A solution to armor abilities/equipment in Halo 4 (Long Read)

*note: do not jump to conclusions. This might not be what you think it is. Please read all of this before replying.

Many of us despise armor abilities and how much it changed gameplay. I personally agree with these people. However, many of us also wouldn’t mind AAs if they were pick ups, just like equipment was in Halo 3. Here’s my solution to implementing a type of equipment/armor ability in Halo 4.

Combine the characteristics of AAs and equipment. This means that certain abilities are available on certain maps as pick ups, and have a one-time use. However, you also have the option to equip that pick ups and use it as an armor ability. This means that you can also equip the certain pick up and use it as you would use armor abilities: i.e. using the ability repeatedly instead of a one-time effect.

One-time effect abilities: These will work similar to equipment. Players will pick up the ability and activate it once before it is rendered useless: however, players will drop that ability once they are killed, and enemy players can take the ability away from the play.

Continual-use abilities: In addition to being able to pick up abilities, players will also be given the opportunity to equip said abilities and implement them into their armor, and use the abilities just like armor abilities. There will be a recharge time every time you activate your ability, and unlike armor abilities, the ability will eventually run out of energy after a certain amount of time or certain amount of uses. However, players will not drop the abilities when they die, meaning that enemies will not be able to pick up the ability once they kill you.

One-time effect abilities and continual-use abilities both have their advantages and disadvantages, and add depth to gameplay without straying off the golden triangle of Halo like armor abilities did. Here are some abilities that I had thought of implementing.

Energy Drain:

One-time use effect: Players will be able to throw a grenade-like energy drain, similar to the power drain from Halo 3. After sticking to the wall or floor, it will drain a player’s shields for 5 seconds after releasing an explosion that is powerful enough to kill an unshielded player if they are close enough. The AoE radius is similar to the AoE radius of the Halo 3 power drain, and the explosion radius is similar to a plasma grenade’s blast radius. Both friendlies and enemies are affected by this,so players will need to watch where they throw it.

Continual-use effect: Players will also be able to equip the energy drain to their armor. When activating the ability, The player will poun the ground with their fist, releasing an emp shockwave that takes down enemy player’s shields. In return, half of the user’s shields will be drained as well. There are no invincibility frames when ground pounding, so players might be able to kill the user before he has a chance to release the emp. In return, the emp blast will not affect friendlies. The AoE radius is identical to the AoE radius of the Halo 3 power drain, and it can be used one time before it has to recharge. The recharge time is 30 seconds, and players will only get to activate it three times before it runs out of power.

Shield Regenerator:
One-time use effect: This one is very similar to the regen from Halo 3: in fact the only difference is that the AoE radius is slightly smaller, and it only last 15 seconds instead of 30. It can also be destroyed, and can take as much damage as the Halo 3 bubble shield can.

Continual-use effect: Players will ground pound and act as the regenerator, healing the teammates around you. You will need to stay in this position in order to continue regenerating your player’s shields, however, and you are not affected by the regen. Players will need to protect you, as you cannot move or attack. This ability lasts ten seconds before it needs to be recharge, and the recharge interval is 30 seconds. You can only use this for 20 full seconds before it runs out of energy. The AoE radius is the same as the radius for the one-time use effect. Enemy players will not be affected.

Radar jammer:

One-time use effect: players can place a tiny radar jammer that plants itself in the ground and produces static on an enemy’s motion tracker. The closer the enemies get to the jammer, the more static appears on their motion tracker. The AoE radius is 50 meters, and the enemy’s motion trackers will be fully jammed once they are within 25 meters of the jammer. This does not affect you or your teammate’s motion trackers: however, the jammer will make a distinct hissing noise once you are close to it, and players can easily destroy the jammer. The jammer can last up to 5 minutes.

Continual-use effect: Players can also equip it and use their armor as the jammer. Instead of static this will produce false readings on the sensor, much like the jammer on active camo in Reach. Any enemy within 30 meters will pick up false readings, but they will also know that a player is in their vicinity. The jammer will also affect your own motion tracker. You can use it for up to 30 seconds before it recharges. The recharge time is 30 seconds, and you can use it for a total of 2 minutes before it runs out.

Trip Mine:

One-time use effect: players will pick up a trip mine much like the Halo 3 beta’s trip mine, and can plant it in the ground. It will not be as obvious like the Halo 3 trip mine is: it is much smaller in size, and looks like a small can when you look at it: it will emit a light every 3 seconds, which could give it away to enemies. It will only explode when a vehicle with within 10 meters of it, and will not explode when players walk over it. Enemies can manually disarm it when they get close to it, and repurpose it for themselves. The original user can also pick it up and move it to a different location. The blast radius is 30 meters, and it will kill anyone or destroy any vehicle within a 15 meter radius. Friendlies caught in the explosion won’t be counted as betrayals, however, as friendlies will be able to see an arrow above the mine warning them to stay away from it if a vehicle dries over it.

Continual-use effect: In addition to picking it up players will also be able to equip the trip mine. Players can then place a mine that has similar characteristics to the one-time use trip mine, except that the blast radius is only 15 meters, and the kill zone radius is only 5 meters. It packs less of a punch than the one-time use mine, but it will also explode if enemy players or vehicles come to within 10 meters of it. However, enemy players can crouch walk over it an not be detected, and you can trip your own mine if you’re not careful. Friendlies will not be able to trip the mine, but they can get caught in the explosion and commit suicide. You can place one mine every minute or so, and you can only place up to 3 mines.

Hologam:
One-time use effect: Players can place a hologram spawn that emits holograms that will wander around the map and shoot enemy players. The amount of holograms emitted will depend on how much players there are on your team: for example, you will spawn 4 holograms on a 4v4 match, or you will spawn only one in a free-for-all. These holograms will have random, computer generated names, and the A.I. level is identical to easy difficulty. Therefore, they will only shoot short burst in intervals, aren’t very accurate, and deal only a fraction of the damage normal player would do. However, they would look exactly like a human player until the enemy drops their shield: the hologram will then disappear. These holograms will not throw grenades, use melee, pick anything up, and they will wander randomly around the map until they engage an enemy. They will automatically disappear after a minute, and they cannot fire on enemy players once the player’s shields are down. Therefore, they cannot earn a kill, even against the most terrible players you can find.

Continual-use effect: When players activate the hologram, he will spawn off 3 holograms that act exactly like the holograms in Reach. However, they will appear to have the user’s gamertag. Like the hologram AA in Reach you can only spawn a set of holograms before it has to recharge. The recharge time will be 15 seconds, and you can only activate this 10 times before it runs out of energy.

Jetpack: This one is a little different. There is no one-time use effect: however, it acts exactly like the jetpack AA in reach. To balance this, players will be less accurate with their shots while they are jetpacking, and the jetpack will have a limited amount of juice. In addition, players can also shoot the jetpack and cause enough damage to destroy the jetpack and explode, causing the user to explode and die. The jetpack has as much hitpoints as your energy shields do, and while shooting the jetpack is harder to hit and doesn’t actually do damage to the player, it might be a viable alternative to killing those annoying jetpackers. There is only enough fuel in the jetpack for a combined total of 30 seconds in the air. When the user is killed before the jetpack is destroyed or ran out of fuel the player will drop the jetpack, and others can pick it up.

Sprint/Evade: Again, this is different than the rest of the abilities. Players will be able to sprint for 5 seconds by pressing in the left joystick. However, the player can also press the ability button to evade. Unlike Reach’s evade you can only evade once before it recharges. The recharge time will be 5 seconds, and players can only sprint for a combined total of one minute/evade 12 times before this ability runs out of energy. Like the jetpack, the player will drop the ability when he dies as long as there still is energy left, and players can pick it up before it resets.

Comments? Questions? Concerns?

I guess these would work, as long as there’s the option to start with them as loadouts in customs.

> I guess these would work, as long as there’s the option to start with them as loadouts in customs.

These abilities will not be featured as loadouts. Instead, they are equipment pick ups scattered across the map that inherit armor ability traits.

But will there be Sprint, Jetpack and Evade as loadouts in customs? That way, Infection, Dino Blasters, and other gametypes would still be fun.

> But will there be Sprint, Jetpack and Evade as loadouts in customs? That way, Infection, Dino Blasters, and other gametypes would still be fun.

I actually never play Reach infection. I thought it was so much better in Halo 3. No AAs necessary.

My friends and I play with AAs on the map all the time. I love it. I like the extra level to combat. I also like the extra motive to move around the map. You have to move to get weapons, health, power ups, and AAs. Never a dull moment.

All AAs and equipment should have options for one time or multiple uses. It could lead to more crazy custom games.

BUT… I hate the idea of evade even being in a Halo game. I also don’t like the idea of sprint being a pick up. You either spawn with it or it shouldn’t be in the game. It would almost be like having jump as an AA on the map. Sprint feels like such a basic feature/ability. It should be standard to all players or removed entirely.

If sprint must make a return it would be best to have sprint and other AAs. I know it sounds like over kill. Kill times would just need to be adjusted so that evading death wasn’t as easy as it is now.

> BUT… I hate the idea of evade even being in a Halo game. I also don’t like the idea of sprint being a pick up. You either spawn with it or it shouldn’t be in the game. It would almost be like having jump as an AA on the map. Sprint feels like such a basic feature/ability. It should be standard to all players or removed entirely.
>
> If sprint must make a return it would be best to have sprint and other AAs. I know it sounds like over kill. Kill times would just need to be adjusted so that evading death wasn’t as easy as it is now.

Then again, these are all just suggestions I made up on the spot. Any criticisms are welcome.

> > BUT… I hate the idea of evade even being in a Halo game. I also don’t like the idea of sprint being a pick up. You either spawn with it or it shouldn’t be in the game. It would almost be like having jump as an AA on the map. Sprint feels like such a basic feature/ability. It should be standard to all players or removed entirely.
> >
> > If sprint must make a return it would be best to have sprint and other AAs. I know it sounds like over kill. Kill times would just need to be adjusted so that evading death wasn’t as easy as it is now.
>
> Then again, these are all just suggestions I made up on the spot. Any criticisms are welcome.

That’s cool I wasn’t trying to be a jerk.

I just think of the frustration of not having sprint while others do. Making the choice as we do in Reach is one thing. A guy picking it up on the map and running off all the time is an entirely different issue all together.

> > > BUT… I hate the idea of evade even being in a Halo game. I also don’t like the idea of sprint being a pick up. You either spawn with it or it shouldn’t be in the game. It would almost be like having jump as an AA on the map. Sprint feels like such a basic feature/ability. It should be standard to all players or removed entirely.
> > >
> > > If sprint must make a return it would be best to have sprint and other AAs. I know it sounds like over kill. Kill times would just need to be adjusted so that evading death wasn’t as easy as it is now.
> >
> > Then again, these are all just suggestions I made up on the spot. Any criticisms are welcome.
>
> That’s cool I wasn’t trying to be a jerk.
>
> I just think of the frustration of not having sprint while others do. Making the choice as we do in Reach is one thing. A guy picking it up on the map and running off all the time is an entirely different issue all together.

Then again, sprint and evade are two abilities that cater to aggressive playstyles. One thing Bungie overlooked in Reach was how much sprint affected the pace of the game. People are now making bad plays, and are able to escape death by sprinting away, even when they should have been punished for making rash decisions.

Something that completely changes the pace and flow of gameplay should never be a starting ability, at least not in Halo. It’s better off as equipment, where everybody has to fight to be able to have that certain advantage.

I like the idea of combining armor abilities with equipment, although I think the energy drain would be a little overpowered. Maybe if it doesn’t have the explosion at the end?

But anyways, this is a great idea.

> BUT… I hate the idea of evade even being in a Halo game. I also don’t like the idea of sprint being a pick up. You either spawn with it or it shouldn’t be in the game. It would almost be like having jump as an AA on the map. Sprint feels like such a basic feature/ability. It should be standard to all players or removed entirely.
>
> If sprint must make a return it would be best to have sprint and other AAs. I know it sounds like over kill. Kill times would just need to be adjusted so that evading death wasn’t as easy as it is now.

Sprint should never have been in Halo as a starting ability, ever. It ruined the pace of the entire game, an broke map flow. Now players could escape certain death or run in to double melee instead of relying on gun gameplay like you were supposed to do.

Making sprint a pick up ability like the OP suggested is a good idea, IMO. It forces players to work that certain advantage, instead of being able to spawn off and rely on it as a crutch.