A much needed fix for invasion, a simple solution.

What makes Invasion so much fun? For me, it’s the epic battles of the second and third phases, the great clashes with tons of vehicle, weapon, and AA choices. Games that end in the first phase are so anticlimactic and dull, and too common with high skilled teams.

I played six games of Invasion today, half on Spire and half on Boneyard. Every single time, we shut them out in the first phase, and I wasn’t even playing with a party.

Booooorrriinnnggg.

Now I’m pretty sure people go into the Invasion playlist for something a little more exciting than a three minute close quarters clash of small arms. What needs to be done is to make the first phase much easier for the attackers, so they win 75% of the time or more.

The solution is really as simple as changing the loadouts and/or weapons on the map. Here are some ideas of quick fixes that could make the first phase much easier for the attackers (I’m not saying all of these fixes should be applied, but maybe two or three).

<mark>BONEYARD</mark>

  • Fewer DMRs for the Spartans and/or more NRs for the Elites
  • One or two Covenant power weapons near the Elites’ spawn (Conker, P. Launcher, Fuel Rod Gun, Focus Rifle, Sword), and/or a single Jetpack pickup with a fast respawn timer
  • A Hologram loadout for the Elites, with Plasma Rifle and Pistol
  • Spartans spawn with only one Frag grenade
  • Time required to capture the territories reduced by five seconds, or timers reset to 5 instead of 7.
  • When there’s 60 seconds left in the phase a man-cannon spawns to propel Elites directly into the ship from the ground, at 30 seconds remaining a second one spawns.

<mark>SPIRE</mark>

  • Fewer NRs for the Elites, some DMRs for Spartans
  • No Plasma Cannons
  • Doubled respawn timers for the NRs
  • The Elite fireteam at Bravo should not have a shield wall to hide behind, and should not spawn with a direct view of the territory
  • One or two UNSC power weapons near the Spartans’ spawn (Sniper, Rockets, Shotgun, Grenade Launcher), and/or a single Jetpack pickup with a fast respawn timer
  • A Hologram loadout for the Spartans, with AR and Magnum
  • A Mongoose, for quick transport to Alpha
  • Time required to capture the territories reduced by five seconds, or timers reset to 5 instead of 7.
  • Elites spawn with only one plasma grenade

<mark>BREAKPOINT</mark>

  • Perfectly balanced already. Just make it show up in Matchmaking, we paid for it!

The right balance of these fixes would go a long way to making the first phases of Invasion Spire and Invasion Boneyard much easier for the attackers, but not completely impossible to defend against. Games that go to Phase III should be the norm, not the exception.

lol double Boneyard.

A simple solution to fix Invasion is to lock weapons and vehicles to their specific race.

As for Boneyard, maybe putting a man cannon in the center to give the Elites spawning in the middle a location to aim for, rather then deciding on one of two entries. At least on Spire the Spartans have three directions to advance.

Boneyard 1st phase is perfectly fine as it is.
It’s the 3rd phase that can become problematic with the AL+shoty loadout.

Spire 1st phase needs to add DMRs for spartans.
Phase 2-3 is fine but maybe a possible barrier on the banshee on phase 3.

Add a 2nd spawn point for each attacking squad on BY and Spire.

Can’t say for breakpoint, don’t have it.

Outside of that, invasion is fine.

> A simple solution to fix Invasion is to lock weapons and vehicles to their specific race.

Simple? That would require another Title Update, and all of my fixes just require two minutes in Forge.

How do you guys say the first phase of Boneyard is balanced? It’s a first phase shutout for me a good two thirds of the time, it’s basically shooting fish in a barrel with the DMRs and the high ground.

I don’t agree that Phase 1 should be made easier just for the sake of making it easier, though there are some legitimate balance issues that, at times, utterly screw over the attackers. Even so, I’ll play devil’s advocate (is that the proper phrase?) and offer my opinions on each individual suggestion:

It needs to be easy, but not a cakewalk, and whatever bonus is given can’t be strong enough to affect balance in subsequent phases. Remember that Forgers can’t (safely) gate out a weapon, vehicle, or AA pickup, so anything of that sort will be there for the whole game and not just Phase 1.

> <mark>BONEYARD</mark>
> - Fewer DMRs for the Spartans and/or more NRs for the Elites

Very good idea. The Spartans would have to focus less on attacking Elites off-spawn and more on defending.

> - One or two Covenant power weapons near the Elites’ spawn (Conker, P. Launcher, Fuel Rod Gun, Focus Rifle, Sword), and/or a single Jetpack pickup with a fast respawn timer

Could end up offsetting balance in subsequent Phases. Risky.

> - A Hologram loadout for the Elites, with Plasma Rifle and Pistol
> - Spartans spawn with only one Frag grenade

Good ideas, especially since it’s too easy to grenade-spam the territories. Would need thorough testing, though.

> - Time required to capture the territories reduced by five seconds, or timers reset to 5 instead of 7.

Seems like a little too much in combination with the above.

> - When there’s 60 seconds left in the phase a man-cannon spawns to propel Elites directly into the ship from the ground, at 30 seconds remaining a second one spawns.

This is overboard IMO.

Addition for Boneyard: The Elites could really use multiple far-apart spawn locations – particularly locations inside of some of the buildings on the map, which, though further from the objective, offer a covered structure in the event that the Spartans play pure-offense and try to spawnkill.

Side note for Boneyard: The Armor Lock Shotgun loadout nearly always leads to the entire Spartan team turtling inside of the Core room. It is way too useful in that room, and makes games that make it to Phase 3 even more stale than a Phase 1 skunk round. That loadout needs to be removed.

> <mark>SPIRE</mark>
> - Fewer NRs for the Elites, some DMRs for Spartans

Definitely.

> - No Plasma Cannons

The one near the pipes could stay, as it’s a hindrance more than it is a help: it slows movement and weakens jumps.

> - Doubled respawn timers for the NRs
> - The Elite fireteam at Bravo should not have a shield wall to hide behind, and should not spawn with a direct view of the territory

Doubled NR spawn time would be excellent. Elites need a shield wall to prevent spawnkilling, but it shouldn’t be too close to the territory.

> - One or two UNSC power weapons near the Spartans’ spawn (Sniper, Rockets, Shotgun, Grenade Launcher), and/or a single Jetpack pickup with a fast respawn timer
> - A Hologram loadout for the Spartans, with AR and Magnum
> - A Mongoose, for quick transport to Alpha

The red would risk offsetting balance in subsequent phases. The orange would be useless and accomplish nothing.

> - Time required to capture the territories reduced by five seconds, or timers reset to 5 instead of 7.
> - Elites spawn with only one plasma grenade

While these merit consideration, the above may be sufficient without these. I’d recommend testing the above and then using these two ideas if the phase is still not easy enough – but again, the phase cannot be a cakewalk.

Addition for Spire: The tops of the rocks at Phase 1 need to be softkilled. Elites jumping on those rocks can literally see over 70% of all of the cover the Spartans have available to them. This severely limits the Spartans’ path and attack options, making assaults either predictably safe or suicidally exposed.

Addition for Spire: The Spartans need multiple far-apart spawn locations.

Side note for Spire: The Energy Sword loadout very often leads to the entire Elite team turtling inside of the Spire roof in Phase 3. It is way too useful in that room; if the whole Elite team uses it in that room, the game becomes even more stale than a Phase 1 skunk round. That loadout needs a nerf somehow.

> <mark>BONEYARD</mark>
> - Perfectly balanced already. Just make it show up in Matchmaking, we paid for it!

Yes, Breakpoint (I assume that’s what you meant) needs a massive frequency boost.

Oops, I did mean Breakpoint!

DavidJCobb, I hope you didn’t read my post to mean 343 should add ALL of those changes, I meant that SOME of those changes would be helpful, maybe two or three of those tweaks per map.

Also, a way to mitigate the stagnation caused by “turtling” with shotguns and swords in the last phase is pretty obvious, just apply TU. With melee bleedthrough, those CQC weapons are less dominant.

…Or lots and lots of fusion coils and plasma batteries!

> Oops, I did mean Breakpoint!
>
> DavidJCobb, I hope you didn’t read my post to mean 343 should add ALL of those changes, I meant that SOME of those changes would be helpful, maybe two or three of those tweaks per map.

Apologies. It’s what most people mean when they provide lists such as these, so I assumed it was what you meant as well.

Indeed, two or three per map would be ideal.

> Also, a way to mitigate the stagnation caused by “turtling” with shotguns and swords in the last phase is pretty obvious, just apply TU. With melee bleedthrough, those CQC weapons are less dominant.
>
> …Or lots and lots of fusion coils and plasma batteries!

I’d go with the latter. The former would make precision weapons in Phase 1 far too punishing; remember that the maps’ Forge palettes aren’t good enough to add a lot of cover to those long stretches of open ground.

> > > Also, a way to mitigate the stagnation caused by “turtling” with shotguns and swords in the last phase is pretty obvious, just apply TU. With melee bleedthrough, those CQC weapons are less dominant.
> > >
> > > …Or lots and lots of fusion coils and plasma batteries!
> >
> > I’d go with the latter. The former would make precision weapons in Phase 1 far too punishing; remember that the maps’ Forge palettes aren’t good enough to add a lot of cover to those long stretches of open ground.
>
> But with a healthy rebalancing of the precision weapons in favor of the attackers, it might be just fine.

Turn off headshots. Elites are manly aliens!