New Halo Infinite Playlists and HCS Spotlight Event part of critical update
Halo Infinite’s multiplayer has had anything but a flawless launch. That said, 343 Industries are dedicated to fixing the issues, starting with this update.
Several new updates have made their way to Halo Infinite, improving upon multiplayer playlists, adjustments to ranked game modes, challenges, and even a special surprise for players in celebration of the first major Halo Infinite esports event. However, the biggest news of the day is the brand new Halo Infinite Playlists.
Matchmaking Halo Infinite Playlist Updates
At the start of Halo Infinite's multiplayer debut, it was riddled with controversy due to how 343 Industries handled the playlists, mainly due to the players not being able to pick what game mode they wanted to play. Luckily 343 Industries has heard the feedback loud and clear and has given us more playlists.
As a result of the feedback they added four new social playlists:
- Team Slayer
- Tactical Slayer (SWAT)
343 Industries wanted to stress that this is just a first step and that they understand players want more agency and variety.
Ranked & BTB Matchmaking Updates
Feedback from players and closely monitored matchmaking data have also been addressed for ranked play and Big Team Battle.
Changes are as follows:
- Adjustments to matchmaking rules to increase the priority of close individual skill matches, particularly for higher skilled players.
- Adjustments to BTB matchmaking rules to prioritize making matches with lower latency for lower population regions.
- Doubled the overall matchmaking timeout from 5 minutes to 10, to better accommodate very high skilled players finding suitable matches.
The team has stated that they will continue to monitor ranked and overall matchmaking closely and will later share more details on the system and future update plans.
They are also aware of and actively working on intermittent matchmaking issues in Big Team Battle, and ask that you follow @HaloSupport on Twitter for updates and reports.
343 Industries has received a lot of feedback, especially from early on in the beta, about CSR progression. They are planning a full separate post that will dig deeper into the current issues, but briefly addressed two areas of concern: rank inflation and overall rank distribution.
Distributions that we see for each of the 3 playlists over the past week are shown in the following illustrations:
Ranked Open Queue
Ranked Solo/Duo Controller
Ranked Solo/Duo Mouse & Keyboard
The desired goal in the design of the CSR system is that the median CSR should be around Platinum 1, and the Open Queue playlist is actually very close, but unfortunately the Solo/Duo playlists are skewed towards Diamond/Onyx.
Two other things are present in all three of the playlists:
- There are decent-sized spikes at Diamond 1. This is because Diamond 1 is the highest rank 343 Industries grants after a player finishes their 10 qualifying matches. This means that the extra players in Diamoned 1 are players who would eventually fall into the high Diamond or Onyx columns if they continued to play.
- There are smaller spikes at Onyx 1500, which is a result of certain aspects of the CSR algorithm that cause progression for CSR to become slightly harder.
The developers are hard at work on adjustments to the algorithm to shift distribution more in the direction of their goals and players' expectations. However, it may take time.
This update marks the third overall update to the Challenges and Progression system since the initial launch of the multiplayer beta that started on November 15th. In each update, the challenges have been tuned, while removing troublesome entries that made battle pass progression a chore.
This update aims to further alleviate said challenges, and add new challenges to the rotation in light of the new playlists, and lower the requirements for the weekly challenges.
Overall, a number of the mode and activity-specific challenges have been removed in their entirety, lowered requirements, or have had their weight reduced across the rotation.
343 Industries added that they understand the inability to choose which game mode to play can be frustrating when a lot of the challenges coincide with certain game modes. They believe the new changes should help reduce some of the friction.
With the update also came new playlist-specific challenges. You can expect to find specific playlists versions of each of the new challenge types:
- Personal Score - Accumulate personal score in the specifice playlist to complete.
- Kills - Earn the required number of kills in a specific playlist.
- Double Kills - Earn double kills in a specific playlist.
- Complete Games - Play and complete games in a specific playlist
- Win - Win games in a specific playlist
The requirements and corresponding XP will vary depending on the rarity of each challenge. (i.e. "Normal", "Heroic", "Legendary").
Players have also given feedback that the challenges for events are difficult to progress due to getting 'stuck' behind weekly challenges or not having enough to do during the event week.
Going forward, event challenges will come more frequently, and while events will often still have a finite limit each week, the maximum has been increased to provide more buffer for progress.
Last but not least, to commemorate and celebrate the first major Halo Infinite esports event, HCS Raleigh, players will be able to earn double XP for ranked-focused challenges for one week (Dec. 14 - Dec. 20).
Channel your inner HCS Pro and jump into ranked to speed up your progression on your battle pass, and be sure to watch the amateur and pro teams when HCS Raleigh kicks off on Dec. 17th.
You can also support your favorite teams and players with official in-game skins where a portion of each sale goes directly to the org the skin represents. Viewers of this weekend's event will also have a chance to earn exclusive Twitch drops so be sure to stay tuned!
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My name is Mathew Scriver, though most call me Matt or even AggroMatt. I have been gaming since the ripe old age of 5 years old. I am an avid Halo fan who can't seem to get enough of the franchise.