Angry Halo 5: Guardians matchmaking rant

Angry Halo 5 Matchmaking rant – Transcript

G’day guys, it’s Pyroteq here and today I have yet ANOTHER rant on the same subject I’ve already covered and this time it’s not going to be nice…

According to 343’s latest patch notes I should be experiencing better match making.

Here’s the quote straight from Bravo himself:

One improvement we’re making affects how ranking impacts matchmaking search times for certain players. Over time, it’s possible for players to get skill values that make it difficult for them to find matches. This was an issue that lead some players to create alternate accounts or party up with people of much lower rank to find matches. We’ve implemented changes in our algorithm to get players at all skill levels even faster matches. This should improve matchmaking times and increase the number of people eligible to match for players at all skill levels as well as players in international regions.

Well, first I’d like to say too little too late. This comes 3 months after the release of Halo 5. It should not have taken this long to make sure players can find games in match making. When you’re releasing a game focused on online multiplayer that’s pretty fucking important. It’s actually probably the MOST important thing outside the core game play to maintain a healthy online population.

When players are conditioned to believe that match making doesn’t work they’re not going to keep on trying. Even if 343 had match making working perfectly tomorrow the damage has already been done.

In the background you’re watching footage of me struggling to find games since the update.

I think I can safely confirm that players outside Europe and North America are STILL struggling to find games in most playlists even during peak hours.

It is now February. Halo 5 was released in October. 343 has had nearly 4 months to fix this. 4 FUCKING MONTHS. FOR FOUR MONTHS players around the world have been ignored.

Since Halo 5’s release I’ve tried and tried again to get a rank in the Free For All playlist. Every season has finished without me finishing my placement matches since I can’t find games. I’ve been searching week nights, weekends, during the day and at night and yet no matter when I search I don’t find games.

Since 343 has yet to fix this issue the game is haemorrhaging it’s online population since they can fire up the latest Call of Duty and often find a game in a playlist of their choosing in mere seconds.

Shortly after the Halo 5 beta Josh Holmes posted an article on Halo Waypoint about what 343 was doing to improve Halo 5 after the feedback they received from the beta. One of the points he addressed was a region filter option similar to the “Good Connection” option in Halo 3.

Coming out of beta we have a number of fixes and improvements already in flight for matchmaking but at a high level our focus is on the following:

Allow players to set desired datacenter for matchmaking (may impact matchmaking speed and skill balance)

However, later on during development this was changed and Josh talked about this in an interview with Best Game Ever:

Our services detect location and assign players to the nearest and best datacentre to ensure optimal experience. We considered allowing players to limit themselves to a specific datacentre but this introduces a number of issues with matchmaking, particularly in an experience where matching for appropriate skill is so important. We have been running closed beta tests consistently over the months since beta to optimize our matchmaking and QoS (Quality of Service) detection and we are very happy with how it performs today.

Obviously, 343’s quality of service is a little lacking in the “quality” department. Last time I checked failure to find games in matchmaking isn’t an “optimal” experience.

You know what’s more important than finding a game of equal skill?

FINDING A FUCKING GAME AT ALL.

I’m sure even the worst players would rather have the option to play the free for all playlist against skilled opponents rather than it simply taking up room in the menu taunting them with 0/10 games played each season.

Did you know that it’s actually becoming common now for top teams around the world to use VPN’s in order to trick the game into allowing them to match against North Americans so they can actually practise for the HCS?

That’s right, people are paying for VPN subscriptions because of how poor the Halo 5 match making experience is.

What I’m currently showing you is the match making experience in Rocket League. This game has found tremendous success and it’s from the small developer Psyonix. Unlike 343, they’re not backed by Microsoft yet for some reason they’re able to provide a match making experience that is far better than what Halo 5 has to offer.

See this? It’s called a region filter.

See this? It’s called a population count.

Can someone please explain to me why the fuck Halo 5 has NONE OF THIS.

Now, I can already foresee a bunch of 343 apologists feeling the need to defend a corporate entity for some reason, so let me pre-emptively shut down a few arguments I’m sure I’ll see in the comments.

If the game allows international players to match against Americans this will make the game lag for everyone?

This is false. The international player would simply be playing with higher latency which would only negatively affect them. As long as their connection is stable no one else would notice. It’s very possible you’ve already played against Australians on a VPN without even realising it.

A player warping around is generally caused by an unstable connection or limited bandwidth, not latency and you’re just as likely to experience a North American player warping around due to lag as an international player.

I don’t want a laggy Australian on my team.

You’re just as likely to get a team mate that is awful at the game, been boosted with their higher skilled buddies, quits after 2 minutes or a 14 year old that has just learned about “yo momma jokes”. Having an Australian on your team should be the least of your concerns.

343 tried removing region locks and everyone complained they were put in laggy games.

There’s a difference between randomly throwing a player into a laggy game and a player deliberately picking an option with the expectation to play with players outside their region.

Personally I would only want to play with people outside my region for Big Team Battle, Warzone and other casual playlists. When I play these playlists I’m not too worried about my kill/death ratio and I just want to play the game. Despite having a significant latency disadvantage I’ll probably end up going positive anyway so the latency is no big deal.

Australian’s don’t have enough players, that’s not 343’s fault.

Well that’s pretty funny since I’ve been playing Halo since 2002 and the only other time I’ve struggled to find games at any given time was when I was trying to find Australian players on Xbox Connect in Halo 1 on the original Xbox.

There is NO EXCUSE for this any more. 343, FIX YOUR FUCKING MATCH MAKING ALGORITHMS ALREADY.

Give us a region selection option like you originally planned to, make the skill restrictions less restrictive and give us a population counter or an estimate on how long we can expect to wait to find a game.