Had it since day one, used to be loaded with people on each playlist with I think Grifball seeing the lowest number in the 4 digits most of the time. Every time I've gotten on lately there's been at most 400 people in some playlists, but most have like 15 if they're lucky. Maybe I got on on a bad day, but it said there was about 100 people in Firefight, after an hour of waiting though, I gave up.
I've only had Reach for 2 years and I've only been playing online for around a year now and that hasn't been my experience. It's usually anywhere between 1300-2500 people playing, but most of them are usually playing Team Slayer. Firefight, Anniversary Slayer, Big Team Battle, Infection, and Team SWAT are the only other ones I ever see with a significant number of players. Everything else is either underpopulated or outright deserted. I never have trouble finding a Slayer match, and only rarely a Firefight one. The others tend to fluctuate between being active and dead throughout the idea.
Not sure, but since this is the reach threads I can assure you reach is alive and if not healthier than ever.I'd have to disagree friend; Reach used to have over 20k people per playlist back in its glory days. Now it's lucky to see the number hit the triple digits and most people I think are playing Swat or Objective game types. Literally sat for an hour trying to find a completely open search Firefight session. Ended up giving up.
This isn't an entirely bad thing if you're in a big party with friends, as it means you pretty much get the other game modes to yourselves if you want. That said, I would like to see more Invasion players but I can understand why people don't. Spartans and Elites don't feel like they play the same to me, but maybe that's just my imagination. Other than that I don't much mind the lack of players in other modes as I'm not a big fan of the other ones. All the ones I like I mentioned before, but even then I mostly just play Slayer and Firefight anyway.
I believe that Elites and Spartans were made just different enough that it felt like you were swapping sides when you won/lost. Because if Elites felt exactly like Spartans then the game mode might as well have just been your typical objective based game type.
Well the problem with Spartans and Elites playing differently is Elites are underrepresented in multiplayer as most game modes are focused on using Spartans solely, with some minor exceptions. This makes it harder to become 'skilled' using an Elite as a player won't get the chance to use their Elite skin as often as their Spartan one. Invasion is really the only game mode where playing as Elites is a guarantee, and even then it alternates between which side you play so you have to constantly readjust to Spartans and Elites over and over again, going back and forth repeatedly until the game is over. The lack of Elite-centric modes thus makes it harder to get used to the different feel they seem to have, as you're pretty much playing a Spartan 100% of the time unless you, say, vote for Elite Slayer in a Slayer lobby or try to join an Invasion game. Those are really the only examples I even know of where you can play as Elites, not counting Firefight seeing as Matchmaking doesn't seem to be compatible with two-team Firefight matches.
It puts both skilled and unskilled players at a massive disadvantage as they have to get used to the way Elites play, whereas the other team doesn't have to get used to the way Spartans play as they're always playing Spartans anyway. Thus every Invasion match is slightly in the favor of Spartans, who are more used to their roles. This might be good for canon but not so much for balancing. The only thing that offsets this is that Elite players don't take damage the way AI Elites do, which may be off-putting to Spartan players at first but not enough to really matter. In my experience most Invasion matches tend to end in Spartan victory regardless of how good the Elite team is as a whole or individually.