So, I was just thinking about Halo 5’s CSR and what works and what doesn’t, and I decided to put it out there for others to see. Continue reading for my extremely uber-1337 MLG Pro thoughts and opinions!

I stated in my previous post that I thought that the concept of Halo 5’s CSR is great, and that it could work very well in the final game. I also said that, at least in the beta, it does not work very well right now. I stand by both statements, but I want to go into further detail. First, I’ll mention why I like the concept of CSR in Halo 5.

With CSR, you gain EXP for winning and lose EXP for losing. This places an emphasis on winning, and that is the way it should be. If you place emphasis on personal performance, then players won’t try to win and will simply pad their KDR. I have seen complaints about how players are doing well but they lose EXP because their team lost. Well, that’s too bad, since you are playing Team Slayer, emphasis on TEAM. The team that wins gets rewarded, and the team that loses does not. Simple as that. Either get a team together, or play Free-For-All. I do think that those who perform exceptionally well in team games should not lose as much EXP toward their rank because they lost. That’s fair, but a loss should always result in a loss of EXP.

The actual ranks behave similarly to the traditional 1-50 ranking system in that you get matched up against players within or near your tier level. For example, a Gold tier player should be primarily playing against other Gold tier players, but they may also get matched against some Silver tier and/or Onyx tier players. In order to get placed in a tier, you must play ten placement matches and, based on your performance (mainly how many of those ten placement games you win), you will get placed in the appropriate tier. As long as this all works as intended, then I have no issue with CSR. However….

….in the beta, it has not been working properly. In my last post, I talked about how I was placed in Onyx tier in Team Slayer despite having about a 50/50 Win/Loss record and a mediocre KDR. I thought that it was too high, and as a result, I have been playing against those who are much better than I am, rather than those who are at or near my skill level. I see Silver tier and Gold tier players who have much better stats than I do, yet I am in Onyx tier for some reason. Those same Silver and Gold player then proceed to kick my ass and then hand it to me on a platter (see the Featured Image for visual representation; I’d be the blue Spartan). I have even been matched against some Semi-Pro and Pro tier players, and I don’t need to describe how those matches went for me (HINT: not well).

The fact that I was placed in Onyx tier doesn’t bother me that much. No, no, no. What does bother me is that I can’t go down in tier. At all. I am stuck in Onyx tier until the beta ends. So, apparently, until the beta is over, pretty much every time I try to play Team Slayer, I will get annihilated. All because the game thought I belonged in Onyx tier for whatever reason. It is no fun getting destroyed every game, and I am sure it is not much fun for those of higher tier to continue getting lesser competition such as myself.

As for my CSR in Breakout, I was placed in Gold tier. I haven’t played enough games after I got placed to really offer my thoughts, but it can’t be worse than my CSR in Team Slayer. We’ll find out.

So, how does 343i fix this? They could simply make it so you can go down in tier if you lose enough games, but that could encourage purposeful de-ranking, meaning, a highly-skilled player will lose games on purpose to go down to a low tier just to stomp on those of lesser skill. It was a bit of a problem in Halo 3, not sure about Halo 2, though. I imagine that 343i is trying to avoid de-rankers, so that is why it is currently impossible to go down tiers.

One potential solution I have is that you can only go down one tier. So, let’s take my case for example. I would only be able to go from Onyx tier down to Gold tier, but not further than that. I would not be able to drop all the way to Silver tier or Bronze tier. This way, there is less of a chance of a highly skilled player in Onyx tier or Semi-Pro tier to be able to drop down to a low tier.

Another solution could be to make it so it you can only drop from one sub-rank of your tier to the one below it once per week or something. CSR ranks each have a sub-rank to them (Onyx I, Onyx II, and Onyx III, for example). We’ll use my situation again. Since I am Onyx I, I could drop to Gold III in one week, but not further than that. The following week, if I am still struggling, I could then be dropped to Gold II, and so on. I could even drop down to Silver tier or Bronze tier if I am doing poorly enough, but it would take quite a bit of time. This could deter de-rankers since it would take quite a while to de-rank from a high tier to a low tier.

If CSR behaves anything like Halo: Reach’s Arena ranks, then they will be periodically reset. That could provide some breathing room, since your rank will never be permanent. I’d be okay with how CSR works now as long as the ranks reset every so often. I just wonder how often they would be reset.

Also, as long as there are unranked playlists, then that will alleviate many of my problems. Ranks are great and all, but I don’t want to play a super-competitive MLG tryhard match every time. Often times, I just want to kick back and have some casual fun. Not every playlist should be ranked.

I am very much aware that this is, in fact, a beta, and in no way represents the final game. I am sure that CSR will be tweaked and refined before Halo 5 is released.

Well, that about wraps up my thoughts on CSR. Sorry if it seemed a bit like a rant. I just wanted to express my opinions and issues I have been having with it so far. I hope that it doesn’t seem like I hate it. Again, I think CSR could work tremendously in Halo 5, just as long as it works properly, both at placing players in the appropriate tier, and at matching them against those of similar skill level. Right now, it seems to do the latter part well, but not the former. So, for the time being, I will go back to getting destroyed in Team Slayer.

Until next time, I’m out.

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