When Halo 4 is released this November, it will bring a new multiplayer ranking system different from the TrueSkill system that previous games in the series have used. 343 Industries' Frank O'Connor explained why in a series of posts on Monday.
The exact form that the new multiplayer ranking system is not yet known but O'Connor said in a post on NeoGAF that the 1-50 ranking system "DRAMATICALLY increased boosting. Which in turn, decreased its relevance. This is not arguable. That said we are thinking of ways to let players understand relative skill levels without increasing abuse based on that metric."
The Franchise Director for Halo 4 later explained, "I found that late 40s was effectively meaningless - so polluted was it by boosters etc. Of course 30 seconds of gaming could disprove that on a case by case basis. Late 30s, early 40s meant I was going to get donged on."
The Halo 4 team is looking at a couple of different ways to get around this problem but people who boost their accounts in previous games in the series "were bafflingly large" according to O'Connor. This made reaching level 50 "a mostly personal achievement."
The booster problem seemed a particular point of annoyance for O'Connor when he later said, "There are a lot of stupid people in the world, but boosters is a place I just can't go intellectually.
"So let me get this straight, you will buy, steal, borrow or boost an account so that you can have a number in front of your gamertag, that you know has NO MEANING because you deliberately spent money and time to make it meaningless. And then, on top of that, a level 28 player could come in and dance on your grave."
The takeaway from all this is that whatever ranking system that Halo 4 uses, 343 Industries will craft it to try to stop boosters and cheaters so that players at the same relative skill level will be matched together appropriately. The primary question is will boosters and cheater find a way around 343's ranking solution and how quickly will they do it.