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[Locked] MCC Status Update - 9/1/18

OP ske7ch

The updated and enhanced Halo: The Master Chief Collection is now available with Xbox Game Pass!

Following the release of the latest major patch this past week, we wanted to share an update on a few topics that are top of mind with MCC players and the development team.

First, thank you to all of our players who are playing MCC Matchmaking! The team has worked hard to create an update driven by community feedback and the passion our team has for making the best Halo experience possible. We intentionally launched with a smaller, focused set of playlists in an effort to deliver optimal matchmaking experiences as we knew it would take time for the update to propagate and for the player population to rise. We've heard from many of you that you're disappointed to find your favorite playlist isn't currently offered and want to provide some insights into the team's plans going forward.

Now that the latest patch is out in the wild, we are monitoring feedback, validating game data, and jumping into games to experience things firsthand with all of you. Halo: MCC includes a total 5 multiplayer engines, each of which includes dozens of different game variants. In addition, each game included in Halo: MCC featured 10+ unique playlists for their original retail release. Delivering an experience that satisfies all our players requires a delicate balancing act.

Going forward, we will make our MCC playlist selection process even more transparent and community integrated. Our selection process will be driven by 3 core pillars:
  • 343 experience and discussion – we want to create a great experience for Halo players both new and old. Our team consists of hardcore Halo pros and passionate, experienced developers who a mix of franchise veterans and newcomers, all playing Halo week over week, looking at the long term future of Halo: The Master Chief Collection from a variety of angles. As we have done with our Insider blogs on Waypoint, we will continue to share our thoughts and plans along the way and solicit your feedback.
  • Data – we need to balance playlist population across regions, ensure that each playlist offers a diversity of players at various skill ranks and experience levels, and keep an eye on the amount of negative behaviors within each map and gametype combination. We also have several year’s worth of playlist data from previous Halo releases that helps us understand popularity trends over time. Building a great playlist experience will require us to continuously comb through this data to find trends that serve as a bridge between the 343 experience and our community voice. We will look to share more of this data in the future. Your voice comes through this data – please vote with your playtime in your favorite playlists!
  • Community voting – we've regularly polled our community via the Halo Insider program and always encourage players to share their constructive feedback. In the future, we will look to gather feedback from a larger pool of players and to make these surveys even more public facing. Keep an eye on Waypoint for more information soon.
Our goal is to continue including the community directly in this process! This has been done previously through multiple feedback threads online, surveys, and discussions across multiple social media outlets. We take these pieces under advisement and the playlists you are seeing today directly reflect the feedback of the community as a whole.

To continue to shape these offerings, we would like players to take a new survey for the next rotational playlists and give input on the weighting of map and gametype selections for Halo 3’s Team Arena.

Take the survey: MCC September Playlist Poll

Please take the time to complete this survey. Doing so will help shape the next playlist update for rotational playlists and shape current ones!

Playlist Update
We're currently targeting Wednesday, 9/5, for the next MCC playlist update. Now that the patch is out, Xbox Game Pass is in effect, and the population is growing, the team feels comfortable expanding the playlist offerings. On Wednesday we're aiming to roll out the full lineup of launch playlists (which were landed on after extensive feedback and polling across the MCC community):

Social Playlists
Big Team Battle (Cross Game)
H3 Big Team Battle
Social Slayer
Action Sack
H3 Lone Wolves
H4 Team Arena

H3 Team Arena
H2A Team Arena
H2C Team Arena
HCE Team Arena
H3 Team Doubles
H3 Team Hardcore
H2C Team Hardcore
Halo CE Team Doubles

We'll be monitoring the playlist health and player engagement very closely to make sure that MCC is offering a positive matchmaking experience across all available playlists. This does mean that going forward, as some playlists potentially drop in popularity and we see engagement dip and matchmaking overall declining in health, those playlist(s) will be flagged for potential removal (and likely added into the rotational lineup so they can still be available for specific periods).

Here's the list of MCC's current playlists in order of activity/popularity (as of 9/1):
  1. Social Slayer
  2. H3 BTB
  3. H3 Team Arena
  4. H3 Hardcore
  5. H2A Team Arena
  6. H2C Team Arena
  7. H4 Team Arena
  8. H2C Hardcore
  9. HCE Doubles
Playlist Adjustments
We've heard feedback (and noticed ourselves) that there are various aspects of some playlists that aren't quite right or warrant some additional fine-tuning. Expect to see some of these adjustments coming on Wednesday (such as lowering the weighting of Snipers variants in some playlists) while others will unfortunately take a bit longer (like adding in the missing maps/modes from H2C Hardcore - which will require a proper game patch to remedy). We're also looking at removing some unpopular maps/variants as part of Wednesday's update.

Regional Matchmaking Challenges
We know players in some regions - particularly Australia, New Zealand, Asia, India, and parts of South America - are having difficulties getting into matchmaking games. The team is working on an update targeted for release next week that aims to expand the dedicated server ping/latency connection limits to try and help players in some of these less populated regions find matches easier. These changes are going to be applied to social playlists initially and will be monitored closely to determine impact and outcome to inform next steps.

Known Issues
To stay up-to-date with our known issues and things being done in MCC, please visit our Community Support Board on Trello. Since the update, a few new high-profile issues have been noted based on player feedback and the team is working to investigate and resolve these as quickly as possible:
  • A higher frequency of "blood shots" in Halo 2
  • Latency issues within Matchmade games
  • Parties in ranked Matchmaking non-party teams
  • Players in ranked Matchmaking entering games outside of a +/-10 rank boundary
  • Aim acceleration
  • Input lag for some players
  • Various exploits the community has voiced
  • Regional matchmaking difficulties
We are all excited to have this first update out the door and are happy to see so many players enjoying MCC again. We are hard at work on continuing to evolve and improve the experiences online and look forward to the continued feedback of our community! We'll share more details as we have progress to share.