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Halo 5: Guardians Discussion

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Skimming here but felt like pointing out that weapon redundancy doesn't benefit the campaign either, and is arguably just as much of a detriment there as it is in multiplayer.  Every good campaign game I've played has followed a minimalist approach, ranging from Ce to Resident Evil 4 to Bioshock to so on.

 

I'd say new enemies and factions don't necessitate the addition of tons of 'new' weapons either.  Strictly speaking Brutes didn't need to have Spikers and Spike Grenades (and at one time didn't), Prometheans don't need to do anything but fire lasers from their fingertips instead of from the barrel of a portable gun, they're machines so incorporated weaponry is believable (and crawlers are already this way).  Sentinels pre-Halo 2 had their own weaponry without dropping or using physical weapons.

 

Damn glad you can predict the future. Life must be super easy for you.

 

I actually agree with him.

 

How many things can you think of that fell out of mainstream relevance then magically came back into relevance?  Probably not a lot compared to those that just stayed buried.  I don't think a fundamentally flawed franchise that has been beaten and battered through multiple identity crises is somehow going to be the exception to the rule.

 

I don't claim to know the future, but prior experience with other things and examining the commonalities between all the things kids like these days leads me to believe that Halo is dead regardless of what anyone does with it.

 

That said it couldn't be any worse than it is right now either, and if they insist on throwing things at a wall to see what sticks they might as well add classic gameplay onto their list of things to throw at the wall.

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True. The bad part is more people are associating these shitty games with Halo's identity which means it's probable that less people are gonna give future Halo games a look because of that.

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Halo needs to have a proper launch with proper matchmaking more than anything to keep players. H2a was classic halo and was fun, but it didn't matter since shit was broken

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I have come to the conclusion that Halo's future is fucked because 343 only post on reddit and respond to questions there.

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I'm a stickler for the old ways.  If the weapons sandbox is designed around the campaign, stick to covenant and human weapons only by making the Promethean weapons disintegrate along with the enemy when they get killed.  That would be sweet.  Then they could get rid of all the bad Promethean weapons I hate.  The smaller the weapon sandbox and less redundancy, the better.  There doesn't need to be three types of shotguns.   There doesn't even need to be two...  Like my good friend @@xSociety said, KISS.

 

This is exactly what should logically happen anyway. But no, then our anti-fun anime robots won't have a presence in the multiplayer! Unacceptable!

 

 

It wouldn't. It may see an extremely slight return of some players, but nothing is going to bring Halo back to popularity or even positive public perception. Outside of all of the stuff with 343/Bungie, it's core gameplay formula is too shallow and it's still trying to be a feature-crawl/Jack of all trades game like back in the early 2000s. Outdated design philosophy as all hell and would never hold the interest of any casual gamers today for more than a couple of months.

 

I disagree, although we might also disagree on what Halo's core gameplay formula is and how flexible it should be in what dimensions of gameplay. From how I see it, the "default" gameplay from Halo 2 to Reach, SMG starts to loadouts, is just one long string of idiotic design decisions enveloped in technically competent games. From what I see, the "success" of SWAT, Infection, and other casual modes stems from the casual playerbase avoiding shit map/core setting designs, where these negative elements are effectively minimized.

 

This is just my opinion, and my perspective, but when I look at competitive Halo 2, Halo 3, Halo Reach, I see a consistent process; look at the game as a whole, throw the shit away, make it play like Halo CE. Its never a perfect translation, and it may not even have always been a totally conscious effort, but that's what it tends to. From what I've seen in the history of gaming, there are a few golden nugget ideas that people are just drawn to. Like you say in a quoted post below, people really like personalization. One emergent idea that stems from personalizing "your guy" is personalizing "your collection of guys". People like the idea of personalizing and controlling an army of personalized "things". Whether that's controlling monsters (Pokemon), human soldiers (many games, but notably XCOM), or just...things (Pikmin). They're all radically different games that all tend towards a single appealing concept. I think its an concept that's timelessly appealing. Similarly, I think the unique pacing and structure of Halo's gameplay is timelessly appealing, its just bogged down by incompetent designers who never understood why Halo was fun in the first place (its not necessarily an easy concept to grasp either, but each post-CE Halo has plenty of features that demonstrate how and why the developers weren't even close).

 

That is to say, I think a Halo created by some people with enough actual imagination and creativity to look at CE and examine what made it fun and interesting would do very well. No, I don't think a clone of CE is whats needed either, as CE obviously hasn't aged well in many areas; again, it will require some intellect to discern what's really worth saving and what to make anew. In that case, you wouldn't need a return of old players when you create a genuinely good game and generate a brand new audience, returning players would just be a bonus. 

 

And just to note; feature crawl was more a Bungie concern. 343i seems pretty intent on both removing features and letting other ones decay in public view.

 

Your attention is almost exclusively focused on the gameplay or competitiveness of the casual games in question when it's the furthest metric from determining the truth of what casuals enjoy. The casual community has shown, predictably, more emphasis on certain game traits that they like, but it is in the form of secondary characteristics such as probably the two most important in terms of my argument:

 

1) Personalization of gameplay.

 

and 

 

2) Personalization of avatar/character.

 

Halo is absolutely incompatible by design with the former and has yet to see a proper utilization of the latter.

 

I don't really want to spend long discussing this, but personalization of gameplay led to Halo 4, which took back on the core tenants of Halo design in order to allow players to play how they want to play. Needless to say, it was a half-assed effort in terms of keeping some semblance to the old and didn't do enough to make players feel like they had much choice in playing the game how they wanted to play it.

 

 

 

Personalization of character is something that this franchise would benefit immensely from, but has been implemented poorly in every single iteration of Halo (including Reach, credit grinding was not fun or engaging). To compound this problem, the team nature (all spartans are blue or red) of the game and the "blank-slate" character design of military spartan man X doesn't help people relate to their personalized characters in any way. 

 

Overwatch is extremely successful because it merged these 2 premises together. CS:GO also has a large aspect of it's game designed around these two characteristics, albeit the personalization of character is masked behind grindy paywalls.

 

I absolutely agree, and this is something that I wish 343 would pay more attention to. If there was anything that 343 "totally needs to copy because EVERYBODY is totally doing it", its personalization. I'm not too concerned about the overarching implementation, since we've already started down the path of microtransactions, and I'm sure MS has engineers that direct how those are implemented down to a science. Other games deal with team colors fine (TF2 is a real standout in this area), and I think there's nothing inherently stopping good customization in the game. What's really baffling to me is just how bad 343's armor looks, period. Almost all of it is uncreative and/or nonsensical, and has little semblence to the old or even the new artstyles. I mean, hell, I've used Blender a few times, is 343 looking to hire 3D artists right now? I'm confused as to how a "blank slate" framework wouldn't help expand potential ideas for creative and unique designs, even ignoring the wildly stupid decision to "canonize" multiplayer.

 

Just a note about CS:GO, Valve has been very successful at making gaming the paywall a little game in itself with trading. I've never really heard MTs in Valve games be described as grindy or a paywall, especially since those systems can let you earn a small profit if you know what you're doing.

 

I'll throw this in as a bonus metric to consider, probably the third most important asset to making a casual friendly game is giving them certain tools within the game to learn and grow as a player. Halo has been remarkably awful at this for the entirety of it's existence as a franchise. A rank next to your name doesn't mean anything if you have no idea not only what seperates you from the guy above you in rank but also how to get there. You could say this is an issue within the community, but neither 343 nor Bungie have ever addressed or tried to bridge the massive divide in core gameplay between the campaign, general multiplayer, and competitive multiplayer.

 

Oddly enough, you could say that H5 tried to emphasize this with the whole team aspect in the campaign, but it was done incredibly poorly and virtually no gameplay scenarios were designed to give a casual player anything they could use in multiplayer effectively.

Absolutely, there should be more focus on helping players improve and being specific as to how.  I actually got around to making "bots" (AI in spartan bipeds) in Halo CE's engine, and while they're pretty basic, they're very fun and a great way to learn maps. I'm not saying full fledged bot support is the best way to go, but its easily a possibility in a game with AI that's already developed.

 

I'm not a big fan of the multiplayer and the campaign getting very linked together in certain ways that other people advocate. I do agree that the campaign should be a way to teach players the sandbox, and that there should be consistency between them when there are shared elements, though. Obviously, I agree that the comp vs casual multiplayer divide is an issue that needs a thought-out resolution. More direct developer involvement with the existing community would be great start.

 

Yeah, H5's campaign reminded me of why I want and simultaneously don't want a Republic Commando sequel.

 

I'll finish this post by stating that people that legitimately feel that a proper sequel to Halo 3 or "Classic Halo" will return everything to how it was are sorely mistaken and should really try to do some research on just how much of a difference there is between back when Halo 3 was top of Xbox 360 player charts and gaming a decade later.

 

 

I don't entirely disagree. Halo's original playerbase has been irreversibly damaged, and those that are left either greatly enjoy Halo 5's gameplay and might object to a return to form, or they're resentful players still holding on after being taken on a ride on 343i's torture coaster, or they're in some position in the middle. Not everyone will be satisfied with any course of action from here. While you would probably categorize me as someone who wants a return to "Classic Halo" (at least a return from "I hope you know how to claw" Halo 5), I definitely understand "prettier Halo 3" shouldn't be what anyone is shooting for, and I think some people that do advocate for a new Halo 3 only do so pragmatically, since we're dealing with a company who has well established they have a fetish for copy pasting stuff. Rather than discuss nuances and details with the company that greenlit Halo 4, its far easier to just collectively say "do it like Halo 3 did".

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Your attention is almost exclusively focused on the gameplay or competitiveness of the casual games in question when it's the furthest metric from determining the truth of what casuals enjoy. The casual community has shown, predictably, more emphasis on certain game traits that they like, but it is in the form of secondary characteristics such as probably the two most important in terms of my argument:

 

 

Basically your point is that gameplay alone doesn't sell, which I agree with. Halo's downward trend only started accelerating after 343i cut key features or botched them beyond repair. Now more so than 2007, a Halo game has to offer stuff like a good campaign, variety in maps, gametypes and playlists, cooperative modes, theater, forge etc. at launch. You're right that a theoretical Halo 6 with perfect gameplay won't sell if it's another barebones or bug ridden launch, but saying gameplay doesn't matter at all, especially for player retention is wrong.

 

 

1) Personalization of gameplay.

 

and 

 

2) Personalization of avatar/character.

 

I don't really see this to be honest. Yes the customization fad that has been plaguing the FPS genre and gaming in general ever since CoD4 came out is still going, but I don't think Halo is unpopular because there aren't enough armor customization options. DOOM, Titanfall 2, the last CoD games, Halo 4 all have loadouts and customization options hidden behind pay- or grindwalls and yet these are some of the least popular shooters of the last few years.

 

 

Halo is absolutely incompatible by design with the former and has yet to see a proper utilization of the latter.

 

Halo used to offer personalization of gameplay via custom games and a good variety of playlists. Not in the microcosm of a single match where every player customizes their loadouts and perks to their liking, but by allowing people to choose what kind of gameplay they are looking for in the lobby, it appealed to a large amount of people with conflicting interests.

 

 

Personalization of character is something that this franchise would benefit immensely from, but has been implemented poorly in every single iteration of Halo (including Reach, credit grinding was not fun or engaging). To compound this problem, the team nature (all spartans are blue or red) of the game and the "blank-slate" character design of military spartan man X doesn't help people relate to their personalized characters in any way. 

 

 

You're right that Halo has yet to provide a mindblowingly good avatar customization, but Reach came pretty close to that and it's still superior to the RNG money grab systems like Overwatch, CSGO and newer CoD games have. Yes we could go deeper and allow people to choose their colors and allowing them to be a different character in MP, but again I don't think this will a) sell games and b) make people stick around in the long run. Especially now that OW is already out and every single game that features characters get the stigma of "Overwatch clone" (already happening to Lawbreakers etc.)

 

 

 

Overwatch is extremely successful because it merged these 2 premises together. CS:GO also has a large aspect of it's game designed around these two characteristics, albeit the personalization of character is masked behind grindy paywalls.

 

 

Overwatch is popular because 1) Blizzard is the publisher and 2) because it appeals to casuals and non-gamers with the characters and the lore. I don't see how you can shit on Reach's customization and praise OW's in the same post. It's literally the same grinding, except that now there are microtransactions and RNGesus involved. The only thing OW has over Reach is that new content is continuously added and that the customization goes a little deeper with more skins, dance emotes etc. If Reach came out today it would have the same stuff, guaranteed.

OW offers the "Personalization of gameplay" you mention on levels never seen before, but it has to because it's a hero shooter. Basically, OW has nothing to offer gameplay-wise besides this personalization. And OW isn't that popular on console either.

 

CSGO does customization it a little better with the community market, which was a genious move by Valve as they have created their own stock market where they charge 15% on every transaction. But again, the customization is rather shallow with only offering weapon skins, gloves and knives and again random drops.

 

CS has never been about personalization of gameplay with the exception of each team having a designated sniper, entry fragger etc. This is also seen in Halo to a degree and just because players can buy the weapons does not mean that they have free choice in how they play the game, it's moreso another layer of skill and strategy. It's not like CoD where you can literally choose whatever weapon you want at any time.

 

CoD, BF and TF2 would have been better examples that a game nowadays needs personalization of gameplay and character, but then again we have to remember that Halo competed with CoD and BF for years with no problem. Maybe if Halo stopped chasing fads and became it's own thing again it could stand out and become popular again, of course this is all speculation, but so is your prediction that it wouldn't be popular.

 

 

I'll throw this in as a bonus metric to consider, probably the third most important asset to making a casual friendly game is giving them certain tools within the game to learn and grow as a player. Halo has been remarkably awful at this for the entirety of it's existence as a franchise. A rank next to your name doesn't mean anything if you have no idea not only what seperates you from the guy above you in rank but also how to get there. You could say this is an issue within the community, but neither 343 nor Bungie have ever addressed or tried to bridge the massive divide in core gameplay between the campaign, general multiplayer, and competitive multiplayer.

 

Oddly enough, you could say that H5 tried to emphasize this with the whole team aspect in the campaign, but it was done incredibly poorly and virtually no gameplay scenarios were designed to give a casual player anything they could use in multiplayer effectively.

 

I 100% agree with this. Especially now that 343i is trying so hard to make Halo this eSport friendly game, it's baffling that there is still no "get better fast" program built into the game.

 

 

I'll finish this post by stating that people that legitimately feel that a proper sequel to Halo 3 or "Classic Halo" will return everything to how it was are sorely mistaken and should really try to do some research on just how much of a difference there is between back when Halo 3 was top of Xbox 360 player charts and gaming a decade later.

 

Look, no one is saying a Halo 3.5 would instantly turn Halo into XBLs top dog again. Not only because of changes in the market, but also because Halo hasn't been truly good in almost a decade now. I get it. If you remember my post that you originally quoted, I said it "would turn the franchise around", as in stop the bleeding and start a slow recovery process. I know Halo will be in the shitter for another 5 years no matter how good Halo 6 and 7 are. And I'm fully aware that if H3 came out today it wouldn't be as popular as it was in 07.

But saying classic Halo would do worse than advanced warfare spacey Shooter 4 and 5 is just not justified. There is zero evidence supporting that. I'd say its time to give classic Halo another go as it has yet to be proven that "classic Halo wouldn't sell", while we sure as fuck now that modern Halo does, in fact, not sell.

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Skimming here but felt like pointing out that weapon redundancy doesn't benefit the campaign either, and is arguably just as much of a detriment there as it is in multiplayer. Every good campaign game I've played has followed a minimalist approach, ranging from Ce to Resident Evil 4 to Bioshock to so on.

 

I'd say new enemies and factions don't necessitate the addition of tons of 'new' weapons either. Strictly speaking Brutes didn't need to have Spikers and Spike Grenades (and at one time didn't), Prometheans don't need to do anything but fire lasers from their fingertips instead of from the barrel of a portable gun, they're machines so incorporated weaponry is believable (and crawlers are already this way). Sentinels pre-Halo 2 had their own weaponry without dropping or using physical weapons.

 

 

I actually agree with him.

 

How many things can you think of that fell out of mainstream relevance then magically came back into relevance? Probably not a lot compared to those that just stayed buried. I don't think a fundamentally flawed franchise that has been beaten and battered through multiple identity crises is somehow going to be the exception to the rule.

 

I don't claim to know the future, but prior experience with other things and examining the commonalities between all the things kids like these days leads me to believe that Halo is dead regardless of what anyone does with it.

 

That said it couldn't be any worse than it is right now either, and if they insist on throwing things at a wall to see what sticks they might as well add classic gameplay onto their list of things to throw at the wall.

People will play good games, regardless of whether they are tied to a franchise that has declined or not. If 343 made a good halo game- worthy of high critical reception due to its thigh quality of its campaign, MP, and customization offerings and the addictiveness of its progression system- people would buy it and play it.

 

There's nothing to indicate that mass audiences wouldn't like core Halo gameplay with a modern approach to progression and retention.

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So Double XP is finally back and rather than using it to hype up the return of Oddball, now Oddball is gone (again) and Double XP is on Covie Slayer and Super Fiesta??

 

No 343, I will not play your garbage playlists! lol... It's like they're trying so hard to get people to love their ideas. Meanwhile, Oddball should've never been absent from the game, and it might as well just not exist again...

 

I mean, what are they gaining from withholding content? Staple content, no less... It's just madness. Leaving players with a shell of a Halo game, expecting these timed releases to keep people satisfied, when the game isn't even in a satisfactory state to begin with.

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So Double XP is finally back and rather than using it to hype up the return of Oddball, now Oddball is gone (again) and Double XP is on Covie Slayer and Super Fiesta??

 

No 343, I will not play your garbage playlists! lol... It's like they're trying so hard to get people to love their ideas. Meanwhile, Oddball should've never been absent from the game, and it might as well just not exist again...

 

I mean, what are they gaining from withholding content? Staple content, no less... It's just madness. Leaving players with a shell of a Halo game, expecting these timed releases to keep people satisfied, when the game isn't even in a satisfactory state to begin with.

It's on a variety of playlists - Covenant Slayer, Fiesta, FFA and Warzone Assault, maybe another one or two too. I guess it's a way of getting people to jump into the playlists and get the population up for a weekend rather than have it game-wide again. 

 

No doubt Oddball will be back again, probably added to Team Arena too.

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Was asked if clingy TB.net had given up on amateurish 343. I said no!

 
 
 

 

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If they do return to the classic formula please give the game a skill gap and don't make it Halo 3.5. Whatever they do though they NEED to have LAN. That way whether it's classic halo or modern people can get together and actually play offline. I'm hoping that with the backwards compatibility along with the fact that people can system link different generation xboxes revives the LAN scene just a bit.

 

I know it's a long shot, but I hope once it goes live some people FINALLY realize that you still have the ability to play the old game you love. It requires a bit of effort to find others and maybe not seem like the biggest fucking tool online to the point where people probably wouldn't want to LAN with you.

 

If Halo 6 has no LAN, it's going to fail competitively.

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If they do return to the classic formula please give the game a skill gap and don't make it Halo 3.5. Whatever they do though they NEED to have LAN. That way whether it's classic halo or modern people can get together and actually play offline. I'm hoping that with the backwards compatibility along with the fact that people can system link different generation xboxes revives the LAN scene just a bit.

 

I know it's a long shot, but I hope once it goes live some people FINALLY realize that you still have the ability to play the old game you love. It requires a bit of effort to find others and maybe not seem like the biggest fucking tool online to the point where people probably wouldn't want to LAN with you.

 

If Halo 6 has no LAN, it's going to fail competitively.

if it's not Halo 3.5 then what would it be? Please don't say more like CE because that game would be a giant bomb. 

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if it's not Halo 3.5 then what would it be? Please don't say more like CE because that game would be a giant bomb.

 

It is none of the above. You take the best parts of each game. And then improve on them still.

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if it's not Halo 3.5 then what would it be? Please don't say more like CE because that game would be a giant bomb. 

 

 

I posted about this before when people talk about asking for "classic" Halo. There's too many differences in the first three games so I think it's best to look at individual mechanics and concepts that each have. Of course, I would rather have Halo 1.5 ( which pretty much already exists with the community mod Halo NHE) but I would at least state why from a mechanics standpoint. I prefer single shot weapons. I prefer fast perfect kill times but longer average kill times. I think having no melee lunge and the variety of melee hitboxes is a good thing although it might seem awkward at first.

 

So there are definitely things that I feel are in Halo CE  that a new "classic" Halo game should have over Halo 2 and Halo 3. I don't think we should use Halo 2's weapon spawn system or magnetism. I don't think we should use Halo 3's utility weapon or have so many symmetrical maps that are too big that result in constantly holding forward.

 

I'm talking about an overall skill gap and depth that the gameplay provides. I played the first three games competitively and like to think I have a good grasp on them at a high level. I had fun with Halo 3 competing, but theres just such little depth there. There was probably more in depth stuff niche gameplay stuff in doubles MM than in 4v4. Halo 3 could have been greatly improved by giving the BR no spread, increasing the movement speed, fixing the bland melee system, having items come up quicker and a few other things. I just think that when looking to make a new "classic" Halo we should look at everything we can across the series and try to find out why something might be better or worse for gameplay.

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If they do return to the classic formula please give the game a skill gap and don't make it Halo 3.5. Whatever they do though they NEED to have LAN. That way whether it's classic halo or modern people can get together and actually play offline. I'm hoping that with the backwards compatibility along with the fact that people can system link different generation xboxes revives the LAN scene just a bit.

 

I know it's a long shot, but I hope once it goes live some people FINALLY realize that you still have the ability to play the old game you love. It requires a bit of effort to find others and maybe not seem like the biggest fucking tool online to the point where people probably wouldn't want to LAN with you.

 

If Halo 6 has no LAN, it's going to fail competitively.

They already confirmed split screen and lan

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They already confirmed split screen and lan

 

 

I've heard they confirmed those but did they specify if it's like legitimate LAN? Like doesn't Gears use a LAN system but still needs to be online?

 

Also, I forget what it was. It might have been LAN or Co-Op for Halo 5 but well before it was released they talked about including it but it had to be cut. I'm sure nobody at the studio enjoyed having to cut it and go back on their word but until something is completed and playable I don't expect anything at this point. Not just for Halo, but game development as a whole has drifted towards not expecting to get what was told you would.

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I've heard they confirmed those but did they specify if it's like legitimate LAN? Like doesn't Gears use a LAN system but still needs to be online?

 

Also, I forget what it was. It might have been LAN or Co-Op for Halo 5 but well before it was released they talked about including it but it had to be cut. I'm sure nobody at the studio enjoyed having to cut it and go back on their word but until something is completed and playable I don't expect anything at this point. Not just for Halo, but game development as a whole has drifted towards not expecting to get what was told you would.

It was Bonnie that said it. She also said every Halo from now on will always have Split screen

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It was Bonnie that said it. She also said every Halo from now on will always have Split screen

 

 

Yeah that I remember reading. Don't really remember reading anything more about the LAN feature other than it will exist. At least they realize how important these features are to our franchise.

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It was Bonnie that said it. She also said every Halo from now on will always have Split screen

 

Didn't say that split screen won't be H4 or H2A levels of terrible though. I hope they have a flexible engine in H6 that allows them to turn down the graphics to a bare minimum to sustain a decent framerate when split-screening, especially on forge maps.

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The fact that the inclusion of split screen or LAN support is even a topic of discussion saddens me a great deal. There are so many bigger fish to fry and these just seem like distractions to the real issues.

 

What am I saying though? Halo 5 is still missing a number of core gametypes, right? I guess we do need to worry about things that should be considered a given.

 

How did we arrive at this terrible place?

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The fact that the inclusion of split screen or LAN support is even a topic of discussion saddens me a great deal. There are so many bigger fish to fry and these just seem like distractions to the real issues.

 

What am I saying though? Halo 5 is still missing a number of core gametypes, right? I guess we do need to worry about things that should be considered a given.

 

How did we arrive at this terrible place?

Nothing with 343 is a given anymore. 

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@@Apoll0

 

Imagine if you threw four Plasma grenades, each one in a different location. But instead of them exploding a few seconds after they landed, they just stayed where they landed, waiting for you to remotely-detonate them whenever you deemed it necessary. That is the Plasma Detonator.

 

Not sure where you got Airburst from.

When you remotely detonate them is it instantaneous or is there a countdown?If it's instantaneous then there should be a limit on how long it can sit there before you have to you have to detonate it.20ish seconds would be around the best imo and if you haven't set it off by then then it will go off on it's own.If it's not instantaneous then the timer can be much higher though I'm not sure how high.Do the grenades in this hypothetical stick to any surface or do they just lie on the ground?Can you switch to another weapon while you're waiting for someone or does it detonate if you switch weapons?Imho think firing 4 different grenades would be a little too powerful.You'd be able to cut off 4 different map paths.I'd just bring back the sticky launcher from 4 with a 20 second limit and allow you switch weapons during those 20 seconds.

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