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What is the consensus on passive play styles?

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This might be a weird question, but how do you all feel about games which at a high level, tend to play passively? What I mean by passive is: gameplay in which not doing something can add as much or more strategic value as doing something. I'm struggling to phrase this succinctly.

 

For instance, I played a lockout 2v2 yesterday. We got sniper, gained the lead fairly quickly, and then set up at window and closed ramp. Now, besides for periodic pushes for sniper, that push for the initial lead was the only thing we actively did in order to win. The rest of the game involved is passively stomping the other team whenever they tried to push us. Because we were already in the lead, there was nothing to be gained from moving anywhere else (doing something), and therefore staying put the majority of the game (not doing something) was a dominant strategy.

 

Now, if any of you have read my posts in the past, I've been defending H2 a lot. Particularly around areas of its relative competitiveness when compared to H1 or H3. I made it my goal to try and understand each game for what they are. I stand by my previous posts, but I will admit that my preferences have changed.

 

The reason for that change was learning more about the way Halo 1 plays at a high level. I became instantly intrigued upon learning that passive play does not add the same or more strategic value in halo 1, like it does in subsequent halos.

 

Personally, I find passive play very boring. However, a friend of mine who I consider an extremely skilled competitive player was telling me about how he finds passive play, standoffs, pushes, and the works interesting.

 

I want to understand this communities opinions on the matter.

 

Do you find passive play fun? Boring?

 

Does the standoffish nature of the latter games add in anything to you?

 

Should choosing to do nothing[\i] ever have as much competitive value as choosing to do something[\i]?

 

Is too much of the skillgap in Halo 1 displayed in ways that are unpercievable to those who are not as skilled?

 

Do you think there could be some sort of happy medium?

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Do you find passive play fun? Boring?
 

Its fun to me, its part of playing against other skilled players and the last push really makes for exciting games. (see CLG vs Noble Black).

Does the standoffish nature of the latter games add in anything to you?

 

Its definitley a skill to know when to push and when to play passively, look at MM which is constant pushing /  running around and then a pro game. Pro game consists of a combination of pushing and or being passive.

Should choosing to do nothing[\i] ever have as much competitive value as choosing to do something[\i]?

 

Situational.

 

H3 and H1 arent really games i have ever played competitively. I believe the competitive style of H1 is the most different from all of the other halos and i still see H3 being similar in nature to H2C and H2A.

 

You also refferenced Lockout which of the HCS maps is the slowest map of the three. If you said Warlord there really is no way to play that map slow. Shrine can be played slow for sure and many times depending on the situation is. Here is a specific example: Last night C9 scrimmed CLG and was playing slayer on shrine, C9 was dominating, at one point they were up somehting like 22-9, well near the end of the game, CLG got weapon and map control and slowed the game pace down to one side of the map and rotated perfectly upon spawns switching. They came back and only lost 47-50 so it is most certainly an important aspect of competitive halo to be able to slow the game down when you need to.

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Fast paced gameplay encourages more on the spot thinking instead of predetermined strategies. 

 

It is also better from a viewer perspective.

 

That is probably the biggest pet peeve for me about Halo after CE, the standoffs are tedious and boring for me. This is mainly due to no incentive to move around the map (powerups not on fast static timers).

 

Technically slow, standoff type gameplay dumbs down Halo.

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In my ideal Halo, not moving around the map should basically guarantee that you are going to lose. I want fast static weapon timers and enough power ups to reward players for the risk of moving away from the safe and and easily controllable areas on the map.

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It is also better from a viewer perspective.

 

That is probably the biggest pet peeve for me about Halo after CE, the standoffs are tedious and boring for me. This is mainly due to no incentive to move around the map (powerups not on fast static timers)

Extremes create problems for the viewer experience. The biggest Esports right now have a pacing that is considered predominantly slow ramping up at specific points.

 

Passive play and standoffs have their place in the game.

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Extremes create problems for the viewer experience. The biggest Esports right now have a pacing that is considered predominantly slow ramping up at specific points.

 

Passive play and standoffs have their place in the game.

 

yeah I know, CE has some standoffs too! It's just that say H2A for example, on Lockout it's just a 24/7 standoff. That is bad for Viewership imo, it should have a flow like CE has

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Fast paced gameplay encourages more on the spot thinking instead of predetermined strategies.

 

It is also better from a viewer perspective.

 

That is probably the biggest pet peeve for me about Halo after CE, the standoffs are tedious and boring for me. This is mainly due to no incentive to move around the map (powerups not on fast static timers)

I completely agree with you from the perspective of a player who understands many of the core concepts of H1.

 

The part I'm not convinced about yet is how people just learning about the game and those core concepts will perceive a game like H1 at a high level. While I find standoffs and simple setups boring at this point, it is way more inherently obvious what is happening.

 

I'm not attempting to say that nobody should be allowed to eat steak because baby's can't chew it; Clearly games like LoL are extremely popular and they aren't inherently obvious in knowing what is significant.

 

I guess my point is that a lot of the skill in H1 is in things that most observers won't ever perceive. For example, jumping before a teammate spawns in to make him spawn above you instead of beside you.

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Fast paced gameplay encourages more on the spot thinking instead of predetermined strategies. 

 

It is also better from a viewer perspective.

 

Agree to disagree, I love watching CS and all of their strategies are predetermined. There is the initial opening of the game tha can often times be fast paced (Rush A or B ) but there are also delayed rushes. Same goes for Halo, rush power weapons off the brake. CS often slows down if a rush fails and they need to get picks to make up for the difference and the same thing again happens with halo. One team gains the power weapons and sits back to get picks and the other team usually will not push until they get a pick or have a map advantage which they have to strategically work for due to not having power weapons. I personally think that this is more strategy than just gameplay thats so fast you cant have a pre-determined strat (thatd have to be an insanely fast pace game).

 

To each his own i guess.

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I completely agree with you from the perspective of a player who understands many of the core concepts of H1.

 

The part I'm not convinced about yet is how people just learning about the game and those core concepts will perceive a game like H1 at a high level. While I find standoffs and simple setups boring at this point, it is way more inherently obvious what is happening.

 

I'm not attempting to say that nobody should be allowed to eat steak because baby's can't chew it; Clearly games like LoL are extremely popular and they aren't inherently obvious in knowing what is significant.

 

I guess my point is that a lot of the skill in H1 is in things that most observers won't ever perceive. For example, jumping before a teammate spawns in to make him spawn above you instead of beside you.

 

That's the beauty of the game tbh, not everything is obvious to the eye, but that's just my opinion

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Agree to disagree, I love watching CS and all of their strategies are predetermined. There is the initial opening of the game tha can often times be fast paced (Rush A or B ) but there are also delayed rushes. Same goes for Halo, rush power weapons off the brake. CS often slows down if a rush fails and they need to get picks to make up for the difference and the same thing again happens with halo. One team gains the power weapons and sits back to get picks and the other team usually will not push until they get a pick or have a map advantage. I personally think that this is more strategy than just gameplay thats so fast you cant have a pre-determined strat (thatd have to be an insanely fast pace game).

 

To each his own i guess.

 

CS is not an arena shooter

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CS is not an arena shooter

 

I know its not, im talking from the perspective of a viewer enjoying watching a game. if you wanna say im comparing apples to oranges thats fine but from a purely viewers perspective they are both competitive FPS games.

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There is no consensus. Plenty of people prefer slower, more passive play, often because they are used to it. I don't find anything interesting about a standoff that can result from as little as a one or two kill lead, all because action isn't rewarded as much as it should be and often leads to snowballing.

 

Part of what defines Halo, in my opinion, is fairness. No one mistake should lead to an insurmountable domination. It all comes down to the weapon and power-up spawns. On Lockout, part of the problem is that power weapon control and map set-ups don't allow for enough domination. Even if you can push to get sniper (not just the ammo, but control of the timer) and B or S tower, the risk usually outweighs the reward. Contrast this with something like Derelict in Halo 1, where a team on top--literally on the top level of the map, with control of sniper, rockets, camo, OS--who are dominating can be wiped out by a good play from the out-of-control team, and then that lower team will rise up and go on a similar reign of terror because the power to do so lies in action, not sitting back and controlling a weapon timer. It's not about getting a two kill lead, it's getting a twenty kill streak. Even in the most extreme example from Halo 1, of what is considered a substantially unbalanced map, there is still a better chance to come back from a deficit, in part because the weapon you spawn with is potentially capable of dealing with so many power items on such fast timers (lol rockets on 30s), and the frequency of the item spawns forces even the team in control to constantly cycle for more advantages.

 

Making a great play to get map control should be rewarded--that is fair, after all--but if Halo is to be the best it can be competitively (distinguishing the better player), then a team's skill needs to be tested constantly throughout the match. This is best done through fast item spawns and a weapon that can not only compensate those items but reward great individual plays. That's the most exciting thing to see for a spectator, a fantastic individual takeover, not a bunch of spread out (albeit well-coordinated) teamshooting. What's more immediately understandable for a viewer, a great individual play, or a great team play that probably requires multiple points of view and analysis from a commentator who actuallly understands what's going on? This is why most people only find H2A entertaining with commentary.

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I know its not, im talking from the perspective of a viewer enjoying watching a game. if you wanna say im comparing apples to oranges thats fine but from a purely viewers perspective they are both competitive FPS games.

 

The difference is that in CE, holding a position down like you can in H2 and other games is not viable because you will not get power weapons and power ups. It is like a constant rush around the map. You have to play a lot of 2's to understand where I am coming from, but it's hard to go back to "slow, strategical" Halo when you have played CE.

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When passive play is a frequently valid strategy I consider the game to be a victim of poor design.

 

If playing so passively can't be punished by something like powerups or weapons spawning away from the preferential positions then the game is an instant cascade of advantages in favour of whoever is the first to get setup. If there's little to no outplay or comeback potential for the team that went down early then the game isn't a fair platform for either team to prove who is better on as the entire result could theoretically be based on whoever gets the first sniper (on this Lockout example).

 

On the other hand forced aggression is crap too. The ideal pace is one in which there are small ebbs and flows (not gigantic Pit/Lockout/Sanc Slayer ones) over the course of the game around a structured gameplay loop (consistent and frequent respawn timers for items). Speed it up or slow it down too much and you lose much of that structure and most of the ebbs or flows which results in a more shallow and less cerebral experience overall.

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There is no consensus. Plenty of people prefer slower, more passive play, often because they are used to it. I don't find anything interesting about a standoff that can result from as little as a one or two kill lead, all because action isn't rewarded as much as it should be and often leads to snowballing.

 

Part of what defines Halo, in my opinion, is fairness. No one mistake should lead to an insurmountable domination. It all comes down to the weapon and power-up spawns. On Lockout, part of the problem is that power weapon control and map set-ups don't allow for enough domination. Even if you can push to get sniper (not just the ammo, but control of the timer) and B or S tower, the risk usually outweighs the reward. Contrast this with something like Derelict in Halo 1, where a team on top--literally on the top level of the map, with control of sniper, rockets, camo, OS--who are dominating can be wiped out by a good play from the out-of-control team, and then that lower team will rise up and go on a similar reign of terror because the power to do so lies in action, not sitting back and controlling a weapon timer. It's not about getting a two kill lead, it's getting a twenty kill streak. Even in the most extreme example from Halo 1, of what is considered a substantially unbalanced map, there is still a better chance to come back from a deficit, in part because the weapon you spawn with is potentially capable of dealing with so many power items on such fast timers (lol rockets on 30s), and the frequency of the item spawns forces even the team in control to constantly cycle for more advantages.

 

Making a great play to get map control should be rewarded--that is fair, after all--but if Halo is to be the best it can be competitively (distinguishing the better player), then a team's skill needs to be tested constantly throughout the match. This is best done through fast item spawns and a weapon that can not only compensate those items but reward great individual plays. That's the most exciting thing to see for a spectator, a fantastic individual takeover, not a bunch of spread out (albeit well-coordinated) teamshooting. What's more immediately understandable for a viewer, a great individual play, or a great team play that probably requires multiple points of view and analysis from a commentator who actuallly understands what's going on? This is why most people only find H2A entertaining with commentary.

To be fair, I don't find H2A entertaining regardless of commentary. At best, I will find the commentary entertaining and not really watch the gameplay.

 

Now regarding "which is more obvious? A great individual play, or a great team play?: I'm not completely convinced that a great team play will always need more points of view to be obvious.

 

Coming from someone who still loves H2 for what it is, there is something magical about being down 2 or 3 shots in a BR battle and having your teammates jump in and melt the guy whose shooting at you. I think there are are still a number of scenarios where a great team play is just as obvious as an individual play.

 

I agree with almost everything you are saying, though.

 

Map control is the 'destination' in Halo 2, whereas it's just part of the 'journey' in Halo 1.

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The difference is that in CE, holding a position down like you can in H2 and other games is not viable because you will not get power weapons and power ups. It is like a constant rush around the map. You have to play a lot of 2's to understand where I am coming from, but it's hard to go back to "slow, strategical" Halo when you have played CE.

 

I completely understand and agree with your point about CE.

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For spectating, I much prefer passive play. Lockout TS & Sanc. TS are my two favorite gametypes in HCS. 

 

For playing, I prefer it a bit faster. A happy medium would be H2 gun mechanics/teamshoot with CE weapon/powerup timers. 

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Lockout TS has got to be the most overrated gametype in history.  It is broken at its core.  There is no reason to move, and the map is easy to set up on.  The 2's scenario you described in the OP is exactly why it's shit.  It's broken Halo.  I honestly believe Shutout TS in H4 plays better than Lockout TS, because at least shit respawns on Shutout, and it forces people to move.

 

Now, if you forge a camo at bottom blue/green, and put the snipe and sword on static timers, then we're looking at a solid TS map.  Until then, its a stupid gimmick that doesn't deserve the popularity it has.

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Passive play isn't a good thing. If you don't believe me just watch the awful Halo 2 Gemini matches where teams camped outside and watched the port and two doors. It was miserable to watch and I can only imagine how frustrating it was to play. I remember S8 beating FB in a game that ended like 11-9 or something. It was awful.

 

To add to this though, some people will disagree with me, but I think that respawn timers on powerups are one of the few things that Halo CE got wrong. There were too many and they are too frequent. At times CE can begin to feel like a collect-a-thon. The primary focus tends to place so much priority on getting to the next power up that you start to care less about other aspects of the game. After all, what are the odds that someone kills you in CE if you have an OS? 1v1 Wizard is a good example of this. With a powerup placed at every base and spawning every minute you are constantly trying to get to the next location. Not to mention, despite the fact that CE has very powerful weapons, it can be really difficult to turn the tide against someone currently in control. With powerups I believe we want to give someone an advantage that they've earned but I don't believe that advantage should extend until the further advantages can be pilled on.

 

I think there's a balance. I think that Lockout would have benefitted from an OS that spawned in, maybe, green room every 2 minutes.

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Lockout TS has got to be the most overrated gametype in history.  It is broken at its core.  There is no reason to move, and the map is easy to set up on.  The 2's scenario you described in the OP is exactly why it's shit.  It's broken Halo.  I honestly believe Shutout TS in H4 plays better than Lockout TS, because at least shit respawns on Shutout, and it forces people to move.

 

Now, if you forge a camo at bottom blue/green, and put the snipe and sword on static timers, then we're looking at a solid TS map.  Until then, its a stupid gimmick that doesn't deserve the popularity it has.

I agree. Also, I think rockets spawning in green room instead of shotgun would make it a lot better.

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Lockout TS has got to be the most overrated gametype in history.  It is broken at its core.  There is no reason to move, and the map is easy to set up on.  The 2's scenario you described in the OP is exactly why it's shit.  It's broken Halo.  I honestly believe Shutout TS in H4 plays better than Lockout TS, because at least shit respawns on Shutout, and it forces people to move.

 

Now, if you forge a camo at bottom blue/green, and put the snipe and sword on static timers, then we're looking at a solid TS map.  Until then, its a stupid gimmick that doesn't deserve the popularity it has.

 

This really started to change towards the end of Halo 2. Most people didn't really notice, but FB started doing things that applied a lot of pressure on other teams on maps that were considered slower paced. You'd see a lot of AM teams end games on Lockout and Beaver with scores of like 33-30 but you'd rarely see this in the pro games.

 

I watched FB just destroy Carbon one game where OG2 was in top mid nearly the entire game. He was using the two pillars near snipe tower as cover and his teammates at BR tower kept shots on Carbon so that they struggled to get to him. As long as he had support from BR tower he could use snipe spawn as well. He wrecked Havoc all game and the pressure was very intense. It was anything but two teams trading shots across the map.

 

They did something similar on BC where a member of FB would literally move all the way up to the front door of the opposing teams base. He'd stay outside and use his teams support at his back. It was insane the amount of pressure they were able to put on other teams.

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Generally I play passive and I've had success with it but it's not entertaining to watch

 

I prefer maps where you can't really camp like midship (except p3)

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I think CE has a perfect balance. It's frenetic but there is a calm before the storm every minute before powerups come up and everyone in the game is anticipating them. That gives everyone a breather which is ideal for spectating to quickly recap and comment on the current state of the match and the importance of the next spawn.

 

And no it's not a collectathon. It's only like that at lower levels of play where you are dominating the other team so hard that you're constantly picking up new ones and wrecking kids, vs at higher levels where you are usually only able to get one or two powerups as a team and you know the other team picked up the other powerup so you don't move for it. Usually you are moving around the map for 45 seconds without thinking about powerups and then about 10 seconds before a powerup spawn you try to set up for it. Some maps like Prisoner you only set up for a few seconds, vs Dammy you can set up like 20 seconds beforehand. There is good variety to the maps and playstyles in them.

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Lockout TS has got to be the most overrated gametype in history. It is broken at its core. There is no reason to move, and the map is easy to set up on. The 2's scenario you described in the OP is exactly why it's shit. It's broken Halo. I honestly believe Shutout TS in H4 plays better than Lockout TS, because at least shit respawns on Shutout, and it forces people to move.

 

Now, if you forge a camo at bottom blue/green, and put the snipe and sword on static timers, then we're looking at a solid TS map. Until then, its a stupid gimmick that doesn't deserve the popularity it has.

Is there a way forge static timers in h2a like in h3? Lockout could definitely use static times and prob a camo bottom blue.

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This really started to change towards the end of Halo 2. Most people didn't really notice, but FB started doing things that applied a lot of pressure on other teams on maps that were considered slower paced. You'd see a lot of AM teams end games on Lockout and Beaver with scores of like 33-30 but you'd rarely see this in the pro games.

 

I watched FB just destroy Carbon one game where OG2 was in top mid nearly the entire game. He was using the two pillars near snipe tower as cover and his teammates at BR tower kept shots on Carbon so that they struggled to get to him. As long as he had support from BR tower he could use snipe spawn as well. He wrecked Havoc all game and the pressure was very intense. It was anything but two teams trading shots across the map.

 

They did something similar on BC where a member of FB would literally move all the way up to the front door of the opposing teams base. He'd stay outside and use his teams support at his back. It was insane the amount of pressure they were able to put on other teams.

 

What events were these two events in I'd like to go back and watch them please?

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