Bungie has had some minor problems with their online matchmaking since they initially started online play in Halo 2. The problem with their matchmaking system is that if a player that is currently playing a game leaves, their slot will not be taken by another player, meaning that a team will then have a handicap of one (or more) team members. Now, in Halo Reach, Bungie is handing out temporary bans for players that leave too many games, as it may ruin the experience for players that are willing to stick it out in their current matches.
I’ve been looking up information about this new banning system that Bungie has installed, and I’ve even been banned myself once. From what I’ve read from online forums it seems that your temporary ban time is minimal, and lasts about 15-30 minutes.
From my experience, this is what happened: After you leave a certain amount of games Bungie will send you a pop-up notification stating that you’ve left too many games, and that you’re in close danger of being temporarily banned if you leave any more games. Basically, this means you’re on thin ice.
Now, according to Bungie’s system, and from speculation and information I’ve gathered from online forums, there are many things that constitute as “leaving a game”. Obviously quitting a game constitutes this, but also being disconnected and being kicked from a game from betraying a team member also counts as leaving a game as well. I’ve also heard that dashboarding also constitutes as leaving a game as well. For those of you who don’t know what “dashboarding” is, it’s when you’re in a game, hit the X-Box button (the silver middle button lit by the green LEDs), and hit Y, prompting you to go to the main X-Box 360 screen. Even if you’re invited to another game by a friend and you accept their game invitation, this counts towards your “leaving a game” meter, so you may not even be able to join their game.
Since you cannot join a matchmaking game, this also means you cannot join a Firefight game through online either. However, you can create a party with friends and play online, just not through matchmaking. The same thing goes for Forge and Co-Op Campaign.
A lot of problems arise from this systematic ban that Bungie has implemented. For example, not everyone has time to play through a whole game, maybe something comes up in real life that you must attend to. Another reason a lot of people leave is due to games that come up in matchmaking – some people simply don’t like the games that others constantly vote on. For example, if someone doesn’t like SWAT and the other players vote on SWAT, there is no way out aside from leaving (you can’t merely “back out”). Now you’re stuck for 10 minutes or so (give or take some time) playing a game that you don’t want to. It seems reasonable that a player goes to play a game to play a mode in which they have fun in.
One possibility to fixing this problem is to allow players to join a match that is already in progress when there is an open slot available (One possibility to fixing this problem is to allow players to join a match that is already in progress when there is an open slot available (Call of Duty used this and it worked out relatively well to a point. It at least kept players cycling in when some left). Even if Bungie allowed players to invite friends to fill vacant spots it would be a step up.