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343i update on Halo Infinite Season 2: Lone Wolves

FireFly

Member
Do you think only new IP’s and experimental games think about risk?

Not really, when AAAA budgets started to become a thing it is natural business people that were already looking to transition to episodic content (which makes sense for subscriptions oriented business models) tried to maximise what new kind of streams would bring them. If people accept and welcome the game getting regular updates / new content they may accept less content at launch and I can reduce the amount of content I develop without customer feedback. Call it agile, call it lowering your risk, etc…
So what's the most risk free thing Microsoft could do? Release a "standard" multiplayer Halo experience, that already has an audience in MCC? And already proved itself in Halo 5? Or take a Halo game, chop it up into pieces, release them over time and hope the player base will stick around?

It seems to me the episodic model involves *more* risk, because it's not been done before and risks alienating the player base, especially if development timelines slip. The episodic model saves up front cost and allows for more flexibility, but risks limiting growth in player numbers.

Now, I agree there is a question of how much content a "standard" title should have and maybe this has been continually going down over time. And yes Microsoft will have their own "budget" as to how much they are prepared to spend. But this comes back to the development issue. Do you think it should take 6+ years to release 10 multiplayer maps and some multiplayer modes that for the most part amount to DM,TDM and CTF? Are we saying Halo is the "experimental" title launching with a slimmed down multiplayer, where a full Halo game would have been expected to take 10+ years in development? Or could it be that the reduced size of Infinite's multiplayer has something to do with the development process and what 343 were able to achieve in what by all accounts is *already* an extended development cycle?

I think it is a little disingenuous to point to Infinite's content and go "see, this is what we should expect from a GaaS title", when Microsoft already gave the team the development time of 3 Call of Duty's. Is it so inconceivable that in an alternate universe, Halo Infinite could have been "Halo 5" with a new sandbox and plans not to stop at the 11th content update this time?
 
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I'm glad that they seem to be able to work comfortably, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to hire more people if they know this is the speed things are going to be and they don't want to overwork people.
 
When are the raytracing visual upgrade and campaign coop mode features coming?
Have those been delayed as well?


I'm glad that they seem to be able to work comfortably, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to hire more people if they know this is the speed things are going to be and they don't want to overwork people.
Great resignation = hiring software devs has become an impossible task.
 
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Inviusx

Member
From a technical perspective I'm really looking forward to seeing how they pull off network and local coop for the campaign.

I get the feeling they just pretended that 4 player coop didn't exist until they couldn't ignore it anymore as it's going to be a massive amount of work.

Good luck to them I say.
 
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FireFly

Member
When are the raytracing visual upgrade and campaign coop mode features coming?
Have those been delayed as well?
Co-op has been delayed to sometime in the second season, as mentioned in the update. Raytracing is MIA, but I don't think there ever was a timescale for it.

You also have stuff like replaying campaign missions and the extra weather effects they promised.
 

dcmk7

Banned

Multiplayer Lead just finished up and left.

So expect things to get even slower, or alternatively happen stupidly fast.
X Factor Reaction GIF by X Factor Global
 

dcmk7

Banned
When are the raytracing visual upgrade and campaign coop mode features coming?
Have those been delayed as well?



Great resignation = hiring software devs has become an impossible task.
Totally forgot about their promise regarding ray tracing.
 

Hendrick's

Member
They are moving too slow. I was hooked and playing every day, but without new maps I fell off. Can't honestly say I will go back to MP. Would check out SP content though.
 

Leyasu

Banned
6 month seasons (perhaps the next one will be less) an eternity to patch problems ( the game is probably held together with duct tape and zip ties) and one new map per game type. This game is toast if that is all they are able to achieve.

The best playing halo yet imo and 343 are doing their best to kill it. Matt booty is head of their studios should be doing more to get to the cause of the studios woes. Something is seriously wrong.
 
343 destroyed Halo. They should pass the game to someone more competent.
I find it hard not to draw the same conclusion myself, after MCC and now this I'm pretty tired of Halo fuck ups, delays, stories that miss the mark, books I start and don't finish from lack of interest, toys that are shit (megabloks sux) and the sheer incompetence in handling of MCC and Infinite's matchmaking systems/maps/modes/weightings all on top of generally just how out of step the studio is with what I and my friends want to play with Halo. Hardcore Halo buddies that we've played together since CE/2 and all nosedived with MCC literally trying everything 343 has output at every turn and ended up not continuing to play 343's Halo, in any flavour (Infinite included).

Infinite has the gameplay, most everything else ain't it and doesn't look like changing anytime soon either. Destiny 1 & 2, PUBG, Overwatch (less so), Apex Legends, Fallen Order all deliver and hold my/friends interest. Why would I load up Halo vs say Apex Legends when I can be guaranteed Aussie servers and population to play with in regularly released content and skins that are far better designed and implemented?

Infinite not only missed its own Halo bar it's fucking far from what current day GaaS games deliver from their studio pipelines. 343 pushed to do all of MCC and shot out both their own knees, kudos on fixing it finally but it's still mismanaged, and now 343 pushed for their own slipspace engine and look where we are. Knee deep in an engine really not competing with the top engines out there, a shit UI, poor performance on PC, missing forge, half assed theatre/share, raytracing not even talked about, antiquated matchmaking systems/maps/modes...fuck it I just cannot be bothered typing out their shit anymore.

I just wanted great Halo again motherfuckers. Halo 2 BTB ranked OBJ, Halo 3 ranked slayer, Halo 3 ranked OBJ, Halo 3 social/BTB, sweet customs, local splitscreen/coop madness, a great campaign story to solo & coop with my Halo mates. It's not esports and it's not rocket science. A well implemented Halo BR mode or PvE framework would have had fans and new Halo players clambering (pun intended) to play again and again for a long time.

Xbox/MS, buy Respawn and set 343 aside to do everything but the games e.g. merchandise, show, toys etc. I want great Halo back and Apex Legends is the best Halo-esque multiplayer game going and has been for years now. Apex out does 343's Halo Infinite and Bungie's Destiny 2. Perhaps beat Sony to the punch this time, as they locked up Bungie already. Alternatively pit Respawn against/collab with 343 similar to COD games output so we can at least get more than one Halo game every 7 years.
 
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elliot5

Member
6 month seasons (perhaps the next one will be less) an eternity to patch problems ( the game is probably held together with duct tape and zip ties) and one new map per game type. This game is toast if that is all they are able to achieve.

The best playing halo yet imo and 343 are doing their best to kill it. Matt booty is head of their studios should be doing more to get to the cause of the studios woes. Something is seriously wrong.
only season 1 was extended. we know future seasons including 2 are only 3 months long.
 

SteadyEvo

Member
I think it’s safe to say Halo has been milked absolutely dry. I pray 343 can move on and make something new.

20 years of Halo. It’s been a hell of a ride. Move on
 

Dream-Knife

Member
Yeah, while we're at it, Nintendo should stop milking Mario. Square, Final Fantasy. Sony, Grand Turismo. Don't be a clown.
Mario has been greatly over played. They've dialed it back recently though. FF is a generic label and the games can literally be about anything, or have any type of combat. GT is a racing game, it just needs better graphics, new cars and tracks.

The problem is people are making Halo games because they need to make a Halo game, not because they care about the story or source material. The games haven't been fun in 12 years. Halo is a masterpiece, but that doesn't mean the series has to go on forever, like the other games you mentioned quite possibly could.
 

ZehDon

Member
Yeah, while we're at it, Nintendo should stop milking Mario. Square, Final Fantasy. Sony, Grand Turismo. Don't be a clown.
The difference being those franchises are treated with the respect and dedication they deserve by their owners and custodians.

Square's efforts to apologise for and revive FFXIV are legendary. FFXV may have not landed perfectly, but they damn well tried.
Nintendo wheels out Mario for everything... and yet the results are often industry leading across multiple genres. Nintendo, above all else, makes sure Mario keeps his position of importance through sheer quality.
Gran Turismo has had a miss here and there, but there's no denying Polyphony has tried and improved from title to title, with GT7 looking like another slam dunk.

Halo, on the other hand, hasn't been in a good place in nearly 10 years. After the dust settled on Halo 4, the multiplayer community moved into "how do we save Halo" mode, and we've been stuck there ever since. And let's be clear: I don't just mean "less good". I mean Halo has languished and been actively damaged by 343i's incompetence. They miss every deadline, every quality bar, every expectation, and find new ways, year after year, to embarrass themselves and the franchise they're supposed to guide. Halo needs to go into stasis, 343i needs to be shuttered, and Microsoft needs to find a competent developer with a real vision for the future, rather than the hacks propped up by Bungie's success from two generations ago.
 
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Only 2 maps, I get the impression that a lot of time, effort and resources is mainly being focused on forge.

And fixing/making co op campaign work.

Regardless I'll happily jump back into the game season 2.
I bet they are also working on a new game too. 343 is a big studio they aren't gonna treat halo like blizz treats WoW. And even with WoW most people on the team focus on the next huge expansion than the "live service updates". These seasons don't take anywhere as much work as a new WoW expansion, it's just new cosmetics and 2 maps.
 

anthony2690

Gold Member
I bet they are also working on a new game too. 343 is a big studio they aren't gonna treat halo like blizz treats WoW. And even with WoW most people on the team focus on the next huge expansion than the "live service updates". These seasons don't take anywhere as much work as a new WoW expansion, it's just new cosmetics and 2 maps.
Plus the endless expansion too. (What I personally can not wait for)
 

Dr Bass

Member
I'm glad that they seem to be able to work comfortably, but it wouldn't be a bad idea to hire more people if they know this is the speed things are going to be and they don't want to overwork people.
They have 500 or so employees and adding more employees to software projects infamously doesn’t work. If you’ve ever heard of the saying “nine women can’t make a baby in a month,” the underlying concept is the same.

It’s just straight up mismanagement, which has been going on for years and years. I don’t know why people thought it would magically turn around out of nowhere. It takes a massive effort to turn around the culture and work situation of a company.
 

Calverz

Banned
It’s obvious the studio is really looking into this game long term and trying to ensure everyone who works on it hs a good life/work balance. It’s not going to be content rich like apex/fortnite and cod.
Kind of makes me sad but devs need a life outside work.
 

Banjo64

cumsessed
It’s obvious the studio is really looking into this game long term and trying to ensure everyone who works on it hs a good life/work balance. It’s not going to be content rich like apex/fortnite and cod.
Kind of makes me sad but devs need a life outside work.
I don’t know why any of us should care about dev wellbeing. I just want a good, feature rich product. If they can’t do that in under no obligation to give the game a second thought.

Destiny 1 & 2, Overwatch (less so), Apex Legends
Yeah, agree on that.

I would also say Splatoon 2 is more compelling and if we use Splatoon 2 as a baseline, the content pipeline for Splatoon 3 will be far superior to Halo.

They also all tick different boxes; co-op shooter, hero based, battle royale and third person arena shooter.

Halo needs maps and content yesterday. The game has gone from 300k concurrent Steam users to 5k. It’s going to take a Herculean and unprecedented effort to turn this around.
 

Havoc2049

Member
Halo Infinite needs a big splash to regain population. Two maps and a couple of play modes that all the other Halo games had on day one isn't going to move the needle at all. 343 will be lucky to hit 10k players on Steam the day Season 2 starts. Hopefully the majority of the team is working on a large multiplayer and single player update for this Fall.
 

Graciaus

Member
The problem is people are making Halo games because they need to make a Halo game, not because they care about the story or source material. The games haven't been fun in 12 years. Halo is a masterpiece, but that doesn't mean the series has to go on forever, like the other games you mentioned quite possibly could.
The problem is 343 kind of sucks at making Halo. Everything they touch has been either shit or average at best. They have failed 5 times now. Microsoft should let someone else try.
 

clarky

Member
The problem is 343 kind of sucks at making Halo. Everything they touch has been either shit or average at best. They have failed 5 times now. Microsoft should let someone else try.
That's both hard to agree with and disagree at the same time.

I loved halo 5 MP for example , whilst not for everyone I thought it was excellent. The campaign was trash though.

Infinite is excellent, although half finished and lacking content. I've got 250 hours on the clock.

They clearly have management and staffing issues and something needs to change. The game obviously needed another year in the oven which i'd imagine is/was understandably unacceptable to MS.
 
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Leyasu

Banned
The difference being those franchises are treated with the respect and dedication they deserve by their owners and custodians.

Square's efforts to apologise for and revive FFXIV are legendary. FFXV may have not landed perfectly, but they damn well tried.
Nintendo wheels out Mario for everything... and yet the results are often industry leading across multiple genres. Nintendo, above all else, makes sure Mario keeps his position of importance through sheer quality.
Gran Turismo has had a miss here and there, but there's no denying Polyphony has tried and improved from title to title, with GT7 looking like another slam dunk.

Halo, on the other hand, hasn't been in a good place in nearly 10 years. After the dust settled on Halo 4, the multiplayer community moved into "how do we save Halo" mode, and we've been stuck there ever since. And let's be clear: I don't just mean "less good". I mean Halo has languished and been actively damaged by 343i's incompetence. They miss every deadline, every quality bar, every expectation, and find new ways, year after year, to embarrass themselves and the franchise they're supposed to guide. Halo needs to go into stasis, 343i needs to be shuttered, and Microsoft needs to find a competent developer with a real vision for the future, rather than the hacks propped up by Bungie's success from two generations ago.
Whilst I have played and enjoyed 343s halos, it is time that Microsoft either shakes them up massively and/or forces them into moving to tech that allows them to advance at a steady rate, or straight up gives the franchise to another studio.

I have read that they considered going with ue5, but didn’t because they believed that it wouldn’t feel like halo. Okay perhaps they would lose some of the quirky physics that halo has but I don’t believe that they couldn’t get it playing like how infinite plays now.

Personally, if it was me calling the shots I would change the management, and tell them to go with ue5 or idTech. They could get support with the new tech from various in house studios.

Something needs to give. There’s no need to stop making halo games, but there is a need to make sure that they are quality. 343 are just too inconsistent.
 

nemiroff

Gold Member
why are 343i so damn slow with everything? dont they have like 700 people working at the studio? some of these things should have been in at launch. what exactly are they doing over there?
343 was a train wreck from the start. Can't imagine a much larger waste of money for Xbox than this. I see it as a miracle that Halo Infinite even exist in its current limited form, and ironically it should've been in place of shitty non-Halo 4 all the years back then.

They should've nuked the thing from orbit and rebuilt it from scratch (and kept talentless morons like Stinkles O'Connor far away from the project).
 
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Yeah, while we're at it, Nintendo should stop milking Mario. Square, Final Fantasy. Sony, Grand Turismo. Don't be a clown.
Can you really compare?
Can you really look at Mario, Final Fantasy and Gran Turismo and say they bring nothing new or interesting to the table or that the best days for them are behind them?

Mario is an event and every time Nintendo releases a new game it ends up being the new standard for its genre. This doesn't happen to Halo since the Bungie days. Final Fantasy is now going through one of its best periods ever with the biggest MMO in the world and Gran Turismo has a man steering that ship whose first love is and will always be cars. You play it and you can feel the dedication that team has for that world.

Can you say anything like this for Halo currently? (or for years) I know a tired and uninspired team when i see one. And these guys need something new to do. I'm not saying Halo as a franchise needs to be retired, nothing like that...but clearly 343i needs to move on. They were never a good fit for Halo anyway...
 

Lone Wolf

Member
why are 343i so damn slow with everything? dont they have like 700 people working at the studio? some of these things should have been in at launch. what exactly are they doing over there?
Terrible management. It’s why they brought Staten in after multiple failures. It seems he is fixing things, but in order to do that, everything has to be delayed. Unfortunate that it took this long to bring in the right people. I wonder if Bonnie Ross and Frankie Stinkles are even making any decisions at this point.
 

Hezekiah

Banned
Halo infinite’s Seasons are three months. Season one is lasting 6 months because they’re bug fixing the base game and taking a much needed break after flat out crunch.

The 500 employees in 343i aren’t working on MP. You can expect work on campaign expansions to be well underway. Also work on campaign coop.
They're now at 750 employees. 343i is a big studio.
 

LordBlodgett

Gold Member
That's both hard to agree with and disagree at the same time.

I loved halo 5 MP for example , whilst not for everyone I thought it was excellent. The campaign was trash though.

Infinite is excellent, although half finished and lacking content. I've got 250 hours on the clock.

They clearly have management and staffing issues and something needs to change. The game obviously needed another year in the oven which i'd imagine is/was understandably unacceptable to MS.
This is where I'm at too. Halo 5 multiplayer was the best that had ever been done, and had tons of content. Halo 5 also had a campaign that started to fall apart half way through, and ended up being bad compared to all previous entries.

Halo Infinite had the best campaign out of all the Halo games so far, but the multiplayer is missing content big time. I'm sick of the same maps over and over, and this content drip sucks.

They really need a management and culture shakeup at 343. I really wish they could pull it all together. Looking at what MCC has become I think they can, but that also took them way too long, so I'm not sure anymore....
 

Umbasaborne

Member
This is where I'm at too. Halo 5 multiplayer was the best that had ever been done, and had tons of content. Halo 5 also had a campaign that started to fall apart half way through, and ended up being bad compared to all previous entries.

Halo Infinite had the best campaign out of all the Halo games so far, but the multiplayer is missing content big time. I'm sick of the same maps over and over, and this content drip sucks.

They really need a management and culture shakeup at 343. I really wish they could pull it all together. Looking at what MCC has become I think they can, but that also took them way too long, so I'm not sure anymore....
Halo infinites campaign is a really fun open, then incredibly tedious and repetitive looking interiors, with a plot that does its best to shove the stories of halo 4 and 5 under the rug in a way that is insulting to somone who was interested in the narrative of those games. There is a solid structure here, and infinite might be the best feeling halo game to date. But between launching unfinished, the lack of features, boring maps, boring campaign that shits on anyone who dared to get invested in their story telling over the past two games, and taking 6 fucking years to get out the door…its my least favorite game in the series. I thought halo 5 was a more complete and satisfying game despite the many issues it has. 3 has still yet to be dethroned. My order would go 3, reach, 4, ce, 2, 5, infinite
 

Umbasaborne

Member
I don’t know why any of us should care about dev wellbeing. I just want a good, feature rich product. If they can’t do that in under no obligation to give the game a second thought.


Yeah, agree on that.

I would also say Splatoon 2 is more compelling and if we use Splatoon 2 as a baseline, the content pipeline for Splatoon 3 will be far superior to Halo.

They also all tick different boxes; co-op shooter, hero based, battle royale and third person arena shooter.

Halo needs maps and content yesterday. The game has gone from 300k concurrent Steam users to 5k. It’s going to take a Herculean and unprecedented effort to turn this around.
Exactly, there needs to be a balance between understanding that games are tough to make, and being empathetic about that, but also not lowering our standards when we are the ones shelling out 70 bones because the studio was mismanaged, or they had unrealistic deadlines. Sorry but fuck that, im tired of buying games then hoping they will be better 6-months to a year from then. This shit is un fucking sustainable
 

01011001

Member
Today, in fact, just now, while playing the new "event" after taking a 3 week break from the game... I finally decided that I will never play it again unless they miraculously make it basically a completely different game.

it's just such a terrible game... it's so fucking awful.
they made a basic shooter framework that is decent and then wrapped it in dozens of layers of shit, and I am just done trying to find any fun in it.

before I always tried to force myself to like it almost, even while shitting on it constantly I tried to push through, to see the light so to speak, but there is no light. after being a fan of the series for what is now decades, I felt like I needed to...

and after coming back to it after taking a few weeks off, it just hit me... this game is not good, it's not fun... it has barely any redeeming qualities.

and when there's Halo MCC which is just 100x better in every way, why waste my time with this pre-alpha wannabe Halo game that somehow managed to turn me off faster than Halo 4? While Halo 4 was barely a Halo game, it at least was a finished product 😐
 
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Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
They're now at 750 employees. 343i is a big studio.
That is massive! Do you have a size per year? Does it include contractors?

I wonder how many people in total (partner studios) have worked or are working on Infinite. Maybe 343i has something unannounced that will blow us out of the water, but heck…
 
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Complistic

Member
Today, in fact, just now, while playing the new "event" after taking a 3 week break from the game... I finally decided that I will never play it again unless they miraculously make it basically a completely different game.

it's just such a terrible game... it's so fucking awful.
they made a basic shooter framework that is decent and then wrapped it in dozens of layers of shit, and I am just done trying to find any fun in it.

before I always tried to force myself to like it almost, even while shitting on it constantly I tried to push through, to see the light so to speak, but there is no light. after being a fan of the series for what is now decades, I felt like I needed to...

and after coming back to it after taking a few weeks off, it just hit me... this game is not good, it's not fun... it has barely any redeeming qualities.

and when there's Halo MCC which is just 100x better in every way, why waste my time with this pre-alpha wannabe Halo game that somehow managed to turn me off faster than Halo 4? While Halo 4 was barely a Halo game, it at least was a finished product 😐
Its a much better game if you just ignore the challenges. The challenges are sometimes literally anti-fun. Whoever thought that system up has probably never played a video game. Sucks that they tied the customization into it.
 

MiguelItUp

Member
God, what a mess. Such a shame too because the FEEL of the multiplayer is great! But there's clearly some in-house issues. There have been, and will be.
 
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