Ain't No 'Me' In Team.

When I bought Halo 2 (H2), I wasn't interested in how well it played. I was interested in how well its multiplayer aspect worked. GWJ forum members had suggested it was excellent from a usability point of view. They were right.

H2 is the easiest game to play online that I've found. When playing the single-player campaign, one can receive H2 LIVE game invitations. One can join parties hosted by players on your friend list, or people in your H2 clan. One can see friends and clan members, along with detailed statistics about one's games, on Bungie.net; a great example of systems integration. In public games, H2 even matches players based on how good they are.

Sounds wonderful, doesn't it? That's because it is. Why aren't I happy, then? Because, though Bungie's system's great, it's not quite good enough.

Most of the H2 games I've been in have involved playing on teams comprised of fellow GWJ members and unknown players which H2 decided to pair us with. There was little organisation. We got given our map, our team and jumped right in. This "˜ad hoc' matchmaking and team building leads to problems I'm concerned about.

These problems will be encountered more by the casual H2 player than the semi-professional one. Since those of you in regimented clans will rarely have strangers on your team, it makes sense that my comments are primarily for the casual player. Also, they are only to do with team games. On to the problems:

Team play isn't encouraged.

It's very difficult to win a team game without team play. It's equally difficult to strategise with people you don't know. Since almost every H2 game I've been in has seen me playing alongside strangers, and I play for the team, I've invariably ended up trying to coordinate an attack or defence while my asshat compadres ran around doing whatever the hell they wanted. This is immoral.

What should happen is this: When I'm put on a team with miscreants I've never met before, the miscreants and I are automatically assigned offensive or defensive roles, perhaps with particular zones to patrol or routes to assault. These would be our orders.

Orders may be changed during and between rounds. As incentive to follow orders, players could be rewarded for staying in their roles with team play medals, higher rankings or nude marching band photos. In essence the server is acting as team Captain, thus stopping me screaming at any more 12-year-olds because they're not doing as I tell them.

I realise my idea is contrary to your peculiar notions of freedom of thought and speech, but hey; democracy doesn't work. As far as I'm concerned, if you're going to tell people with whom they'll play, you might as well tell them how they have play, too.

There's no asshat-opponent filter.

As said earlier, H2 matches players with opponents of similar skill levels to ensure as even a game as possible. This criterion is good, but it isn't enough. An opponent should be judged on ability and demeanour. Enemies should be chivalrous in victory and cordial in defeat. Generally they've been neither.

When I kill someone in H2, I keep quiet. When someone kills me they'll start swearing. If they're not swearing, they're getting confused. One team managed to think all of GWJ were English because they'd heard my accent. They ran around shouting things like "Take THAT British guy!" or "Cor blimey, guvnor! Suck my balls QUEEN Elizabeth!". Thankfully they didn't know my real name's actually Potato, or things could have been worse. (I was named after King Edward.)

Anyway, I wanted to give those Bostonians negative LIVE feedback, but I couldn't bring myself to do it; I'm not the bitchy young woman I used to be. Actually, I've never given any LIVE feedback on a player, but if I did I'd hope H2 would use it in its matchmaking calculations.

If that's too difficult to do, perhaps there could be some kind of H2 Morality Test as part of the game's configuration. It would be a series of multiple-choice questions, answers determining the character of the people one plays against:

You are at a school sports day. A disabled child is competing in the 100 hundred-metre sprint. He is using an electric wheelchair. He accelerates well at the start of the race, but is eventually overtaken and comes last. Do you:

A. Go over and congratulate him for a good effort and good sportsmanship.

B. Go over, kick the tyres on the chair and say he needed better equipment.

C. Go over and shout "ROTFLMAO, PWNZERED STEELY WHEELY!!!!1111oneoneoenÂ" while pointing out you can dance.

Those that chose A would get to play against people like my homies and I: the kind of guys that don't fart, but if we did it'd smell of roses. Anyone that chose B or C would get lumped together in games. It'd be like an H2 version of colonial Australia.

Good opponents disappear forever.

Let's imagine one ends up playing against worthy opponents. The battle was hard won and narrowly lost. It's probable that both teams would want to fight each other again in the next match. Can they? No. They've to leave the post-game lobby and go through matchmaking again – probably to end up fighting asshats.

Yes, H2 allows one to send friend requests to opponents, or to invite them into one's party, but these aren't options I'd want to take advantage of. Firstly, I want them as opponents; I've already got a full friend and clan list. Secondly, it'd be creepy. I can imagine how the scene would play out over voice messages:

Cpt.Zolitary: "Hey man, you were a great enemy. I've sent you a friend invitation! I thought it'd be cool to work together!"

Fullofrends: "A friend invite? We only played for each other for five minutes."

Cpt.Zolitary: "Yeah, I know. But we kinda clicked, right? I just thought we could have some fun, guy. You know, it'd be like in the movies! Like in Enemy Mine! Or Single White Female!"

Cpt.Zolitary: "Hello?"

It's frustrating to begin to understand the way a team plays, to get used to their rhythm and how to interrupt it, but never have a chance to fully use that understanding to smush them. Also, not allowing parties to continue to fight each other might hinder weaker opponents improving their game.

From a personal point of view, even if one wins convincingly, match made games tend to feel like unfinished business. While trouncing an opponent is good for morale, it's little fun.

Thus I am done presenting the most pressing of my H2 gripes. There are others of course (overshield not working properly; guns not powerful enough; ability to lose) but these are matters of gameplay, rather than usability.

While I doubt that this missive will effect any change, I hope it gives you some comfort to think that even I, a gaming colossus, need help sometimes. Let me close by paraphrasing Donne: no man is an island, entire of itself – especially if it's got the enemy flag.

- 1Dgaf

Comments

This is precisely why you should be playing Joint Operations with us!

Another well written column... Highly suggest JO as an asshat free gaming zone with GWJ...

Any game is an asshat free gaming zone when played in private.

I've almost exclusively played H2 with GWJ'ers and it's always a blast. Besides private custom games, I like how we can party together to play against other partys, or clans even. No other game let's you do that. Yes we've played against idiots once or twice but most of the time the other party/clan ignored us as much as we ignored em, there even were trades of good words a couple of times after the match.

Good job 1Dgaf! Funny as hell.

Great article 1Dgaf, some funny bits I remember that match when they called all of us a bunch of "British Bastards!", they were realllly reaching for some quality trash-talking there.

I think some of your observations of the people playing have more to do with Americans in general. Americans are the kings of trash talk. I can honestly admit that I'm no good at zinging those slurs out, but I'm trying! Maybe I'm just not openly comfortable with telling another male, presumably younger, how exactly to suck my balls.

The great thing about Bungie is they have their finger on the pulse of the Halo 2 fans, they have just annouced some changes to the Match Making system from feedback they have received from fans. I expect it to evolve into an even greater service with time.

One thing I wish they did was balance out the Plasma Sword - every single FFA game turns into a big rush for the sword, and the winner is not the one with the most talent, but the one who got the sword first. Weak.

Also, starting with the SMG, especially in a big open map, is horribly wrong. You might as well be throwing pebbles at their helmets. Whoever gets to the better weapon first, wins. Something's wrong with that - the pistol from H1 was always on you as a fall-back weapon, and I think Bungie seriously needs to address this.

Good point on the sword. Also, unlike SP, the MP sword never wears out.

A slayer map with only assault rifle and nades would be interesting. That'd hopefully turn into a mid range/long range battle.

Yeah, I think it would be great if the sword wore out after say, 4 hits or something. I always feel like a cheap bastard when I grab it, but then again I know if I don't then I won't come in near the top. When in Rome..

I think they should make the pistol (and lots of ammo) secondary weapon by default. Not too powerful, but at least has a bit more range than the weak SMG. Then you have a balance of close/far. Battle Rifle would be nice, but probably overly abused like the pistol in H1 (I'm beginning to like it more, and more.. it really is the pistol redesigned, although a bit less powerful).

They need to add a private ban list, something like "Never, ever put me in a game with this person again." One my basic gripes against Live is the inability to establish public servers. It takes a while, and a lot of idiot banning, to establish a good public server.

I found it funny when they called us British Bastards. Then I remember saying "God save the queen!" At least we won that match. I think we did at least?

I recall the team match we hopped into, I believe it was assault. There were three of us GWJ types matched with on annoymous player, against a bunch of players I didn't know. We did fairly well, even though I suck, and had quite a good time.

I've found that Halo is quite fun playing Slayer when I'm on my own, and teaming with people I know. The GWJ players are always fun to play with, even when they're really good. And I think being called a British Bastard would make me laugh.

I don't know what it is, but I lose almost all of my team games because the random strangers I hook up with turn out to be complete e-tards. It's a rare occasion that I end up on a winning team. Best are FFA Slayer in the Rumble Pit (except sword matches) and team games with people you know.

What I enjoy the most is playing a team game with buddies against strangers. Kicks butt!

Dude.. where's your choose your tag post Congrats on joining the elite ones!

heh

I wouldn't expect one before Monday. Unless WoW servers crash for the weekend.

Some very good points 1Dgaf. I'd also like to add a couple of my own ...

First of all, I'm going to be controversial and say that I don't think Halo 2 is a very good internet (well, Live) game. At all. The game has a number of flaws, some of which have stripped me of much of the ability to enjoy this game.

The really obvious flaws, such as having no choice in which map I play or which game mode it uses, are commonly discussed and enough to soil my experience on their own. Not even having a choice in which continent the server I connect to is located though, is simply perverted. I'm no stranger to disconnections and lag hampered gameplay (you know, people and vehicles jumping position, not seeing or hearing the attacks that kill you, being "assassinated" by people in front of you) thanks to the games insistance of connecting me almost exclusive to servers several thousand miles away in the US.

One of the first things you do with a FPS on the PC is find a good range of servers with low ping, stable connections, decent players, rotations you like, good mods/admin and players that don't infuriate you. Of course, the genius of Halo 2 is that you can do none of this. Big brother decides to drop you into a world of (as 1Dgaf says) 'asshats' you have no power to avoid. And if you do meet nice people, you don't get into a pattern of talking to them due to hanging around on the same servers, you just never see them again.

I find this processes of removing me from the decision of who I play (in terms of person type and skill), what I play them at, and where in the world I connect to in order to play to be hugely annoying. But it's made worse by the matching service's occasional ability to find servers from which groups of people can get temporarily disconnected, or everyone except the host gets their ping dropped into the low yellow range.

Then there's the controls.

I can't stand the controls.

The thumbstick controlled look first moves far too slow, then suddenly seems to accellerate to almost top speed and overshoot the target. Sensitivity doesn't change the rate at which the movement / rotation occurs with respect to position, it just appears to speed everything up or slow it down. Like none-inverted look, I just can't get used to it. On PC I can configre my mouse to be perfect. On Halo 2 I can do nothing but suffer uncoordinated movement. I thought it was just me being rubbish, but lo and behold, all my PC owning chums feel exactly the same. And most of us "rocked" at Goldeneye. An option to adjust this would be so tremedously simple it's not funny, but it's not there.

And the X button (for using stuff) has become a monument to frustration.

Stand still and hold X for a second to use a ghost. In the heat of battle, you've been killed while you were stood there. You notice someone coming behind you while you're on a stationary gun. No point in trying to get off, you have to hold X for a second, then wait for it to spin back to it's default position before you can climb off and then start defending yourself. I'll gladly welcome back the accidental climbing onto turrets in place of that ... rubbish.

I could go on.

The teamplay maps are unimaginative, and would have been dated in Team Fortress Classic. Dying repeatedly at spawn as you are run over or grenaded is a lesson in "no fun". Blocking the voice of annoying, repeatedly garbled, or abusive players is overly fiddly considering that you'll be playing with them for 2 minutes then never see them again. The console often fails to register who you killed or who (and what) killed you due to lag. You have no quick or reliable way of knowing if the person who's speaking is on your team. Team chat is optional, and not the default, so almost no-one seems to use it. the number of maps is Tiny.

At it's core, it's a good game but it feels like it's been made by people who are oblivious to all the developments in multiplayer and team play first person shooters since 1997. Even the PC version of Halo has many things over Xbox Halo 2: player selectable servers, player run servers, optional automatically allocated team roles (attack / defense), and decently configureable controls.

I almost can't be bothered persevering with Halo 2. Half Life 2 and it's Source sourced versions of Counterstrike and Dod are seeming whole lot more refined, playable and basically appealing right now.

Can't believe I signed up for another year of Xbox Live just for this!

Good single player and split screen multiplayer modes though.

[edit]Forgot to add (in my whinging rant) that I've had some very fun games with a few chaps from here though, because you actually get some funny banter and teamwork going.

I'd be quite happy to whack my box on some evenings just to run as a customer server, if the option was there.[/edit]

I'm going to counter-point this (and really no offense, this game isn't for everyone) because as many know I'm a rabid Halo 2 fanboy. (yeah I said it!)

Pirrows wrote:

..having no choice in which map I play or which game mode it uses, are commonly discussed and enough to soil my experience on their own. Not even having a choice in which continent the server I connect to is located though, is simply perverted. I'm no stranger to disconnections and lag hampered gameplay (you know, people and vehicles jumping position, not seeing or hearing the attacks that kill you, being "assassinated" by people in front of you) thanks to the games insistance of connecting me almost exclusive to servers several thousand miles away in the US.

One of the first things you do with a FPS on the PC is find a good range of servers with low ping, stable connections, decent players, rotations you like, good mods/admin and players that don't infuriate you. Of course, the genius of Halo 2 is that you can do none of this. Big brother decides to drop you into a world of (as 1Dgaf says) 'asshats' you have no power to avoid. And if you do meet nice people, you don't get into a pattern of talking to them due to hanging around on the same servers, you just never see them again.

I find this processes of removing me from the decision of who I play (in terms of person type and skill), what I play them at, and where in the world I connect to in order to play to be hugely annoying. But it's made worse by the matching service's occasional ability to find servers from which groups of people can get temporarily disconnected, or everyone except the host gets their ping dropped into the low yellow range.

Yes it's different than the common PC "Gamespy" browser. I believe Bungie is onto a good idea, and while not perfected yet, I know this will be an evolutionary design. Remember, most people hopping on Live on Nov.9 weren't PC gearheads used to terms like "Ping, Host, Map Rotation, and Admin". I think for the masses this is probably a great system. Click, enjoy.

One of my frustrations with the PC gaming system was frequently not being able to access my favorite servers. Full, lousy ping, constant bootings, you name it. I spent more than a fair portion of time just trying to get a goddamned game going.

Then again, I would love to have those options you mentioned, on the side, almost like an advanced setting - I think that would be an awesome addition and address the common PC gamer complaint.

In regards to asshats, maybe I'm not super-sensitive as some, but if I don't like the public banter in some games I just unplug my mic - problem solved. Most asshats tend to join the Rumble Pit anyway, and I've encountered mostly cool people playing team games. YMMV, but in my opinion, this isn't H2 related, I've been seeing this ever since I first played Quake online.

As for lag, 3 games out of the 80+ I've had so far have had lag. The very first game I joined, one more recently, and one because I forgot I was downloading something. So far I've been quite impressed by this. Again, YMMV.

I do agree that I like the apple pie feeling of playing the same people in a map rotation, you do get some good rivalries and friendships out of that - I know there's a workaround provided by Bungie (involving party creation) but yes it's a pain if you want the same anonymous folk game after game. As soon as a match is over, most people bail. See ya! - Bam, gone.

Then there's the controls.

I can't stand the controls.

The thumbstick controlled look first moves far too slow, then suddenly seems to accellerate to almost top speed and overshoot the target. Sensitivity doesn't change the rate at which the movement / rotation occurs with respect to position, it just appears to speed everything up or slow it down. Like none-inverted look, I just can't get used to it. On PC I can configre my mouse to be perfect. On Halo 2 I can do nothing but suffer uncoordinated movement. I thought it was just me being rubbish, but lo and behold, all my PC owning chums feel exactly the same. And most of us "rocked" at Goldeneye. An option to adjust this would be so tremedously simple it's not funny, but it's not there.

Practice makes perfect. I've yet to encounter another FPS on console that has even come close to Halo's tightness, yes, move over GoldenEye, you have been de-throned (you had a great run!). I've played an assload of console and PC games over my many years, and I've noticed:

a) If you're a die hard PC gamer (ala twitch UT style) who rarely plays consoles and jumps into this game, it will feel very slow initially. I remember going from Halo PC to Halo XB after several hours and going WTF! - but that goes away within 5 minutes.
b) If you miss that feeling you can alleviate it somewhat by bumping up your look speed, but it doesn't look like this helped you much.

And the X button (for using stuff) has become a monument to frustration.

I really don't find it much more annoying than pressing "E" on the keyboard during the heat of the moment. I've never really thought that's a problem, whenever I see a vehicle and I'm close, my X button is already held down, so that the second I'm in range, I'm either in the vehicle, or performing a jacking.

Stand still and hold X for a second to use a ghost. In the heat of battle, you've been killed while you were stood there. You notice someone coming behind you while you're on a stationary gun. No point in trying to get off, you have to hold X for a second, then wait for it to spin back to it's default position before you can climb off and then start defending yourself. I'll gladly welcome back the accidental climbing onto turrets in place of that ... rubbish.

Yeah this is a bit annoying, but I understand it from a balancing perspective, so I accept it. It's hardly a technical issue. Bungie balanced the hell out of this game (see the weapon "upgrades from H1)

The teamplay maps are unimaginative, and would have been dated in Team Fortress Classic. Dying repeatedly at spawn as you are run over or grenaded is a lesson in "no fun".

Get better As for maps, I miss a couple H1 classic maps (which they've hinted on for future downloads) but I really enjoy them.

Blocking the voice of annoying, repeatedly garbled, or abusive players is overly fiddly considering that you'll be playing with them for 2 minutes then never see them again.

Man, you must have some terrible luck with assholes on Live. If anything, I have heard my share of 10 year old pre-pubescent voices, but I've rarely encountered anyone abusive. Maybe you should stick to team games with friends, fellow GWJrs (we're an AWESOME polite and AWESOME bunch to play with) and just avoid public rooms.

The console often fails to register who you killed or who (and what) killed you due to lag. You have no quick or reliable way of knowing if the person who's speaking is on your team. Team chat is optional, and not the default, so almost no-one seems to use it. the number of maps is Tiny.

Sure you don't have a hex on you dude? Almost everyone I've talked to has had a 99% lag free experience. How's your net connection? Your router snapping up some of those packets for lunch?

I do agree about the team-chat, it would be nice to see it more in the top corner, or center-ish if it's non-obtrusive, sometimes it flashes too quick to see who's talking.. future update maybe? Again, stay away from the public rooms, the GWJ clan you can barely get to shut up. Especially Sanjuro.. har har

Maps = very impressed with the initial #, and of course there's many more to come over the next year. No complaints there. Hell, I loved playing with the low number of Maps in Wolf:ET back in the day.

At it's core, it's a good game but it feels like it's been made by people who are oblivious to all the developments in multiplayer and team play first person shooters since 1997.

If you'd followed Bungie over the past several years you would know this statement couldn't be further than the truth. It's a change, an evolution. Change isn't always accepted by some people. No, it's not perfect, but from my experience neither are the majority of PC game browsers. I'm placing my bets on Bungie though, as they are extremely dedicated to fans complaints and needs. They are hardly sitting back in their recliners sipping their Cristal and laughing at the poor suckers who bought their game.

I almost can't be bothered persevering with Halo 2. Half Life 2 and it's Source sourced versions of Counterstrike and Dod are seeming whole lot more refined, playable and basically appealing right now.

I'd love to say "just hang in there with the learning curve" but it looks like you've already made up your mind CS and DoD are excellent games that have set a high standard for MP gaming.

Can't believe I signed up for another year of Xbox Live just for this!

Erm, did you see the free 2 month pass in your copy of Halo 2?

Good single player and split screen multiplayer modes though.

Good, but not great single player in my opinion. I still loved it, but didn't have as much charm as the first time I played Halo 1 back in the day.

[edit]Forgot to add (in my whinging rant) that I've had some very fun games with a few chaps from here though, because you actually get some funny banter and teamwork going.

Ahh, yeah we're a bunch of crazy fools..

I'd be quite happy to whack my box on some evenings just to run as a customer server, if the option was there.

Hear that Bungie? Snap to it!

Just wanted to throw in my two cents about the sword. If they just made it like in the campaign where it runs out after doing x amount of damage I think the problem would be solved. I am also a rabid Halo 2 fanboy, so I will not offer my opinions on the subject at hand as they are far to biased to be of worth.

Swat wrote:

Then again, I would love to have those options you mentioned, on the side, almost like an advanced setting - I think that would be an awesome addition and address the common PC gamer complaint.

Yeah, for people that just want to have a game found for them, or start one automatically, it's fine.

But that's not the best way to make the most of the game unfortunately, and knowing how much of your gaming time is spent connecting, knowing you're unlikely to build up a good team relationship with the guys you bump into etc etc takes away a lot of what's so good about this game type.

As for lag, 3 games out of the 80+ I've had so far have had lag. The very first game I joined, one more recently, and one because I forgot I was downloading something. So far I've been quite impressed by this. Again, YMMV.

I tend to play late at night, and get put on US servers almost all the time. Being in the UK, and being connected via domestic cable to Xbox servers, this exaggerates the issue. To be fair, the game is quite good at hiding latency, but sometimes it just breaks down and all that pent up 56K frustration from the past floods back.

Practice makes perfect.

I'm 20 - 30 hours into Halo 2 in terms of play time (on and off line), and I played the crap out of the first (finished it on hardest several times), which had the same problem. Trouble is, against people the same tactics that let you beat AIs don't work.

I'm a grizzled Halo veteran. I've read the books, speculated on plot lines, everything. I just can't stand the ruddy look control, and can't get used to it. It won't go away.

I really don't find it much more annoying than pressing "E" on the keyboard during the heat of the moment. I've never really thought that's a problem, whenever I see a vehicle and I'm close, my X button is already held down, so that the second I'm in range, I'm either in the vehicle, or performing a jacking.

But if you're looking and firing untill the second you want to jump in, you can't press X. You can't hold X and track. It's just not as dynamic as the first, and more annoying.

Yeah this is a bit annoying, but I understand it from a balancing perspective, so I accept it. It's hardly a technical issue. Bungie balanced the hell out of this game (see the weapon "upgrades from H1)

I don't even think it's a balance issue, just something to allow dual use of the X button for reload and weapon pickups / vehicle use without accidentally doing the wrong one. The sheer sloth which which you disengage from a turret you're simply stood at is ... just ...

Man, you must have some terrible luck with assholes on Live.

Last couple of nights I have. Think it's a combination of being unlucky, playing late at night by US time and more asshats coming out of the wookwork in that "they're more confident at it now, but still aren't bored of it yet" way. At least you have a chance to eject Team Killers.

Sure you don't have a hex on you dude? Almost everyone I've talked to has had a 99% lag free experience. How's your net connection? Your router snapping up some of those packets for lunch? :D

My net connection is great, only me on it there's nothing taking bandwidth. Connection to a good server is flawless. When I have problems on Halo 2 it tends to affect other people at the same time. I've noticed a few times that the foreigners seemed to have got disconnected from US servers together. At least you can chat to them while you're waiting to be reconnnected.

Maps = very impressed with the initial #, and of course there's many more to come over the next year. No complaints there. Hell, I loved playing with the low number of Maps in Wolf:ET back in the day.

I dunno, none of them have that hook that the best Counterstrike maps have (I play teamplay stuff most, deathmatch is less my cup of tea). Waterworks is nearly very good, but is too large and vacant for the size of the teams and timelimits of the game. There's a pretty nice 8 player map too, can't remember the name.

Some more linear, territory based maps (pushing the enemy back or holding them off) with shifting spawn points would work well and be a nice addition.

If you'd followed Bungie over the past several years you would know this statement couldn't be further than the truth. It's a change, an evolution. Change isn't always accepted by some people. No, it's not perfect, but from my experience neither are the majority of PC game browsers. I'm placing my bets on Bungie though, as they are extremely dedicated to fans complaints and needs. They are hardly sitting back in their recliners sipping their Cristal and laughing at the poor suckers who bought their game.

I never said that Bungie were lazy or had contempt for their customers. I said that they were a bit out of touch, and meant that they hadn't learned all the lessons that they could have from other people's games. Some of the features are evolutionary, and some are experimental, but some are poorly thought out and show a lack of refinement that's suprising in an expensive game that's taken three years to make.

Some things even manage to work better in the kind of Xbox Live games that we've all been playing for the last year or more. Heck, even Project Gotham overcomes more of the problems of using a floating, user hosted server base than Halo 2. At least if you find a good host and good players you can stick with them for a while ...

I'd love to say "just hang in there with the learning curve" but it looks like you've already made up your mind CS and DoD are excellent games that have set a high standard for MP gaming.

Like I say, I've played the Halo games a lot (oh, played a fair bit of the PC version too). There's just a few things about Live play that aren't sitting well with me.

Erm, did you see the free 2 month pass in your copy of Halo 2?

I renewed my subscription which was about to expire, because I wanted to keep my friends list!

Duttybrew wrote:

Just wanted to throw in my two cents about the sword. If they just made it like in the campaign where it runs out after doing x amount of damage I think the problem would be solved. I am also a rabid Halo 2 fanboy, so I will not offer my opinions on the subject at hand as they are far to biased to be of worth.

Totally Dutty, in every FFA game I've been in it turns into one massive rush for the sword, and whoever holds it the longest wins by a long-shot. Yes, it does take some skill to hold onto it, but it's such a "god" weapon it really needs to be balanced out.

And yeah I'm also a rabid fanboy, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to be pointing out the flaws!

I kinda feel Bungie only looked at the bad pts of the traditional way of finding games and then went about trying to correct them.

The problem is the traditional way of finding games had a lot of good pts too. And I feel these weren't noted and carried over into Bungie's new system.

I think the solution is to also let folks play games the traditional way. That way they can decide if they like one so much more than the other or if both have their moments.

AS for asshats and making sure strangers are on the same page with you in a team game. Well good luck.