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My Experience With Halo 5.

OP DeadRvbbit

Hello all,

I am going to highlight my experience with Halo 5. A normal user won't find this account connected to my main account, or any of my "main" smurfs. Although, it should be pretty easy for a slightly competent 343 employee to put the accounts together if they were dedicated enough. I am using a burner to afford myself a slight veil of anonymity for one reason: 343 employees are generally vindictive against people criticizing their work. Even when that criticism is valid and presented professionally (which I'm not saying this is or will be). Look no further than Unyshek's treatment of various community members, including going into members' Twitch streams and spewing toxicity there as retribution for a perceived slight. Their behavior makes me feel that I can't speak out/speak my experiences, no matter how professional my criticisms are, for fear of retribution. Frankly, I play too much Halo because I love it, and I would hate to be banned for simply stating my experience with the game.

I'll give you a little background on myself. Across my main and several "main" smurfs, I have aggregate ~130 days of H5 played since it released. That's ~3,120 hours. I generally rank around 1700 onyx in Slayer/HCS playlists, although I'm a bit rusty as I haven't played in almost a year and just started again recently. I spend the vast majority of my time solo que'd because I find playing with others just makes my connection to servers worse. I am on the spectrum (I mention this because I believe this makes me extremely sensitive to changes in how the game feels from game to game, heavy aim, heavy movement, bullet registration changes, etc...). I live in the United States.

In this anecdotal mess, I will not link any games for two reasons: 1. I have had many conversations with 343 employees in DM's where I've linked games and they've explained things from their perspective. Generally, that experience has not been a good one for me. They tell me the metrics that they can see of the game, and I tell them my experience actually PLAYING that game. Then, they tell me that they don't have the metric tools to measure what I am experiencing. A literal dead end because they attempt to gaslight me into feeling as if since they can't measure it, it isn't a big deal, or I'm overexaggerating my experience. 2. Slight veil of anonymity.

Heavy aim/heavy movement, is real. There are multiple videos on YouTube that explain/show what it is. Go to YouTube and type in: "Halo 5 Heavy Aim" and go down the rabbit hole. 343 employees tried for a year and a half to gaslight community members/pros into believing that it wasn't real because they "couldn't measure it in real time". It literally took a community member modding a controller so it would register the exact same input, and then measuring where the reticle stopped moving based on that input. Long story short: the reticle landed in different places every time, even though the input given was the EXACT same, each time. This problem is exacerbated by adding more people to the game/different connections. Heavy aim/heavy movement, is real. I personally believe it has something to do with lag comp/desync, but no one really knows. It is real, though.

Menke's ranking system is actually really really good. And it gets a lot of hate when it shouldn't. It's probably the best ranking system any Halo has ever had. Yes, infinitely better than 0-50 Halo 3. And it's honestly a big factor in my continuing to play Halo 5. The ranking system is good. We've all seen the scoreboard clips/game links on Twitter of high ranked players being dragged down by their Plat teammates and losing games while going 28-12-7. Heck, I'm sure more than some of us have even experienced those games. I believe Menke when he says a lot of those experiences are because of low population. That doesn't change how ridiculously frustrating those experiences are, but, Menke is a decent human being and it's simply not his fault. His ranking system is good, even when low population makes it seem like it isn't. No ranking system, no matter how good, can control for fair games with population as low as H5's.

Matchmaking parameters are silly. I live in the United States. I don't want to play people from Mexico, Colombia, Canada, NZ/AUS, or EU. I would rather not play a game of Halo at all than deal with the in-game immersion breaking things that I experience when I play against people from outside the US. And I'm sure they feel the same way. I would rather not play games that when reviewed in theater show my bullets passing right through enemies, doing zero damage to them, and their bullets traveling through 3 feet of solid wall to hit me on the other side. It's not fun. It's not fair. And it ruins the experience of playing the game by breaking in-game immersion. That truth is literally unarguable. "Would you rather not play a game then play a game like that?" YES! Yes I would rather not play. Even searching on focused I STILL get into games like that. Give me the option. Tell me that there aren't enough US players in my skill range, and then ask me if I want to search outside my region/skill range. I can then make a choice if I'd like to have my experience ruined by joining a game like that. Don't just ruin my experience. Because it makes me hate Halo when you do that. And I love Halo. I have spent so much time playing Halo. I love it. I don't want to hate it.

Given everything that I've stated above, this has been my experience with Halo 5... Around 35% of the games that I play, I think the game feels, plays, and functions, as intended, on my screen; yes, even when I lose horribly. 65% of the time, I'm put into games with unbearable heavy aim/movement, against Colombian/Mexican/EU champs, that shoot through walls and eat headshots, and while Plat 2 ranked JohnnySpartan117 is on my team going -37, I'm driven into insanity by the ridiculousness of it all. I just wanted to play a game of Halo. I wanted to compete. Between the bullet reg, the heavy aim, and my teammates, my in game immersion is completely ruined; it doesn't even feel like I'm playing a game any more. It feels like I'm being Punk'd. The first time my reticle doesn't go where I aimed it, and then my headshot doesn't register as a headshot (and believe me, I go back into theater to check to make sure I don't just suck), I lose full. This simply shouldn't be happening.

That's my experience with Halo 5. Thousands of hours and I've boiled it down to one paragraph of anger. I can't articulate here how INFURIATED I become when game breaking things happen in game, especially when it seems they would be so easily avoidable if I were just given a choice to avoid them. Just to be clear, I have had fun, though. I've felt satisfied at times. But more often than not I spent thousands of hours disappointed. Which, actually makes me either an idiot, or a glutton for punishment. Your choice, I guess.

Thanks for reading. Can't wait to get banned. :)
Yo RQ big guy would you say it's dead? I've finally gotten myself an xbox one and I was wondering if I should get it. Thanks :)
Yo RQ big guy would you say it's dead? I've finally gotten myself an xbox one and I was wondering if I should get it. Thanks :)
is halo 5 dead? No. I consistently find matches. Some playlists are more populated than others though. The game doesn't have a super high population, but it definitely has enough to play and players are actively playing every day still.

If you have gamepass you don't gotta buy anything.
Anyone who says this game is dead doesnt live in the us and or has his search set to focus and not expanded. I'm living in the middle of rural Kentucky and can find a match at any hour at anytime within less than a minute
Yo RQ big guy would you say it's dead? I've finally gotten myself an xbox one and I was wondering if I should get it. Thanks :)
Definitely not dead. I still play multiple times a week
I hate to say it but I agree wholeheartedly with your entite review. The only thing I will add is ranked matchmaking continues to team me (low gold) up with lower inexperienced players, Silver & Bronze, and then team us up against diamonds and onyx players, where I score and the score ends up being 15 to 50, or on many occasions loosing 100 to 0 in strong holds. And if I get lucky enough to match with people actually on my skill level, my teammates quit and we loose bc the teams again are unbalanced. And yeah, I feel like I'd rather wait for the proper match or not play at all.
Idk i barely expericine problems while im playing and if i am then thats because my internet connection not the game but maybe thats just me
KRSTice23 wrote:
I hate to say it but I agree wholeheartedly with your entite review. The only thing I will add is ranked matchmaking continues to team me (low gold) up with lower inexperienced players, Silver & Bronze, and then team us up against diamonds and onyx players, where I score and the score ends up being 15 to 50, or on many occasions loosing 100 to 0 in strong holds. And if I get lucky enough to match with people actually on my skill level, my teammates quit and we loose bc the teams again are unbalanced. And yeah, I feel like I'd rather wait for the proper match or not play at all.
The game isn't dead, but because the population is so low it really seems like a majority of the games are unbalanced in one way or another. I'm sure Menke has accurate stats that show the rate in which one team is favored over the other, MMR-wise, across all games, or maybe even playlist specific. He's a resourceful guy like that. I'm not sure what that data would show, but it certainly feels like it's unbalanced consistently. I'm sorry about your experience, I completely understand how frustrating it feels.
Anyone who says this game is dead doesnt live in the us and or has his search set to focus and not expanded. I'm living in the middle of rural Kentucky and can find a match at any hour at anytime within less than a minute
I don't think anyone has said the game is dead. I know I certainly did not say that the game was/is dead. Having a low population, or playing in a low population playlist, is entirely different from the game being "dead". I'm happy that you can find games. I think finding games is important because that means we get to play Halo, and I would think all of us love to play Halo, which is why we are here. However, being able to find games consistently, and the QUALITY of the games found, are two different discussions. While I did mention finding games in the OP, it was only as a reference to the quality of those games; the point is the quality of the games, not the ability or inability to find games.
DeadRvbbit wrote:
Anyone who says this game is dead doesnt live in the us and or has his search set to focus and not expanded. I'm living in the middle of rural Kentucky and can find a match at any hour at anytime within less than a minute
I don't think anyone has said the game is dead. I know I certainly did not say that the game was/is dead. Having a low population, or playing in a low population playlist, is entirely different from the game being "dead". I'm happy that you can find games. I think finding games is important because that means we get to play Halo, and I would think all of us love to play Halo, which is why we are here. However, being able to find games consistently, and the QUALITY of the games found, are two different discussions. While I did mention finding games in the OP, it was only as a reference to the quality of those games; the point is the quality of the games, not the ability or inability to find games.
I would have quoted you if I said your op mentioned that. I didnt quote anyone because I was responding to the flow of the thread as a whole. The word "dead" has already been used here and I was going off that
DeadRvbbit wrote:
Anyone who says this game is dead doesnt live in the us and or has his search set to focus and not expanded. I'm living in the middle of rural Kentucky and can find a match at any hour at anytime within less than a minute
I don't think anyone has said the game is dead. I know I certainly did not say that the game was/is dead. Having a low population, or playing in a low population playlist, is entirely different from the game being "dead". I'm happy that you can find games. I think finding games is important because that means we get to play Halo, and I would think all of us love to play Halo, which is why we are here. However, being able to find games consistently, and the QUALITY of the games found, are two different discussions. While I did mention finding games in the OP, it was only as a reference to the quality of those games; the point is the quality of the games, not the ability or inability to find games.
I would have quoted you if I said your op mentioned that. I didnt quote anyone because I was responding to the flow of the thread as a whole. The word "dead" has already been used here and I was going off that
A guy asked if the game was dead, literally not a single person said that it was dead. They said the exact opposite. Then you said, "Anyone who says this game is dead..." Not a single person had said the game was dead at that point, or even now. Your comment was unnecessary fundamentally, because you were commenting on something that hadn't happened and no one had said. That's the point I'm making.
For what it's worth here are some criticisms or takeaways from your write-up.

You end with stating that you're ultimately frustrated with the game but you've also acknowledged how much time you've sunk into the game. I think it's worth pointing out that if you're willing to sink that amount of time into the game, the frustrations don't outweigh the cons for you. You also acknowledge that Menke's rank system works well and you understand that low population results in unfair matches. But near the end of your write-up you associate your frustrations with an analogy about having a platinum teammate go -37. I highlight these points because I think it alludes to the fact that your experience with the game and enjoyment is going to be heavily based on the headspace you find yourself in when you play the game. Have you considered working on acknowledging your understanding for the games mechanics and matchmaking system before you go into each match in order to better improve your mental health and enjoyment? You obviously appreciate the game at a more competitive level and are therefore more likely to notice the small things that make a skill gap harder to decipher.

The only other thing I'll add is a comment about the connections from a business perspective. Ultimately the goal of a company is to get people to continue playing their game, and secondly for them to enjoy it. I mention this because I think from a continued playing perspective, no one is going to play the game if they never find matches. At least one team is going to continue playing is their connection is fine but the other teams isn't. In terms of retaining player base, your way more likely to keep players who can play the game (regardless of performance), than when no one can play at all. I would love for there to be setting to fine tune things to each persons preference but acknowledge that:

a) Halo 5 really hasn't had any actual development since... maybe when Oddball came out? Other than patches to fix cheating or game breaking glitches. So you can't expect them to add any features as there's likely no actual developers and testers actively working on the game. Everything that changes seasonally are likely values and dials Menke and other members can turn to fine tune things but not add new features.
b) It's not in 343's interest to retain the most player base.
c) It leads to more troubleshooting and complaints when the user base is too dumb to remember to configure it and leave it too closed to find matches.
Iimitz wrote:
For what it's worth here are some criticisms or takeaways from your write-up.

You end with stating that you're ultimately frustrated with the game but you've also acknowledged how much time you've sunk into the game. I think it's worth pointing out that if you're willing to sink that amount of time into the game, the frustrations don't outweigh the cons for you. You also acknowledge that Menke's rank system works well and you understand that low population results in unfair matches. But near the end of your write-up you associate your frustrations with an analogy about having a platinum teammate go -37. I highlight these points because I think it alludes to the fact that your experience with the game and enjoyment is going to be heavily based on the headspace you find yourself in when you play the game. Have you considered working on acknowledging your understanding for the games mechanics and matchmaking system before you go into each match in order to better improve your mental health and enjoyment? You obviously appreciate the game at a more competitive level and are therefore more likely to notice the small things that make a skill gap harder to decipher.

The only other thing I'll add is a comment about the connections from a business perspective. Ultimately the goal of a company is to get people to continue playing their game, and secondly for them to enjoy it. I mention this because I think from a continued playing perspective, no one is going to play the game if they never find matches. At least one team is going to continue playing is their connection is fine but the other teams isn't. In terms of retaining player base, your way more likely to keep players who can play the game (regardless of performance), than when no one can play at all. I would love for there to be setting to fine tune things to each persons preference but acknowledge that:

a) Halo 5 really hasn't had any actual development since... maybe when Oddball came out? Other than patches to fix cheating or game breaking glitches. So you can't expect them to add any features as there's likely no actual developers and testers actively working on the game. Everything that changes seasonally are likely values and dials Menke and other members can turn to fine tune things but not add new features.
b) It's not in 343's interest to retain the most player base.
c) It leads to more troubleshooting and complaints when the user base is too dumb to remember to configure it and leave it too closed to find matches.
Hi.

"I think it's worth pointing out that if you're willing to sink that amount of time into the game, the frustrations don't outweigh the cons for you. You also acknowledge that Menke's rank system works well and you understand that low population results in unfair matches. But near the end of your write-up you associate your frustrations with an analogy about having a platinum teammate go -37. I highlight these points because I think it alludes to the fact that your experience with the game and enjoyment is going to be heavily based on the headspace you find yourself in when you play the game." 1. As I said, I have ASD. I enjoy playing Halo. The normal player retention, or pros on cons thing doesn't really come into play here. If you don't understand why, research it. I'm not gonna explain it. 2. Yes, I have thought considerably about the headspace I am in while playing. When I say considerably, I mean considerably. You don't play as many hours as I have and not think about it. But thanks for trying to gaslight me into believing that a problem with the game is actually a problem with my brain. :) The problem is the game not functioning as advertised, and as a result, my experience is ruined consistently. Because the desired outcome of the game functioning as advertised is: I aim my gun. The reticle goes where I aimed it. I shoot a bullet. It does damage. If those things aren't happening because of how the game itself functions, there is a problem. There is no headspace fix that corrects that fact. Did 343 advertise Halo 5 saying, "Heavy aim and blank bullets are in about 75% of the games, come have fun with us!" No. They did not. Because no one would've played it. I can't "glass half full" myself through that. Reasonably, no one could.

"Ultimately the goal of a company is to get people to continue playing their game, and secondly for them to enjoy it. b) It's not in 343's interest to retain the most player base."Well which is it? Do they want to retain the player base or do they not? Because they have to make a compromise somewhere. And generally the compromise is making money. So, if the integrity and quality of the game decreases slightly, but not enough for the masses to notice, because as you said they're "too dumb", but they retain more players who keep buying gold REQ packs, what do you think they're going to do? Even if some of the engineers/coders don't agree with it. They still do it. Their goal is to make money, they make money by retaining players, period. Video Game Business Model 2020 101.

"a) Halo 5 really hasn't had any actual development since... maybe when Oddball came out? Other than patches to fix cheating or game breaking glitches. So you can't expect them to add any features as there's likely no actual developers and testers actively working on the game. Everything that changes seasonally are likely values and dials Menke and other members can turn to fine tune things but not add new features.c) It leads to more troubleshooting and complaints when the user base is too dumb to remember to configure it and leave it too closed to find matches."

a. You're right, they haven't actually done anything to the game for almost 3 years, developmentally speaking. And I understand why. Because they're working on Infinite. What about form 2015 to 2018? The most game breaking thing, heavy aim (which was first talked about in early 2016), was denied existing. Then, they were forced to admit that it existed, only to say that they just couldn't fix it, so they didn't even try. I don't expect them to add any features, I expect them to ship the game as advertised. How in 2020 is there no in game latency metric? Even in 2015, when the game launched, no in game latency metric? Halo 2 had an in game latency metric. That's just one of thousands of QOL advancements that 343 could've made and chose not to. And I'm sure if you ask them, they would say, "The data doesn't support making that choice." That's how you know their decisions are about quantitative metrics rather than game quality for the player. It's laughable, that's the point. Just think about it: The vocal MINORITY on the internet completely bashed Infinite's graphics, and 343/M$ literally -Yoink- the bed and started firing studio heads and delayed the game. It's about the money to the people who make the decisions. That's all they care about.
c. You literally leave it wide open by default. The people who care will tighten it up. That's all there is to it. That doesn't take a compromise, that's just a sound player retention decision.

I hope I didn't come across like too much of a jerk. I'm not trying to be. It's just the way I write. I wish we could have this conversation in person so there wouldn't be such a potential for misunderstanding. Thank you for addressing my post so thoroughly. :)