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Criticism Do's and Don'ts
Flyingshoe ILR posted a topic in Forge DiscussionOver the past few years in the forging community, I've found that most people are pretty good about giving and taking feedback respectfully. That said, not everyone is, and when it goes bad it seems to go bad quickly and climactically. This thread will go over some of the basics of how to give and receive feedback in a respectful manner conducive to an atmosphere of growth and improvement. 1. Giving Feedback Before giving feedback, make sure you have at the very least downloaded the persons map and taken a walk around it. Look at it in detail and try to draw some conclusions about what you are noticing. After that play it if you are able and if nothing seems game-breaking or extremely unpleasant. Play multiple games if you can, possibly taking notes on what you notice. When posting the feedback over a forum such as this one, make sure to keep emotions as neutral as possible and to do your best to be unoffensive. What may not bother you may annoy or offend others, so it is best to keep feedback for people you don't know professional. Make sure the person understands how much time you spent looking at the map and whether or not you played it at all (not playing the map is not a reason for them to reject your feedback, which I will discuss later.) Finally, understand that your experience was only one possible angle, and that further testing or a different viewpoint may make your feedback irrelevant. Even so, make it clear that this is what you saw and try to supply some reasonable suggestions to fix the issues, though remember that they may not be taken. Sometimes maps simply can't be fixed to play very well. However, very few people want to hear this so you must be able to back up your argument and make sure they understand why it doesn't work and how they could do things differently in another map. 2. Receiving Feedback When receiving feedback from someone else, always remember to take it with a grain of salt. You may not agree with the feedback, you may even flagrantly disagree, but don't waste your time explaining to the person why they are wrong. After all, they just took the time to freely help you out with your map. Simply thank them for the feedback, and judge it for yourself. Almost all feedback, even that which seems blatantly wrong, is worth looking into. The person may have been wrong, but even going back and confirming that something is not a problem helps you in the long run. A forger must always be open to feedback, whether they like it or not. It is still the forger's choice to integrate the changes or not, so do not feel threatened if people say your map needs large changes or may even be unfixable (make them explain themselves in this case of course.) In the end, the best thing to do is simply look into their suggestions and be open minded about what is really going on on your map. What one should not do is reply with a long argument about why your map doesn't have the problems other say it has. Many forgers get defensive about their designs or take offense at the way someone gave the feedback. Always assume that people are not trying to be offensive in a post unless it is truly blatant, at which point you should take the higher ground and remind them to act more appropriately. Maturity is key when dealing with criticism, and the worst you can do is stoop to the level of the other person. If they are truly belligerent about it and are yelling at you it is best to ask them to leave the conversation. Here is an example of a good response to feedback that you found ridiculous or completely baseless: "While I do not agree that my map has these problems, and I have never heard of anyone else having them, I will look into them just in case. Thank you for the feedback." This response is clean, short, gets the point across, and does not risk starting an argument. Even in the case of a total idiot or troll giving you feedback, maintaining professional speech will give them no ammo to use against you and will bore them. In drastic cases it is also a good idea to simply stop replying to the person early on and ask a moderator to remove their comments. 3. Common Flawed Arguments There are many arguments that people try to use when receiving criticism that are fundamentally flawed. Getting these as responses to feedback is frustrating, and understanding why they do not work and being able to articulate it is key. • "Your feedback is invalid because you did not play the map, you only looked at it/ walked around it in Forge." This is one of the biggest cop-out arguments there is for forgers. It has been proven time and time again that even a decent forger can look at a map in forge for a while and gain an understanding of some of its flaws and weaknesses, especially if there are large ones. I would never argue that everything can be understood, and playing the map will always give one a better understanding than just looking at it, but a lot can be learned by analyzing a map in forge. Forgers who have been around a while recognize things that they have watched others do or that they remember doing themselves, things that may seem like a good idea at the time but rarely play well. An example of this would be building a giant bridge map connecting 2 distant land masses, or having a series of long tunnels in a map with no line of sight blockers or alternate routes. Forgers can often tell that a map has problems without playing on it because, in essence they HAVE played on maps with similar concepts many times. Some things will be different, but the largest flaws will still have the same effects. There are always those 0.1% of maps that somehow pull it off alright, but in almost ever situation it is easy to tell if a map has large issues before a game is even started. Playing the map is helpful for feedback, but definitely not always necessary. • "I had my friends look at the map, and they liked it, so you must be biased against me or my map." • "My friends are great forgers and they like it, so you must be wrong." These arguments are fallacious because they assume a number of things that may or may not be true: That the reviewer is biased, that the friends are actually good designers/ forgers, that the friends are right, and that more people saying something makes it the correct thing. "That millions of people share the same forms of mental pathology does not make these people sane." – Erich Fromm, The Sane Society. Similarly, that all of someone's friends like a map does not make that map good. The same argument can be made for certain maps or weapons in Halo 4, but that is another thread. Assuming how someone feels about a map is also baseless, as you can't truly know how they feel over the internet. • "You're just telling my map map is bad to make yourself look good and keep me down!" This one is just plain insulting. It takes a lot of time and effort to help people out with their designs while working on improving your own and trying to live life (not to mention it's finals week as I write this!) To tell someone who just went out of their way to help you that you are working against them is about the most insulting thing you can say to them. This is a situation in which it is time to call the person out and ask them to grow up or get out. • "I've been forging for years/ I'm a level designer/ I have more experience than you." This is a logical fallacy. While experience helps, the quality of a map speaks for itself. Even good, experienced forgers can make bad maps at times. Having level design experience or having experience in another program also does not transfer over to forge necessarily. Similarly, the halo sandbox is different from other sandboxes, so even someone who has designed for Counter-Strike may not make a map that is particularly good for Halo. Finally, a high quantity of maps made does not equal high quality maps made. 38 bad maps are still bad maps. As I sated above, the quality of a map speaks for itself. Conclusion The Halo Community, especially the forging community, is a great place to go for honest feedback. This feedback may be harsh, but as long as a level of respect is maintained you can gain a lot by both giving and receiving criticism. Remember, the goal of anyone giving you feedback is to help you better understand forging/ design in general as well as to improve your map, so make sure this is always the reason you are giving feedback as well. Respect, open-mindedness, and healthy skepticism are the keys to unlocking your forging potential.
Seriously? Can't Criticize in Forums?
shreepsy posted a topic in General DiscussionOkay, 343, seriously now. I made a constructive, polite, completely non-trollish post criticizing something that I believe you need to address. This post was subsequently deleted without any contact or justification as to why. Considering you've made it so absurdly difficult to communicate with the company, how is one to convey criticism? You've inherited a franchise that I've spent a decade playing. You did a great job with this game, but this is incredibly disheartening. Now you're deleting criticism from the forums, which seems to be the only avenue for someone to contact you? Shame on you. Give me a method to contact 343 outside of the forums and I'd gladly take it. Deleting polite, albeit somewhat negative criticism from the forums is completely unacceptable. I get it. They're your forums. But, it's insanely cowardly to delete a careful and thoughtful post without explaining why, or giving the poster a different method of communicating. Disappointed and angry, Shreepsy
Let me begin with a little introduction, as this is my first post in the 343i forums. I am a long-time fan of the Halo franchise. Since age 11 when my brother picked up a copy of Halo: CE from the local game store, I've been dedicated to the Halo franchise more than any other. From attending every subsequent Halo midnight release and beating every Halo campaign on Legendary, to ranking up competitively in multiplayer and playing on a few MLG Gamebattles teams, I've truly dedicated myself to the franchise in more ways than most. I wanted to establish this to give credibility to the thesis of this post. I am no newcomer when it comes to Halo, and thus I feel this gives me some credibility to criticize the flaws I find incredibly irritating. Now, obviously the past is in the past, and thus I will spare the criticisms of previous Halo installments (Halo: Reach would take me eternity to adequately criticize; aside from the story, it's arguably the worst game of the franchise, as the multiplayer was a complete disaster). Halo 4 was supposed to be a resurrection for the franchise after Bungie drove it into the ground with Reach, and in some ways it is. 343 has done a great job bringing Halo back from the ashes in many ways. But I don't get online and create an account in these forums to praise the game, just as you don't call the McDonald's corporate office to praise how well of a job the cashier behind the counter did for you. I come here to vent and present my grievances. (Disclaimer: I do realize a lot of this is going to be just my opinion and not fact, though I still feel strongly enough about it to proceed.) My first complaint is in regard to the rank cap. It's completely unfair that I have reached level 70 and can no longer progress because they just haven't gotten around to sending us the codes to unlock the other six specializations. First off, it's unfair that they need to be unlocked at all; why can't they just be unlocked from the start? Why do only limited edition game owners get to choose from all eight (while I didn't even know about the limited edition because the Gamestop employee said there wasn't more than one edition this time or else I would have purchased it anyway)? So now I refuse to play multiplayer because I'm not going to play for nothing. And daily exp caps too? Also stupid. I bought a ton of Mountain Dew and Doritos for the double xp only to hit the exp cap almost daily now, whilst losing out on any commendation/challenge/game experience I rightfully earned passed the limit. Now I have to keep track of how much I earn daily, and that's not even a sure-fire method not to hit it because it varies almost every day; USUALLY it's around 150,000, but never exactly. So just like Halo: Reach when I hit Commander grade 3, now I have to stop playing until the "rest" of the community catches up. That's completely unfair and discouraging that I should be "punished" for playing too much, I guess. My second complaint is the maps. Five total maps in standard matchmaking playlists, really? ...two of which suck. Solace is the worst map since Snowbound, Abandon is also terrible, and unless you use the Ghost or the sniper the whole time, Complex isn't that great either. Obviously Haven is a fantastic map and Adrift can be good too, but really? Five maps? This Halo game is by far the worst of them all regarding maps. And not only that, but they sell us the game for 65 dollars, and then say, "Oh you gotta pay 25 dollars more if you want all the maps," (the map packs). That's complete and utter bullsh** they sell us the game in two purchases just to make more money. And on top of both of these travesties, the new maps (from what I've seen so far in the Crimson map pack) are all vehicle-based, noob-favored, uncompetitive maps too. Really, 343, we can't have some good MLG-style competitive maps like, oh I don't know, let's go down the whole list of good maps they could have re-made or at least drawn inspiration from: Midship, Lockout, Warlock, Construct, The Pit, Guardian, and the list goes on; these are just off the top of my head. I am a competitive player, and I'd like to see some smaller, competitive maps; Haven is the only one close. My next complaint is in regard to the skill-ranking system, or lack thereof rather. I understand it's in the works, so it's not a huge complaint, but really why couldn't they have it done for the game upon release? Or at least thrown in some simple Truskill system from the old Halos until the new one is completely beta-tested and ready? SR is only satisfying for so long. I realize the skill system in every Halo game has been broken in some form or another (Halo 2, if you were above 36 you were a cheater; Halo 3, the mu of Truskill stuck you at a level for eternity no matter how much you improved over time; and Reach had no real skill system at all worth even mentioning, it was such a joke, etc.), but nonetheless a broken one is better than a nonexistent one. Next, why does the armor, nearly ALL of it, completely suck? I prefer any other Halo game over the armor mods in Halo 4, whether it be no mods at all, or simply the mods Reach or Halo 3 had. Nearly every single helmet looks absolutely awful. SOME of them are okay, but not more than what I can count on one hand. And on top of that, in order to unlock the best ones, you have to complete the impossible. Covenant Loadout Mastery? Who is gonna max out the plasma pistol, really? That means killing opponents with it, not just disabling vehicles and taking down shields. And not only this, for some unexplainable reason I have yet to understand, many people as low as SR 1 - SR 10 somehow have these armor mods that require the nearly impossible commendations to unlock. The same goes for Stances. Cheating, or am I missing something? I'll also note that nearly all the emblem options suck too (as they also sucked in Reach; what happened to all the good ones in Halo 2 and Halo 3?) Next, and man this one really irritates the hell out of me, why in the WORLD can't you just pick up grenades from dead spartans like EVERY OTHER HALO GAME without Resupply? That makes no sense, and it's incredibly aggravating. I am forced to sacrifice all other tactical packages due to this injustice. Next, armor abilities. Now let me begin by saying armor abilities are the absolute worst addition to the franchise by FAR, especially Armor Lock in Halo: Reach. However, after some tweaking and balancing, I have come to accept them as part of the game. I understand making Hologram more powerful, I fall for it all the time, and it's now a worthwhile ability to use. I understand toning down the jetpack (my personal choice of AA now), and thank GOD for making sprint a default ability (common sense that Halo: Reach lacked), but what I do not understand is Promethean Vision. It is completely overpowered, uncompetitive, and unfair. As if the motion sensor didn't make the element of surprise difficult already, now with PV it's nearly impossible in many cases. Next, why the removal of Forge World? That was like the major selling point of Reach, one of the greatest additions to any Halo game ever, only to be removed with no explanation or trace. And I'll add here, why the removal of the party theater feature that was in Halo 3? I'll still never understand that; I and my friends miss it terribly. We want to watch one film all together in one party and discuss it, but only one person can watch a film at a time, why??? I almost forgot this one, but this might be the worst of them all. Why in God's name does the object in objective game types (the flag, oddball, etc.) automatically pick up when you go near it, and to make it worse you can't put the flag down once you pick it up??? There is NOTHING more aggravating than being in a BR/DMR battle and accidentally walking too close to the flag or oddball only to pick it up and die. Or worse, to have the enemy throw it at you and you have NO CHOICE but to catch it? This might be the stupidest thing in any Halo game ever. I have died SO many times from this. I made the "World of Warcraft kid freakout" sound normal after I once walked too close to the flag in a firefight I was so angry. And then once you pick up the flag you'd better be sure you wanna be the flag carrier or die trying because that decision is like a tattoo; it's final. And that's bullsh** and makes no sense. I will surely think of my other complaints after I post this, as this is only what I could think of in the time it took me to write it, but it's a start. Feel free to disagree with me, because as I already stated a lot of this is mostly just my opinion, but nonetheless I felt strongly enough about these things to post it. I'd love other thoughts and opinions. By the way, I have no complaints about the campaign...except that it's freakin hard as hell on Legendary. lol In that regard, well done, 343.
343 ARE CLUELESS: HALO 4 GONE TO POTS
OutGunnd posted a topic in Halo 4 (360)HALO 4 IS BAD. NO QUESTIONS Enough small talk 343, someone needs to tell it how it is. Halo 4 is a piece of crap, plain and simple... the final product of Halo 4 isn't good enough but ANY stretch of the imagination. The game is boring, generic, has a TON of glitches and bugs in EVERY aspect of the game from campaign to Forge. This game that you have the cheek to call Halo 4... is OUTCLASSED in every area by Halo 3. No Questions. A game made in 2007... How embarrassing. When I play this mess, I struggle to see how any of you guys were "long time halo fans" ... give me a break. We all gave you a chance, We trusted you and you messed up, plain and simple everything in this game is just simply bad. Not Different Not Evolution Not Change BAD..... GOOD OLD FASHIONED BAD !!! GUTTING, REMOVING AND KILLING HALO The FEEL OF HALO, WHAT FEEL... Prior to the launch of Halo 4 we told OVER and OVER AND OVER... "the feel of Halo is still there" & "it still is halo"....etc etc, Many Halo fans believed you... then you swindled them into buying your crappy game by basically straight up lying to the fans... because every aspect of what make halo, halo is GONE. GOODBYE HALO, WELCOME TO CALL OF HALO: SPARTAN OPS 4. PERKS, KILL-STREAKS, KILL-CAMS, NO REAL RANKING SYSTEM, LOAD-OUTS, BAD MAPS. FAIL NET-CODE CONNECTION, NO CUSTOMS GAMES, SPARTAN FLOPS, ACTIVE CAMPO, CAMPERS, USELESS TEAMMATES. JETPACK BREAKS MAPFLOW. NO TEAM PLAY. INSTANT RE-SPAWN DMR SPAM. PAPER VEHICLES. NO HORNET/FALCON. RANDOM ORDINANCE. FORGE MAPS. NO FILE SHARE. NO SKULLS. FAIL ARMOR. SPECIFICATIONS UNLOCK ISSUES. RANK RESETS. PUNISHED FOR WINNING THE GAME/OBJECTIVE PLAY. HOW THE HELL IS THIS ^^^^ HALO !?!?!?! - WELL DONE 343. WE NOW HAVE TWO CODS ON THE MARKET. THE NEW "HALO" FEEL Now all Halo is about is just using active Campo, sitting on a rock with a DMR and just putting you BRAIN on standby while you just Spam the DMR across the map for 20 mins EVERY GAME for POINTLESS XP that shows NOTHING apart from how long you spent playing this wretched game. No point of playing tactically you will get pooped on by DMR spammers.. Want to use Vehicles??? Nope Teammates will destroy them Want to play the objective??? Nope get owned by DMR active campo. Play to win??? Why bother?... You won't even get as much xp compared to if you kill. Want to compare skill levels??? Nope 12 year old's get butt-hurt when the ranking system calls them out. (If you can't Handle a TRUE RANKING SYSTEM aka 1-50, RETIRE from competitive games and please PLAY MARIO KART & AND KINECT.) WHAT HALO USED TO BE Halo 1-3 was a an absolute pleasure to play, It Catered to ALL TYPES OF GAMERS From Causal to Competitive... it included everyone and it gave a huge replay value to the game, It had the social and ranked split in matchmaking and it gave everyone the chance on how to play halo, if they wanted to go for the win or just mess around and chill... you had the option of choosing WHENEVER you wanted, you wasn't FORCED to do either... this gave the game an extra dimension, an extra edge, and boosted replay value greatly. The campaigns were solid, skulls kept you coming back for more. Because of these factors the custom game community was allowed to excel with tons of user content, boosting the life of the halo game beyond predictions Even on social, halo was about going for the win as a team, the game rewarded winners and only winners which encourage players to go for the objective at all times, boosting team play... players would start of on even ground whether it was your first game or 1000th game... you it was down to the player skill not down to what the unlocked or got in their kill-streaks Nearly every weapon was useful in the right hand or situation and had to be fought over to gain an upper hand by using map control. THIS MADE HALO, FAIR, FUN, COMPETITIVE AND REWARDING. WHATEVER TYPE OF PLAYER. Last words Rant over, clearly 343 has no intention of fixing the mess they created (or continued from reach) but I just want everyone to know that 343 did a bad job and it's not up to the standard of halo. Discuss.
Brutal commentary on your good game
sharkbaitnate posted a topic in Gaming News FeedsMy commentary is as follows: 1. When I die in spartan ops, enemies seem to rush my new, hidden position even though they would have no idea where I am. That is if I spawned away from the action. 2. Often when I die I spawn at a point immediately adjacent to and/or under whatever killed me. Perhaps add some qualifier level code to how respawn is determined ie. Do not respawn at the point with a wraith parked on it. 3. Like most other triple a games you tried to save VM by having mobs spawn trigger based on my location. Works fine sometimes, and using drop ships is a good work around, but you don't always. Nothing is worse than snipe clearing an area, then running in and finding mobs spawning on top of you. Many other developers do these, but someone needs to be tools they are lazy scripting methods that lead to frustration at times. You do a better job than most (I'm looking at dice and infinity ward as worst offenders) but... Other than there issues a solidly put together game!