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I saw this. A Fucking Beautiful Post.
Date: 4/3/13 5:38 pm

: It's been spreading around on Twitter, so I figured I should post it here.

: op_ivy asked if "...halo 4's population numbers have anything to do
: with infinity, gameplay unlocks, spawning pp's, or no visible ranks?"

: The Henery responded with a pretty lengthy and good post illustrating why
: he thinks Halo 4 failed to retain a high "concurrent"
: population.

: Oh yes, absolutely, 100 percent, without question. The other day I was going
: to make a quick post: "Every time I hop on Halo 4, I'm repeatedly
: astonished at the continuing success of Infinity Big Team Slayer".
: Once I thought about it however, I realised that iBTB's success makes
: complete sense. Its continued success, population-wise, is the residual
: effect of Halo 4's launch physique.

: There are vast, vast, numerous amounts of videogamers who enjoyed the
: original Halo trilogy. The PS2 dominated that console generation but had
: it not been for Halo CE's foundational pillar in the Xbox's lauch, and
: Xbox Live's perfect launch partner in Halo 2 then the Xbox would have gone
: the way of the Sega Saturn or Jaguar, forgotton and completely stomped
: into anonymity by the PS2. Halo 3's years at the top of the Live charts
: and respectable (for a years old game) subsequent tussle with COD releases
: bore out that there were still many, many gamers who enjoyed normal Halo
: gameplay.

: Then Halo Reach happened and a lot of gamers who had nine years worth of
: gameplay muscle memory invested in Halo are thrown by having to stop
: shooting in the middle of a battle in order for their shots to be
: accurate. They have moments of dizzying frustration when a player they
: would have killed in a given situation in the previous three titles
: suddenly activates an invincibility button. They are killed by players who
: can suddenly fly over their heads from spawn and the game doesn't offer
: them a Y axis sensitivity to accomodate these new features. They enter
: Team Slayer, a safe bet of a playlist in the previous two titles and half
: of the maps are a turgid, mono-grey eyesore that are all visually alike
: and don't play particularly well. They go to BTB, a favourite for so many
: in H2 and H3 and there is not a single, non-forge map custom built for the
: mode, instead playing on built-for-an-entirely-different-mode horror shows
: like Spire and Boneyard. They actually get put into BTB SWAT on Boneyard,
: spawn Red stairs, and are repeatedly spawn killed in the open by a 3x
: zoom, single shot precision rifle.

: These players think Halo Reach is not a very fun Halo game. They don't like
: the changes, they don't like the poor selection of maps, amongst other
: things. They look around for other places to put their gaming time; Black
: Op's releases on the back of three successful predecessors and, crucially,
: doesn't mess around with what made those games popular in the first place.
: It identify's a rivals strength of meta-features (Halo's theatre and
: social file sharing capabilities) and implements its own theatre which in
: many ways improves upon Halo's version and then offers players the social
: sharing side of it, not on a dev website or by jumping through hoops in
: game but through free rendered uploads to probably the most visited
: website on Earth in Youtube. Many of the gamers put off by Halo's strange
: new direction (no 1-50 wtf? Timing shots and no BR wtf? You can spawn with
: camo now wtf?) decide to go where a lot of their friends went, a safe, you
: know what you're getting deal in COD. Lots of them also get into
: Battlefield 3, a game that knows what it does best, very large scale
: military battles, is somewhat unique in the FPS landscape and sticks to
: it.

: Fast forward to October 2012 and these players who loved the original trilogy
: but checked out with Reach, they see the Halo 4 PR train in full swing.
: "Oh hey, look, the Master Chief's back" they say. They remember
: paying the same price for ODST as they did for Halo 3 but ODST didn't have
: proper multiplayer nor the Chief. They remember paying full price the
: following year for Reach, which again didn't have the Chief, and being put
: off by the weird, unexpected things in the multiplayer. So they see the
: Chief and they associate him with the last game he was in, Halo 3, that
: game that they and their friends had lots of awesome times with. So they
: look forward to Halo 4's release because hey, Chief's back, so Halo will
: be normal again right?

: This is where one goes back to the point about Halo 4's launch 'physique'.
: The launch state of a game is arguably its most important. It is where the
: vast majority of players who don't read forums and gaming press etc get
: their idea of a games identity and the game developers intent for the
: series. Many of those players that Reach lost are back for Halo 4 in
: launch week, eager to give the franchise another shot.

: They load up the game and tentatively enter War Games ("I think this is
: the multi, guys"). The party lead and their buddies look for a
: playlist they remember loving, Team Slayer, but there is no sign of it.
: "Just pick the top one, come on party leader!". So they enter
: Infinity Slayer. They play five hypothetical games. The voting for these
: five games goes 'Adrift, Complex, Complex, Adrift, Abandon'. The maps
: quality don't seem very high and now it appears everyone has a power
: weapon at some point, and that guy they just killed pressed X to spawn
: without punishment and cleaned them up while they waited for their shields
: to recharge, completely unfairly. Weapons are confusingly spawning at
: random, with no explanation as to why that is happening (it didn't happen
: in the ten years they played Halo before). They play another bunch of
: Infinity Slayer and soon come to realise that there's only four 4v4 maps
: and two of them are objectively poor for Slayer. So they venture over to
: Infinity BTB and, while the gameplay problems remain from their 4v4
: experience, at least there are more maps on offer.

: So what happens to this hypothetical party of four a week after Halo 4's
: release? Three of them go to Black Op's 2 or back to Battlefield 3 (COD
: does weapon unlocks and instant respawn far better than Halo ever will and
: BF3 is built around large scale combat and, crucially, let's you drive a
: vehicle more than five meters without getting stunned by a spawn weapon).
: One stays (the opening populations were around 400, 000 and then dropped
: to a quarter of that). The one who stays motivation for doing so is as
: multitudinous as Halo's confused identities. It might be a love of heavy
: BTB gameplay, it might be because that player is one of those who is an
: absolute sucker for levelling systems no matter what the gameplay and
: wishes to reach SR 130. It might be that they fucking love the party
: gametype Regicide. But the question isn't why so few stayed it's why so
: many chose to leave...

: Halo 4 sold so many copies because it it had an 11 year established base of
: users and previous customers right? For 9 of those years Halo was about
: equal starts, checks, balances and largely reasonable design. I don't
: think it's unreasonable to think that many of that established user base
: came to Halo 4 expecting a direct, regular Master Chief sequel to Halo 3,
: Reach being the equivalent of an experimental off-shoot branch, not the
: foundation for Halo 4. Those players came to Halo, experienced instant
: respawn, random weapon drops, camo sniping, camo boltshotting, their
: favourite Warthog being stunned every three seconds by an unlocked spawn
: weapon, no ranked/social choice and realised they had to play for hours in
: order to unlock a perk so they didn't frequently run out of ammo (weapons
: vanishing every 12 seconds as they do). They probably realised at that
: point that all these things that were making Halo not feel like the game
: they'd enjoyed for a decade were being done better in other games in which
: they made sense. And so, they went to those other games.

: So, COD does unlock systems and fast, one shot kill, 60fps gameplay best.
: Battlefield 3 cornered the big battle market. What was always Halo's core
: strength? FOUR VERSUS FOUR, arena based slayer and objective gametypes.
: 343 launches with four smallish maps, and a shit load of BTB content. 6 of
: its subsequent 9 DLC maps are BTB. Halo no longer has a grip on
: thaepopular area of the 4v4 market. People who bought or rented Halo 4 to
: see if it was normal again have disappeared. They won't be back five
: months from launch when it's announced in a corner of an internet forum
: that Team Throwdown, a normal-ish Halo playlist is coming to Halo 4! After
: that opening week they've made their mind up and you've lost them forever.
: Well, at least until Halo 5 rolls around but even then they might not
: bother. See, next time, Halo won't have the 'Master Chief wasn't in those
: games so it doesn't count' excuse. Master Chief, along with the Halo name,
: is now tainted.

: Do I agree with everything he has to say? Nope. However, he does make some
: good points.

: What do you think?
It's so true. This needs to be the desktop background of every employee at 343i. Give The Henery my regards.

Messages In This Thread

Meanwhile over at NeoGAF.. (re: Halo 4 Population)UnrealCh13f4/3/13 1:15 pm
     Re: Meanwhile over at NeoGAF.. (re: Halo 4 PopulatZaneZavin4/3/13 1:48 pm
           Re: Meanwhile over at NeoGAF.. (re: Halo 4 PopulatCARDO 8 ATL4/3/13 3:10 pm
     Re: Meanwhile over at NeoGAF.. (re: Halo 4 Populatuberfoop4/3/13 1:50 pm
           Re: Meanwhile over at NeoGAF.. (re: Halo 4 PopulatCARDO 8 ATL4/3/13 3:11 pm
     Re: Meanwhile over at NeoGAF.. (re: Halo 4 PopulatGravemind4/3/13 2:57 pm
           Re: Meanwhile over at NeoGAF.. (re: Halo 4 PopulatGuttsu4/3/13 3:47 pm
                 Re: Meanwhile over at NeoGAF.. (re: Halo 4 PopulatPkmnrulz2404/3/13 4:37 pm
     Re: Meanwhile over at NeoGAF.. (re: Halo 4 PopulatCARDO 8 ATL4/3/13 2:59 pm
     Re: Meanwhile over at NeoGAF.. (re: Halo 4 PopulatPkmnrulz2404/3/13 3:05 pm
           Re: Meanwhile over at NeoGAF.. (re: Halo 4 PopulatCARDO 8 ATL4/3/13 3:12 pm
                 Re: Meanwhile over at NeoGAF.. (re: Halo 4 PopulatPkmnrulz2404/3/13 3:27 pm
                       Re: Meanwhile over at NeoGAF.. (re: Halo 4 PopulatAvateur4/3/13 7:33 pm
     There's a simpler explanation behind this IMOAnton P. Nym (aka Steve)4/3/13 3:29 pm
           Re: There's a simpler explanation behind this IMOKal4/3/13 3:35 pm
                 Re: There's a simpler explanation behind this IMOCARDO 8 ATL4/3/13 3:48 pm
                       Not when the competition is copying it, no. *NM*Anton P. Nym (aka Steve)4/3/13 3:49 pm
           Re: There's a simpler explanation behind this IMOdavidfuchs4/3/13 8:04 pm
                 Ah, this is a great pointRevenant19884/3/13 11:15 pm
     I saw this. A Fucking Beautiful Post.zoojoo4/3/13 5:38 pm
     Well that was interestingAvateur4/3/13 7:22 pm
           Re: Well that was interestingpete_the_duck4/4/13 9:02 am
                 Re: Well that was interestingAvateur4/4/13 9:10 pm
                       Re: Well that was interestingpete_the_duck4/5/13 9:02 am
                             Re: Well that was interestingAvateur4/5/13 8:52 pm

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