If you were to visit the official Halo Waypoint forums right now, you’d find hundreds of angry comments slamming Microsoft and Halo 4 developer 343 Industries for their supposed negligence in ensuring that the game’s online multiplayer components work correctly. Obviously this is the result of the sudden influx of hundreds of thousands of players attempting to use the same servers at the same time, but the general public doesn’t know that (no matter how many times a big MMORPG launch is crippled by these exact same problems) and it apparently feels that Microsoft should flip whatever magical switch it no doubt keeps within the bowels of its Redmond, Washington headquarters that instantly fixes any and all issues with online connectivity.
In turn, Microsoft has opted to respond to these issues. Not with a completely justified explanation of how modern servers work, nor with the likewise understandable baffled silence, but instead with forum updates that seem diplomatic but actually say very little.
“We hear you and apologize for the inconvenience,” read the company’s initial statement. “The team is currently investigating the issue and this thread will provide updates as we work on a fix. Stay tuned and thanks for your patience.”
Then, a few minutes ago, Microsoft offered an update. “As you can imagine, there are a tremendous number of new players connecting to Halo 4 right now,” the firm states. “We’re aware that some users are experiencing occasional issues connecting to the Halo 4 services. Please bear with us as we continue to work through these issues during the launch period.”
If we seem a bit flippant about this situation, that’s only because it’s silly. Players all attempt to log into Halo 4 at once, find that the servers are having issues, then wonder why the game is unable to function when hundreds of thousands of people attempt to fire up a game simultaneously. Microsoft is too polite to say it, but the solution here is very simple: If Halo 4 is not working for you, go outside, read a book, make a sandwich; anything to keep you occupied for a bit while the massive post-launch server crush dies down. Much as this sort of connectivity problem invariably pops up alongside the launch of a big-name online game, it also invariably dies down within a day or two. You’ll get to play Halo 4 in good time, just have a bit of patience while Microsoft’s IT staff attempts to smother the server fires.
While the main thrust of players’ complaints may not be as dire as they think, a few nascent Halo 4 owners are experiencing legitimate issues with the game. According to sporadic forum posts, a small minority of gamers are experiencing a glitch that negates any statistics they might accumulate. No matter how many people they kill, these players’ stat screens remain unchanged. Fortunately, Microsoft is aware of this issue and is working toward a solution. We’ll let you know when/if the company issues a fix or offers steps to amend the problem.