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How does Halo’s matchmaking work? (Destiny)

by cheapLEY @, Tuesday, April 19, 2022, 18:58 (36 days ago)

I’ve been playing a lot of Infinite again lately, and I find myself thinking Bungie could learn a thing or two from 343 in terms of matchmaking. I genuinely don’t know if they’re using skill based or what, but it’s been truly fantastic. Almost every single match I’ve played over the past week has been an absolute nail-biter. Every Slayer match has been a total tug of war, ending with less than a five point difference. Even better is that there very rarely seems to be one player on a team pulling all the weight, with some no-thumbed wonder dragging the bottom of the scoreboard.

It’s the complete opposite of how Crucible has been for ages now. I’m not sure what 343 has going over there, but I really wish Bungie would figure it out.

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How does Halo’s matchmaking work?

by Revenant1988 ⌂ @, How do I forum?, Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 09:47 (35 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I’ve been playing a lot of Infinite again lately, and I find myself thinking Bungie could learn a thing or two from 343 in terms of matchmaking. I genuinely don’t know if they’re using skill based or what, but it’s been truly fantastic. Almost every single match I’ve played over the past week has been an absolute nail-biter. Every Slayer match has been a total tug of war, ending with less than a five point difference. Even better is that there very rarely seems to be one player on a team pulling all the weight, with some no-thumbed wonder dragging the bottom of the scoreboard.

It’s the complete opposite of how Crucible has been for ages now. I’m not sure what 343 has going over there, but I really wish Bungie would figure it out.

Infinite and MCC use SBMM (Skill based Match Making) and in theory, it is a good thing.

Except it isn't, at least not ALL the time.

SBMM (usually)makes every game sweaty and competitive :)
SBMM (usually)makes every game sweaty and competitive :(

That's why we have Social and Ranked right? Play ranked for competion and balance, play social for a more laid-back experience.

Well... that doesn't work well if both playlists use SBMM.

It's not perfect- and some games you stomp and some you get stomped. That's ok. You should have a mix of all of them. But SBMM really messes up with parties of different skill levels, and that is what makes Halo less fun for me.

I had this experience playing OverWatch with my wife a lot. She's good at the game. I'm better. She plays solo, she's matched with players of her level and has lots of fun. She plays in a party with me, she's playing against higher skilled players and gets destroyed and has no fun, or I get lumped into matches where I'm a a god among n00bs.

This is a quicky that explains it pretty well. Also, those podcasts with Max Hobermin? ::Chef's kiss::


Destiny felt kinda like the old Halo days when I was playing it. Lots of variety in terms of games where I dominated, got dominated, or it was evenly matched. Regular crucible was like "social" and Iron Banner\Trials were ranked. That's what it felt like. Guess which playlists I'd play solo, or with certain friends? I Think I played trials like maybe twice with Korny and others where I was the least skilled and I felt bad when we'd lose and it was because of me lol.

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How does Halo’s matchmaking work?

by squidnh3, Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 10:55 (35 days ago) @ cheapLEY

Bungie re-confirmed just recently there is absolutely no consideration of skill when gathering a large group together for a game in Crucible (except for the Competitive playlist). Once the group is gathered based on connection based information, then the teams are distributed based on some sort of skill-based algorithm.

This system can be frustrating because it often puts the most highly skilled player on the team with all of the lower skilled players. It also doesn't often result in very competitive matches for things like Control, because the lower skilled players are usually disproportionately poor at tactical decision-making.

Also, the gametypes/maps in Halo seem designed to have less snowballing or the huge score swings you often see in Destiny.

How does Halo’s matchmaking work?

by FyreWulff, Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 07:43 (21 days ago) @ squidnh3

Bungie re-confirmed just recently there is absolutely no consideration of skill when gathering a large group together for a game in Crucible (except for the Competitive playlist). Once the group is gathered based on connection based information, then the teams are distributed based on some sort of skill-based algorithm.

This system can be frustrating because it often puts the most highly skilled player on the team with all of the lower skilled players. It also doesn't often result in very competitive matches for things like Control, because the lower skilled players are usually disproportionately poor at tactical decision-making.

Also, the gametypes/maps in Halo seem designed to have less snowballing or the huge score swings you often see in Destiny.

As far as I am aware, the distribution of players of skill across teams, aka 'snake draft', was actually bugged and was only in the game for a single day. It's entirely random team distribution.

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How does Halo’s matchmaking work?

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 11:16 (35 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I’ve been playing a lot of Infinite again lately, and I find myself thinking Bungie could learn a thing or two from 343 in terms of matchmaking. I genuinely don’t know if they’re using skill based or what, but it’s been truly fantastic. Almost every single match I’ve played over the past week has been an absolute nail-biter. Every Slayer match has been a total tug of war, ending with less than a five point difference. Even better is that there very rarely seems to be one player on a team pulling all the weight, with some no-thumbed wonder dragging the bottom of the scoreboard.

It’s the complete opposite of how Crucible has been for ages now. I’m not sure what 343 has going over there, but I really wish Bungie would figure it out.

lol, 343. It's the sample size (and probably type). Not to be "that guy", but by all odds, the only folks playing Infinite right now are die hard into Halo. Everyone else has jumped ship in-till the new content drop. Even then.

[image]

Does what Steam show line up with Xbox? No idea, but probably to SOME degree, right? So what's going to be easier? Balancing games with a dedicated 10k, or balancing a million+ folks worldwide who could be playing on any shade of casual, pro, streamer, and/or your mom?

That's why. Or at least, darn good reason for it.

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How does Halo’s matchmaking work?

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 12:43 (35 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

I would honestly assume lower player base would make it harder, not easier. If there’s a million other people to choose from, it’s much more likely there’s someone of my exact skill level to match against.

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How does Halo’s matchmaking work?

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Wednesday, April 20, 2022, 16:16 (35 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I would honestly assume lower player base would make it harder, not easier. If there’s a million other people to choose from, it’s much more likely there’s someone of my exact skill level to match against.

Not at all. It's all about averages. Conceptually speaking, the super pros stop because the challenge is gone. The super casuals stop because they either don't care enough to keep playing or they just keep getting their butt kicked. That's not fun, so they stop. What you get in result is a self averaged metric. Are you seeing the same names now and again? That may have an effect too. If there is 10,000 and we teir that out, that gives, what... ballpark 200 folks for each "skill" rank, not that such would be so clean.

PLUS! On top of that, Halo is a far more... I'm not sure what to put here. Forgiving? The tool set is the tool set. There isn't 1000 different guns plus abilities to one shot you with. Pretty sure that has an effect on how games play too.

If you were having longer and longer wait times, then yeah maybe matchmaking has more an effect then I think it has right now. Don't know. Stuff just is hardly ever as simple as we would like to think it is.

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So I finally played it

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 11:37 (21 days ago) @ cheapLEY

I remember being super hyped for Halo after seeing the reveal at Macworld in 1999. As Jason Jones walked up on stage, he told the audience that it would be a game you’d play cooperatively with your friends as you explore a strange sprawling world. He said that Quicktime was great, but what you were about to see was no Quicktime movie, but rather a game engine rendering in real time on a Macintosh. The demonstration video began in a corridor, with the player’s character distracting and goading three elites into following him. As the player exits the hallway, it transitions seamlessly to a large outdoor environment, with the sky, mountains and lakes sliding in to engulf the frame. A frame of wild possibilities. What was there to find and do in this huge world?

It was a feeling I still had when finally playing the game for the first time on Xbox. The promise of the Macworld video never surfaced in my mind. The game we’d gotten was just as alluring. The moment of stepping out of the life pod and into the unknown of Halo was just as powerful as when the Marine ran outside in Macworld. Perhaps it was because I had no expectations, having written Bungie off after the Microsoft acquisition. Or perhaps it was because the game was new, fresh, and had a different soul.

Halo Infinite I think is the Macworld Halo realized as best as it could be. In retrospect, the Macworld demo was smoke and mirrors. There was no plan for what to do and what to find in this world. It was a tech demo with no design yet. While your imagination would run wild, there were practical considerations at play when designing such a game. So when I say that Infinite probably is the best version of that theoretical game, I’m being literal.

Still, playing it there was a lingering disappointment. The realization that the moments don’t play the same way. You step out of the pelican onto a world more huge and more populated than Halo from the original game, and yet Halo is the moment that sticks. Walking out of that life pod, looking up and around. The contrast between the Pillar of Autumn and your welcome to this wonderful new experience that'll change things forever. Infinite isn't inviting you into the unknown. It's leading you into a polished version of the known.

For me, that’s the problem. The loop of the game is fundamentally the same, a similar experience I’ve had for years with this franchise. There are bells, whistles, and updates, but at the end of the day it just FEELS like you are playing Halo. Some would call that a win. But I call it a bit boring. It felt like this in 2010, and it’s 2022.

And that’s a hard feeling to shake, because you are technically doing different things. The grappling hook is a really cool tool that’s thankfully integrated seamlessly into the mechanics rather than being limited to specific places. It’s interesting finding out how to use it, and see what it can do for you. And yet, that actually feels similar to how working out the mechanics of Halo CE felt. I’m not sure I’d agree that it “changes the game totally”. It just feels like another tool you can use in the Halo sandbox.

But for the size and detail of this world, it all just blended together. All the open world sections were mountains, trees, rocks, and modular bases. I can’t really differentiate and one encounter or base from another. It’s the same thing with the story missions that happen in the structures underground. It all feels like and endless series of similar rooms and hallways. Levels and encounters in previous games at least had personality, or were unique and stood out. Even casual players would be able to tell the “Island level” apart from the “Snow level”. But in Infinite it felt like there were only two levels: Outside and Inside.

I rescued a couple FOBs. They are 'optional', but I don't imagine anyone having much fun without getting at least a few of them. The ability to fast travel to them, get weapons, and deploy vehicles is just so huge, I don't even want to know how frustrating it would be having to walk everywhere and hoping you could jack a vehicle. My favorite thing was loading up the transport warthog after giving 5 marines rocket launchers.

I played on Heroic, which honestly felt like Halo 3's Legendary. Maybe it's because I'm now bad at FPS games, but the enemies had substantially more range and accuracy than I remember Halo games having. They seemed intelligent enough, certainly feeling more alive and dynamic than the Destiny. The first heroic playthrough was fairly challenging.

The story is a giant mixed bag. While Halo 5’s story was a convoluted mess full of proper nouns, there was some semblance of emotion with the Chief and Cortana. Infinite’s is decidedly more streamlined and ‘clear’, but I can’t help but feel totally unattached to anything. I'm not saying that having a lot of the major things you were expecting to deal with happen off camera before the game starts is necessarily bad, but that necessarily puts a distance between you and what happens. It's kind of the part we care about right? How are we going to stop Cortana from subjugating the galaxy? I guess the answer was that Atriox wanted to use the rings, so she blew up Zeta Halo and deleted herself?! Huh?! Why didn't she just kill him with a guardian? Didn't she power up the ring at the end of Halo 5? If you can just make a copy of her and delete the bad parts (as the game explains that’s what Halsey did), why did the original Cortana not just… delete her bad parts? It’s all hand waved kinda, and while technically not a huge part of the main narrative, it’s nevertheless a thread full of important decisions about characters we care about. I feels so far detached from any of the moments ostensibly meant to be pivotal and emotional.

I don’t understand why releasing the Endless is a big deal. In Halo, we see firsthand and immediately why the flood cannot be allowed to leave the ring. No explaining is necessary. In Infinite, all we get is one line about “The Forerunner locked the Endless away on this ring. Doesn’t that scare you?” The Master Chief also just says “No.” I do not understand why their escape would be bad, and what’s at stake. I can only guess. The fact that the Chief is going to all this trouble to stop something I don’t understand the stakes of does little help me connect to the story.

I agree with CruelLegacy here, in that the Pilot was kind of annoying, and the character relationships don’t really make me care. I don’t really have anything to expand upon here, as what’s here is basically my feeling as well.

In reading that post now that I’ve finished the game, I’m glad he brought up the idea of having the character we play as know things we don’t. Being behind the character you are playing as does not feel good. To be wondering about something, then having your avatar explain it. Oh, so you knew that all along and I didn’t, only because I didn’t get to play as you six months ago in the story? Ok… right. In some sense, this to me feels worse than the player knowing things their character doesn’t. At least there, you can create dramatic irony. But he other way around doesn’t really bring much.

So overall, I’m kind of sad. I’m kind of sad I couldn’t be more excited about the team’s work on this. I’m kind of sad it all just felt familiar and unimpactful to me. And most of all, I’m sad there was no co-op.

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So I finally played it

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 15:58 (21 days ago) @ Cody Miller

So overall, I’m kind of sad. I’m kind of sad I couldn’t be more excited about the team’s work on this. I’m kind of sad it all just felt familiar and unimpactful to me. And most of all, I’m sad there was no co-op.

There will be, right?

That's probably how I finish the game and I'll have a better idea of whether I agree with your take. I enjoyed reading it regardless.

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So I finally played it

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 16:05 (21 days ago) @ Cody Miller

My favorite thing was loading up the transport warthog after giving 5 marines rocket launchers.

Try Arcane Sentinel Beams. I'm expecting your retraction of this entire post by morning.

;p

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So I finally played it

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, May 08, 2022, 12:26 (17 days ago) @ ZackDark

My favorite thing was loading up the transport warthog after giving 5 marines rocket launchers.


Try Arcane Sentinel Beams. I'm expecting your retraction of this entire post by morning.

;p

That's some majesty I can be blinded by.

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You can never go back.

by INSANEdrive, ಥ_ಥ | f(ಠ‿↼)z | ᕕ( ᐛ )ᕗ| ¯\_(ツ)_/¯, Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 18:56 (21 days ago) @ Cody Miller
edited by INSANEdrive, Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 19:00

In reading this, I found some broader reflection that I'd like to share. But first, fantastic write up Cody. A, in-parts, melancholy read.

In a broader media sense, I'm finding more and more that all these sequels and nostalgia baits and all round "Member Berries" safe space ventures have... eroded something. Like a copy of a copy. Where the original, be it with skill or all the right mistakes, becomes part of the social lexicon... Sherlock Holmes, Star Wars, Mario, The Beetles... the eventual reboots/sequels (should there be any) take the name and unevenly little else. Where it can seem that there is little care of why something was successful, just that it is, that it was, and so everything gets "nearest neighbor compressed" into close enough.

Perhaps what I say is a given. This is what you get when you play "phone tag" with any discernible gap in time. But in reading Cody's post, I find myself lamenting this. I wonder if, even if business wise such could never of been, that it would have been better if 343 acted as fateful steward as they have with Halo: The Master Chief Collection. A steward, instead of trying to recreate a king they never could really understand. Because... of the skill that made the original, and all the right mistakes that in all odds can not be reproduced.

But for the size and detail of this world, it all just blended together.

...

So overall, I’m kind of sad. I’m kind of sad I couldn’t be more excited about the team’s work on this. I’m kind of sad it all just felt familiar and unimpactful to me. And most of all, I’m sad there was no co-op.

You can never go back. But, man, I'm sure glad I was able to be there when the colors were at their brightest.

...¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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You can never go back.

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 20:41 (21 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

Normally, I would disagree. Nostalgia makes fools of us all, and new takes on old ideas can be fantastic. Halo might be the exception, though. I just played through Halo 2 and Halo 3 within the past two weeks (along with a few hours of multiplayer). Halo 3 is actually a perfect video game. I genuinely do not think it could have actually been any better than it was.

I like 343’s Halo games for the most part. I think Infinite is the worst of them, though, in general. After trying to replay some of it, I like it less than I did initially. I think the game feel is fantastic, maybe the best Halo has ever been. Nothing else in the game pulls it’s weight though. The open world just sucks. It’s straight up not fun to be in. After playing the old Halo games, it really highlights how Infinite is lacking, and I think the open world is directly responsible. Where are the set pieces? Where are the Scarab fights? Where’s the Mantis section? The Warthog run? The plummeting space station escape? There is nothing in Infinite that even comes close. Having ten levels that take us through different areas is just a better way to make a Halo game.

And, while I don’t hate the story, I also don’t particularly like it. There’s no accounting for taste, of course, but it’s just not that interesting. I really liked seeing other Spartans in Halo 5, and getting the interaction between team members while on mission. Where is Blue Team during all this? What’s up with Halsey? That stuff was way more interesting than dealing with some Brute’s personal vendetta against the Chief (only for him to be replaced by a completely different Brute after the opening cutscene—seriously, what the fuck?) And then for it to end with some more Forerunner baggage locked up on a Halo ring . . . just, really?

I’d honestly be surprised if I ever play Infinite’s campaign again, and that’s the first time I can say that about a Halo campaign.

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You can never go back.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 21:09 (21 days ago) @ cheapLEY

The open world just sucks. It’s straight up not fun to be in.

It's fun at first. But you are right in that when you discover everything is essentially the same as everything else and there are no 'set pieces', that's when I stopped doing things in it and instead progressed the story missions never looking back.

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You can never go back.

by cheapLEY @, Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 21:19 (21 days ago) @ Cody Miller

The open world just sucks. It’s straight up not fun to be in.


It's fun at first. But you are right in that when you discover everything is essentially the same as everything else and there are no 'set pieces', that's when I stopped doing things in it and instead progressed the story missions never looking back.

Except those suck, too, because they’re all set in the exact same Forerunner hallway.

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You can never go back.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Wednesday, May 04, 2022, 21:21 (21 days ago) @ cheapLEY

The open world just sucks. It’s straight up not fun to be in.


It's fun at first. But you are right in that when you discover everything is essentially the same as everything else and there are no 'set pieces', that's when I stopped doing things in it and instead progressed the story missions never looking back.


Except those suck, too, because they’re all set in the exact same Forerunner hallway.

This is also true, but you can't just choose not to do them and still finish the game. The new patch even 'fixed' most of the things speedrunners did to skip story missions!

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You can never go back.

by ManKitten, The Stugotz is strong in me., Thursday, May 05, 2022, 07:21 (20 days ago) @ cheapLEY


I’d honestly be surprised if I ever play Infinite’s campaign again, and that’s the first time I can say that about a Halo campaign.

This was biggest let down about the game. I completed the campaign, did all the side quests / world activities in just over a week. Now there is literally nothing left for me to do.
I don't want to start a new campaign to collect the stuff I missed in missions.
I don't want to start a new character that has no power ups.

I just want to jump into a mission and play it. Part of the fun of the Halo campaigns (for me at least) is playing the linear mission, in a huge environment and seeing what all I can do. Limits = Creativity. When you're fenced in, you find ways to get out and have fun. When you're in the open field...you just...wander around.

Halo was never a "do whatever you want" kind of game. You were given a mission and tasked with completing it. So go figure out how to do it the best! For me, this whole concept was thrown away for Infinite.

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You can never go back.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Thursday, May 05, 2022, 10:28 (20 days ago) @ ManKitten
edited by Cody Miller, Thursday, May 05, 2022, 11:22


I’d honestly be surprised if I ever play Infinite’s campaign again, and that’s the first time I can say that about a Halo campaign.


This was biggest let down about the game. I completed the campaign, did all the side quests / world activities in just over a week. Now there is literally nothing left for me to do.
I don't want to start a new campaign to collect the stuff I missed in missions.
I don't want to start a new character that has no power ups.

I just want to jump into a mission and play it. Part of the fun of the Halo campaigns (for me at least) is playing the linear mission, in a huge environment and seeing what all I can do. Limits = Creativity. When you're fenced in, you find ways to get out and have fun. When you're in the open field...you just...wander around.

Halo was never a "do whatever you want" kind of game. You were given a mission and tasked with completing it. So go figure out how to do it the best! For me, this whole concept was thrown away for Infinite.

I get that sense too from many modern games besides Halo Infinite. Think about how most other art forms condense life to the interesting parts.

So when you think about it, the 'open world' necessarily implies a dilution of the interesting. If every inch of Halo Infinite were as designed and as dense as the levels in Halo CE, then it would not just be a really really really long game? The open world in a sense requires much of it to be boring and there for mere traversal, or else it'd just be a giant traditionally designed level.

Older open world games were small enough not only to develop, but for players to have a full sense of it as well. Zelda's overworld was 16 screens by 8 screens. 128 screens which could not only be individually designed with care packing an experience into each one, but a player could probably deal with holding all that in their head while navigating, or at least make a map. The sheer size of the open world in games now precludes both of those things.

This is what modern open world IS. Loosely designed challenges connected by a world with not much in between. Look at the sheer number of side jobs, collectables, etc are crammed into all these games. Extrinsic rewards because the world doesn't provide as much intrinsic fun.

The genre requires the expansion of the game into the mundane. The way I see it, there are two choices you have when making an open world game. Either make the mere traversal of those paths in between fun to navigate, thus making the mundane interesting again (Death Stranding, BotW), or just… don't do open world.

You can never go back.

by EffortlessFury @, Thursday, May 12, 2022, 10:34 (13 days ago) @ Cody Miller

The genre requires the expansion of the game into the mundane. The way I see it, there are two choices you have when making an open world game. Either make the mere traversal of those paths in between fun to navigate, thus making the mundane interesting again (Death Stranding, BotW), or just… don't do open world.

Interestingly enough, I find Infinite and BotW's world traversal to be about the same level of appealing: I kinda like them and I kinda don't. Death Stranding is about traversal, so it inherently solves the problem.

I think the Open World could be made into something more appealing, how much more will depend on the person experiencing it. The open world needs additional meaningful activities, things that can be repeated in interesting ways. If you wanted to throw in a little live service, occasionally add some unique objectives/missions to the world from time to time. Make it feel a little more alive and make the things you do there feel like they matter.

Doesn't fix everything, but I do like the idea of a contiguous Halo. As fun as Halo levels are, the level of linearity really makes no sense. lol

The off-map missions can be better and I think that might be somewhat down to the delay/crunch stuff. Reportedly 2/3rds of the game got cut. If true, it might feel a lot more substantial. Basically, they've bought time (for me, anyway) to execute on it properly.

A bit of irony in the discussion around it still being same old "Halo" when this is the first time that 343i has really pulled that off.

BTW, to partially answer your question (I'm not 100% on the exact details), but when Atriox found Cortana on the Halo ring, The Weapon had already been deployed and had locked Cortana down (at least for the most part). That's why The Weapon has been on the Halo for the past six months.

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You can never go back.

by cheapLEY @, Thursday, May 12, 2022, 11:47 (13 days ago) @ EffortlessFury

BTW, to partially answer your question (I'm not 100% on the exact details), but when Atriox found Cortana on the Halo ring, The Weapon had already been deployed and had locked Cortana down (at least for the most part). That's why The Weapon has been on the Halo for the past six months.

There’s the bummer for me. That seems like a more interesting story and game to me. They skipped the good part and gave us what feels like a diversion that came out of nowhere.

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Halo Wars 3 baybeeeee

by Joe Duplessie (SNIPE 316) ⌂ @, Detroit, Thursday, May 12, 2022, 19:08 (13 days ago) @ cheapLEY

- No text -

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You can never go back.

by Vortech @, A Fourth Wheel, Sunday, May 15, 2022, 11:57 (10 days ago) @ Cody Miller

There are different kinds of interesting.

ODST had dialog/action/plot events segments, and it also had open world like segments. The open world was not as exciting, but I found it just as interesting. It communicated through some things that the action segments use like soundtrack and signage, but it let you absorb both of those more specifically and therefore with greater impact. The open world segments also are interesting in a different way, with the time change revealing new context for understanding what you see given the action segments.

(plus there was Stewart and Lee's story terminals)

I honestly suspect that most open world games make their scale too large, but maybe that's because I usually lose interest in Open world games about 60% of the way through.

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You can never go back.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, May 15, 2022, 14:26 (10 days ago) @ Vortech

If I remember correctly though, when you start a new campaign, doesn't it restrict you to a certain order for the found objects? I remember trying to do them in a different order but that only working on a completed file.

If that's correct, then doesn't it defeat the purpose of the open world? If it's essentially linear anyway, would it not have been better to design it as such?

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Nope

by ZackDark @, Not behind you. NO! Don't look., Sunday, May 15, 2022, 15:36 (10 days ago) @ Cody Miller

In fact, first time through I did Romeo's mission before the ONI one and was a bit confused about the timeline once I got around to playing the ONI mission.

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Nope

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Sunday, May 15, 2022, 16:40 (10 days ago) @ ZackDark

In fact, first time through I did Romeo's mission before the ONI one and was a bit confused about the timeline once I got around to playing the ONI mission.

I'll have to try this… whenever I play it again ahah. Thanks for the info.

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Nope

by Joe Duplessie (SNIPE 316) ⌂ @, Detroit, Sunday, May 22, 2022, 04:20 (3 days ago) @ Cody Miller

In fact, first time through I did Romeo's mission before the ONI one and was a bit confused about the timeline once I got around to playing the ONI mission.


I'll have to try this… whenever I play it again ahah. Thanks for the info.

Zack is mostly right, but you do have to do "Tayari Plaza" first, then it opens up. You're given an objective marker to head south for the "Uplift Reserve" mission, but there's nothing to stop you heading to the other missions.

Once you've completed all of the above ground missions, the world closes up again and you're forced to proceed to "Data Hive".

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The importance of asking good questions

by Kermit @, Raleigh, NC, Sunday, May 22, 2022, 12:48 (3 days ago) @ Joe Duplessie (SNIPE 316)
edited by Kermit, Sunday, May 22, 2022, 12:51

In fact, first time through I did Romeo's mission before the ONI one and was a bit confused about the timeline once I got around to playing the ONI mission.


I'll have to try this… whenever I play it again ahah. Thanks for the info.


Zack is mostly right, but you do have to do "Tayari Plaza" first, then it opens up. You're given an objective marker to head south for the "Uplift Reserve" mission, but there's nothing to stop you heading to the other missions.

Once you've completed all of the above ground missions, the world closes up again and you're forced to proceed to "Data Hive".

ODST is a little masterpiece. (My usual disclaimer: I don't think I'm halfway through the Halo Infinite campaign.) The open world problems in Infinite were solved by Bungie in ODST in part because they had more limits (as Mankitten has said, limits = creativity), and I suspect they asked better questions. They couldn't create the massive open world of Infinite, but they could create a big level that resembled a city environment, and then they asked several important questions about that: why is the player there? What is there for player to do? How can we do something new? How do we keep it interesting?

They did something new by making the player an ODST instead of the Master Chief, with different abilities that led to different gameplay. They made it interesting by giving the Rookie clues to find, which told not one but two stories about what had happened in this environment. The physical clues he found were evocative, but not compelling on their on. (So far that’s how I feel about the collectibles in Infinite, but that could be because I’ve played it over months). Sadie’s story was compelling on its on, but even with that, the Rookie’s night alone in Mombassa would've been tedious all at once. Bungie solved this by including playable flashbacks. We didn't have time to get bored. It's quite brilliant how the game fits together.

Bungie also asked another important question that might offer a clue regarding where Halo Infinite falls short: what does this franchise need? It's obvious the franchise needed Halo 3 to finish the fight. Another question along those lines: what have we promised but not delivered? On some level I think ODST tries to finally deliver the Earth combat from the infamous Halo 2 E3 demo. Neither Halo 2 or Halo 3 really scratched that itch.

All this is to say, I think 343 put a lot of thought into Halo Infinite--so far it's easily my favorite game of theirs. Some questions like "what does the franchise need?" are hard to answer at this late date. I think they're trying something in Infinite very similar to what was done in ODST, but my hunch so far is that a little too much attention was paid to answering "what's technically possible?" versus "how does this all fit together in a compelling way?” Game development is hard.

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You can never go back.

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Thursday, May 05, 2022, 18:26 (20 days ago) @ INSANEdrive

Perhaps what I say is a given. This is what you get when you play "phone tag" with any discernible gap in time. But in reading Cody's post, I find myself lamenting this. I wonder if, even if business wise such could never of been, that it would have been better if 343 acted as fateful steward as they have with Halo: The Master Chief Collection. A steward, instead of trying to recreate a king they never could really understand. Because... of the skill that made the original, and all the right mistakes that in all odds can not be reproduced.

343 needed to recreate the king in the same way Mario 64 recreated Mario. Halo was itself a massive industry defining disruption. In some ways, the only way to capture the feeling is to do that again, which means radically rethinking what Halo can be today.

Sonic Mania sits at around 90% on Metacritic, and while that's not necessarily the barometer for quality, it indicates enough reviewers have essentially labeled the game at just below Masterpiece level. I was a huge 2D Sonic fan. And yet, while playing it I felt nothing. Maybe not nothing, maybe ennui? This game was objectively better than the classics it was born from. More colors. More sprites. More effects. Bigger levels. More levels.

But that's not really enough. It's just more. But it's more of the same. It's the same fundamental experience I had in the 90s. I finished it once never getting the chaos emeralds, and haven't touched it since. Nothing about it inspired me because I've been there before.

Halo Infinite fared better, but the end result was pretty similar. And it sucks right? The folks behind each of those games put in tons of love and effort.

They say you're old when your memories outnumber your dreams. Halo Infinite definitely had some dreams. But it had oh so many more memories…

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PS The Music

by Cody Miller @, Music of the Spheres - Never Forgot, Thursday, May 05, 2022, 11:36 (20 days ago) @ Cody Miller

Literally the only piece of music I remember at all is when the original Halo theme played. I don't remember one note from the game or the cutscenes otherwise. It's so subdued and relegated to providing just a backdrop. Not at all a character in and of itself.

I don't necessarily want the new composers to try to imitate Marty - they should make it their own. But… it was just so bare without much personality.

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