such a state, I don't know how long with will hold players until Infinite.
ZaedynFel wrote:
So this isn't promising anything, but my musings, but the more I look at this, the more I feel like BTB and its sandbox and audience fit in Ranked better than in Social.

The players are more enthusiast and the sandbox is more competitive. It lines up nicely with 4v4 Slayer, 4v4 Arena, and then essentially 8v8 arena.

BTB probably feels Ranked more than Social regardless of where you put it, so it may belong in Ranked.

Most players who want a more casual BTB are likely in BTSF.
ZaedynFel wrote:
One more bit, I don't accept the argument that keeping certain experiences around because they were once "core" and might bring people back. That's all speculation with no data to back it, and no pop to support those lists.

Even if at some point H5 turned into only Super Fiesta and Team Arena, I would be 100% fine with that. The best games in the world right now focus on only one mode, and I think that's great. Fewer buckets to matchmake into, and more focus on the successful modes, and it's not hurting those other games to not maintain multiple modes.

So, yeah, I don't buy the, "you need these modes" arguments, and data has shown clearly that keeping playstyles because folks will "come back" has not been effective. The only thing that has brought people back has been BTSF and SF.

UPDATE: So, yeah, if the most successful way to leverage H5's sandbox turned out to be Fiesta modes, I would be all for those being the focus. Wouldn't bother me personally.
I agree 100% that BTB fits better as ranked - I think "Social" should just be Fiesta/Infection/Castle Wars types of modes - full of randomness with a low "sweat" factor. And as long as the refresh has some change to the starting weapon I'll definitely give it a shot.

As for the second post I quoted - I agree that people aren't going to come back to Halo 5 for experiences that already exist. New experiences (whether that be new modes or maps or whatever) are really the only way to help (or even just maintain) this game population-wise.

And I think it is important to understand (and Josh can clarify if he wants) that Josh is referring to H5 only. He's not trying to change the future of Halo with these decisions, he's just trying to breathe life into this game and keep it populated for as long as possible. I know a lot of us care about this franchise and the idea of removing things that we love about Halo is scary - but to be honest nothing about the population in this game at this point should completely drive decisions on Halo Infinite and beyond (at least I hope that's the case). If Josh looks at the data and thinks removing or changing something will improve or maintain the pop, then I think that's the right move for H5. H5 not finishing its lifespan with BTB (for example) doesn't mean it won't exist in the next Halo title. (H5 didn't start its lifespan with BTB even though previous Halos had it, which proves the point in reverse.)

TLDR - I think the "core mode" discussion is a discussion for the next Halo, and the focus now has to be on the population of the game.
ZaedynFel wrote:
But we are doing a refresh, which means we ARE going to do due diligence on the "strong game design" side first, and then see who comes to play.

But, still, if the current pop who is actually playing the game, and voting with their playtime, would rather pay BTSF than BTB even WITH a refresh, then we would listen to the people actually playing rather than those who aren't playing and just talking.
Yes, and I'm glad you're at least doing that, but where was the refresh for those 18 months? I'd like to think that it's first, but it's hard when you guys just take the easy road with some playlists by making them rotational instead of updating them. I don't even remember when the last time Action Sack, Grifball and now WZ Assault for example was updated, but instead they're just eventually thrown into a rotational when their population goes away. I guess it's understandable now, but I think the playlist management has really dropped the ball in this game when updates were still doable and it really needs to be looked at for Infinite.

I'm still playing although not as much because I have to juggle two games now in my schedule, but how can we believe that when the people who have been playing were saying things for over a year and nothing has happened? The impression I've been getting lately is that you'll listen as long as your playlist is popular. I hope I'm wrong.
They just need to stop with this rotational crap. It's a three year old game that 343 knows that no kid is going to get this Christmas. They think taking away something then bringing it back is a good idea, but the population wouldn't be that low if they added new stuff to the game. At this rate, super fiesta will be the only permanent playlists in the game. If btb is taken out and btb super fiesta stays, then if not me then someone else will get a full team and farm till the population in btb super fiesta dies out. How about that.
If this BTB refresh actually happens then these things also need to happen to make it a "fair fight" between real BTB and BTB:SF, given that Dr Menke thinks population numbers of the two playlists are the holy grail to base decisions on:

  • the refreshed BTB needs to be at the top of the social playlist selection and BTB SF needs to be pushed to the bottom
  • BTBSF does NOT get the refreshed maps and gametypes, otherwise you're mixing variables
  • The refresh needs to be advertised on waypoint and in the message of the day
  • Refreshed BTB also needs to be the featured playlist for a while
If these points are not met then all your data is biased and thus useless to draw conclusions from.
D4rkDeath wrote:
I have worked with a lot of the forgers in the BTB playlist. Whether it was optimizing, spawns, facelifts, etc. I am the author of Ancestor (with JurassicWeeMan). I have spent so much time working on and with this playlist... I have to say my group of BTB enthusiasts didn't move on because of time, problems, or other attractions. It was because of content updates, or a lack there of.

It has been 18 months since the last BTB refresh, half of the lifespan of Halo 5. We have seen an enormous amount of content come through Halo 5 in the last 18 months. However, BTB was at the bottom of the list until the Super Fiesta variant showed up last month (fantastic by the way). Super Fiesta in BTB? How exciting! A new update for BTB to freshen it up! Super Fiesta is popular, but it isn't a replacement, it's just FRESH!

I could go on and on about mag starts, weapon tune changes, glitches, bugs, or whatever has been heavily discussed over the years, but a major playlist update feels like new DLC. I think things like playlist updates are not simple, but super refreshing. In the end, a simple answer is usually best. To me, that is just doing the refresh for BTB. All those other arguments will still exist, but changing any of those and even all of those will not hold a candle to having a BTB refresh.

This would mean getting rid of older and generally unpopular content in the playlist to keep the number of maps down. Facelifts for some of the more popular maps. Adding additional new maps and keeping the number of maps roughly the same is the key component. Different themes and environments are a must, considering we have nothing in the playlist from the Barrens canvas that came out a long time ago, that leaves Altar as the only desert map. There are some fantastic maps out there that have been curated through the community that are 100% ready or near ready for matchmaking. These maps are literally just waiting to have a few weeks of TLC through testing.

If anyone has a BTB map that I have not heard of that you feel is ready for MM, send it to me. Msg my GT (D4rkDeath), tag me on twitter @D4rkDeath19, or msg me on ForgeHub. I would love to at least look at it. Here is a list of solid contenders for a BTB Refresh: https://www.halowaypoint.com/en-us/forums/92b5c5cfee994e7299608301a6b2eb11/topics/list-of-potential-btb-refresh-maps/29eb546a-ad48-4042-bd12-a6b16cd39594/posts
I'm not sure if the ForgeHub community is taking suggestions...but There was a spreadsheet a while ago with a huge list of old maps remade in forge. I love the Viking remake and would love to see maybe 1-2 different remakes this time around. Maybe Rat's nest from H3 and...the best BtB map of all time...Waterworks from halo 2?

Also - I tried for a while to get invited into the Thursday map testing club on XBL that was on forge hub, but no one from that community would even message me. Is the group full or just super difficult to get involved with?
Also - I tried for a while to get invited into the Thursday map testing club on XBL that was on forge hub, but no one from that community would even message me. Is the group full or just super difficult to get involved with?
Try to make contact on the site’s forums regarding getting you invited for sessions.
Basuuuuu wrote:
If this BTB refresh actually happens then these things also need to happen to make it a "fair fight" between real BTB and BTB:SF
Actually, I think 343 should prioritize giving players what they want, rather than making a "fair fight" between two playlists. I want 343 to give Halo 5's BTB what it deserves and should have had all along, but unless it would take them an unreasonable amount of time/effort to add the refresh maps to the Super Fiesta version as well, I don't think there would be any benefit to purposefully avoid doing so. Why should a "fair fight" come at the cost of giving the Big Team Super Fiesta players a potentially more fun gameplay experience? Besides, it seems to me like if they added refresh maps to both normal BTB and Super Fiesta BTB, that would actually make it a more fair comparison, since they would be equal in terms of having refreshed maps.
Chimera30 wrote:
Broey Broe wrote:
No offense, but BTB SF was really only popular and worked cause it was a rotational based mode, Its just a fun spin on btb which works, but now you've guys have literally milked it just cause it got popular and now its lost its fun factor because of that, getting rid of btb cause of a lower population is just ludicrous cause of course this would get a higher population since it was treated as a limited time playlist but later on was just decided to keep, a refresh would make much more sense and to also get rid of btb super fiesta, seriously this doesn't need to be permanent cause people found it fun and now its overstayed its welcome as an over-glorified rotational playlist treated as a permanent one, in that case then why isn't shotty snipes or triple team permanent cause people find those playlists just as fun if not more!
It sounds like you didn't see the parts where BTBSF did not perform like a typical rotational playlist. Hence why the discussion of keeping it permanent even arose.

If it had actually overstayed its welcome and people weren't into it anymore, it wouldn't even be up for discussion. The fact that it is being considered for a permanent position means that it hasn't lost it's fun factor for most players. Maybe for you it has, but playlist offerings aren't tailored to just you.

The reason shotty-snipes and triple-team are rotational is because their populations boom at the beginning of the rotation and ebb at the end. BTBSF hasn't ebbed. And you can't really say that people find Triple-team and shotty-snipes as or more fun as BTBSF outside of yourself and whatever people you communicate with, which is a infinitesimally small number compared to what Josh is looking at to draw his conclusions.
well even then I still think something else deserves a permanent spot as a playlist, big team fiesta is just a variant of big team slayer as a whole playlist, Maybe if it was slotted into btb I think that would help a bit more? But at the same time some people probably don't want that to happen.
Basuuuuu wrote:
If this BTB refresh actually happens then these things also need to happen to make it a "fair fight" between real BTB and BTB:SF
Actually, I think 343 should prioritize giving players what they want, rather than making a "fair fight" between two playlists. I want 343 to give Halo 5's BTB what it deserves and should have had all along, but unless it would take them an unreasonable amount of time/effort to add the refresh maps to the Super Fiesta version as well, I don't think there would be any benefit to purposefully avoid doing so. Why should a "fair fight" come at the cost of giving the Big Team Super Fiesta players a potentially more fun gameplay experience? Besides, it seems to me like if they added refresh maps to both normal BTB and Super Fiesta BTB, that would actually make it a more fair comparison, since they would be equal in terms of having refreshed maps.
Because Josh wants to remove BTB on the basis that BTB:SF is better as it is more popular. Problem with that is that it wasn't a fair fight so far and if they also refresh BTBSF it will again not be a fair fight. Josh says he's all about data and statistics, but to ensure this data is actually useful we have to ask where this data comes from and if it's actually comparable. Otherwise the data is useless in deciding if BTB and/or BTB SF should exist and the only basis 343 has for for removing real BTB is ideological, like many people are accusing them of.
ZaedynFel wrote:
Heaviies wrote:
ZaedynFel wrote:
Big Team BattleFor a long period of time BTB was a solid social playlist and in fact the minimum popularity bar we used to judge whether a list should stay permanent. Lately, however, it has become near impossible to find matches for around half the day. It appears the bulk of players needed to maintain a healthy list now prefer the Super Fiesta variant, leaving only classic BTB enthusiasts still engaged in the original BTB playlist. We feel it would be more beneficial to those who love BTB to be able to have a good experience with it rather than waiting 5 minutes without a match.

Our current plans with BTB are as follows:
  • Monitor it as we enter the holiday season. If holiday traffic is enough to keep it alive, we’ll leave it up and reconsider its future in January
  • Begin work on a refresh. If BTB can hang on long enough, we will see how well it does after a refresh before moving it to a rotational
  • If these both fail, then BTB shouldn’t be an exception given how much better every other list has done as a rotational when it starts behaving this way.
The population of BTB is low because of a couple of factors which all stem from changes that you guys (343) made starting last year including

1. MMR based matching in a social playlist.
  • Pre-game lobbies - For some reason, during the pre-game loading screen, if there is only 15/16 players queued up - THE GAME WONT START and the game rarely finds a 16th player. The result is a 5 minute wait session, crossing our fingers hoping someone gets matched up. I've gone 20 minutes searching and sitting in 15/16 queued lobbies just to play one game. I've actually given up even trying to play solo a few nights because of it.
  • If the game does actually start, and someone quits, a new player immediately gets spawned into the game. No waiting, its almost instantaneous. Why? How can the pregame lobby time out completely, but in game puts someone in?
2. Changes to the BR which butchered it. It's not even enjoyable to shoot anymore.
  • Do I even need to say more? do competitive players even pick it up in HCS?
3. Lack of variation in game types and maps. When is the last time a refresh was made? For god sake, a refresh bringing back maps that were previously in the playlist would be all it would take. I'm certainly bored to death of waiting 20 minutes to find a game, yet when I do its Dispelled Slayer for the 247th time in a row.

I would really hate to see a playlist that has been so ingrained into the fabric of Halo matchmaking over the last 2 decades, be tossed aside, because of mistakes made by the developer when they were trying to help. Fix the issues that have caused players to abandon BTB, dont just simply get complacent.

On the other hand, if you just dont have the staff, I get it.

Might give Bo4 or RDR2 a try
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.
The audience hasn't changed. The fact of the matter is you (343 as a whole) screwed the BTB community over because it was a complete after thought in the wake if Warzone and microtransactions. Why would anyone want to play BTB on a bunch of ugly Forge maps?

I can only pray that you don't repeat these mistakes in Infinite.
Just as a thought, even though it probably wouldn't work based on how different both modes seem to work. Why not just combine them into one BTB list?
ZaedynFel wrote:
One more bit, I don't accept the argument that keeping certain experiences around because they were once "core" and might bring people back. That's all speculation with no data to back it, and no pop to support those lists.

Even if at some point H5 turned into only Super Fiesta and Team Arena, I would be 100% fine with that. The best games in the world right now focus on only one mode, and I think that's great. Fewer buckets to matchmake into, and more focus on the successful modes, and it's not hurting those other games to not maintain multiple modes.

So, yeah, I don't buy the, "you need these modes" arguments, and data has shown clearly that keeping playstyles because folks will "come back" has not been effective. The only thing that has brought people back has been BTSF and SF.

UPDATE: So, yeah, if the most successful way to leverage H5's sandbox turned out to be Fiesta modes, I would be all for those being the focus. Wouldn't bother me personally.
I hope you never work on the MCC or Infinite because this is one of the dumbest things I've ever read. Halo has always had variety in matchmaking, it's part of what made the series so successful.
I had a lot of nay sayers on here when I would come in and post stats illustrating how TS2 was focusing too much on KPM and not enough on wins/losses or DPM. And I caught flak for saying how terrible the +/- 1/15 CSR change was.

Well low and behold 343 updates TS2 to focus on wins more and gets rid of the 1/15 CSR gate and it takes my friend and I only 2 nights of playing to jump up to onyx. I feel vindicated and just wanted to let you know.

Loving the updates made to CSR/MMR.
Josh, can I get an MMR check on Ischmittonyou and Schmitty Farmer for doubles. Really upset that I cannot find a doubles game during some peak gaming times. Do not know what I can do to find a match. What are the parameters at right now for matches (I thought it got loosened)? Also, can you give us an update on the map rotation percentage? Seem to be getting A LOT of mercy, tyrant, and molten. They seem to have more weight in doubles. Thanks!

Another question: In the creation of true skill 2, have you thought about the human behavior in the ranking system, for example, people hate the idea of not seeing any visual progression. Hence, why I think a lot of people liked the 1-50 ranking system over this ranking system. There is a grind, and you can go up or down in a basic ranking. However, in this ranking system (True skill 2) it is less rewarding than the 1-50 because of the CSR gain gap (1 at most times). Which is causing a lot of people to not be as interested in this ranking system because of how unrewarding it is. In other words, I would rather be stuck at a level 48 or something, than be winning games and only seeing a net gain of 1 CSR, which I believe is making a lot of people upset.

I do think true skill 2 works great, however, the application is not considering human behavior to how accurate it is. (also, the true skill 2, is broken if people have gotten dced in a lot of games in the past, and tanks their original CSR coming out of the first 10 placement matches)
In other words, I would rather be stuck at a level 48 or something, than be winning games and only seeing a net gain of 1 CSR, which I believe is making a lot of people upset.
How is one worse than the other? In Halo 3, if you were stuck at 48, you didn't know how far away you were from ranking up or down. You had no idea how many games it would take to change you number. In Halo 5, even if your CSR doesn't go up alot, you still see progress updates after every match. What's the difference between being stuck at 48 and being stuck at Diamond 5? Are you saying you rather see no progress updates than see a small incremental update?
Chimera30 wrote:
In other words, I would rather be stuck at a level 48 or something, than be winning games and only seeing a net gain of 1 CSR, which I believe is making a lot of people upset.
How is one worse than the other? In Halo 3, if you were stuck at 48, you didn't know how far away you were from ranking up or down. You had no idea how many games it would take to change you number. In Halo 5, even if your CSR doesn't go up alot, you still see progress updates after every match. What's the difference between being stuck at 48 and being stuck at Diamond 5? Are you saying you rather see no progress updates than see a small incremental update?
I guess you are right. Let me rephrase why the old ranking system is better. You saw progress going 1-50. In this ranking system in the state, it is at right now you easily get to onyx, then once you are there you just see a small increment of 1 CSR. Which in my opinion, this is not entertaining (where the impact on human behaviour is happening). Converting this system to Halo 3's right now I am playing even though I am a level 50. However, I believe it should have taken me more than 10 games to get to level 50. (You could not get level 50 in 10 games in Halo 3.)

(Looking back, even though I was stuck at level 48 in halo 3, I still had something to work for even though I could not get level 50 Hahaha)

Edit: Trying to have a good argument to better the Halo society. Not here to bash. Definitely interested in the insight and making Halo 5 a better game.

Essentially the human behavior in this new ranking system is flawed in the way it is less rewarding then grinding to level 50.

Another question: How can I get champion 1, if I cannot find a game?
Essentially the human behavior in this new ranking system is flawed in the way it is less rewarding then grinding to level 50.
I don't really get your "human behavior" argument against H5's ranking system. If you are saying that gamers get more interested when they have something to work for, that I can agree with. But with H3, one you reach 50, the game stops telling you about your increases. In H5, 50 is the same as Onyx. However, unlike H3, H5 Onyx players still see increases to their ranks as they get better, and the top 200 Onyx get to be Champs. H3 did not breakdown the ranks of anyone higher than 50. H5 does. In that respect, H5 gives more of a goal for rank achievements than H3 did.

True enough, in H3 you did not get to 50 in only 10 games. However, the benefit of a qualifying period and then ranking you where you should be is that from the get-go, you are getting evenly matched opponents in your games. In H3, since you start from rank 1 in every playlist, you have to play through all the easy people before getting to where you should be in rank. That's not fun for the skilled players nor fair for the unskilled players who have to deal with that. If your concern is the number of games you should play to get to your correct rank, H5 gives you that in a couple ways: 1) seasons make you re-earn your rank every new season to prove you still got what it takes, and 2) your qualifying rank is a few tiers behind your actual skill, giving you a reason to grind a bit to work up to your true rank.

So yeah, citing "human behavior" as the reason why H3's 1-50 scale was better than H5's rank system doesn't really follow to me.
In reference to BTB- the reason people aren’t playing is because the range of the br is no good and the pistol does not long enough range for it. Try having the spawn weapon be a DMR and see if there’s a change in interest.
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