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PC Gamers, Cross-play, and the Clan Community


Argon143521

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Agent

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This is a quesiton I've had on my mind for quite a while, and this seems like a good place to put it out in the open.

For those of you that have been in the Clan Community for a significant amount of time; What are your thoughts on how the introduction of PC Players on Infinite, and the introduction of cross-play, has positively and negatively impacted the Clan Community as a whole? Or perhaps the impact was a neutral, and merely introduced a new aspect to the community, have any of your observed a phenomenon like this?

I ask as someone who became introduced to the Clan Community for the first time on Infinite (only ever played Halo CE and Halo 2 via LAN parties from 2001-2006) and as a life long PC player.

R10 Senior Director of the Hard Style Assassins Gaming Community.
HSA 2022 Hall of Fame
Gaming Hub Council Member
He/Him
"Do we bend the rules in service to a greater good? And if we do, what does it say of us?"
"Our Creed does not command us to be free. It commands us to be wise."

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Special Agent

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I personally have never been in a clan but from a friend I know who is in a clan he says it has been hard to keep up with PC players so most people in his clan have tried to switch to PC. They realized if they wanted to keep their clan at a high level and be able to compete they had to switch. Not that a Xbox player can't beat a PC player but it defiantly levels out the playing field if both sides are on the same platform.

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Intelligence Officer

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Inviting a conversation, a deep one at that. 

Being in clans for 10+ years I think the introduction of PC players expanded the population a fair bit and made clans that much more accessible. With communication tools like Discord its made it prolific, we can chat on the go mobile while playing on console or now have PC players involved with the PC client. Its unified that space in many ways. PC players were really introduced with the Master Chief Collection and the return of Halo: Reach added to it, collectively the game was republished on PC and it became vibrant for the first few months in September 2019. I remember this very clearly because we had started this site in hopes of gaining popularity and growing with the PC community being a more accessible site for PC players. This didn't go as intended though because gaming culture had changed, many on console would collect in Xbox Party chat over Discord voice channels and the Xbox game bar that included Xbox Party chat would fail from time to time. 

For me the pros and cons are as follows. 

PROS

  • More people playing Halo and finding players to play altogether, the population in both Halo: Reach and Halo Infinite invited PC players and for Infinite it peaked at launch around 250,000+ players
  • More mature background of players and members to recruit and join clans, PC players tend to be older because PC isn't as accessible as console is as a entertainment device 
  • More multi-talent brought into clans, only a few clans had a graphic designer or blender based artwork to support 'propaganda' up until PC players joined now many do

CONS

  • Cheating became more rampant, a Easy Anti-cheat Bypass program is easy to run on your PC as you play. The ability to cheat went unpunished by 343 Industries. 
  • Aim Assist and Mouse/Keyboard tuning, this is something still being worked on but many were frustrated about this problem and left to never come back
  • Mods are only available to PC players, alongside this only up until recently could you cross play Campaign for a shared experience 
  • PC players have more options to find each other and play together, where many might see this as a 'Pro' it eliminated the need for a clan

The overall impact was neutral in my observation. 

Ultimately the games short comings became the real challenge in cross play over any actual meta-gaming did with clans. The networking problems like desync or long search times with wide variety of skills did no favor to the introduction of PC into the clan community. I've seen positive things come in the form of a greater audience and more exposure for clans, forgers on PC did wonders in Halo 5: Forge a PC port of Halo 5: Guardians and continued to do awesome work in Halo Infinite for clans. I have also seen negative things, where clans harbored cheaters and would schedule matches against other clans knowingly pitting cheaters against them for easy wins. Denial of service attacks were also a thing, as it always was. 

I never saw a clan or community really capitalize on the cross platform and inclusion of PC, I expect the potential is still unrealized but I believe that Halo really is influenced by its competitive scene and so all of HCS is played on high-end PCs with 96% of the pro players using controllers. That is likely the future of Halo on PC for even the casual base so clans will only be able to support one or the other and on the basis of depth in how it is organized. 

Clans for example that included a jump course as a form of initiation have a hard time finding PC players where controls are a little different movement is a challenge. Aiming with a mouse however is infinitely better than a controller and so clans that focus on SWAT or Tactical game modes might value and be home to more PC players. The ideal balance of what to have in your clan or community has simply expanded to also allow these new 'markets' as updates come to perfect the relationship.

 

Because of my role and really drive for a successful role playing based clan which relied on the game itself, PC also introduced competition in other games that are better for story telling and role playing overall. Arma 3 and the Halo mod Operation: Trebuchet became a go-to for many that went from console to PC and Garry's Mod, a open sandbox style game where Halo assets can be loaded up into it. These games had role playing communities before and while they never encroached on Halo Infinite they did provide an avenue away from the main title games for role players and serious members who enjoyed that form of entertainment. 

In many ways this took away from the introduction of PC players but I didn't include this in my argument for neutrality, as its a personal choice to pursue and something not related to Halo Infinite. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Agent

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I really appreciate your analysis and insight into this, its been a topic that I've been wondering about since I joined the community with the launch of Halo Infinite. And I have to say that, pretty universally, I think your ability to analyze and succinctly summarize so many topics regarding Halo Clans is virtually unparalleled. You are a phenomenally talented essayist, and I have very much enjoyed reading dozens of your insights and summations of the clan community to this point. It has been, bar none, the clearest and easiest to compartmentalize as far as the evolution and complex history of the Halo Clan Community I have seen to date. And I doubt I will ever see anything of its equal again.

That was a little besides the topic, but I felt it very much worth mentioning nonetheless, as the your above statements were a prime example of your complete mastery of conveying information via essays. 

The only counter point I would offer to one of your points is that I feel you might be underestimating the appeal and utter flexibility that PC gaming has always had at its disposable, and has only been benefitting from a phenomenon similar to Moore's Law, in that its capacity for gaming and engagement are compounding year after year. I'm not a PC gamer because of my age or because of my comfort levels at all, I'm a PC gamer because its consistently offered me exactly what I've wanted from a gaming medium time and time again. I could get an Xbox or PS5, but I find that PC gaming eclipses what they have to offer. Especially considering PCs facilitation and explosion of the indie game market in the early 2010's. Of course that's just my extremely humble opinion, but its one I do stand by.

The only exception is Nintendo, and their consoles, but Nintendo stands above and beyond the Console/PC Wars in my opinion, as there's no real good method or metric to even start comparing Nintendo and their offerings to any other market, in a good way as I see. And I have owned every single one of their major console releases to date (Argon says as he stares at his 2 switch lites, a switch OLED, and the original 2016 model of switches on his desk lol).

But yeah dude, you have some raw impressive talent with the essays and analysis' you've posted here!

On 11/17/2023 at 12:36 AM, Accessing said:

In hindsight the numbers were insane for Halo Infinite. Can you imagine a retained population of 20 million online? 

 

 

Man those were the glory days back in late 2021, and pretty much all of 2022, full lobbies every night, with good people and good nostalgic vibes.

R10 Senior Director of the Hard Style Assassins Gaming Community.
HSA 2022 Hall of Fame
Gaming Hub Council Member
He/Him
"Do we bend the rules in service to a greater good? And if we do, what does it say of us?"
"Our Creed does not command us to be free. It commands us to be wise."

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Intelligence Officer

Intelligence Officer

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On 11/29/2023 at 9:24 PM, HSA Argon14 said:

I really appreciate your analysis and insight into this, its been a topic that I've been wondering about since I joined the community with the launch of Halo Infinite. And I have to say that, pretty universally, I think your ability to analyze and succinctly summarize so many topics regarding Halo Clans is virtually unparalleled. You are a phenomenally talented essayist, and I have very much enjoyed reading dozens of your insights and summations of the clan community to this point. It has been, bar none, the clearest and easiest to compartmentalize as far as the evolution and complex history of the Halo Clan Community I have seen to date. And I doubt I will ever see anything of its equal again.

I appreciate that, I will accept any and all praise. While I have since divested time away from clans, I know of a few seniors that may still be around to also discuss clans to this depth. I can only wish they were here since most take a personal bias or misunderstand completely what ONI or this website is about. I will keep trying to invite some old leaders apart of other clans or experiences, sometime I do want to sit down and interview people about there clans and this topic is a good hook for many having living through it and still seeing more potential.

There are a few threads around the forum that are actually reposts of Glatix and other very good essayists so I cannot take credit for every analysis you might have read. My older posts are unreadable too, I can only thank others for the feedback before, I actually hate to type walls of texts but at one point that's what being an officer was all about in ONI 😂

On 11/29/2023 at 9:24 PM, HSA Argon14 said:

The only counter point I would offer to one of your points is that I feel you might be underestimating the appeal and utter flexibility that PC gaming has always had at its disposable, and has only been benefitting from a phenomenon similar to Moore's Law, in that its capacity for gaming and engagement are compounding year after year. I'm not a PC gamer because of my age or because of my comfort levels at all, I'm a PC gamer because its consistently offered me exactly what I've wanted from a gaming medium time and time again.

Should that ease of comfort and access to more games be negative or a positive thing for Halo clans? 

I know some clans play Minecraft or GTA Online together, Read Dead Online was sorta popular here alongside many other games but I don't hear about it at all anymore. Being from a community yourself I imagine its a common thing, do you play any PC exclusive titles with your clanmates? 

 

 

On 11/29/2023 at 9:24 PM, HSA Argon14 said:

(Argon says as he stares at his 2 switch lites, a switch OLED, and the original 2016 model of switches on his desk lol).

I'm actually baffled that the Switch was released in 2016, I have 2 in the house only because they made the Animal Crossing one and my girlfriend really wanted it. That entire time during COVID was a fever dream of Animal Crossing and I cannot imagine any other game really rewrite that file in my memories. 

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Agent

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On 11/29/2023 at 7:20 PM, Accessing said:

Being from a community yourself I imagine its a common thing, do you play any PC exclusive titles with your clanmates? 

Me personally? No, 95% of what we play really is just infinite, but some of our guys in there have started small divisions for Destiny 2, COD, Diablo 4 and the like, so its never been a huge point of contention at all.

 

On 11/29/2023 at 7:20 PM, Accessing said:

I'm actually baffled that the Switch was released in 2016, I have 2 in the house only because they made the Animal Crossing one and my girlfriend really wanted it. That entire time during COVID was a fever dream of Animal Crossing and I cannot imagine any other game really rewrite that file in my memories. 

I can tell you the precise reasons I got mine for me; Breath of the Wild and Tears of the Kingdom. The switch lites are for my two boys so they can play the current gen versions of the games I grew up on like Pokemon and Mario ha ha.

R10 Senior Director of the Hard Style Assassins Gaming Community.
HSA 2022 Hall of Fame
Gaming Hub Council Member
He/Him
"Do we bend the rules in service to a greater good? And if we do, what does it say of us?"
"Our Creed does not command us to be free. It commands us to be wise."

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