The Halo Bulletin: 4.3.13

So this weeks Bulletin is choc full of information. The main thing to note is that CSR drops on Monday with the return of Multi Team, and the Caste Map Pack (more to come on that). Sadly however it’s noted that the Castle Map Pack will be the last of the Map packs for now. With the addition of Forge Island however I assume we’ll see plenty more awesome Forge maps make their way into War Games.

CSR – Competitive Skill Ranks

CSR or Competitive Skill Ranks, is set to release on Monday. To sum it up best here’s the write up by BSangel.

“CSR, or Competitive Skill Rank, launches on all screens of Halo Waypoint (web, console and mobile) next Monday. You will be given a unique rank for each playlist within Halo 4, and the system will use the familiar 1-50 scale. We have been closely monitoring the match results and progression of players behind the scenes to ensure that this new system presents a challenge while still providing an optimal Matchmaking experience. As this is a brand new feature, everyone’s CSR will be set to 0 when it launches. This will allow all players to start on equal footing and enjoy the progression of the 1-50 system.

 

There are two different ways we calculate your CSR. CSR is closely based on your TrueSkill rank, which ensures that you’ll be ranked – and matched – against opponents of comparable skill. Your CSR is dependent upon your personal performance as well as the rank of those you play with. While several playlists will use a win/loss system to determine whether or not you rank up, others will use individual scoring, which will rank you based on your performance against everyone in the match, teammates included. In some playlists, you’ll rank up faster than others – these vary in order to create the most optimal experience for each playlist.”

Here’s a shot of how it will look on you profile in Waypoint.

Playlists that use individual scoring:

  • Infinity Slayer
  • Big Team Infinity Slayer
  • Rumble Pit
  • Multi-Team
  • Team Action Sack
  • Flood
  • Team Snipers
  • Regicide
  • SWAT

Reading the bulletin I almost skipped over this, but since it was in relation to scoring I took a closer look. That’s right, RUMBLE PIT IS BACK! Finally we will have a dedicated FFA playlist. Forge FFA has been awesome and Rumble Pit can only be just the same.

The following playlists will use team scoring, and your CSR will be based off wins and losses. This system rewards players who work towards the objective and win the match. It will take longer to rank up in these playlists.

Playlists that will use team scoring:

  • Castle Team DLC
  • Team Objective
  • Capture the Flag
  • Dominion
  • Team Throwdown
  • Team Doubles
  • Grifball

This definitely makes sense since teamwork is more of a factor in these playlists. Team Throwdown being the most competitive is obviously going to be hard to get a 50 in, without a full team. Upon reading this at first I was a little skeptical at the individual vs team scoring, but it makes more sense when thinking about the playlists featured.

Here’s the blurb about individual scoring and how’s it’s calculated.

In the mainstream playlists, we sort players by their performance (score) after every match, regardless of whether their team won or lost. The system will expect the players with the highest CSR values to rank consistently higher in the match. So if you bring all your awesome friends into those playlists and they dominate while you end up at the bottom of the scoreboard, your rating will NOT be carried by them; it will decrease instead. Your friends’ CSRs won’t change much since the system already expects them to do well. For these playlists, it will be very hard for friends to carry another player without bringing down their own CSRs and risking losing a lot of matches.”

Great to know now that boosting will not be that much of an incentive. However I’m sure some people will figure out how to do this, but for now this is a great deterrent. It’s also nice to note that with this new CSR system it’s going to match you up quicker and more balanced than the TrueSkill system. TrueSkill will still be a component, but in these “mainstream” playlists you’ll be matched with people who are closer in range to your CSR.

Team scoring works like this:

“In select playlists, instead of updating CSR based on the rank of every player, we will update based on the total skill in each team and who won the match. This makes teamwork as important as your solo play. The CSR on these playlists will be technically more pure from a competitive point of view. It will also take longer for these CSRs to converge but when they do, they will more accurately represent a player’s ability to help their team win. To get a 50 in the more prestigious playlists will require players skilled enough to consistently bring the win to their entire team so that they can be matched against better and better players.”

You can definitely see that this will favor full teams more so than individual players. You can go into it solo, but it’s best to have a working mic and team play be your main focus. No lone wolfing here.

Join in progress will also be getting a slight tweak because of this, which is music to everyone’s ears. JIP definitely is not cool and you shouldn’t be punished for losing a game that you JIP’d.

“If you leave early once a match has started, it treats it as if you were the lowest rank in the match for the individual-scored playlists and as a loss on the team-scored playlists. Players that join in progress are currently treated as if they had played the entire match. That said, in our selected, more competitive playlists, there will be rules in place to mitigate the effect. Namely:

  1. You can only join in progress during a small window of time in the beginning of the match, so those players will still have time to contribute meaningfully to the match.
  2. Friends are not allowed to join a game in progress. Only random players searching through Matchmaking can join during that 60-second window.

The rules for these playlists restrict the amount of noise from Join-in-Progress since that feature is only possible during the first few moments of the match. They also help improve the purity of CSR in these playlists. We plan on putting in these Join-in-Progress parameters as close to CSR launch as possible.”

It’s not yet confirmed, but they are working on getting these straightened out before CSR rolls out. Unfortunately for the Individual scoring playlists you’re going to have to tryhard it up if you join the game in progress. You won’t be able to quit either without it negatively affecting your CSR.

They are also going to be periodically resetting CSR. Which can have it’s benefits and it’s negative implications. It’s stated that they’ll provide ample messaging to let players know before CSR is reset and which playlists it’s going to occur in. My guess is that they’ll reset these across the board and not just in certain playlists. It was stated that they’ll be promotions that will cause CSR to be reset. Who knows whats in store there, but it should be interesting.

Monday’s War Games Update

To sum up this nest Matchmaking update is Bravo from 343i:

Episode 1 of Spartan Ops will be available on Monday, as we begin an encore of Season 1 – the rest of the season will follow with the next episode each week. In War Games, the Castle Map Pack will be available for download. This map pack is included in the War Games Map Pass or can be purchased individually from the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. With the Castle Map Pack comes a brand new playlist: Castle Team DLC. This 6 vs. 6 playlist will feature the following:

  Map   Game Type
  Daybreak  
    Infinity Slayer
    Capture the Flag
    King of the Hill
    Extraction – 1 Plot
    SWAT
    Snipers
  Outcast  
    Infinity Slayer
    Capture the Flag
    King of the Hill
    Oddball
    SWAT
    Team Regicide
  Perdition  
    Infinity Slayer
    Capture the Flag
    King of the Hill
    Extraction – 1 Plot
    SWAT
    Snipers

Also, these maps will be integrated into many of our existing playlists. DLC maps will appear in a playlist if all players in the match have downloaded the content.

  Playlist   Map
  Capture the Flag  
    Daybreak
    Outcast
    Perdition
  Infinity Slayer  
    Daybreak
  Multi-Team  
    Daybreak
    Outcast
    Perdition
  Action Sack  
    Daybreak
    Outcast
    Perdition
  Dominion  
    Outcast
  Flood  
    Daybreak
    Perdition
  SWAT  
    Daybreak

 

Probably the second biggest thing that I was most excited about was the return of Multi Team. This is going to be the traditional Halo 3 style of Multi team with 6 teams of 2. The maps for this have not yet been confirmed, but it’s likely that we might see some Castle Maps for this playlist.

Rumble Pit is back as well and it’s going to be and 8 man FFA I assume, but it’d be great if they launched it with 6. The following maps are confirmed for the playlist:

  • Skyline
  • Landfall
  • Monolith
  • Haven
  • Solace
  • Adrift
  • Abandon
  • Shutout
  • Simplex
  • Dispatch

Team Objective will be getting an overhaul as well. It’s transitioning from the 4v4 setup to a 6v6. I definitely enjoy this change. I know for myself and the guys at Rated Mature have a tough time choosing between Dominion and BTB when we have a party of six. Great addition to this awesome playlist. Extraction is going to be added to the mix and so will the Castle Map pack. It’s doubtful how much these will come up as finding 12 people who all have the DLC will be a little difficult.

It’s a long read this week, but there is a ton of stuff happening on Monday. Hopefully with CSR we’ll see a slight boost in the numbers as the matches should be much more balanced and there is now more incentive to play the game. If you see me on feel free to send me an invite!

For the full bulletin visit Waypoint at: http://bit.ly/14TM0fx