Halo: Reach Will Punish Quitters, Says Bungie

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Halo: Reach Will Punish Quitters, Says Bungie

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Quit often enough in Halo: Reach, and you might find yourself unable to play at all.

Anyone who plays videogames online probably has had some kind of experience with people quitting. Perhaps you suddenly find yourself outnumbered three to one as members of your team drop out in Gears of War, or maybe you're denied a win in Street Fighter 4 as your opponent vanishes in a puff of internet smoke just before you strike the final blow. But if you make a habit of quitting games in Halo: Reach, you might be in for something of a surprise.

Bungie's Brian Jarrard says that people who habitually quit online games create a "really negative experience" for other players and that while quitting isn't cheating in the strictest sense, Bungie is still eager to curtail it as much as possible. He said that Bungie had developed tools to detect quitters and that it wanted to "remove them from the population" so that they couldn't spoil anyone else's fun.

While few would argue that people quitting online games isn't irritating, actively removing them from playing online seems a touch heavy handed, as well as difficult to manage. One would have to assume that Bungie's tools take into account things like connection issues and other legitimate reasons that people might abruptly leave a game, but no tool is foolproof and there will almost certainly be mistakes. Without seeing the system in action however, it's hard to say anything for definite.

Source: Xbox 360 Achievements

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I'm gonna say this right out: Bungie are douchebags now. If I'm new to Halo and accidentally get stuck in a match full of pros, should I just suck it up now? If I'm not okay with the game, I should have the right to leave. Even worse, what if your interrupted while gaming and have to go. If this happens some times, then what? First that bonus for PC gamers, now this? Thank you, Bungie, you've made me not want to buy this game.

It's true, ragequitters are a problem, but it's better off when they leave, otherwise they'll just whine and not care. I've played Halo 3 very much, and I've been stuck in impossible games over and over. It's not fun to have to quit. And I think it's my bloody right to leave the game if I'm not having fun. Shouldn't it be fun for everyone?

EDIT: Okay, I've received enough quotes, please leave this post alone.

EDIT2: I'm serious. I've heard every argument. If you think you're adding something new and fresh, you're not, I've heard everything, I'm admitting fault. Now let me forget this post.

Well that sounds a touch unfair, I guess we'll see ihow it works out.

Do not want!

I abruptly leave games when I get bored or when something more important comes up, I game to have fun but there's plenty in my life more important than computer games and I prioritise my life over them.

My internet doesn't always like me very much... I think my ISP hates the amount I download.

Still as long as I can be disconnected a few times without repercussions then cutting down on quitters is a good thing in my books.

Bungie: You are all idiots. What if someone genuinly needs to leave, or is just not having fun. Are they not allowed to leave? Punish rage quitters, not quitters. Also: Any game that becomes unbalanced due to quitters isn't very good, or has terrible auto balance.

This and the active roster where you can be put with chatty players, or not talk etc. Are making me worried. No one really needs these features and this is going to create more problems than it solves.

im a bit worried about this, what if i have to leave during a game. What if my friends get online and what to play a game. This is a little dumb, hoipefully this works out though.

generic gamer:
Do not want!

I abruptly leave games when I get bored or when something more important comes up, I game to have fun but there's plenty in my life more important than computer games and I prioritise my life over them.

Agreed, I'd never tell someone, "Oh, I have to be there in ten minutes, I'm winning this imaginary game against people I've never met." People dropping from games is to be expected, instead of punishing, they should be encouraging people not to drop from the game.

And what about people with faulty internet connections? When the server drops them, will they be considered "quitters" too?

One would have to assume that Bungie's tools take into account things like connection issues and other legitimate reasons that people might abruptly leave a game

Exactly what I was thinking.
One of the most annoying things I found about Halo 3's matchmaking was that if you quit/disconnect, you lose exp.
So, if you really have to leave for some reason, you get punished. Or if your internet connection sucks, you get punished.
Those people who had to suffer through just losing exp before, will now lose the ability to play online?
Me thinks that an asshole thought this little thing up. Well done Bungie, always good to listen to assholes. Makes you really popular, doesn't it?

Personally, I'm happy with this, provided it's done right and legitimate reasons for quitting are taken into account. If Bungie handle it well, this could be something I'd like to see in other games in the future. I play the original Halo (custom edition) on modded maps on PC, and I've had problems where I've ended up in a game against eight other players with only a few on my side because people quit or switch teams to be with their friends/clan-mates. And it pisses me off. In other games as well, like Dawn of War, I've suffered from people on my team quitting halfway through and leaving me to face an enemy with superior numbers on my own. And it's just plain unfair.

So yes, well done Bungie, and I look forward to seeing how this plays out in practice...

Undead Dragon King:
And what about people with faulty internet connections? When the server drops them, will they be considered "quitters" too?

Read the article again. That question is answered for you...

What Bungie actually means to say on the matter is here:

Bungie:
So, you may be wondering why we haven't fixed the quitter problem yet. Thing is, we probably have, but we just haven't turned it on yet.
As we speak, the Banhammer is watching, amassing data about who's been quitting, the manner in which they have quit, and who suffered as a result of that quit. Numbers are feeding into complex heuristics and deep databases, and somewhere in the middle of it, our very own disembodied soul howls for revenge.

"Swing Banhammer, swing!" you cry out. Well, problem is, this is a Beta and we don't want the Banhammer swinging wildly until we know for sure that the numbers coming in are correct, and that the Beta itself is stable and not disconnecting people (creating the illusion of quitting.) Currently, we are only logging data for future action.

So what do we have in store for when it goes live next week? Let me pull back the curtain just a bit:

For starters, our Banhammer is getting more data than even Halo 3 produced, which is going to let us dial it in and more aggressively deal with habitual quitters. The real jerks are going to run into this, and then you're not going to see them online anymore. It'll be great.

Second, quitting a game will forfeit any credits you may have earned for that game. In fact, it may even cost you some credits. We're waiting to see how effective the Banhammer is before deciding exactly how much.

Lastly, and all new for Reach, we have a new type of ban called a Quitter Ban. This is a relatively soft ban, so we will be using it quite aggressively, activating after only a handful of quits and lasting a rather long time. What does it do? A player with a Quitter Ban will be temporarily unable to re-enter Matchmaking for 15-30 minutes following any further quits.

Oh, and we're playing around with some gametypes which end early (think "Sudden Death") when most of a team quits out, so that you don't need to play 8v1 Slayer to 100 (aka. "Hide and Seek".) You may see some of these in Matchmaking if we're unhappy with the other countermeasures.

As custodians of the online experience, we will be monitoring and adjusting out countermeasures as necessary to keep things ticking along nicely, without games being marred by habitual flakes who quit when they don't get the Sniper Rifle first. So in the meantime, enjoy the Beta!
And quit quitting, because we are watching, and it is going into your personal Banhammer dossier.

(Special pre-emptive note: Online game designers are familiar with "virtual guilt", whereby a perfectly upstanding, innocent player will feel irrationally nervous and guilty upon hearing about a potential punishment. And now, you're familiar with the concept too. Well, relax. We are very deliberate about our enforcement policies, and if you're not a habitual quitter, we're not going to ban you for that one time that your internet cut out. And if it cuts out every game, well, you should probably use the downtime between games to call your ISP and get a technician out. It'll be for the greater good.)

They are not talking about permanently banning people from the system based on singular acts of rage quitting!
The longest anyone will be banned for is twenty minutes and only if they are frequently quitting from matches, like ten times in a thirty minutes.

Also:

http://www.bungie.net/News/content.aspx?cid=26432

Towards the end of this article it is mentioned that in fact before you even get a fifteen minute suspension, you get a weekly probation period. Bungie also note the connection issues other countries face and have done their bit to fix that up and have now got the tools needed to fix up connection issues. So the fear of being suspended based on connection issues is not something you need worry about as Bungie are aware of this problem.

This sounds too harsh. I have an internet connection that gets really unstable from time to time, and I'm sure I'm not the only one. Should those players be punished as well?

BudZer:

generic gamer:
Do not want!

I abruptly leave games when I get bored or when something more important comes up, I game to have fun but there's plenty in my life more important than computer games and I prioritise my life over them.

Agreed, I'd never tell someone, "Oh, I have to be there in ten minutes, I'm winning this imaginary game against people I've never met." People dropping from games is to be expected, instead of punishing, they should be encouraging people not to drop from the game.

Indeed, for example, bonus points at the end of the match or some such. Blizzard did that with the WoW dungeon finder and it's ensured i've pushed through some more of the "less likeable" situations and peoples.

Bungie has always been swift with the Ban Hammer

I think this system is going to work out good.

DO NOT WANT MAN!

No offense but this was news when they tested it DURING THE BETA! Though to be fair one could assume they wouldn't have gone though with it.

Anyway the way it is supposed to work is that if you quit so many times within certain period you will be banned for 15-30 minutes. A timeout if you will. The idea is that if something is going on that will cause you to quit repeatedly them you could take that time to fix it. If your quiting repeatedly because you didn't get "your" map it is their way of saying stop. Also,

Oh, and we're playing around with some gametypes which end early (think "Sudden Death") when most of a team quits out, so that you don't need to play 8v1 Slayer to 100 (aka. "Hide and Seek".) You may see some of these in Matchmaking if we're unhappy with the other countermeasures.

Bungie Weekly Update 05.07.10

Personally I don't really know how to feel about it.

...The hell? That's ridiculously unfair! I've already taken a massive xp penalty in Halo 3 thanks to having to leave mid-game due to friend, dog or academic issues. Now you're telling me that I might void my right to play the game if I genuinely have to leave?
How's this system going to work? Presumably it detects if you quit whilst you're losing?

My proposal for a better system - turn off/disconnect your controller, and you don't respawn when you die until you turn it on again (turn off your console, you still stand around until you're killed, but you can't rejoin the game). It also removes you from the party at the end of the game. Deals with controller battery issues, legitimately having to leave, and guarantees your opponents won't vanish whilst you're beating them. If an entire team disconnects controllers, give the game 30 seconds before ending and declaring a winner/draw. (Don't let a team win if they all disconnect, make it a draw in that circumstance).
Implement that, remove the ability to quit from online games at all, and see what happens.
There's a penalty of one death for quitters, which isn't so harsh that it punishes those that actually have to leave.

Would that work as a system?

This is fucking stupid; I'll quit my game when I like thankyou very much.

Not that I'll be playing Reach, but still.

Besides, I can easily see people getting banned just because they're always halfway through a game when they decide they want to eat or something.

Trivun:

Undead Dragon King:
And what about people with faulty internet connections? When the server drops them, will they be considered "quitters" too?

Read the article again. That question is answered for you...

It's a question not addressed by Bungie. It's still a legitimate concern.

generic gamer:

I abruptly leave games when I get bored or when something more important comes up, I game to have fun but there's plenty in my life more important than computer games and I prioritise my life over them.

A fair point, but this will only be the case for ranked games I imagine. Not to sound too serious but if players have other things so be doing that they might want to quit for then they should avoid ranked games so as not to be selfish towards their team when they quit and give them a disadvantage.

BudZer:

generic gamer:
Do not want!

I abruptly leave games when I get bored or when something more important comes up, I game to have fun but there's plenty in my life more important than computer games and I prioritise my life over them.

Agreed, I'd never tell someone, "Oh, I have to be there in ten minutes, I'm winning this imaginary game against people I've never met."

A good point, but for similar reasons to what I said above: If you don't have enough time to be playing a game then it would be selfish to join then quit and screw your team over. If it's a social match, one where even in gaming terms it doesn't matter who wins then fair enough.

Trivun:
Personally, I'm happy with this, provided it's done right and legitimate reasons for quitting are taken into account. If Bungie handle it well, this could be something I'd like to see in other games in the future. I play the original Halo (custom edition) on modded maps on PC, and I've had problems where I've ended up in a game against eight other players with only a few on my side because people quit or switch teams to be with their friends/clan-mates. And it pisses me off. In other games as well, like Dawn of War, I've suffered from people on my team quitting halfway through and leaving me to face an enemy with superior numbers on my own. And it's just plain unfair.

So yes, well done Bungie, and I look forward to seeing how this plays out in practice...

Not in the same games, but yes I have experienced this far too much as well. If it is implemented right I think it's a very good idea.

Or what would make more sense would be to do what games such as TF2 and L4D do on Steam and auto-balance teams if someone quits. Although the party system and the insistence of consoles having "ranked" games kind of screws that one up.

Is it really that hard to make an autobalance system?
I don't play Halo much so I don't know if people get switched to balance the teams, but if they can make that system the worst you're going to be is one man down.
Why not spend your time working on a system that makes everyone happy, and not one that eventually refuses players the right to play a game that they bought with their own money?

I'd be wanting to see how they will be able to detect the different types of quitting, and how they deal with the problems that will inevitably crop up from this before I give an opinion.

"Removing them from the population" sounds really bad, if its a short penalty for a few minutes, thats ok, but anything worse than that is a bit unfair since they paid for their game just like everyone else.

Sounds like a good idea. Ragequitters are fucking annoying, especially in games where people can't join matches in progress. You'll be having a tense battle, it looks like your team might lose but there's still a good chance, when suddenly half your teammates ragequit, turning a fighting chance into several minutes of being spawncamped. Or even worse, they leave as soon as the round starts because they don't like the map or some shit like that, and you've all but lost the match before it even properly starts. And yeah, it's even worse in 1 on 1 games.
Obviously things like XP penalties don't work, in Halo 3 for instance there's people quitting every single match! So I think it's worth it to try something stronger. And I'm sure they'll set the threshold sufficiently high so that people whose connection just drops from time to time won't be affected.

Whats with game companies nowadays?

Ubisoft feels all players are pirates out to steal your games so they put ridiculous DRM on.

Blizzard wants to unveil the internet anonymity mask on players to reduce trolls.

Now Bungie wants to punish players for a COMPLETELY ridiculous and minor game concern?

im honestly starting to think Valve is the only good guy out there for the gaming community.

It'd be quite a reach if Bungie could alienate their fanbase anymore then they already have. >_>:

Honestly, this makes no sense. People should have the choice of quitting without consequence. It's a video GAME, not Video Professional Sport.

Honestly? Can't see this working, and I'd imagine it'll catch more people with dodgy internet than rage quitters.

Legion:

generic gamer:

I abruptly leave games when I get bored or when something more important comes up, I game to have fun but there's plenty in my life more important than computer games and I prioritise my life over them.

A fair point, but this will only be the case for ranked games I imagine. Not to sound too serious but if players have other things so be doing that they might want to quit for then they should avoid ranked games so as not to be selfish towards their team when they quit and give them a disadvantage.

Well some times you really can't help it but you shouldn't do it intentionally no. I mean, if I'm halfway through a game (even a ranked one) and someone invites me to the pub or to go hang out I'll disconnect immediately. My personal rule is to take the sentence you were going to say and replace 'game' with 'wank'. If it still scans well then go ahead and say it.

"What did you get up to last night?"
"I had nothing better to do so I had a *wank*."

"Hey Andy, you wanna come to the pub?"
"No way, I've been *wanking* for eight hours and I've got further than ever before, I would rather just stay in and *wank*."

I mean, gaming is just a pastime and I really do rate it low priority enough to quit whenever I feel like doing something else in the same way that I put a book down.

The only time I quit a game is when someone around me asks for help or supper is called or something. I have a life outside of videogames. Are they reaclly going to punish me if I think I have a few minutes to spare but a match goes on longer than planned? Or if a friend in the real world is in trouble and needs my help?

Though the system does sound a little buggy, I have to jump to Bungie's defense here. They're well-intentioned and definitely not assholes. Regardless if you like the game or not, they're nice people.

Okay I just gotta ask this one very straightforward question: Online games are still struggling with this?

Seriously, the original Starcraft figured out how to handle this twelve years ago: If you leave the game before the match is done, a loss is automatically recorded in your win/loss column. Thats all you need to keep people from quitting. And if they don't care about a single loss, they can quit anyway. How hard is this to understand?

http://tf2lobby.com/ a site that I frequent has a ragequit detector that kicks in only if you leave early and gives you time to jump back in and save yourself.

As an added plus the % of games-to-quits is on your profile so everyone can see if you will up and leave at the game.

I really hope Bungie takes the time to fully explain the system or at least take a step back and look at the big picture.

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