Quitting Halo

One of the most frustrating aspects of Halo multiplayer is seeing your teammates quit during an online match. Everyone left in the game must suffer through a diminished experience that will only worsen as more people quit. What can be done to reduce the number of “DNF” labels seen in the post-game carnage report?

There are a lot of factors to consider when searching for a solution to the quitter problem:

- You don’t want to be too harsh on people with temporary internet issues, but if someone has a consistently unstable connection it’s still damaging to other people’s experience.
- There should be short-term effects as well as the threat of long-term punishment for habitual quitters.
- The punishment should fit the crime. Not everyone cares about credits, so if your punishment is credit-based some people will quit anyways.
- Players should hesitate to quit without cause, but shouldn’t be afraid to quit when faced with an unpleasant experience.

PREVENTION

The first step is to figure out why people are quitting and fix that. I’d guess a list of the major reasons people quit would look something like this:

1. Players unhappy with the map/gametype picked.
2. Uneven team skills. (Losing by a large margin.)
3. Uneven team sizes due to other quitters. (e.g. 4v2, 8v4)
4. Griefing. (e.g. betrayals, teabagging, objective holding)
5. Outside/real-world causes. (e.g. connection drops, house fire, spouse unplugs Xbox)
6. Player can earn credits faster elsewhere.

We can’t do anything to fix #5 (beyond recommending a new ISP, home insurance, and marriage counseling) but the others can be minimized by putting better systems in place:

- A better map/gametype voting process. (#1)
- An improved skill-based matchmaking algorithm. (#2) (I won’t be addressing this in the article.)
- A surrender/forfeit option. (#2, #3, & #4)
- Harsher, yet more consistent betrayal booting. (#4)
- Credit incentives for game completion streaks. (#6)

ROCK THE VOTE

The matchmaking experience has improved with each successive Halo game, giving players more control over what gametypes and maps they play. Halo 2 had no voting round at all, as the entire playlist system was a new to consoles. Halo 3 added a single veto option that, once a majority was reached, would force a new gametype and map to be selected. Halo: Reach presents players with up to three gametype/map combinations to choose from, with a fourth “none of the above” option to start a second round of voting on new combinations.

The problem with Reach’s system is that it uses “first-past-the-post” style voting. This keeps things simple, but a quick perusal of the Wikipedia page can highlight some of its inherent problems:

“To a greater extent than many other electoral methods, the first-past-the-post system encourages tactical voting. Voters have an incentive to vote for one of the two candidates they predict are most likely to win, even if they would prefer another of the candidates to win, because a vote for any other candidate will likely be “wasted” and have no impact on the final result.”

I think a better method for gametype and map selection in Halo would be a simplified version of “instant-runoff” voting wherein each option is ranked in order of preference. This does pose challenges for maintaining a clear and efficient UI, but I think it can be done with a few adjustments.

Asking players to rank the options can easily lead to clutter and confusion, so it might be more intuitive if we replaced the numbers with a visual upvote/downvote system. This works better with an odd number of choices, so let’s expand the candidate pool from Reach’s four candidates to five with the fifth choice being “None of the Above”. The other choices can be four unique options or a mix of two gametypes and two maps (as pictured below).

All five options start tied with each other in a neutral position. Players can then adjust the sliders to cast upvotes (+1, +2) and downvotes (-1, -2) for each option depending on their preferences. The system will not let players downvote more than two of the options, nor will it let them upvote more than two. Players can only cast one +2 vote and one -2 vote as well. This forces voters to unknowingly rank the options 1-5 while also allowing ties.

Behind the scenes, the game assigns a point value to each position and once the voting round has ended it sums the point value for the options over the entire voting pool. Ties for the winning option are very unlikely and will simply be resolved via random draw.

Note how the arrows change in this image as you upvote and downvote.

Why design the voting system this way? Because no vote is wasted, be it an upvote or downvote. Players get no benefit from trying to exploit the system and are better off just voting according to their actual preferences. Anyone that is ambivalent can simply leave all of the choices at the default neutral setting, or might only choose to upvote/downvote a single option they feel strongly about. (As a side note, the start of the voting round should be signaled by a distinct and clearly audible sound. Reach attempts this but the sound is too quiet and players often miss it while browsing the start menu, Xbox guide, or refrigerator.)

WAVE THE WHITE FLAG

How many times have you been in a game where your team is losing so badly that you want to quit? Isn’t it frustrating to be on a team with far less players than your opponent? Perhaps the solution would be to let teams surrender to their opponents once either of the following conditions have been met:

Condition A – Your team is losing by over 50% of the score required to win. For example, a slayer game to 50 kills would allow the losing team to surrender once the spread between the two teams exceeds 25 kills (e.g. if the score was 36-10). A game of CTF to 3 captures would make the surrender option available when the score reaches 2-0.

Condition B – Your team is losing and one team has two fewer players than the other team (due to quitting, connection drops, etc.). This prevents games of 8v6, 4v2, etc. from dragging on forever due to uneven teams. Note that the surrender option isn’t limited to the team with fewer players, just the side that is losing when there are uneven teams. Sometimes having fewer players is an advantage and playing in an 8v1 game can be very frustrating even for the team of 8.

What happens once the surrender option unlocks? A notification pops up on the respawn screen: “Surrender available, Press Start”. The normal pause/start screen now has an extra menu where you can vote to surrender.

Once you choose to vote, a text string pops up on everyone’s screen to signal your intentions and the number of votes needed for it to pass: “ncsuDuncan has voted to surrender (1/4)”. Surrendering must be a unanimous decision for your team. If one player wants to finish the game he shouldn’t be penalized because everyone else wants to give up.

Games that end due to surrender will still count as a win or loss, the same as any other game, except with a slightly reduced Game Complete credit payout for everyone involved. Choosing to surrender is merely a way for players to let the game know that they want to quit without being punished.

GIVE ‘EM THE BOOT

Being intentionally killed by a teammate can be a very annoying and rage-inducing experience. Ideally you would be able to punish every intentional betrayal, but not all team kills are done on purpose. The betrayal booting system has to find that balance of allowing justified punishment while preventing the abuse of innocents. If it’s too difficult to boot a team-killing asshole then some players will quit in frustration. Yet making it easy to boot players can cause just as much frustration – how many times have you or a friend accidentally betrayed a teammate and been immediately removed from the game?

Reach’s betrayal booting system is both mysterious and unreliable – the option to boot a player doesn’t always show up and the conditions for it appearing are unknown. When the option does present itself, a snap judgement and quick tapping of two buttons is all it takes to boot the offending player. Have you ever been betrayed by a teammate and out of frustration pressed the X button even when you knew it was an accident? Now your team is down a player and at a disadvantage because of your hasty decision.

My solution? A clear, consistent system wherein every betrayal gives the victim the opportunity to make a deliberate decision to either Forgive or Punish the transgression. Each time you are killed by a teammate, a dialogue box pops up on your screen:

The box will not disappear until you make your decision and the quickest way to do that is to Forgive the betrayal by hitting the B button. The box immediately disappears, you continue playing as normal and your forgiven teamkiller does not see any lasting effects other than those seen in previous Halo games (-1 to score and a slightly longer respawn time).

Where the Forgive option took a single tap of B to get you back in the game, the Punish option requires you to HOLD the X button for a second or two – tapping it won’t work. A second dialog box then appears:

You now have highlight “Yes” and hold the A button for a few seconds, while a brief tap of the B button will cancel and take you back to the game. The end result is that choosing to Punish your betrayer is more time-consuming than choosing Forgive, so impatient and indifferent players will be more likely to forgive accidental betrayals so that they can continue playing the game. Players that feel like they were purposely and maliciously betrayed won’t mind the extra hassle it takes to Punish.

So what happens when a betrayal results in punishment? The new system operates on a three strike rule:

Strike One
- 10% penalty to your Game Complete credit payout.
- 1 second added to each respawn time.
- Lasts for 5 minutes (then disappears).

Strike Two
- 25% penalty to your Game Complete credit payout.
- 3 seconds added to each respawn time.
- Lasts for 10 minutes (then downgrades to Strike One).

Strike Three
- You are booted from the game and do not receive any credits for it. This counts as a quit.
- You cannot rejoin matchmaking playlists that have teams enabled.
- Lasts for 20 minutes (then downgrades to Strike Two).

Strikes carry over between games, so your punishment follows you. The extra seconds added to your respawn are there every time you die, not just after your first post-betrayal death like in previous Halo games. This extra wait time is signaled by a buzzer and flashing red notice on your screen that reminds you of why your respawn is longer than normal.

Other players will not know how many strikes you have, but the stat-tracking servers will record your punishment history. Players with a history of unforgiven betrayals in matchmaking might eventually receive longer bans from the team-enabled playlists.

UPDATE: After discussing this on the forums, I think we came upon a better way to implement the Three Strike system:

Strike One
- Your next five respawns in that game take an extra 1 second.
- Your Game Complete bonus (for that game only) is reduced by 10%.

When you start your next matchmaking game, you are still at Strike One (no matter how long the first game took). There are no negative effects for this new game unless you betray someone and get punished – you go straight to Strike Two and its negative effects.

Quitting your second game will not make Strike One go away – you have to finish a matchmaking game for it to completely disappear.

Strike Two
- Your next ten respawns in the game you earn Strike Two take an extra 3 seconds.
- Your Game Complete bonus (for that game only) is reduced by 25%.

In order for you to downgrade a Strike you have to complete a matchmaking game without betraying anyone.

Strike Three
- You are booted from the a game and locked you out of team-based matchmaking for 20 minutes (regardless of how close the game was to ending), after which you are still at Strike Three. You have to complete one game to be downgraded to Strike Two, and complete another to go down to Strike One (meaning you are one betrayal away from being booted for two games).

REAP THE REWARDS

This one is simple enough: if a player completes a certain number of matchmaking games in a row without quitting, the system should reward that good behavior with a credit bonus. It could be presented as a challenge or commendation, but with one important difference: this reward can be earned again and again. In fact, it has multiple levels with higher credit payouts for longer streaks of game completion:

- Complete 10 games in a row without quitting. (1000 credits.)
- Complete 20 games in a row without quitting.
(1200 credits, in addition to the 1000 you earned at 10.)

Eventually the payout stops increasing:

- Complete 50 games in a row without quitting.
(1500 credits, in addition to the 1400 you earned at 40.)
- Complete 60 games in a row without quitting.
(1500 credits, in addition to the 1500 you earned at 50.)
- Every 10 games after that earns you 1500 more credits.

A game completion streak is not restricted to a single play session, but if you quit a game (or get disconnected) your streak ends and you start back at zero. All is not lost, because the challenge also resets and it will only take 10 games to start earning bonus credits again.

This same method of positive reinforcement could be used for other aspects of the game:

- Complete 10 matchmaking games in a row without betraying any teammates. (1000 credits.)
- Play at least 10 matchmaking games with your microphone enabled and party chat disabled. (1000 credits.) The games do not have to be in a row, this challenge only resets after it is completed.
- Stay in the post-game lobby and play another match 10 times (instead of exiting to restart matchmaking). (1000 credits.) Again, these games do not have to be in a row and the challenge resets after it is completed.

——-

PUNISHMENT

So we’ve done our best to stop people from wanting to quit. Now how do we punish those that quit anyways? Hit ‘em where it hurts: their precious time and money. (Well, virtual money.)

PAY THE FEE

One way that quitting hurts your teammates is that it becomes harder for them to win and earn credits. Slayer games with quitters also tend to take longer to finish, reducing the potential credits/hour for everyone involved. The solution?

- You don’t receive ANY credits until the game ends. I’m not just talking about the game completion credits, I’m talking about Challenges, Commendations, EVERYTHING. If you’re willing to quit a game you should also be willing to walk away from the credits you’ve already earned in that game.

- Quitting should also SUBTRACT credits from your career total. This won’t ever cause you to lose a career rank (like the Halo 3 de-rankers would like) but it will make it take longer for you to level up. The online stats page should keep track of the total number of credits you’ve been charged for quitting as a permanent black mark on your record.

SIT IN TIME-OUT

Not everybody cares about credits (I certainly don’t), so we also need an appropriate punishment for those people. Quitting a matchmaking game wastes your teammates’ time. It isn’t fair that they’re still stuck in that game while you can jump back into the matchmaking pool to get paired with new unsuspecting teammates. How are we going to punish bad teammates?

- If you quit a team-based matchmaking game, you cannot rejoin any team-based hopper until the game you quit is over.

- You can still play custom games, offline modes, campaign, and can enter FFA lobbies (Rumble Pit, Score Attack) while on probation.

How it works: This will be implemented on your local console and will require minimal server work. When a matchmaking game starts, your Xbox looks at the gametype you’re about to play and the current server time. It calculates the theoretical maximum time the gametype could take and determines the corresponding server time for that. This value is saved to your local Halo game save, so even if you turn off your Xbox you’ll still be on probation when you turn it back on. If you stay in the game and see it to its finish, your Xbox deletes the theoretical end time and allows you to enter matchmaking.

The end result is that quitting a game means you’re on probation for the maximum possible time that game could last. You’re better off staying in the match since games often end earlier than the maximum time limit. This process would of course include the standard idle detection system to prevent people from just walking away from the TV.

UPDATE: As some community members have pointed out, this is pretty harsh on people who get dropped due to an internet hiccup. One solution for this would be to allow you to rejoin a game you left if you’ve reconnected to Xbox Live and the game is still in progress. This could be done from the Matchmaking menu or through your Recent Players menu. Also, keep in mind that “Time-Out” only applies when you quit a team-enabled matchmaking game. Quitting a Lone Wolves match to go join a party in Team Slayer will still have credit penalties, but you won’t be locked out of matchmaking because you didn’t have teammates to leave at a disadvantage.

——-

If the above changes were implemented in the next Halo game, would they stop everyone from quitting? Of course not. I don’t even know if these ideas are possible or practical from a game development viewpoint. I just think that they’re interesting thoughts to consider and discuss. (And to be clear, these aren’t all original ideas of mine, many of them have already been proposed within the community. I just wanted to spread them around a bit more and throw together some pretty pictures to go with them.). By all means, poke holes in the above plans and post them in the comments below.

Thank you for reading to the end of my article. (I was worried you would quit.)

- ncsuDuncan

32 thoughts on “Quitting Halo

  1. I love how you suggest a ‘no vote wasted’ policy into voting – it’s an interesting idea. We have MMP in NZ where A LOT OF PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT. Given the gaming sphere is full that kind of population, I doubt it would work. I think the Reach improvements were good enough – it would be interesting to see actual statistics on persons quitting as a result of voting ‘failures’. Cheers! JJ

  2. Pretty good. I think the upvote thing would be to complicated for the average player though, and in the long run I don’t think it would stop people from quitting if they don’t like what won.

    I’m also not sure how I’d feel about a game ending vote. I would want it to be minimum, one team is half as big 60% as the other. The only real voting system experience I have that’s much different from Halo and Gears is Left 4 Dead, and it feel awkward to me, like it should only be there when play with all friends instead of some random idiots.

    The game completion streak credits could help, but it’d have to be a bigger pay out. I think Gears of War 3 has some success with it’s version of this. You get +100 XP stacked for every game in a row, up to 1000. This means by the time you play 10 games, you get a total of 5500, plus 1000 for each game after. Then again, it’s much easier to reach max level in Gears, for now at least, and you don’t get to really use that XP for anything but leveling and some predetermined unlocks, and they have the option to join in progress.

  3. These are some good thoughts, but recently, doesn’t it seem like a bad teammate gets the first betrayal free, gaining that sniper rifle that he usually cant use well? Then, you go back, maybe get your revenge possibly and eventually maybe you get the boot? Also, sometimes annoying players just like to take pop shots at you or wait for an opponent to start shooting you and simply finish you off with a ‘nade”. The other team gets the kill and your teammate with the selfish attitude gets what he wants.
    It seems like their should be a full team choice to boot a player that is ruining the game for the rest of the team; maybe not a unanimous vote but more than half for BTB games (5 of 8) and 3 of 4 for 4v4 matches. This would be a vote that would be a continuous option for all players all the time. THE BEST PART IS, IT WORKS FOR UNATTENDED TEAMMATES!! Those awful motionless spartans waiting in the corners doing absolutely nothing the entire game except adding kills to the other team.

    Like anything, there could be some issues that come up with the system, like players getting booted for just playing poorly and having a negative k/d spread. It would be nice to avoid this for those delightful noobs. We do stil depend on them for those killing sprees, right? A highest ranking team captain could be assigned to each match, they would have to make the final decision, or something like that. Also, a set of reasons could be listed for giving a player the boot (ie: sportman conduct, intentional betrayal, etc. Then booted players could then challenge the decision to redeem themselves and punish the deciders, maybe (This could get overly complicated)

    One last thought, if a person hasnt moved for a certain amount of time in a game, 1 min or 2 min, couldnt the game automatically boot them? I dont think anyone would really object.

    Anyway, buh-bye.

  4. I agree with many of your points.

    With respect to the voting by preference/rank, I think it’s a good idea. What I would point out though is that there are time when all three options are the same gametype (on different maps, of course). With 5 options, that may be increasingly unlikely, though I would suggest that there be a filter added in so that such problems are prevented. For instance, it’s incredibly annoying when SWAT Magnums comes up three times during precision weapon challenges.

    I’m not sure it’s directly a first-past-the-post voting issue, but the fact that a tie is awarded to the game that is higher up on the list allows for certain other tactics. If, for instance, option 2 and none of the above are tied, the none of the above votes can change to option 1 at the last moment, effectively sniping the vote, and get a different game. This isn’t guaranteed to work, of course, since the tie must be recreated with options 1 and 2.

    On surrendering: Thank you for coming up with a concise way for it to work. I’ve been on both sides of slaughters, usually on the getting slaughtered side, and would love the option. There should be a third condition, though, regarding objective gametypes in the form of a K/D criterion. This would allow full 4v4 [objective] games to end rather than have a team suffer through 10-15 minutes of spawn camping (such as in Grifball) or general hell (such as in Speedpile) as the other team focuses on killing as opposed to the objective. The condition can’t be no one scoring, since there are well fought games where both sides simply reach a stalemate with regards to the objective. Likewise, this can’t fall to someone holding the objective for too long (at least not in all gametypes), since they could simply be well defended and well defended against. But should K/D show an imbalance (and I have no clue what this would be, though double digits seem like a good place to aim), the surrender option should unlock. There’d have to be a global K/D condition that applies to all players in the game, since it is easy enough to have major imbalances due to player skill in a single game that isn’t anything particularly serious. Obviously, if the teams unbalance into the 4v2 or 8v1 situtation, the surrender option would unlock anyway.

    For the 3 strikes betrayal suggestion, I would point out that there are situations wherein the cause of betrayal is not a teammate, but rather some external agent. I got booted once when the warthog I was in got blasted by a concussion rifle and sent flying into a teammate. That said, I like the carry-over factor of the strikes, since it may encourage players to be more civil to each other when playing.

    I really like your time-out idea, especially linking it to the server time to prevent local settings from bypassing it.

  5. All interesting ideas, but I have to say that I think taking away credits is too harsh for a comparably minor offense. Yeah, we all hate it when someone quits, and for the most part your decisions are fair, but credits and experience are tied closely in Reach. That was the whole point of making them a single statistic instead of tracking them separately, a la Halo 3. If you’re not willing to consider de-ranking a player, I don’t see how de-crediting them is that effective. Credit reductions should be left to much more heinous, banhammer-class offenses.

    Nice article, though. I especially appreciated the time you took to make up the demonstration images.

  6. Ive got a bit more elegant solution: as you dont want to drive away paying players who like to quit (for whatever reason) simply add a matchmaking search filter to those gamertags that are consistantly flagged for quitting. This search filter would direct these weasles into matches filled with other quitters. All gametypes would be the same, all credits could be the same, but the quitters, or teamkillers, would be forced to play together exclusively. Give them a taste of their own medicine. From there they would have to jump through hoops to reinstate their status and would forever after bear a black mark next to their rank or part of their rank.

    • Capcom tried the idea of a “Quitters Hell” with Marvel Vs Capcom 3, where if you quit too much, you’d be forced to play other players that do. No one is really sure if there is one or not, since no one talked about any notification or sign of there being one, but on the upside, there are fair less matches being quit.

      • “Quitters Hell” is feasible in a fighting game like MvC3 because it’s mostly a 1v1 multiplayer experience. Imagine trying to find 16 players for a Big Team Battle game after you’ve been sentenced to “Quitters Hall” – you’d be waiting forever!

        Quitters might be jerks, but they paid for the game too – it isn’t good business to make it impossible for them to play. You have to find the right balance of punishing players that quit without driving them away from your product for good.

  7. i like what’s here. the only thing i would like to throw in there is if you quit a team MM game, you have to watch a faded or distorted view of the match until it ends. you don’t get returned to the lobby, you still have to sit and watch but not actually get to see it. this is in addition to everything else.

    it might even be for betrayers as well.

    • Heh, I think people would just shut off their Xboxes then. :P

      The goal is to stop quitters from ruining matches for their teammates, not making quitters stop playing Halo entirely.

  8. Good read. Some nice points and ideas as well as some that need more fleshing out. I’d like to see a follow-up to this with some more realized ideas. Hopefully, something good can come of it and Waypoint uses some ideas or something.

  9. I like the Matchmaking voting system you came up with. I believe they also need something better for Firefight, specifically Score Attack. If I want to play by myself, on Gruntpocalypse, on Glacier every time, I should be allowed to do that. This would be possible by eliminating voting in Score Attack mode all together. Instead, there would be rows and columns allowing you to select the exact map you would like to play and the exact game type. Nothing pisses me off more than trying to get a challenge like “200 kills on Holdout” (a map I hate!), waiting through the entire voting period, whatever specific map not coming up, and then me dashboarding it in hopes of “better luck next time.” What do you think? Want to add that to your article?

    • While I don’t think FireFight should be in Halo 4 because we need more work on Matchmaking, specifically ranked, to make Halo 4 a better game, there should have been a completely different way to play Score Attack. You should have been able to select map and gametype from a dropdown list and there also should have been leaderboards in-game that easily show you what your highest score and rank are.

  10. Wow these are great ideas, i like the voting ststem and the betrayal penalties. that also stops players from just being removed upon betraying on accident.

  11. If you ask me Halo Reach needs a Friendly Fire Booting System. Like if you were to go out of the map the kill zone warns you to return to the map area or suffer a suicide/fell to your death right?

    Well Reach needs a friendly fire booting system where you can only shoot at your teamates so many times or for so long (say 10 seconds or ten shots) till they get a mandatory boot.

    This would get rid of the jerks who constantly follow you and shoot you/their own teamates who have power weapons or vehicles. Like have you ever grabbed a sniper rifle at the beginning of a game and that one guy follows you around shooting at you because he HAS to have the rifle because he played halo 3 back in the day or doesnt give a shit about your team or killing the other sniper (opposite team), and just wants kills so he wont go negative because he can’t use a DMR and eventually betrays you yet somehow Reach has decided after a whole minute of him shooting at you (friendly fire), that the betrayel was an “accident”

    Same would go Wraiths, quite often when I play on Hemmorage (Bloodgulch Remake), there is usually some sort of spawn race to the wraith that is usually followed by grenades and idiots who stand on the tank, not only making it inevitable to betray them, but also damn near impossible to shoot when you really need to. Say if your in the Wraith and a teamate is constantly “EMP’ing” with say an overcharged plasma pistol shot, they should only be able to do that for so long for before they are removed from the game.

    Alot of people that play reach get away with team killing by simply shooting someone that is one shot (after an encounter with say the opposite team) when they are behind cover and more than half the time it will NOT count as a betrayal.

    I think 343 needs the banhammer, personally I never played halo 3 matchmaking so I never seen it in action but if 343 were to inconspicuously play in games they would see how flawed and harassing Halo Reach Matchmaking can be, from team killing, spawn killing and the pre-game lobby shit talking that cleary violates the code of conduct.

    Last thing, Banshee bomb kills should not contribute to a HaloTracker True-Skill rating. More than half the people ranked for true-skill in btb have done nothing but spawn kill quitters on maps like Paradiso, Renegade and Utopie

    wow, i didn’t mean write a mini essay either, my bad….

    • A friend of mine had a great solution to that: aim at the ground (or air, if it’s a rocket launcher or some such) and empty the entire magazine. Sure, you don’t get it, but neither does the guy bothering you.

      • well yeah but even still being that guy u also screw over your team by wasting what could your teams only defense and against a total spawn rape.

        (Pff topic)One time i was playing hemorrrage and i blocked off a teleporter and then i got an assasination, then another came through and i was halfway through when i got yoinked by the sniper on our team….I straight up betrayed him, teabagged him and burned the rest of the ammo in the rifle on his corpse. After that i grabbed our new rifle and drove around in a ghost for the rest of the game holding it so it wouln’t respawn. btw when i killed the guy that yoinked me i ended his rampage with a betrayal killjoy he was so pissed but it was so worth it

    • Don’t take HaloTracker True-Skill seriously. It does not consider the people you are playing against like the Halo 3 TrueSkill which was an ELO system. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elo_rating_system) As for friendly fire, I don’t think there could ever be a system that is fair. There are certain situations such as purposeful friendly fire and the counter to that would be bullet ricochet, but then if you are betrayed accidentally by a Banshee/Wraith and that players dies from ricochet your team would lose that vehicle. When computers can make judgements like a human then we could have decent betrayal systems for Halo. But they would probably enslave us.

  12. 1. Players unhappy with the map/gametype picked.

    You system sounds very complicated. Why not just hide the votes? People with mics can communicate what they would prefer to play. Or also give a single vote.

    2. Uneven team skills. (Losing by a large margin.)

    Microsoft TrueSkill system should fix that.

    3. Uneven team sizes due to other quitters. (e.g. 4v2, 8v4)

    Again TrueSkill system would fix this. A player quits and there team loses his rank goes down. This will keep quitters at the bottom ranks. The only place this would exist in social gametypes.

    4. Griefing. (e.g. betrayals, teabagging, objective holding)

    Betrayals are a hard system to fix. Teabagging is based on normal players movement. Try and think of it as a player paying respects to you by kneeling to you in honor. Objective holding can be fixed by more evenly matched teams.

    Evenly matched teams will have a harder time setting up for objective holding
    5. Outside/real-world causes. (e.g. connection drops, house fire, spouse unplugs Xbox)

    Can’t do much about this.

    6. Player can earn credits faster elsewhere.

    I don’t think this has a big effect really. I have never heard of anyone jumping ship to go play Firefight Arcade.

    WAVE THE WHITE FLAG – If a team is going to lose anyways all this will do is let some players save their K/Ds and prevent the other team from getting sprees/perfections or higher K/Ds like they deserve for being better. I would say yes to this if it was only in social playlists and the game lasted for a certain amount of time like 1/2 time passes.

    GIVE ‘EM THE BOOT – I like the idea of making it take longer to boot a player so it lets the betrayed player think about what happened and make a non-enraged decision in 1 second. The respawn penalties might hurt a team more than it helps.

    REAP THE REWARDS – Not sure if the credits will be back in Halo 4 but they probably will in a system like Halo 3 with a global time played rank and a sub-time played rank per playlists.

    PAY THE FEE – Sure, take away credits/Xp and even take away what their rank is when they go lower. Players in Halo 3 didn’t quit to have a lower picture rank. They quit because it affected their TrueSkill rank and manipulated how ELO is supposed to work.

  13. ***** If my comment were to be looked into i believe most people would prefer my approach! and there would be ALOT! less quitting. So PLEASE let my voice be herd!!!!!!********

    Im a team player and nothing else bothers me more when the other team quits out due to what ever reason! Some quit before the game even starts mainly because they don’t get the map or game type they were hoping for, the intimidation factor of the other team, or for other random reasons. The best way i think “343″ can approach this problem is to analyze everyones possible solution and what ever makes the most sense goes into play.

    I believe they should start off with the lobby and give everyone that is about to play a match making game a diversity of maps and game types so they would be able to pre-vote what they would prefer to play. If that where to go into effect I honestly believe that would solve the first problem of quitting. Not to mention the over all satisfaction of the game!!!

    The next major issue is the intimidation factor. High ranks vs. Low ranks and Teams vs. Randoms, what ever the cause its all still very annoying for both opposing teams.
    So “343″ needs to make it as much as a surprise as possible. Since not every body can come to an agreement they probably need to give the option of confidentiality before entering a game, so if a team of 8 were to get together on big team and wanted there gamer tags, ranks, and service records to be hidden they should be given the option of confidentiality after they chose there preferred map and game type.

    I’m not to sure if the option of confidentiality would work. Maybe they just need to make it confidential 100% of the time for what ever playlist. I know they do this for arena and I’m quite confident that it prevents the majority of pre-game quitting.

    Hypothetically speaking; if the previous solutions were to go into effect. There would leave one more generic group of quitters. These type of quitters RUINE the game!!!!! so first we need to recognize the reason for each quitter thats step one. Some quit because they are getting “raped” to hard, others quit because the aren’t winning the objective, and some quit due to random interruptions.
    “343″ needs to split this generic group of quitters up into 2 different groups and punish them appropriately. Step 2 there needs to be a standard quality of internet signal for each player entering into a game of match making so there are no random excuses for quitting. And last but not least Step 3 the most appropriate step of all steps to prevent “RAGE quitting”.

    “Halo Justice” (BEST SERVED COLD!!!!) There needs to be a standard punishment.

    If you quit intentionally just out of being a sore looser
    1) you automatically loose 15,000 credits
    2) you automatically go -50 or what ever the reasonable k/d would be
    3) you automatically loose 2 games

    Steps 2 & 3 would both save to your personal service record to account for the game that was forfeited.

    ***** If my comment were to be looked into i believe most people would prefer my approach! and there would be ALOT! less quitting. So PLEASE let my voice be herd!!!!!!********

    • I think that would be a little harsh. What if the connection lagged on YOU and you lost 15,000 credit and went -50? Not so fun. Little too harsh man.

      • If you read my comment accordingly you would have read about the part where i mentioned the stand quality of internet. Every punishment i listed is totally appropriate &i desperately needed. But since they have not yet fixed the problem i just quit overall along with many of my friends

  14. to be quite honest… i don’t think this will go anywhere, i read the whole thing and it is amazing but, for this to really be noticed, go get a job at 343i, or send this strait to them some how and tell them how many views it has and how many people actually want and think this is a good idea

  15. Wonderful article. This would definitely benefit the Reach servers. I hate playing living dead trying to level up to Hero but I cant when someone leaves and I have to become infected which stops credit flow. I am trying to be a game designer and this benefited me with ideas and typical points. Wonderful article. I love your enthusiasm and creativity. 343 may have remodeled the maps but that wont stop people from cheating it. When people cheat, others get mad and quit. As long as there are games there are quitters. They should definitely do some ideas you have. You should consider sending this to them.

  16. Hello again. As I was saying, they should really balance teams better and give everyone a fair vote. When I vote for say, Caged, I hate when 11 people vote for Countdown. Unfair. They need to also balance “noobs” with “pros”. People have advantages and some just arent fair.

    • How is 11 people voting for Countdown “unfair” ? Just because you don’t like the map that others may, doesn’t make the system bad, or any less fair. What you are demanding is unfair, a system where you, an arbitrarily picked person, get to pick the map, that may or [more likely] may not be the majorities favourite.

  17. A lot of these systems are needlessly complicated. For quitting, I feel surrender is redundant. In Halo 3 people would simply quit if they felt they couldn’t win. This allowed matches to gracefully degrade no matter what the issue was and get people back into the matchmaking pool as fast as possible, wasting no time. Dota 2 I think has an interesting idea with only punishing the first player to leave. Acknowledging that the game is imbalanced from this point on and letting the rest quit freely if they wish to do so.

    Betrayal booting is really a bad idea since it can be so hard to detect if a kill was intentional or not. In this case I think Battlefield 2 has a simpler answer than inconveniencing the player with QTE’s in the button prompt. For each TK give the option to punish or forgive. Punishes do not boot immediately but adds to a “punish” counter which will eventually kick or ban the player if it reaches a limit. Better detection of kills and TK’s could still complement it but should not be relied upon. We also have to take into account that accidentally crashing a helicopter can more easily boot than one tk for a powerweapon under this scheme. So punishes should probably be localized to incidents rather than individual kills.

    Any permanent repercussion that is in the hands of the players is bound to fail. You will be quitbanned and mutebanned by other players for no reason. This WILL occur and it isn’t acceptable. Quit punishments should only ever be temporary or stat based, and never based on TK punishments handed out by other players.

    Skill balance is easily adressed by proper trueskill matchmaking as in Halo 3 ranked.

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