Halo 4 Groups: How 343i Might Implement Them
By codePython on Oct-05-2012
First, let me remind all readers that this is just my musings, and should not be taken as fact unless a corresponding reference is given.
This is a question with particular interest for Xe03 and all Halo 4 Clans around the web. How much support is 343i going to actually give us with their new "Grouping" system? 1
Some backstory. Halo 2 was the only game in the franchise to support in-game Clans so far. However, after some time after it's release, Bungie decided to shut down the Clan Ranking system based on the idea that most people were using it just as a second friends list (of up to 100 people). 2
Not that they actually stopped people from making clans, just made the console part of tracking them harder. Many people found a way to create a clan tracking system using Xbox Live Silver Accounts. That, however, is not covered here.
But now we have a new feature coming out with Halo 4, teasingly just called "Groups". In screenshots from examiner.com, 343i says improvements to multiplayer will include "...improved support to create, organize and track groups." 3
So we are left to wonder. What exactly does this mean? I will be going over my thoughts on what this will probably mean for all Halo 4 players.
It all depends on whether or not there will be a centralized leader for each group. If there is, then it will make the whole experience much more "clan-like". The leader would be the one to allow entry, rank and dismissal. This would be very much like the Halo 2 experience so the probability of this style is low, but not completely out of the question. If it does come back, expect there to be a lot more polish to the system.
Another option would be to allow each person to control their own version of the group. This would make clan ranks and reporting impossible, but there are a few reasons I think this will be the system 343i will be using. They can make it so your clan must come from your Friends List, eliminating the complaint Microsoft had about having to store so many extra entries. Each friend would be in the group, or out of it. That is a much more compressed way of storing.
My ideas are probably not what 343i has coming out, but if I had to bet "groups" are going to end up taking one of the two formats I described above. If they come out with something else, it will be complex and a little difficult to use, but I bet 343i will wow us with it anyways.