Halo Reach finally discovers a ranking system


Starcraft II & Battlenet 2.0 demonstrate exactly how to do a near-perfect matchmaking and ranking system - every game should copy this!

I’ve had an article drafted for a while now about how when it comes to competitive gaming that you not only want a good matchmaking system, but also a good ranking system. At the very high end of any popular competitive game there will often be tournaments, clan matches, MLG, and all of that kind of thing – that’s all great, but it doesn’t leave much for anyone not extremely good to get into the competition and see how they square up and see if they are improving in their actual skill at a game. I was going to use Halo Reach as a case study of what happens when you don’t have any good ranking system. Halo Reach has a ranked mode, called “Arena”, however, despite having some great ideas behind it, it turned out to be a huge flop for a large number of reasons, but one of the major ones being that it failed to rank people’s skills correctly, using an formula that was almost completely individual stat based, rather than focusing on the team result. However I am extremely pleased to announce that astoundingly, bungie clearly have been listening to all the complaints and whilst it took them a long time, they appear to have fixed absolutely everything that was wrong with the Arena mode in this latest “Season 7”. Read the following links for a full explanation from their forums:

Confused About Season 7 Arena? — FAQ [Updated 3/18/11]

Seasons: Champions of “THE Arena” [Update 2/23]

This is absolutely incredible news for agoners everywhere, and, whilst there are a few issues and a few things that won’t suit all preferences, it’s still a virtually flawless implementation now. But this leaves me wondering why bungie don’t publicise this much more than they have! I only found out about these changes by accident when debating on the Gears of War 3 beta forum about how that game was another one that is (currently anyway) desperately missing a good ranking system. It just seems weird when it comes to Halo that I’m reliant on an extremely knowledgeable fan on their forums to actually post this information. Whilst I’ve always had a lot of fun with Halo Reach ‘casually’, this new system for ‘The Arena’ has piqued my interest in actually getting a proper arranged team together and seeing how well we can do and if we can improve and, well compete. Team Shitty Shotty returns? 😉 We’ll have to wait and see!

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