Halo Reach multiplayer: A Love/Hate relationship

 

So, I've played the multiplayer of Halo: Reach for about a week now, and I must say, I'm still not sure what I think about it. I want to love the multiplayer aspect of this game, I really do, but to be honest there is a lot of stuff that piss me off immensely. I am a very competitive person by nature, whether we are talking sports or video games etc. I want to win, not necessarily be the best, but I want to win. This would also be the perfect point to add, that I am no Halo god, I can hold my own in a 1v1 gunfight, but I am no more than an average player at best-
 
Halo Reach is a good game, no doubt, I simply love the core gameplay, I like that it takes at least five shots to kill a guy, I like the new armor abilities and again, the core multiplayer gameplay appeals to me. However, I find this game to be very infuriating as well, and some of the problems are fixable. To start off, why does inactive players not get kicked? This is my competitive nature talking, but when two dudes on my team aren't moving throughout the entire match why aren't they booted? Speaking of people leaving the game, why doesn't the games fill up when people leave the game? It's 2010 now, online multiplayer is THE hottest thing right now, and I consider these things pretty basic, so why are these things a problem in Halo: Reach? And yes, for me it has been a problem, I've probably played about 30 games the last few days, and I swear to god, more than half of these games, I have played more or less alone (because people ragequit/are inactive) against four-six other guys, no matter how I look at it, I don't see any fun in that. I'm not mad at the players quitting, I'm just baffled by the fact, that there isn't a "join in progress" or "kicked for inactivity"  thing. 
 
Another thing is the spawn system, I'm not sure if it's just me, but I find it absolutely horrible. I can't count how often half a team has spawned just behind me, or I in front of them, and being killed merely seconds after you spawn isn't fun either.  Yet another thing that irritates me, is the fact that there is no specific playlist for each gametype, I'm pretty sure it's coming to some extent, but I don't find it very enjoyable playing SWAT 15 times in a row, especially when people on my time rage quits, and I'm the only one left on my team.
 
That was the more objective stuff, personally I also dislike pretty much every map in the game, I think it has worse maps that Modern Warfare 2 (Zealot is just horrible, along with every forge world map, except Asylum). I also feel that the grenades are a little too powerful, the same with the energy sword, considering it takes five shots with a normal weapon, but these things are instakills, they are meant to be so I can't really complain too much, I'm also not a big fan of the campy-ness but that is a problem in every shooter. If you are still with me at this point, I want to make one final comment. Even though this has pretty much been one long rant, I want to stress out, I do not hate the game. It might just be me who takes the game a little too serious, but, I can't help it. I love the game at its core, and many of these problems are hopefully going to be fixed by Bungie (because there are a lot fixable stuff) so, I guess I'll just have to suck it up, only play with a party to avoid some of the stuff, and remember.... it's just a game.
 
But, dear reader, do you recognize any of these problems, do you agree with me, or am I just an overreacting sore loser?
 
(I'm super tired right now, and English is not my first language, so I'm sorry if any of the sentences are super weird and/or hard to understand, I've read through it a few times, and it seems fine to me sooo)

11 Comments
12 Comments
Posted by JacDG

 

So, I've played the multiplayer of Halo: Reach for about a week now, and I must say, I'm still not sure what I think about it. I want to love the multiplayer aspect of this game, I really do, but to be honest there is a lot of stuff that piss me off immensely. I am a very competitive person by nature, whether we are talking sports or video games etc. I want to win, not necessarily be the best, but I want to win. This would also be the perfect point to add, that I am no Halo god, I can hold my own in a 1v1 gunfight, but I am no more than an average player at best-
 
Halo Reach is a good game, no doubt, I simply love the core gameplay, I like that it takes at least five shots to kill a guy, I like the new armor abilities and again, the core multiplayer gameplay appeals to me. However, I find this game to be very infuriating as well, and some of the problems are fixable. To start off, why does inactive players not get kicked? This is my competitive nature talking, but when two dudes on my team aren't moving throughout the entire match why aren't they booted? Speaking of people leaving the game, why doesn't the games fill up when people leave the game? It's 2010 now, online multiplayer is THE hottest thing right now, and I consider these things pretty basic, so why are these things a problem in Halo: Reach? And yes, for me it has been a problem, I've probably played about 30 games the last few days, and I swear to god, more than half of these games, I have played more or less alone (because people ragequit/are inactive) against four-six other guys, no matter how I look at it, I don't see any fun in that. I'm not mad at the players quitting, I'm just baffled by the fact, that there isn't a "join in progress" or "kicked for inactivity"  thing. 
 
Another thing is the spawn system, I'm not sure if it's just me, but I find it absolutely horrible. I can't count how often half a team has spawned just behind me, or I in front of them, and being killed merely seconds after you spawn isn't fun either.  Yet another thing that irritates me, is the fact that there is no specific playlist for each gametype, I'm pretty sure it's coming to some extent, but I don't find it very enjoyable playing SWAT 15 times in a row, especially when people on my time rage quits, and I'm the only one left on my team.
 
That was the more objective stuff, personally I also dislike pretty much every map in the game, I think it has worse maps that Modern Warfare 2 (Zealot is just horrible, along with every forge world map, except Asylum). I also feel that the grenades are a little too powerful, the same with the energy sword, considering it takes five shots with a normal weapon, but these things are instakills, they are meant to be so I can't really complain too much, I'm also not a big fan of the campy-ness but that is a problem in every shooter. If you are still with me at this point, I want to make one final comment. Even though this has pretty much been one long rant, I want to stress out, I do not hate the game. It might just be me who takes the game a little too serious, but, I can't help it. I love the game at its core, and many of these problems are hopefully going to be fixed by Bungie (because there are a lot fixable stuff) so, I guess I'll just have to suck it up, only play with a party to avoid some of the stuff, and remember.... it's just a game.
 
But, dear reader, do you recognize any of these problems, do you agree with me, or am I just an overreacting sore loser?
 
(I'm super tired right now, and English is not my first language, so I'm sorry if any of the sentences are super weird and/or hard to understand, I've read through it a few times, and it seems fine to me sooo)

Posted by killer_meatballs

Good blog post.   I'm new to Halo (and I suck) so I'm not the one to give feedback, but you make some really valid points.  I've wondered myself, when someone quits, why can't someone just "pop" into the game.  
But then again, I don't know the mechanics of it, but would think it would be possible.

Posted by Malakhii

Reach multilayer definitely has it's flaws. I agree with the spawning stuff, I've never had a problem with spawning before in a halo game, but I've taken it up the ass quite a few times respawning in reach, and it's always a little disheartening when it happens. They're fixing the SWAT issue, giving it it's own playlist, so you won't have to deal with that anymore if you're not feeling it, which is something that definitely makes me happy.  
 
As far as players joining in mid game, I don't mind they don't have it. I can understand being stuck on numerically inferior teams all the time would piss me off, but that hasn't been a problem for me, so I haven't had to confront it. Do you like reflection? That's the only map I really dislike, and I hate the fact that it's so prominent in team slayer. I actually am finding that I like zealot, games on it seem to have a good mix of crazy action, or one on one stalking.  
 
Maybe when you start hitting your stride and lucking out with some decent teammates you'll feel it more, or you're just being over critical of something you like, I tend to be the same way. 

Posted by Icil

A lot of this stuff is almost exactly what I would say, so I can't add much to your blog except for this point:
 @JacDG said:

"Speaking of people leaving the game, why doesn't the games fill up when people leave the game? It's 2010 now, online multiplayer is THE hottest thing right now, and I consider these things pretty basic, so why are these things a problem in Halo: Reach? And yes, for me it has been a problem, I've probably played about 30 games the last few days, and I swear to god, more than half of these games, I have played more or less alone (because people ragequit/are inactive) against four-six other guys, no matter how I look at it, I don't see any fun in that. I'm not mad at the players quitting, I'm just baffled by the fact, that there isn't a "join in progress" or "kicked for inactivity"  thing."
Not allowing this feature, in my opinion, ruins a lot of games I would potentially put on my all-time favs list. It really sucks to get your ass stomped because you're outnumbered. I think that they should've added incentive to fill in empty spots in games where people leave. Include a playlist where you hop into incomplete games to replace dropped players; give them double credits for playing, a bonus for making a comeback, etc.
 
I think that in the end, Bungie felt like they could leave the feature out so that players get a more time-played to time-waiting ratio (since you'd be loading maps more often if you hop in mid-game). Bad move, I say. I don't know if you're like me in this respect, but to me it's the littlest things that demote Reach to 'pretty good' territory instead of having a really full-fledged and fun (and fair) online experience.
 
 
Also:
@JacDG said:
"I also feel that the grenades are a little too powerful, the same with the energy sword, considering it takes five shots with a normal weapon, but these things are instakills, they are meant to be so I can't really complain too much"
Grenades aren't the one-shot kill they used to be, from what I see. Also, if you melee someone who's about to sword you, you parry the blow and take no damage (took me a while to learn this). Armor lock is the best ability and it's made for countering one-hit kill strategies, so I think the balance there is pulled off okay in lieu of the new classes. SWAT and Classic doesn't apply here (and hence it should really have its own playlist).
 
I also want to see a human analog of Elite Slayer along with some variants. I like the idea of giving the classes different starting weapons based on how good their ability is.
Posted by natetodamax

Zealot is my favorite map. I like it because there aren't any sniper towers or really high up places that people can camp in and take pot shots at people.

Posted by Gamer_152

I really don't think Bungie are going to start changing things like the energy sword and the grenades, they're pretty much a staple of Halo. I also think most people consider the map design in games like Halo to be very good. Quitters, idlers and SWAT are all a problem but in the case of SWAT Bungie is fixing the issue.

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Posted by Mono1213

Good post. I haven't had the problems you mentioned so  can't really comment. In terms of spawning...it seems more focused on spawning you next to a teammate than previous Halo games, which could be part of the problem. But again, I can count the number of times I felt cheated by the spawn on one hand...maybe two...and I've played over 200 matches.
 
I for one think it is great that they do not allow joining mid-game. Allowing mid-game joins would likely increase the frequency in which people quite. If people know there is no punishment to the team for leaving they will leave as soon as their k/d goes negative.  I know it seems impossible, but I do think some sense of guilt keeps some people in the game even when they would love to quite. I know I would have quite a few games, but felt bad leaving my team a man down.  Also, would it really be that fun to be the guy who joins into a match midway when the team you come in on is down 40-15. I'll pass thanks. Plus evenetually Bungie will start enforcing the early quiter ban-hammer and that problem will disappear.  I for one would rather keep the integrity of matchmaking and suffer through a few matches a man down.

Posted by JacDG
@natetodamax said:
" Zealot is my favorite map. I like it because there aren't any sniper towers or really high up places that people can camp in and take pot shots at people. "
That I like about the map, a lot of Reach maps are all about top control, being on the top in Reflection or Sword Base (to name a few) So it's refreshing that it isn't the case with that map.
@Malakhii said:
" Reach multilayer definitely has it's flaws. I agree with the spawning stuff, I've never had a problem with spawning before in a halo game, but I've taken it up the ass quite a few times respawning in reach, and it's always a little disheartening when it happens. They're fixing the SWAT issue, giving it it's own playlist, so you won't have to deal with that anymore if you're not feeling it, which is something that definitely makes me happy.   As far as players joining in mid game, I don't mind they don't have it. I can understand being stuck on numerically inferior teams all the time would piss me off, but that hasn't been a problem for me, so I haven't had to confront it. Do you like reflection? That's the only map I really dislike, and I hate the fact that it's so prominent in team slayer. I actually am finding that I like zealot, games on it seem to have a good mix of crazy action, or one on one stalking.   Maybe when you start hitting your stride and lucking out with some decent teammates you'll feel it more, or you're just being over critical of something you like, I tend to be the same way.  "
I think Reflection is okay, the only map I really enjoy playing is Powerhouse, and I guess Boardwalk as well. And there is a good chance that I'm over critical about it, I have been quite unlucky with my Halo games the last few days, and these things weren't really a problem when I began playing, so it might just be me being unlucky, and been having all all these problems thrown at me at once, over a short period of time.
 
@Gamer_152 said:
" I really don't think Bungie are going to start changing things like the energy sword and the grenades, they're pretty much a staple of Halo. I also think most people consider the map design in games like Halo to be very good. Quitters, idlers and SWAT are all a problem but in the case of SWAT Bungie is fixing the issue. "

Yeah, I know you are right, it was just a personal prefrence, and as I said, these weapons are supposed to be that strong. My problem might be that half my deaths tend to come from the energy sword, I put three or four shots into the guy, but he launches over and kills me, because it seems that you can only parry once?
Posted by CharleyTony

I am not super good at Halo either. Thankfully there are two options with this game... 
Online co-op campaign 
Firefight co-op mode 
 
And if you want to use the "real" online multiplayer and having trouble competing I would suggest you play games like Big Team Battle or other team games that are at least 6v6. That way your poor performance will have less of an impact on the final results. 
Who knows if you stick with it, you might get better !
Posted by Steve_Ped

Seriously, the multiplayer is pretty much the same as Halo 3 except there is not battle rifle and your character has health on top of the shield.  I think anyone who is a Halo fan but is skeptical about playing online should give it a chance.  It is a lot better than MW2.

Posted by WinterSnowblind
@Steve_Ped said:
"Seriously, the multiplayer is pretty much the same as Halo 3 except there is not battle rifle and your character has health on top of the shield.  I think anyone who is a Halo fan but is skeptical about playing online should give it a chance.  It is a lot better than MW2. "

You made these points seem rather trivial, but I they're pretty big changes. 
 
I hated the Halo 3 multiplayer, because it was simply all about the BR.  It was a very unbalanced weapon and made the game require little skill beyond 'aim slightly up, fire, fire, fire, fire, melee'.  The bloom on the DMR means shots require timing, rather than spamming and it means other weapons are more effective at closer range.  Melee's will also only be deadly once your shields are down, forcing people to focus less on the up close and personal approach.  Having health also means you have to be a bit more careful with how you deal with multiple opponents. 
 
The new mechanics just make for a much more enjoyable game, plus the cR over "skill" ranking means even if you lose, you still gain something.  It keeps the game feeling a bit more relaxed and friendly and if you happen to be on a losing streak, you don't feel as though you've just wasted all that time.
Posted by Gamer_152
@JacDG said:
" @Gamer_152 said:
" I really don't think Bungie are going to start changing things like the energy sword and the grenades, they're pretty much a staple of Halo. I also think most people consider the map design in games like Halo to be very good. Quitters, idlers and SWAT are all a problem but in the case of SWAT Bungie is fixing the issue. "
Yeah, I know you are right, it was just a personal prefrence, and as I said, these weapons are supposed to be that strong. My problem might be that half my deaths tend to come from the energy sword, I put three or four shots into the guy, but he launches over and kills me, because it seems that you can only parry once? "
What Bungie have said would suggest that you can parry as many times as you like as long as you have the timing down. I'm astonished that such a large number of your deaths have comes from the energy sword but the trick to taking out the energy sword guy is keep your distance when you attack him, don't get stuck in an enclosed space and if he tries to camp flush him out with grenades. There are usually also various other power weapons on the same map as the energy sword, for example if you're playing Reflection you may be able to take out the energy sword guy with the sniper rifle or rocket launcher. As a last resort you could try grabbing some plasma grenades and let the energy sword guy go for you and stick him at the last second but of course any nearby teammates of his will probably be very quick to pick up the sword.
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