A Message to 343i: The Importance of OPTIONS

Over the years, if there’s a single cause (with regards to gaming) that I have consistently supported, it would be the enabling of gamers to play games in the way they want to. I remember when Blackout was released in 2008. Of the many complaints lodged against the map, the one I remember supporting was the argument against the inclusion of equipment. It was a feature which, given the near-perfection of Lockout, was hardly going to improve the map. And yet Bungie saw it fit to litter the map with the things. A year or so later, Heretic was released. A map that, despite being explicitly aimed at the community which shunned equipment most, was still not without the notorious Bubble Shield.

I understand Bungie’s desire for new features not to go ignored, but if they’re not universally accepted, they shouldn’t be universally applied. In their defence, there was a haven from equipment in Halo 3: the MLG playlist. And when you think about it, the MLG playlist increased many people’s enjoyment of the game, but caused no harm to anybody. Still, maybe one non-standard playlist, with one non-standard set of rules, isn’t enough.

For any future endeavour, be it Reach, Halo 4, or Halo 15, I implore you to give players viable ways to play the game other than the deafult. I personally hate Armour Lock. But I’m not so ignorant or arrogant as to assume that nobody likes it or that it should be removed across all playlists. Would I like for Armour Lock to be removed across all playlists? Yes, of course. But many wouldn’t. And so I don’t advocate it. As of today, Armour Lock is present in some playlists and not in others, which is fantastic. In fact, as far as the Reach custom game settings allow, Bungie have done an excellent job in facilitating different play styles.

But the Reach settings are insufficient. The complaints surrounding reticle bloom have yet to die down. There are plenty of other issues that many have with the game besides. The melee mechanic and melee damage, the damage of individual weapons and grenades, and even the presence of fall damage are all things that have been complained about. The title update for Reach should include, to the greatest extent that you are able, a complete overhaul of the custom game options to allow us to tweak bloom, rate of fire, damage and clip size settings for various weapons, as well as modify the balance of weapons, grenades and melee. And then there must be somewhere for those settings to be experienced by those without seven friends online at all times.

Because you can’t make everybody happy with only a single set of rules. But with multiple ways to play a game, you can come pretty close.