Forums / Games / Halo 5: Guardians

[Locked] Communication and Deception

OP Meek Meek Meek

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Zr0Fear v2 wrote:
Zr0Fear v2 wrote:
Oowoon wrote:
Zr0Fear v2 wrote:
Oowoon wrote:
Here is something to consider: Does 343 have any incentive to actually care about criticism? I figure as long as they have people to point to that support their changes they can easily deflect any criticism.
The weekly updates, my own personal observations over time, and my own lurking over in Team Beyond and Reddit seems to indicate that they do seem to have an ear for criticism. The way Forge turned out seems to reflect this, as they dove fairly deep in reconstructing the system while giving a lot of options. Granted, there is exceptions, like with how Frank O'Connor handled the campaign criticism in particular, but they at least seem to be trying. I would like it as much as anyone, however, if they used a few less smokescreens.

Which is more than I could've said for Bungie back in the day, I don't seem to recall many situations where any developer directly responded to criticisms and questions on B.Net back in the day that didn't end in some form of "We're right, you're wrong." Bravo, Quinn Del Hoyo, among others, seem to have a pretty perceptive ear, in comparison. but that could also be some indication of modern times and trends, as well.
The Forge team is one of the exceptions to this generalization. Tom French seems like a great guy; the forge team seem to be open to suggestions and have added some nice things with every new update. Bravo, who is one of the community managers (if I recall correctly) should be much more active with the community considering his role at 343.

In my own opinion, I really dislike Quinn. He comes off as extremely arrogant and condescending, especially so considering his past work for Gears Judgment.

Maybe they are perceptive, but they don't seem to be taking much action regarding community concerns.
Not entirely. I doubt anyone bases a purchase off whether or not a game has sprint or even researches such a thing ahead of time. And it's clearer now more than ever that not even Halo fans are a guaranteed buy.
You are probably right that large amount of players who will abandon ship once the next big thing comes out don't research much about the game. However, any gameplay videos or trailers released help potential buyers visualize the game. Maybe if they showed your typical H2/3 type of gameplay, many would be turned off quickly due to the lack of 'fast paced' gameplay and 'gimmicks.' Their marketing strategy attempts to capture as many as possible into a purchase so many have already left as reflected by the population numbers. But who cares right? Their making bank from those who are buying REQ packs.
Zr0Fear v2 wrote:
Zr0Fear v2 wrote:
Oowoon wrote:
Zr0Fear v2 wrote:
Oowoon wrote:
Here is something to consider: Does 343 have any incentive to actually care about criticism? I figure as long as they have people to point to that support their changes they can easily deflect any criticism.
The weekly updates, my own personal observations over time, and my own lurking over in Team Beyond and Reddit seems to indicate that they do seem to have an ear for criticism. The way Forge turned out seems to reflect this, as they dove fairly deep in reconstructing the system while giving a lot of options. Granted, there is exceptions, like with how Frank O'Connor handled the campaign criticism in particular, but they at least seem to be trying. I would like it as much as anyone, however, if they used a few less smokescreens.

Which is more than I could've said for Bungie back in the day, I don't seem to recall many situations where any developer directly responded to criticisms and questions on B.Net back in the day that didn't end in some form of "We're right, you're wrong." Bravo, Quinn Del Hoyo, among others, seem to have a pretty perceptive ear, in comparison. but that could also be some indication of modern times and trends, as well.
The Forge team is one of the exceptions to this generalization. Tom French seems like a great guy; the forge team seem to be open to suggestions and have added some nice things with every new update. Bravo, who is one of the community managers (if I recall correctly) should be much more active with the community considering his role at 343.

In my own opinion, I really dislike Quinn. He comes off as extremely arrogant and condescending, especially so considering his past work for Gears Judgment.

Maybe they are perceptive, but they don't seem to be taking much action regarding community concerns.
Not entirely. I doubt anyone bases a purchase off whether or not a game has sprint or even researches such a thing ahead of time. And it's clearer now more than ever that not even Halo fans are a guaranteed buy.
You are probably right that large amount of players who will abandon ship once the next big thing comes out don't research much about the game. However, any gameplay videos or trailers released help potential buyers visualize the game. Maybe if they showed your typical H2/3 type of gameplay, many would be turned off quickly due to the lack of 'fast paced' gameplay and 'gimmicks.' Their marketing strategy attempts to capture as many as possible into a purchase so many have already left as reflected by the population numbers. But who cares right? Their making bank from those who are buying REQ packs.
I still don't think people would notice the lack of sprint in trailers. You can look at three seconds of gameplay for the new Doom and tell it's very fast paced and it doesn't have sprint. People won't care about a lack of sprint if it doesn't feel necessary.

But let's not turn this into a sprint topic or else it might get locked.
Agreed. As for the reddit comment, It is trues that the majority of buyers will drop the game a week or two down the line. This is the case with H5, as it was with H4.
Agreed. As for the reddit comment, It is trues that the majority of buyers will drop the game a week or two down the line. This is the case with H5, as it was with H4.
I don't doubt that. I think it's a cop out answer though if they were to suggest that any one feature determines a sale among people like that that are generally uninformed anyway. Besides, 343 are experienced liars, so I'm sure they'd be able to fool those people if they wanted.

But yeah, those polls from over the years tells me all I need to know about what 343 thinks of community concerns.
This may wind up being a mess of a post, and for that I apologize in advance. Let me just say two things about myself first so hopefully this post will have a chance at making some sense:
1) I'm very new to the Halo franchise, so I have no perspective on old versus new aspects of this issue. To be honest, I think the main comparison that really matters here is "what is" versus "what should be."
2) I'm a fan of this franchise because of the story and the world-building and the compelling characters. I have focused on getting better at playing the campaigns and exploring the world through the extended universe and as a result have spent a minuscule amount of time playing Halo multiplayer.

I have been following a small group of lore-nuts in the blogosphere since I touched down in this community, including Haruspis, the author of the Compendium of Lies post on Wordpress, and they've helped form most of my opinions around this franchise. To borrow a phrase from Haru, the marketing effort for Halo 5 was God tier. I couldn't have been any more excited for this game than I was; if I had been any more hyped, I might have risked having an aneurysm. Hunt the Truth is my favorite podcast of all time. The Sprint seemed to provide a dialogue for behind the scenes glimpses into game development before the release, which I thought was super cool of them. All of the novels that were released last year amped up the hype factor and seemed to give the impression that this was a game that would care about some of the extended universe, especially with the inclusion of Blue Team. Then you had some of the wackier short ads like the "Hunty Huntingdon" and "60 Bucks" shorts which were hysterical. I know I'll never forget seeing that opening cinematic for the first time and hearing that crescendo over the title card still sends a shiver down my spine.

To have all that excitement dashed when I read what the story was actually about was just crushing, and I don't think it's a case of having expectations that the game never could have lived up to no matter how great it was. The betrayal over the campaign story is the biggest letdown for me, not to get into the microtransaction/DLC debate that's rocking the multiplayer community right now. As someone who's spent literally thousands of dollars and hours becoming a devoted fan of this story, I'd much rather have the story I was originally promised for Halo 5. The fact that we've not seen much of a response to the dislike for the campaign story has me thinking that the story team is on its heels after this response from the community. It really sounded like Frankie was lashing out defensively in that TIME interview, and that just seems so uncharacteristic from what I've seen thus far from him. I am clinging to the sliver of hope (delusion?) that the dearth of story content for this year means that they're retooling their master plan and not actually going to give us this story that "no one is going to see coming."

Unless that story is that we're gong to find Cortana in a temple in the middle of a lake on that Halo ring and she starts giving us a sermon about how terrible her plan was in the first mission. That I can get behind.
Nice detailed post, and welcome to the community!

I share the same sentiments as you in terms of being excited for the game up until release. Their marketing was top notch, and I was eager to see what Halo 5 would bring to the table after Halo 4's story + Escalation. H2A also pulled at ones imagination, with those additional cinematics.

Roughly 10 days prior to release, many reviewers received their copies of the game, and an embargo was lifted which allowed them to post 4 missions if I recall correctly. Around this time, a screenshot appeared of the mission list which revealed that 80% of the missions are spent playing as Osiris. This is where many became disheartened and the skepticism grew. Once released, Halo 5's campaign is generally regarded as the worst of the franchise; its only saving grace is that it has fun gameplay due to the new mechanics. It didn't help that there weren't any epic moments either, such as the opening of the Portal at Voi. In short, there was very little of substance and the campaign is very forgettable.

It's a shame at how much missed potential there was with Halo 5; it was shaping up to be quite the worthy addition. Needless to say, H5 was extremely disappointing.
Well, I've been lurking around this thread for a few days now, figured I should put my 2 cents in.

I have absolutely no confidence in 343's ability to tell the truth, let alone acknowledge any real criticism without some form of selective hearing. Their handling of the series has been nothing but one disaster right after the other for the past several years. They almost seem to revolve around controversy and lies.

I'm very much under the impression that 343 has an agenda with Halo, and will do whatever they want to the franchise, regardless of praise and/or criticism. The recent events with Breakout's removal have revealed that 343 either is incredibly incompetent (unlikely), or is trying to push things onto fans that they never wanted.

And I hate to bring sprint back into the conversation, but believe it's part of the topic. In every public poll that was held (Team Beyond, Halowaypoint , Reddit, etc) the mechanic was overwhelmingly in favor of being removed. Then all of a sudden, 343 comes out with a private poll that showed overwhelming bias towards sprint, roughly 90/10 out of thousands of votes. I'm sorry, what? I don't believe those numbers for a second. Not. One. Bit.

I also believe that 343 knew full well that H5 was not going to sell well, and purposely left content out for their ridiculous "Sustain" plan, and threw in micro-transactions directly in the path of the progression system. We all know that if they attempted to sell us this content in the traditional sense, the community would of rejected this game incredibly fast. So why not milk money off the few who did buy the game and continue to play it?

My opinion of 343? They disgust me, and I do not trust them. Even if they somehow decided to go out of their way to talk to us, their history with me says nothing of worth would come out of it.
Nice detailed post, and welcome to the community!

I share the same sentiments as you in terms of being excited for the game up until release. Their marketing was top notch, and I was eager to see what Halo 5 would bring to the table after Halo 4's story + Escalation. H2A also pulled at ones imagination, with those additional cinematics.

Roughly 10 days prior to release, many reviewers received their copies of the game, and an embargo was lifted which allowed them to post 4 missions if I recall correctly. Around this time, a screenshot appeared of the mission list which revealed that 80% of the missions are spent playing as Osiris. This is where many became disheartened and the skepticism grew. Once released, Halo 5's campaign is generally regarded as the worst of the franchise; its only saving grace is that it has fun gameplay due to the new mechanics. It didn't help that there weren't any epic moments either, such as the opening of the Portal at Voi. In short, there was very little of substance and the campaign is very forgettable.

It's a shame at how much missed potential there was with Halo 5; it was shaping up to be quite the worthy addition. Needless to say, H5 was extremely disappointing.
I feel that the controversy with the lack of Chief missions could have been avoided if 343 had said from the get go that this would be Osiris' story.
We've had games without Chief before, so getting a few missions would be like fan service, rather than fan let down.
But a lot of the marketing had us thinking this was an even fight/split. For instance, we had matching trailers showing Chief taking out Locke, and Locke taking out Chief. Then if you look at the box art, they are standing opposed to eachother, giving the idea of simatry. If they had kept it to just the 'All Hail' trailer, and the box art be more one sided to Locke, it would have given fans a better expectation of what the game really focused on, Locke finding Chief.

And teh campaign was a let down compared to how great Halo 4 was. For the ammount of screen time Chief and Blue Team got, I feel that this was a wasted opportunity to introduce them in to the gaming world. They should have been introduced in Halo 6, provided Chief get more screen time in that game.
I do wonder after the disaster what was MCC and now a botched release of Halo 5 if there might be a quiet reorganisation/structuring at 343, Microsoft surely can't be happy with the studios performance ? Or are they simply earning that much money from req packs they don't even care ???
It's been a long time since I looked any game in a serious manner. Halo 3 was a big deal for me and my friends. Our lives revolved around that game. Of course we then grew up, got married, had kids. All that boring adult stuff that gets in the way of hobbies. I loved Reach, completely forgot about Halo 4 until after it was released and never really planned to get Halo 5.

Recently I decided to get an Xbox One with the MCC and Halo 5. I don't know if it's just being an adult with responsibilities or something else but Halo since Halo 3/Reach just seems... watered down. That's not say I don't enjoy them, but there's no denying the problems; Gold requirement to access single-player unlocked content in Halo 4 (the reason I finally sold my Xbox 360), shoddy handling of MCC (there's three missions in Halo 4 I'll need to replay to get the achievements). I haven't been brave enough to waste money on Gold to test MCC matchmaking. I've just started playing Halo 5 and the mechanics are solid and fun, but no split-screen? Micro-transactions?

It just feels wrong, and as much as I want to stick with this series because of my nostalgia it's getting harder and harder to justify being a fan of these games. The 343 iterations simply do not have the magic that made the original trilogy so great. Flawed? Yes. Still great though. I have a great deal of respect for the amount of work 343 have put into these games; I certainly don't want to insult their work ethic. But they really need to go back and see what made Halo great in the first place, not just from a game product perspective, but from a community interaction perspective too. Say what you like about Bungie, but Bungie.net was always a joy to be in.
Miggy1483 wrote:
I do wonder after the disaster what was MCC and now a botched release of Halo 5 if there might be a quiet reorganisation/structuring at 343, Microsoft surely can't be happy with the studios performance ? Or are they simply earning that much money from req packs they don't even care ???
343i must have the best job security in the country.

REQ money doesn't mean as much as money from game sales. When game sales decline, presumably so do the sales of every other Halo product (books, action figures, etc).
I feel the best way to get a community's approval is through transparency.
I think OP has it spot on. I've only been on the forums since the release of Halo 5 so can't comment on what has happened in the past, it's nice to see such a constructive post concerning how 343 interact with the community.

I will say once again to all the extreme comments, remember that not everybody who plays the games gives their opinions in this forum, or any forum for that matter. I work in the hospitality trade so am used to reading negative feedback on my business's review sections on Facebook, google etc. People are much more likely to review a negative experience than they are a positive one. So just because there can be so much negativity on here, it does not mean that there aren't plenty of positive comments and thoughts regarding the series.

I personally love H5, and even though the graphics on the BTB maps aren't a high quality, the playability on them is fantastic! And I've been playing Halo since CE way back when.
One of the best threads I've ever seen in this Forum!
Thank you, Meek, for the kind response and the welcome. I'm glad to be here! I'd also like to add to the chorus of transparency = trust here. I work in the horse industry, specifically the racing industry. In an industry where secrecy is vital (keeping a good horse under wraps so you can get better odds when he runs, for example) I've seen major operations who previously thrived really struggle with their public perception and this new feeling in the social media age that people all have a personal stake in the welfare of the horses that are really no longer in the public eyes when they're retired after their racing careers are over.

The best way to win the public's trust and control the information that's out there (preventing speculation) is to communicate with the fans as best you can without jeopardizing your business. What the public with that information, you can't always predict, but you'll be much better off in the long run.
The availability of content on release for games these days seems to be the problem and its not exclusive to Microsoft. Take the Day 1 release of Destiny for example.

The idea of treating a game as a service is not really the issue. In my opinion Microsoft's decision to treat Halo 5 as a service is actually a positive change. 343's decision to jump to dedicated servers is eventually going to provide a better multiplayer environment if not in Halo 5 in Halo 6 or another MS first party title. Also treating a game and its infrastructure as a service legitimizes the product and demonstrates that Microsoft is thinking outside of the box and is serious about gaming.

As a MSCE I think that the idea of treating a game as a service is a step in the right direction for Microsoft. We are moving deeper into a multi platform gaming environment powered by cloud based services whether we like it not. I think of this as a good start, sure there are issues with the server infrastructure but it is a new implementation of MS's Azure dynamic server technology and the scale-ability potential of the platform is something to be desired by the industry. Utilizing server resources dynamically and on demand is a key feature in a modern hosted environment.
Gallorette wrote:
Thank you, Meek, for the kind response and the welcome. I'm glad to be here! I'd also like to add to the chorus of transparency = trust here. I work in the horse industry, specifically the racing industry. In an industry where secrecy is vital (keeping a good horse under wraps so you can get better odds when he runs, for example) I've seen major operations who previously thrived really struggle with their public perception and this new feeling in the social media age that people all have a personal stake in the welfare of the horses that are really no longer in the public eyes when they're retired after their racing careers are over.

The best way to win the public's trust and control the information that's out there (preventing speculation) is to communicate with the fans as best you can without jeopardizing your business. What the public with that information, you can't always predict, but you'll be much better off in the long run.
"Controlled perception" is a slippery slope....
The availability of content on release for games these days seems to be the problem and its not exclusive to Microsoft. Take the Day 1 release of Destiny for example.
For every AAA game that launched with a lack of content, I could name you five that don't. People have this bad habit of pointing to Destiny as a reflection of the industry when it's not at all. This isn't an industry problem, it's a Destiny problem, a Battlefront 3 problem and a Halo 5 problem.
A good post and I find it refreshing to see the responses from others in the community.
Tyco wrote:
Well, I've been lurking around this thread for a few days now, figured I should put my 2 cents in.

I have absolutely no confidence in 343's ability to tell the truth, let alone acknowledge any real criticism without some form of selective hearing. Their handling of the series has been nothing but one disaster right after the other for the past several years. They almost seem to revolve around controversy and lies.

I'm very much under the impression that 343 has an agenda with Halo, and will do whatever they want to the franchise, regardless of praise and/or criticism. The recent events with Breakout's removal have revealed that 343 either is incredibly incompetent (unlikely), or is trying to push things onto fans that they never wanted.

And I hate to bring sprint back into the conversation, but believe it's part of the topic. In every public poll that was held (Team Beyond, Halowaypoint , Reddit, etc) the mechanic was overwhelmingly in favor of being removed. Then all of a sudden, 343 comes out with a private poll that showed overwhelming bias towards sprint, roughly 90/10 out of thousands of votes. I'm sorry, what? I don't believe those numbers for a second. Not. One. Bit.

I also believe that 343 knew full well that H5 was not going to sell well, and purposely left content out for their ridiculous "Sustain" plan, and threw in micro-transactions directly in the path of the progression system. We all know that if they attempted to sell us this content in the traditional sense, the community would of rejected this game incredibly fast. So why not milk money off the few who did buy the game and continue to play it?

My opinion of 343? They disgust me, and I do not trust them. Even if they somehow decided to go out of their way to talk to us, their history with me says nothing of worth would come out of it.
The discrepancy of all the sprint polls is astonishing. How can multiple polls be conducted in separate communities, and yet 343 claims the complete opposite of the reported results?
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