Mods locked down the official Halo subreddit last weekend after discussions over the current state of Halo: Infinite turned “toxic”.
A post made by moderator -343-Guilty-Spark on Sunday the 5th of December explained that the decision to lock down the subreddit was made in response to how poor discourse between two sides had “absolutely gone on long enough and spiraled out of control,” resulting in insults, doxxing, and death threats.
“We’re temporarily putting the sub on lockdown so people can hopefully settle down a bit and we can hit the reset button before launch,” wrote -343-Guilty-Spark. “At the end of the day this is a video game and this level of vitriol is unwarranted.”
It seems the situation had deteriorated so badly, fans were unable to constructively criticize what they saw as Halo Infinite‘s myriad of weaknesses, including the game’s campaign and forge being unavailable at launch, story missions not being replayable on the same save file, a lack of multiplayer stat tracking, and the selling of DLC items that they believed should have been in the battle pass or part of the base experience.
Players also took issue with how purchasable consumables were promoted to swap regularly unattainable multiplayer challenges, points scored in matches ultimately did not matter, and how those who did win matches did not get much more XP than those who lost.
Further, they also expressed disatisfaction with the fact that the enabling of cross-play between PC and Xbox consoles has resulted in more cheaters on both platforms.
Even discussion of the lockdown within its announcement thread was, as noted by -343-Guilty-Spark, active, no doubt a remnant of how the weekend’s heated discussions.
However, as the moderator noted, “Someone criticizing the game doesn’t mean you get to say they’re an ‘entitled crybaby manchild’. Nor did those saying Halo Infinite was fine or needed time grant permission to be called a ‘bootlicking d–ksucker.'”
-343-Guilty-Spark then emphasized that though the mod team would not “remove all criticism or relegate all of it to megathreads,”- a promise which they have since upheld – and acknowledged that the changes to the game’s XP/progression system and the addition of new multiplayer playlists would not have have happened without the community’s public outcry, they did clarify that lower-effort and duplicate critique threads will be removed.
At the end of the post, -343-Guilty-Spark reiterated the various plans laid out for Halo Infinite’s future by numerous 343 Industries staff, which include XP/progression changes, cross-core customization, anti-cheat measures, stability fixes, new multiplayer playlists, a general polish to the overall state of the game, and more.
-343-Guilty-Spark also reminded users not to violate rules themselves in response to others, and to report them or respond without breaking rules. The post was later updated with a reminder that the subreddit moderators were a volunteer team not directly employed by 343 Industries, and thus were receiving the same public community manager responses from the developer as anyone else.
“The decision to lock down was entirely made by us because toxicity had reached a breaking point and was increasing exponentially,” -343-Guilty-Spark explained. “As we said below, criticism of Halo Infinite and 343 has always been allowed and will still be allowed post-lockdown. We just want everyone to be on the same page that discourse needs to be constructive and not insulting.”
Regardless, the subreddit is still rife with feedback, ranging from concerns over Halo Infinite’s multiplayer games as a service business model to frustrations with the asymmetrical spawning of vehicles in multiplayer maps.
One user, in a bit of thinly veiled sarcasm, published a thread which joked that the game will be great when it “launches” in 2022 with all of its promised updates.
However, as it was considered ‘low effort’ by the mod team, the post has since been removed.
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