Let’s make no mistake here, matchmaking in Reach needs a lot of tweaking. It only takes one bad kid at a a birthday party to ruin it and the same stands for the likes of Rumble Pit and Big Team Battle.
Infection and Safe Haven – Asylum is unplayable due to a map exploit that allows players to tehnically get out of the playable area. This allows them to oversee the whole map and drop any infected before they even get close to climbing the rocks. Unfair.
Haemorrhage – Everyone was excited about Reach’s Blood Gulch remake but sadly it has not lived up to the hype. Games are unbalanced and boring thanks to some key problems. Any slayer game that features a Scorpion Tank spoiled as the tank is overpowered compared to it’s previous incarnations and there is a lack of weapons to compensate. The map is far too large for SWAT gametypes, taking the fun out of the fan favourite. But CTF should work, right? Wrong, with quick flag returns and only 15 seconds sudden death, the whole thing becomes slow and arduous on such a big map.
Oddball – The Drop Shield upgrade makes this so infuriating. Especially when all 4 players on the opposite team take it and you have to smash your way through all of them to get anywhere. King of The Hill suffers similar toubles as you can drop the shield on the edge or before it moves – not as big an issue but it still grates.
Big Team Battle – I love BTB, I really do. It was my home on Halo 3. Reach isn’t quite at that level yet, the weapon to vehicle ratio needs ironed out and SWAT/Snipers needs to be removed from most maps if not entirely.
I know this seems very negative for a game I’m on love with but you have to remember that Halo 3 was the same in it’s early stages. Only after years of updates, tweaks and refining did the matchmaking hit the highs it’s currently at. That’s something you can always have faith in with Bungie; they listen and implement the changes the community wants. And with that in mind, here’s the news of the first update:
- SWAT Playlist added (SWAT removed from Big Team Battle and Team Slayer)
- Campaign Matchmaking (live on 10/15 – You will be required to have earned the Grade “Corporal” to enter this Playlist)
- Team Slayer rebalanced to highlight default Slayer game variants and include new offerings
- Classic Slayer removed
- Removed “Pro” game variants from the Arena Playlist
- Removed Boardwalk from Arena Team Doubles Playlist
- Added “Return to Battlefield” volume to Space on Zealot in the Arena Playlist
Game Variants Additions
- King of the Hill (multiple Playlists, including Arena*)
- Rocket Race
- Juggernaut (Rumble Pit Playlist)
- *King of the Hill not included in Arena
- Sudden Death will be added to all Assault game variants, including Invasion
- Team Objective will now feature the map Powerhouse
- Replacing Drop Shield with Evade for King of the Hill, Territories, and Oddball
- Replacing Hologram with Evade in Oddball, Capture the Flag, Assault, and Stockpile
- Replacing the Scorpion on Hemorrhage with Wraiths (Hemorrhage Heavies variant, TBD)
This made me a very happy boy. Very happy, indeed. SWAT removed from BTB is good, a SWAT playlist will please many players. Campaign matchmaking could be a hidden gem if it matched the fun of Firefight matchmaking. Just tons of updates and tweaks that should open up the matchmaking and make me play other gametpyes rather than the safe haven of Team Slayer.
This is just a selection of updates with more being kept under the covers. New maps have been promised too, and I hope at least one is a new Invasion map.
Keep your eye out for Friday’s update as I think Bungie will how us at least one new map. Roll on October,It feels like release day all over again