And ranked and non-ranked are also essential. Four basic playlist seperations are one of the only solutions I can think of when the goal has become satisfying the wants of different players.
Are there others?
Look, some player's prefer AA's (although they dampen some competative aspects of the game) and some people don't. 343 knew this very well and did not make enough options for one of these crowds. They can change this easily. And they should.
Slayer Pro is not a sufficient option. Nades are whack right now, playing no-radar Halo with randoms with no mic's is whack. AR sytarts in a SlayerPro game are whack.
Personally I think AA's don't belong in Halo. But they don't make me crazy like some people, and I still enjoy the game with AA's in play.
However, hereafter reffered to as John's Law (after the Master Chief of course), any AA reveals its stupidity and superfluousness as soon as every person in the game has chosen the same one.
Obviously in a game where everyone's throwing constant regens and battling it out from within regens constantly, it becomes better for the game that no one is allowed to use one, insterad of everyone.
This applies to all of the AA's, think 4v4 all crouching around Complex invisible...at that point, it's better that no one has invisibility. And the game is better off for it.
The only exceptions to John's Law, arguably, are sprint and jet-pack.
I also see the tightness of true-skill matching in social playlists as being a major turn-off for players. Eventually it will equate/become like being a Generral in Halo 3, and only playing against entire teams of Generals every game. While this is what you expect in ranked play, when yuou are trying to play hard, you have a team together, you're playing well, you want to work on your rank or want stiff competition, then that's alright.
But social playlists, and LAN, have always existed as a way to play less seriously, or to mess around more and play more for fun than pure competition.
Also, anyopne who takes a month break or something from playing the game is not going to be able to hold their opwn against people of their rank who have been playing recently.
I see this as being a major major problem for the average online player.
Not having that option has already become troubling for many people, myself included. No way to warmup, having to play a well-matched nail-bitingly close game every time is not the ideal MP experience.
So, in the interest of providing all different types of player's with an enjoyable and fun experience, I think that 343 has to divide the playlists into ranked/unranked and AA/Non-AA within that.
They obviously need to do somehting before all the people not playing the game leave for good. I think this is a good idea.
And post Christmas the player base will be so small it will hardly matter about opinions.
lazy sack of garbage. TLDR...really??? that's too much to read?
Anyways TC, you're vision for Halo is a bit skewed, I agree with you about AA's but I actually enjoy the competitive nature of the games, the trueskill system seems to be working and i hope they don't mess with it.