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There's an ironic trend in gaming where games are getting more complex, giving players more to learn how to play, yet dumbed down, preventing new/bad players from getting hopelessly rekt and quitting. Both are pretty understandable from a business perspective. Having more features gives more things to advertise about the game. Sequels have to bring in new features or mechanics to justify being made into entirely new games. Otherwise players will complain about it being the same game over and over again. It was 1 of the biggest criticisms about COD and it pushed Activision into making the series futuristic. By the time it reached Infinite Warfare, the game ended up being a disaster of a mess of mechanics. But at least it's not the worst fall from grave of an IP

Microsoft/Bungie/343i did it worse. Halo used to be such a simple game. Its 1st game was as simple as FPSs have ever been on consoles. Then H2 introduced dual weilding, H3 introduced equipment, HR brought us AAs (Armor abilities), and Halos 4 and 5 brought us a bunch of shit no 1 wanted. The farther forward you go in the Halo series, the worst the skill gap has gotten. In Halo 1, there was no aim assist nor bullet curve to help players hit their targets. There was no lunge to help them Melee. There was fall damage which didn't protect them from running off of high heights, which should be common sense, right? It was a very simple to learn game that anyone could instantly figure out how to play. It's just that aiming was difficult because there are no mechanics to help players aim. But it's also the most skill gapped game in the series. Individual skill is so valuable because kill times can vary greatly. If you're good with a pistol, you can kill in .6 seconds, theoretically. That's assuming you can head shoot your opponent 3 times. The game is very much about attrition which is heavily about individual skill. All a team needs to win is having at least 1 more 1 man army than the opposing team. In objective modes, there's still team work, of course. It's just relatively less valuable than getting a high K/D

Ever since Halo 2, the skill of the game has become more about teamwork than individual skill because kill times take longer and aim is easier. Reliably 4 burst killing is easy with the game's new spawn weapon, the BR (Battle Rifle). You only need 11 bullets to kill and each burst fires 3 bullets. firing 12 bullets from 4 bursts means you can afford to miss 1 bullet during your 4 burst kill attempt. The game introduced aim assist and bullet curve to make hitting your targets easier. Kill time lasts so long that you're going to need your team to help you kill your enemies faster. Ever since this game, Halo's TTK (Time To Kill) for most competitively used weapons has been about 1.6 seconds

Halo 3 made it worse by giving the BR random recoil and slightly slow bullet speed. 4 burst kills were so unreliable in this game due to luck. Halo Reach introduced something even worse, the DMR, which is a semi-automatic rifle that takes 5 bullets to kill. The accuracy on the 5th bullet and later on this gun is abysmal. You'll need too much luck to reliably kill with it. But then Reach introduced armor abilities and sprint was the worst culprit of them. See a previous blog for more details. Halo 4 implemented sprint as a regular game mechanic and introduced ordinance drops. When you call it, you don't get much control over where it spawns. It spawns in a semi random location, meaning that if you look in the wrong place, you won't get it soon enough, which means your enemies could be closer to it than you are. Halo 4 even mostly removed the value of head shots. Where you shoot doesn't matter if the enemy has armor. It only matters when their armor's down. Armor is like 80% of a player's health & armor. The game doesn't challenge players to hit enemy heads as much as previous Halos

The increasing complexity and skill gap have destroyed Halo as a series in both entertainment value and sales. Halos 1-3 are considered the best of the series and as the original trilogy kept making new games, the latest game kept reaching new sales records. Ever since Halo 3, the series has gone down in sales. Reach and 4 reached 9 million and 5 only reached 5 million. The game isn't attracting any new fans. There's too much hate for the series as the game is right now. Many competitive players make a lot of valid complaints towards the games and maybe Microsoft/343i should listen to them more and go back to the original trilogy's formula which made Halo best. Activision went back to its roots with COD WW2 and got rid of the complex create a class and advanced movement. The series is being praised again. Halo needs to do the same thing

There are of course many other examples of esports IPs getting more complex to have more mechanics to advertise and more attempts at nerfing their skill gaps to prevent bad players from ragequitting. This doesn't retain customers and it doesn't give the games nor companies good reputations. Sales will fall from implementing bad game design. The series that does this the least, from what I've played or seen, is Counter-Strike. I'm totally biased, I know. But the complexity increases and skill gap nerfs hardly even exist. And Valve's benefiting greatly from this. The game is still getting good sales even after almost 5 years since its launch. Players are still buying weapon skins. I'm really hoping that other developers and publishers notice this and swing back towards older, simpler game design, at least in competitive gaming


I'll be making some of my blog topics into scripted commentaries on Youtube. Before Bronysquare ends this month, I want to use this opportunity to improve my writing and test as many ideas as I can before I refine any idea I feel comfortable with into a final script. If you'd like to debate or proofread, go ahead. You'll be of great help. Credit will be given on my videos to anyone who discusses about the topic

Also, this blog feels like a disaster. I'm going to need to restart everything entirely if I ever want to make it into a youtube video. I should have gone through a more theoretical approach rather than just explaining 1 example in super deep detail
Topics: COD, Halo, CSGO
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Chess Checker
This may be true in general, but there are cases where a game's sequel is a touch less complex and apparently has a lower skill gap than its predecessor. Case in point would be Blizzard's own StarCraft series.

I brought it up in your blog about how "hard" and "easy" are terrible terms for competitive...
  • June 18, 2017
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naked
RTSs are already a complex genre to learn. True, you've pointed out an exception

I've only played SC2's campaign and Heart of the Swarm's campaign for like 20 minutes. I've only played 2 games of SC2 WOL online ever and got my ass handed to me because I don't know how to win against humans. I just ab...
  • June 18, 2017
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Chess Checker
Indeed, it's quite a difficult game. But honestly, it's one of my favorites yet. That's why I'm trying to put the time in to play it competitively.

I'm nowhere near professional level; I probably have to make it into Master or Grandmaster League first before I'd be considered THAT good. I'm in the m...
  • June 18, 2017
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