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Where’s the K/D Halo 4?

It’s the last day of Halo week here at Leviathyn, and I have to say it’s been a fun journey. Looking back at the old Halo titles, and getting to experience 343 Studio’s new version has been great. So far I’ve only had good things to say about Halo 4, especially the multiplayer. But every game has it’s fair share of problems. Sadly,  Halo’s main multiplayer flaw could be fixed so easily, that there’s no reason that it wasn’t fixed back in Halo 2.

Where’s the K/D ratio posted? At the end of a match Call of Duty shows each player’s Kill to Death ratio, so does Crysis, and every other popular  FPS. And I’m not trying to have Halo rip everything off other successful shooter games, but this is a necessity.  It’s not changing the game play or the mechanics, but Halo 4 could really benefit from this small change in the user interface. Honestly I believe the lack of a matchly K/D ratio is the biggest problem with Halo 4’s multiplayer.

By hiding the number of deaths each player has from the end game screen 343 Studios is really hiding how well players are doing. Kills are an important part of judging a players performance every round. In a match the top player might come out with 25 out of 60 kills. Everyone is impressed that this player did so well. But if you do a little bit of searching (and no one does) you’ll find he also came out of the match with 25 deaths. A 1:1 ratio doesn’t help the team out at all. In fact, this can hurt the team. On the other hand a player that no one pays attention to got only 10 kills. Looking at his deaths shows that he only had 5 deaths. His 2:1 ratio was actually a great benefit to the team that will go unappreciated.

I’m tired of good players not getting the recognition they deserve. But what’s even worse is this strive for kills instead of a K/D ratio has a really huge affect on Halo’s multiplayer. Sure Halo has always been more of a run in guns blazing FPS, but now it’s even more so. Every one is focused on number of kills, and they don’t care if they die twice for every kill they get. It ruins gameplay, having players not focused on the safety of their character and only worrying about injuring other players. It takes some of the stealth and skill out of a great multiplayer game like Halo.

By rewarding this kind of behavior all sorts of other harm is done. Players adopt reckless behaviors to get more kills, not thinking about their teammates or the match. So many times this weekend I saw a couple of Spartans on every team that were purely focused on getting kills. Sure, they finished in some of the top positions every round, but they had a negative kill death ratio! Not only did they not help the team out at all, but in their need for more kills they started taking all of the good weapons and wasting them. If they ran into combat with a shotgun and sniper equipped, but died after a single kill they’d still call it a success. Now the enemy has those great weapons! But they don’t care because they got another kill. Why can’t you share the weapons with your team? It’s because for kill total focused players even their team is the enemy.

Putting a K/D ratio next to each players name on the scoreboard might not change the multiplayer problems in Halo. It’ll always be a run and gun kind of game, and I love that about Halo. But a kill to death ratio shows how good players actually are, and starts to shift the emphasis from competing with your allies to competing with yourself. It looks at skill, not just aggression. Until 343 Studios changes their user interface the players of Halo will continue to be the most juvenile around.



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