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In Defense of In-Game Weapon Timers

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I'm fine with timers. Coaches should be more useful than just a stopwatch. Aside from that, not knowing where things spawn, or when they spawn is really aggravating for new/casual players. I have a hard time playing with friends who don't play Halo much, because they're always getting destroyed by people who know all the times/locations of weapons on every map. Its a pretty unfair advantage off the get go, and Halo IS about same starts. Using LoL as an example, having in game timers on the buffs hasn't really taken anything away from the gameplay, and most of the pros forget they even exist. All this does is promotes fair starts as well as more team fighting around weapons. Also in terms of spectating/eSports, especially casual watchers who don't play...probably a good idea for them as well. 

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I feel like you guys are just rehashing the same argument over and over without looking at my posts. I'll make another response in a few hours, I'm a lil busy until then.

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Static timers are good for comoetition. Putting something in the game that teaches players to time is great.

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I would prefer them to not be there, but I understand why people prefer them.

 

However, I disagree that knowing timers and checking for times isn't a skill. Is it a huge skill, no, but it's still a skill to keep track of them. Otherwise if we're chalking it up to just knowledge, then I would argue nade tricks in Halo CE aren't a skill because you just have to know where to stand and where to aim.

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If timers make it into the game at all, I'd rather have louder sounds that they spawned in.

 

You hear Rockets make a thunk and the Camo/OS make a alien like powerup sound.

 

I don't really support coaches in Halo and feel the announcer in H5 w/ the Callouts and weapon spawn precallouts to be overly spoonfeeding players.

 

- It needs to be an in between to help out the casual players and not baby the competitive players.

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QUoted myself on accident and don't know how to delete, wanted to edit.

 

- EDIT: For example on the weapons spawn sounds.

 

If you were in Halo 3 on the Pit and the Overshield spawned under Sword Bridge, you could hear that spawning no matter where you were on the map, but it would be quieter sounding if you were in the Mauler. 

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The Halo 5 Beta footage revealed the current build has in-game weapon timers set in place. See the bottom right of the gif below or visit this link.

 

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I've seen many posts decrying this as another example of 343 ruining the game, but I'd like to argue this is the best addition 343 has ever made to Halo.

 

As members of a competitive subcommunity, we often forget how much more informed we are than the rest of the player base. We all know that power weapons spawn at regular intervals in consistent locations (except for Halo 4, but that game can go fuck itself), and we know to plan our movements and strategies around this. However, the vast majority of Halo players are unaware of this concept. I have friends who have been playing Halo since 2004 who were shocked to learn you could time power weapons when I introduced them to the MLG playlists in Halo 3 and Halo Reach. To them, power weapons were items you rushed for at the beginning of the game or - if you were lucky - stumble upon later in the match.

 

This in-game timer has the potential to teach the player base - on a massive scale - essentially how to play Halo. Yes, it removes the skill of memorizing weapon timers and locations, but it puts further emphasis on strategy and map control - two traits that are far better judges of overall skill and talent.

 

Halo, in its current form - is basically a race in which 90% of the runners don't know what direction to run. You can't fairly decide that Usain Bolt is the fastest man on Earth if he's the only one who knows to run forward. The same goes for Halo. We can't truly decide what team is better unless both teams know to plan and strategize obtaining power weapons.

 

Think of the potential for community growth: players, previously unaware of how to play the game, will gain an appreciation for the skill and strategy of obtaining and using power weapons. They'll learn what works and what doesn't through trial and error, until their progression requires further research through watching top level gameplay, participating in forum discussions, etc. This is how our community grows, in a hyperbolic and idealistic sort of way.

 

One caveat though - anything that informs players when a weapon is picked up and which team has it is a shitty idea. It gives away the location of the opponent and should be removed immediately.

 

Feel free to convince me otherwise and tell me I'm bad (because I am).

But that's the whole point of learning the timings.  To gain an advantage over those that don't.  That's the most basic principles in anything competitive and one of Sun Tzu's basic principles.  Use your enemies weakness to your advantage.  To give everyone timers for the powerups is pretty much telling an entire generation of players that were forced to treat gaming as a dog eat dog world that all your frustrations growing up having to pay your dues in competitive gaming were literally for nothing.  That's like going to a 40 year old and telling them that their being laid off and their same job is giving to a recent college graduate.  Fail logic is fail.

 

Paying your dues as a gamer is more important than being fed artificial fun.  Like we all had too.  In Quake, UT, Halo, original CS mod, HL, TF1, etc.  All those people that learned the games inside and out are essentially being told it was all in vain and we shouldn't be upset.  Give me back the thousands of hours it took to make sure we got good in the first place because no one sure as hell made it easier for us to pay our dues.

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what i really want is dynamic timers (not lame h2 timer where people can hold weapon to delay timer) normal dynamic like in QL.  or atleast some sort of hybrid where power weapons are on static and power ups are dynamic like in h3.   but thats just me =D

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But that's the whole point of learning the timings.  To gain an advantage over those that don't.  That's the most basic principles in anything competitive and one of Sun Tzu's basic principles.  Use your enemies weakness to your advantage.  To give everyone timers for the powerups is pretty much telling an entire generation of players that were forced to treat gaming as a dog eat dog world that all your frustrations growing up having to pay your dues in competitive gaming were literally for nothing.  That's like going to a 40 year old and telling them that their being laid off and their same job is giving to a recent college graduate.  Fail logic is fail.

 

Paying your dues as a gamer is more important than being fed artificial fun.  Like we all had too.  In Quake, UT, Halo, original CS mod, HL, TF1, etc.  All those people that learned the games inside and out are essentially being told it was all in vain and we shouldn't be upset.  Give me back the thousands of hours it took to make sure we got good in the first place because no one sure as hell made it easier for us to pay our dues.

You don't learn how to play the game simply by knowing the time something will come up, that is quite literally the starting point for how the actual game is percieved - positioning, timing, coordination, reaction / counter-reaction and so on then follows. The whole idea of items is map motivation to cause interaction / conflict, not freebies for someone who has 'paid their dues'.

 

Recent iterations of Quake, UT, Halo and CS have all introduced similar systems of guiding players through the basic knowledge barriers. It's a progression in teaching players how to play the game properly - sorry you had to live through such a hard life.

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I haven't read through each post so sorry if this has been stated, but I think in-game timers should not exist.  The fact that you have to keep track of timers is an added element that creates a skill gap at lower levels of play.  However, I do understand that timers need to be introduced to players to give a fair competitive balance.  I'd propose that this is done in the loading screen prior to the match start.  Currently in MCC we are given a map overhead in the loading screen.  If we were to put the location of the power weapons on this map, and a chart timer next to the map this could let people know the times they need to, while keeping unnecessary  additions off the screen, and leaving you reliable to remember when it counts. 

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Another way to look at it:

Having timers announced raises the skill floor, but does nothing to affect the skill ceiling. The overall skill gap is reduced by a tiny amount across the board to the benefit of less knowledgeable players, however at higher levels where players would previously be smart enough to abuse the dynamic systems to manipulate the spawn timers to their own ends the shrinking of the gap between best and worst balances itself out favourably by removing such cheese based strategies and techniques from the game and ensuring that every weapon and powerup is earned by actually coming out on top of an encounter with opposing players.

 

Skill Floor comes up, Skill Ceiling remains as it was, cheese is reduced, and obtaining Powerups becomes a more involved process for every player in the game.

The only losers with system are people who enjoy epic pubstomps, and they'll quickly adapt by realising that with this system they have the game essentially placing bait for their victims, thus furthering their stomping potential a little.

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Weapon timers honestly don't matter much in terms of less skillfull players now knowing when they spawn, because they still won't get the weapon against a more skillful team.

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I'm okay with it for social.

 

For ranked games, however, I feel like timing weapons adds to the skill gap. A team must be coordinated enough in-game to succeed, while being mindful of upcoming weapons to adjust their strategies (without a crutch mechanic telling them).

 

This is especially prevalent in competitive BTB, where having players that can time vehicles/weapons will literally change the game.

 

I could kind of liken it to micro/macro game management. You have to be focused on both to win. Can't be too deep into "playing" to forget about times.  

 

The coordination comes from knowing how to secure those weapons & using them properly, not just knowing when they come up.

 

Every serious CE player uses a timer, and many serious pro teams have a coach that handles the power weapon timing for them, so this is not any different. The only negative here is the fact that it is taking one thing away from the coach, which honestly isn't really an issue in my eyes. They have enough to do as it is, and not having to count down or constantly remind about weapon times frees them up to focus on more complex things that demand their (and the players') attention.

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Another way to look at it:

 

Having timers announced raises the skill floor, but does nothing to affect the skill ceiling. The overall skill gap is reduced by a tiny amount across the board to the benefit of less knowledgeable players, however at higher levels where players would previously be smart enough to abuse the dynamic systems to manipulate the spawn timers to their own ends the shrinking of the gap between best and worst balances itself out favourably by removing such cheese based strategies and techniques from the game and ensuring that every weapon and powerup is earned by actually coming out on top of an encounter with opposing players.

 

Skill Floor comes up, Skill Ceiling remains as it was, cheese is reduced, and obtaining Powerups becomes a more involved process for every player in the game.

The only losers with system are people who enjoy epic pubstomps, and they'll quickly adapt by realising that with this system they have the game essentially placing bait for their victims, thus furthering their stomping potential a little.

 

This! 

 

The whole ingame weapon timers mean that most pub games will be much more competitive. I think this addition to the game is great and it will benefit everyone at the end.

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Hi folks.  Full disclosure: in terms of skill, I'm casual compared to you lot.  But I find myself on the side of the competitive players often in terms of what I am looking to get out of the game.  So what's up?   :)

@@wldstyl I literally explain in the post you quoted why I think it takes skill, and why I think it is not simply memorization.

 

Read more carefully or refute my points?

 

I'll give some examples anyway. I can't tell you how many times I've been in high-level, close, campy halo games where we have won because the other team was too distracted to pick up rockets. Or how many times I've lost tournament BTB games because we didn't track banshee or hogs properly. Does this mean I'm bad at the game? No, it means I have to work on multi-tasking. I definitely wouldn't want a crutch mechanic making up for my laziness/lack of focus.

I agree with you that keeping track of where all the pieces are on the chessboard, so to speak, takes skill.  I also played RTS games before the genre died (I suck at those too).  So I totally get how keeping track of everything at once even when the heat is on isn't something everyone is equally good at.  

 

Disagreement arises over what kind of skill we want the game to reward in Halo.  They could reward knowing the weapon spawns, and paying close attention to them when the heat is on, by not announcing weapon spawns.  But to some, it is not important, or less so, to reward this skill.  They would be willing to free players from the need to maintain focus on the memorization of spawns even as the game unfolds, and shift the focus toward rewarding coordination and skillful play.  

 

Some also see this as a non-factor for certain high-level competitions (higher level than I).  If you have to give the casuals something, you might as well give them this and fight about something more important.  Nothing stops people from memorizing the spawns on their own, but in-game announcements will have casuals easing into this process naturally in an unprecedented way.  Fighting to gain an advantage will now be intuitively obvious even to the most casual players.  Some of them will be playing the "real Halo" for the first time ever.  And if I'm being honest, the first thing I do when I get a new Halo game isn't memorize all the weapon spawns.  It's dick around with my friends.  Now I can be learning spawns right away while I'm dicking around.  It sounds a heck of a lot easier and more natural.  And I'm sure some people won't like the game telling the n00bs where their rocket launcher is, but I am fine with that :).  

 

So that's how I see it.  It's a matter of choosing how important it is to emphasize weapon spawn awareness as a skill.  Personally, I think it is OK to let it take a back seat in light of the benefits.  I see it as a matter of preference.  Let me know what you think.  

 

I hasten to add, this does not mean map awareness should be completely neutralized as a factor.  I see weapon spawn announcements as making the map itself less opaque.  Not what the enemy is up to.  This is why I am for weapon spawn announcements but very against weapon pick up announcements.  That's the kind of thing that could be cool for crazy custom game types or something, not standard games.  

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Great post OP.

 

I actually debated this with Quinn for the better part of the weekend and the one suggestion I made is that the battle chatter should be toggled off in competitive play. He seemed to like that idea quite a bit.

 

In regards to weapon timers, since they're all set to static timers, us timing them shouldn't really be too concerning but I would like to see matchmaking players get used to the idea of positioning for power weapons.

 

I also learned the feature was inspired by people like Bravo and Diesel which I thought was very cool.

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Great post OP.

 

I actually debated this with Quinn for the better part of the weekend and the one suggestion I made is that the battle chatter should be toggled off in competitive play. He seemed to like that idea quite a bit.

 

In regards to weapon timers, since they're all set to static timers, us timing them shouldn't really be too concerning but I would like to see matchmaking players get used to the idea of positioning for power weapons.

 

I also learned the feature was inspired by people like Bravo and Diesel which I thought was very cool.

Ty good sir :goldenboy:

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Great post OP.

 

I actually debated this with Quinn for the better part of the weekend and the one suggestion I made is that the battle chatter should be toggled off in competitive play. He seemed to like that idea quite a bit.

 

In regards to weapon timers, since they're all set to static timers, us timing them shouldn't really be too concerning but I would like to see matchmaking players get used to the idea of positioning for power weapons.

 

I also learned the feature was inspired by people like Bravo and Diesel which I thought was very cool.

Did you manage to ask if they would ensure that the game doesn't notify everyone when a certain power weapon is picked up? 

 

In Halo 4, the notification went away as soon as it was picked up so other players would know the exact location of a certain enemy.

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@@Neurotoxin I already said twice I agree with weapon timers for social play. I think I will preface every single post in this thread with that statement to prevent further confusion. I like your comparison to chess and RTS games, it does strike me as very similar. I appreciate the well-thought out post =)

 

@@Fyrecide The purpose of coaches on a halo team is to focus on macro objectives. The coach does not have to deal with micro gameplay, such as out br'ing, strafing, movement, etc. Because of this, they can think more critically about overall points and objectives the team should be going for. Some examples of macro objectives that coaches help with:

 

-Spawns

-Objectives

-When to make a push

-When to control a certain area of a map for a power weapon

 

Do coaches "only exist to time weapons"? No, it just so happens that timing weapons is a subset of the macro gameplay they assist with.

 

I agree that "coordination comes from knowing how to secure weapons and using them properly." However, I also think there is skill in timing them. I think of it as a set of hurdles. Each team must pass the first hurdle of timing the weapon. If both teams succeed in jumping this first hurdle, then begins the second hurdle of outplaying the opponent. The third hurdle would be using the power weapon correctly. In this way, teams are differentiated based on focus, coordination, and skill.

 

 

Finally, I want to address the argument that timing weapons "is just memorization." At the simplest level, it is true that you need to memorize the times that weapons come up. Knowing weapon times out-of-game is purely theory. However, like a lot of things, "theory" and "practice" can be unfathomably different in application.

 

We have already seen at the MCC launch invitational that PRO PLAYERS make extremely dumb mistakes in tense situations (Str8 Rippin finals: team nading, jumping off map, etc). These are pro players making fundamental mistakes. Why do people assume they are infallible at timing weapons when they clearly aren't infallible at other basic concepts? I do not find it hard to believe, that out of all the games played in the tournament, at least one player forgot to time a weapon (and subsequently was out of position). In practice, timing weapons adds to the skill gap at a macro level.

 

I hope you guys read my signature as well.

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