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Halo 5: Guardians Discussion

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Make it projectile with no spread. Boom. Done.

Any delay between individual bullets in a burst?

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Quick question, how much do you agree with this statement: "Everyone has it, therefore the game is balanced."

 

I honestly think the statement is a load of horseshit, and leads to shitty broken gameplay experiences under the pretense of lazy as fuck "balance".

 

It's flawed logic but the real problem comes from lacking a clear definition of "balance." Without a working definition, balance can mean "everyone has it, therefore the game is balanced." The problem is that we all know that's not the type of "balance" we, or most players for that matter, are really seeking.

 

I've always defined balance thus: "Players are rewarded proportional to the skill, knowledge, and execution required to obtain the desired result."

 

Halo 5's pistol isn't balanced, because it's harder to use but less rewarding than the other precision rifles are. It doesn't matter that everyone starts with it.

Halo CE's pistol is balanced, because it's very difficult to wield it well and you are rewarded proportional to how well you use it.

Halo CE's grenades are balanced because a poorly thrown nade is really easy to avoid, but a very well thrown one is not.

 

etc., etc.

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Sounds nice but do you think this would make more money than pumping out Halo titles every few years? 

 

You can bring in microtransactions but will they be able to make up that loss, especially if they remain cosmetic? 

 

Disagree with the PC becoming the home for esports - no need for Halo to try and compete against CSGO. It's a console shooter and should remain as such. By all means make a PC version but don't try to make it something it isn't.

 

I'll respond to each paragraph respectively.

 

They would still release episodic campaigns every few years, although maybe not for full price. They can offer some sort of co-op experience like Firefight. The main point here is that the multiplayer would independent of whatever creative decisions are made by the campaign team. It's actually a little mind-blowing to me that there is an actual esport whose rules are in part influenced by the whims of sci-fi fantasy writers.

 

League, Dota, and (almost) CS:GO are sustained on micro-transactions alone. Hell, even a game as small as Smite is sustained on micro-transactions.

 

The PC market is much larger than the console market for esports, and the gap is expanding every year. I would say COD takes up a larger share of console esports than CS:GO's share in the PC scene. Not to mention Halo's competitive format and gameplay is far more different from CS:GO than it is from COD. In my opinion it is 100% the correct choice for the growth of the scene, but they would never do it because of the impending backlash. I'm not even a PC gamer outside of League. I just think the low ceiling for consoles is only getting lower.

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I don't hate the players, but sweeping for a headshot is so insanely easy next to having to actually land a single shot - I'd be incredibly surprised if anyone playing H2BR Slayer this past weekend didn't perform significantly better over a period of 10 games or so there than they would in regular Team Slayer (even accounting for the social/ranked difference). Primarily though, you simply see more comebacks and chokes with single shot; it's more exciting to play and watch imo.

 

I agree pretty much 100% with SMARTAN's post (and your point about redundancy; the sandbox could be trimmed a bit) in reality and just figured it would be interesting to think about the headshot bonuses in H5 and whether or not they could be used in a way that feels less random than they do with current bullet based automatics.

At the bolded:

 

Well of course, it is H5 that I think we were talking about anyway. I understand the desire to make it more skillful as far as landing shots goes, but then, if we even have the BR, what is the point of the burst-fire if you nerf the headshot capability? I understand you said you otherwise agreed.

 

But yeah, H5's redundant sandbox is one of it's biggest issues, after aiming, and the damn SAs. However, if instead of using the Sniper as an on-map rifle pickup like it was in CE, if we have to have 1 alternate precision rifle in the sandbox, I would advocate for the BR, or something similar, just because of the niche burst-fire differentiation from the single-shot starting utility weapon. As long as the BR or whatever is otherwise weaker than the utility weapon.

 

And yeah, @@xSociety, of course perfectly straight shooting projectiles are ideal for any precision weapons or perhaps even the whole sandbox.

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Redundancy, while not ideal, is also not a big deal. The problem is that the redundant autos and rifles also kill faster and more easily than the starting precision weapon. Obviously it'd be better to have H1 balance instead of H3, but let's not kid ourselves and pretend that the BR, boltshot, DMR, carbine, lightrifle and suppressor, SMG, storm rifle, SAW are anything but functional clones of the magnum and assault rifle. These are all the H3 equivalent of the spiker, plasma rifle, and SMG, lacking any meaningful depth whatsoever. But now they're useful because some people think that's the lesser of the two evils. I swear this idiotic sentiment started with players in WoW and LoL whining that their favorite items/characters were becoming irrelevant because of new expansions/heros.

 

Here's the simple truth: as long as these weapons take less skill than the magnum, they need to kill slower. Do what you need to do. Make the BR kill on the twelfth bullet, nerf auto aim and aim assist across the board. If people want the lightrifle to be a faster kill than the magnum, it needs to be the most skillful gun in the game, assuming people are still using the sniper like a shotgun. There's no hope to cure redundancy in Halo 5, but there's a chance for the weapons to at least cease being upgrades with no trade offs.

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I haven't lurked these forums in a while, so sorry if this is a retread...

 

What are people's thoughts on Halo changing up their release format? For example, in my personal opinion, I think Halo should release on both Xbox and PC, with PC being the home for esports.

 

A dual release is actually a legitimate possibility at this point. Halo 5 Forge is theorized to be a test of UWP's viability for developing dual plat. I really doubt that PC will ever be the "home for esports" for Halo, however.

 

 

 

I also think multiplayer should adopt a standalone, actively updated/sustained platform like CS:GO, LoL, etc. while the episodic campaign releases on a cycle as is (think ODST).

That's more or less what Halo Online could of become, once the developers "localized" the pay to win elements out of the game. Somehow, though, I don't think "Halo 3 Lite" is what 343/MS want to push right now.

 

 

 

I'll respond to each paragraph respectively.

 

They would still release episodic campaigns every few years, although maybe not for full price. They can offer some sort of co-op experience like Firefight. The main point here is that the multiplayer would independent of whatever creative decisions are made by the campaign team. It's actually a little mind-blowing to me that there is an actual esport whose rules are in part influenced by the whims of sci-fi fantasy writers.

 

Indeed. It blows my mind a little bit every time I think of the bloated weapons sandbox in campaign and realize how much power multiplayer designers have over how the campaign has to be balanced. 

 

 

The PC market is much larger than the console market for esports, and the gap is expanding every year. I would say COD takes up a larger share of console esports than CS:GO's share in the PC scene. Not to mention Halo's competitive format and gameplay is far more different from CS:GO than it is from COD. In my opinion it is 100% the correct choice for the growth of the scene, but they would never do it because of the impending backlash. I'm not even a PC gamer outside of League. I just think the low ceiling for consoles is only getting lower.

Its a nice sentiment, but Halo, as it is right now, has no place seriously looking at PC for "esports" exposure. Its not that I think Halo is "inherently" not usable on PC or whatever (I literally play Halo PC games almost every other day), its just that its implementation WILL be fucked up. Somehow. Halo 5 Forge suffers from high system requirements (at least for an esport), and Windows Store/UWP/Windows 10 exclusivity, which has annihilated what little population it ever acquired. You'd have fix all of those issues before your PC esport can even succeed at the casual level.

 

If Halo did somehow overcome all that on PC though, I'm curious to see your solution to input devices (Controller vs KB/M) would be. 

 

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When they had that line in the community update that specifically said something like "our designers know how to design a sandbox" I nearly choked on my cereal.

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When they had that line in the community update that specifically said something like "our designers know how to design a sandbox" I nearly choked on my cereal.

 

Fucking 343 have got to be some of the most clueless people in the industry.

 

If they really knew how to design a sandbox we wouldn't need a massive sandbox rebalance now would we?

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People who think the sword should be able to lunge without red reticle as a movement enhancer, could I just look straight up in the air and essentially climb the side of a building by repeatedly lunging upward?

 

If there was some cooldown that prevented these repeated lunges from occuring, would that same cooldown not also prevent the user from attacking multiple enemies in a timely fashion?

 

If the lunge cooldown was only on non red reticle lunges, is that intuitive?

 

I've been trying to come to terms with why I am not a fan of this idea and I think this is it.

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People who think the sword should be able to lunge without red reticle as a movement enhancer, could I just look straight up in the air and essentially climb the side of a building by repeatedly lunging upward?

 

If there was some cooldown that prevented these repeated lunges from occuring, would that same cooldown not also prevent the user from attacking multiple enemies in a timely fashion?

 

If the lunge cooldown was only on non red reticle lunges, is that intuitive?

 

I've been trying to come to terms with why I am not a fan of this idea and I think this is it.

I'm skeptical of the idea as well. Maybe you need to be on the ground (or off a wall jump...) to get a blue reticle lunge? Or maybe whatever UI element you show for the cooldown could have a noticeable flash-like animation when you get a kill with it, to show the user that killing people negates the cooldown.

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I'm skeptical of the idea as well. Maybe you need to be on the ground (or off a wall jump...) to get a blue reticle lunge? Or maybe whatever UI element you show for the cooldown could have a noticeable flash-like animation when you get a kill with it, to show the user that killing people negates the cooldown.

Just give it recovery frames if the attack misses a target, and no recovery frames if it hits. Simple.
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 If Halo did somehow overcome all that on PC though, I'm curious to see your solution to input devices (Controller vs KB/M) would be. 

 

In regards to the PC implementation issues: I'm working with the assumption that 343 is a competent developer.  ;)

 

I would say use whatever input you want, but aim assist is gone... so basically mouse and keyboard. I want to say that 343 wouldn't abandon their core players, but they're actually pretty good at that.

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Fucking 343 have got to be some of the most clueless people in the industry.

 

If they really knew how to design a sandbox we wouldn't need a massive sandbox rebalance now would we?

 

Ehhh idk.  I don't think it matters how incredibly talented a dev team is, there is no replacement for having a million people hammer away at your game in a way that you simply can't during development.  Imbalances are going to be found and new ways to abuse weapons/mechanics will be as well.  To think that balance is ever "done" is a bad mindset for a dev to have, which is the unforgivable error 343 made here.

 

I actually think that the day-1 balance of the game was pretty good. For day 1.  

But it became clear within the first few weeks (at most, sooner depending who you ask lol) that there were issues that needed to be addressed that just went fucking untouched for almost 2 years.  changing the caster and hydra a couple times hardly counts.

 

You can bet your ass that when the full list of balance changes comes out, 50% of them could have been made within the first weeks of launch without much risk.  Then play with those for a month and re-asses,  then make some more changes, rinse, repeat.

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People who think the sword should be able to lunge without red reticle as a movement enhancer, could I just look straight up in the air and essentially climb the side of a building by repeatedly lunging upward?

 

If there was some cooldown that prevented these repeated lunges from occuring, would that same cooldown not also prevent the user from attacking multiple enemies in a timely fashion?

 

If the lunge cooldown was only on non red reticle lunges, is that intuitive?

 

I've been trying to come to terms with why I am not a fan of this idea and I think this is it.

I don't think it has to be that convoluted.

 

If your feet are on the ground, you lunge when you pull the trigger. Chaining kills would work similarly to how it works now.

 

If your feet are off the ground, you get just one lunge. Once you use your lunge, your reticle turns into an "x" indicating that lunge is unavailable. You could still use the melee button attack. Once you land you can resume lunging at will (with the obvious ammo and Recovery frames in place)

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Ehhh idk. I don't think it matters how incredibly talented a dev team is, there is no replacement for having a million people hammer away at your game in a way that you simply can't during development. Imbalances are going to be found and new ways to abuse weapons/mechanics will be as well. To think that balance is ever "done" is a bad mindset for a dev to have, which is the unforgivable error 343 made here.

 

I actually think that the day-1 balance of the game was pretty good. For day 1.

But it became clear within the first few weeks (at most, sooner depending who you ask lol) that there were issues that needed to be addressed that just went fucking untouched for almost 2 years. changing the caster and hydra a couple times hardly counts.

 

You can bet your ass that when the full list of balance changes comes out, 50% of them could have been made within the first weeks of launch without much risk. Then play with those for a month and re-asses, then make some more changes, rinse, repeat.

The chain of custody for sandbox changes is woefully inefficient. I think their reshuffling of talent has made things a bit better (it's probably the only reason we're are getting an overhaul), but it still doesn't make any sense.

 

The constant meetings, data collection and testing + the resultant red tape, coupled with the drip feeding of info and lack of 2 way conversation with the community is maddening. Especially for items where the issues and solutions are obvious.

 

The fact that the hydra and caster buffs came almost immediately, compared to the Sniper nerf (which wasn't even adequate) just goes to show the level of paralysis with regards to making fixes that are actually important.

 

I'm actually confident that they got the write balance between MP and sandbox now, and the right people are on sandbox. But im particularly afraid "data" will disproportionately weigh into the decision making when compared to practice observation.

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I'm actually confident that they got the write balance between MP and sandbox now, and the right people are on sandbox. But im particularly afraid "data" will disproportionately weigh into the decision making when compared to practice observation.

 

True, there has to be a balance there. Though, as I read it, "Data" is the primary reason that Auto's are no longer in HCS.  Once Menke put it together that specifically the AR had no skill differential from Diamond+, that made defending their decision easy so they finally did it.

 

Come to think of it, its harder to get to higher levels now so i bet that the AR skill differential stops at top-plat at this point.

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True, there has to be a balance there. Though, as I read it, "Data" is the primary reason that Auto's are no longer in HCS. Once Menke put it together that specifically the AR had no skill differential from Diamond+, that made defending their decision easy so they finally did it.

 

Come to think of it, its harder to get to higher levels now so i bet that the AR skill differential stops at top-plat at this point.

That's what I mean though. It shouldn't have taken "data" to realize that there is no skill differential with the AR because communication with players and observation of people playing the game should have revealed this immediately after the game launched. The fact that they needed 1.5years of data to prove this point bothers me.

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Let's talk about shield recharge for a second. Would it be better if shields had a short delay before recharging begins and a slow recharge rate once it does or would it be better if there was a long recharge delay and a fast recharge rate?

 

Short delay/slow rate vs long delay/fast rate?

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Let's talk about shield recharge for a second. Would it be better if shields had a short delay before recharging begins and a slow recharge rate once it does or would it be better if there was a long recharge delay and a fast recharge rate?

 

Short delay/slow rate vs long delay/fast rate?

I'd say the second option is better, because it's clearer communication to attackers how much damage is left to be dealt.

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The chain of custody for sandbox changes is woefully inefficient. I think their reshuffling of talent has made things a bit better (it's probably the only reason we're are getting an overhaul), but it still doesn't make any sense.

 

The constant meetings, data collection and testing + the resultant red tape, coupled with the drip feeding of info and lack of 2 way conversation with the community is maddening. Especially for items where the issues and solutions are obvious.

 

The fact that the hydra and caster buffs came almost immediately, compared to the Sniper nerf (which wasn't even adequate) just goes to show the level of paralysis with regards to making fixes that are actually important.

 

I'm actually confident that they got the write balance between MP and sandbox now, and the right people are on sandbox. But im particularly afraid "data" will disproportionately weigh into the decision making when compared to practice observation.

I've continued to work on "what makes a good pick up based sandbox document, retooling it every so often. I'll finish it eventually and post it here and on Reddit.

 

The average major pick up count across all arena maps (default settings loaded in customs, which I believe is actually more generous than matchmaking for major pick ups) is 3 pick ups:

 

Coliseum:

Rocket Launcher and Sniper Rifle

 

Eden:

Spnkr Rocket Launcher and Sniper Rifle

 

Empire:

Active Camo and Overshield

 

Fathom:

Railgun and Active Camo

 

Mercy:

Beam Rifle, SAW and Gravity Hammer

 

Overgrowth:

Railgun and Active Camo

 

Plaza:

Overshield and Sniper Rifle

 

Regret:

Overshield and Plasma Caster

 

Riptide:

Beam Rifle and Hydra

 

Stasis:

Rocket Launcher, Overshield, Shotgun and Hydra

 

The Rig:

Sniper Rifle, Active Camo and Scattershot

 

Torgue:

2 Sniper Rifles, Active Camo and Energy Sword

 

Truth:

Energy Sword and Active Camo

 

Tyrant:

Sniper Rifle and Scattershot

 

Molten:

Sniper Rifle, Plasma Caster and Hydra

 

2 Major Pick Ups: 10 Maps

3 Major Pick Ups: 3 Maps

4 Major Pick Ups: 2 Maps

 

 

For pick up based game, there ain't exactly much to pick up. Because every single god damn power weapon is lethal, easy to use and forgiving compared to the Pistol which is surrounded by a sandbox of much, much stronger weapons in terms of range, TTK and ease of use and whole heap of other elements that make the Pistol a piss poor starting weapon.

 

A pick up based shooter with fuck all to pick up, while anything you do pick up is super forgiving and powerful and spawns slowly, is fucking boring. Every engagment begins to feel the same as the Pistol becomes the only weapon you use for 90% of the game. Maybe some people here want that sterile experiance, but I don't and I don't think most other people do either. The utility weapon should empower me off of spawn so that encountering any of those weapons is manageable by the utility weapon. (which we all know)

 

If we can balance a sandbox to have an average of 8 major pick ups per 4v4 map while empowering the individual to the point that that is balanced we should, as it adds variety to the engagments and allows people to be picking up weapons that are genuinely unique and fun to use.

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I'd say the second option is better, because it's clearer communication to attackers how much damage is left to be dealt.

A short delay would allow a player to briefly take cover, as to not be one-shot, then pop back out and continue the fight. A long shield recharge delay wouldn't allow for this.

 

Doesn't a slow recharge rate allow for more dynamic encounters, where players aren't just no shields or full shields, like a fast recharge rate would essentially provide?

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That's what I mean though. It shouldn't have taken "data" to realize that there is no skill differential with the AR because communication with players and observation of people playing the game should have revealed this immediately after the game launched. The fact that they needed 1.5years of data to prove this point bothers me.

 

Same.  I'm a very evidence-based person, so i like to make decisions where data backs it up, but that certainly doesn't mean if there isn't good data (or nobody knows how to dissect it properly) changes shouldn't be made.  You're right, without empirical data, just watching people play the game made it clear that autos were fucked, for example.

 

A short delay would allow a player to briefly take cover, as to not be one-shot, then pop back out and continue the fight. A long shield recharge delay wouldn't allow for this.

 

Doesn't a slow recharge rate allow for more dynamic encounters, where players aren't just no shields or full shields, like a fast recharge rate would essentially provide?

 

The problem with a delay that is too short is that you make battles last forever.  A primary reason i like Halo is the extended kill times compared to say CoD but when the kill times start approaching Hero shooter length, each battle turns into a boring grind.

 

If you can pop into cover for just a second to get your shields back, the player you are fighting will get theirs back too since you're not shooting at them. then you have to start all over again.

 

I wouldn't call 2 players starting a fight with different levels of shield "dynamic" as much as i would describe it as "random".  

 

Of all the problems that H5 needs to address, i wouldn't even put shield recharge on my top 20 list.  Not that its not worth thinking about, but i think its in a good place.  The "escapability" weirdness is centered around the movement mechanics and weapon sandbox.

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How about a turret that doesn't fire a physical projectile but instead creates a pit on the ground the players and/or vehicles can fall into. The circular "Gravity Well" would be variable in size, dependent on the charge up time before firing. Anything that falls in is immediately destroyed. The diameter of the Gravity Well can vary from small enough to only fit a single Spartan in to large enough to engulf an entire Warthog.

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Let's talk about shield recharge for a second. Would it be better if shields had a short delay before recharging begins and a slow recharge rate once it does or would it be better if there was a long recharge delay and a fast recharge rate?

 

Short delay/slow rate vs long delay/fast rate?

That stuff has to be dependent on that specific game's pace.

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That stuff has to be dependent on that specific game's pace.

What type of pace should Halo have? Which shield recharge mechanic would fit best with that pace?

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