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Halo 5: Guardians Discussion

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Damage fall off makes absolutely no sense for an equal starts, pick-up-based game like Halo. It's just another excuse to create superficial "roles" for functionally redundant weapons in the sandbox. This is not CS:GO. There is no economy system. There is no cost/kill reward versus effectiveness trade-off. Picking up a longer range weapon doesn't represent a meaningful investment. The problem in Halo 5 is not that the weapons are accurate or have too much range. It's that the game aims them for you too much and at excessive distances. Damage fall-off doesn't address that problem at all. Halo doesn't benefit at all from this kind of extreme granularity in its sandbox. It doesn't add any tactical depth. It just creates more uneven match-ups for no coherent reason. This is already overcomplicated in Halo 5. Don't make it worse. 

 

A better solution would be to tone down and standardize magnetism, aim assist, and head shot prioritization across the board. Stop differentiating weapons based on how much they aim for you. At most (for the console version), they should be differentiated by how far that aim assist extends. Or, ideally, 343 could stop trying to force this clutter into the Halo sandbox and make all of the redundant weapons functionally identical. This creates faux variety for the casual audience without turning gun fights into rock-paper-scissors. Little Timmy can still pick up his super awesome DMR, and no one has to tell him that it functions the same as the Magnum.

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Helljumper is the only way to play the game

 

I did just fine with bumper jumper. Left trigger is for grenades. Always has, Always will be. So you can get that Left trigger aiming bullshit out of my Halo

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I did just fine with bumper jumper. Left trigger is for grenades. Always has, Always will be. So you can get that Left trigger aiming bullshit out of my Halo

Halo 5 maps are so overscaled and the ADS has such an effect on some weapons that it is actually beneficial to have zoom on trigger.

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Helljumper is the only way to play the game

Factually correct.

 

But i use bumper jumper because i can't wrap my head around LT for zoom... which is crazy, because i play every other shooter with LT ZOOM .

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Factually correct.

 

But i use bumper jumper because i can't wrap my head around LT for zoom... which is crazy, because i play every other shooter with LT ZOOM .

 

LT Zoom in Halo is a sin.  It doesn't feel right. It will never feel right.

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The funny part about this is that "competitive" players would generally agree that this game is absolutely awful to play casually. A big part of the reason casuals think it's the sweatiest game ever made is that the combination of the absolute mess of Spartan Abilities, winding, cluttered maps, and poor weapon balance is just STRESSFUL as hell. Even playing against significantly worse players is a pain in the ass, because eventually even the biggest moron in the game is likely to get off a Spartan charge and knee cap you with their AR. There are few things more infuriating than getting into a fight with some dip-shit holding forward and spraying with an AR and knowing at a certain point that you absolutely are going to die because you missed one shot with your precision weapon. Why else would so many casual players think it has lightning fast "CoD" kill times? It's because everyone flies around the map with weapons that never miss.

 

​H5 has a truly awful balance of skill gap compression and delusions of being a hyper competitive arena shooter that manages to piss off both camps with half-baked appeals to the other at nearly all times.

To top it off, H5 excels at nothing and fails in a way at least everywhere.

 

Trash UI? Check

Buggy AF Customs Browser? Check

OP and frustrating AI in firefight? Check

Updates that break Forge performance? Check

Crazy game hitches and stutter during online play? Check

Squirrely Aiming? Check

 

The list goes on an on. I actually have to accentuate the aiming part. I have not played Halo 5 for longer than a period of a few days, in roughly 1.5 years. My younger brother recently wanted to play it, and mostly stuck to customs. He tried out some Warzone, and I tried playing for a few minutes as well. 

 

I couldn't hit shit despite using the same settings as I used to. Reticule was going all over the place and shooting past my target. 

 

Now, regarding Warzone itself. Since I was an early adopter of the game, I progressed at a natural pace as mostly everyone else did (who did not waste money on REQs), roughly equalizing potential REQ disbalance. Since my brother is a very low level, he has access to nothing but the most basic of gear.

 

This puts him at such a massive disadvantage; no DMR, no scoped BR's, no armor mods, etc... The inherent design of Warzone puts new players at such a huge disadvantage that it becomes extremely off putting. So much for 343's ******** sustain tactic. 

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Same shit as in H4. "make our game more accessible" and then they add unlockable in-game advantages. H5 actually takes this even further given how stupidly long it takes to unlock all the loadout weapons and armor mods.

 

But hey, the BR now comes with a built-in aimbot and the autos are OP, so the game is totally great for new players right?

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Same shit as in H4. "make our game more accessible" and then they add unlockable in-game advantages. H5 actually takes this even further given how stupidly long it takes to unlock all the loadout weapons and armor mods.

 

But hey, the BR now comes with a built-in aimbot and the autos are OP, so the game is totally great for new players right?

 

I have absolutely 0 faith in 343 turning this franchise around and not continuing this trashy trend.

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Or, ideally, 343 could stop trying to force this clutter into the Halo sandbox and make all of the redundant weapons functionally identical.

 

Even more ideally, 343 could just throw all the redundant weapons in the trash bin, since there's no reason for them to be there.

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I have absolutely 0 faith in 343 turning this franchise around and not continuing this trashy trend.

 

Agreed. They have done absolutely nothing to make the game more accessible, seemingly all they want to do is compress the skill gap. Even ignoring the dumbass abilities that raise the skill floor by tenfold, there is still no tutorial, the Basic Training playlist from H3 is long gone, the MM does fuck all to protect new players from getting destroyed and smurfing is still rampant and actively encouraged by the Xbox One gold sharing feature. Hell, even the campaign that used to have a well done tutorial section during the first mission in CE and H2 now starts with a flashback, then a cringy power ranger advertisement the intro cinematic and from there it's straigth into combat.

 

I mean come on, is any player new to the franchise going to stick around after getting thrashed in Warzone for the first few hours because he doesn't even have a BR with attachments, while the entire enemy team is REQing Ultra Banshees and ONI Wasps?  Even if 343 wishes that he's going straight to the store to buy that sweet Spartan Recruit pack and a 35 Gold REQ pack bundle, the vast majority of players will just go back to CoD and Destiny. And to attract these players in the first place, we now have ADS, Advanced Mobility garbage, Sprint and OP autos that ruin the game for everyone else. 

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The Warzone weapon sandbox is as if they took their broken upgrade philosophy from arena an gave it steroids.

 

The idea of starting with base variants, and play/pay gating access to variants that are upgrades in every sense - is fundamentally broken.

 

I just got into Gears Horde, and I've been having the same problem. The match starts out fun, but then we get into the later rounds and I can't really contribute because I haven't grinded the player traits that everyone else has, so they start pulling away from me in terms of point totals.

 

I'm not inherently against the concept of lootboxes/req packs- but if you design your game such that the items that come out of the packages are crucial to success- you are inevitably creating an experience that is uninviting to new comers.

 

I don't even think it's a tough problem to fix (yes, getting rid of reqpacks would solve the problem, but that's a different convo). Variants should be different, not simply better. Use the same power:ease ratio that SHOULD be governing the entire sandbox. Any increase in power should be tied to an equal increase in challenge. If the norfang is going to be a 1HK anywhere on the body, why should it also have the most aim assist and magnetism and a massive clip.

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Factually correct.

 

But i use bumper jumper because i can't wrap my head around LT for zoom... which is crazy, because i play every other shooter with LT ZOOM .

 

LT Zoom in Halo is a sin.  It doesn't feel right. It will never feel right.

 

haha I used Helljumper for the longest time.  Then my elite broke after 3 months and i said "Fuck you microsoft im not buying another one".  Since then i have come to 2 conclusions:

 

1) Its impossible to play Halo 5 near-optimally without AT LEAST 1 paddle, but preferably 2.  Which is a sin.  Halo should have buttons that are almost never used, not require extras.

2) Bumper jumper with swapped triggers and swapped RB and X buttons is the next best thing.  Call me crazy, but H5s aiming doesn't feel as wonky when you aren't shooting with the same hand you are aiming with.

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The lowkey optimal control scheme is Fishtick with A/B paddles. You get access to everything except weapon switch and reload/pickup without taking your thumbs off the sticks and you get the easy spring jumps that come with A-jump and B-crouch. You could argue for H4 or Southpaw, but I definitely think it's one of those 3.

 

Edit: or Green Thumb. I forgot it existed for a second.

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Even more ideally, 343 could just throw all the redundant weapons in the trash bin, since there's no reason for them to be there.

 

Obviously, I would be fine with that, but if you make the redundant weapons identical in terms of practical functionality, you can keep the aesthetics and "variety" that casuals players want without impacting the experience for core players. If you took the DMR in and tuned it to an exact copy of the Magnum, most people would still believe it's the better weapon. Why? Because it looks and sounds more powerful.

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Obviously, I would be fine with that, but if you make the redundant weapons identical in terms of practical functionality, you can keep the aesthetics and "variety" that casuals players want without impacting the experience for core players. If you took the DMR in and tuned it to an exact copy of the Magnum, most people would still believe it's the better weapon. Why? Because it looks and sounds more powerful.

 

Except casual players don't know what they want, since hardly any of them are still playing the game after about a month.

 

Halo 1 launched this entire fucking franchise with 8 weapons, 4 vehicles, and 2 grenade types, all distinct and none of them overlapping each other. Didn't seem to be an issue for casual players then.

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The biggest problem with H5 is that it just not fun to play. I don’t care how competitive a shooter is or how causal it is, it just needs to be an inherently fun to sit down and shoot someone.

 

I will never for the life of me understand how the controls in H5 came to be. Halo became a monster of a franchise partly due to having the best FPS controls on consoles ever designed. No matter your gaming background after finishing the pillar of autumn you were all set. Every action was intuitive and logical. Modern console FPS still to this day borrow heavily from Halos control scheme.

 

H5’s controls are a complete and utter disaster, it’s to a point where you need to buy another controller to comfortably play the game because you literally don’t have enough buttons on a standard controller. Shooting in general doesn’t feel good the aiming curves are incredibly odd, one just has to load up H2 or H4 to feel the immediate difference.

 

In order to have a successful game you have to first nail how it feels to move around. In my opinion there are lot of questionable design decisions that make H5 feel clunky and downright awkward to move and shoot. It’s a incredibly difficult to play matchmaking in H5 for an extended period of time without getting completely drained. It’s very strange to me because I haven’t felt that feeling since reach, even H4 as competively awful as it is, was fun to sit down and play.

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The biggest problem with H5 is that it just not fun to play. I don’t care how competitive a shooter is or how causal it is, it just needs to be an inherently fun to sit down and shoot someone.

 

I will never for the life of me understand how the controls in H5 came to be. Halo become a monster of a franchise partly due to the best FPS controls on consoles ever designed. No matter your gaming background after finishing the pillar of autumn you were all set. Every action was intuitive and logical. Modern console FPS still to this due borrow heavily from Halos control scheme.

 

H5’s controls are a complete and utter disaster, it’s to a point where you need to buy another controller to comfortably play the game because you literally don’t have enough buttons on a standard controller. Shooting in general doesn’t feel good the aiming curves are incredibly odd, one just has to load up H2 or H4 to feel the immediate difference.

 

In order to have a successful game you have to first nail how it feels to move around. In my opinion there are lot of questionable design decisions that make H5 feel clunky and downright awkward to move and shoot. It’s a incredibly difficult to play matchmaking in H5 for an extended period of time without getting completely drained. It’s very strange to me because I haven’t felt that feeling since reach, even H4 as competively awful as it is, was fun to sit down and play.

 

I tried el dewrito recently and have had no problems at all with aiming. Its terrible to think that a juggernaut franchise like Halo has sunken so low that even the aiming is broken.

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The biggest problem with H5 is that it just not fun to play. I don’t care how competitive a shooter is or how causal it is, it just needs to be an inherently fun to sit down and shoot someone.

 

I will never for the life of me understand how the controls in H5 came to be. Halo become a monster of a franchise partly due to the best FPS controls on consoles ever designed. No matter your gaming background after finishing the pillar of autumn you were all set. Every action was intuitive and logical. Modern console FPS still to this due borrow heavily from Halos control scheme.

 

H5’s controls are a complete and utter disaster, it’s to a point where you need to buy another controller to comfortably play the game because you literally don’t have enough buttons on a standard controller. Shooting in general doesn’t feel good the aiming curves are incredibly odd, one just has to load up H2 or H4 to feel the immediate difference.

 

In order to have a successful game you have to first nail how it feels to move around. In my opinion there are lot of questionable design decisions that make H5 feel clunky and downright awkward to move and shoot. It’s a incredibly difficult to play matchmaking in H5 for an extended period of time without getting completely drained. It’s very strange to me because I haven’t felt that feeling since reach, even H4 as competively awful as it is, was fun to sit down and play.

 

I think i have brought this up before but the #1 reason why my friends dont play halo anymore isn't because of balance, or lackluster big team, or the fact that its always a sweat-fest.

 

Its the controls.  "its so much work to just get from point A to point B".  When taking even the most basic routes requires you to use multiple SA's you have to stop focusing on where you are going, and start focusing on how to get there.  If you are learning a map and you have to think, "ok to get there i need to sprint, then jump, then zoom in and press A, then crouch, then hold jump again" thats bad.  Thats not fun, thats work.  You can ignore that stuff and take the longer way around (if one exists), but you'll fall behind and get frustrated that people are getting where you want to go faster because they have mastered the convoluted junk it takes.

 

The order of operations for a game should be: Wow this game is fun, i want to get better at the game, i'm going to put in the work to do so.

Not: Jesus, if i want to try to have fun in this game, i'm going to have to put in the work first.

 

Example 2 is not very motivating, and its exactly where Halo 5 sits.

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Except casual players don't know what they want, since hardly any of them are still playing the game after about a month.

 

Halo 1 launched this entire fucking franchise with 8 weapons, 4 vehicles, and 2 grenade types, all distinct and none of them overlapping each other. Didn't seem to be an issue for casual players then.

 

I'm not arguing that it needs to be in the game. I'm saying that the benefit for casual players could be kept without making the game worse, at which point it's a no longer a problem for me. Timmy can pick up his DMR and feel like a real Spartan 4 as long as I'm not at a disadvantage with my Magnum. Variety is superficially maintained without a bunch of rock-paper-scissors bullshit to justify it as a sandbox design decision.

 

​And there is a pretty big difference between not adding pointless bullshit and removing it. If there is anything that casual players will not like, it is cutting content. More is better. Variety is the essence of casual fun. Adding is good. And once you've added it, there's going to be a lot of complaining when you remove it. This is especially true when big, mean competitive players have an argument for why that content is making the game worse. Suddenly, at that point, casual players that don't really know what they want definitely want that thing to stay around.

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I'm not arguing that it needs to be in the game. I'm saying that the benefit for casual players could be kept without making the game worse, at which point it's a no longer a problem for me. Timmy can pick up his DMR and feel like a real Spartan 4 as long as I'm not at a disadvantage with my Magnum. Variety is superficially maintained without a bunch of rock-paper-scissors bullshit to justify it as a sandbox design decision.

 

​And there is a pretty big difference between not adding pointless bullshit and removing it. If there is anything that casual players will not like, it is cutting content. More is better. Variety is the essence of casual fun. Adding is good. And once you've added it, there's going to be a lot of complaining when you remove it. This is especially true when big, mean competitive players have an argument for why that content is making the game worse. Suddenly, at that point, casual players that don't really know what they want definitely want that thing to stay around.

 

I didn't hear any complaining from casuals when the SMG, BR, brute shot, mauler, and missile pod were all removed for Reach. The SMG being a legacy weapon from Halo 2 and arguably the star weapon of ODST, the latter four being crucial binky weapons in Halo 3.

 

Casuals will gravitate to what looks like fun. They don't know what the storm rifle or scattershot even are and would never notice if they went missing. The 343 cheerleaders, on the other hand, will cheer loudly for anything 343 does. A few of them will even admit to it.

 

Do you remember the post Halo 4 period? The narrative on all of r/halo, waypoint, neogaf etc. was "TRADITIONAL COMPETITIVE HALO IS NOT COMING BACK NOR SHOULD IT HALO IS EVOLVING AND GOING IN A HEALTHY NEW CLASS-BASED DIRECTION SO ADAPT". (I get queasy just remembering that crap.) Then what happened? 343 unveiled a game that was equal starts, heavy on small symmetrical arenas (not necessarily good ones, but that's beside the point) and announced that there would be heavy and lasting e-sports support for it. Then suddenly, before you could say manbabies, the narrative immediately switched to "ERMAHGERD, E-SPORTS!!! I'M SO HYPED!!! R/HALO, WHO'S YOUR FAVORITE MLG PRO? HOW DO YOU DO, FELLOW TEENS?"

 

Point being, the Greenskulls of the world will sing love poems to 343 no matter what kind of game they make. There's no reason to make game design choices based on what they say they want, because they'll happily support the final product and defend it from haterz no matter what, because it has 343 on the cover.

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I know I’m beating a dead horse but it bears repeating. 343 needs to go back to the drawing board and simplify and refine, refine, refine as much as possible. Every past decision should be addressed and go through constant scrutiny and discussion on how it effects the overall game and the psychology on the player. Spartan charge for example is incredibly cool on paper but it feels strange using it and it is beyond frustrating being hit by it.

 

Most importantly it doesn’t solve anything in the moment to moment gameplay. Allegedly it was invented to prevent players from double meleeing players out of sprint. Not only does this doesn’t work but it makes the problem worse. This type of stuff should be obvious in the first play test match. Again simplify. It’s much easier to refine and make 12 weapons fun then 20+ each with multiple individual attachments.

 

Lower the weapon count, work on the ui, play test anything and everything extensively (you must not ignore this or try to get around this...if there are so many elements in your game that it’s making quality control impossible cut out the fluff and continue to refine the essentials.) Do not start working on the campaign until your writing team..(not one person) team decide on a narrative theme for the story, go back in the halo code and try to replicate as much as possible H3 matchmaking system from rankings to the party restrictions, it is the best online system halo has ever have. This is not a opinion it is a fact. Make MLG the official esport organizer. I don’t know why 343 isn’t working with MLG but whatever the reason the higher ups need to make it happen. The competitive community made it loud and clear which organizer they prefer, it’s just not good business to invest millions of dollars on a league and ignore the very audience you’re pouring your money in to. Work on creating new experiences within custom games, we’re in the age of social media where everything is shareable, how can you take advantage of the incredible customizable nature of the halo series and make it easier for players to share and create within the gaming community?

 

Simplify the gameplay as much as possible there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Bungie already done this for you, you have the incredible opportunity to polish that wheel and make it better than ever before. The leads must ask “how does this make the game better”. How does groundpound benefit the gameplay? How does it interact with the other gameplay elements? What makes it interesting? Most of the abilities are inherently shallow, usually just a simple binary choice that can be mostly ignored by the player but unfortunately the design can’t ignore the abilities.

 

Clamber must be designed around, sprint effects everything, thrust effects everything. ADS effects everything. So from the beginning you’re making a huge commitment in design and on the overall budget to pack them all in a series that was never meant to have them in the first place. All of this could be avoided if you just ask the question “Is this fun”.

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