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Posts posted by stunt_man

  1. This isn't a difficult thing, people just refuse to do it. 


    Every single Halo revolves around the same fundamental concept - get the power items, hold beneficial map positions (if any). As long as those items are the key to winning, which they are, then gameplay will always center on them and the meta will be linear. Whether one Halo is better than the next has nothing to do with a deviation from this concept. Halo 4 was the only game that tried to get away from it, and that was a catastrophe for multiple reasons...and even then, in the end, it crawled back to that concept regardless.


    As I said, no Halo game involves a deep meta. Because the game has equal starts, you've removed the greatest avenue for meaningfully nuanced gameplay, which is specialization. This means that the only thing that differentiates one match from another is the spawns and the on-the-fly approach that each individual player takes to maneuvering around the map and engaging his enemies. Thus, the important distinctions between Halo games are not whether they enrich the core game principles, but whether or not they create desirable pacing and reward competent execution.



    With this being said, we need to differentiate between "meta" "depth" and "competitive merit". They certainly aren't mutually-exclusive. Maybe "meta" has been the wrong term for the depth that's present in CE's gameplay. 


    If "meta" refers strictly to how well players can use the tools at their disposal to their advantage in order to get an edge on their opponents, then no I suppose the meta between titles isn't very different. Like you said, it's about getting power items and keeping map control.


    If all titles have roughly the same metagame, then we should measure each title's "competitive merit" by how much "depth" can be found in any element of a title's "meta." If we use your example of getting the power items and holding beneficial map positions, it could be argued that the predictability of power item spawns in CE allows for more depth when it comes to map control, since all players are aware of exactly when a given power item will spawn. Power positions shift depending on what's coming up and players are sometimes forced to leave the spot they're holding in order to grab a power item. Similarly, the manipulation of the player spawn system allows otherwise disadvantaged players to take back a power position in some circumstances.


    The constant risk/reward loop that is made possible by the predictable/exploitable elements of the game isn't present to the same degree in the other titles (as far as I know). This is what I've been calling meta but maybe "depth" or "replayability" is a better term.

    • Upvote (+1) 2

  2. I disagree that these are facts. I think it's a fact that CE has the steepest learning curve yes, but his criticisms of maps, movement and the pistol's strength are firmly in the realm of subjective opinion. A case can be made that CE has bad movement with jump delay and stuff like that, and also that the pistol should be a 4sk. Maps are almost completely subjective though he is factually wrong if you take his statement literally that no thought was put into them since Hardy has talked about their design before.


    I was agreeing with most of what you are saying here, but map design is not subjective.


    I had a very detailed post abut how I think that most of those things he talked about were not actually subjective, but I closed the damn tab. So salty right now.


    Most importantly, I had an issue with him saying the pistol is "too OP" though. He can subjectively not like the CE pistol but using the term "overpowered" simply is not correct (it is never truly the optimal gun for any situation). Maybe he thinks that it is too "adequately powered." That is a trait of the pistol he could subjectively not enjoy. 


    Regardless, Swan clearly has only played CE on a very casual level, if at all. Surely not enough to form a valid opinion/argument about most of the things he is discussing anyways. 


    I don't think it's fair to say that the Pistol being overpowered is an objective fact. I think it's a good debate to have, whether or not having a strong utility weapon is competitively viable in an arena shooter. I think the game's longevity and lasting skill gap is evidence that CE's sandbox can stand the test of time with meta still evolving after 15+ years.


    EDIT: Yes, it's an objective fact that the pistol is more useful than most other guns in the sandbox. Does this make the sandbox unbalanced? Not necessarily. I think a lot of people think balance means that if one gun does more damage, it needs less accuracy, and vice versa. In a setting where all players start with the pistol, I think that argument goes out the window because only under rare circumstances will a player not have a pistol at his disposal anyway. And in that case the player should be punished, especially when it comes to swapping out your pistol in favor of a gun that allows you to quick-camo. It's an element of the meta that involves taking a risk and being punished if you made the wrong decision. I'll take metagame depth of a perfectly boring balanced sandbox any day.

    • Upvote (+1) 3

  3. Do you happen to know what the main issue with running CE on the 360 is? Possible frame rate problems I would assume? 


    People have reported that the radius for sound effects is increased. For example, you can hear someone reload from farther away. Not sure if this is true though. Also if you're playing at 480p camo is very easy to see compared to 480i and below.


    If you're going to LAN with 360's competitively, everyone should be using one or the playing field won't be quite even.

    • Upvote (+1) 1

  4. Suit yourself. I'm here for the competition.


    Playing to win and a challenge is what keeps things fun for me.




    Too bad also would have loved to have you join our community. :/



    Same here bro not sure why people have the impression that CE isn't played competitively?


    Anyway thanks for the kind words, would have been cool to have you come LAN with us. There's something about bringing people together and playing in the same room and talking shit that keeps me going with this old game lol.


    If you change your mind, my doors open. We LAN every weekend at my place.

    • Upvote (+1) 2

  5. How does CE run on a 360? Fine, or nah? If one were to have a lan but there was a shortage of OG Xboxes what would be the best option. MCC, 360 CE, or other. 


    Best to worst: OG box with H1Final or NHE mod > 360 CE > MCC


    I've "lanned" MCC a few times and the biggest struggle is swapping teams or logging new players on. Everyone needs to create a profile and MCC shits the bed quite often unless you tread lightly when dealing with player profiles.

    • Upvote (+1) 1

  6. I think Melee is better for spectators as well, for a lot of reasons.  You can watch an entire set in 15 minutes between two players, not just one game.  Besides the hardware, you also have to have 4 people, 4 controllers, 2 TV's etc. just to play a series on LAN.  You only need 2 people, one gamecube/wii, one TV etc. to play Melee.  Not only that, you can practice Melee to an extent by yourself and see legitimate improvement in some things.  I don't think that's possible with H1.  There's no host, the game is by default more neutral than H1 in competitive play (although NHE could change that).  There are a ton of thing separating those 2 games, I've talked about this subject a lot with some of my friends.  They are definitely comparable though, as NAK said.  I could talk about Melee vs H1 for a while, it's really crazy how great they both are in their own game series. 


    I don't think it's outside the realm of possibility to see some growth in the CE scene. Sure it requires old tech but that stuff is readily available and dirt cheap. As far as practice goes, there's Halo PC and MCC for those that don't have the ideal CRT/OG box setup.


    I think the main hurdle is accessibility - your Youtube channel is a great place to learn about the metagame, and there are other great resources (like halospawns.com, halonades.com, etc) ,but they are all spread out over the internet. There's also no place for players to get together and set up matches (LAN or otherwise - trying to change that with my Discord channel, but even that isn't easy to find unless you browse here and some other boards).


    I've got some people in my group that are interested in consolidating a lot of these learning resources and developing some other nifty web-based stuff to make the game and scene more accessible but I don't have anything worth reporting just yet. If anyone has web development skills and wants to contribute, join the Discord group in my sig.

    • Upvote (+1) 2

  7. I really don't think that any aspect of a game should be changed to make it more intuitive for new players. A major part of my enjoyment with CE came from learning how to exploit all the predictable elements like the spawn system, weapon/powerup timing etc. As soon as you start thinking about your game's reach and accessibility, and that makes its way into the design process, then you've become part of the cancer that is plaguing modern FPS.


    And I think the problem with Hang 'Em High is that a) there are just too many randoms compared to the other maps and b) too many spawns in shitty areas ex: red


    Then again, I'm of the opinion that CE's gameplay is perfect. The only thing I would change/add is features like a theater mode, proper ranking/matchmaking system based on something like ELO and more maps that are built around elements of the meta that were established post-launch (ex: someone was talking about how there aren't enough maps with trick jumps, also placing randoms in bad spots to give players an exit, etc), not to mention proper online netcode.


    I wouldn't be against a different spawn system for 4v4, but I also think that's something that can be fixed through proper map design. Unlike other arena shooters, Halo's maps are all tailored for all the gametypes. Maps should instead be built with a specific gametype in mind, ex: 2v2, 4v4, FFA, etc.


    I know at least 4 different people that all want to make a successor to CE. If you guys just all worked together you might have something there.

  8. Let me put it like this. Bungie made the perfect steak. When Gearbox tried to make the same Bungie-style steak, it was severely overcooked. But they included a ton of great side-dishes that weren't included with Bungie's steak.


    The main course is still fucked.


    Of course, some plebs like their steaks charred to a crisp so they kept going back to the Gearbox steakhouse. Others tried it once and never came back.


    Then 343 opened a steakhouse across the street selling scraps they picked out of Gearbox's dumpster.

  9. Virtually no competitive players are on PC. CE's design lent itself to subconsciously push people to play it competitively on Xbox, while on PC it's an endless sea of 16 person servers with whacky ass settings, and players who for the most part still haven't learned how to get really good even after 13 years. Now there's nothing wrong with people playing for fun, but the point is there's no balance between fun and competitive like on Xbox.

    Actually there is a large community of competitive PC players, but:


    I believe part of that is due to the meta being much poorer than its Xbox counterpart due to bugs and netcode

    Pretty much this, though I think there's a better way to articulate it.


    The meta is certainly different because of a few major factors. Time-to-kill is greatly reduced when all players are using kb/m, which fundamentally alters the flow of most maps. In many situations, players aren't punished as severely for making stupid moves, since it's easier to recover from such a situation with the freedom of aiming that only a mouse can provide. The fact that the pickups don't spawn on time took the emphasis off weapon/powerup timing, and the spawn system hadn't quite been figured out yet when the PC community established its competitive settings. So 4v4 became popular and the predictive elements of CE that we all love took a back seat because the meta simply hadn't developed in parallel with the Xbox community.


    Personally I don't judge the PC competitive community, nor am I surprised about the way the meta developed. I think most Xbox players will downright shun PC competitive players simply because of the fact that their version of the game is flawed. But these players have been playing almost just as long as some of the hardcore Xbox players, and in their mind their version of the game is as real as it gets.


    Remember that this port was released in a time before Youtube and before much of our beloved CE metagame was even established. The only reason that the PC metagame is so strange is because Xbox players veered away from it due to all the bugs - for which only Gearbox/Microsoft can be blamed.


    So the metagame certainly isn't the same as on Xbox, but there certainly is metagame, though perhaps arguably not enough to sustain a healthy competitive population despite the fact that it's by far the most accessible version of the game.


    The original vision of this project was to make the Xbox metagame possible on PC. I've succeeded, although there are still netcode imperfections that are out of my control. The goal here was never to get Xbox players or even MCC players on to PC, but to give a chance to PC players to experience what they've been missing all these years.

    • Upvote (+1) 1

  10. As a part of the glorious PC Gaming Master Race, I can say for a console-to-PC port, Gearbox did a surprisingly decent job. If they hadn't, I wouldn't have been playing this game since it came out, and the community wouldn't be continuing support the game by adding new features and fixing it's issues.


    There have been some awful console-to-PC ports in the past, and CE isn't one of them. The functional, fairly bug-free unlocked framerate for example is a telling sign of a decent port. PC gamers expect a different experience than console gamers, and CE hits many of the marks. Admittedly, it isn't without it's issues.


    - differences in level geometry,

    - mouse acceleration on by default,

    - broken shaders

    - locked aspect ratio without the use of mods


    The online play is a mixed bag.

    On one hand, having a server browser, user-hosted dedis, UGC support backed by a powerful editing kit, and official support for online play AT ALL is fantastic. They've given more power to the users than you'd see in many console-to-PC ports these days. The game has 1k+ players online to this day during peak hours.


    On the other hand, it's clear they slapped in the online play without ironing out the kinks, in their words, "to support 56K connections." Vanilla networking makes me want to hang myself. Regardless of the community hacking in fixes, Gearbox's work on the networking was abysmal.


    To be honest, I'd say H2V had potential and could have continued to be alive to this day, but Microsoft destroyed it by locking it behind Games for Windows Live and Vista exclusivity, on top of some other, more minor bugs like tick-rate issues.

    I raise issue with the fact that you think Gearbox did a great job porting this.


    This project is evidence of the piss-poor job they did porting.


    That being said, they did a fantastic job adding features and making it feel like a PC game. But as far as porting the original gameplay goes, it could have been much much better.


    - differences in level geometry,

    - mouse acceleration on by default,

    - broken shaders

    - locked aspect ratio without the use of mods

    These are relatively minor issues compared to pickups not spawning on time, empty weapons not despawning, lack of proper controller support, terrible netcode optimization, starting grenade count, etc. Core gameplay elements like these should have been preserved 100% and not ignored/de-prioritized.

    • Upvote (+1) 2

  11. Drop the CE man. I love the game, but its not worth spending lots of time on anymore. Anyways, if you wont make an effort to join up with the rest of us a see you around sometime.


    Nah I'll pass up on the flavor of the week ty

    • Upvote (+1) 1

  12. Better than MCC for sure. The only H4 mechanic thing is the BR aesthetic, not sure what you mean. They removed sprint and added a server browser a few months ago

    So it plays just like Halo 3? I haven't really been following its development, I just remember seeing a clip of someone sprinting around on Guardian. Does it play well with a controller?

  13. Sounds like nothing to me.


    Would be nice if we could mod mcc though.

    I highly doubt Microsoft designed the Windows 10 exclusive app platform to allow for modding. We'll never see a Halo title with as much moddability as Gearbox's port of CE, if that's what you had in mind.


    Don't get me wrong I think it would be great if we could immediately get to work on fixing the problems that 343 couldn't. I'm just not going to hold my breath. Microsoft's last in-house Halo PC port was Halo 2 Vista and the modding tools were so locked down that all you could do was make maps with existing assets.

    • Upvote (+1) 2

  14. interesting. do you have any video examples of this difference? is this flag checked on the xbox projectiles?





    I can confirm that the projectile tags for the pistol on PC and Xbox are identical, so the variable leading based on player/target direction is not a tag-based change. There don't appear to be any other differences between of the pistol's other tags either.

  15. I was talking about halo 1 final doing things like removing sounds which completely changes the game.

    Yeah but that mod is representative of how the game is played on LAN. If


    Is a modded install package illegal if no profit is being made? Would bungie or Microsoft even care about a few hundred or few thousand people modding the installer on a 15 year old game? Could we get legal permission? I feel like this is easily the biggest hurdle for people.

    I don't know but I wouldn't put it past them. Remember the people that are going to chase after you for breaking the rules aren't the guys like Hardy and Jason Jones, they're finance people that don't care about community-building and fanservice.

  16. I know the game can run higher than 30 fps but I'm talking about animations. They look terrible imo, nothing like they do on OG. It does affect gameplay for me personally. The jitteryness is distracting.

    I'm genuinely not following you here. The animations are identical to the Xbox version... Are you thinking about warping or something related? For example, a 1st person reload animations on PC and on Xbox look identical, and even use the exact same tag files. I mean, 3rd person animations look weird on mouse players because they're looking around very quickly. Care to elaborate on this?


    I agree with Nak about removing pistol spread too. Probably the worst design decision Hardy made but fortunately bullet magnetism fixes it in most cases. We have modded other things about the game to make it better competitively, why not this?

    For the record, I haven't made any changes to the core gameplay - only fixes. There's some server features that aren't available on Xbox, like the on-screen timer, weapon pickup notifications and teammate spawn notifications, but I wouldn't consider those as huge changes to the core game (the notifications are present on split screen anyway). I won't be changing the pistol spread.


    PS thanks again for all the hard work you've put into this. You and mookz and the others involved are doing God's work. It's unfortunate that most people have completely written off halo PC as unfixable. We all need to spread the gospel about this mod to get it popular once we've got a final final version. Everyone in the old Lan community bought mcc so the interest is there. It just needs to work and maybe be more streamlined in the setup process (not sure how to do that part) and people will play.

    My pleasure. This project was originally geared towards bringing Xbox LAN-style gameplay to the PC community for the first time, but when we started figuring out how to make the controller feel better we started getting more Xbox players in the group. I agree about streamlining the installation process, but I'm not sure how far I could go with that without breaking the law (ex: repackaging the game's installer to include some of this stuff).

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