Did Reach fail? Is it the Call of Duty Box?

Posted by Vashkey (51 posts) -

Today I got on Bungie.net and I noticed something almost surprising...

This is from Halo: Reach's online stats page on bungie.net. As you can see today's population for Reach is just under 500k. I assume most if not all of you do not keep up with this kinda of stuff. I can't blame you, it really isn't that important, I just personally find this kind of stuff interesting.

Anyway, point is the Halo: Reach population has really taken quite a hit. It's slowly been shrinking, but a much faster rate than it ever did for Halo 3. Halo 3's population never wnet below 600k prior to Reach and was regularly above 700k back in 2009.

Now, a few months ago a Bungie employee did clear a few things up on bungie.net about the population counter. Apparently it works differently/more accurately than the population counter for Halo 3 and thats what made up for the discrepency... Back then. But I have difficulty beleiving the this desprency of hundreds of thousands is now fully up to the accuracy to the population counter.

You can attribute the recent population drop to several things. Mortal Kombat and Portal 2 just recently launched, the Gears of War 3 beta just went up and today the newest map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops was released. But still, Reach has been on a slow but sure decline.

So you can't help but ask why. Did Reach do something wrong or is there something else?

I'd say some of it is on Reach.

I don't want to sound like a whiny fanboy but it sorta seems like the additions made to the Halo gameplay in Reach has served as only a detriment. First, lets start with armor abilities.

The obvious offender of the armor abilities is armor lock. With armor lock players can become invincible for a full five seconds(without the ability to move, of course). This put the action to a dead stop. It kills the pace of combat completely. The moment a player uses armor lock the enemy is at a complete disadvantage.

Let me set the usual scenario for an armor lock encounter for you. Two players are in a heated fire fight and the armor lock equipped player shields are dropped so he goes into armor lock. What should the other player do?

One option is to wait for the armor locker to leave armor lock, but thats five whole seconds of waiting. In that time the armor locked player's team mates could easily just swoop in and kill the other player. Another option is for the other player to retreat, but the armor locked player is free to leave armor lock and attack his foe as soon as he tries to leave or turn his attention else where.

Also, keeping in mind that players can sit in armor lock for a full five seconds before running out of energy, thats only one second less the the amount of time it takes for the player's energy shields to start recharging. If the players waits only one second after losing their shields to go into armor lock then by the time they leave armor lock their shields will already be partially recharged.

Armor lock also generate a short range EMP blast based on how long it's held down. If you're near a player leaving armor lock, chances are your shields will go down and all it will take for that player to finish you off is a single melee, so a player using armor lock at close quarters has a huge advantage. This makes using weapons like the energy sword and showgun more risky than ever. Meleeing a player in armor lock also stuns them, not only that but players in armor lock can freely change their view so once they leave armor lock they can be facing a player tha was originaly directly behind them.

Really, the only time you're not at a huge risk dealing with a player in armor lock is when you're at sniping range in a large open map.

Then we have evade and Sprint. The main issue with these is that players will rush up and double melee. With the amount of shots it takes to drop a player's shields in Reach if a player can just be sure to rush in and get a melee on you before you can shoot down their shields they they pretty much have a garenteed kill. Reach got rid of bleed through damage, meaning all damage done with out power weapons do not damage the player's base health until the shields are knocked out.

So say a player has small sliver of shields left and are meleed, it will only knock out the shields. The player will have to melee again to finish the kill(or you know... shoot). But yes, the reason double meleeing is so effective in Reach is because usually a player can not shoot a sprinting player enough to drop their shields before they get in melee range. if bleed through damage was in Reach then this tactic would not be as effective since the rushing player would likely be killed in the melee clash after having been shot up on the way in for the double melee.

The rest of the armor abilities aren't as offensive. Holograms can be picked out from a normal player since crosshairs don't turn red when over a hologram and holograms flicker. The jetpack isn't bad unless used to reach areas on the map that shouldn't be available to players(thankfully these spots are few and far between). Andthe drop shield isn't featured enough in matchmakign to be bad.

Then theres the bloom and the damage output. First off, alot of people really don't seem to understand how bloom works and what it was intended for and really, Bungie probably should have tried to explain that to the players. Alot of people believe bloom was made to prevent player from "spamming the trigger". This is not the case and I really don't see why shooting your gun as fast as possible has suddenly been considered a bad thing.

No, bloom was made so that the non sniper weapons would not be usable at sniping ranges. As the crosshairs expand on the DMR all thats inside the crosshairs are possibly locations as to where the bullet can land. If most or all of the area in the crosshairs are taken up by your target then the bullet will hit the target. Spam on that trigger unless the target is so far away that they do not take up most of the crosshairs.

The real problem with bloom is that once you start spamming the precise location of where the bullet lands is random after a few shots and in a heated battle you have to choose weather to slow down for the headshot once the enemy's shields are down or to keep spamming. The enemy might not stop spammig and once they get your shields they just might get lucky and get a heatshot despite spamming.

Then the damage output. I was reading through a message board a few months ago and almost to my disbeleif I read that in Halo: CE that three pistol shots could kill a spartan(provided the third shot was a headshot). I went back and tested it out and this was in fact the truth. After years of Halo 3 and my recent time with Reach I had forgotten all about this.

Halo has progressively become slower and slower. The player movement has become slower from game to game and the weapons have become weaker. The primary weapon of Halo CE, the pistol, took three shots to kill, The BR of Halo 2 and 3 took four shots(and I'm not going to get into the whole BR spread in Halo 3 debate), and finally in Reach the DMR takes five shots minimum to kill a player. Add bloom into this and you have the longest kill times and the most effort it's ever taken to get a simple kill.

I know it looks like I'm painting a bad picture here, but don't get me wrong. I love Reach. I think it's a great game. I'm just stating some observations. Hell, I still stand by my review.

I wouldn't say it's entirely on Reach though. To be honest it feels like most of xbox live's population is afraid of learning how to play anything that doesn't have the words Call of Duty in the title. For months now not only has Call of Duty: Black Ops dominated Major Nelson's xbox live charts, but Modern Warfare 2 also occupies the number 2 spot, right above Halo Reach. Not only that but Call of Duty 4 and World at War sit at the number 9 and 10 slots, respectively, beating the likes of much newer games such as Crysis 2, Red Dead Redemption and Homefront. Thats right, four out of the top ten most played games on xbox live are Call of Duty titles.

It seems that an annual release cycle, once percieved by many a game as detrimental to a game franchise actual may just help bring of awareness of a franchise.

So, could Reach or a future Halo turn things around? I believe so, through adressing the gameplay issues I stated. Reduce the amount of shots it takes to kill a player and bring back damage bleed through. Nerf armor lock by perhaps reducing how long players can stay in it, getting rid of the EMP, not allowing them to turn the camera while using it and/or now allowing shields to recharge while in armor lock. That or just get rid of armor abilities or armor lock entirely. increase the player's movement speed.

Maybe my fanboy senses are too sensitive and I'm just over reacting though 

#1 Posted by Vashkey (51 posts) -

Today I got on Bungie.net and I noticed something almost surprising...

This is from Halo: Reach's online stats page on bungie.net. As you can see today's population for Reach is just under 500k. I assume most if not all of you do not keep up with this kinda of stuff. I can't blame you, it really isn't that important, I just personally find this kind of stuff interesting.

Anyway, point is the Halo: Reach population has really taken quite a hit. It's slowly been shrinking, but a much faster rate than it ever did for Halo 3. Halo 3's population never wnet below 600k prior to Reach and was regularly above 700k back in 2009.

Now, a few months ago a Bungie employee did clear a few things up on bungie.net about the population counter. Apparently it works differently/more accurately than the population counter for Halo 3 and thats what made up for the discrepency... Back then. But I have difficulty beleiving the this desprency of hundreds of thousands is now fully up to the accuracy to the population counter.

You can attribute the recent population drop to several things. Mortal Kombat and Portal 2 just recently launched, the Gears of War 3 beta just went up and today the newest map pack for Call of Duty: Black Ops was released. But still, Reach has been on a slow but sure decline.

So you can't help but ask why. Did Reach do something wrong or is there something else?

I'd say some of it is on Reach.

I don't want to sound like a whiny fanboy but it sorta seems like the additions made to the Halo gameplay in Reach has served as only a detriment. First, lets start with armor abilities.

The obvious offender of the armor abilities is armor lock. With armor lock players can become invincible for a full five seconds(without the ability to move, of course). This put the action to a dead stop. It kills the pace of combat completely. The moment a player uses armor lock the enemy is at a complete disadvantage.

Let me set the usual scenario for an armor lock encounter for you. Two players are in a heated fire fight and the armor lock equipped player shields are dropped so he goes into armor lock. What should the other player do?

One option is to wait for the armor locker to leave armor lock, but thats five whole seconds of waiting. In that time the armor locked player's team mates could easily just swoop in and kill the other player. Another option is for the other player to retreat, but the armor locked player is free to leave armor lock and attack his foe as soon as he tries to leave or turn his attention else where.

Also, keeping in mind that players can sit in armor lock for a full five seconds before running out of energy, thats only one second less the the amount of time it takes for the player's energy shields to start recharging. If the players waits only one second after losing their shields to go into armor lock then by the time they leave armor lock their shields will already be partially recharged.

Armor lock also generate a short range EMP blast based on how long it's held down. If you're near a player leaving armor lock, chances are your shields will go down and all it will take for that player to finish you off is a single melee, so a player using armor lock at close quarters has a huge advantage. This makes using weapons like the energy sword and showgun more risky than ever. Meleeing a player in armor lock also stuns them, not only that but players in armor lock can freely change their view so once they leave armor lock they can be facing a player tha was originaly directly behind them.

Really, the only time you're not at a huge risk dealing with a player in armor lock is when you're at sniping range in a large open map.

Then we have evade and Sprint. The main issue with these is that players will rush up and double melee. With the amount of shots it takes to drop a player's shields in Reach if a player can just be sure to rush in and get a melee on you before you can shoot down their shields they they pretty much have a garenteed kill. Reach got rid of bleed through damage, meaning all damage done with out power weapons do not damage the player's base health until the shields are knocked out.

So say a player has small sliver of shields left and are meleed, it will only knock out the shields. The player will have to melee again to finish the kill(or you know... shoot). But yes, the reason double meleeing is so effective in Reach is because usually a player can not shoot a sprinting player enough to drop their shields before they get in melee range. if bleed through damage was in Reach then this tactic would not be as effective since the rushing player would likely be killed in the melee clash after having been shot up on the way in for the double melee.

The rest of the armor abilities aren't as offensive. Holograms can be picked out from a normal player since crosshairs don't turn red when over a hologram and holograms flicker. The jetpack isn't bad unless used to reach areas on the map that shouldn't be available to players(thankfully these spots are few and far between). Andthe drop shield isn't featured enough in matchmakign to be bad.

Then theres the bloom and the damage output. First off, alot of people really don't seem to understand how bloom works and what it was intended for and really, Bungie probably should have tried to explain that to the players. Alot of people believe bloom was made to prevent player from "spamming the trigger". This is not the case and I really don't see why shooting your gun as fast as possible has suddenly been considered a bad thing.

No, bloom was made so that the non sniper weapons would not be usable at sniping ranges. As the crosshairs expand on the DMR all thats inside the crosshairs are possibly locations as to where the bullet can land. If most or all of the area in the crosshairs are taken up by your target then the bullet will hit the target. Spam on that trigger unless the target is so far away that they do not take up most of the crosshairs.

The real problem with bloom is that once you start spamming the precise location of where the bullet lands is random after a few shots and in a heated battle you have to choose weather to slow down for the headshot once the enemy's shields are down or to keep spamming. The enemy might not stop spammig and once they get your shields they just might get lucky and get a heatshot despite spamming.

Then the damage output. I was reading through a message board a few months ago and almost to my disbeleif I read that in Halo: CE that three pistol shots could kill a spartan(provided the third shot was a headshot). I went back and tested it out and this was in fact the truth. After years of Halo 3 and my recent time with Reach I had forgotten all about this.

Halo has progressively become slower and slower. The player movement has become slower from game to game and the weapons have become weaker. The primary weapon of Halo CE, the pistol, took three shots to kill, The BR of Halo 2 and 3 took four shots(and I'm not going to get into the whole BR spread in Halo 3 debate), and finally in Reach the DMR takes five shots minimum to kill a player. Add bloom into this and you have the longest kill times and the most effort it's ever taken to get a simple kill.

I know it looks like I'm painting a bad picture here, but don't get me wrong. I love Reach. I think it's a great game. I'm just stating some observations. Hell, I still stand by my review.

I wouldn't say it's entirely on Reach though. To be honest it feels like most of xbox live's population is afraid of learning how to play anything that doesn't have the words Call of Duty in the title. For months now not only has Call of Duty: Black Ops dominated Major Nelson's xbox live charts, but Modern Warfare 2 also occupies the number 2 spot, right above Halo Reach. Not only that but Call of Duty 4 and World at War sit at the number 9 and 10 slots, respectively, beating the likes of much newer games such as Crysis 2, Red Dead Redemption and Homefront. Thats right, four out of the top ten most played games on xbox live are Call of Duty titles.

It seems that an annual release cycle, once percieved by many a game as detrimental to a game franchise actual may just help bring of awareness of a franchise.

So, could Reach or a future Halo turn things around? I believe so, through adressing the gameplay issues I stated. Reduce the amount of shots it takes to kill a player and bring back damage bleed through. Nerf armor lock by perhaps reducing how long players can stay in it, getting rid of the EMP, not allowing them to turn the camera while using it and/or now allowing shields to recharge while in armor lock. That or just get rid of armor abilities or armor lock entirely. increase the player's movement speed.

Maybe my fanboy senses are too sensitive and I'm just over reacting though 

#2 Posted by Murtaug (308 posts) -

I would not say that having nearly five hundred thousand players, play your game in the past day means reach failed. I think you probably answered it yourself by noting recent releases.


If any thing Reach maybe suffered a little bit of fatigue. It's Halo, again. With some new tricks up its sleeve sure, but it is still another shooter that plays very similar to its predecessor.
#3 Posted by AhmadMetallic (18955 posts) -

my guess would be that Halo is so yesterday

#4 Posted by TaliciaDragonsong (8698 posts) -

It didn't fail in my eyes, great game which I still play often.

And when I take it online there's always a match, that's still better then lots of other online games.
Seems like people just prefer CoD type of games over Halo.
I prefer the shielding, jetpacks and weapons over OH HAI ONE SHOT ACROSS THE FIELD camp tactics I experienced in all CoD's.
Also, the controls make me nostalgic for Perfect Dark/Goldeneye/Timesplitters!

#5 Edited by Slaker117 (4835 posts) -

Halo: Reach made $200 million dollars on the first day of release. It is one of three titles this generation to sell over 3 million units in the first month. Over seven months later it still has half a million people playing online on a daily basis.

Is it at the number one position? No. Did it fail? Absolutely not. It still holds a place of prominence and is all but untouchable to 99% of competitors. That said, the series has probably peaked. It's been a decade. Halo is a big name, but with CoD's raise to popularity and Bungie's departure from the franchise that much is clear. The IP is old, and that's about all there is to it. The game itself is not the issue; Reach is incredibly well made. It's just shifting trends. Nothing lasts forever.

#6 Posted by ApolloJ85 (241 posts) -

I'll consider Reach to be failing if it takes a long to time to get into a game, and it doesn't look like that's going to happen soon. 500k players over the course of a randomly selected 24hr period is more than enough to sustain an active community.


I agree with your opinion on armor lock, except I don't find it to be too annoying unless the entire team is locking. It's an ability that helps newer players survive longer, so that's not a bad thing either. The better players will always come out on top in the end.

Sprint on the other hand, is the only thing that speeds up the combat in Reach.
#7 Posted by big_jon (5708 posts) -

Second place is not failing, Halo never really had any competition before Call of Duty 4 and that's just how it is. Numbers mean very little, I mean look at BadCompany 2.

#8 Edited by Super_Yosh_64 (126 posts) -

Unfortunately halo became too hard compared to cod while cod became more modern.  It's really easy to be good at cod, the glitches only make it easier, and since it's more modern it's more appealing.  Simple as that for your simple ass.

#9 Posted by Azteck (7450 posts) -
@Super_Yosh_64 said:
" Unfortunately HALO became too hard and compared to CoD while CoD became more modern.  It's really easy to be good at CoD, the glitches only make it easier, and since it's more modern it's more appealing.  Simple as that for your simple ass. "
But.. Halo is in the future. How can it be more modern than that..
#10 Posted by Super_Yosh_64 (126 posts) -
@Azteck: no fucking idea.  i fucking love it.
#11 Posted by animateria (3252 posts) -
@Super_Yosh_64 said:
" Unfortunately HALO became too hard and compared to CoD while CoD became more modern.  It's really easy to be good at CoD, the glitches only make it easier, and since it's more modern it's more appealing.  Simple as that for your simple ass. "
But what can be more modern than the future!

#12 Posted by Hardgamer (610 posts) -
@Ahmad_Metallic said:
" my guess would be that Halo is so yesterday "
My guess would be that Halo is so Yesterday.
#13 Posted by Enigma777 (6057 posts) -

Oh man! What a failure! I mean 500K players? Pfffft! That's chump change! I bet Everyone in Microsoft is crying their eyes out right now. 

#14 Edited by Tru3_Blu3 (3181 posts) -

Halo Reach was a bad game that failed to "reach" expectations. They said the campaign would be as good as Halo1, only to see Elites insta-kill you with cheaply made melee animations and movements speeds that fail to correspond well with player actions like aiming and moving, unlike Halo1 where enemy combat animations and yours collaborated well to make some very smooth, satisfying gameplay--melee attacks and bullets had "oomph" as they made alien blood drench the floors in massive amounts. It was, again, satisfying and VERY organic. Now, ever since Halo3, combat with enemy NPCs feels like your battling against toy dolls. Halo3 was boring, easy, and incomprehensible. Halo Reach was frustrating, cheap, and derivative. Halo1 was difficult because your tactics were either off, or you didn't do the right thing against the Elite you were fighting. In Reach, the only way to fight an Elite was to camp a hundred meters away, EMP his shields, then pop his head with a ranged weapon; this is not fucking fun, and if you try to do it the good ol' Halo1 way, expect to die in an instant on Heroic or Legendary (don't try Normal, it's too easy and the repetitiveness shows itself even more).

The multiplayer of Reach would be great if they didn't change anything in the beta (except for the grenades, which are still overpowered). Reach's multiplayer is nothing but armor locking, grenade whoring, and DMR spamming that undermines skill and focuses on luck and cheap tactics just for kiddies that never played Halo1 and think CoD4-BLOPS are the best games ever made. Now, with the competitive part butchered and worsened than Halo3, you'd thing Forge World, Firefight, and custom games would make up for it like what Halo3 did.

It doesn't.

Forge World isn't large enough, you don't have enough money to make what you truly want, and all the items in the sandbox are not at your disposal (destructible stone barriers anyone?). You can't spawn more than 1 light probe in the environment, and balancing objects together is impossible even with the Z,X,Y tool in the Forge menu. The only good part of Forge is the ability to clip objects together and set them afloat, but that's really it. If Forge World had Day and Night cycles and more items, it would've been great, but as an old Halo3 Forger and custom game maker, I couldn't stand or even get into Forge World even with its improvements and epicness.

ODST's Firefight was enjoyable and damned addictive while it lasted. With Firefight in Halo Reach with all its awesome customization options, you'd think it would be as addictive if not better? It isn't. With Halo Reach's stupid currency system and daily challenges, it force friends to not play with each other in custom Firefight, and instead play in Matchmaking under Bungie's boring rules. You want to play against Hunters only with just pistols? You'll get nothing out of it except a small amount of cR that means absolutely nothing.

Bungie made this challenge system to make Halo Reach addictive, for they knew that without it no one would be attached with the game at all. Experience and challenge systems, especially those that make you rank or level up, are cheap design tactics to make games addictive; it's like fatty, greasy chips with the substitute being an expensive, well-proportioned confection that needs patience and cherishing. You should be rewarded for winning and winning well, not for losing and getting a medal just for it. That's not what gaming's about, and the Halo franchise proved this even with Halo3 which is, in my opinion, one of the worst in the franchise. You ranked up because you improved in ranked matchmaking, and kicked serious ass. You felt satisfied for doing what was considered impossible because of the shitty map design, horrible spawns, and horrendous hit detection. You got through, you ranked up, and you showed it off like a real gamer. Halo Reach? Play more, get flashy lights and sounds to give you the impression that you achieved something. Halo isn't supposed to be about that, and with it Bungie has forgotten how to create its baby.

That's my opinion at least.

#15 Posted by Tru3_Blu3 (3181 posts) -
@Hardgamer said:
" @Ahmad_Metallic said:
" my guess would be that Halo is so yesterday "
My guess would be that Halo is so Yesterday. "
No, Bungie just forgot how to make a Halo game is all.
#16 Posted by PerryVandell (2103 posts) -

First off, having a little less than 500,000 players is never considered a "failure". That's still a hell of a lot of people playing your game. As for why the number has decreased, I'd say it's because people are a little tired of playing Halo after 10 years. Sure, Bungie tweaked the multiplayer a bit, but overall it's the same thing people have been playing since 2001. If 343 Industries can make a Halo game that does something fresh and interesting like Infinity Ward did with Modern Warfare, then you can bet the number of people playing will be a lot higher than 500k. 

#17 Posted by Redbullet685 (6021 posts) -
@Enigma777 said:
" Oh man! What a failure! I mean 500K players? Pfffft! That's chump change! I bet Everyone in Microsoft is crying their eyes out right now.  "
Especially for a game that has been out since September.  That isn't a very long time, but with all of the other competitors in the FPS genre (Like COD, especially) I'm kinda surprised it still has 500k. 
#18 Posted by babblinmule (1262 posts) -

I was online about 2 hours ago and the player count was at 850,000ish so I don't think it's failed particularly. Never seen it below 800,000 when online to be honest.

#19 Posted by Vashkey (51 posts) -
@Redbullet685 said:
" @Enigma777 said:
" Oh man! What a failure! I mean 500K players? Pfffft! That's chump change! I bet Everyone in Microsoft is crying their eyes out right now.  "
Especially for a game that has been out since September.  That isn't a very long time, but with all of the other competitors in the FPS genre (Like COD, especially) I'm kinda surprised it still has 500k.  "
Halo 3 managed over 700k in the face of CoD4, World at War and Modern Warfare 2 years after it's release.  Try to do a little more than read the blog title and rush to damage control.
#20 Posted by Getz (2986 posts) -

Yo, Reach was the second best selling game in it's year behind COD. It didn't "fail" it just couldn't unseat the giant. I'm sure Bungie still counts that as a win, even if their online population has taken a hit (500,000 is nothing to sneeze at anyway)

#21 Posted by Vashkey (51 posts) -
@babblinmule said:
" I was online about 2 hours ago and the player count was at 850,000ish so I don't think it's failed particularly. Never seen it below 800,000 when online to be honest. "
Reach's population hasn't reached 800k withing the span of 24 hours in months and it hasn't beenk 800k at single time of the day since shortly after launch.
#22 Posted by Vashkey (51 posts) -

I'll admit that maybe it was a bit much to suggest Reach might be a failure in the topic title, but it Reach certainly has seemed to fail to reach the hight Halo 3 did.

#23 Posted by Seedofpower (3925 posts) -

Simple diminishing returns. You can love something so hard for so long. Then you find something new to love harder.

#24 Posted by YukoAsho (2001 posts) -
@Murtaug said:
" I would not say that having nearly five hundred thousand players, play your game in the past day means reach failed. I think you probably answered it yourself by noting recent releases.

If any thing Reach maybe suffered a little bit of fatigue. It's Halo, again. With some new tricks up its sleeve sure, but it is still another shooter that plays very similar to its predecessor.
"
This, pretty much.  If 343 can shake the game up a bit, we could see Halo return to prominence.  While that's a big if, Bungie leaving might have been the best thing to happen to the franchise, at least for the next few games.
#25 Posted by DystopiaX (5291 posts) -

Reach hooked me less than H3 did. Mechanically reach was better in a lot of ways, but I hated the bloom and without rankings I felt little motivation to keep playing. (not that rankings didn't have its own set of problems, smurfing and quitting to name a few, but Bungie acted kind of ham-handedly in removing it altogether IMO)

#26 Posted by SeriouslyNow (8534 posts) -

I think it's awesome that the two leading games of the year in terms of ongoing audience and sales are two of worst gaming experiences I can think of.  Thank god for Battlefield.

#27 Posted by august (3825 posts) -

CoD is more popular because dumbass teenagers like shooting men in the face as an army man more than shooting aliens in the face as a space army man.

#28 Posted by Brendan (7669 posts) -

I think this is more an example of changing times due to several years of people playing Halo rather than Halo: Reach being a lackluster game.

#29 Posted by Afroman269 (7387 posts) -

who cares?

#30 Edited by MordeaniisChaos (5730 posts) -

How many play Blops? This might be a lot more interesting if you gave some comparisons with other high ranking MP games. 500k is NOT a small amount at all, that's pretty good. Is better possible? Probably. But it's better than 95% of the industry, so no, it has not failed. It's the 4th game in the main franchise. 
Also, that was the number online at whatever time you took that snapshot. It doesn't represent the number of people at peak hours or days. Do this at the right time in the middle of the week, and the number might be that, but do it at the right tim eon the right day and you could easily see that number climb to 800,000 or more.

@Tru3_Blu3:

 You should go back and play Halo CE again. It's actually very similar. Your just not used to elites being stronger than you.
Oh and you could play matchmaking FF with friends...
#31 Posted by Red (5994 posts) -
@Super_Yosh_64: I completely disagree. CoD is much faster, and it's much easier to die, so it becomes much harder for newcomers. 
#32 Posted by Crono (2637 posts) -

Very thoughtful analysis but I really don't think that some of your points are necessarily the reason for Reach's 'failure' (a word I use very loosely here). For instance you cite the newer abilities such as the armor lock as being a detriment to the game and specifically note that 5 seconds is a long time in a shooter because the person using the armor lock ability could receive back up in those 5 seconds. Well, isn't that a lot more tactical than before? These options open up new avenues of tactics. There are now new ways to play what would otherwise just be more of the same. That is the purpose of the abilities as I see it.

I don't even like Halo - I find the game to be lifeless and bland - but even I wouldn't call Reach a failure. Regardless of not liking the series, I have a lot of friends who are into it so I have spent considerable time playing it at their places. I mention this because I don't want you to get the picture that my point of view is purely theory or based only on observation and no participation.

#33 Posted by Evilsbane (4519 posts) -

No, Reach is an awesome game, best in the series since the first, really could care less about online stats I am just happy it turned out as an awesome product.

#34 Posted by RsistncE (4496 posts) -

Halo and CoD are both piles of shit; console gamers are disappointing as hell because they'll never try new, fun and more inventive games that do really cool stuff with their multiplayer. Instead they'll just keep playing the same mediocre ass shooters.

#35 Posted by Vexed (313 posts) -
@RsistncE: You have a Black Ops avatar.....wut?
#36 Posted by EmuLeader (557 posts) -
@Afroman269 said:
" who cares? "
Exactly.  If I enjoy a game and there are always people to play it, then its a success to me.  Stats are a pretty useless way to prove a point as long as the previous is true.  Lots of people enjoy bad games and lots of people hate good games.  Only thing that stays constant is the complaining.
#37 Posted by BabyChooChoo (4252 posts) -

I don't own Reach. Hell I don't even own an Xbox. I can tell you that Reach is as far away from a failure as can be though. Most devs would kill for 500k people playing daily. I'm pretty sure Reach gets that and more on a daily basis.

Online
#38 Posted by Tonic7 (238 posts) -
@Tru3_Blu3: There are a few things in your post I'd like to contest.

@Tru3_Blu3 said:
cheap tactics just for kiddies that never played Halo1

Forge World isn't large enough

With Halo Reach's stupid currency system and daily challenges, it force friends to not play with each other in custom Firefight, and instead play in Matchmaking under Bungie's boring rules. You want to play against Hunters only with just pistols? You'll get nothing out of it except a small amount of cR that means absolutely nothing.

You felt satisfied for doing what was considered impossible because of the shitty map design, horrible spawns, and horrendous hit detection. You got through, you ranked up, and you showed it off like a real gamer. Halo Reach? Play more, get flashy lights and sounds to give you the impression that you achieved something. Halo isn't supposed to be about that, and with it Bungie has forgotten how to create its baby.That's my opinion at least. "
- To your first point, I played a ton of Halo: CE (probably in the hundreds of hours, LAN parties, all nighters, the whole 9 yards) and all I remember was a whole lot of people using the pistol over and over again in addition to some powerful situational weapons, such as rockets or the sniper. The tactics in Halo 1 weren't as complex as you seem to remember. I think that maybe something that is missing in Reach is the significance of holding certain gun respawn points, but even that remains mostly relevant despite the gun spawning system.

- Dude, what? The space is so massive it is almost too daunting for most players to even explore. I understand your argument about not having enough resources to spend or even the right items, but seriously. How large did you expect it to be? And do you remember that you can still forge regular maps? Maybe some of those are large enough.

- It FORCES you to not play with each other? Man, that is just an illogical and egregious statement. If the credits are such a horribly implemented system (as you seem to assert), then why bother going for them at all? Why not play with your friends at the settings you want? They are all aesthetic upgrades anyway. Prestige items, if you will. Most of the challenges can be done really quickly, so you could easily move on to playing custom games, and that's IF you even want the credits which you maintain are horribly implemented. Seriously, help me understand.

- "Real gamers" suffer through what they perceive to be a totally broken experience? Really? Why not just play something truly enjoyable? If you spend your time on a game you believe to be well made and still become amazing at it then there is an accomplishment there. Being a masochist doesn't make you a real gamer. "Halo isn't supposed to be about that." Who is to say what Halo is supposed to be about? Now I know this is your opinion about what Halo is supposed to be about, fair enough. But rewarding people with aesthetic items doesn't hamper your own experience, does it? Besides, some of the challenges require skill over sheer time, such as get x number of double kills, or finish x map on a legendary with x skulls on.

Please respond to clarify any of these points if you feel like it. I don't even play Reach often anymore, not because I didn't enjoy it, but because I became tired of Halo after playing each game for seriously hundreds of hours. I felt Reach was a nice addition, though. Anyway, let me know if you can clarify your thoughts on those matters.
#39 Posted by Vashkey (51 posts) -
@Afroman269 said:
" who cares? "
Obviously you do or else you wouldn't have wasted you're time responding to to it.  
#40 Posted by beckley205 (310 posts) -

Bungie didnt add to the multiplayer they took away and made it a lot more like halo 1. and i never got past gunnery sergant in 3 because your whole team had to be perfect not just you which is the opposite of Reach.

#41 Edited by FlamingHobo (4479 posts) -

I'd say you're overreacting. It seemed like a great game and made a tonne of money through lots of sales.

#42 Posted by greenygrey (155 posts) -

The fact that the mindless masses panders towards the COD franchise is no surprise to me. Black Ops may receive the highest sales records, but it doesn't make it a better game than Reach and Bad Company 2. Don't get me wrong, I really liked every COD game by Infinity Ward prior to Miodern Warfare 2. Then again, many gamers are experiencing Halo fatigue. Even Halo: Reach may have the definitive multi-player experience in the series, it just wasn't as fresh as Halo 2 was or even 3 to an extent. Then again, the COD series hasn't evolved after 4, and many gamers (who aren't part of the COD drones brigade) are feeling fatigued from the COD franchise as well.
#43 Posted by Rrang (78 posts) -

While Halo is by no means the frontrunner of console fpses anymore, I think its pretty awesome how much Bungie has been updating playlists since it came out. Team Classic is awesome, and completely different from the other playlists. Although its not the most played playlist =/ 
 
Halo will always have its own dedicated playerbase, unless 343 really screws up the next game...

#44 Posted by ShaggE (6297 posts) -

Don't forget that there are still a TON of Halo 3 players, too. That right there segments the potential population.

#45 Posted by NegativeCero (2974 posts) -

I still play it regularly and don't really care about it's ranking as long as I have people to shoot in the face.

#46 Posted by mikeeegeee (1549 posts) -
@Vashkey: I haven't played in several weeks, but I'm a huge fan as you are. The things you cited as potential pitfalls I take issue with.
 
One guy armor locking is easy to handle. If he knows what he's doing (and some people have become very, very good at it), he's a fucking pain in the ass. But that's fine, because I respect the skill it takes to lock for half a second before my melee hits, EMP me, and melee me to death. Some people are fucking ninjas with it. And as someone else said: an entire team of armor lockers, especially if they coordinate, are one of the most frustrating things in the world.
 
That said, I've only ever rolled armor lock two or three times. In a one-on-one scenario, someone using sprint will win every time against any other armor ability. If you know the map, sprint provides you with unmatched survivability as you can dip out of most unfavorable situations and find cover. I roll sprint because it keeps me alive, and when I stay alive, I kill a lot of dudes and die infrequently.
 
As far as bloom goes, I feel as though your criticism is unfounded. Bloom was, in fact, implemented to prevent spamming. It has nothing to do with making sure you can't snipe with your pistol. YOU CAN! The pistol has an inherently smaller range than the DMR, and the DMR an inherently smaller range than the sniper (I think). Still, the pistol has great range, but it's more difficult to aim. The only other difference is the level of zoom and the time it takes for the bloom to reset. Crouching adds another element of depth to aiming (bloom resets faster). Close range fights are made deeper as well due to the risk/reward nature of the question: Do I panic, spam the trigger,  and hope to land as many shots as I can? Or do I pace my shots, aim for the head, and hope to come out on top? Neither answer will win every time, though I'm confident that a skilled player can choose the correct approach for the correct situation.
 
In terms of shield bleeding, in particular on melee attacks, I'm impartial. I've learned to work with the new system, and I don't prefer one way or another.
 
I consider myself a very adequate Halo player. I've found Reach to be the deepest and most balanced experience of the franchise, and I'll kill the shit out of anyone in that game.

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