Why You Should Quit the Halo 4 Infinity Challenge

You Should quit the Halo 4 Infinity Challenge

When I first heard that Virgin Gaming was teaming up with 343…

I was stoked. I admire Sir Branson, and  I love Halo. It seemed like a match made in heaven. But after a couple weeks of endless War Games matches and Spartan Ops missions, I took a moment to think about how this tournament was set up, how I was standing on the leaderboards and the likelihood of my success.

Dashing all hopes of winning, I gave up on the tournament. And you should to.

The Tourney in a Nutshell

The Halo 4 Infinity Challenge tournament started on December 17, 2012, and it includes two parts: War Games and Spartan Ops. Since it is monitored through your Xbox Live account, you don’t have to go to any special place to participate; gamers can participate from the comfort of their own homes.

The grand prize for the War Games winner is the UNSC-themed 2013 Ford F-150 SVT Raptor. The grand prize for Spartan Ops is a cameo in a future Halo game. And of course for each side there are hundreds of consolation prizes also.

The Challenge consists of two rounds: qualifying and finals. The qualifying round ran from December 17 through January 10. Your performance in this round determined what “Tier” you would be placed in for the finals. For War Games competitors, your ranking on the leaderboard was determined by your cumulative score in Infinity Challenge War Games matches. Spartan Ops was based solely on the number of missions you completed, with no regard to how you actually performed in said missions.

As the qualifying round progressed, you could track your progress on the leaderboards to see how you were ranking against the other competitors. At the end of the qualifying round, players were grouped into Tiers 1, 2, and 3. Only those in Tier 1 are eligible to win the grand prize, but there are smaller prizes available for competitors in the other Tiers.

The finals round started on January 12 and runs through January 19. Everyone’s scores were reset so that they could compete in their respective tiers from the same starting point.

The Problem

The finals round is set up exactly like the qualifying round!

Your ranking on the leaderboards has almost nothing to with your actual skill in the game. The major deciding factor is how much time you have to devote to it.

This is especially true in the Spartan Ops boards. It doesn’t matter how many enemies you kill, how many times you die, whether you achieve any of the objectives for your team, or just run around in circles.

The Spartan Ops rankings are based solely on how many missions you’ve played. Whoever plays the most wins. The only way (and it’s very, very small) that skill has anything to do with the outcome is in the amount of time it takes you to complete each mission. If you aren’t very good or you’re matched up with a bunch of other players who aren’t very good, it will take you longer to complete a mission.

But this is completely negated by the fact that terrible players can just log more hours of game time to make up for their incompetence.

And let’s take a look at the War Games competition. Your ranking here is determined by your cumulative score in the finals round. This isn’t how much XP you earn, it’s only the “Score” that shows up on the breakdown screen at the end of each match. The most I’ve seen awarded here to the top player is 750 points. But even extremely terrible performance will still earn you a few hundred points.

Because your score is actually based on your performance in the match, the War Games boards take skill into account more than the Spartan Ops boards. But again, this is all a wash when you consider that extremely terrible players can beat you merely by playing more frequently.

You Should Quit

Unless you have 12+ hours per day to play Halo 4, you should give up now. Even if you are the best Halo player the world has ever seen, if you have other responsibilities (e.g. a job, a family, school… a life) you will not win.

It was a bitter pill for me to swallow. But since I’ve given up on this colossal waste of time, I’ve started and finished Assassin’s Creed III and logged about 25 hours in Fallout: New Vegas.

Speaking of which, I have some bottle caps to win…

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  1. says

    Also “StrongSide” (the winner on the infinity challenge slayer) was cheating. I was matched against him a few times. 1 or 2 of his team mates had 2 kills each and 20 assists while the other one had about 5 kills. So they are just feeding him kills. Also he had beam rifle 2-3 times in 1 game. When you get a no scope with the beam rifle you get about 20 points instead of 10 points for a kill. And its easy to get a no scope with the beam rifle. His team mates was most definitely giving him there beam rifle ordinances. So why isn’t he getting done for cheating? This is bullshit in my opinion. He doesn’t deserve to win anything.

    • Jorge Lopez says

      I was also matched up with him and most of the top 50 players in the leaderboards and I know firsthand they were all cheating/boosting. I had time off work, I played 18 hours a day for the whole tournament (a little more than 24 hour run for the first day), and I consider myself fairly good (300 – 400 score per match), I ranked at 131st place!

      I know there are players who dedicated themselves like me, and many of those got a few more points than me, I must admit defeat since some 30 players above me beat my by 500 – 1000 points. But at the very least ALL top 50 have literally IMPOSSIBLE SCORING! I mean, after day 1, after a 24 hour run through WarGames I checked the leaderboards hoping to see a nice promising result and found out I started out at 444th place!! And the 1st place (at that time Naughty93, and has since been removed from the leaderboards by Thursday) had 200,000 points more than me! Sure he was cheating, but StrongSide STILL had 150,000 more points than me! Yes, the guy is very good at Halo, but that amount of scoring is obvious boosting/cheating.

      • c. klein says

        I agree!! SOOOOooo much cheating at the top. im not taking away from strongsides skill but padding his score with help from his team is padding. Not killing you so he can mop you up and not having any partial kills? Come on. I played against a few of the top and not a single game ALL tourny did a player score over 500 against me. I came into a late game where a guy ended up with a little over 600. Other then that nothing over 500. Come on. I mean look at the games these guys played?! Such high scores then at the end lower scores? Afraid of getting booted they where.

    • says

      This was another issue that I didn’t go into, but you guys are exactly right. If they wanted the competition to be fair, they wouldn’t have allowed people to party up with their buddies and let them feed kills to their leader.

  2. TaCs197 says

    I hope this gets resolved quickly. I played for a total of 76 hours in the challange and was hoping to see some reward fory effort. And durin that time I saw alot of what you’re talking about with stat padding through out the tournement especially the final day. And modding was also a big deal. I got nailed with a “curve ball” plasma grenade that hooked around the corner and stuck my head wth

  3. says

    In my opinion it should have been a FFA. And it should have only been only for about 6 hours per day so it would be more fair on the gamers who had work. And the ones who needed to sleep. I did play with Helioooooo from Belgium who placed like 40th in the World. I can tell you he wasn’t cheating but he played 24/7 with about 3 hours sleep during the end of the tournament since he gave up trying to win because of too many people cheating. Also he took a week off work just to win some prizes and all he won was a pack of figures worth $10-20.

  4. Jorge Lopez says

    FFA posed a problem as well, for the Regicide playlist during the qualifiers, the real problem was having parties enabled. No parties allowed, no joining sessions in progress, free for all and score averaging would have been a bit more fair (say: play any amount of games per day and keep your average up) boosters and cheaters would have been easily and obviously identified. I hope they do a cleanup.

  5. Roland Blackwell/ duecelocc says

    Yes I was in the tournament from the first day of the finals I played 24hrs a day with mayb e 4hrs of rest total from the 12th t the 19th I was mutalating dudes and to see that I was only in 92nd place, I seen thse dudes scores nd I’m like no matter what you tell me I know there’s no way on Gods green earth can your score be that much higher than mine if your playin 24hrsz with no rest its bullshit and I worked real fucking hard to earn my score then to be shot down by people cheating, Cheaters don’t have any real skil in the game hence the reason they must cheat!! Everyone that played with me knew I had skill, but time was wasted in my life to win this but cheaters dominated

  6. george says

    This tourney was bull. Even if they rmoved all the cheaters the people that played them all week didnt score as well. It was fun to compete but the cheating was so bad it was hard to have a good time. Team slayer was a crappy finals playlist and they should have rotated the playlist every day. During regicide i partied with people, however, that was qualifying and it only took 6a hours of game time to qualify for the finals. I would not have condoned that during the finals. I did enjoy playing but it was a rigged system to push people to get into 343’sthe attempt at halo. The matches i played that didnt have a bunch of cheating were a lot of fun but it was still a flawed system. Cool to have that additional element to get excited over during gameplay and 343 has crafted a decent game. It needs work but is not terrible. Maybe the next tourney will be better concieved and we can all jump in for a chance to see where we really stand. And why not all playlists be challenge lists? I never play team slayer. And many people play certain lists. I like regicide, dominion and btb myself. Could have applied it to all those.

  7. Dani says

    I played the first 48 without stopping to learn I was in 145 place 100000 back I kept play to get to 200000 points to be in 200 th place only to find to days before it was over to learn I had fell to 80000 points with no reason email to explain or anything to put me just outside the prizes an I played honest games every time granted I lost games but why points can u say rigged much my only ? Is was there a gaming commission overseeing this or were we all just scammed I’m guessing the latter

  8. Owem Gee says

    If there is one thing I’ve noticed about being in the other playlists whilst the infinity challenge was on (no i did not sign up for it)
    It was how peaceful everything was. No hackers or cheaters, just bliss gaming.
    Then the challenge ended and what a difference it made now.

  9. Roland Blackwell/ duecelocc says

    I guess we ill see what 343 decides upon I been looking at the website for updates for the past 3 days since they made the post that finals were over and they wereverifying for cheaters be nice fo me to bump up from 92 to at least 11, I earned that shit and honesly I feel team s

  10. Jason Freesland says

    Are they still verifying the winners? because I have not recieved an email from virgin to claim my prize yet. This whole thing was a bunch of malarkey. I played Spartan ops literally to the point where my wife could not wait for the tournament to be over let alone myself. Two days in a row I watched both a co-workers games and mine decrease rather than go up. We were not cheating or skipping through parts or anything of that sort and we were not losing the objectives either. Bam we watched our games go from the 300’s down to the low 200’s in a matter of two days, no email nor explanation at all and to top it off we were counting our games complete on Waypoint everyday. Definitely not cool

  11. X50ULxR34PERX says

    I know I’m not the best at halo, but i put a good amount of time into getting a tier 2 spot, at SR30, then i got matched against the cheaters and it wasn’t even fun. I’ve taken down my fair share of high ranked players, SR150+ but still, the way they blast players left and right is unheard of, even for veteran players who live in their moms basement (no offense). I knew my chances of a decent tier 1 spot were about as good as, i don’t know, seeing a unicorn, but still, after i played thru finals and ended not half bad, i log in and find out I’m not even ranked anymore….poof, my hard earned points and play time vanished….pry given to some other cheating ass hat as a consolation prize or something.

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