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10/15/2012 9:15:02 AM
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Bungie Bitter?

(Excuse the cross-posting; your rules for segregating content between forums is not exactly clear on this sort of thread.) As the countdown reaches the final weeks before launch of 343 Studio's new Halo, I can't help but turn my thoughts back to the developer who created this whole franchise. And as I see that Bungie has for the greater part become very quiet as of late (not unlike a parent whose only child has grown and left home), I wonder what the feeling is here about this game and the job 343 is doing. I understand that the squabbles with the publisher may have entailed a gag order of some sort on any commentary from Bungie, as such could no doubt undermine the success of the new Halo. Indeed, it would have very much the same effect as Cervantes' withering rebuttal of the many authors who attempted to continue his Don Quixote while he was still in the process of finishing the work himself. But the more I look at this game, Halo 4 seems to me to be very much a work appropriate to the 'Covenant' school of thought, which is to say, more an effort of imitation than innovation. The manifold pressures on 343 have to be great, about that there can be no doubt. They are under extreme duress to deliver a title that will not only match the success of its predecessor, but also effectively compete in a marketplace that is dominated by essentially similar FTS games. Their solution, from what I can gather watching videos such as this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zmOoGucyMNg&feature=g-u-u is apparently to adopt the style of another hugely popular franchise, which for the sake of dignity will not be named here, and blend it with the basic formula of classic Halo. Now this foundation has always revolved around several key components: one will recall the formula of Weapon+Grenade+Melee as the cornerstone of this foundation. The arena style gameplay, which drops players in at equal strength and leaves them to compete for better weapons on the map, is also paramount. This is now being changed, more to match the style of the other franchise which we declined to name. What concerns me is that, on the one hand, I do not believe a true 'Halo' multiplayer experience can be carried off with this hybrid formula; and on the other, 343 is seemingly adamant about having 'brought something new and fresh' to the experience, when in fact they have done nothing more than taken two solid franchises and made from them a very strange centaur. This creature, it may be said, has too many limbs, and it remains to be seen whether it will not move clumsily and haphazardly, even laying balancing issues aside. As someone who is a writer of stories and philosophy, I cannot imagine the importunity of another person or party taking over control of a 'work' which I have been meticulously crafting for nearly a decade, and moreover mishandling it, or what is worse, borrowing only the title and prestige which is rightly mine and applying it to the fruit of their tyronism. And when the chief concern seems not to have been contributing a quality product, but rather the beginning of a new chapter in a series which, like Cervantes, I had firmly set in the ground as finished, and that this is furthermore being done to serve crude material ends---I say, this is a worthy outrage. There is so much cause for annoyance and exasperation at the incredulity of this new developer. They have demonstrated that they are competent for menial tasks, such as remastering a finished game to current generation standards (and this is indeed a fine project for a burgeoning studio); but the distance that exists between creating a work and merely amending a work is truly vast, and really of two different species altogether. When I then hear that they already have pretension to announce a trilogy before the leading title has even been completed, I cannot repress indignation at the arrogance and upstart flamboyancy of this studio. Here they are planning to develop three games across a lustrum or thereabouts, and yet they cannot set aside adequate time and resources to bring out a Beta version for the inaugural title. It is not so much that the game is being mishandled, but that it is being taken so far out of the spirit of the originals which concerns me. Whatever they have carried over from earlier games is not their property: they 'inherited' it from Bungie, and whatever superficial embellishments they may make here and there does not change that fact. The supposed 'new' content is, in the face and in the heart, borrowed or adapted from other franchises, the convenience of this being that Halo has steadfastly avoided these conventions and kept to their own formula. Nor is this all. The importance of this formula cannot be underrated; in attempting to capture a 'new audience' (which is only to say, the audience held by other franchises) they will necessarily have to dilute the idiosyncratic features and create a product that has mass appeal among the foremost of its virtues. Again the dedicated player will find himself more and more in the minority. For all its accessibility and wild variation, order has always been at the core of Halo, down to the respawn timers of weapons and vehicles and the equal strength of all players. The goal of this, I believe, is to force gameplay to revolve around real talent acquired through careful practice and learning, rather than simply awarding those players who spend the most time idling away at an achievement bar. This idea of rewarding players who do nothing in the game is entirely misguided: it makes the inept lazy and the skilled apathetic. In Halo Reach I noticed and continue to observe a real disinterest in winning, in contributing to the team effort, in favor of excelling individually and earning as many credits as possible for oneself. This behavior is reinforced by the fact that winning confers only a miniscule addition to the final tally of credits, and losing only a small deduction. With unlockable features which actually give a benefit to gameplay (whereas, hitherto, all 'unlockables' have been strictly decorative), this 'me first' behavior can only get worse. Already in Halo Reach things are bad: everyone confines himself to a party of a few players, rather than interfacing with the team as a whole; in every game there is fighting and fratricide for the best weapons; teams do not choose to keep together even after winning, and so on. Again, this selfish style of play can only preponderate with the new inclusion of rewards which cater to playing for oneself first and the team last. --Is Bungie bitter? It certainly has every reason to be: I have touched on several multiplayer issues, but the alterations to the narrative in the campaign must be intolerable. I do not understand why 343 thought it wise to bring in a second race of 'forerunners' for the sake of combat alone, and why every contrivance is being made to keep the Covenant in the game, when there is no good reason for the war to still be on. Here again we are perhaps seeing the limits to the creativity of a new developer who is struggling to strike a balance between what is known to work and what ought to work in theory. I thought Ensemble handled the Halo RTS very well; yet I am sure that, at the time, Bungie was quite displeased to have another studio take over production of a marquee title. So what, in a word, is the general feeling? I understand if courtesy and ligation do not allow Bungie to speak freely on the issue of their franchise being handled or mishandled;--they have certainly kept quiet the indignation at having their property confiscated by the very publisher whose foray into the domain of console gaming they carried single-handedly. Will Bungie ever pass judgment on the new Halo? And is there any favorable opinion about all this questionable change? I am not one to speak from ignorance: I will be playing Halo 4 myself before I deliver my verdict. But there can be no doubt, with things being as they are, that Bungie has cause to be bitter and more than bitter. As hopeful as I am that this new game will be worthy of its predecessors, the nearer we draw to release, the less promising it seems. --Quixote [Edited on 10.15.2012 1:15 AM PDT]

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Telec When I read the thread title, I was expecting a Bungie-branded [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_(beer)]bitter[/url] Thread did not deliver.[/quote]

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  • I get the feeling bungie wanted to stop with 3 and only did odst and reach for their contract. I think it would have been better if they stopped there, at least for a while, and worked on a new IP before revisiting Halo. I think that the new halo games will always feel somewhat off because they're starting to get overproduced, but I look forward hopefully to Bungie's next project.

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  • This was a wonderful analysis. Such good composition skills, too. I'm really impressed.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] spartan058 bill Keep in mind that many former Bungie employees (e.g., [url=http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Frank_O'Connor]Frank O'Connor[/url], a.k.a. Frankie a.k.a. author of Mister Chief) are now [url=http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/343_Industries#Known_Employees]working at 343i[/url], so don't be so quick to dish out the crap on them. Halo is as much their baby as many people at Bungie.[/quote] There are three former Bungie employees at 343: Vic DeLeon ("normal" Environment Arist in a team of 10-20 Environment Artists for H2-Reach), Greg Snook ("normal" Engineer in a team of 15-20 Engineers for H2&H3) and Frank O'Connor (Bungie.net Writer from 2004-2008). So Frank O'Connor has not even developed something. Not that their work wasn't important too but it's not like the key employees of Bungie joined 343, not even close. I don't think that Bungie is/was bitter to give Halo up. In the bonus videos of the Halo 3 Limited/Legendary Edition it seemed more like they were kind of fed up with Halo. They certainly didn't hesitate when they had the choice between developing Halo for the rest of their life or becoming independant. [Edited on 10.17.2012 4:12 AM PDT]

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] spartan058 bill Keep in mind that many former Bungie employees (e.g., [url=http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Frank_O'Connor]Frank O'Connor[/url], a.k.a. Frankie a.k.a. author of Mister Chief) are now [url=http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/343_Industries#Known_Employees]working at 343i[/url][/quote] This is simply not true. It has been proven over and over again by the community and stated by Bungie employees that there simply aren't many Bungie employees at 343i, nor many important ones. The worse part is 343i doesn't even bother clearing up this myth about employing "a large number of former Bungie employees".

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  • 0
    DMHCook
    DMHCook

    It is. Quiet aj. - 9/27/2016 1:44:25 AM

    Why be bitter when you have some so much more amazing in the works?

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] UrDoinItWrong what i'd like to know is , With the possibility (read, rumor) of Activision being bought up by Microsoft, how Bungie feels about the possibility of being under Microsoft so soon after leaving them,.. LOL![/quote] Their contract still stands. Bungie will retain all rights of the IP

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  • Sure, i'd drink it. I wonder where they'd brew it though.

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  • what i'd like to know is , With the possibility (read, rumor) of Activision being bought up by Microsoft, how Bungie feels about the possibility of being under Microsoft so soon after leaving them,.. LOL!

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  • I'm sure some employees will love it, some might not like it, some might hate it. There are employees who haven't worked on a Halo game that are working at Bungie now. So Bungie couldn't really address this. If half hate it, and half love it, what can they say about it? Individual employees will pass judgement on Halo, Bungie as a whole probably won't/can't.

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  • 0
    Hylebos
    Hylebos

    Seeking Apotheosis. - old

    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Xplode441 I believe that some Bungie employees have said that they are excited for Halo 4, but sadly I have no links.[/quote]I know that Achronos has definitely said that he has faith in 343's Employees on several occasions.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Lead Forum Cop [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma]1) 343 changes very little compares to halo 3, and everyone and their mother claims that it is a stale copy/paste. 2) 343 changes/add new elements and everyone and their mother claims that they dont know what they are doing and ruining halo. Pick one.[/url][/quote]I believe that some Bungie employees have said that they are excited for Halo 4, but sadly I have no links.

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  • Keep in mind that many former Bungie employees (e.g., [url=http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/Frank_O'Connor]Frank O'Connor[/url], a.k.a. Frankie a.k.a. author of Mister Chief) are now [url=http://halo.wikia.com/wiki/343_Industries#Known_Employees]working at 343i[/url], so don't be so quick to dish out the crap on them. Halo is as much their baby as many people at Bungie.

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  • Depending on who you are, it can most certainly be a bittersweet, or very bitter, occasion. Halo means a lot to Bungie, and that's most certainly and understatement. It's like Bungie and Microsoft got a divorce and Microsoft won all custody of their only child, Halo. Then Microsoft immediately gets a new wife, 343i, who is now in charge of taking care of their kid. While 343i means the best, it's just not the same. Ideally, I'm wondering if Bungie just wanted to keep Halo and put it to rest. As many of you remember, I have been quite outspoken about how I didn't have any faith in 343i. How Halo 4 just isn't going to be a true Halo game. After a little heart-to-heart with 343i at RTX in July, I can tell that 343i care and are pouring their hearts into this game. I'm still quite apprehensive about their publisher's intentions and motivations, but the 343i team really does care. It's not going to be easy for everyone to realize that it's out of Bungie's hands now. For me, that's quite difficult. But rest easy that while things are going to change, the team making it cares.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] crawlingshadow9 Ugghh. 343 is taking this franchise in all the wrong directions. I'm a creative writer, I love writing science fiction storys. If anyone got a hold of the ones I had written and molded it into there own little creation I'd be a little more then bitter. Especially if I wasn't involed in it, and there really wasn't anything I could do about it. They're changing things for the sake of just change. I'm looking fowrard to the Campaign but I have my doubts. They're turning the multiplayer into there own little Frankenstien of Halo and the other FPS thats name we need not mention. I really don't want 343 to turn this game I have loved since I was 9 into another one of those titles that 'just ned to die'. -Shadow[/quote] I really agree with you my friend, I understand that 343 is trying to make their own signature, but 343i has been changing too many things with no good reason and with out logic. But as much as 343 wants to be unique they just can't, because they are working with someone else's project, their unnecesary amount of changes to the franchise makes me feel they want to erase Bungie's legacy, which I find distasteful. Obviously with all this unnecesary changes, the final product could end up being something totally diferent of what we used to love. That's my point of view. If I were part of the Bungie team that created Halo, I would be atleast a little bit bitter for this unnecesary changes.

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] spartain ken 15 It is like Bungie's kid left home, got married, and now is having kids of it's own. Bungie will always be grandpa. [/quote]Fits like a glove.

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  • Halo by 343i =/= Halo Despite what anyone has to say about it That aside I think this 2 parted monster will move more gracefully than we expect. I look forward to playing it and enjoying it with the rest of the community.

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  • Ugghh. 343 is taking this franchise in all the wrong directions. I'm a creative writer, I love writing science fiction storys. If anyone got a hold of the ones I had written and molded it into there own little creation I'd be a little more then bitter. Especially if I wasn't involed in it, and there really wasn't anything I could do about it. They're changing things for the sake of just change. I'm looking fowrard to the Campaign but I have my doubts. They're turning the multiplayer into there own little Frankenstien of Halo and the other FPS thats name we need not mention. I really don't want 343 to turn this game I have loved since I was 9 into another one of those titles that 'just ned to die'. -Shadow

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  • [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Telec When I read the thread title, I was expecting a Bungie-branded [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_(beer)]bitter[/url] Thread did not deliver.[/quote]

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  • I think Bungie should be bitter. Imagine building something from the ground up, and making it a huge success. Then, some other developer comes on over and just builds off the work you already did, making a ton of money on it, not to mention the ridiculous and stupid things they did with game. After the leaked info everyone already knows about, I wont be buying the game now, I was okay with everything until they showed you know what. Thats a line you just can't cross.

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  • That was a nice short essay OP. Halo is the second franchise Bungie has lost to a publisher; the first being Myth during the MS acquisition. I'm certain employees who have worked on the Halo series since the beginning were not too happy about losing another of their franchise to a publisher. Seeing how project Destiny is an IP that belongs to Bungie, it's not hard to see that Bungie isn't to keen on losing what belongs to them. As for Halo 4, despite what faults it may/may-not have the reasoning behind its change is due to the impact Call of Duty has had on the FPS genre. I don't necessarily like the direction 343i is headed towards but then again I'm one of those people who thinks Halo 3 should have been the absolute end of the Halo franchise until Bungie would one day return and make a sequel to the trilogy. Personally I don't really care about Halo 4's campaign but the multiplayer does pique my interest. It is Bungie who is also heading towards a new direction. A couple of the Grizzled Ancients who had a large hand in shaping the franchise have left the company and new talent has stepped in to take the reigns of their predecessor. Whatever Bungie makes next, I really hope it eclipses the Halo franchise.

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  • If you had the audacity to read a post that long then you have too much time on your hands. OT : I like the direction that 343 is taking the halo franchise in.

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  • When I read the thread title, I was expecting a Bungie-branded [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bitter_(beer)]bitter[/url] Thread did not deliver.

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  • Bungie's not bitter they've ridden the horse, and have upgraded to an airship. get ready for the ride kids!

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  • It is like Bungie's kid left home, got married, and now is having kids of it's own. Bungie will always be grandpa.

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  • 0
    Hylebos
    Hylebos

    Seeking Apotheosis. - old

    [quote][b]Posted by:[/b] Lead Forum Cop 1) 343 changes very little compares to halo 3, and everyone and their mother claims that it is a stale copy/paste. 2) 343 changes/add new elements and everyone and their mother claims that they dont know what they are doing and ruining halo. Pick one.[/quote]The world isn't as black and white as you are making it out to be. To generalize the hell out of things only creates an extremely narrow vision that ignores the details of people's individual complaints and arguments. It's a rather boring way to view the world, don't you think? On topic: I believe that if Bungie is going to be bitter, that moment would have happened ages ago. They haven't had control over Halo for 10 years afterall, they had to have snapped some point during that time. At this point, I imagine that they are far more interested in bringing their future endeavors to life than dwelling on the past. Also, I doubt that they have any bitter feelings towards the developers at 343 Industries specifically. Keep in mind, developers are a pretty close knit group even between studios, and they likely know plenty of the folks at 343 Industries personally. They trust in their abillities, but to feel spite towards them just because they are working on their baby is silly. The developers at 343 Industries are in the same shoes that Bungie was in not too long ago: they have a job to do that is dictated to them by their publisher and the only thing they can do is make the most out of the opportunity that has been given to them and create a game that will bring a ton of joy and cash. Sure, Halo 4 will have it's rough points, but no videogame is perfect. Despite the mistakes I feel 343 Industries is making, I look forward to seeing how this second trilogy of theirs develops over the next couple of years.

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