You've obviously never played one game of CE on the PC then. THAT is where the only CE multiplayer took place. Weird starts like Plasma Pistols, or no weapons is a common occurrence. And NOONE plays CE 2v2!?! CE does NOT need a rank system. CE is a perfect game without it, and I'm sure all the CE players out there would agree. Adding ranks to it would change the game. And on a side note, we have side apps for ranks and stats tracking already.
Halo CE came out on the XBOX in 2001. We would play it on-line using a PC app called Gamespy, and then later on using the far better XBC software. There would be 300-400 games hosted on any given weekday. If you actually played the game back then, you would know this.
After the first month, if you joined or made a game that didn't have the pistol/AR start and radar turned off, either people would leave your game or you would leave theirs. No one played with a plasma pistol start and radar. This was standard practice. 2v2 team slayer was standard, sometimes 4v4 TS and objective games. . The same thing held true for the lan games. Halo PC came out in 2003, and we played that as well but the hit detection was inferior and the competition much more inferior to those that played on the console. We gave it a chance, and custom games were decent, but overall the game just didn't measure up to the console version. Gearbox tried, gave us 6 more maps, and there were many interesting user made maps but compared to the console it didn't stand a chance.
For Halo CE, the best players who still play currenlty are Ogre 2, Patch, Harris, and Legend. Ask any of them and they will tell you 2v2 is the prefered game with the settings mentioned above. Pistol/AR start with no radar.
CE WAS perfect without a rank system, until the halo 2 rank system was launched.
The good players are not always going to play customs, so I have no interest in playing against novices that will take years to match the skill level of someone that's been playing for 13 years, and I'm sure they will not get any enjoyment out of the game either constantly getting killed. That's where the rank system comes in. Good players will rank up quickly, so that elite players can play against each other.
The only people who don't want a rank system are bad players that want to feel like a winner. The presence of a low rank # by their name is the last thing they want lol!
There's going to be alot of frustrated kids getting stomped in this game unless a rank system is applied. Default settings for team slayer 2v2 and 4v4 should be:
Kills to Win = 50
Death Bonus = Off
Kill Penalty = Off
Other Players On Radar = Off
Respawn Time = 5 Seconds
Suicide Penalty = 10 Seconds
Equipment = Generic