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Halo: The Master Chief Collection Discussion

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I think we should also be more precise as to what we are comparing.

 

Is it individual skill? If so, I think it is quite easy to argue that H1 was more skillful than H2 or H3 (or any later Halo game).

 

Is it about which game is most difficult to master in team play? What team size (2on2/4on4)? And what game modes? Here I feel people are often comparing apples to oranges, implicitly measuring H1 2on2 slayer against H2 4on4 MLG style (slayer+obj). I think that is a bit like comparing apples and oranges.

 

In my view, Halo 1 does FFA, 1on1, and 2on2 Team Slayer better than H2. However, when it comes to MLG style 4on4 gameplay, I think Halo 2 surpasses Halo 1. Most H1 maps were not well adapted to 4on4 objective play, and the spawn system does not shine like it does in 2on2. There are also a few of quality-of-life problems with H1 objective games, such as the missing game clock and weird oddball physics. H2 excelled by putting an emphasis on 4on4 teamplay, with a good pool of maps - also for objective play - and, due to more player, teams, and tournaments, a much more well-developed metagame.

On a sidenote, isn't it weird that Halo maps are supposedly tailored for all gametypes? For example, all gametypes work on all maps, at least on paper, right? Meanwhile you have games like Unreal Tournament and Counter Strike that have maps tailored for one specific gametype rather than catering to all gametypes. With this in mind, and taking into consideration the CE's weak points when it comes to objective gametypes, it makes me want to make some objective-oriented maps. The maps are certainly CE's biggest problem when it comes to objective gametypes. Minor nuisances like missing ingame clock and oddball physics are far from gamebreaking, and some other stuff can actually be fixed (such as preventing flag carrier from entering a warthog, for example) - on PC, anyway.

 

What maps work best for Oddball? H2/H3 suggestions welcome.

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True. Although, in principle, I do not think it is a bad thing that all gametypes are available on all maps. Even if a map is tailored for TS or Oddball or flag, I don't see a problem with using a minimum amount of resources to add the necessary objective spawnpoints etc. (As long as this does not lead the map designer to alter the map to cater to the gametypes that the map is not tailered for.)

 

Oddball maps:

Midship is the king of oddball. Lockout was also really good, with lots of different, creative setups emerging over time.

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As a counter argument to one of the things you mentioned in that thread, Melee Lunge is something I think has lots of potential as a mechanic, but was simply made too easy in H2 and especially H3. As far as I can tell, it's in the exact same category of gameplay mechanics as bullet magnetism in H1. It impacts gameplay by making some mechanic objectively less difficult to achieve. The degree with which a mechanic was made easier is what should be under scrutiny, not just the fact that something was made easier at all.

"Competitive" is one of those buzzwords used on halo boards that I like to avoid using because people don't really know what you mean by it. For example, some people may argue that h3 is the most competitive halo game because they define "competitive" as a metric for tournament turnout. Others may argue reach is less competitive than h2 because they define "competitive" as a metric for the incentive to compete (ranks).

 

When I make these objective comparisons between different halo game's designs, I only care about relative skill gap/competitive merit- the amount of separation between the best players and the worst. If we were to replace the word "competitive" with "skill gap," it appears you and I have no disagreements.

 

It is an objective fact that, in terms of melee skill, less is demanded from the player in h2 relative to h1 due to the lunge system. The distance between the best and worst players is more narrow in h2 compared to h1 because of this. While it may be possible for a melee lunge system to be incorporated in a halo game where the gap between good and bad players is widened, that's not the case in halo 2 (or any halo game with melee lunge) when compared to CE, and has no relevance when answering the question "Is it a fact that H1's melee system has a larger skill gap than H2's?"

 

We can make these same comparisons for each aspect of gameplay- single shot vs burst, random spread vs consistent spread, long grenade fuse times vs short grenade fuse times, static vs dynamic power item timers, fast strafe vs slow strafe, etc...

 

Every single aspect of H1's gameplay yields a larger skill gap relative to every other halo game. This is an objective, non-debatable fact. It is also a non-debatable fact that halo 3's skill gap is among the most narrow in the franchise- certainly the most narrow in the first trilogy, and possibly in the whole franchise. Those are hairs which I haven't had the patience to split.

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a much more well-developed metagame.

H2's meta game is limited by the individual's potential to excel, forcing the same strategy as the only viable setup in the game- make sure your LOS always aligns with your team (teamshooting).

 

In h1, the are many more viable strategies than teamshooting. In h2 and on, there aren't, regardless if it's 2v2 or 4v4.

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It is also a non-debatable fact that halo 3's skill gap is among the most narrow in the franchise- certainly the most narrow in the first trilogy, and possibly in the whole franchise. Those are hairs which I haven't had the patience to split.

Great post overall, but I definitely believe Halo 3's skill gap is far, far greater than Halo 4 or Halo 5. First, Halo 3 doesn't have the game breaking gimmicks like Spartan/armor abilities that ruin 4/5. Halo 3 has equipment, but these are map pick-ups and not even close to being as negatively impacting on game play as Spartan/armor abilities. Second, even with the negatives of the Halo 3 BR, there is more depth, and thus skill, to the weapon than any weapon that 343 has ever developed. Third, Halo 3's sniper takes more skill to use than any other sniper in the franchise. Halo 4's sniper was super easy and everyone knows what a joke the H5 sniper is. You may have to split hairs when it comes to skill gap and competitive merit between Halo 4 and Halo 5, but Halo 3 is leaps and bounds ahead.

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 Third, Halo 3's sniper takes more skill to use than any other sniper in the franchise.

 

This I disagree with. Yes, it takes physical skill to land shots with the Halo 3 sniper, which is important, but there is also no legitimate threat to a sniper (other than another sniper). If a player has the only sniper rifle on the map, they can sit there shooting with absolutely no viable threat to them. It allows players to sit in the open taking pot shots at players that have no defense other than to run. That decreases the skill required to use the weapon in my mind.

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"Competitive" is one of those buzzwords used on halo boards that I like to avoid using because people don't really know what you mean by it. For example, some people may argue that h3 is the most competitive halo game because they define "competitive" as a metric for tournament turnout. Others may argue reach is less competitive than h2 because they define "competitive" as a metric for the incentive to compete (ranks).

 

When I make these objective comparisons between different halo game's designs, I only care about relative skill gap/competitive merit- the amount of separation between the best players and the worst. If we were to replace the word "competitive" with "skill gap," it appears you and I have no disagreements.

 

It is an objective fact that, in terms of melee skill, less is demanded from the player in h2 relative to h1 due to the lunge system. The distance between the best and worst players is more narrow in h2 compared to h1 because of this. While it may be possible for a melee lunge system to be incorporated in a halo game where the gap between good and bad players is widened, that's not the case in halo 2 (or any halo game with melee lunge) when compared to CE, and has no relevance when answering the question "Is it a fact that H1's melee system has a larger skill gap than H2's?"

 

We can make these same comparisons for each aspect of gameplay- single shot vs burst, random spread vs consistent spread, long grenade fuse times vs short grenade fuse times, static vs dynamic power item timers, fast strafe vs slow strafe, etc...

 

Every single aspect of H1's gameplay yields a larger skill gap relative to every other halo game. This is an objective, non-debatable fact. It is also a non-debatable fact that halo 3's skill gap is among the most narrow in the franchise- certainly the most narrow in the first trilogy, and possibly in the whole franchise. Those are hairs which I haven't had the patience to split.

 

I'm sorry to keep this going, but this is driving me crazy.

 

> It is an objective fact that, in terms of melee skill, less is demanded from the player in h2 relative to h1 due to the lunge system.

 

Okay, well:

 

It is an objective fact that, in terms of aiming skill, less skill is demanded in H1 than could be demanded due to Aim-Assist and Bullet Magnetism. Why are you not lobbying to remove those mechanics from the game?

 

That is my entire point, which keeps getting lost in the minutia. You say the melee lunge makes it objectively easier. Correct, objectively easier to land a punch, in the exact same way that AA/BM makes it objectively easier to land a shot.

 

Can you please explain why it is sometimes okay to make things easier? What criteria must be met in order to justify making something easier?

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It is an objective fact that, in terms of aiming skill, less skill is demanded in H1 than could be demanded due to Aim-Assist and Bullet Magnetism.

You are correct in saying that if H1 had no aim assist and bullet mag, the skill gap would be greater, objectivley speaking. I am glad you agree with me in that you can make objective claims about Halo's relative skill gap by analyzing game mechanics. We objectivley claim that halo CE has a greater skill gap than any other halo game in the franchise by analyzing game mechanics- it's a non-debatable fact that h1 has a greater skill gap than h2 and on.

 

What I'm confused on is why me not lobbying for no aim-assist in a halo game helps answer the question, "Which halo game has the greatest skill gap?"

 

At what point would me lobbying for no aim assist in halo have any relevance to the discussion?

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He's making the same point that I made in our last discussion. That with no reticle magnetism or bullet magnetism there would be damage to the entire meta because it was designed around that much aim assist. You cannot mathematically prove there is higher skillgap because game designers are constantly rebalancing games based on the skill level of the players. If the magnetism was too little then dumb players could make dumb plays without getting punished since the aiming skillgap is TOO high and thus rendered less relevant. You see this problem in halo 5 where the aim always squirrels on players and its safer to stick with your AR even at top levels of play because it's less risky. Problem is any idiot can spray with an AR.

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If the magnetism was too little then dumb players could make dumb plays without getting punished since the aiming skillgap is TOO high and thus rendered less relevant.

But this has no relevance when answering the question, "Which Halo has the largest skill gap?"

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But this has no relevance when answering the question, "Which Halo has the largest skill gap?"

 

Then skillgap is obviously not the quality we are interested in maximizing...

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Then skillgap is obviously not the quality we are interested in maximizing...

Again, you don't need to desire that the skill gap be 'techncally' maximized in order to make, "Halo 1 has a larger skill gap than every other Halo game" an objective, non-debatable fact.

 

So what if we don't want the skill gap to be technically maximized? It doesn't make Halo CE's objective superiority any less true.

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Are you mad that I dislike your favorite Halo games and think that they're both horrible games when viewing them from a competitive merit standpoint? Keep in mind that I only enjoy playing Halo 1 so what do you expect me to say? I'm not going to sugar coat what I truly think about Halo 2 and Halo 3 just so I don't upset some people.
 
Anyways the whole point of me saying that was to provide people context behind what type of biases I have towards certain Halo games so that my next statement would have a bigger impact.

 

 

 

Maybe the reason why you dislike them is because they are in fact horrible games lol. There's a reason why that halo2sucks.com website came out after the launch of halo2 and why it was heavily frequented.  There's a reason why many pros didn't bother with halo 2.  No one wanted a different halo engine.  No one wanted dual welding.  Everyone wanted the pistol.  It wasn't until many years later that people who understood competitive gaming accepted halo2 4v4 as a mediocre game and that's ONLY because halo 3 was so bad by comparison.  There were novices creaming their pants over h2 being on xbox live who had never even heard of XBC, so that right there told us all we needed to know.

 

Halo 2 is a mediocre game with a small skill gap relative to halo CE and it pales in comparison. 

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Again, you don't need to desire that the skill gap be 'techncally' maximized in order to make, "Halo 1 has a larger skill gap than every other Halo game" an objective, non-debatable fact.

 

So what if we don't want the skill gap to be technically maximized? It doesn't make Halo CE's objective superiority any less true.

The point of the exercise is to prove that mathematics alone do not determine skillgap which is your core hypothesis. Maximizing aiming skillgap, while being mathematically true, would have impacts to the rest of the meta and the overall skillgap. Therefore you cannot claim that playing with mathematical values alone determine skillgap.

 

Competitive game design is not purely a science. There are foundations which hold true but unique mechanics and especially throwing a controller with different aim assist values across the series into the mix muddies things. Aim assist and look acceleration curves are almost entirely about "feel" for example. You could have one person argue that the aiming in halo 3 and 5 is not broken but simply harder to master and thus adds skillgap. Others will argue that the aiming feels inconsistent and introduces imbalances and randomness and lowers skillgap by promoting the use of less skilled weapons and less punishment of poor plays.

 

Then you have people who seem to think that halo 5 has a movement skillgap. It is impossible to quantify this difference and arrive at a mathematical conclusion because it is apples and oranges compared to what CE focuses on in its competitive meta. Radar is another thing that is completely about feel. Some people think it takes experience to know how to outplay others in a radar environment. I wholeheartedly disagree but I don't think I could assign mathematical reasons for this.

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Maximizing aiming skillgap, while being mathematically true, would have impacts to the rest of the meta and the overall skillgap.

So what?

 

Once you ask the question, "Which Halo has the largest skill gap," you are only evaluating halo games that currently exist. No halo game currently exists which has those kinds of problems, and is therefore not part of the discussion.

 

As long as your evaluation takes place in the continuum which Halo currently exists, mathematics can and should be used to determine which Halo has the largest skill gap (the answer is CE, this is non-debatable).

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So what?

 

Once you ask the question, "Which Halo has the largest skill gap," you are only evaluating halo games that currently exist. No halo game currently exists which has those kinds of problems, and is therefore not part of the discussion.

 

As long as your evaluation takes place in the continuum which Halo currently exists, mathematics can and should be used to determine which Halo has the largest skill gap (the answer is CE, this is non-debatable).

Remember when Bullet Magnetism was accidentally removed from H1 in MCC, and everyone was bitching ablut how its too damn hard to land shots and that the meta was damaged because you couldnt punish players? These are scenarios weve faced, and i will remind you that almost everyone was in aggreement that easier shooting was required for the high level meta.

 

You keep dodging my main argument. If it is simply the greater physical skillgap of halo 1 that makes the game play great at such a high level, why does maximizing this skillgap actually negatively affect the game? You cannot answer this question, because the interesting and deep gameplay in halo 1 is derived from something far more complex and hard to analyze than simple objective qualities can account for.

 

Again, I am not disagreeing that halo 1 is the most competitive. I just disagree that your quelms with the later halo games are as objective as you believe.

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If it is simply the greater physical skillgap of halo 1

 

Correct me if I'm wrong, but you just admitted here that CE, objectively speaking, has a larger physical skill gap than every other halo game.

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but you just admitted here that CE, objectively speaking, has a larger physical skill gap than every other halo game.

 

Correct. I was never debating this fact. My debate is that the physical skillgap is not the quality of Halo 1 which makes the game so great competitively. Again, using the word "competitively" because the quality we're trying to describe is fuzzy and not easily definable.

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Correct. I was never debating this fact.

Then the debate is over since we agree on this.

 

Halo CE has a larger skill gap than every other halo game. This is an objective, non-debatable fact.

 

I am glad we agree on this, and I hope people stop misrepresenting this fact.

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Then the debate is over since we agree on this.

Halo CE has a larger skill gap than every other halo game. This is an objective, non-debatable fact.

I am glad we agree on this, and I hope people stop misrepresenting this fact.

*dodges the argument*

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*dodges the argument*

The argument you're making has no relevance to the argument I was making...

 

It's literally an entirely separate argument...

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You are arguing that mathematical values alone determine skillgap.

 

Everyone here agrees that halo CE takes the most skill. We are only saying it's still an opinion. A very well supported opinion, but an opinion nonetheless. Going so far as to say it is mathematically provable is the falsity.

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You are arguing that mathematical values alone determine skillgap.

 

Mathematical values alone allow us to determine that Halo CE factually has a larger skill gap than every other game within the continuum which halo exists.

 

Your partner just agreed with me on this, and is now trying to argue that too great of a skill gap is detrimental to overall meta- a completely separate argument than "which Halo game has the greatest skill gap within the continuum which Halo exists."

 

You don't want Halo's skill gap to be so large that the detriment exceeds the benefit. That's fine. Within Halo's current continuum though, that doesn't exist and has no value when answering the question "Which halo has the largest skill gap."

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